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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in of some advice about choosing a new derailleur. My current set up is 1x9: front is 32t, cassette is an XT 11-32T, and a long cage XT derailleur (its model is a few of years old but I bought it NIB about six months ago).

Here is my dilemma. I am constantly dropping my chain at the wrong times on rides, it happened about twelve times last weekend on a five hour ride. Extremely frustrating!! And recently my derailleur hanger got bent, probably from hitting on a rock. This is a scary thing for me because the hanger isn’t replaceable on my Bontrager. I mostly do XC riding but i love the technical stuff, and am starting to do more AM type trails. I live in AZ so I don’t have to worry to much about picking up sticks; just hitting the derailleur on rocks and catching the cable housing.

Here are my thoughts. I am considering possibly going to a 34T, or maybe 36T, ring on the front and a 11-34T cassette at a later date. So what ever I get, it needs to be able to work with that setup and my current one. From the posts that I have read on here I should be able to use a short cage derailleur regardless the size of the front ring. I just don’t want to have to keep worry about banging the cage on rocks and catching the cable on whatever.

Here are the few different new derailleurs I had in mind:
Saint M810-SS (short cage)
XT (med cage)
Possibly a Sram if someone can convince me that it would be best (short cage)


I was leaning toward the Saint mort than the XT only because it has a shorter cage and I like the idea of the extra skid plate on the outside. I like the the Shadow design both have, but the Saint does have a shorter cage than the XT. The only reason I would go with the XT is because it is about half the price. I don’t know anything about the Sram so I don’t know how they compare; but if someone could enlighten me I would appreciate it.
 

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I've got mine setup 2x9 with a long cage XTR Shadow (what came with bike), and I have never dropped a chain. So I don't think it is your rear derailleur causing the chain drops.

If it were me I'd just go with the medium cage XT Shadow.

Do you have anything up front to help hold the chain on? If not I'd say you need at minimum a jumpstop (http://www.gvtc.com/~ngear/). Better would be something like this: http://www.e13components.com/product_xcx.html

Also another thing to consider is to insure you have proper length of chain. Perhaps your chain is too long, and contributing to dropped chains.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a bash guard on right now and am going to be getting one of those n-gear chain guides. Originally I thought the chain was to long also so I took a bunch of links out and now the derailleur is almost completely extended flat when I'm in the largest ring and it still comes off half of the cassette.
 

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I agree, I don't think the long cage is causing the chain drop. I would also agree with the medium cage with a 32T ring. The short cage is for the smaller 22T-ish ring. I think the short cage will put too much tension on the chain. Check the teeth on the ring and make sure none are bent or broken. How old is the ring? Could it be worn? The teeth should not be sharp or fin-shaped. Those problems will definitely make your chain start dropping. We are talking about dropping off in the front right? Not phantom shifting in the rear?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
mlepito said:
I agree, I don't think the long cage is causing the chain drop. I would also agree with the medium cage with a 32T ring. The short cage is for the smaller 22T-ish ring. I think the short cage will put too much tension on the chain. Check the teeth on the ring and make sure none are bent or broken. How old is the ring? Could it be worn? The teeth should not be sharp or fin-shaped. Those problems will definitely make your chain start dropping. We are talking about dropping off in the front right? Not phantom shifting in the rear?
the front cog isn't that old and in relatively good shape, and yes the drop is on the front. I was having problems shifting but that was from the bent hanger, but thats fixed now.

I was looking at the specs for the Saint derailleur and it says that it can go up to a 34T cassette.

Model Number : RD-M810-SS
-Shimano Shadow RD Technology: Super low-profile design.
-Super Wide Links: Creates a rigid structure that resists twisting and improves durability.
-Integrated Skid Plate: Protects the derailleur when impact is inevitable.
-Increased Spring Tension: The spring has increased tension for more responsive shifts.
-Mode Converter: Allows the derailleur to track to close (23-28T) & wide (32-34T) gear ratios.
-Options: GS mid-cage and SS short pulley cage lengths.
Average Weight : 240g
 

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I have an xt shadow and I really like it. It shifts really well and I haven't had to adjust it even once all year. The Saint has a much tighter spring, it's meant for downhill. It will work good, but it costs a lot more. I'm not sure if you will ever feel the difference. If you go sram you will have to get new shifters.
 
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