11-34 cassette on Shimano med-cage derailleur
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  1. #1
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    11-34 cassette on Shimano med-cage derailleur

    Apparently my original post on this asking if an 11-34 cassette would work on a Shimano derailleur rated "32 teeth max" has scrolled off the forum, but the consensus opinion was "don't worry about it", and indeed there were no issues with installation or operation and I didn't even need to tweak the B-screw.

    However, I did learn something from making assumptions and not doing my due diligence before installing it. Mainly, there were some oddities that I noted afterwards:

    1) I had to make a considerable adjustment to the barrel adjuster to tighten the cable for correct shifting behavior. That's odd...

    2) Did the inner ring on the previous cassette really sit that close to the spokes?

    3) The next day, when packing away the old cassette, I found that I had what appeared to be a 1.85mm spacer that I swear I had never seen before, but an 11-speed cassette on a 11-speed hub shouldn't require a spacer, right?

    Well, finally looking up the Shimano installation instructions for this CS-HG700-11 cassette clearly showed that it is specifically compatible with the latest MTB hubs and does require a spacer when installed on a 11-speed road hub!

    Since I don't work in a shop and know nothing about MTBs, this was all news to me, but it was quick work to R&R the cassette with spacer this time and all is back to normal. Interestingly, it apparently would have worked without the spacer, but obviously not ideally.

  2. #2
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Double tap...
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  3. #3
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Since you've figured out the spacer question I won't comment on that. It's good that your bike seems to work w/ the 34 cassette but it's clear that you don't realize there are 2 things the derailleur needs to do. When Shimano publish specs on a derailleur they state the largest cog size that derailleur will work with AND how much chain it wraps. In your case you seems to be ok with the derailleur clearing the 34. Are you able to go big/big safely?
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  4. #4
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    Did you replace housings at the same time? If so, perhaps something wasn't sufficiently seated causing the need for the 'considerable adjustment' that followed install.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by craiger_ny View Post
    Did you replace housings at the same time? If so, perhaps something wasn't sufficiently seated causing the need for the 'considerable adjustment' that followed install.
    he removed a spacer which made a big change in the DR position to sit inline with the cogs.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Since you've figured out the spacer question I won't comment on that. It's good that your bike seems to work w/ the 34 cassette but it's clear that you don't realize there are 2 things the derailleur needs to do. When Shimano publish specs on a derailleur they state the largest cog size that derailleur will work with AND how much chain it wraps. In your case you seems to be ok with the derailleur clearing the 34. Are you able to go big/big safely?
    Well, first off I only exceeded the spec by 2 teeth, which is probably within the "safety factor" for the spec, and secondly, I stay aware of my gearing when riding and try never to be in the big-big or small-small combinations. By the time I'm shifting over to the opposite "side" of the cassette, I shift the front for a better use of available ratios and a better chainline.

  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rochrunner View Post
    Well, first off I only exceeded the spec by 2 teeth, which is probably within the "safety factor" for the spec, and secondly, I stay aware of my gearing when riding and try never to be in the big-big or small-small combinations. By the time I'm shifting over to the opposite "side" of the cassette, I shift the front for a better use of available ratios and a better chainline.
    So you don't actually know if you can go big/big safely? I'm only asking because I've seem numerous broken frames resulting from this exact same situation. Guys that swear their short cage derailleur works fine w/ a 30 or 32 cassette or their medium cage is great w/ a 36. They 'never' shift to the big cog when in the big ring...never. But oooops...they did and it caused some major problems. It's not that hard nor expensive to do it the correct way.
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  8. #8
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    On my gravel bike I am running an Ultegra med. rear, with an 11/40 cassette, 48t big ring, and it works in all combos (except 32/11) just fine.

  9. #9
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    On my gravel bike I am running an Ultegra med. rear, with an 11/40 cassette, 48t big ring, and it works in all combos (except 32/11) just fine.
    You have a double in front? That would explain the problem w/ small/small. Your chain is too long because of the 40 tooth cog.

    Maybe.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    So you don't actually know if you can go big/big safely?
    This should be Priority 1. All you need is to forget one time and you can cause considerable damage at best. It's a lot easier and less costly to check this while the bike is in the stand.

    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    You have a double in front? That would explain the problem w/ small/small. Your chain is too long because of the 40 tooth cog.

    Maybe.
    I'm guessing in this case, small/small will be noisy and clunky, but not catastrophic. It's easy enough to avoid and if you accidentally go there, so what?

    And doesn't Shimano now make an 11-34T road cassette?

    https://www.westernbikeworks.com/pro...11-34-cassette
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    And doesn't Shimano now make an 11-34T road cassette?
    Yes they do, I got one!
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    You have a double in front? That would explain the problem w/ small/small. Your chain is too long because of the 40 tooth cog.

    Maybe.
    well yeah, but it's not in any way a problem. I just don't ever run that gear, (32/11) I prefer to have the option of the 48/40 in an emergency.

  13. #13
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    11-34 with a compact crank and a GS Ultegra rear DR works fine with the right chain length, I didn't have any issues with it when I ran it. Having the right length chain of course is key or you can end up with a mess going big bit or small small
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    So you don't actually know if you can go big/big safely? I'm only asking because I've seem numerous broken frames resulting from this exact same situation. Guys that swear their short cage derailleur works fine w/ a 30 or 32 cassette or their medium cage is great w/ a 36. They 'never' shift to the big cog when in the big ring...never. But oooops...they did and it caused some major problems. It's not that hard nor expensive to do it the correct way.
    I guess by being brief I haven't been clear, but the shifting works absolutely fine across the cassette, including in the big-big or small-small combinations. It checks out on the stand and on the trainer.

    Just because I made a rookie mistake doesn't make me a total rookie.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    he removed a spacer which made a big change in the DR position to sit inline with the cogs.
    Thanks. Bad on my part, I misread it as having to correct for the cable exhibiting slack.
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