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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Officially it's listed at 32t for the 11 speed rear derailleur a but someone told me you can run a sram 11-36 cassette. Can anyone verify this? Does it depend upon your frame?
 

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you can very easily run a 32T with a short cage shimano derailleur too. just watch the chain length. My wife's works great with Ultegra di2, short cage and a 32T, 50-34 front.

Miguen has the right idea for more than 32T Wolf Roadlink. I run a 40T with it and a mid cage ultegra der. hey we have 22 gear combinations so why not have as wide a ratio as a triple of yore.
 

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you can very easily run a 32T with a short cage shimano derailleur too. just watch the chain length. My wife's works great with Ultegra di2, short cage and a 32T, 50-34 front.

Miguen has the right idea for more than 32T Wolf Roadlink. I run a 40T with it and a mid cage ultegra der. hey we have 22 gear combinations so why not have as wide a ratio as a triple of yore.
You can't post stuff like this as there are substantial differences in derailleur hanger specs on different frames. There are plenty of bikes that you most definitely can't use a 32 w/ a short cage derailleur. Ask me how I know.

The Wolf link works ok a many bikes but every time I've worked on one (admittedly only about a half dozen times) they were just that...'ok', not great. Anything that increases the distance between the upper pulley and cog to get more clearance for larger cogs will be detrimental to shifting at the other end of the cassette. Of course the jumps between cogs are only 1-2 teeth on the high gear side, but they have been noisier every time I've seen them.
 

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You can't post stuff like this as there are substantial differences in derailleur hanger specs on different frames. There are plenty of bikes that you most definitely can't use a 32 w/ a short cage derailleur. Ask me how I know.

The Wolf link works ok a many bikes but every time I've worked on one (admittedly only about a half dozen times) they were just that...'ok', not great. Anything that increases the distance between the upper pulley and cog to get more clearance for larger cogs will be detrimental to shifting at the other end of the cassette. Of course the jumps between cogs are only 1-2 teeth on the high gear side, but they have been noisier every time I've seen them.
This for sure.

I can tell you for sure that you cannot do it on a Cervelo R5 with a short cage. I even talked with Wheels Manufacturing about making a custom hanger to accomplish it. At the time, 10 speed era, a 32 was much harder because even the mid cage Ultegra wasn't designed for it. A clear cut case of the cage length meaning nothing at all but chain slack take up. To clear a larger cassette, you need different parallelograms, a different mech geometry as in the 6800 series GS.

As for the wolf link, I've tried it myself and set up lots of them now and I agree that okay is what you're going to get. If it works perfect in the climbing gears, other gears will suffer some and so on. Maybe it's better with a MTB mech designed to run the large cassettes but with the road mechs it's not all that great. It'll work but not in an ideal fashion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As for the wolf link, I've tried it myself and set up lots of them now and I agree that okay is what you're going to get. If it works perfect in the climbing gears, other gears will suffer some and so on. Maybe it's better with a MTB mech designed to run the large cassettes but with the road mechs it's not all that great. It'll work but not in an ideal fashion.
Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any MTB derailleurs that will work with the new 11 speed shimano setups.
 

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You can't post stuff like this as there are substantial differences in derailleur hanger specs on different frames. There are plenty of bikes that you most definitely can't use a 32 w/ a short cage derailleur. Ask me how I know.

The Wolf link works ok a many bikes but every time I've worked on one (admittedly only about a half dozen times) they were just that...'ok', not great. Anything that increases the distance between the upper pulley and cog to get more clearance for larger cogs will be detrimental to shifting at the other end of the cassette. Of course the jumps between cogs are only 1-2 teeth on the high gear side, but they have been noisier every time I've seen them.
This is a really important point.

There are lots of things you can do to get 'better' gear ratios on your bikes. Some work better than others. None of them are going to have that same crisp shifting feel that a well tuned and adjusted stock 6800 setup has. Shimano has their specifications for a reason. They expect certain performance qualities from their gear. If you go outside of those boundries, you are going to have to loosen your expectations a bit.

As I said before, I'm currently running Ultegra 6800 shifters through a Wolftooth TanPan going to a Shimano M8000 Shadow clutched RD on a 11-42 rear cassette. This setup is serviceable, but it is not the same shift quality as you would get from a stock 6800 setup. The same goes for the RoadLink with the SRAM 11-36. It works. It's not as crisp and clean as the stock 11-28, or even 11-32. There is only so much you can do with the B-Screw in those situations.

Give it a try and see how it works for your application. In the case of the RoadLink w the SRAM 11-36, it's not a terribly expensive experiment.

Another option is to wait until FSA releases their new "Adventure' road cranks, which will be smaller than the current Shimano offerings... I think I read 48/32 and 46/28, but don't quote me on it. Again, I would imagine running these setups probably comes with some compromise in shift quality, particularly in the front. I'm not even sure how well the braze-on 6800 FD would reach these smaller rings. YMWDV.
 

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You can't post stuff like this as there are substantial differences in derailleur hanger specs on different frames. There are plenty of bikes that you most definitely can't use a 32 w/ a short cage derailleur. Ask me how I know.

The Wolf link works ok a many bikes but every time I've worked on one (admittedly only about a half dozen times) they were just that...'ok', not great. Anything that increases the distance between the upper pulley and cog to get more clearance for larger cogs will be detrimental to shifting at the other end of the cassette. Of course the jumps between cogs are only 1-2 teeth on the high gear side, but they have been noisier every time I've seen them.
hey I agree with this, mostly. You make very good point about the hangers. Works great on my wife's bike w short cage / 32T- it is a Ridley Helium FYI. I recommended it based on another bike expert suggesting 32T with short cage is almost alwasy just fine, and when I tried it, it worked perfect too.

and my shifting is indeed noisier now with the Roadlink. But being 6800, it is still amazingly excellent performance all around. vastly better than something like oem 10sp Rival setup, and at least as crisp-but-noisy as my Red 10, for comparison. So really, this is a non-issue and you are nit picking here.

Look forward to seeing how much the next gen of Shimano rear mech adapt to wide gear ranges, as they are going to the mtn bike style rear mech for the 9000. and it will trickle down
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Give it a try and see how it works for your application. In the case of the RoadLink w the SRAM 11-36, it's not a terribly expensive experiment.
Costs add up quickly. Road link + cassette + chain + derailleur probably costs about $200. Not super expensive but not cheap either. I guess to save costs I could just ride my current setup until the chain wears out.

Another option is to wait until FSA releases their new "Adventure' road cranks, which will be smaller than the current Shimano offerings... I think I read 48/32 and 46/28, but don't quote me on it. Again, I would imagine running these setups probably comes with some compromise in shift quality, particularly in the front. I'm not even sure how well the braze-on 6800 FD would reach these smaller rings. YMWDV.
Downside is I use this bike for CX racing where I only need an 11-28 back with my 46/36 up front. I was hoping the mid cage rear derailleur option would give me an 11-36 on the training wheels and 11-28 on the racing wheelset.
 
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