Are you serious about mountain biking? If so, you need to know about the best mountain bike derailleurs. Well in mountain biking, sometimes you have to ride uphill you have ride downhill. So, shifting the gear and changing the speed is essential. And for that a bike derailleur, a good one is mandatory.
It is a gear mechanism that will keep you in top condition by providing smooth ride and efficiency in hill climbing. Mostly bike derailleurs are made of carbon, aluminum or steel materials. Sometimes you may find plastic made too.
Anyways, in this article today, I will provide all the essential information so that you can understand how to purchase best MTB derailleur and I will also review some of the most excellent product of the present time. Let’s explore more.
10 Best Mountain Bike Derailleurs: Our Top Picks
Bike derailleurs are of two kinds. They are front derailleur and rear derailleurs. A front derailleur fits on the seat tube with a clam whereas a rear derailleur fits on the rear frame over the wheel. Most of the front derailleur is adjustable and offers seven speeds.
On the other hand, Rear bike derailleurs range from 6 to 10 speeds. Some of them are wired; some others are wireless. There can be short, medium, or long cage. Cage is a part that your bike chain will pass through when you change the gear. Both the front and rear derailleurs are essential for mountain biking. Thus we will review both the type on the following section.
Let’s have a look at the best mountain bike derailleur reviews without wasting any more time:
1. Shimano Deore 9-Speed Mountain Bicycle Rear Derailleur
- Offers precise chain movement
- Changes gear smoothly
- Requires light shift effort
- Maximum cassette capacity is about 34T
- 9-speed compatible
Looking for a quality Rear Derailleur? I have a solution for you. The Shimano Deore 9-Speed Mountain Bicycle Derailleur is considered as one of the best mountain bike rear derailleurs of the present time.
It is compatible with 9-speed HG cassettes, 9-speed mountain shifters, and 9-speed chains. The built quality of the Derailleur is outstanding with top quality materials. It can withstand excessive use. You will get a precise chain movement, and it changes gear smoothly. The price is reasonable too.
2. Tourney Shimano Rear Derailleur RD-TX35
- Ideal for 6/7-speed mountain, hybrid and comfort bicycles
- Easy to install
- Light-action design
- Solid construction
- Includes claw, open-hole style hanger
Tourney Shimano RD-TX35 is another excellent Rear Derailleur of the present time. The built quality of Shimano products is outstanding. This one is no exception. It is made of premium quality materials. Thus, it will last and serve you for many years.
The Tourney Shimano Rear Derailleur is ideal for 6/7-speed mountain, comfort and hybrid bicycles. It features Smart Cage for MegaRange Compatibility with a shorter derailleur cage. The product is excellent in every possible way. I bet you will love to have it installed in your mountain bike for smooth gear shifting experience.
3. Shimano Altus Mountain Bike Rear Derailleur
- Metal made
- 43 teeth Chain wrap capacity
- Top-Normal Derailleur Action
- Black Color
- Offers Smooth shifting experience
The Shimano Altus Mountain Bike Rear Derailleur is a metal made product. Thus, it is one of the most durable mountain bike derailleurs of the present time. It comes with a hassle-free direct mounting system. It offers chain wrap capacity of about 43 teeth.
Overall weight is about 326 gram. Your gear shifting moments will be useful and smooth. The Derailleur will provide excellent support on tough mountain terrain. The price of the product is relatively reasonable too.
4. Shimano Acera Mountain Bike Rear Derailleur
- 8-Speed Rear Derailleur
- Robust construction
- Withstand extreme weather condition
- Long Case Design
If you are exploring for the best budget Mountain Bike Derailleur, the Shimano Acera is your solution. Currently, it is known as one of the best mountain bike rear derailleurs for performance and price. The Derailleur is the epitome of extreme construction with top class materials.
It can withstand frequent scrapes and dents while riding off the road in severe weather. The excellent case design makes it way more efficient. You will experience smooth action too. But this one is a bit heavier compared to other products.
