(Last Updated On: October 11, 2021)

SHIMANO DERAILLEURS BEST TO WORST

REAR SHIMANO DERAILLEURS COMPARISON

REAR
DERAILLEURS
 CAGE LENGTH MAX REAR COG SIZE SPEEDS WEIGHT PRICE RETURN SHOP
Best for Touring or Gravel

Shimano 105 RD-5701-GS
Medium   32t  10-speed  8.57 oz $$  REI 1-Year
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
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Best for Budget

Shimano Acera RD-M360
Medium / Long   43t  8-speed  11.9 oz  $ REI 1-Year
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
(Learn More)
Check Price
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Best for Aggressive riding

Shimano XT RD-M786 SGS
 Long 36t   10-speed 9.38 oz $$$ REI 1-Year
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
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Best for Paved or Smooth Gravel

Shimano Deore M591
 Long 34T   9-speed  10.75 oz $$ REI 1-Year
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
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FRONT SHIMANO DERAILLEURS COMPARISON

FRONT
DERAILLEURS
PULL SYSTEM CHAIN RINGS WEIGHT PRICE RETURN SHOP
Best for Precise Shifting

Shimano Ultegra FD-R8000
 Bottom 2  3.73 oz   $$ REI 1-Year
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
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Best for Road Cycling

Shimano 105 FD-570
  Bottom 2  3.7 oz   $$ REI 1-Year
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
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Best for Gravel Biking

Shimano GRX FD-RX810
 Bottom 2 3.38 oz   $$ REI 1-Year
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
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Best Road Bikes with Wide Tires

Shimano 105 R7000
  Bottom   2 Braze-On: 3.4 oz
Clamp-On: 3.9 oz 
  $$ Amazon – 30 days (Learn More) Check Price
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SHIMANO DERAILLEURS REVIEWS

Shimano 105 RD-5701-GS

Best for Touring and Gravel Lower Gearing

Shimano Derailleurs Best to Worst
PROS:
– Works seamlessly
– Smooth and quiet shifting
– Simple install
– Lightweight
– Easy to adjust
– Great for the price
– Very good quality
CONS:
– No hanger included
– Can be pricey for some

QUICK SPECS

  • Cage Length: Medium
  • Max Rear Cog Size: 32t
  • Speeds: 10-speed
  • Weight: 8.57 oz
  • Price:
  • Return: REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (Learn More)

Shimano Acera RD-M360

Best for Budget

Shimano Derailleurs Best to Worst
PROS:
– Easy to install and align
– Inexpensive
– Breakpoint (plastic bolt) that protect the derailleur in case of an accident
– Easy and reasonable amount of adjustment
– Crisp, clean and smooth-shifting
– Shifts very well under load
CONS:
– Cage started shaking after a year, but
– A bit clunky when shifting
– Allows the bike chain to bounce

QUICK SPECS

  • Cage Length: Medium / Long
  • Max Rear Cog Size: 43t
  • Speeds: 8-speed
  • Weight: 11.9 oz
  • Price:
  • Return: REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (Learn More)

Shimano XT RD-M786 SGS

Best for Aggressive riding

Shimano Derailleurs Best to Worst
PROS:
– Shifts through all 10 cogs precisely
– Lightweight and durable
– Attractive Design
– Smooth and crisp shifting
– Easy to Install and adjust
– Reliable
– Precision shifting
– Plus technology reduces the chances of chain drop and slapping
CONS:
– Pricey
– Limited compatibility

QUICK SPECS

  • Cage Length: Long
  • Max Rear Cog Size: 36t
  • Speeds: 10-speed
  • Weight: 9.38 oz
  • Price:
  • Return: REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (Learn More)

Shimano Deore M591

Best for Paved and Smooth Gravel Roads

PROS:
– Smooth, crisp, quiet, and fast shifting
– Plenty of adjustment
– Fine for up and down the street
– Shift accurately
– Effortlessly shifting
CONS:
– Too little chain tension cause it to slip and fall-off
– Little heavier than some other higher-end offerings
– Not for aggressive trail use

