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I've long been interested in low-normal rear derailers (that's what the first couple of derailers I ever used were, the old Cyclo Benelux models) but had never tried one (or even heard of anybody else trying one) with "road" STI brifters. Always ready to try something new, I bought a Deore XT low-normal rear derailer and installed it. I'm quite pleased with the results, and it's a less difficult mental adjustment than I had thought it might be. I just need to remember: Little Lever, Lower Gears; Big Lever, Bigger Gears. It's now the same on both sides of the handlebars, and I like that a lot.
Downshifting is maybe not quite as fast, as it tends to wait for the wheel to roll around so that the "gate" in the cassette is in the right position, but downshifting is smoother and seems more reliable than with the original Ultegra high-normal rear derailer. No problem with upshifting either. I really like this setup!
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