Best option for lower gearing (Shimano road 10 speed)?

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MattyK
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Best option for lower gearing (Shimano road 10 speed)?

Postby MattyK » Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:53 pm

Hi! (Quack!)

My wife is doing a ride event in Tassie next year, will be hitting quite a few hills. She's training but not a super strong rider. So some lower gears might be nice.

Bike has Ultegra 6700 with a short cage rear d, 50/34 x 12-28

Second to a cup of concrete, what's the best (read cheapest) option for getting some extra low gears? (without compromising top end)

I think 30T is as big a cassette as possible without changing anything else (new chain assumed).
Could a 32 or 34T cassette work with a hanger extension link? Or is the short cage derailleur (capacity) the limitation?

The only 10-speed medium cage derailleurs I can see still available are 105 5700. That would open up more options at the expense of the additional... expense.

Thanks! (Quack quack!)

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Duck!
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Re: Best option for lower gearing (Shimano road 10 speed)?

Postby Duck! » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:25 pm

Depends on the exact age of the bike. 6700 got a late-model update for 2013-model year (released mid-2012) which tweaked the derailleur geometry to fit up to 32T; the pre-update version will not happily take larger than 28 even in longer form. If it's a late version it WILL fit the 32, even in short form, but be more careful than usual to avoid the big ring/big sprocket combination; it will do it, but puts a lot of stress on the derailleur. Goat Link-type hanger extenders help with gaining sprocket clearance, but total gear range is still limited by the slack-absorbing capacity of the derailleur cage, and you won't really gain much extra overall range because of that limitation with the short cage.

The second issue of hanger extenders is that they bugger up the shifting in the smaller sprockets. The derailleur slants up/down at a certain angle through its travel to match the gradient of the cassettes it's supposed to work with. Oversized cassettes change the gradient relative to the derailleur path too much, so lowering it to clear the big sprocket means the top derailleur pulley moves further away from the sprockets as you shift to the smaller ones, so the chain tends to flex rather than shift across the gears.

The absolute best, but definitely not cheap way to gain proper low gears without losing the top end is to convert to a triple-ring crank, but that requires both derailleurs (longer rear is essential for the necessary chain length for the triple, and the front needs a deeper cage for the third ring), crank and left shifter.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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MattyK
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Re: Best option for lower gearing (Shimano road 10 speed)?

Postby MattyK » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:26 am

Duck! wrote:the pre-update version will not happily take larger than 28 even in longer form. If it's a late version it WILL fit the 32,

Thanks for the reply.
Is there any easy way to identify the difference? Bike was bought in 2014 (Merida Scultura 905)

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Re: Best option for lower gearing (Shimano road 10 speed)?

Postby march83 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:49 am

Not sure on pricing, but a tanpan from wolftooth, a cheap Shimano MTB rear derr (SLX?), a MTB cassette like a Shimano 11-36 or sunrace 11-42 or 11-46 and a new chain would provide a massive range.


I ride something similar on my daily commuter. It's 1x with an 11-42 rear. In your case 11-36 would probably be the option to keep total chain length sensible. Wolftooth has some decent articles on their website about 2x combinations that work with their tanpans and you definitely want to go through them to pick a combo that actually works.
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Re: Best option for lower gearing (Shimano road 10 speed)?

Postby redsonic » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:05 pm

MattyK wrote:
Duck! wrote:the pre-update version will not happily take larger than 28 even in longer form. If it's a late version it WILL fit the 32,

Thanks for the reply.
Is there any easy way to identify the difference? Bike was bought in 2014 (Merida Scultura 905)


I think the model number on the back will be RD6700 A. The older type didn't have the A on it.

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Re: Best option for lower gearing (Shimano road 10 speed)?

Postby Ivanerrol » Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:30 pm

I have a rear wheel with an 11 - 32 Cassette (The cassette alone weighs 500 grams).
On one bike I'm running a 50/34 with 4700 mid cage with no issues with the 11 - 32 installed - except using 34/32 is very slow.

4700 wont work with 6700 shifters.

Another bike I use the same wheel and rear cassette. Runs 52/39 front with 5700 mid cage.
Needed to lengthen the chain by 2 links to run this combo.

Big jump between gears though.
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Re: Best option for lower gearing (Shimano road 10 speed)?

Postby Duck! » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:15 pm

redsonic wrote:
MattyK wrote:
Duck! wrote:the pre-update version will not happily take larger than 28 even in longer form. If it's a late version it WILL fit the 32,

Thanks for the reply.
Is there any easy way to identify the difference? Bike was bought in 2014 (Merida Scultura 905)


I think the model number on the back will be RD6700 A. The older type didn't have the A on it.

Although known as both 6700A and 6701, I don't think the ID stamping was changed to suit, just to be difficult. Some examples had 30T stamped on the top of the outer cage plate, but that doesn't appear to have been consistent, so its absence isn't necessarily a positive indicator of an early model. If the bike was purchased new it will be the later model; given the change was made mid-2012 for MY13, anything built after then will have the updated version.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Best option for lower gearing (Shimano road 10 speed)?

Postby Duck! » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:22 pm

Ivanerrol wrote:I have a rear wheel with an 11 - 32 Cassette (The cassette alone weighs 500 grams).
On one bike I'm running a 50/34 with 4700 mid cage with no issues with the 11 - 32 installed - except using 34/32 is very slow.

4700 wont work with 6700 shifters.

