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  1. #1
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    Changing cassette on Shimano Sora 3300 rear derailleur to 11-32: is it possible?

    Hi - I have the opportunity to get an 11-32 8-speed cassette *free* to replace my 12-26. My rear derailleur is a Sora 3300, and Shimano has removed all references to it on its website. And no other search has turned up an answer to the question of whether or not this derailleur's tooth limit is compatible with the 11-32 or not. I'm guessing no, because it's a 7-8 speed derailleur, but I wanted to check. I live in a VERY hilly area - thus the wish for the other cassette. Any advice is very appreciated! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Torchy McFlux's Avatar
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    Short-cage rear derailleurs don't work well with anything bigger than a 28-tooth cog. You swap it out for a long-cage 7-8 speed Shimano mountain bike derailleur and you'll be fine.

    (Edited for clarity.)
    Last edited by Torchy McFlux; 05-13-08 at 05:46 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torchy McFlux View Post
    Short-cage rear derailleurs don't work well with anything bigger than a 28-tooth cog. You swap it out for a long-cage 7-8 speed Shimano derailleur and you'll be fine.
    Right conclusion, wrong data.

    The cage length isn't what makes a derailleur capable of handling a 32 tooth cog. It's the geometry of the parrelogram.

    The short answer is you need a mountain bike derailleur to go with your 32 tooth rear cog. If it was my bike I'd probably get a Deore rear derailleur.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Not sure what's wrong with this tech doc?
    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830606897.PDF

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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    As the document says, 27 tooth rear cog is largest Shimano recomends. Trek for one on their 1000 flat bar road bikes a couple of years ago mounted a 12/28 cogset. That's about it for the Sora Series.

    As recomended, a Deore or even an LX MTB derailleur is an almost direct drop in to go with the 11/32 cassette. It will work fine with the Sora Brifters and you will get improved hill climbing ability.

    If its really up and down where you ride you might consider a triple but that will require the 3303 rear derailleur and a new front derailleur as well. In addition, all Sora brifters prior to the 3304 came in double OR triple flavors but not both so even the left brifter would have to be changed for the triple.

    The other option would be a 34/50 compact crank with the 12/26 cassette. This almost gets the best of both worlds with no other changes necessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    Not sure what's wrong with this tech doc?
    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830606897.PDF
    Nothing at all wrong with it! I just couldn't find it. Thanks very much. Now that you pointed me to it, it's obvious. But strange that a search for 3300 on the site didn't bring anything up... ah well, what can you say

    I have a 12/26 now. Would a 12/28 be much improvement?

    Could you please clarify why a mountain bike derailleur would help so much? I know my friends on mountain bikes climb hills much easier...

    And maddmaxx, my front IS a triple... the hills are really killer around here. It's a Truvativ Isoflow Road, 30/42/52T.

    I'm new to this... I can talk the talk, but only because I read a lot and learn quickly. I don't actually know much about this (yet)

  7. #7
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Right conclusion, wrong data.

    The cage length isn't what makes a derailleur capable of handling a 32 tooth cog. It's the geometry of the parrelogram.
    Perhaps, but if you're running an 11-32, and you have a triple, for a 43T capacity you're gonna need a long cage regardless.

  8. #8
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    You can get away with about any Deore or LX model number as long as its a long cage. Several Online shops are having closeouts on Deore's rated for 11/34 cassettes and I believe that some still have LX models 581 for under between $50 and $65

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    Quote Originally Posted by susanrm View Post
    Nothing at all wrong with it! I just couldn't find it. Thanks very much. Now that you pointed me to it, it's obvious. But strange that a search for 3300 on the site didn't bring anything up... ah well, what can you say

    I have a 12/26 now. Would a 12/28 be much improvement?
    It would be an improvement but I don't know if I'd call it "much" improvement. How much difficulty are you having climbing those hills now with the 30-26 low gear? If you're only looking for a slightly easier time, try the 12/28. If you're looking for a drastically easier gear to push, I'd say change out your small chainring to a 28 or 26 (may require going smaller on your big and middle chainrings too) and add the MTB cassette.

    Quote Originally Posted by susanrm View Post
    Could you please clarify why a mountain bike derailleur would help so much? I know my friends on mountain bikes climb hills much easier...
    The MTB won't help you climb at all. It's geometry will allow you to fit and shift a cassette with a 32 tooth big cog. The reason your friends with MTBs are climbing easier is because of their gearing. They most likely have a low gear of 22-32 or something similar. That's a very significant decrease in gear inches from what you've got. For an explanation of gear inches, go to www.sheldonbrown.com and look for his gearing calculator. It's great information for any cyclist.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Susan,
    f you look at the tech doc, you';; see capacity for the GS version is 37 teeth.
    That's the "chain wrap" capacity, which is-
    (largest ring- smallest ring) + (largest cog- smallest cog)
    (52-30) + (32-11)
    22 + 21 = 43.
    IF your chain is long enough to fit the BIG-BIG combo, it would be sagging severely in the small-small combo.
    The "Mountain" DER has the ability to take up the extra slack in the chain.
    That's in addition to being able to physically handle the larger cog.
    Supposedly, "some" Shimano "road" DER's can handle up to 30T cog, (even though they are rated for a 27T max cog) but it's a bit of a crap shoot.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
    It would be an improvement but I don't know if I'd call it "much" improvement. How much difficulty are you having climbing those hills now with the 30-26 low gear?
    I go from about a 13-14 MPH speed on flats and slight inclines to 5-6 MPH on the hills, breathing heavily (allergies in the Hudson Valley don't help!). I'm slender and in reasonable shape. The bike is about 23 pounds without the extra stuff (small bag, pump, lights, etc.).

