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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm building up an ebay bike with some stuff that was on it and some new stuff. I have three lightly used rear derailleurs: An XT, An XTR 952 and an XTR rapid rise 953. I have never used the rapid rise before. I will run a 9 speed cassette with XT shifters. Does anyone have an opinion on the rapid rise derailleur? Some reviews I read elsewhere indicated it was hard to get that der dialed in.
 

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I have converted my Deore XT rear derailleur from the standard to Rapid Rise (RD-M750-SGS to RD-M760-SGS) and I have had no problems with it so far other than having to relearn which lever does what. Setup was easy and pretty fast and the derailleur shifts like a charm.

Originally, I thought that Rapid Rise was a joke because using your thumb to push the rear derailleur onto the next gear made sense to me. After thinking about it for a while Rapid Rise made more and more sense to me so I made the jump. Just as I expected, it works great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
9 speed?

PCC said:
I have converted my Deore XT rear derailleur from the standard to Rapid Rise (RD-M750-SGS to RD-M760-SGS) and I have had no problems with it so far other than having to relearn which lever does what. Setup was easy and pretty fast and the derailleur shifts like a charm.

Originally, I thought that Rapid Rise was a joke because using your thumb to push the rear derailleur onto the next gear made sense to me. After thinking about it for a while Rapid Rise made more and more sense to me so I made the jump. Just as I expected, it works great!
I feel kind of silly that I didn't know this existed. I've gone from 7 to 8 to 9 speed over the last 15 or so years and I have never seen a derailleur that does this. I'm guessing you are running 9 speed? Have they trickled this down to lower groups too?
 

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I'm running XTR 8 speed on 2 bikes with rapidrise. XT now has it although it's now called "low normal" which refers to which gear the derailleur sits on when no spring tension
is present.
gthcarolina said:
I feel kind of silly that I didn't know this existed. I've gone from 7 to 8 to 9 speed over the last 15 or so years and I have never seen a derailleur that does this. I'm guessing you are running 9 speed? Have they trickled this down to lower groups too?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
lebikerboy said:
I'm running XTR 8 speed on 2 bikes with rapidrise. XT now has it although it's now called "low normal" which refers to which gear the derailleur sits on when no spring tension
is present.
Are you running the long cage or the short cage? I have that choice to make too.
 

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I dislike Rapid Rise a lot! Tried it with XTR 95x and the new 960 shifters. It was not very widely accepted in the 95x world so Shimano forced it on you with their 960 XTR. Somebody at Shimano obviously thinks it is the only way to go. I do not see the merits in it, i.e. what is wrong with pushing the chain up the cassette and letting the RD pull it down. With Rapid Rise if your cable is not clean and pretty new it does not shift very well at all. I ended up having to replace the rear shifter cable probably 5-10 times as often to get it to shift right all the time.
About 6 months ago, switched to SRAM x.0 after using XTR for many..... years. Really like the X.O trigger shifters and RD. And i hated grip shift when it first come out, so was pretty leary of going to SRAM.
 

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mtbdcd said:
It was not very widely accepted in the 95x world so Shimano forced it on you with their 960 XTR.
When Rapid Rise came out for XTR derailleurs several years ago, it was one of the highest rated derailleurs on mtbr. It currently has a 4.44 out of 5 rating after 271 reviews.

Somebody at Shimano obviously thinks it is the only way to go. I do not see the merits in it, i.e. what is wrong with pushing the chain up the cassette and letting the RD pull it down.
The advantages of RR or Low Normal are

1) It's a more intuitive way of shifting since both sides work the "same way" -- i.e. the same action on both sides shifts in the same direction. You can argue about how "necessary" this is once you're used to the "normal" shifting, but after having acclimated to BOTH systems, I personally prefer the Low Normal system.

2) By using the spring to shift to larger gears, you regulate the amount of force pushing on the chain, which allows the system to utilize the gates (the spots on the gears where the ramps are and where the teeth line up properly for shifting.) This can result in smoother shifting compared to when you force the chain over with thumb pressure.

3) I can shift down as far as I want without waiting for the cranks to turn, which results in the abiltiy to downshift further more rapidly. You can only shift about 3 gears at a time with the thumb trigger before you have to wait for the chain to move and "catch up." With low normal, you can actually shift from the highest gear to the lowest without turning the cranks at ALL. When the cranks start to turn, the chain shifts all the way down in less than one rotation. This is handy when you find yourself needing to suddenley shift down unexpectedly. You just keep banging away on the trigger and the system shifts down VERY quickly.

With Rapid Rise if your cable is not clean and pretty new it does not shift very well at all.
I'm not referring to you personally, but I seem to see this comment a lot from people who haven't actually used low normal derailleurs. I agree that this issue "seems" like a logical assumption, but in practice it simply doesn't seem to be the case. If you look at the reports of people using low normal, they just aren't having this issue. In my personal experience, even in sloppy conditions this hasn't been a problem. My shifts are at least as good if not better than they ever were with the "high normal" shifters I used before moving to low normal, and I haven't had to adjust my derailleur since I initially dialed it in right after I got it.