4700 is designed to take a 34T sprocket. Even the shortie will do it. The longer option is beacuse the Tiagra series still includes a triple-ring option. But as you correctly say, it won't work with other 10-sp. shifters.

march83 wrote:Not sure on pricing, but a tanpan from wolftooth, a cheap Shimano MTB rear derr (SLX?), a MTB cassette like a Shimano 11-36 or sunrace 11-42 or 11-46 and a new chain would provide a massive range.

Or use a "9-sp." Shadow-type MTB derailleur which works on the same cable pull ratio as road 10-sp, so no mucking around with ratio converters, and they'll play with up to 40T sprockets (although officially only 36T).
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Best option for lower gearing (Shimano road 10 speed)?

Postby caneye » Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:25 pm

I had a 6700 short derailleur. not sure if it's the revised "A" one, but it was short. Ran it with 50/34 and 12-27 cassette.
I then added a wolf tooth roadlink and used it with a 32T cassette with no dramas at all.

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Re: Best option for lower gearing (Shimano road 10 speed)?

Postby Bentnose » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:20 am

I had a 9 speed xt with 11-36 10 speed slx cassette coupled with 5700 brothers, all worked fine. I've since gone to a triple on the front 26-36-48, still the same on the rear, all works though that front crank and rings seems to be a bit harder to get these days
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MattyK
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Re: Best option for lower gearing (Shimano road 10 speed)?

Postby MattyK » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:55 pm

Duck! wrote:Although known as both 6700A and 6701, I don't think the ID stamping was changed to suit, just to be difficult. Some examples had 30T stamped on the top of the outer cage plate, but that doesn't appear to have been consistent, so its absence isn't necessarily a positive indicator of an early model. If the bike was purchased new it will be the later model; given the change was made mid-2012 for MY13, anything built after then will have the updated version.

Good news, 30T identified :)
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Re: Best option for lower gearing (Shimano road 10 speed)?

Postby antigee » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:16 pm

Bentnose wrote:I had a 9 speed xt with 11-36 10 speed slx cassette coupled with 5700 brothers, all worked fine. I've since gone to a triple on the front 26-36-48, still the same on the rear, all works though that front crank and rings seems to be a bit harder to get these days


same on my most often ridden 10speed 105 STI's triple mtb touring 26-36-48 with a 36 outback and a 9speed XT rear mech
agree had to scrape around to find triple STI's and the triple groupset after pilot error bent a crank and took out an STI :(

to sort of future proof have newer bike use for gravel touring and that has 10speed 105 STI's with an XT double chainset 40/24 and 36 outback with a 9speed mtb mech and shifts very cleanly

so to answer OP reckon good way of getting what want would be a 9speed MTB mech with an 11-36 cassette and the rest as is and no link adaptor - google tells me Deore available $65-$85 I'd avoid rapid rise / top normal versions - not sure how work with STI's and would prob' feel a bit odd - don't forget not stuck on shimano road cassettes - reckon I usually end up buying SRAM MTB cassettes based on combo of weight and price 34-36 versus 34-28 is a big difference if not enough then consider a 40t or 42 out back with adaptor

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MattyK
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Re: Best option for lower gearing (Shimano road 10 speed)?

Postby MattyK » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:12 pm

Thanks. I'm going to stick to a Sunrace 11-32, should be sufficient.

If I ever decide to convert my bike to 1x10 I'll remember the above tips.

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Re: Best option for lower gearing (Shimano road 10 speed)?

Postby Duck! » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:14 pm

antigee wrote: (snip... 9-sp. compatibility stuff....) I'd avoid rapid rise / top normal versions - not sure how work with STI's and would prob' feel a bit odd ...

Rapid Rise is/was Low Normal, not Top/High Normal; conventional and Shadow derailleurs are High Normal - "Normal" in Shimano parlance refers to the resting position of the derailleur when there is no cable tension. The vast majority of rear derailleurs spring to the outboard/high gear/small sprocket position when released from cable tension, so are "high normal". Rapid Rise, which is a bit of a thing Shimano had for a couple of generations of MTB derailleurs are reverse-sprung so when freed of cable tension default to the inboard/big sprocket/low gear position, hence they are described as "low normal". Rapid Rise with STI shifters won't feel any more odd than with MTB/flat bar shifters; in both cases the lever functions for up or downshift are swapped, so you just have to remember that when you're riding with it. Aside from that, the actuation ratio is the same, so it'd still work just as well, just arse-about.

Rapid Rise (Low Normal) and conventional High Normal derailleurs will not happily support greater than a 34T rear sprocket; the upper body geometry plus the sprung/unstopped main pivot/mount simply don't let the derailleur stay low enough. To fit 36T or bigger you need a Shadow (which without exception are regular High Normal format) derailleur. Shadow's original marketing point was that it's a considerably lower lateral profile than a traditional derailleur design, tucked in tighter under the frame & cassette, so less exposed to damage, but it's big advantage - especially in the context of the current scenario - is that the upper pivot is unsprung (except for some newer, lower-spec models {where the spring is entirely unnecessary anyway!]), therefore the b-tension screw, used to adjust vertical clearance, is a positive stopper against forward movement of the derailleur body, therefore ensuring consistent clearance under the big sprocket - within geometric limitations. 9-sp. Shadow models will happily fit up to a 40T sprocket, despite the official specs saying a 36T max....
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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