The Type 2 Derailleur: Upgrade Your Drivetrain


A few months ago I picked up a 10 speed, Type 2 derailleur from SRAM, and I’ve enjoyed the difference it’s made for me out on the trail. Here are a few things to keep in mind about Type 2 derailleurs if you’re in the market for a new 10-speed rear derailleur.

1. There is no 9 speed, Type 2 (or, clutch-style) derailleur available from SRAM or Shimano.

One of my bikes is apparently still stuck in the stone age with a 9 speed drivetrain, which means I won’t be upgrading that bike to a Type 2 derailleur. The good news, at least, is Type 2 tech isn’t limited to SRAM’s 11 speed systems, and retrofitting a 10 speed drivetrain is a viable option with parts from Shimano or SRAM.

2. SRAM now offers 10 speed Type 2 derailleurs at the X7 level and above.

At the time I purchased my X9 derailleur, it was the cheapest Type 2 option available at $121 MSRP. The X7 is available for $89 MSRP and not only that, it’s lighter by 11 grams than the X9 version! Still, one would hope the X9 version is built using better materials and is thus, more durable.

3. A Type 2 derailleur adds noticeable shifting resistance over an equivalent SRAM 10 speed Type 1 derailleur…

…but it’s a good kind of resistance. Shifts are still smooth and crisp, but have a much more solid feel, similar to what I typically expect from a Shimano mech.

4. Chain drops are not eliminated with a standard (i.e. NOT narrow-wide) crank.

I’m running a 1×10 drivetrain with my Type 2 derailleur, and I had hoped that the clutch would completely eliminate chain drops… but it didn’t. Greg argues that a Type 2 derailleur will reduce the number of dropped chains, but quantifying the exact difference between a non-clutch drivetrain and a clutch-style derailleur is difficult due to a variety of factors such as trail conditions, riding style, bike style, and shifting practices. Still, the Type 2 derailleur does noticeably cut down on chain slap.


5. Tire changes and chain installation are much easier with the Type 2 derailleur.

This is especially welcome out on the trail where repairs need to be made in less-than-ideal conditions.  Just pull the derailleur back, lock it into position, and the derailleur removes all chain tension.


6. Durability: TBD.

On a recent ride I ran a stick through my derailleur and totally trashed the X9 (not to mention my hanger, chain, and even one spoke on my rear wheel). The locking mechanism seemed to fare the worst as it was completely shattered.

Given how much I’ve enjoyed using the Type 2 derailleur I was pretty bummed about the loss. So instead of just slapping the perfectly good X0 standard derailleur I had back on the bike, I sprung for another X9 Type 2 at the shop because honestly, I just can’t go back to using a standard derailleur.

If you’re swapping out your rear derailleur this season, take a look at going Type 2 for the reduced chain slap, ease of use, and solid feel. At last check, the X9 Type 2 derailleur adds just a few bucks over the cost of a standard derailleur but offers a real upgrade to your drivetrain!