The main reason people shy away from low normal seems to be the fact that when you first try it, it feels VERY strange. I found that once I gave myself time to acclimate to it a bit, however (one good ride), I got used to it a lot faster than I thought I would, and I quickly started to appreciate it's advantages. I am in a position where I can switch to high normal if I want, but I prefer the performance with low normal.

Larry
 

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illuminator82
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rapid demise

not to use the cliche' but i dislike the system immensely! first- is cost!!! second, counter- intuitive after we were all trained on grip shift or shimano systems. third, with cable stretch and 34t rear, recipe for headaches. fourth-break one, and you will if you crash hard once on the bars.i have been around mtb's for a long while and i have switched back to SRAM and XO system (yes i know you can go the less expensive route with x7's). 1:1 ratios and no more prob's..F$ck sh*tmano for their planned obs...
 

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lalittle said:
I'm not referring to you personally, but I seem to see this comment a lot from people who haven't actually used low normal derailleurs. I agree that this issue "seems" like a logical assumption, but in practice it simply doesn't seem to be the case. If you look at the reports of people using low normal, they just aren't having this issue. In my personal experience, even in sloppy conditions this hasn't been a problem. My shifts are at least as good if not better than they ever were with the "high normal" shifters I used before moving to low normal, and I haven't had to adjust my derailleur since I initially dialed it in right after I got it.Larry
I agree, I've been using rapid rise since it was introduced and I haven't had to replace cables any more frequently then I did in My pre rapid rise days.
 

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Just ride.
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Love it

I've been running rapid rise since it was first introduced. Never had any problems. I'm a climber so it suits my riding style. It allows me to downshift under full power on tough technical climbs without missing a beat. I've used rapid rise with both XT & XTR rapidfire 9sp shifters and have never had a problem.
 

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Looks like the majority like rapidrise/low normal. Maybe Shimano's on to something after all!
Lothar Othp said:
I've been running rapid rise since it was first introduced. Never had any problems. I'm a climber so it suits my riding style. It allows me to downshift under full power on tough technical climbs without missing a beat. I've used rapid rise with both XT & XTR rapidfire 9sp shifters and have never had a problem.
 

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not to use the cliche' but i dislike the system immensely! first- is cost!!!
This only seems to be an issue recently with the discounted "hot deals" on the older derailleurs.

second, counter- intuitive after we were all trained on grip shift or shimano systems.
This is only a negative BEFORE you acclimate to the new system, which takes a lot less time than most people think it will. Now that I've used both, I can actually switch back and forth between the two systems without all that much trouble, and the vast majority of people who use both systems for any length of time tend to find the rapid rise system much MORE intuitive. It's really the "traditional" system that is counter-intuitive once you learn both systems.

third, with cable stretch and 34t rear, recipe for headaches.
Again, this is something you hear from people who don't use a low normal system. After several years of use, there has been no evidence of low normal systems causing any more cable stretch than high normal systems.

fourth-break one, and you will if you crash hard once on the bars.
I honestly don't understand what you're saying here. A crash can break ANY rear derailleur if you hit it hard.

i have been around mtb's for a long while and i have switched back to SRAM and XO system (yes i know you can go the less expensive route with x7's). 1:1 ratios and no more prob's..F$ck sh*tmano for their planned obs...
I have very little experience with SRAM derailleurs, but I just don't have ANY of the "problems" you refer to with Shimano. This is besides the point, however, since the original question is about low vs high normal, not Shimano vs SRAM. To answer the original question directly, I prefer the rapid rise/low normal.

NOTE: Not that this necessarily matters, but I use the XT, not the XTR.

Larry
 

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illuminator82
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you make very good points

to give you some perspective i have been riding for over twenty years, and i am not going to acclimate easy to something that is ingrained for too long. i tried rapid demise for over a year, and i still dont like it!!! yes it is intuitive NOW, but my memory is not. just like i route all my brake lines for the front to my right hand. i have been on motorcyles way to long and would hate to suffer the consequences of going into a turn to hot, lets say around 120mph and grabbing the wrong brake!! so i hope you can see a little how my memory works. so, no, i am not going to switch back and forth, yes i own more than one bike always have always will.

sorry for the misunderstanding, but i meant the bulbous shifter pods. which are horrendous looking, and functionally meant to break. how do i know, cuz i broke one, and changed it out so i could run avid brakes instead of a shimano(ie microsoft...lol) freaking system..

i will give you this, the XT and XTR derailleurs are great! smooth, realiable, this is meant to the older systems and maybe your experieinces differ, but i could not keep mine working very smoothly nor could i grab a bunch of gears without probs..
just my lousy 2 cents..
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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not to use the cliche' but i dislike the system immensely! first- is cost!!! second, counter- intuitive after we were all trained on grip shift or shimano systems
Oh really. Explain to me how the left rapid-fire shifter works. What lever do you use to get into a lower gear, what lever gets you in the higher gear?

It's a great thing when we introduce mountain-bike shifting to new customers. Now both sides of the shifters work exactly the same, much less confusing.
 

