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Do I need a long cage derailleur?

Old 11-18-22, 10:16 PM
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Do I need a long cage derailleur?

on our tandem we have a 46 chain ring and a 11-32 or 34 cassette. I want to put a 11-42 cassette on. I don't know if the medium cage xt will do it with extra chain or should I put a long cage on? its a 10 speed setup.
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Old 11-19-22, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie View Post
on our tandem we have a 46 chain ring and a 11-32 or 34 cassette. I want to put a 11-42 cassette on. I don't know if the medium cage xt will do it with extra chain or should I put a long cage on? its a 10 speed setup.
I'd guess you would - that large of a largest rear sprocket often seems to require a long-cage RD, and the capacity required there alone (31T) takes up much of a medium cage RD's typical total capacity. But without knowing your RD's make and specific model, that's only a guess. Also need to know your front config (chainring tooth counts).

Manufacturer specifications will tell you the max rear cog and total capacity ( (max rear - min rear) + (max front - min front) ) for your existing RD. You need to consider both, because either or both can come into play.

If it's Shimano, unless the RD is approaching 20 years old specifications should be available on-line (my recollection is that specification compliations go back to circa 2005 on Shimano's documentation repository).
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Old 11-19-22, 09:33 AM
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Actually if its Shimano go here, si.Shimano.com, parts diagrams and tech pages go a lot farther back then 2005.
I found all the info for my 80s and 90 Shimano components there. Also, it its not Shimano, the Disraeli gears website has a lot of derailleur info.
Tim
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Old 11-19-22, 09:40 AM
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There's really no downside to using a longer-cage derailleur than necessary, other than a few grams of extra mass. When in doubt, go with the longer cage.
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Old 11-19-22, 10:03 AM
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If you can identify the RD model, you’ll get a better answer.

My guess is if the RD is designed to go to 42t max cog, then yes. There is no other cassette option than an 11-42, or maybe 12-42.

John
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Old 11-19-22, 10:38 AM
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I think its this guy is newest put on early this year.

SHIMANO XT RD-M786 10 SPEED REAR DERAILLEUR

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Old 11-19-22, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Actually if its Shimano go here, si.Shimano.com, parts diagrams and tech pages go a lot farther back then 2005.
I found all the info for my 80s and 90 Shimano components there. Also, it its not Shimano, the Disraeli gears website has a lot of derailleur info.
Tim
True. And I'm aware of Disraeli Gears as a secondary source; it's pretty good as well.

But not all of those Shimano EVs/SIs/other tech docs give full technical specs for the items in question. That's particularly true for items manufactured during the last decade or two.

If you can find the appropriate tech doc for a specific Shimano product on Shimano's website and that document contains specifications, great. If not, those docs don't do much good if you're looking for specifications.

In contrast, the specifications documents available from Shimano (downloadable PDF format) compile specifications for Shimano products for a given 2-year window in a single location. They begin with 2004-2005 and go through 2021-2022. The downside is you have to know approximately.when the product was made or search through a number of docs to find it. But as a last resort the date code on the product itself will tell you when it was made.

The Shimano compiled specification documents from 2004-2005 to 2021-2022 (inclusive) are available at

https://productinfo.shimano.com/#/archive

The link also has downloadable PDF format Shimano line up charts and product compatibility charts for the same 2-year periods.
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Old 11-19-22, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie View Post
I think its this guy is newest put on early this year.

SHIMANO XT RD-M786 10 SPEED REAR DERAILLEUR

Also need to know front chainwheel(s) config. That matters for total RD capacity requirement.
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Old 11-19-22, 11:09 AM
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OK, the RD-M786 is new enough that it's still listed on the Shimano EU site. Specs are listed there.

