Upgrading Derailleurs

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Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby WarbyD » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:47 pm

Hey!

So.. had a bit of a dig around, and think I've got my head "sort of" around this but wanted to sound it out a little before going ahead..

In January I purchased an Avanti Montari 29.3 hardtail MTB ( http://www.avantibikes.com/au/bikes/off ... ifications ) .. Not knowing much about what I was looking at, my checklist was basically:
(1) Is the bike comfortable for me to ride around the parking lot?
(2) Are the shocks NOT SR / Suntour?
(3) Is the gearing either SRAM X<something> or Shimano <Anything with a name>?

This bike ticked all of those boxes, and overall I am happy with it.. But, I am somewhat of a gear junky and like to tinker, and having spent a bit more time procrastinating on forums of late I have come to the conclusion that my Alivio rear and Acera front derailleurs really aren't considered much chop. That, plus the fact that I seem to be forever having to make minor adjustments to them to keep things running smooth makes me think they're prime candidates for a bit of an upgrade!

I am thinking at this stage that Deore XT Derailleurs front & rear should do me nicely.. And looking online, I'm pretty comfortable with the prices I'm seeing.. So, considering the following components sitting in my CRC basket:

Shimano XT M772 Shadow 9 Speed Rear Mech (long cage)
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/au/e ... -prod20700

Shimano XT M771 Conventional 9 Speed Front Mech
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/au/e ... -prod20685

Questions:
(1) Have I chosen my products correctly? Will these be suitable "drop in" replacements for my current derailleurs?
(2) Should I also upgrade the Acera shifters to Deore at the same time?
(3) Should I also replace/upgrade the chain at the same time? (I am assuming probably not necessary at this stage)
(4) Should I also replace/upgrade the cassette at the same time? (also assuming probably not necessary at this stage)

The bike has around 1100km on it, mostly on roads/PSP but after getting out at Langford Park (jarrahdale.. apparently XC single track stuff) this last weekend and deciding that I want to be doing ALOT MORE of that (FUN!!), I expect to be adding an average of around 10-20km offroad (plus 250-350km on road/PSP) each week to that..

Oh and to get this aspect out of the way.... While some may say that there is no point spending money on upgrading bits of this bike and instead saving for a better bike.. Like I said, I like to tinker and I would rather upgrade this over time to end up at a point where either I'm happy to run it into the ground over several years, or the frame becomes the limiting factor and I then transfer all of the upgraded bits over to a new frame. I don't consider spending a few hundred here or there over a couple of years a big issue, and is much easier for me to manage (ie get past the wife :P) than throwing down several thousand dollars up front for a better bike :)
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by BNA » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:25 pm

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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby mitzikatzi » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:25 pm

If your going to fit XT derailleurs I would fit XT shifters.
Many claim you should have higher spec shifters than derailleurs.
Maybe average it out and buy SLX derailleurs and shifters.
Derailleurs often eat sticks. Never buy one if you can't afford to buy another.

Have a look at Merlin cycles as well.
Last edited by mitzikatzi on Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby Duck! » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:26 pm

Anything Shimano 9-speed is "plug and play" compatible.

I wouldn't bother with Deore shifters, there's not a particularly detectable improvement in feel. If you can find them, go for a set of M770 XT 9-speed levers - these offer a much crisper feel than any group below them.

Chains and cassettes are basically consumable items, so I wouldn't worry about replacing them until they're due. There's no difference in performance between the various levels of chains and cassettes - the differences are more in surface treatment, which improves corrosion resistance, and surface hardness on sprockets, and les weight in the cassettes.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby bychosis » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:02 pm

I wouldn't bother with a front derailleur, I don't believe there is a lot of difference in them and you don't shift as often either. As above include the shifters, at least SLX level, but XT if you can and at the expense of an SLX rear mech replacing the XT if it's about dollars.
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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby Duck! » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:47 pm

I should add from my own experience of progressive upgrades (in conjunction with lots of workshop experience), that the two biggest upgrades you can make are the Shadow derailleur (which you've got covered with the M772, but any model of that design would suffice, as long as it's 9-speed [M592 Deore, M662 SLX and M972 XTR are the compatible alternatives]) and the XT shifters - they are a big jump above any level below them, including SLX (which isn't that much different from XT in most other regards).
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby WarbyD » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:54 pm

Ok.. So, consensus is the mechs I've selected will be fine, no need for chain and cassette at the moment and I should get shifters at the same time.. cool :) thanks guys.. As I said, I'm comfortable with the price of the XT range (including replacement if damaged) so no concerns there

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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby m@ » Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:22 am

Is the M772 Shadow+ i.e. a clutched der? Loving the upgrade to XT Shadow+ on my MTB...

