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Ultegra, Can I change the short cage to long?

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Ultegra, Can I change the short cage to long?

Old 11-24-19, 11:22 PM
Bagel Bob
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Ultegra, Can I change the short cage to long?

Is it possible to change the short cage to the longer one or do I just need to just buy a new derailer?

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I just purchased a 2016 Fuji Gran Fondo Classico One.1 with Ultegra shifters/derailers and a 105 11-28 cassette. Would like to go to the 105 11-34 cassette but this is a short cage (SS) derailer, not the medium cage (GS). Can I just change the cage and add a few links to the chain to accomodate the larger cassette? Or do I need to change the entire derailer? If I can change the cage, what would be a good source for just that piece?
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Old 11-24-19, 11:38 PM
Bill Kapaun
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The odds of just finding the cage is small. Basically, you'd have to find a used RDER on ebay etc. and cannibalize it.
It's usually easier to just get another RDER.
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Old 11-24-19, 11:47 PM
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You will need a whole new RD and chain, you can purchase some part of the RD as spares (the inner plate) but not the front, and even that will cost a significant part of the cost of a new RD (been there). If you were to look at cannibalizing another RD, the question would be why, as you would be stripping a good RD to make another good RD.

Depending on the model you may be able to purchase a complete aftermarket cage, these are normally sold with oversize jockey wheels but can cost 2-3x the cost of a new RD
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Old 11-24-19, 11:53 PM
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There are a number of different "Ultegra" models.

For the 6800, here is the parts diagram.

It looks like there are 3 parts that are specific to the SS/GS
Plate Axle Assembly, Inner Cage Plate and Outer Cage Plate

Shimano has been trying to make it a pain to order stuff, but a lot is still available on E-Bay and Amazon.
Here are the cage plates for the 6800 for $35.80

And the Axle Spring Kit for $26.33

So, About $60 for the conversion. I don't think the bodies are different, but I'm seeing the later versions have additional differences.


Here is a slightly used 6800 derailleur for about $50 including shipping.

And, a "new" one for about $60 (auction).

Or, you might choose to upgrade to one of the 8000 series deraileurs which seem to be hitting the market around
$70 to $80 on E-Bay.

To me, your cage only upgrade wouldn't be economical, and I'd simply replace the whole derailleur.
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Old 11-25-19, 10:33 AM
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I looked at doing this on a bike I used to own at the beginning of the year. What the others posters have stated is exactly with I ran into. By the time I was able to run down the parts, assuming I could find them all of them for sale, ordered them with shipping and did the swap it was a lot easier plus more cost effective just to buy a new/used derailleur complete.
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Old 11-25-19, 10:54 AM
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Thanks for all the excellent info. I found a new 8000 series Ultegra rear der for $73 on sale at Competitive Cyclist. The Ultegra 11-32 cassette and chain are both on a discounted price right now too. That looks like the way to go. I'll accomplish my goal of getting lower gears for under $200 and get a nice upgrade in the process.
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