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Rear Derailleur Help

Old 10-16-19, 07:50 AM
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jimkirk1774
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Rear Derailleur Help

I recently broke a Shimano Claris rear derailleur on my Salsa Journeyman 650b 2x8 speed from taking on too much mud and the cage ended up going into the spokes. I would like to get something built for rougher conditions like the Shimano GRX which is marketed as 10 speed. I do not want to overhaul the entire drive train but I'm not entirely sure from my research if the Claris shifter will be compatible.

Last edited by jimkirk1774; 10-16-19 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 10-16-19, 08:05 AM
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dsbrantjr
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Taking on too much what? Most straightforward solution would be to replace the Claris derailleur, straighten the hanger if necessary, ensure your chain is long enough and move on.
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Old 10-16-19, 08:22 AM
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Too much mud. Reviews on the Claris show a lot of poor performance so I would really like to upgrade to a better model.
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Old 10-16-19, 08:32 AM
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Wilfred Laurier
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Be careful when adjusting whatever replacement you get - even with loads of mud, the derailleur would have to be maladjusted, or the hanger bent, to allow the RD to go into the spokes.
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Old 10-16-19, 08:39 AM
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I suspect that thick mud fell onto the chain, then the mud would not pass through the derailleur cage, resulting in the derailleur essentially taking a circular path around the cassette and in this case deflecting into the spokes as well. A "stronger" derailleur wont prevent this if you get mud on the chain (or anything that prevents the chain from passing through the cage properly). As to the GRX derailleur I highly doubt it would work with your Claris 8 speed shifter. The Claris uses the "old" cable pull. Why would Shimano use cable that for their new gravel offerings when they have already changed for the 10 speed and above MTB and road groupsets. "Better" more expensive derailleurs usually just lighter and better made, which mean they will last longer under normal wear and tear. For the most part they will not resist abuse any better than lower rated goupsets. Just get another Claris derailleur.
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Old 10-16-19, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by jimkirk1774 View Post
I do not want to overhaul the entire drive train but I'm not entirely sure from my research if the Claris shifter will be compatible.
If you want just about anything else, you're doing this, you could put an MTB RD on, say a Deore M591, but that's about your limit without upgrading effectively everything due to the cable pull issues noted above.

You haven't said how the RD has broken, is the cage bent, the RD snapped, the hanger bent, just that is has gone into the spokes, is this purely a setup issue where the RD is poorly adjusted? A 'better' RD won't solve any of these issues without knowing route cause for what you have, which you need to do.

Is the RD correctly adjusted (a bit late to do this now, but was it originally?) Would be having the alignment of the RD/hanger checked, maybe looking at the (replaceable) hanger, maybe a Wheels Manufacturing one which may be stronger (lots of maybe here)

Maybe consider where your riding, and try taking routes which don't have as much mud? remove the accumulated mud when it accumulates? as this seems to have caused this issue, you have to do this on an MTB, and a Gravel bike is no different, they can only take so much mud before jamming/failing, even XTR/GRX will fail with too much mud, and just be a lot more expensive than Claris to replace.
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Old 10-16-19, 10:47 AM
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To confirm, shimano 8 speed is incompatible with any clutched Shimano derailleur, including GRX 10 speed.

Also honestly Claris works fine. The complaints about the drivetrain are mostly that it doesn't have as many cogs as Shimano's higher end offerings and the shifters feel a little clunky.

When the derailleur goes into the spokes the majority of the time it has nothing to do with the derailleur, but rather the derailleur hanger is bent. If your current der is broken, I'd recommend replacing it with a Shimano 8 or 9 speed MTB derailleur of Deore quality or better. The spring will be a little stronger and on the higher end models the pivots will be a little better made than your original. Get one with a GS cage, which will be designed to clear a 34t large cog like your current der.

But a little perspective--pretty much all cyclocross racing was on normal, non clutched road derailleurs until very recently, and that's basically riding through mud pits.
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Old 10-16-19, 08:17 PM
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Thank you for your help everyone! I ended up ordering another Claris since this bike is going to get a lot of abuse; its main uses are for winter commuting on slushy roads and riding on my city’s nature trail which is prone to flooding and becoming a muddy mess in spots. Seems like affordable replacement parts would be the best way to go.
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