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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone help point me in the right direction to replacing the stock bushing jockey wheels on my shimano deore 10 speed derailleur.

I believe they are 11t, anyone have a link to a inexpensive lighter/decent upgrade to the stock ones?

Any companies sell a good pair? Also one wheel is different than the other right? Or are they identical wheels?
 

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I recently bought these and seem pretty good nice and smooth although I haven't had them for that long. They have sealed bearings so will be a big upgrade from the bushings, especially for wet conditions. Includes plenty of adaptors for different derailleur brands and clear fitting instructions. Yes the upper and lower wheels are slightly different, I think the upper has slightly more play than in the bottom to allow it some flexibility with shifting, but I think this is only minor. These particular ones are labelled A for the top and B for the bottom (for a Shimano derailleur).
 

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I got some aluminum pulleys off Amazon for around $20. They replaced the stupid expensive cracked ceramic bearing pulleys on my SRAM Red derailleur. Can't seem to tell a difference in performance.

They are similar to these,

 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Oh cool I'll keep those options in mind thanks for the responses.

I actually ended up getting the geniune shimano ultegra kit this one


Because I wanted to make sure it would work flawlessly with the guide and idler pulley specifically made to fit deore/xt/ultegra derailleurs.

Once I test them out I will report back here to confirm compatibility because I don't know until they are installed and tested. Although it does say deore on the package making it an upgrade to the deore mech it being ultegra parts, I still need to install and test to confirm & be certain since I have a shimano deore rear mech.
 

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So to my knowledge as long as the tooth count is the same, the jockey wheels are swapable between pretty much anything. I have used the aluminum ones from Amazon/eBay/Ali express and they all seem to work just fine. As for weight, it is hard to beat the shimano ones unless you drop $$$ for some carbon ones. Also stay away from the ceramic bearing ones on Amazo/eBay etc. as they don’t have dust covers on the bearings and will crap out really fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So to my knowledge as long as the tooth count is the same, the jockey wheels are swapable between pretty much anything. I have used the aluminum ones from Amazon/eBay/Ali express and they all seem to work just fine. As for weight, it is hard to beat the shimano ones unless you drop $$$ for some carbon ones. Also stay away from the ceramic bearing ones on Amazo/eBay etc. as they don’t have dust covers on the bearings and will crap out really fast.
Yea I didn't want to take a chance on trying the amazon/ebay specials with the ceramic bearings. That's why I just went with the highest quality Shimano set that would fit my derailleur.

One pulley is a "idler" & the other is a "guide". I need to figure out which one goes on top & which one goes on the bottom. Any tips? Also in this Shimano kit one is a ceramic bearing, while the other I believe uses a traditional bearing. Both appear to be sealed.
 

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Every shimano derailleur i have pulled apart has 2 of the same wheels. i guess i have never looked close enough but i have never had issues when re-assembling them. if you have the ones you linked above, it does not matter which one goes on top. i think some of the new 12 spd stuff has different tooth profiles for the top and bottom pulley. you should be fine installing the ones you linked above how ever you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Every shimano derailleur i have pulled apart has 2 of the same wheels. i guess i have never looked close enough but i have never had issues when re-assembling them. if you have the ones you linked above, it does not matter which one goes on top. i think some of the new 12 spd stuff has different tooth profiles for the top and bottom pulley. you should be fine installing the ones you linked above how ever you want.
Actually they do have a difference. The one marked with "G" is the higher pulley with the sealed bearing. The lower one is the "ceramic" labled bearing. Another member on here informed me about this. So now I have them installed properly. They are a world of difference from the stock metal on rubber friction bushing style of pulley, I can't believe that was even on my "Expert" edition bike lol So this upgrade was very worth it.
 

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General comment on buying from amazon or aliexpress..... indeed, the "ceramic" bearings they have are actually cheaper and perform more poorly than the regular sealed bearings. Much hate was directed at the plastic bearing races, but even the ones I got with "ceramic" balls and steel races were kaput after a less than a year. However, they've become so ubiquitous that it's hard to find no-name pulleys without the cheap ceramics.

