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2x Shimano Di2 GS -- Anyone using 11-36T cassette?

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbround Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

2x Shimano Di2 GS -- Anyone using 11-36T cassette?

Old 12-20-19, 10:21 AM
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FlashBazbo
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2x Shimano Di2 GS -- Anyone using 11-36T cassette?

I'm using a Shimano 2x Di2 setup on my gravel bike and I would like just a little grannier granny gear. I'm curious . . . is anyone using an 11-36T cassette with a Shimano Ultegra GS rear derailleur? I've heard of sightings -- kind of like bigfoot -- but I've never talked to anyone who has used it. If you have tried it, how did it go? Reliable? How's the shifting? Any problems?
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Old 12-20-19, 10:30 AM
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I can't answer your question, but I can ask one: aren't you running a 46-30 crankset? If so, what compels you to want a 30-36 gear? What sort of grades are you climbing?
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Old 12-20-19, 10:33 AM
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I ride in middle Tennessee / northern Georgia. What compels me? 20+% grades. Lots of them. (And no, I don't want to ride a mountain bike.)
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Old 12-20-19, 10:54 AM
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According to Shimano the max for 2x is 34 tooth on the rear, I'd try it. Another option is build up your other UP with GRX Di2 and MTB derailleurs
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Old 12-20-19, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
I'm using a Shimano 2x Di2 setup on my gravel bike and I would like just a little grannier granny gear. I'm curious . . . is anyone using an 11-36T cassette with a Shimano Ultegra GS rear derailleur? I've heard of sightings -- kind of like bigfoot -- but I've never talked to anyone who has used it. If you have tried it, how did it go? Reliable? How's the shifting? Any problems?
I believe self-exiled forum member Timmy has had this combination on his gravel bike. He has used an 11-36t cassette for at least a couple setups with Di2. And he had a 46-30 crank on for bikepacking with a bigger cassette even.


here it is- post 9 Shimano GRX discussion
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Old 12-20-19, 04:53 PM
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I have been using a SRAM 11-36 cassette on my Trek Domane with GS Di2 rear derailleur and the Wolftooth Road link . I have a 50/34 chain rings and have had no issues with the 11-36.

Wolf Tooth Roadlink
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Old 12-20-19, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
I'm using a Shimano 2x Di2 setup on my gravel bike and I would like just a little grannier granny gear. I'm curious . . . is anyone using an 11-36T cassette with a Shimano Ultegra GS rear derailleur? I've heard of sightings -- kind of like bigfoot -- but I've never talked to anyone who has used it. If you have tried it, how did it go? Reliable? How's the shifting? Any problems?

Yes, with one of my wheelsets.
I got the idea from Tim H

In both cases, we just used the B-screw. No Wolftooth link.

Works fine. No issues.
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Old 12-20-19, 05:22 PM
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I have my Gravel bike setup with Di2 2x shifting. So I know exactly what you're talking about. I am also 53 years old and not at my peak shape so I rely on what some would call ridiculous gearing.

Front chainrings are; 46 - 30 (thank you Absolute Black) and my rear cassette is an 11-40.
My rear derailleur is a RD-RX805 and shifts without issue and I still have room for probably a 42.
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Old 12-20-19, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by kokak View Post
I have my Gravel bike setup with Di2 2x shifting. So I know exactly what you're talking about. I am also 53 years old and not at my peak shape so I rely on what some would call ridiculous gearing.

Front chainrings are; 46 - 30 (thank you Absolute Black) and my rear cassette is an 11-40.
My rear derailleur is a RD-RX805 and shifts without issue and I still have room for probably a 42.
Are you using the stock hanger? Or do you have an aftermarket link in there? What bike is your gravel bike?
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Old 12-20-19, 05:50 PM
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My bike is a Motobecane Century Pro Ti...
No aftermarket hanger, just attached the RX805 directly to the stock hanger.