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illuminator82
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dont get your panties all soiled

re-read my post. i was just making the connection to having my front brake lever being used with the right hand. i run all my bikes motocross style. never said anything about shimano's system interfering with that.

i will not even respond to your question.....
 

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lalittle said:
When Rapid Rise came out for XTR derailleurs several years ago, it was one of the highest rated derailleurs on mtbr. It currently has a 4.44 out of 5 rating after 271 reviews.

The advantages of RR or Low Normal are

1) It's a more intuitive way of shifting since both sides work the "same way" -- i.e. the same action on both sides shifts in the same direction. You can argue about how "necessary" this is once you're used to the "normal" shifting, but after having acclimated to BOTH systems, I personally prefer the Low Normal system.

2) By using the spring to shift to larger gears, you regulate the amount of force pushing on the chain, which allows the system to utilize the gates (the spots on the gears where the ramps are and where the teeth line up properly for shifting.) This can result in smoother shifting compared to when you force the chain over with thumb pressure.

3) I can shift down as far as I want without waiting for the cranks to turn, which results in the abiltiy to downshift further more rapidly. You can only shift about 3 gears at a time with the thumb trigger before you have to wait for the chain to move and "catch up." With low normal, you can actually shift from the highest gear to the lowest without turning the cranks at ALL. When the cranks start to turn, the chain shifts all the way down in less than one rotation. This is handy when you find yourself needing to suddenley shift down unexpectedly. You just keep banging away on the trigger and the system shifts down VERY quickly.

I'm not referring to you personally, but I seem to see this comment a lot from people who haven't actually used low normal derailleurs. I agree that this issue "seems" like a logical assumption, but in practice it simply doesn't seem to be the case. If you look at the reports of people using low normal, they just aren't having this issue. In my personal experience, even in sloppy conditions this hasn't been a problem. My shifts are at least as good if not better than they ever were with the "high normal" shifters I used before moving to low normal, and I haven't had to adjust my derailleur since I initially dialed it in right after I got it.

The main reason people shy away from low normal seems to be the fact that when you first try it, it feels VERY strange. I found that once I gave myself time to acclimate to it a bit, however (one good ride), I got used to it a lot faster than I thought I would, and I quickly started to appreciate it's advantages. I am in a position where I can switch to high normal if I want, but I prefer the performance with low normal.

Larry
I used Rapid Rise for 2+ years so your implication i did not use it is incorrect. Never did find it intuitive! And the cable drag causing poor shifting applied to EVERYONE that i came across that used it. If you notice a lot of the positive feedback comes from people that have it used it a short time. Much of the negative feedback comes from people that have used it much longer. Obviously everyone has their likes and dislikes. And if you like it that is fine, that is what makes the world go arount. But i do not after a long time of trying..... to like it. The 960 XTR is really nice looking stuff and makes you want to like it. But give me the old 952 without rapid rise!
I am curious, why does SRAM not use rapid rise if it is so much better? Is it a Shimano patent?
 

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mtbdcd said:
I used Rapid Rise for 2+ years so your implication i did not use it is incorrect.
I was making a general observation based on reading a lot of different reports. I was not referring to you directly, and I even stated in my post that "I'm not referring to you personally." I tried to be careful to NOT imply that my generalizations applied 100% to all people, but based on my reading, I believe they do apply to "most" people.

Larry
 

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lalittle said:
I was making a general observation based on reading a lot of different reports. I was not referring to you directly, and I even stated in my post that "I'm not referring to you personally." I tried to be careful to NOT imply that my generalizations applied 100% to all people, but based on my reading, I believe they do apply to "most" people.

Larry
You did and no problem. And obviously Shimano agrees with you. Just not me.:) But i do nopt think 960 was an improvement over 952 in how you shift. I really struggled with the chainring shifting on my 960. Took a lot of effort to shift to the big ring. But no one else seems to have this complaint, so guess i am a wuss.
 

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I first went from high-normal to low-normal, because I wanted front and rear to operate with the same logic (release = down-shift). Good when you are a beginner or in a hurry.

I achieved that, but found something that I could not learn to stand: the slower up-shifting during acceleration. Tensioning one gear always felt like taking more time that releasing one gear. And I have more time between the one-shiftings at deceleration than at acceleration.

So I am back at high-normal RD and like it.

I think there will be a new-color high-normal XTR RD option next year, just like already for the new-color Deore, LX, and XT. Aren't shops starting to discount the low-normal RD's?

What we need is a high-normal front derailleur!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow thanks for all the STRONG opinions

I appreciate all the feedback and I'm surprised to see such strong pro and con on this question. I guess that's how it goes with most innovations i.e. thumbshifter vs trigger shifter, friction vs STI and some of the older things. (And currently sloping top tube vs trad on road bikes.) Anyway, if i often try to shift while climbing and grind my gears in doing so, will the low normal RD help me? (I know I'm not supposed to do that, but I talk on the cell phone when I drive too . . .) It seemed like the "Cow Bell Fan" suggested this is a possible benefit.
 
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