Derailleurs bring efficiency, precision, and harmonious shifting in all conditions. As one of the hardest working parts on your bike, derailleurs are responsible for keeping your shifting crisp and accurate, whether hammering out 40-kilometers of steep uphill or bombing through miles of intoxicating hero dirt. From front to rear, electronic or cable-actuated, the proper derailleur makes climbing, pedaling, and tackling various terrain easy and efficient by ensuring you’re in the right gear.
Front derailleurs open up the vast world of gear ratios to help fine-tune your shifting. Sometimes even Goldilocks needs a little extra help to make it up that daunting road climb, and that’s where a high-performance front derailleur on a 2x or 3x setup comes in handy. From the high-end race-ready electronic Di2 or AXS to the more affordable cable-actuated models, scores of options are available for finding the right gear.
Rear derailleurs don’t take slack from anybody unless it’s your chain. Keeping your chain tight and shifting gears into place makes a great performing rear derailleur an essential component that keeps gear changes crisp and efficient. Most modern MTB bikes now come with a 1x drivetrain, meaning they only use a rear derailleur, keeping things simple and clean. Shimano and SRAM dominate the industry and make plenty of electronic, high-end, and economical options.
Shimano derailleurs offer the quickest shift in the west with light action and a fluid feel. Road cyclists will love the crisp and clean feel of 105, Ultegra, or Dura-Ace derailleurs, with the latter two being their lightweight top-end options. Mountain bikers will love Shimano XTR and XT derailleurs that use their Shadow+ technology, a clutch mechanism that prevents forward movement from the derailleur cage, helping silence the chain and prevent it from falling off. From XTR, Ultegra, or Di2 wired electronic shifting, you can easily upgrade to a groupset that fits your needs or ride straight out of the box with a reliable and high-performance derailleur.
SRAM derailleurs are rock solid and come from a component company that prides itself on innovation. They introduced the first 1x drivetrain, the new norm on mountain bikes, and AXS, a wireless component integration system. Rival, Force, and Red are SRAM’s top-rated road groupsets, with each one getting lighter as you go up the chain and all three offered with eTap, a 12-speed wireless setup. On mountain bikes, SRAM has their Eagle 12 speed series, with GX being the most popular going up to their highest-end series, XX1. If you’re ready for a ride-changing upgrade, AXS is available on GX, X01, and XX1.