I also was running a 1x setup with the RD-M8050 rear derailleur, without having to use a RoadLink on the same bike.
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Old 12-20-19, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
I ride in middle Tennessee / northern Georgia. What compels me? 20+% grades. Lots of them. (And no, I don't want to ride a mountain bike.)
My bike has a low end of 31-34, and I find that combo almost unusable - which is probably just my problem, since lots of people seem to use even lower gearing. When it's so steep (>20%) and technical that I shift down that far, I am moving so slowly that I am at risk of crashing due to low speed and obstructions (rocks, potholes, tree roots, etc) in the trail. I find it's easier (for me) to just go into a higher gear and stand up to crank it out, or just get off and walk up.
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Old 12-20-19, 08:30 PM
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A 20 percent grade for any climb other than a very short blip on a full climb of a lesser grade is beyond the overwhelming majority of recreational riders. If you are going to be able to climb 20 percent grades you need some serious power and fitness. Even a professional rider in their prime would suffer on say a two-mile climb if they were pushing it.
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Old 12-20-19, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
My bike has a low end of 31-34, and I find that combo almost unusable - which is probably just my problem, since lots of people seem to use even lower gearing. When it's so steep (>20%) and technical that I shift down that far, I am moving so slowly that I am at risk of crashing due to low speed and obstructions (rocks, potholes, tree roots, etc) in the trail. I find it's easier (for me) to just go into a higher gear and stand up to crank it out, or just get off and walk up.
I've got incredibly bad knees. If I try to power up at anything less than 80 rpm, things start self-destructing in a very painful and potentially crippling way. So, out of necessity, I do what I can to stay at or above 90 rpm.
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Old 12-20-19, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BengalCat View Post
A 20 percent grade for any climb other than a very short blip on a full climb of a lesser grade is beyond the overwhelming majority of recreational riders. If you are going to be able to climb 20 percent grades you need some serious power and fitness. Even a professional rider in their prime would suffer on say a two-mile climb if they were pushing it.
With a very few exceptions, climbs vary. They'll be 20%+ for awhile, then back to 10%, then to 8%, then 20%+, etc., etc., etc. If you ride those sorts of grades a lot, you get used to it. But there are climbs in middle Tennessee / north Georgia that have challenged the best World Tour riders in the past.

It's a tough place to live for a guy who's really a flat-lander and a time trialist.
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Old 12-20-19, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BengalCat View Post
A 20 percent grade for any climb other than a very short blip on a full climb of a lesser grade is beyond the overwhelming majority of recreational riders. If you are going to be able to climb 20 percent grades you need some serious power and fitness. Even a professional rider in their prime would suffer on say a two-mile climb if they were pushing it.
We have similar terrain here in WV, PA, KY. The agonizing Alleghenies. They are not two miles of 20% climbing like the Alps, but there are little hidden sections between all of the twists and turns that get you for maybe 20 - 50 yards at a time at 20%... Little patches that some of we OFs (Old Farts) want to keep pedaling on to get back to the relief of the 12 - 15% grade parts. These are the former deer paths that run from the creeks to the ridges here and have managed to escape the relentless eye of the paver..
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Old 12-21-19, 06:46 AM
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I have that set up on mine with Di2 - 8050 GS Cage - compact crank and 11/36 cassette. Di2 with the new battery and the 8050 rear DR will set you up in gear control which which keeps the chain from going slack by blocking out the last 2 small cogs on the cassette while in the small ring up front. You don't get gear control without the newer Ultegra or DA Di2 rear's, the 6870 doesn't do that. When I set mine up I had to use a full uncut chain to make it without over stretching the DR running big-big. With a 6870 rear DR you will end up with slack in the chain if you get into the small / small situation described.
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Old 12-21-19, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
We have similar terrain here in WV, PA, KY. The agonizing Alleghenies. They are not two miles of 20% climbing like the Alps, but there are little hidden sections between all of the twists and turns that get you for maybe 20 - 50 yards at a time at 20%... Little patches that some of we OFs (Old Farts) want to keep pedaling on to get back to the relief of the 12 - 15% grade parts. These are the former deer paths that run from the creeks to the ridges here and have managed to escape the relentless eye of the paver..
Don and I are in the same area, and he speaks the truth. Add in that some of those 20%+ climbs are very loose and messy, sometimes muddy, and you've got a real challenge. The Funk Bottoms gravel race in Ohio has a long and steep climb within the first few miles....And this past year, it was muddy as hell, too. Riding in a super-low gear would've resulted in a lot of wheel spin.
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Old 12-22-19, 08:10 AM
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I think Shimano say 11-32 is the max for the RD-6870-GS rear derailleur, but I used an 11-36 cassette on it this year just fine. It was only for one ride (Marmotte) and it wasn't ideal, but it was nice to have the 36 at the end of the day.
All the rides before the Marmotte were done using 11-30 which is what I would normally run if I were riding in an area like that (or 11-32)... but the roads are good and not muddy/messy
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Old 12-23-19, 07:07 PM
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I have a 30-46 with 11-36 cassette (sunrace) and works without any problems. Also works with 11-40 cassette.
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Old 01-13-20, 01:45 PM
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I ride a 10 speed slx 11-36 cassette with an Ultegra RX rear derailleur and RS 505(Tiagra) 10 speed shifters and a 50-34 Tiagra cankset, have been riding that setup for over a year without any problems. It's not Di2 but it is an 11 speed rear derailleur.


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Old 01-17-20, 02:34 AM
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I can also confirm that the rear GRX DI2 2x11 mech works without problems with 11-42 cassette.
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Old 01-26-20, 10:32 AM
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I run a 11-36 cassette on my Fuji Sportif with stock Sora road derailleur and 50-34 crankset.
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Old 02-01-20, 07:01 AM
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This Fuji is running a 46x34 with an Ultegra GS and a 11-36

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