Too Tight?
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Thread: Too Tight?

  1. #1
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    Too Tight?

    Fitting an 11/36 cassette on my gravel bike and getting ready to put a new chain on it so trying to figure out how long to cut it, Ultegra 8050 GS rear and compact front, using gear control so it won't use the smallest cogs on the cassette when in the small ring. Using the Shimano guide for chain length they say wrap big / big without the RDR and add some links, but I don't think that is for the GS cage, but the SS Cage. Guess I could do that and add a couple links to make up for the difference?

    Less scientifically, with the current chain length here's what the RDR positions look like in 3 critical ring/cog combos. While it works and I can pull the RDR forward to create some slack in the big / big combo, it really looks tight, could add a couple links to this I guess, but don't want it to get too slack on the small / small combo on rough gravel. Here's current chain length,

    What do you think?

    Too Tight?-bigbig-copy.jpg

    Too Tight?-smallsmall-copy.jpg

    Too Tight?-smallbig.jpg
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  2. #2
    tlg
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    It looks borderline in big-big. In your small-small, you can definitely (and should) add links. You just need enough tension to keep the upper pulley from ridding on the lower length of chain. You're not even close.



    could add a couple links to this I guess, but don't want it to get too slack on the small / small combo on rough gravel
    Do you ever actually ride in small-small? There's no reason to. So if your chain is a little slack there, shift out of it. On one of my bikes, I actually rub the upper pulley a bit. Which I'd rather have than an over extended RD in the big-big. Never an issue.
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    Small/small (or even close) on 'rough gravel' is just stupid. Big ring in those situations. If it were me I'd go a link longer but what you have there would work it's just not ideal in the big/big, which you're more likely to use (or should be more likely to use) than small/small. The 'end adjust' screw, what used to be called 'b-tension', makes a huge difference on the new derailleurs, but you don't want to get the upper pulley too far away from the cogs.
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    Well, it's actually not exactly small small because gear control locks out the 2 smallest cogs, I'll add a link to it as a test with an old chain and see how it looks before I cut a new one, was thinking it looked a bit too stretched on the big big.

    I can back out the 'End Adjust' screw some to get it closer in the 36 cog, the gap looks a little large.
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  5. #5
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    Well, it's actually not exactly small small because gear control locks out the 2 smallest cogs
    Technically no, but realistically it's your small small as you can never go lower than that.
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    I agree with 'add one link' to this. I think that will be just about ideal.

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    I was taught that, in the big ring / small cog, that the deraileur cage should be vertical, pointing straight down to the ground. That always seemed to work for me and would allow me to remove a couple links if needed to fix a broken chain.

    Is that no longer good advice with new drive trains (I'm coming at this from a MTB perspective)?

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    Added a link, and it looked good so I went to cut the new chain to match and found I didn't need to cut it, perfect length out of the box from Shimano so good thing I didn't need to add more than 1 link. Just had to tighten the end adjustment screw a half turn to take up the slack in the small / small combo.

    For future reference, the final chain length with the 8050 GS cage is equivalent to Big/Big plus 4 links, and man are those new Shimano quick-links hard to set in place - really had to hammer on the pedal with the brake on compared to the KMC links.
    Last edited by Srode; 3 Weeks Ago at 02:14 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-t View Post
    I was taught that, in the big ring / small cog, that the deraileur cage should be vertical, pointing straight down to the ground. That always seemed to work for me and would allow me to remove a couple links if needed to fix a broken chain.

    Is that no longer good advice with new drive trains (I'm coming at this from a MTB perspective)?
    This set up is over the spec'd capacity of the groupset so had to improvize.

    Shimano's new road DR's are supposed to set up measuring Big/Big then adding 2 links when using 28 tooth cassettes and larger. For 27 tooth and smaller your method is what they call for. On mountain bikes with suspension they recommend the big / big plus 2 links approach.

    https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-CN0001-05-ENG.pdf
    Last edited by Srode; 3 Weeks Ago at 02:20 AM.
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  10. #10
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    man are those new Shimano quick-links hard to set in place - really had to hammer on the pedal with the brake on compared to the KMC links.
    Are you trying to do it in a bike stand?
    Put the bike on the floor.
    Quick link on the top run of chain.
    Step on the pedal.
    CLICK. Works every time.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Small/small (or even close) on 'rough gravel' is just stupid. Big ring in those situations. If it were me I'd go a link longer but what you have there would work it's just not ideal in the big/big, which you're more likely to use (or should be more likely to use) than small/small.
    I use small/small quite often. I never use big/big unless by mistake.

    In the grand scheme of things, unless your chain binds in big/big, it's not too short. The only time I can think of where this may not be a great idea is on a full-suspension frame. I know it may not be spec, but is there a good reason not to do it this way?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    Added a link, and it looked good so I went to cut the new chain to match and found I didn't need to cut it, perfect length out of the box from Shimano so good thing I didn't need to add more than 1 link. Just had to tighten the end adjustment screw a half turn to take up the slack in the small / small combo.