QUICK SPECS

  • Cage Length: Long
  • Max Rear Cog Size: 34T
  • Speeds: 9-speed
  • Weight: 10.75 oz
  • Price:
  • Return: REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (Learn More)

Shimano Ultegra FD-R8000

Best for Precise Gear Shifting

PROS:
– Shift smoothly and precisely
– Well worth the money
– Built-in cable tensioner eliminates barrel adjuster
– Well worth the money
– Reliable
– Lightweight
CONS:
– Not as easy to adjust as the previous model

QUICK SPECS

  • Pull System: Bottom Pull
  • Chain Rings: 2
  • Weight: 3.73 oz
  • Price:
  • Return: REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (Learn More)

Shimano 105 FD-5700

Best for Road Cycling

PROS:
– Precise and smooth shifting
– Easy to install and adjust
– Lightweight
– Durable
– Slightly better made
– No chain rub at all
– Comfortable to use
CONS:
– Spring stopped working making it won’t move back when downshifting
– Do not have a screw to open to install without having to cut it open

QUICK SPECS

  • Pull System: Bottom Pull
  • Chain Rings: 2
  • Weight: 3.7 oz
  • Price:
  • Return: REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (Learn More)

Shimano GRX FD-RX810

Best for Gravel Biking

PROS:
– Smooth and precise shifting
– Precise and easy adjustment with integrated cable tension adjustment
– Very well made
– Lighter
CONS:
– None found

QUICK SPECS

  • Pull System: Bottom Pull
  • Chain Rings: 2
  • Weight: 3.38 oz
  • Price:
  • Return: REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (Learn More)

Shimano 105 R7000

Best for Wide Tires Road Bikes

PROS:
– Crisp and smooth shifting
– Good price
– Easy to install
– Quiet shifting
– Integrated cable tensioner- Adjustable tension
– Shifting feels exceptionally light at the lever
– No lag or hesitation moving between chainrings
CONS:
– None found

QUICK SPECS

  • Pull System: Bottom
  • Chain Rings: 2
  • Weight: Braze-On: 3.4 oz / Clamp-On: 3.9 oz
  • Price:

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR SHIMANO GEARS

NUMBER OF GEARS

Your new Shimano derailleur should fit the rear cassette size, which is usually 9, 10, 11, or 12.

Due to today’s standards, you are more likely to be looking for an 11 or 12-speed Shimano derailleur.

ELECTRIC OR MECHANICAL?

Electronic derailleurs are the new innovation that lets you have more precise and fast shifting.

Yes, electronic shifting has a lot of benefits but the upgrade price of more than $1000 is still a big turn-off.

Electronic shifting is pricier is because the upgrade needs compatible brakes, shifters, and a front derailleur.

DOUBLE OR TRIPLE ?

You have the choice between two types of front derailleurs, double or triple cage.

Triple mechs or three front chainrings front derailleurs have a lower rear plate bottom in order to fit the chain when it’s down on the smallest ring.

TUNING AND ADJUSTING

Shimano derailleurs are known to be slightly easier to tune and adjust, and this is why people like the Shimano brand.

CABLE PULL DIRECTION

From which direction the transmission cable that actuates the front derailleur is pulled is very important to look at because there are three types.

  • Top-Pull Front Derailleurs: Designed to work with the cable that pull upward and routed under the top tube. Usually found on certain types of mountain bikes.
  • Bottom-Pull Front Derailleurs: Designed to work with cable routed under the bottom bracket which pull downward. Common on full suspension mountain bikes, road bikes, and touring bikes.
  • Dual-Pull Front Derailleurs: These have a mechanism that work either way.

CLUTCHES

Shadow Plus is the name that Shimano uses for their rear derailleur clutches.