5. SHIMANO Deore RD-M592 Rear Derailleur
- Compatible with 9-Speed
- Low Profile Shadow design
- Direct cable routing
- Eliminates chainstay contact
- Weight: 290 grams
In Bike accessories industry, Shimano is the most dependable names. They are leading the market for bike accessories all along. The product they are making and selling is outstanding. The Deore RD-M592 rear Derailleur is not an exception.
In terms of performance, construction, and price, this is one of the best product you can have. The Deore RD-M592 comes with advanced Shadow Technology, which uses a low profile. That means you don’t have to worry about snags on rocks, branches, or debris on trails. The built quality is exceptionally well. It features direct cable routing and single tension construction so that the user gets a smooth experience. Overall, it is an excellent option for the price.
6. SHIMANO XT RD-M8000 Rear Derailleur
- Heavy duty aluminum construction
- 11-speed compatibility
- Shadow Design
- Ensures smooth gear shifting experience
Shimano XT RD-M8000 Rear Derailleur is the most advanced model of the present time with 11-speed compatibility. It comes with a shadow design with an optimized slant for stable positions in any gear. With this one, you will defiantly get effortless gear shifting experience.
It is an excellent option for a suspension system that requires Chain stays and pivots located close to the rear Derailleur. The product is made of top quality aluminum materials. Still, the product is more affordable. Give it a try. Undoubtedly, your performance on the mountain will improve noticeably.
7. Shimano Deore XT Shadow Mountain Bicycle Rear Derailleur
- 9-speed compatible
- Direct routing reduces the risk of snagging
- Stronger return spring for crisper shifting feeling
- Solid construction
- Affordable price
Shimano Deore XT Rear Derailleur is one of the most reliable options of the present time. It is compatible with all Shimano 9-speed HG cassettes, 9-speed mountain shifters, and 9-speed chains. The product is made of premium quality materials.
Thus, it is long-lasting and able to serve you for many years. The gear changing will be smooth and effortless. While climbing or riding the downside of the mountain, you will never be disappointed if this one is installed in your mountain bike. The price is not prohibitive too.
8. Shimano Deore XT RD-M786 SGS Shadow Plus Rear Derailleur
- Strong construction
- Stabilizer switch to reduce chain slap
- Low profile Shadow design
- 10-Speed Shadow Plus MTB rear derailleur
- New direct Mounting System
The excellence of Shimano XT RD M786 will make you speechless! Indeed, it is one of the most exceptional products of the present time based on its construction and performance. The RD-M786 comes with a new direct mounting system that will let you install it without using a hanger.
If your bike has a hanger, no worries it comes with a removable B-Link for that purpose. The modern new clutch system is another feature for which you can praise the Shimano Deore XT RD-M786. Shifting will be more comfortable and more consistent. Also, it will be quieter compared to others. Overall, the Deore XT RD-M786 is one of the best of its kind.
9. SRAM GX Bicycle Rear Derailleur
- X-HORIZON design
- Roller Bearing Clutch and Cage Lock 12 tooth X-Sync pulley wheels
- Large upper pulley offset adjusts chain gap automatically
- Solid construction
- Reduces shift force and ghost shifting
The SRAM GX Bicycle Rear Derailleur is not from Shimano! It got a place on the list of best mountain bike derailleurs. So, the product is special you need to accept! At last Shimano got a competitor. The SRAM GX Mountain Bike presents 11-speed Derailleurs that can make your riding effective on the mountain.
This product is well-matched with SRAM’s huge 10-42 11-speed cassette, as well, for the widest range of available gears. With this one, the rear shifts will be smooth, accurate, and predictable. You will get excellent stability and consistent tension on the chain while riding on the most demanding condition. The product is simply the perfect MTB derailleurs for the price.
