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11-34 10 speed swap question

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11-34 10 speed swap question

Old 09-15-13, 06:32 AM
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11-34 10 speed swap question

Seems as though I have this figured out, but I would like other opinions.

Current Setup:
I have an 11-28 10-speed Shimano rear cluster coupled with a Compact Double of 34/50 up front. The rear derailler is an Ultegra medium length cage.

Proposed:

Going to an 11-34 with no changes in chain length or rear derailler.

This will only be done for occasionally hilly and loaded touring and I would understand that there are certain gear combinations that would not work (like big to big).

To do it "right" I could swap out the rear Ultegra for a Xt or XTR with a long cage and put a new chain on (longer). Or I could keep the rear 11-28 and go with a mountain double crankset (maybe 28/42), but I'd like to keep it simple.

Any thought?
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Old 09-15-13, 06:53 AM
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You will likely need a longer chain for the larger big cog. The chain MUST be able to shift into the big-big combination without strain, even if you do not intend to use it. You WILL forget and shift into that combination sooner or later and if the chain is too short you will instantly do severe damage to your bike.

You will also need to ensure that the rear derailleur can handle that large of a cog; you do not state what model you have but many road derailleurs will not. It is not just the chain wrap/cage length you need to concern yourself with (you do), it is the ability of the derailleur cage to clear the large cog.
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Old 09-15-13, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
Seems as though I have this figured out, but I would like other opinions.

Current Setup:
I have an 11-28 10-speed Shimano rear cluster coupled with a Compact Double of 34/50 up front. The rear derailler is an Ultegra medium length cage.

Proposed:

Going to an 11-34 with no changes in chain length or rear derailler.

This will only be done for occasionally hilly and loaded touring and I would understand that there are certain gear combinations that would not work (like big to big).

To do it "right" I could swap out the rear Ultegra for a Xt or XTR with a long cage and put a new chain on (longer).
Or I could keep the rear 11-28 and go with a mountain double crankset (maybe 28/42), but I'd like to keep it simple.

Any thought?
The Ultegra rear derailleur will not work with a 34t cog on the cassette.

I would include a new XT or XTR with a SGS long cage and put a new, longer, chain. I like the Shimano Deore m591 on 8, 9, or 10 speed road bikes. Avoid the Shimano Dynasys rear derailleurs and cassettes, they will not work with road bike shifters.

You can use an 11-28 or any cassette with the Shimano Deore XT or XTR rear derailleur, and you will not need to shorten the chain. Changing cassettes without removing the Shimano Deore XT or XTR rear derailleur will allow you to customize your gearing quickly.
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 09-15-13 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 09-15-13, 08:24 AM
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My Ultegra set is older, but I am successfully running a 6500 SS RD with an 11-28 cassette and a 6500 (double) with 46/30 crankset in the front. All combinations work perfectly on the stand, although I never cross chain while actually riding. My FD cage doesn't follow the circumference of the big chain wheel, of course, but I mounted and set it up just the same as if it did (2-3mm above at the leading edge, and parallel along the outer plate). With a medium cage Ultegra RD you should be able to use a 30 or 32 tooth cog without any problems. Watch your chain length at both the big/big and small/small combinations when setting it up to ensure there is sufficient length for the former and that the RD can take up the slack for the latter. There may be only one link difference between go and no go, as it's on the edge for your derailleur/crank possibilities.
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Old 09-15-13, 10:08 AM
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On the long rides I do, I never want to depend on my amazing brain to keep me out of trouble, so every gear combination must work without breaking the rear derailleur. Since you'll need a new rear derailleur anyway, you can size the new chain however long it needs to be.
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Old 09-15-13, 11:01 AM
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Rarely do I reply and include all quotes, but they all were so helpful I thought it necessary.

Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
You will likely need a longer chain for the larger big cog. The chain MUST be able to shift into the big-big combination without strain, even if you do not intend to use it. You WILL forget and shift into that combination sooner or later and if the chain is too short you will instantly do severe damage to your bike.

You will also need to ensure that the rear derailleur can handle that large of a cog; you do not state what model you have but many road derailleurs will not. It is not just the chain wrap/cage length you need to concern yourself with (you do), it is the ability of the derailleur cage to clear the large cog.
I do not want to think about shifting and definitely don't want damage so instead of cheeping out i need to do what you suggested.

Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
The Ultegra rear derailleur will not work with a 34t cog on the cassette.

I would include a new XT or XTR with a SGS long cage and put a new, longer, chain. I like the Shimano Deore m591 on 8, 9, or 10 speed road bikes. Avoid the Shimano Dynasys rear derailleurs and cassettes, they will not work with road bike shifters.

You can use an 11-28 or any cassette with the Shimano Deore XT or XTR rear derailleur, and you will not need to shorten the chain. Changing cassettes without removing the Shimano Deore XT or XTR rear derailleur will allow you to customize your gearing quickly.
Sounds like when I go to the long cage I can have it both ways - that is to have the 11-28 or the 11-34 (or maybe even the 11-36). I've not heard of the SGS long cage, is that something I need to specify when I go to XT or XTR?

