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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The purpose of this thread is to help people decide if a 42T cog will work with a short cage rear derailleur.

I recently installed a Wolf 42T cog. Because I already have a brand new short cage derailleur that I very happy with, I scoured every message board and every review of both the Wolf and OneUp products to decide whether or not it would work. I found conflicting information on this topic but most people who had tried it reported that worked. For the record, both manufactures advise against using their 42T cog with a short cage derailleur. Here is my experience and I encourage everyone else who has tried it to report their experience:

2013 Salsa Spearfish 1 (80mm travel)
30T RaceFace Narrow Wide chainring
Sram X9 Type 2 short cage rear derailleur
Sram X0 10 speed shifter
Shimano XT 11-36 10 speed cassette
Sram PC1051 chain
Wolf Tooth 42T GC

Overall the setup was super easy and took less than 1 hour. I did not need the extended B-tension screw that Wolf provides, and I didn't even bottom out the factory Sram screw on the X9 short cage.

There was one thing that was SUPER critical, and that was chain length. There is literally only one length that will work on this setup. One link too long and it the chain drags on the derailleur cage in the 11T, one link too short and the chain will not downshift from the 42T. However, once I figured out the correct length, it shifted beautifully on the work stand. I could not tell a difference in shifting quality between the 42T and the factory 36T on the workstand.

I let all the air out of the shock and fully compressed the suspension and I still have a TINY amount of cage movement. I believe this setup will work and I am going to run with it. The trails are all too muddy to do a proper ride but when I do I will report.

UPDATE: I have about 50 miles on this setup and so far I haven't had a single issue. The shift into the 42T feels absolutely fantastic. I couldn't be happier with this drive train.

Wolf GC.jpg
 

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I found several reports of people with Zee short cage derailleurs saying they worked fine. I bet your right that chain length is critical, and how much the chainstay length chainges while the suspension compresses might make it incompatible with some bikes.

I'm going to be swapping my zee der over to my hardtail, with a 42t cog. I'll post back on the results but it's going to be a week.
 

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My Wolf 42T just showed up and I am going to be trying it with a Saint Shadow+ Short Cage on a 2014 Santa Cruz Nomad. Stay tuned.
 

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I'm interested in the results. I riding the SM100 later this year and am considering a 42T setup but currently run an X0 Short Cage RD.
 

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Didn't get a chance to go for a ride other then up and down the street but looks like the short cage Saint Shadow Plus is going to work out on my Nomad. Cycled the suspension and have a little capacity remaining when compressed. Shifting on the stand and riding up and down the street seem good but going to hold my opinion until some longer real world rides. Will post up after I have actually done some trail ridng. As others have stated chain length must be the longest possible to still have tension when on 11T cog. Cannot be any shorter or any longer. Here are pics of the derailleur in 11t and 42t.

image.jpg

image.jpg
 

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pmaddy, that looks pretty good. Have you cycled the suspension to see how chainlength is with the suspension fully compressed?
Yes when fully compressed I still have a tiny litte bit of capacity left in the short cage. The part I am most curious about is chainslap when running in 11t mode with the longer chain. My favorite thing about the Saint is how dead quiet it is on super rocky/chattery trails due to the built in rubber bumper between the tension screw and frame as well as the shadow plus clutch. None of the other derailleurs have the bumper to my knowledge.
 

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Damn, I must have a 2011 x9 short cage even though I purchased it 5 months ago... there is no room for a chain no matter what I do to the b screw (of either length)
guess I'll have to use my brand new red/black medium cage x9 i was hoping to save...
 

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Just installed my 42t GC with a Zee FR rear der. This is with an XT 11-36, 32t nw wolftooth front ring. It took a few tries with the chainlength, which is basically short as possible.

I wasn't sure it would work (and it sure looks tight in the big ring) but shifting is good both in the stand and riding around the neighborhood. Currently recovering from an injury so I can't say how it will be off-road, but my guess is just fine.

Seems like this is a viable set-up on a hardtail, but I'm not sure it would work on a FS with any chain growth.

42t
_DSC9238.jpg

11t
_DSC9240.jpg
 

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I also put a wolftooth 42t GC on my Banshee Prime, with an XT mid cage derailleur. No question the mid cage works better- less drag in the 42t, tighter in the 11, and I suppose less chance of blowing everything up if I get a stick in there.

Would also say the 42t, with the 10spd mid cage XT and 11-36 cassette (17t removed) shifts better than the 9spd 11-36 set-up it replaced. Given that derailuers are getting pretty cheap I'd go mid cage, with the 42t.
 

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Glad I found this thread. I was getting the impression I couldn't setup my WT GC 42T cog with a Shimano Zee FR derailleur.



I gave it a shot and it works just fine. At least in the stand. I'll get a full test ride in shortly.

I removed the 15T cog as I use the bigger cogs much more than the smaller ones. I was going to ditch the 13T cog, but it mates with the 11T cog to generate the correct spacing so I left it.



Bike is a Santa Cruz Nomad:

- 42T WT GC
- SRAM PG 1070 cassette
- SRAM chain PC 1031
- Shimano Zee derailleur and shifter
- Race Face 30T NW ring
- stock B tension screw...didn't need the extra long one that came with the WT GC



I cycled the suspension and there is enough derailleur capacity to deal with chain growth.
 

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Did you have to add links to the chain or anything?
I have a bandit 29 with zee rear and 30t rf nw.
Deciding between oneup 40t or a wt42
 

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Did you have to add links to the chain or anything?
I have a bandit 29 with zee rear and 30t rf nw.
Deciding between oneup 40t or a wt42
I started with a fresh chain since I was putting on all new drivetrain bits. The new chain is longer, but I didn't compare to see how many links different.

My feeling if you are going to the trouble of getting a GC cog might as well get the big one.
 

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I'm currently on a WT 32t ring with 11-36 and a short cage Zee.

Will be going to WT 34t and 11-42 giant cog. Do you guys think the Zee can still take it? Or better stick with the 32t up front?
 

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what size chain ring shouldn't matter, its the amount change from gear to gear that matters. since you wont be shifting the front, you have no change for RD to take up (in the front anyway)
 

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Hey guys, I need your help. I too am attempting to run a Zee short cage mech with a 42t ring. I'm having a problem no-one else seems to be having - the armature which the cable attaches to hits the cassette in almost any gear. Whilst the jockeys clear the cassette and the chain length is (probably) satisfactory, I simply can't change gear because the mech falls into the teeth:
SAM_7053.jpg
The B screw is not the answer, even a longer B screw. How the frig do I solve this one? I'm expecting it's something simple that I've over looked...
 

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Had the same problem and was forced to switch to Sram for the fix. I really don't think there is any other way around it.
 
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