10. SRAM XX1 Eagle 12-Speed Rear Derailleur
- Made of forged aluminum and carbon fiber
- The spring is made of titanium, and the outer cage is made of carbon fiber
- X-Actuation Pull
- Durable and useful in tough terrain
- Smooth shifting
- Ideal for mountain bike
Last but not the least, we’ve noticed the SRAM XX1 Eagle 12-Speed Rear Derailleur for you. It is another most practically designed product available at a reasonable price. If you want to improve the performance out there on the mountain, SRAM XX1 Eagle is an excellent option.
It is made of forged aluminum and carbon fiber material. The spring is made of top quality titanium, and the outer cage is made of carbon fiber. The bearings are from stainless steel. So, each component is solid, and this one is going to last many years. It is highly recommended to use on a mountain bike. The price is reasonable too.
I hope you enjoyed reading our reviews. We tried to provide relevant information so that you can decide without wasting your time. There are certain things you need to consider before purchasing derailleurs. Let me tell you those quickly on the following section.
Things to Consider for Purchasing the Mountain Bike Derailleurs
Maybe you are wondering why I need to read the buying guide as I already know about the best mountain bike derailleurs. Well, it is because, without specific knowledge, you won’t be able to pick the right one from the above list. So, let’s explore.
If you want to change your current derailleurs, the most important thing you should consider is the numbers of sprockets you require. You should decide depending on the ability of your current setup. If you want to change your shifter too, you are free to determine the number. But if you’re going to stick with your existing shifter, you need to match it with the number of sprockets.
Well, the front Derailleur, shifters, and cassette must match with the rear Derailleur. Otherwise, it won’t work. It is recommended to purchase derailleurs and shifters both from the same brand.
Derailleurs come in three different lengths. You can either pick short, medium, or long. Short Cage is ideal for single front Chainrings, and medium length is perfect for doubles and longs for trips.
Weight of the Derailleur
Most riders do not think about the weight of the derailleurs. Unless you are not racing, you should not concern much about the derailleurs weight. But for racing competition, it is recommended to have the lightest model.
Adjusting system should be more comfortable. Though it is not the part of the riding still slightly easier tune and adjustment system will make you comfortable. Thus, Shimano is better than others.
Clutches keep the chain on the right gear while biking. While shopping for Derailleurs, you need to consider about clutches seriously. Chains can drop due to quick changes in weighting and force. Clutches aims to keep it on the right gear.
So clutch maintains appropriate tension on the chain to keep it in the right place. SRAM has Type-2 and Type-3, and Shimano has the Shadow Plus clutch system. While shopping for derailleurs don’t forget to consider about clutches.
Which brand is better SHIMANO OR SRAM?
As you already have seen above, SHIMANO and SRAM are the only brands that make quality derailleurs. So, your choice is limited. Still, many people ask whether to purchase Shimano or SRAM. The answer is simple. Go for your favorite one. Both of them are good.
Which one will it be perfect for me an Electric OR Mechanical Derailleur?
Electric models are a new release. If your bike is not the latest model and you want to switch to electric, you have to change everything, including brakes, shifters and front Derailleur. Well, electric derailleurs are faster and offer quick and precise shifting compared to the mechanical Derailleur. If you are okay with mechanical shifting, don’t invest money just yet.
How much does it cost to have the best mountain bike derailleurs?
Not much! Derailleurs are not something costly. You can have one of the great product on your budget limit. All the best mountain bike derailleurs on our list are inexpensive. You can have one of them without any doubt.
When it comes to picking the best mountain bike, one can do it quickly as there is lots of information available online. But there is not much information for parts of a mountain bike.
Especially there is none about derailleurs. We decided to change the scenario by providing all the information about mountain bikes and mountain bikes components.
In this journey, we decided to review some of the best mountain bike derailleurs today along with some essential information. I hope we leave some value in here.
All the above products are excellent in terms of their performance, price, and construction. You’ve to purchase one that matches perfectly with the existing shifter of your bike. Otherwise, no concern how great the product is, it will not serve you.
I am wrapping up now. Expect to see you soon with lots of other tips tricks and product reviews related to mountain biking. Till then.