If your RD is a RD-M786-GS ("medium" cage), max largest rear sprocket is quoted by Shimano there as 36T; min rear sprocket size is listed as 11T. Max front chainring difference supported is 18T. Total capacity for some reason isn't listed here.

https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/produ...D-M786-GS.html

If it's a RD-M786-SGS (long cage), Shimano says that model has a total capacity of 43 and has the same min/max sprocket limits as the GS model. But it will handle a max front difference of 22T vice 18T for the GS.

https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/produ...-M786-SGS.html

Not sure you'll be able to push either to a 42T largest sprocket without a goatlink or other similar work-around, but maybe. Shimano's historically been conservative with their ratings for capacity and largest/smallest sprockets, but 6T is quite a bit. And we still haven't addressed front chainring difference.

Edited to Add: the Shimano 2019-2020 specification compilation gives the total capacity for the RD-M786-GS as 35. That means it's maxed out with a 11-36 cassette and a 10-tooth front chainwheel difference. You might be able to stretch that a bit; how much is a good question.

Last edited by Hondo6; 11-19-22 at 02:17 PM. Reason: Add new info obtained from Shimano specification compilation for 2019-2020 and to correct typo..
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Old 11-19-22, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Hondo6 View Post
OK, the RD-M786 is new enough that it's still listed on the Shimano EU site. Specs are listed there.

If your RD is a RD-M786-GS ("medium" cage), max largest rear sprocket is quoted by Shimano there as 36T; min rear sprocket size is listed as 11T. Max front chainring difference supported is 18T. That implies a max total capacity of 43, which seems high for a GS but could possibly be correct. (Total capacity for some reason isn't listed at the link; I'd want to check that calculated figure of 43 against the proper year's specification compilation to confirm the total capacity.)

https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/produ...D-M786-GS.html

If it's a RD-M786-SGS (long cage), Shimano says that model has a total capacity of 43 and has the same min/max sprocket limits as the GS model. But it will handle a max front difference of 22T vice 18T for the GS.

https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/produ...-M786-SGS.html

Not sure you'll be able to push either to a 42T largest sprocket without a goatlink or other similar work-around, but maybe. Shimano's historically been conservative with their ratings for capacity and largest/smallest sprockets, but 6T is quite a bit. And we still haven't addressed front chainring difference.
my other bike has the long cage and had this 11-42 cassette on it and the same 46 chain ring. I thought about just changing the RD's around on the bikes and be done with it. the tandem only has a single chain ring the 46.
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Old 11-19-22, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie View Post
my other bike has the long cage and had this 11-42 cassette on it and the same 46 chain ring. I thought about just changing the RD's around on the bikes and be done with it. the tandem only has a single chain ring the 46.
The swap might work - or might not, depending on the tandem's geometry. I understand that "pushing the envelope" re: a RD's max sprocket is often dependent on the frame.

Presumably both RDs are Shimano DynaSys 10-speed. Since you're running the tandem 1x and have both RDs and the cassette on hand I don't see how it could hurt to try. You can always back out the changes if the new config won't work or doesn't work as well as you need.

Depending on your other bike's front config, the swap of RDs might possibly cause problems there. Shimano says the GS only has a total capacity of 35 (see my addition to my comment above about specified RD-M786 capacities), and an 11-36 cassette takes 25 of it. That doesn't leave much left for front difference. But you might get lucky there, too.

Best of luck, and hope everything works out.
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Old 11-19-22, 12:27 PM
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If we know for sure it’s Shimano’s M786 RD, then from the Shimano website it will take an 11- 42 comp, says so right in the tech set-up pages.
Tim

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Old 11-19-22, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
If we know for sure it’s Shimano’s M786 RD, then from the Shimano website it will take an 11- 42 comp, says so right in the tech set-up pages.
Tim

Looks like someone might need to tell the Webmaster at Shimano EU to update their specs for the RD-M786.

Or, alternatively, you may be misinterpreting that page. It appears to be page 20 from Shimano's document DM-GN0001-26, titled "General Operations". That document appears to be a general "how to" setup guide applicable to a wide range of Shimano MTB/Trekking hardware.