Edit - seems there's no 9-speed shadow+ RD; weird as I was certain I'd seen 'em online... :?
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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby trailgumby » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:42 am

On 9 speed chains I would recommend buying three x XTR and the same number of SRAM quick links, and rotate them when they nwed to cpme off the bike for a clean. Unfortunately Rohloff 9 speed is no longer made, these would be next best wearing. Chain wear (aka "stretch") is the biggest determinant of the life of your cogs and rings.

The best bit is that XTR chains are pretty cheap.

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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby bychosis » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:50 am

If you are going to get dérailleurs and shifters then it isn't a big step to go to 10spd with shimano and get the benefit of a clutch mechanism. Only would required the cassette and chain in addition to the other parts.
Apparently you can use a SRAM 9spd shifter with a shimano 10spd derailleur to get the clutch system. (No personal experience though)
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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby WarbyD » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:52 am

Is the clutch worth going to 10spd? I am comfortable with my current range of gears so was thinking I'd be better off staying 9spd to ensure ease of availability for components if required.. Cost wise I don't see a great deal of difference though so I'm open to either..
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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby Duck! » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:16 pm

m@ wrote:Is the M772 Shadow+ i.e. a clutched der? Loving the upgrade to XT Shadow+ on my MTB...

Edit - seems there's no 9-speed shadow+ RD; weird as I was certain I'd seen 'em online... :?

Shadow+ is 10-sp. only (M615, M675, M785/6, M985/6). MTB 10-sp. is mostly only compatible within its own little family (left shifter is an exception, front derailleurs & cranks tolerate mismatching).
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby WarbyD » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:26 pm

As a little update to this... have picked up all of the following 2nd hand for good prices, so will be installing in the next week or so :)

XT shifters
SLX front mech
XT rear mech (9 spd)

Paid about $70 all up for all of the above (along with a spare slx left shifter) so I'm happy..

Bike is getting a new chain today (dropped it in for a service / replace broken spoke.. guy threw the checker on the chain and said it needed replacing.. no biggie, its cheap enough and it will be the last coin this store takes off of me after attempting to charge me $99 for what was supposed to be a free service [first thing he did when I got there was scribble out the "free first service" booking and tick the "$99 basic service" box, then wasn't keen to accept that I was going to be sticking with the free service I was promised] and charging $50 to replace one broken spoke)

So.. if everything goes to plan.. Looking forward to trying it all out next week :D
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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby Colonial Marine » Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:49 am

That sort of thing is very short sighted. Do they really think you will keep coming back to get ripped off every time. Luckily not every lbs is like this. You might find the shop manager/owner would be pissed off to hear how poorly you were treated.

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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby Marmoset » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:09 pm

I think the only worn thing in the workshop is the chain checker, I'd be very surprised if you've worn the chain out since January - it usually takes me a few years to wear a chain out - my road bike has probably got 3500-4000Km's on the chain and it's not showing up on my checker as anywhere near 0.75% worn yet. The mtb's usually give me 2 years of weekly riding before need a new one as well.

On the upgrade side of things, make sure you're cables are of decent quality - it can make a lot of difference to the shift quality.
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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby mikgit » Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:53 pm

I dunno, they must be doing him a favour, went for the new chain route, but not the oh and you need new cluster and rings...

although, in the old days, I could go though like a bunch of chains in a year, usually 2 through winter (plus a cluster and middle ring along the way), but that was riding 7 days a week thorugh axle deep sluch and mud. Don't really do that these days.
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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby trailgumby » Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:06 am

Depends on riding conditions and chain quality. Riding off road is much harder on equipment than on road. And if it's wet, its an order of magnitude worse.

It could easily need replacing especially if you are lax wuth cleaning after muddy rides.

I run the best chains I can afford .. they extend the life of everything else. So for 9 speed that's XTR and 10 speed its KMC X10SL.

I also run 3x chains per bike in rotation. Still on my original cassettes and chainrings after 3 years.

After a wet off road ride the chain comes straight off into the kero bath to be cleaned and the next one goes on.

I reckon that's saved me a few hundred dollars a year.

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Re: Upgrading Derailleurs

Postby WarbyD » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:22 pm

To be fair on the store, when I had a second spoke break first ride after the very expensive replacement (at the end of the ride.. Thankfully) they rebuilt the wheel under warranty without hassle (haven't ridden it yet since)... When I picked the bike up the mechanic made a point of asking how much riding I did because, to quote, "that chain was stuffed" I'm surprised that it needed replacing so soon, and I have been (I think) good with washing the bike after each weekend ride and lubing the chain each week, but *Shrugs*

Went and bought a Merida One-Forty-3-b 27.5" mountain bike on Tuesday (from another store) so the avanti will live on pretty much permanent commuter duty now anyway... Once I get the derailleur, shifter, cable and wheel back on it lol (looking like a bit of a mess in the garage atm)

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