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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to post details of my successful roadbike gear-down in case it's of use to others.
Overview: My main roadbike had an 11-28 cassette on an Ultegra 10-spd Triple. My aim was to switch to an 11-36 cassette for higher cadence climbing. Here's what worked.

My Pre-Existing setup:

Ultegra STI 6703 Triple Brake/Shifter Levers
Ultegra FC-6703 Triple Crankset 52-39-30
Ultegra RD-6703 Triple RearDerailleur
Ultegra FD-6703 Triple FrontDerailleur
Ultegra 10 speed cassette 11-28


Required Purchases:
Shimano 9-speed Deore Shadow RD-M591 rear derailleur (cost ~$50)
Shimano 10-speed Deore XT Dyna-Sys Cassette, 11-36 (cost ~$45)
KMC X10-93 10-spd chain (cost ~$25)
-- or alternatively, use the Ultegra 6701 10-spd chain

Steps:

1) replace Ultegra 11-28 cassette with the Deore 11-36 cassette
2) remove Ultegra RD-6703 RearDerailleur
3) install Deore RD-M591 -- see Notes
4) install new rear shifter cable -- see Notes
5) install new chain and then adjust rear & front derailleur shifting

Notes:
- IMPORTANT: Make sure to order the RD-M591 model Deore 9-speed RD. It turns out that Shimano makes an almost identical model (the Deore RD-M592 9-spd RD), which differs in the location and angle of how the rear shift cable attaches to the derailleur. The RD-M592 will *NOT* allow the extent of cable movement required to smoothly traverse the 11-36 cassette when using the Deore 9-spd RD and your existing Ultegra 10-speed Triple STI shifters.

- One mechanic told me I didn't need to change my existing RD, and instead just to install the Wolf Tooth RoadLink derailleur hanger extender. That's wrong. Wolf Tooth says on their site that their hanger mod is incompatible with an Ultegra Triple setup.

- Rear shift cable: a longer run of rear shifting cable will be required to accommodate RD travel over the 11-36 cassette. So you’ll want to replace the rear shift cable and you’ll also need to install a slightly longer loop of cable housing + a cable tension-adjuster barrel at the back where the cable enters the RD.

- Final disclaimer:
For $90 in labor I had an experienced bike mechanic do this installation for me. In watching the installation processs there’s no doubt in my mind that this was a wise decision. The reason is that determining the proper rear shift cable length, new chain length, and then adjusting the front and rear derailleurs for smooth travel across your 11-36 cassette + triple front rings could make for an ego-bruising experience if you’re new to this sort of conversion and want to do it all yourself.

- Happy trails
 

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I want to post details of my successful roadbike gear-down in case it's of use to others.
Overview: My main roadbike had an 11-28 cassette on an Ultegra 10-spd Triple. My aim was to switch to an 11-36 cassette for higher cadence climbing. Here's what worked.

My Pre-Existing setup:

Ultegra STI 6703 Triple Brake/Shifter Levers
Ultegra FC-6703 Triple Crankset 52-39-30
Ultegra RD-6703 Triple RearDerailleur
Ultegra FD-6703 Triple FrontDerailleur
Ultegra 10 speed cassette 11-28


Required Purchases:
Shimano 9-speed Deore Shadow RD-M591 rear derailleur (cost ~$50)
Shimano 10-speed Deore XT Dyna-Sys Cassette, 11-36 (cost ~$45)
KMC X10-93 10-spd chain (cost ~$25)
-- or alternatively, use the Ultegra 6701 10-spd chain

Steps:

1) replace Ultegra 11-28 cassette with the Deore 11-36 cassette
2) remove Ultegra RD-6703 RearDerailleur
3) install Deore RD-M591 -- see Notes
4) install new rear shifter cable -- see Notes
5) install new chain and then adjust rear & front derailleur shifting

Notes:
- IMPORTANT: Make sure to order the RD-M591 model Deore 9-speed RD. It turns out that Shimano makes an almost identical model (the Deore RD-M592 9-spd RD), which differs in the location and angle of how the rear shift cable attaches to the derailleur. The RD-M592 will *NOT* allow the extent of cable movement required to smoothly traverse the 11-36 cassette when using the Deore 9-spd RD and your existing Ultegra 10-speed Triple STI shifters.

