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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone.
I have a Shimano XT (2006) rear derailleur, and it has about 4000 miles of use.
It doesn't shift as precisely as when it was new, and I noticed it has some lateral play, may be 2 milimeters on each side.

So my question is... how much play is acceptable?
Are those 2 millimeters the cause of my problem, or should I look elsewere (shifters, cables, etc)?
 

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Lateral play where? If the upper assembly moves in and out, the mounting bolt might be loose, If there's a twisting kind of play in the pantograph area, that's normal wear and tear and it'll continue to get sloppier till you decide you can't accept it anymore.

That's the answer to the second question. Derailleurs develope play with age. It's a slow process and the shifting response gets progressively worse, but you don't really notice it until one day you finally do. How much is acceptable? As much as you'll live with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The play is on the mechanism, not on the mounting bolt.

So I guess I should replace the derailleur. Right now I have a 2006 XT.
What do you recommend?
I've been very pleased with this one, but it "only" lasted about 4000 miles. Would an XTR be more durable? Or should I go again with an XT?
 

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As I said, that's strictly your call. If you can live with it, you can run it longer and squeeze out some extra value.

I have very limited experience with Shimano derailleurs, so can't give you a definitive answer, If the pantograph plates and pins are of similar materials, I'd expect similar wear, so the more expensive derailleur wouldn't be a bargain as far as life expectancy goes. But it might be worth the diffference in other respects such as weight or shift response,

Your bike, your money, so it's your call.
 

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The only places i have worn out derailleurs is in the areas indicated. That wear shows up as play that develops perpendicular to the pin that runs through each area. That and of course i have worn out pulleys.

 

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As an earlier post mentioned, what about your cables? Sheldon Brown said that at 90% of all shifting problems are caused by cables. I have had some very worn derailleur pivots on both XT and LXes and they still shifted well. I have found occassionally that I needed to change the jockey wheels when I replaced the chain and cassette.

Tim
 

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I agree with the others, first fix all the cheap stuff and find out what's the best you can get out of it. Then and only then, if it still isn't good enough for you, consider a replacement.

Derailleurs are too expensive to replace willy-nilly.

A good gereral rule of maintainence, fix or replace things in price sequence, cheapest first, and spend the big bucks only when necessary.
 
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