Derailleur clutch is a little system that prevents the chain from dropping over bumps and jumps by keeping an appropriate tension on the chain at all times.

New derailleur clutches come with a locking feature to make wheel changes easy.

MOUNTING SYSTEM

  • Band-on: This design uses a bolted clamp system that mount the derailleur to the seat tube. In this case, make sure that the seat tube diameter match the clamp size written on the inside of the band.
  • Braze-on: This design bolt directly onto mounts brazed onto the frame. This old mounting system brought back to life again with carbon fiber bikes.

CHAIN CATCHER

Because modern day bike chains are more likely to fall off the chainrings, especially on the downshift, due to the bigger jumps between chainring sizes and the chains that are getting thinner and thinner, chain catchers started appearing to solve this problem.

Chain catcher is a simple design arm that is installed on the side of the front derailleur that prevent the chain from dropping off.

WEIGHT

Even though derailleur weight is not that important for all riders but it remain for some like racer. This is why I included the weight in the comparison table above.

CAGE LENGTH

Cage length, which means the distance between the upper and the lower pulleys of the derailleur, come in three cage lengths in order to accomodate the varying amount of slack chain created when it falls from larger to small chainrings or sprockets.

The three cage length are:

  • Short Cage: ”SS” is the name that Shimano gives their short cage derailleurs. These are for single front chainrings and are ideal for mountain bikers because they are less likely to smash into things while weaving between rocks. They tend to have a snappier gear changes.
  • Medium Cage: Shimano call these derailleurs ”GS” and they are ideal for double front chainrings, which is sufficient for most bikes.
  • Long Cage: These derailleurs are called ”SGS” by Shimano and they are for bikes with wide gear ratio like triple chainrings, where these is a large range of teeth between the largest cog and the small one on a cassette.

DERAILLEUR CAGE LENGTH AND CAPACITIES

In order for you to get the proper cage length for your situation, you should consider the derailleur tooth capacity.

FOR MTB BIKES:

  • Tight ratio 12-23 rear cassette + 36/26 front chainrings = Small Cage Derailleur
  • Medium ratio 12-32 rear cassette + 36/24 front chainrings = Medium Cage Derailleur
    • Wide ratio 11-42 rear cassette + 1X single front chainring = Medium Cage Derailleur
    • Wide ratio 11-42 rear cassette + 38/24 front chainrings = Long Cage Derailleur

    FOR ROAD BIKES:

  • Tight ratio 13-26 rear cassette + 53/39 front chainrings = Small Cage Derailleur
  • Medium ratio 11-26 rear cassette + 53/39 compact front chainrings = Medium Cage Derailleur
  • Wide ratio 11-42 rear cassette + 52/36 front chainrings = Long Cage Derailleur
  • SHIMANO VS SRAM

    What differs Shimano from SRAM derailleur is how many the shifter pulls the cable in order shift gears, which is known as cable pull ratio.

    Shimano uses a cable pull ratio of 2:1 that means for every 1 mm of cable pull, you get 2 mm of chain movement.

    Compared to the SRAM cable pull ratio of 1:1 that makes their derailleur feels snappy and less adjustable , Shimano derailleurs shifting is fluid.

    Shifters and derailleurs should be from the same brand to match. Despite this, Shimano frint derailleurs can be matched with SRAM shifters.

    FRICTION VS INDEX SHIFTERS

    Friction shifters let you change gears by pulling the cable with the right amount that you want, while index shifters pull the cable to a pre-defined positions.

    Although friction shifters take some times to get used to, I personnaly prefer them because they gives me more feel to the bike.

    Other than that, friction shifters are durable, easy to adjust, quick to service, can be used with double or triple chainrings, and they are usually very affordable.

    MATERIAL

    Steel that was used before for its strength and durability is replaced today with a combination of materials like aluminum, carbon, fiber, magnesium to increase strength while remaining lightweight and affordable.

    Last modified: October 11, 2021

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