- One mechanic told me I didn't need to change my existing RD, and instead just to install the Wolf Tooth RoadLink derailleur hanger extender. That's wrong. Wolf Tooth says on their site that their hanger mod is incompatible with an Ultegra Triple setup.

- Rear shift cable: a longer run of rear shifting cable will be required to accommodate RD travel over the 11-36 cassette. So you’ll want to replace the rear shift cable and you’ll also need to install a slightly longer loop of cable housing + a cable tension-adjuster barrel at the back where the cable enters the RD.

- Final disclaimer:
For $90 in labor I had an experienced bike mechanic do this installation for me. In watching the installation processs there’s no doubt in my mind that this was a wise decision. The reason is that determining the proper rear shift cable length, new chain length, and then adjusting the front and rear derailleurs for smooth travel across your 11-36 cassette + triple front rings could make for an ego-bruising experience if you’re new to this sort of conversion and want to do it all yourself.

- Happy trails
A nice post, with lots of useful information, however, only 1 comment...you point out quite strenuously not to use the RD-M592 due to the extreme angle the rear cable enters into the derailleur. That may well be the case on the particular bike you are converting, but for the benefit of others reading this post, the choice of derailleur, whether it be the 592 or 591 will depend on where the rear cable leaves the chainstay, which can be different from bike to bike. I had a road Trek in the other day with the remit to fit a 12-36 cassette with a triple up front for a 65+ lady who, fair play, doesn't want to give up on cycling because of the hills. I ended up fitting the M592, as the M591 entry point for the rear cable was not in the best place. I was lucky in that I had the 2 different models on the shelf, to see which was best suited, so had them side by side to decide which was best and as I say, the 592 was the best one to fit in this particular case. I have attached a picture of the set up in both Hi and Lo gear positions. The set up works ultra smooth and have one happy customer.
Hope this may be of some further benefit to those looking to add even more gears to their ride.

Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel rim Mode of transport Spoke Bicycle part Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel rim Mode of transport Bicycle part Spoke
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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- One mechanic told me I didn't need to change my existing RD, and instead just to install the Wolf Tooth RoadLink derailleur hanger extender. That's wrong. Wolf Tooth says on their site that their hanger mod is incompatible with an Ultegra Triple setup.
The mechanic that said this is just another guy that thinks the only concern when adding a larger big cog is getting clearance for the upper pulley to clear the big cog. They forget or don't know in the first place that the pulley cage has to be long enough to wrap the extra chain needed to allow big/big w/o ripping the derailleur off the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
hi Cervelo - Interesting that the M592 can work, despite what I'd said in boldcase above. For me as well, the mechanic had both the M591 & M592 RDs side-by-side. He stressed that the M592 on my rig (Giant Defy Advanced composite frame) would be too restricted in its movement as compared to the M591. I took his word for it and figured it was gospel. But apparently it ain't so -- so thanks for adding this. But I suppose we've also set up a question for the next person: "So which of these 2 RD models should I use??"...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I should say the mechanic who told me this was a young dude with spiffy shirt logo + well equipped van from a well-known Bay Area mobile bike service. Which means there's something to be said for experience/age in choosing a bike mechanic.
 

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Your mechanic was right to use the 591 in your particular case as I know that the Defy cable exits the frame right at the end of the chain stay and therefore the angle would definitely be too extreme for the 592 to fit comfortably. So you were right to take his word for it in your particular case. As I mentioned in my last post, whether to fit the 592 or 591 will depend on the position that the rear cable leaves the chainstay, which can be different from bike to bike so this is always to bear in mind when deciding which one to fit. Generally speaking I would say that the rule is a 591 for internal cables exiting from the end of the chainstay and a 592 for external cables where the cable stop housing is further back along the chainstay as per my earlier pic, although it would always be possible to use the 591 even with external cables as long as you don't mind an additional 12" of cable looping around to the derailleur cable entry.
 
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