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How can you identify if a Shimano rear derailleur is medium or long cage?

6 min read

Asked by: William Mansoor

How do I know if I have a short cage or long cage derailleur?

Quote from video: If we go right up to the big ring at the front and all the way up to the biggest cog. At the back you can see there's a lot of tension in a chain. So that cage has had to move right forward.

How do I know what size my rear derailleur is?

Quote from video: The most simple and straightforward way to think about cage lengths is as follows. The wider range of gears you have the larger the cage you'll need for those unsure about what ranges.

What is the difference between a medium and long cage derailleur?

If you are in-between the capacity ranges of the two, which is often the case with mountain bikes, then note the following: long cage derailleurs will accommodate a wider gear range and deliver a better chain line, while medium cage derailleurs are less likely to be hit by rocks on the trail.

How do I identify my Shimano rear derailleur?

Shimano stamps the rear derailleur model number on the underside/lower plate of the parallelogram.

How do I know my Shimano derailleur model?

Quote from video: So they have part numbers to show the difference. This is a front derailleur. Sometimes are hard to find usually I think it's on this plate. But I don't see one on this one it is kind of a older.

Do I need a short or medium cage derailleur?

It’s generally best to go for as short a derailleur cage as you can get away with, as long as you can avoid the chain contorting on the extremes of the cassette, such as using the largest on both sprocket and chainring. Smaller cages tend to have snappier gear changes, they’re lighter, and also less exposed to damage.

Can I change derailleur cage length?

Generally you can replace a derailleur with a longer caged one without any problems. The length of the cage determines the “spread” of gears that the drivetrain can support. So, for example, the short cage might get you a 11-28 cassette where a medium cage might work up to 11-32.

What does GS mean on Shimano derailleur?

medium cage

Shimano rear derailleurs are available in two types, SS (short cage) and GS (medium cage), depending on the model. The “cage” here refers to the length of the pulley cage (the unit that houses the two pulleys).

What does Shimano SGS mean?

Posted January 6, 2010. GS is the medium length cage and SGS is the long cage on the rear derailleur, if you ride a hardtail (and you don’t cross chain) then a GS will do, An SGS is better suited to a full suss as the chain growth needs to be taken up by the RD

Do all derailleurs fit all bikes?

No, bike derailleurs are not universal. A derailleur that works with one bike may not work with another bike based on factors such as the cage length. Check the difference between the smallest and largest cogs and also the chainring size to determine the derailleur compatibility.

What is SS in rear derailleur?

Shimano categorizes its rear derailleurs into three tiers depending on the cage length, and they’re denoted by the suffix on the model number. “-SS” refers to the short-cage versions, with a maximum chain capacity of 33T or less. These are usually the domain of road bikes.

How do I choose a rear derailleur?

Quote from video: The best thing to do is go with a medium cage. Most everybody has medium medium. Works for just about anything medium is good for a road it's also good for a mountain bike.

How do I know what model Shimano shifter I have?

The shifter can be identified by model number, which is stamped on the plastic perch (under the rubber hood).

How long does a rear derailleur last?

Good quality rear derailleur can last between 3 to 5 years, when unbranded or low-quality ones can last for 2 years, no matter what the durability of the rear derailleur the jockey wheel will wear after time and it can be replaced very cheaply with new ones, on the other hand, front derailleur can last almost

How do you change a derailleur cage?

Do I Need A Short, Medium Or Long Cage Rear Derailleur …

Can you make a short cage derailleur into a long cage?

Yes, if the derailleurs are the same model, and you can get all the parts, (which isn’t usually a straightforward process) youcan convert from short cage to long cage. That’s assuming that the rest of the derailleur is constructed the same way, which is not guaranteed.

What is the max cassette for short cage derailleur?

All derailleurs have a maximum cassette size. This is often indicated as the maximum number of teeth that can be on the biggest cog (often referred to as low sprocket max in manuals). So when you see that a derailleur has a maximum cassette size of 30T you know that the biggest cog on the cassette cannot exceed 30T.

What is the cage on a derailleur?

The derailleur cage is a swinging link, with two pulleys. As the chain moves between different size sprockets (front and rear), the amount of chain required changes. The derailleur cage picks up this slack.

Will any derailleur fit my bike?

No, bike derailleurs are not universal. A derailleur that works with one bike may not work with another bike based on factors such as the cage length. Check the difference between the smallest and largest cogs and also the chainring size to determine the derailleur compatibility.

How do I know what model Shimano shifter I have?

The shifter can be identified by model number, which is stamped on the plastic perch (under the rubber hood).

Can I use a MTB derailleur on a road bike?

Shimano derailleur compatibility



Most 8- and 9-speed Shimano mountain bike and road kit is inter-compatible because they both use the same cable pull ratio. This means that you can use an 8 -or 9-speed mountain bike derailleur with road shifters or vice versa.