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Need lower gears on 8-speed ultegra setup

Old 08-24-12, 12:09 PM
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Need lower gears on 8-speed ultegra setup

My bike is a 1995 Trek 5200. It is mostly stock components (Shimano 600 Ultegra "tri-color" 8-speed group throughout), as specified here: https://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/b...5200&type=bike

I have upgraded recently to new Shimano 6700 wheels (which are compatible with Shimano 8/9/10 speed cassettes), and I'm currently running a Shimano 8-speed 13x26t rear cassette (which was not stock).

I would like to replace some component(s) in order to get lower gear ratios and need to understand my options.
1) How do I determine the minimum and maximum gear size that the rear derailleur can accommodate? I've been told that it is a "short cage" derailleur.
2) I'm finding rear cassettes with a wider range than my current 13x26 very hard to come by. Many of those I find are intended for mountain bike use. Would XT or XTR 8-speed cassettes work on road bike hubs? Would I need to replace the rear derailleur to accommodate one? Would my current STI shifter be compatible?
3) On the crankset I've got 53/39t. Can I simply replace the smaller gear? Are any gears like this still available? Would this be too big a jump in size? Would this be compatible with my existing front derailleur and STI shifter?
4) Are there any compact cranksets available for 8-speed systems? Would they be compatible with my existing front derailleur and STI shifter?
5) I don't want to replace the crankset with a triple, as this would necessitate changing out my front derailleur and STI shifter too. By the time I pay for all that, I would be better off investing that cost into replacing my entire drivetrain with a modern 10-speed group.

Any opinions regarding my best options here?
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Old 08-24-12, 12:29 PM
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I'm guessing your crank is 130BCD, in which case 38T is the smallest ring you can run, and it wouldn't make a big difference even if you could find one.

My vote would be to switch to an 11-28 cassette, find a double with 110BCD (old or new), and use 46/34 rings. You'll gain more low-end, the RD should be happy, the FD will be able to handle it after lowering it a little, and the top gear will be about the same.
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Old 08-24-12, 12:31 PM
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If the rear derailleur can handle it, then yes, you can put a taller rear cassette in there. And yes, they would be normally used for mountain bikes. You don't find many road bikes with a 28 or 32T rear cog.
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Old 08-24-12, 12:54 PM
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1) Rear derailleurs can usually accommodate larger cogs than they are rated for. I'm sure yours could handle a 28 and probably a 30 although that may require some tweaking on the "B" screw. Some have been able to adjust the upper pulley enough by replacing the "B" screw with a longer one or reversing it. You could replace the rear derailleur with a 9-speed mountain type that will work with up to a 34 cog. You can go as high as an 11 cog but no need for that with the chainrings you now have.

2) Yes. You can use an 8-speed mountain type rear cassette with a mountain type 8 or 9-speed rear derailleur, but not a 10-speed mountain type RD because of a recent change in actuation ratio.

3) The smallest chainring you can use with your 130 BCD crankset is a 38, not worth the change.

4) You can run a compact crankset designed for 9-speed, but in general cranksets are not designed for a particular number of speeds but they seem to have become narrower between rings in order to work better with 10-speed chains. It may be possible to run a 9-speed chain with your 8-speed cassette and derailleurs and a modern compact crank. But you may have problems lowering your front derailleur enough to work well with a compact crankset because of your braze-on type FD hanger.

5) Changing to a triple would require a long cage rear derailleur, probably a triple front derailleur, and possibly a longer chain. All 9-speed Ultegra shifters are double-triple compatible but I'm not sure about your 8-speed shifter. It may work with a triple but with no trimming available. You could disconnect the cable and count the clicks. It would need at least 2 solid clicks to handle a triple.

I think your most cost effective attempt to lower the gearing is to buy a custom built 13-30 cassette or a mountain cassette and mountain rear derailleur.
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Old 08-24-12, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
My vote would be to switch to an 11-28 cassette, find a double with 110BCD (old or new), and use 46/34 rings. You'll gain more low-end, the RD should be happy, the FD will be able to handle it after lowering it a little, and the top gear will be about the same.
The 5000 series Treks have a braze-on type front derailleur hanger that will maybe barely support lowering the FD enough for a 50 big ring. On my wife's 5200 I had to use a Dremel to grind the slot down enough so that the FD would work with a 49-39-28 triple.
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Old 08-24-12, 01:21 PM
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Thanks for all the fast responses.

