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I am replacing a broken Shimano RD-2200, and trying to find the right part. How do I determine compatability? The largest sprocket is 26 tooth, and the cassette is 8 speed. Will anything by Shimano for an 8 speed work? Or do I need to get more specific?

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Generally, number of speeds and tooth range -- difference between teeth on largest cog and smallest, front + rear. –  Daniel R Hicks Oct 23 '13 at 11:57
    
I'm about to do the same thing (replacing an 8 speed 2200 rear derailleur) and am looking at a bit of an upgrade - eg Tiagra or 105. These are advertised as '10 speed' or '11 speed' - is this a maximum? Presume they'll still work with an 8 speed cassette, as long as it's the right ratio. –  Tom Jan 5 at 13:58

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Anything from Shimano with 8 speeds should work. The problems can only start when your cassete's biggest sprocket is too big (you are well under limit).

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