Originally Posted by Cross Creek View Post
My Ultegra set is older, but I am successfully running a 6500 SS RD with an 11-28 cassette and a 6500 (double) with 46/30 crankset in the front. All combinations work perfectly on the stand, although I never cross chain while actually riding. My FD cage doesn't follow the circumference of the big chain wheel, of course, but I mounted and set it up just the same as if it did (2-3mm above at the leading edge, and parallel along the outer plate). With a medium cage Ultegra RD you should be able to use a 30 or 32 tooth cog without any problems. Watch your chain length at both the big/big and small/small combinations when setting it up to ensure there is sufficient length for the former and that the RD can take up the slack for the latter. There may be only one link difference between go and no go, as it's on the edge for your derailleur/crank possibilities.
Sounds like the current rear Ultegra (newish on mine) doesn't even start with the right distance from the bottom of the chainring (1st gear) to the first jockey pulley.

Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
On the long rides I do, I never want to depend on my amazing brain to keep me out of trouble, so every gear combination must work without breaking the rear derailleur. Since you'll need a new rear derailleur anyway, you can size the new chain however long it needs to be.
Yeah, I have one of those amazing brains too! Better to do it right - thanks.

Related question on chain length. How do you determine on what the right length is? Big front and big in back plus two links, or do you rely on the angle of the jockey pulleys in some other configuration?
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Old 09-15-13, 11:12 AM
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Big-big + 1" is a foolproof way to get enough chain. That said, I like to use as much of the chain as my RD can handle, even if the chain droops a little in the small-small -- I paid for all of it!
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Old 09-15-13, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
Sounds like when I go to the long cage I can have it both ways - that is to have the 11-28 or the 11-34 (or maybe even the 11-36). I've not heard of the SGS long cage, is that something I need to specify when I go to XT or XTR?

Sounds like the current rear Ultegra (newish on mine) doesn't even start with the right distance from the bottom of the chainring (1st gear) to the first jockey pulley.

Related question on chain length. How do you determine on what the right length is? Big front and big in back plus two links, or do you rely on the angle of the jockey pulleys in some other configuration?
Yes, a road bike cassette with smaller cogs will shift well with a Deore rear derailleur. SGS is used to discribe the length of the arm on the Shimano touring and mountain bike rear derailleurs, including all Deore. SG is a medium length arm on road bike derailleurs designed for triple cranksets. SS is the short arm road rear derailleur designation.

Rear derailers are often differentiated into "road" and "mountain" models. This is actually a false distinction based on marketing hype. A more meaningful distinction would be:

Wide Range SGS 86 mm center-to-center If you want to use a rear sprocket bigger than 30 teeth, this is the type you must have.
The marketeers call this a "mountain" size, but that's a bogus designation. This is what you want for most touring applications.

Medium Range GS 74 mm center-to-center Erroneously called "long cage" in "road" contexts, this is actually the medium length cage. It is, however the longest that has the marketing designation "road."

Narrow Range SS 50 mm center-to-center Road racing. SS cage derailers are not recommended for wide-range cassettes or triple cranks.

An Ultegra rear derailleur has a rated maximum rear capacity of 27 or 28. Installing a 12-30 can be done easily. Installing a 11- 32 requires careful fitting and might not fit if the bikes hanger is shorter than typical, for that reason I don't recommend it. Installing a 34 with a Ultegra rear derailleur is usually not possible.

Big front and big in back plus two links is a good method for sizing a chain. Be sure you can pull down on the chain when finished, It should never be under high tension and the arm should be able to rock up and down an inch or more.
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 09-15-13 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 09-15-13, 11:16 AM
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One of the accepted ways is to do the big big combo plus a link. I also just put on a larger casette recently (11/28) with a compact double, and this worked fine. However, the small small combo leaves the rear derailleur with very little tension, just enough to keep the chain taught. With a 32t cog, you might have some chain slack that can't be helped. Before cutting the chain, do a wrap around with that many links and see how much slack you have.
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Old 09-15-13, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Big-big + 1" is a foolproof way to get enough chain. That said, I like to use as much of the chain as my RD can handle, even if the chain droops a little in the small-small -- I paid for all of it!
Is that while I run it through the two jockey wheels or outside of them (bypassing them for measuring only)?
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Old 09-15-13, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
Is that while I run it through the two jockey wheels or outside of them (bypassing them for measuring only)?
You'd bypass the pulleys for the big-big + 1" method.

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Old 09-15-13, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
You'd bypass the pulleys for the big-big + 1" method.



I love this forum! Great responses - thanks.
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Old 09-15-13, 07:42 PM
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Looking at this:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Or this:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=AI815W1WMD729

Big difference in price of course, but checking in to see if these would work.

Next will be tracking down a cassette and a chain. The XT cassette looks good, but not sure about which chain to get. I don't mind trading a little money for less weight/better quality, but not XTR for sure - ouch (have that on my MTB).
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Old 09-17-13, 06:05 AM
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Well I have given this a bit more thought. I would need to replace the cassette, the chain, and the rear deraillier to get better gearing. Or, I can simply change the crankset for a 40/28 and shorten the existing chain. At least I think I can. Do any of you see an issue with this?

Range at present with 50/34 on an 11-28 10-speed cassette is 33-125 gear inches.

Range with a 40/28 on same would be 28-100 gear inches.

Both have my "usuable" gears available without cross chaining.
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Old 09-17-13, 01:50 PM
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That new range would be right up my alley. Problem is, you'd probably need a new FD to go with the MTB crankset.
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Old 09-18-13, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
That new range would be right up my alley. Problem is, you'd probably need a new FD to go with the MTB crankset.
I was concerned about that and will take a look at the current set up to see if it can be moved down lower and will handle the 12 tooth jump (28 to 40). It's kindof like the old Sun Tour Microdrive stuff.
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