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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rear Shifting Issues: 2009 Cannondale Road Tandem 2

Just purchased this bike used, 35 mile shakedown ride today, all great except rear shifting. The previous owner had replaced the drop bar with a flat bar, and the Shimano Ultegra brifters with Shimano Deore SL-T610 shifters. I believe it has the original stock Ultegra rear derailleur and IRD 10 Speed 11-32 cassette on a White Industries MI6 disk hub. Has seen very low miles, and all is in good shape with no visible wear or issues, cables look good and smooth shifting when just pulling the cable by hand. Chain measures less than 50% wear/"stretch".

Was trying to tune the rear derailleur rattling out and getting it to shift crisply, but it often jumps two cogs in places, going up and down. I believe the issue may be compatibility between the Deore SL-610 shifter and rear cassette spacing. I couldn't find anything on Shimano's website for the shifter, but I'm thinking it may be for mountain bikes, and I think the IRD cassette is for road bikes. Could this be the problem, i.e. is the spacing on the cassette between the cogs different than the indexing on the shifter?

If cassette spacing/shifter indexing (compatibility) is the issue:
1) are there any tricks to getting it to shift crisply?
2) What would be my options for replacing either the shifters (e.g. Shimano Tiagra 4703 3x10sp Flat Bar Shifter Set) or cassette (e.g. Shimano SLX HG81 10 Speed MTB Cassette) or something different?
3) Go back to drop bars, buy/install Ultegra road brifters?
4) Live with it (which I would rather not do).

I'm no expert on components, but am a pretty good
 

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10sp mountain shifters are not compatible with 10sp road derailleurs. The Tiagra flat bar shifters would be fine, but a better choice would be the SL-R783. It's an Ultegra grade (non-series) flat bar shifter set for 3x10 road. The MSRP for them is only about $10 more than the Tiagra so it should be a no brainer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, got it. Would a MTB rear derailleur also be an option? Reason I ask is that I could use my ultegra road derailleur on my wife's bike replacing her 105. Otherwise I would have no use for the shifters I take off. Just thinking...
 

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Yes, and no. The front derailleur probably isn't working that great either since road and mtb front derailleurs are not compatible regardless of speed. They can 'work' but it usually is nowhere near as good as it should be.
As for the rear derailleur, Shimano specifically lists the RD-T610-SGS as the only compatible rear derailleur for those shifters.

2016-2017 SHIMANO Product Information Web

That said, a normal 10sp Shimano MTB rear derailleur should work as well, I've just never tested the compatibility myself. Throw the guys at Shimano a call, they'll know for sure.
But again, that does nothing for the front end. Still a better idea to get the right shifters for the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again! Happily, the front derailleur, Shimano 105 triple, works just fine. I'll give the tech support at Shimano a call this week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I talked with Shimano tech today, and they advised either the Shimano SL-R783 shifter ($94 on Amazon/Niagra) or Shimano XT RD-M781 long cage derailleur ($55 at Nashbar). (Searching around for the derailleur seems to show other options, and is a bit confusing to me.)

I really want want to get this right, for the best long term, crispest shifting option, that will work with my bike? Any suggestions on which way to go?

You have all been really helpful, and I greatly appreciate it!
 

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Is this the bike:

2009 Cannondale Road Tandem 2 - BikePedia

Does it still have the original Ultegra front and rear derailler?

I would like to clear up some possible misconceptions here.

1) It is not true as a blanket statement that 10sp mountain shifters are not compatible with 10sp road derailleurs. Some aren't, but many are. It has to do with pull ratios and actuation type. In other words, if you replace your road derailleur with just any mountain derailleur or replace your mountain shifters with just any road shifters, you can still have compatibility issues.

2) 10-speed Shimano cog spacing is not any different between road and mountain or between generations. Different brands of cassettes may have very, very, very slightly different spacing, but it won't be enough to cause problems in shifting. If the cassette spacing were different enough to cause shifting problems, it wouldn't fit on the freehub properly anyway.

3) A rear derailleur does not care how many speeds the cassette and shifters are. The rear derailler is just a spring.

4) Considering the bike is a 2009, I am guessing the original Ultegra groupset is 6600. I'm not absolutely sure, but if actuation ratio is an issue, I am guessing your newer Deore SL-T610 shifters have a different actuation ratio than your Ultegra rear derailleur. That would definitely screw up your shifting. Older Deore mountain shifters like the SL-M591 would work just fine.

If you are looking at this and thinking it's complicated, that's because it is!

Regardless of any of this, considering the age of the bike, it would be a good idea to replace all your cables with good quality stainless steel cables. The cables you have may be the cheaper galvanized ones which over time, oxidize, become rough and create friction. This will no doubt cause poor shifting. Just run the cable between your fingers and compare the feel of old vs. new cables.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, that's the model of the bike; it still has the original Ultegra rear derailleur, but a replaced front derailleur to a 105. Front derailleur / shifter combo works fine, rear does not.