I can still find some 11-28t 8 speed cassettes around. Many are "-I" cassettes, e.g., HG70-I. My understanding is that these are not road bike compatible, correct?

There are some others such as the CS-HG51 (Alivio) 11-28t 8 speed cassette that are not "-I" models. If I got one of these, would my RD be adjustable to accommodate the 11t gear?
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Old 08-24-12, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 1995_Trek_5200
Thanks for all the fast responses.

I can still find some 11-28t 8 speed cassettes around. Many are "-I" cassettes, e.g., HG70-I. My understanding is that these are not road bike compatible, correct?

There are some others such as the CS-HG51 (Alivio) 11-28t 8 speed cassette that are not "-I" models. If I got one of these, would my RD be adjustable to accommodate the 11t gear?

Sorry I forgot to mention, I was under the impression that the RD may only be able to go as high as 12 -- can anyone confirm or deny this?
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Old 08-24-12, 01:29 PM
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Has anyone had experience with Miche cassettes and whether they would shift smoothly with a shimano RD & chain?
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Old 08-24-12, 01:33 PM
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All 8 speed Shimano cassettes will fit on your hub. There was never any road/mtb difference for cassettes, except for the first generation of 10 speed cassettes.

Shimano road deralleurs are generally designed to handle up to a 27 or 28 tooth largest cog. If you switch to a MTB rear derailleur (8 or 9 speed compatible - 10 speed mtb rear derailleurs will not work) you can use up to a 32 or 34 large cog.

My 8 speed MTB has a triple crank designed for 9 speed chains and it works 100% perfectly with the 8 speed chain.
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Old 08-24-12, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by DCB0
All 8 speed Shimano cassettes will fit on your hub. There was never any road/mtb difference for cassettes, except for the first generation of 10 speed cassettes.
]
This.

I don't know where you got the info that road cassettes will only work with road bikes and mtb cassettes will only work with mtbs, but that is not true in the least other than the 10 speed issue.
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Old 08-24-12, 02:02 PM
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From what I have read, there is an "Interglide" system which is not compatible with "Hyperglide". Not that an Interglide cassette would not fit on a road bike hub, but that it would also necessitate replacement of the chain and the chainrings.

From https://sheldonbrown.com/k8.shtml, "Model numbers ending in "I" have Interactive Glide thicker sprockets and thinner spacers, and should only be used with Interactive Glide chain".

Then the specs for the IG70 chain state "use only with IG chainrings". There don't appear to be any IG cranksets made for road bikes.

So this is how I reached the conclusion that I need to avoid Interglide cassettes.
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Old 08-24-12, 02:26 PM
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You know, I wonder jsut how common IG chains and cassettes really are. I don't think I have seen any IG cassettes at my coop and we have gone though a bunch of cassettes.
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Old 08-24-12, 02:29 PM
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I'm pretty sure HG-50I is different than IG-50
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Old 08-24-12, 02:45 PM
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The only IG stuff I've seen has been on older bikes, 20+ years.
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Old 08-24-12, 02:52 PM
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The 11-28 I had in mind is not Interactive glide. It's the "CS‑HG50‑8" cassette listed on this table: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/k8.shtml

And about the braze-on FD, hmm... I guess a 50/34 compact could be used with the 11-28 cassette, but that would give a lot of unnecessary (at least for me) high gears. It would work great with your 13-26 cassette, and still give a 35-ish low gear.
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Old 08-26-12, 04:42 PM
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From ShledonBrown.com:


IG ®
Interactive Glide is an extension of Hyperglide, in which both sides of the sprockets are contoured to improve upshifting. I.G. sprockets are very slightly thicker than Hyperglide ones, and some Shimano Hyperglide chains may hang up if used on an I.G. cassette. The slightly wider I.G. chains work on either type, as do SRAM chains.
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Old 08-27-12, 01:16 AM
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You could gain a small advantage by moving to 650c wheels. You'd need to swap the brakes for additional reach.
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Old 08-27-12, 01:27 AM
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8 speed cassettes are not hard to get, any 8 speed Shimano mtb cassette will work with your bike and if the biggest cog exceeds 28 teeth and you have a short cage dérailleur you will need to swap that for a mid or long cage rear derailleur.