I bought a pack of "real" sealed 689RS steel bearings and using them to replace the wasted ones that came with the pulleys. While this was more effort than I would have preferred, I ended up assembling pulleys that work and last way better than anything I got in the mail.
 

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... They are a world of difference from the stock metal on rubber friction bushing style of pulley, I can't believe that was even on my "Expert" edition bike lol So this upgrade was very worth it.
I did this about a decade ago, and I'm afraid I may burst your bubble a bit.

First off, you'll have to specify what you mean by the "world of difference", because an inexpensive bearing can spin incredibly freely by hand, but that doesn't equate to durability and reduced friction in the whole system when actually used.

I was in the same boat as @ghettocruiser in terms of early failure unfortunately, and I couldn't discern any noticeable difference even before failure.
 

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I did this about a decade ago, and I'm afraid I may burst your bubble a bit.

First off, you'll have to specify what you mean by the "world of difference", because an inexpensive bearing can spin incredibly freely by hand, but that doesn't equate to durability and reduced friction in the whole system when actually used.

I was in the same boat as @ghettocruiser in terms of early failure unfortunately, and I couldn't discern any noticeable difference even before failure.
I guess my experience with aftermarket der pulleys might be similar to phlegm’s. Years ago I decided to “upgrade” so I purchased some expensive aluminum pulleys with sealed bearings in them. They were noisy. The bearings failed rapidly.

The longest running der pulleys I’ve personally used during my 35 years of mountain biking have been Shimano’s stock ceramic bushing ones. This is in the PNWet where I ride year ‘round.

As for terminology, I know the lexicon changes over time but years ago I was told the upper pulley is called the jockey pulley because it “jockeys” the chain across the cogs. The lower pulley is called the tension pulley for obvious reasons. But as I said, maybe terminology has changed.
=sParty
 

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^Same experience as last 2 post's and realized stock was best a long ways back. I will say for sram though, updating the the cable guide pulley to one with a bearing did make a palpable difference in shifting action. That was money well spent imo.

Sent from my moto g(6) forge using Tapatalk
 
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Discussion Starter #13
I did this about a decade ago, and I'm afraid I may burst your bubble a bit.

First off, you'll have to specify what you mean by the "world of difference", because an inexpensive bearing can spin incredibly freely by hand, but that doesn't equate to durability and reduced friction in the whole system when actually used.

I was in the same boat as @ghettocruiser in terms of early failure unfortunately, and I couldn't discern any noticeable difference even before failure.

I was referring to the differenced between the stock metal to rubber friction pulley that was miserable in comparison to the new upgraded shimano pulley set which has a sealed actual bearing in the jockey wheel, & a sealed ceramic one on the tension pulley. While uninstalled when I spun the cheaper friction pulley with the metal to rubber friction it wouldn't spin & you can feel the resistance noticeably. Where as the upgraded pulley set spins a lot more feely when you give them a whirl. Now they don't spin anywhere near as nice as a set of BBInfinite pulleys, but they spin a heck of alot better than the cheaper bushing pulleys. Taking that demonstration from being off the derailleur I know what will translate into a real world difference after installation. Not only in stability of the more robust jockey wheel and lighter ceramic wheel but less resistance that was apparent when testing them uninstalled.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Also I agree with you guys on being sketchy with the aftermarket pulley sets all over the place. That's why I went with a stock shimano set that higher end bikes are equipped with. The shimano Ultergra RD 6700 pulley set above I posted a link to them. I will report back any thoughts or concerns with them if i have any in the long or short term using them on my main bike, but for now I can strongly recommend them as a solid upgrade to the bottom of the line friction bushing style that I was not happy with.
 

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I was all about stock pulleys until a few years ago, when SRAM charged me $60 to replace my XO pullies with "stock" plastic that lasted a year.

I was game for a whole lot of no-name aftermarket experimentation at that price and time frame.

i.e. If I'm gonna have to dump them every 3000km (maybe 6k on the road), they might as well look nice and cost $5 to replace.

Of course, my recent $1/per bearing replacement discovery pushes the cheapness to the next level (down).
 
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