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There seems to be some conflicting information on this.

Any experts in the house?
 

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You can use a low normal (Rapid Rise) derailleur with Rapidfire shifters, but it will shift the opposite direction from what you're used to. There are no compatibility problems or technical reasons it won't work.

Most folks feel that Rapid Rise is either best suited to Dual Control levers, or to the garbage can, and that Top Normal is best suited to rapidfire pods. You can mix and match though, according to your preferences.
 

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I think a lot of folks are confused on exactly what Rapid Rise is (not saying you are, just see this thread topic a lot).

Regular/standard = Top Normal. Spring tension pulls derailleur to smaller cog, cable tension pulls to bigger cog. Most folks use these with RapidFire shift pods. Releasing cable shifts to a harder gear (smaller cog). If your shift cable breaks, you are stuck in your smallest cog (unless you brought a multitool and adjust the high limit screw in to get a cog or two in).

Rapid Rise = Low Normal. Spring tension pulls derailleur to larger cog, cable tension pulls to smaller cog. Most people use Dual Control levers with these derailleurs. Releasing cable shifts to an easier gear, and if your shift cable breaks you are stuck in your easiest gear.

There is no incompatibility between these styles. Just different ergonomics and such with the shifters. Note that most shifters have the ability to pull several shifts' worth of cable in one stroke, but only release one (two with 970 or modded 770). Top normal then gives you the ability to dump 3-4 gears at the bottom of a climb, and low normal/RR lets you grab 3-4 gears, say, going into a sprint. I've personally found fast multiple downshifts more useful.
 

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Rapid rise is great, once you get used to it it makes total sense
biggest drawback is no shadow, cant be done
 

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meh....
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eric1115 said:
....Top normal then gives you the ability to dump 3-4 gears at the bottom of a climb, and low normal/RR lets you grab 3-4 gears, say, going into a sprint. I've personally found fast multiple downshifts more useful.
I've been using Rapid Rise for a few years now, rapid downshifts are not a problem with Rapid Fire shifters. I find it easier do downshift quickly this way, just do several quick hits on the finger paddle instead of moving the thumb paddle way forward in one big motion. I don't have to change my hand position as much with the quick successive finger paddle clicks, just as fast or faster than making a big movement with the thumb.

You can grab 8 downshifts without moving your hand, just moving one finger. Or get the new XTR shifters, multi-shift with either paddle.

So OP, yes you can.
 

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ballbuster
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Yes

RIS said:
There seems to be some conflicting information on this.

Any experts in the house?
Any Shimano can be used with any shimano as long as you stick to the same number of gears (9 speed, 8 speed, etc)

The only exception is Dura Ace 8 speed. It has its own pull ratio.

I run XTR dual control levers with an older XTR regular rise derailleur. Works great. Makes sense to me. I would rather be able to dump 3 gears easier in one lever motion than 3 gears harder.
 

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Nice post, eric1115 - thanks for the clarity. I'm using the M775 XT integrated shifter/lever, and having the ability to shift 3 up or 3 down at a time is excellent. I also find that shifting to easier gears is more accurate than with Top-Normal, but that's just my opinion. One drawback I have found in the newer Low-Normal XT rear derailleur is that the mounting bolt tab for the cable is unsupported. If you catch a big enough rock at just the right angle, the tab can be bent inwards, blocking movement of the derailleur body and limiting the range of gears you can access. This happened to me, and the tab cracked when I tried to bend it back, necessitating a new derailleur. This is the first time in 6 years of using this system that I've had an issue, so I can live with that.
 
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