The mid length Ultegra rear dérailleur will work with 30-32 teeth quite nicely... a long cage mtb rear dérailleur would be the most economical option and offer very good performance with a mid level model.
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Old 09-05-12, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
The mid length Ultegra rear dérailleur will work with 30-32 teeth quite nicely
I don’t know why people keep making this mistake. The body of Shimano rear derailleurs – the front and back plates that make up the parallelogram – have no difference between the short and mid cage road derailleurs - the only difference is the distance between the pulley centres. Shimano tech docs list short and mid cage derailleurs as having the same max cog limit, so if a short cage derailleur on a particular bike doesn’t work with a particular size large cog, the mid cage derailleur will also not work.

Where a mid cage derailleur might help is if you change to a wide spread cassette and the derailleur lacks sufficient capacity for chain take-up… like, for instance, a 50/34 compact crank with a 11/32 cassette needs a RD capacity of 37 teeth, short cage Ultegra has capacity of 33 teeth, mid cage Ultegra has capacity of 39 teeth, but both have listed max cog of 28 teeth... so if you are lucky and the upper pulley of the short length cage RD does not rub on the biggest cogs, the mid cage will also not rub on the biggest cogs. But if the short cage is rubbing on the biggest cog, switching to a mid cage will not help.
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Old 10-16-12, 02:36 PM
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Zombie Thread Revival. It appears you guys have answered my question as well, but I'd appreciate confirmation:

8-Speed, Tri-Color 600/Ultegra Brifter + Dura Ace 7402 Derailleur + Shimano XTR 11-28, 8-speed HG cassette will work okay?





Extra Credit Question: Will this 8-speed XTR HG cassette bolt directly onto a Dura Ace 7900 10-speed hub?

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Old 10-16-12, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris
Zombie Thread Revival. It appears you guys have answered my question as well, but I'd appreciate confirmation:

8-Speed, Tri-Color 600/Ultegra Brifter + Dura Ace 7402 Derailleur + Shimano XTR 11-28, 8-speed HG cassette will work okay?

Extra Credit Question: Will this 8-speed XTR HG cassette bolt directly onto a Dura Ace 7900 10-speed hub?
Yes on both counts.
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Old 10-16-12, 02:47 PM
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Beautiful! THANK YOU DAN!
I've decided to turn my Masi into a more rideable bike. She's going to be spending less time hanging on the wall and more time out in the sunshine. (But only on perfect weather days and clean roads.)
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Old 10-16-12, 02:57 PM
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Only issue you might have is the locknut width on the xtr hub and the rear stay width on your masi. The hub is 135mm and the frame is 126mm if that's a 7speed tricolor downtube shifter, and 130mm if its an 8 speed tricolor downtube shifter.

(If it IS an 8 speed, and you're willing to sell it, please PM me, I've been looking for one of these for a long time, as well as tricolor brake levers- looking to downgrade a bike of mine.)
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Old 10-16-12, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris
Zombie Thread Revival. It appears you guys have answered my question as well, but I'd appreciate confirmation:

8-Speed, Tri-Color 600/Ultegra Brifter + Dura Ace 7402 Derailleur + Shimano XTR 11-28, 8-speed HG cassette will work okay?





Extra Credit Question: Will this 8-speed XTR HG cassette bolt directly onto a Dura Ace 7900 10-speed hub?

No it will not work. 8 speed DA rear derailleurs have a different actuation ratio from 8 speed anything else. There may be a way to make it work (alternate cable routing, shiftmate, etc) but they won't play well together without some fudging. Cassette will work fine on that hub though.
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Old 10-16-12, 03:05 PM
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Modest price point bikes are still coming with HG 8 speed cassettes.

maybe a mega range will work #7 is a 24; #8 is a 34t.


HG freehubs have 1 thin and 1 wide spline, so cassettes, only go on in one orientation .

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-16-12 at 03:09 PM.
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