Best I can tell, the model number "RD-M786" does not appear in that document - at least, a text search of the document doesn't seem to find it. I'm not sure everything in that document applies equally to each and every item of MTB/Trekking equipment Shimano makes. I'd guess individual item specifications would take precedence.

Last edited by Hondo6; 11-19-22 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 11-19-22, 02:27 PM
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the der. will work if you have only a single, 46 tooth gear, in the front...

You WILL need a Derailleur Dropper (Der. Hanger Extender). It lowers the derailleur to fit below the much larger low gear on the 11-40 cassette proposed..
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Goodhd-Bi...14d94a0a7bc454

or install a smaller Front Gear... like a 42 or so... how often do you use the smallest rear sprocket? Never? then reduce the front gear size.

Last edited by maddog34; 11-19-22 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 11-19-22, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo6 View Post
Looks like someone might need to tell the Webmaster at Shimano EU to update their specs for the RD-M786.

Or, alternatively, you may be misinterpreting that page. It appears to be page 20 from Shimano's document DM-GN0001-26, titled "General Operations". That document appears to be a general "how to" setup guide applicable to a wide range of Shimano MTB/Trekking hardware.

Best I can tell, the model number "RD-M786" does not appear in that document - at least, a text search of the document doesn't seem to find it. I'm not sure everything in that document applies equally to each and every item of MTB/Trekking equipment Shimano makes. I'd guess individual item specifications would take precedence.
It looks like people are assuming that a "Clearance required" specification indicates something else.
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Old 11-19-22, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34 View Post
It looks like people are assuming that a "Clearance required" specification indicates something else.
Kinda looks that way to me, too.

FWIW: Shimano's current specifications document - presumably for 2022-2023, since the 2023 model year components should have been announced already - by my count lists a total of 11 Shimano MTN RDs that are either 11/10-speed or 10-speed only. (When it was in production, Shimano characterized the RD-M786 as a MTN RD; it was last listed in their specifications 2 years ago, in the 2020-2021 Shimano specification handbook. It appears to be no longer in production.)

Of those 11, it appears that only 4 are rated by Shimano to handle a 42T or larger largest rear sprocket. Shimano specifies a smaller largest rear sprocket as the maximum for all of the others.
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Old 11-19-22, 04:12 PM
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I hate short cage derailleurs, I say go long unless you are running a tiny wheeled bike long cage works great. If you are only running small cassettes than go SS or GS but I like my cassettes like I like my paychecks big and toothy
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Old 11-19-22, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo6 View Post
Looks like someone might need to tell the Webmaster at Shimano EU to update their specs for the RD-M786.

Or, alternatively, you may be misinterpreting that page. It appears to be page 20 from Shimano's document DM-GN0001-26, titled "General Operations". That document appears to be a general "how to" setup guide applicable to a wide range of Shimano MTB/Trekking hardware.

Best I can tell, the model number "RD-M786" does not appear in that document - at least, a text search of the document doesn't seem to find it. I'm not sure everything in that document applies equally to each and every item of MTB/Trekking equipment Shimano makes. I'd guess individual item specifications would take precedence.
Trust me it does, and its specific to that derailleur, pretty obvious you haven’t gone to the site yet, but it is on the first page of quite a few, and I didn’t really care to enclose them all. However, for you or anyone else, pretty simple to go to si. shimano.com and enter rd-M786, all the info will come up including the page in my post.
Pretty much answers the OPs inquiry without speculation, and if you play around with the site, covers info on Shimano components well into the 80s.
Tim

Last edited by tkamd73; 11-19-22 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 11-19-22, 08:23 PM
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here are the pics of my bikes the red is the ark that came with the 11-42 and the tandem that has a 11-32. I think it had a 48 chain ring when we bought it. the tandem cant go below the 46 chainring we spin out at around 22mph right now. thats fine as we want more climbing ability then speed. we cruise at about 19mph on the 9th cog. almost never use the 10 as the cadence is just wrong unless going down hill a bit. the bike has a Bosch mid drive so we can climb 16% grades but it would be nice to have a lower gear for the steeper hills then 32.