    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
    The MTB won't help you climb at all. It's geometry will allow you to fit and shift a cassette with a 32 tooth big cog. The reason your friends with MTBs are climbing easier is because of their gearing. They most likely have a low gear of 22-32 or something similar. That's a very significant decrease in gear inches from what you've got. For an explanation of gear inches, go to www.sheldonbrown.com and look for his gearing calculator. It's great information for any cyclist.
    I tried out the gearing calculator before posting here. It's nifty, but it was just a lot of numbers I don't understand. Like I said, I'm new to all this. Think I'm starting to understand it now, though. You've been very helpful!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    Susan,
    f you look at the tech doc, you';; see capacity for the GS version is 37 teeth.
    That's the "chain wrap" capacity, which is-
    (largest ring- smallest ring) + (largest cog- smallest cog)
    (52-30) + (32-11)
    22 + 21 = 43.
    IF your chain is long enough to fit the BIG-BIG combo, it would be sagging severely in the small-small combo.
    The "Mountain" DER has the ability to take up the extra slack in the chain.
    That's in addition to being able to physically handle the larger cog.
    Supposedly, "some" Shimano "road" DER's can handle up to 30T cog, (even though they are rated for a 27T max cog) but it's a bit of a crap shoot.
    Wow, great info! Thank you! So my dream of just changing out the cassette and cruising up those hills is fading fast... but thank you for the other options!

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    Quote Originally Posted by susanrm View Post
    I go from about a 13-14 MPH speed on flats and slight inclines to 5-6 MPH on the hills, breathing heavily (allergies in the Hudson Valley don't help!). I'm slender and in reasonable shape. The bike is about 23 pounds without the extra stuff (small bag, pump, lights, etc.).

    I tried out the gearing calculator before posting here. It's nifty, but it was just a lot of numbers I don't understand. Like I said, I'm new to all this. Think I'm starting to understand it now, though. You've been very helpful!
    Do you know what cadence (rotations of the crank per minute) that you normally ride at? If so, enter that into the calculator and figure out what gearing you'll need to be able to maintain that cadence at 5-6mph. That should allow you to comfortably climb those hills.

    For example, I just inputted a 30 small chainring with a 26 large cog, 700 x 23 tires, and 90 rpm. At that cadence, 8.1mph is the slowest you can go with your current gearing. Any slower and your cadence must fall. With a 30-32 low gear, you'll be able to ride at 6.6mph and 90 rpms (getting closer to what you want, based on my assumptions of course). A 26-32 low gear will get you down to 5.7mph at 90 rpms.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Susan,
    This DER would work-
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...0.aspx?sc=FRGL

    You would also need a new/longer chain. You'd need that anyway going to a 32T cog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    ...
    Supposedly, "some" Shimano "road" DER's can handle up to 30T cog, (even though they are rated for a 27T max cog) but it's a bit of a crap shoot.
    I've just got a 9 sp 13-30T cassette for my Shimano Ultegra short-cage rear derailler. No problem at all installing and using it. Looks and feels as smooth as the 12-27 it replaces.

    Why is it a "crap shoot" ?

  16. #16
    cycles per second Gonzo Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calli46 View Post
    Why is it a "crap shoot" ?
    Well, I don't know that it's really a "crap shoot" but a 30T may not work for all bikes. Bikes with a longer derailer hanger or thicker derailer hanger may have a higher probability of working since the derailer will be slightly lower when on the big cog. The hub and chain length may also play a role. I have used 13-30 with my Dura-Ace rear derailer but it didn't really run all that smoothly.
    Last edited by Gonzo Bob; 05-14-08 at 04:14 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by susanrm View Post
    Hi - I have the opportunity to get an 11-32 8-speed cassette *free* to replace my 12-26. My rear derailleur is a Sora 3300, and Shimano has removed all references to it on its website.
    If it's for free, you can always try to install and test it.

    I tried a Shimano 105 long cage rear derailleur with a 13-32 cassette and it worked without any problems. I just adjusted the so-called b-screw.
    Last edited by Barabaika; 05-14-08 at 04:47 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by susanrm View Post
    Could you please clarify why a mountain bike derailleur would help so much? I know my friends on mountain bikes climb hills much easier...
    It's the gear ratio. The bigger rear cog you have, the easier it is to pedal up hills. You just won't go quite so fast.

    The mountain bike rear derailleur is necessary to shift onto a 32 or 34 tooth rear cog. A road derailleur will rub on a rear cog that size.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
    Do you know what cadence (rotations of the crank per minute) that you normally ride at? If so, enter that into the calculator and figure out what gearing you'll need to be able to maintain that cadence at 5-6mph. That should allow you to comfortably climb those hills.

    For example, I just inputted a 30 small chainring with a 26 large cog, 700 x 23 tires, and 90 rpm. At that cadence, 8.1mph is the slowest you can go with your current gearing. Any slower and your cadence must fall. With a 30-32 low gear, you'll be able to ride at 6.6mph and 90 rpms (getting closer to what you want, based on my assumptions of course). A 26-32 low gear will get you down to 5.7mph at 90 rpms.
    Good assumptions. My cadence and speed both diminish drastically with my current gearing. I'd like to spin up hills... still trying to decide on the best strategy, of course.

  20. #20
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    You can try to change the front crankset because 42t and 52t chain rings are too big for riding uphill. Sugino makes 26/36/46 cranksets. If your current Truvativ crankset is square taper, it's even easier.
    http://aebike.com/page.cfm?PageID=30...id=1098&type=T

    You can also disassemble the cassette and put bigger sprockets from another 8-speed cassette, 28 or 30 or 32t.

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