Your notes are clear, and I understand the issue is between the shifters the original owner installed and the stock rear derailleur (actuation/pull ratio).

So I'm at a point where I want to fix it, with either the correct shifters, or correct rear derailleur, per my last post above. Any suggestions on which option to go with?

And I've gone over the cables, they look pristine (low miles on the bike) and I've pulled the cable manually and it feels and works good.

Thanks for the help!
 

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So I'm at a point where I want to fix it, with either the correct shifters, or correct rear derailleur, per my last post above. Any suggestions on which option to go with?

Thanks for the help!
There are a few options. This would depend on:

1) Which do you like better, road bars/shifters or mountain bars/shifters?

Road bars/shifters would be the most expensive option. If you go this route, you must get an earlier generation, not the current Ultegra 6800, 105 5800 or Tiagra 4700. Ultegra 6600 or 6700, 105 5600 or 5700 or Tiagra 4500 or 4600 will work with your current Ultegra rear derailleur. Ebay is your friend here. There are quite a few Ebay sellers trying to get rid of new/old stock items. You local bike shop may even have some new/old stock available. I would avoid used road shifters unless they are discounted significantly.

If you like your mountain bar/shifter setup, see below:

2) How much do you want to spend? If you want to go the cheapest way, the rear derailleur replacement is the way to go. The Deore RD-610 SGS should be compatible with your Deore SL-T610 shifters. Be sure you get the SGS (long cage) version as the GS (medium cage) version does not have the chain wrap capacity for your triple crankset:

Amazon.com : Shimano Deore Mountain Bike Rear Derailleur - RD-M610 : Sports & Outdoors

Hope this helps.
 

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1) It is not true as a blanket statement that 10sp mountain shifters are not compatible with 10sp road derailleurs.
.
I should have been more specific and said this applies to the Shimano 10 speed lines, though since that's what we're talking about I took it for granted. Shimano Road shifters and derailleurs are not compatible with Shimano Mtb 10 speed (DynaSys) shifters and derailleurs.
 

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I should have been more specific and said this applies to the Shimano 10 speed lines, though since that's what we're talking about I took it for granted. Shimano Road shifters and derailleurs are not compatible with Shimano Mtb 10 speed (DynaSys) shifters and derailleurs.

Not all 10-speed mountain bike shifters are Dynasys. The ones that aren't will work with road components. 600 series is Dynasys, 500 series is not.
 

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You've piqued my curiosity, what shifters are you talking about?


OK, I have to backpedal here. The ones I was thinking of, SL-M591 shifters, ARE indeed Dynasys. I stand corrected:

http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-SL-M591-Deore-Shifter-Speed/dp/B005DVICFQ

They will NOT work with your Ultegra derailler.

To the OP, simplest solution, replace the Ultegra derailleur with a Deore RD-610 SGS (long cage) derailleur. Problem solved!

Amazon.com : Shimano Deore Mountain Bike Rear Derailleur - RD-M610 : Sports & Outdoors


 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all of the help! I picked up a XT RD-M780 last night at Performance (Shimano XT RD-M780 Shadow Rear Derailleur SGS)

I've been assured by Shimano, and Performance tech support that it will work. From my first look, only thing that will be different is where the cable enters the derailleur. On the road Ultegra I'm replacing, it comes in from the rear. On the XT, from the top. Since the cable housing fits into the bracket at the bottom of the chain stay, it mar require a tighter loop. I'll post back the results when I get it on.

Thanks again everyone for helping me out!
 

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Thanks for all of the help! I picked up a XT RD-M780 last night at Performance (Shimano XT RD-M780 Shadow Rear Derailleur SGS)

I've been assured by Shimano, and Performance tech support that it will work. From my first look, only thing that will be different is where the cable enters the derailleur. On the road Ultegra I'm replacing, it comes in from the rear. On the XT, from the top. Since the cable housing fits into the bracket at the bottom of the chain stay, it mar require a tighter loop. I'll post back the results when I get it on.

Thanks again everyone for helping me out!
Yep, all the newer Shimano mountain RDs have cable entry from top rather than rear. They eliminated the barrel adjusters too which I don't really like. The idea was to make less things that can get snagged on objects like branches that hard core mountain bikers may come in contact with.

You will need to trim the piece of housing shorter. No big deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got it back together, went for a 40mi shakedown ride, and shifting is now good. Stayed with the Shimano Deore SL-T610 flat bar shifters, and changed to a Shimano RD-M780 rear derailleur. The only minor issue is that with the b screw adjusted all the way out, I can't get the top derailleur jockey wheel closer than about 2cm from the cassette. I've read that for best shifting it should be about 0.5cm away. But it shifts really well and I'm satisfied.

Thanks everyone for your advice!
 
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