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Old 11-20-22, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Trust me it does, and its specific to that derailleur, pretty obvious you haven’t gone to the site yet, but it is on the first page of quite a few, and I didn’t really care to enclose them all. However, for you or anyone else, pretty simple to go to si. shimano.com and enter rd-M786, all the info will come up including the page in my post.
Pretty much answers the OPs inquiry without speculation, and if you play around with the site, covers info on Shimano components well into the 80s.
Tim
The document is "specific to that derailleur"? Hardly.

You might want to re-read the document you excerpted - or at least look at it's table of contents. The document in question includes installation and/or maintenance info for MTB RDs and FDs, Road RDs and FDs, brakes of all types (disc/V/cantilever/caliper), chains, cranksets, pedals, and dynamo hubs. It even contains mounting instructions for "claw mount" type MTB derailleurs, as Shimano still makes a few low-end models with that type of mount (p.13).

As I said previously: its title is "General Operations"; it's a top-level general information document. It contains general installation and maintenance information regarding a large part of Shimano's entire product line at time of publication. It is not specific to any particular Shimano product.

Yes, I did indeed visit the "search by model number" page on Shimano's website. The document from which you provided the extract comes up when you visit Shimano's search by model number tech doc page along with 3 other docs - another DM, a user manual, and an EV - when you enter the model number "RD-M786". It comes up first because it's alphabetically the first DM-series manual that contains something that might apply to that particular model. But everything in that document not applicable, and the document is not specific to the RD-M786. It's a general instruction, not a specification document or manual applicable to a particular item. And it does not contain product specifications.

Have you bothered to actually look at any of the Shimano specification compilations available at the same site? Or at the actual specification pages for the RD-M786 that I linked? Because those sources do contain specification info from Shimano that applies to the RD-M786. And the ones I've viewed have all been very consistent.

Last edited by Hondo6; 11-20-22 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Clarification and correction.
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Old 11-20-22, 07:48 AM
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When I already have all the parts on hand, I put them together to see if they "work." I care not what the manufacturer's specs are. When they don't "work," my experience is that the bike will protest and let you know it does not want to do what you are trying to make it do well before any damage is done - you only have to listen to your bike. However, if you go out immediately mashing under heavy loads, all bets are off.
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Old 11-20-22, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie View Post
my other bike has the long cage and had this 11-42 cassette on it and the same 46 chain ring. I thought about just changing the RD's around on the bikes and be done with it. the tandem only has a single chain ring the 46.
Don't forget the derailleur hanger extenders you can get for $5 on Amazon and fit in 5 minutes, that might be just what you want in this situation.
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Old 11-22-22, 05:20 PM
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Pretty much every tandem I have had since 2005 has had a long cage derailleur because they have all had triple cranksets. A long cage is a given with a triple up front. With an 11-42 in back and a double up front it's six of one, half a dozen of the other. First thing, besides the chain wrap, there is a clearance issue with a 42T cog. It is doubtful that a medium cage derailleur was designed expecting the top jockey pulley to duck under a 42T, but ANY rear derailleur built to clear a bigger than 40T rear cog will also have a long cage whether you need it or not. If the o.p. was running a 1x setup, an 11 - 42 might not tax the wrap capabilities of a mid-cage RD but, that 42T ... chances are good the OEM RD would not be able to cope, even with only 31T of total wrap. With a 2x plus 11 - 42 deffo new (long cage) RD time. That was easy.
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Old 11-22-22, 09:20 PM
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the tandem is a e tandem with a mid drive motor in front. so the drivetrain is more regular bike then tandem.

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Old 11-22-22, 09:31 PM
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Don't fight it... Yes... You will need a long cage derailleur...
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