    For future reference, the final chain length with the 8050 GS cage is equivalent to Big/Big plus 4 links, and man are those new Shimano quick-links hard to set in place - really had to hammer on the pedal with the brake on compared to the KMC links.
    They are much tighter/harder to set. I put the bike on the ground and push on the pedal w/ my foot. More than once customers that have been in the store have asked "What broke?" when doing it.
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  13. #13
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    They are much tighter/harder to set. I put the bike on the ground and push on the pedal w/ my foot. More than once customers that have been in the store have asked "What broke?" when doing it.
    *with the quick link on the top run of chain.

    Otherwise you can push until you break the chain and it still won't set.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    *with the quick link on the top run of chain.

    Otherwise you can push until you break the chain and it still won't set.
    Definitely a good point to remember!
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    I like to hold the link plates together with my fingers to make sure they are fully engaged.

    I use this 90 degree master link tool to snap it into place while I'm pressing the plates together.

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F201643533697

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Are you trying to do it in a bike stand?
    Put the bike on the floor.
    Quick link on the top run of chain.
    Step on the pedal.
    CLICK. Works every time.
    yeah, I was doing it on a stand and smacking the crank arm with my hand holding the brake, didn't have pedals on the bike at the time. If it didn't set like that I would have put pedals on and stood on it like you suggested. It's pretty easy to get the KMC links to snap in place like I was doing it. On a positive note, it's not coming apart on a ride!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    yeah, I was doing it on a stand and smacking the crank arm with my hand holding the brake, didn't have pedals on the bike at the time. If it didn't set like that I would have put pedals on and stood on it like you suggested. It's pretty easy to get the KMC links to snap in place like I was doing it. On a positive note, it's not coming apart on a ride!
    Easier to just keep masterlink pliers around, unless out in the field on a ride. The KMC ones are even color coded so you grab the right one off the shelf.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I use small/small quite often. I never use big/big unless by mistake.

    In the grand scheme of things, unless your chain binds in big/big, it's not too short. The only time I can think of where this may not be a great idea is on a full-suspension frame. I know it may not be spec, but is there a good reason not to do it this way?
    Small/small makes zero sense. So little sense Shimano's default doesn't allow small and 11/12/13 on Di2. Big/big on the other hand does make sense and is not a problem to use for short periods of time. I wouldn't spend all day in it but it's designed to work.

    If you go over the top of a climb in the small ring and accelerate more than 4-5 cogs you should be in the big ring so you won't run out of gears in the small ring.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Small/small makes zero sense.
    What can I say? Habits don't always make sense. If I'm on a flat section, I'll generally run to the smallest cog. If I want to go faster, I'll then shift to the big ring.

    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    If you go over the top of a climb in the small ring and accelerate more than 4-5 cogs you should be in the big ring so you won't run out of gears in the small ring.
    In this case where I'm climbing and going downhill on the other side, yes, I will go to the big ring. Once I start needing cogs more than 4 or 5 larger, I will go back down to the small ring. Drivetrain gets noisier the closer I get to big/big.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Small/small makes zero sense. So little sense Shimano's default doesn't allow small and 11/12/13 on Di2. Big/big on the other hand does make sense and is not a problem to use for short periods of time. I wouldn't spend all day in it but it's designed to work.

    If you go over the top of a climb in the small ring and accelerate more than 4-5 cogs you should be in the big ring so you won't run out of gears in the small ring.
    Shimano's conservative nannyism is..well conservative and nannyist.

    I don't think E-Tube even recognizes the 46/36 CX cranks Shimano (and others) have been selling for years in combination with their own Di2 FDs. Does that mean running 46/36 CX gearing makes you a terrible human being? IIRC, the GPC lockouts vary depending on the gearing--been a long while since I messed with it--IIRC even the big/big crosschain is locked out if GPC is enabled.
    Last edited by Marc; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Easier to just keep masterlink pliers around, unless out in the field on a ride. The KMC ones are even color coded so you grab the right one off the shelf.
    Yeah, I might end up getting a set to put links in - I have one to take them apart, never thought I would need one to install till these showed up on the scene.
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    Masterlink pliers, tire lever, storage for two sets of links and a valve stem tool, all in one handy package.

    I keep this in my saddle bag along with Topeak Ratchet Rocket DX plus (includes a chain breaker), a tire boot and spare tube.


    https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/...ts/pack-pliers

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    Masterlink pliers, tire lever, storage for two sets of links and a valve stem tool, all in one handy package.

    I keep this in my saddle bag along with Topeak Ratchet Rocket DX plus (includes a chain breaker), a tire boot and spare tube.


    https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/...ts/pack-pliers
    That's cool.
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