Shimano GS vs SGS [Unbiased Comparison]

You must be going nuts with so many varieties of derailleurs! Well, it gets more confusing when you need to consider the cassette. If you want to pick an RD from Shimano, you need to be very careful.

Why? Because there are many options such as Shimano gs, sgs, and many more.

So, now you might be thinking which one is better between Shimano gs vs sgs?

Shimano GS undercuts the SGS model by $10-20. So, gs is cheaper. The GS offers a better fit for your medium-sized cassette. While the SGS variant is best for a more extended cassette. However, there are more differentiating factors too. For example, teeth capacity, chain growth, etc.

Care to learn more about them to pick the right one? Then, buckle up because the ride starts now!

The Brief Preview 

Both these RDs are pretty famous for their capabilities. Still, they are quite different.

Before going on to the head-to-head comparison, let’s address something important. Whatever the specs say in the list, it can’t reflect the actual day-to-day experience. 

So, try to keep that in mind and look at this comparative table-

Grounds of ComparisonShimano GSShimano SGS
Cassette LengthMax 33TMax 45T
Compatible With1×11, 2×111×11, 2×11, 3×11 setups
Offset PivotNoYes
Friction Clutch TechnologyNoYes
Chain CompatibilityHG-X 11-speedHG-X 11-speed
PriceSub $100Above $100

Now let’s head on to the full comparison!

The Complete Rundown of the Shimanos!

Until now, you only got a sneak peek. However, the moment has arrived for the final showdown.

But before going into that here are our top picks from these two derailleurs variances-

So, are you ready to explore more about these derailleurs? If yes, let’s start with the cassette compatibility.

Cassette Length Support

This segment is the highlight of this comparison. The whole SGS line-up is made for long cages. Whereas, the GS models are compatible with medium-sized MTBs.

Anything below the 33T capacity goes well with the GS models. Even something in the neighborhood of 35T can be managed with a GS as well. 

You might think it won’t fit but Shimano RDs can manage that. 

However, don’t try to cramp your bike cassette too much. When the capacity goes beyond 35T, Shimano sgs is best. They are better suited for that more robust drivetrain and cross-chain.

So, the decision rests upon you whether you want Shimano xtr long or medium cage. Also, you can look at these crankset parts if you want to pick these Shimanos-

Winner: For medium cages, it’s GS. For a long cassette, it’s SGS.


All bike lovers had only one thing to say after they tried the RD-M786 SGS. Do you know what that is? “Splendid performance”. 

The SGS totally raises the bar with its direct mounting system and hanger-less mounts.

Along with that, this RD also offers a very new clutch mechanism. The new clutch system allows users to shift the gears quickly with less friction. 

So, no more chain drops in your complete rig system anymore!

Now, let’s come to its counterpart, the RD-M-8100-GS. This one also offers a very precise shifting and smooth movement. A very light design that can move forward in all terrains.

As you can guess, they both are very well-performing derailleurs. That’s why it’s very tough to say which one is better.

Winner: No clear winner. Both are very good.


Both are very similar from the outside. However, does that also apply to the inside as well? Let’s find out.

Shimano GS vs SGS [Unbiased Comparison]

Source: Protein Burger

The design of the SGS is quite unique with its aluminum chassis. Moreover, it features a very low-profile design that many prefer with their long cages. 

Still, there are some drawbacks to this particular derailleur.

While the design is great, the wide architecture can be a little daunting for many. 

The xtr gs stay very flush to the chains and offer a tighter look. The close following of the cassette gives you an aggressive design and feel.

So, the choice, again, rests on your preference. Because design is very subjective and I can’t judge you for that!

Winner: If you prefer a closely tied design, then GS is the one. Otherwise, SGS will do just fine.


The maintenance of these doesn’t have much in common. You didn’t read about the maintenance part in sram x5 vs gx, did you? 

But you’ll now know which one is easy to manage between these two.

SGS offers a wider frame and that’s why it can pick up dust and stuff. It sticks out a little bit and can get dirty easily while riding through mountains.

On the other hand, GS is best known for its flush design. It does not stick out much and is less likely to attract mud and crap. 

So, it offers both an elegant look and easy maintenance. 

Winner: Shimano GS takes the cake without any struggle.


Budget is clearly an important issue for everyone. So, let’s look at which one offers the better value given its price point. 

Well, a very anticlimactic result in the price comparison arises. Because both the RDs are quite similarly priced. The price of the two differs by a very thin margin of $10-20. 

While the price of gs is around $89-$100, sgs will cost you around $109-$120.

Winner: GS has the upper hand by a thin margin.

Time to Complete Your Set-Up

After going through all that technical jargon and comparison, you might know what you want. If you’re still confused, let’s summarize the segments one last time.

The cassette length and cage setup depend on your existing system. If you have anything below 35T capacity, go with the GS. Or else, SGS is your ideal RD.

Looks are subjective and you can’t go wrong with either of them. Still, the aggressive look with the GS will definitely turn some heads.

The price and performance ratio is quite similar for both. So, decide after you look at all the points. Here are two of the best products for both gs and sgs-

Do you know the best part about picking them? These Shimano work with SRAM derailleurs flawlessly! So, feel free to choose the one you prefer.


How Do I Find out if My Derailleur is Long Cage?

You can find out about your derailleur by checking the pulley distance. You can browse through multiple pictures of RDs and see a clear difference. Also, if you are looking at Shimano RDs, the markings indicate the different sizes. SS stands for short, GS for medium, and SGS for long.

Which Cage Derailleur is Better Between Long and Short?

Short cage derailleurs are relatively a better choice between these two. It offers a flush design and a lighter body. Along with that, the close proximity provides less damage and enhanced ergonomics. The long cage is ideal for users who can carefully avoid chain management issues.

Can You Convert a Short Cage Derailleur into a Long Cage?

You can definitely convert your short cage into a long cage derailleur. However, you will need the essential parts of the long cage derailleur. Without the parts, it’s not possible to convert one to another. If you can manage the springs, and other components, you can start the conversion.

Wrapping Up

That’s all for the detailed comparison between Shimano gs vs sgs. I hope you got a comprehensive understanding of these two.

Now, all you have to do is pick one according to your needs. 

So, get on with your adventures worry-free!

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