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Shimano GRX discussion

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Shimano GRX discussion

Old 05-10-19, 11:24 PM
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azza_333
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Shimano GRX discussion

I am surprised that no one has mentioned the new Shimano GRX groupsets for touring on this forum yet.

https://bikerumor.com/2019/05/07/shi...speed-options/

Personally I think its the perfect group set for developed world touring, so much so that I will be swapping out my Kona Sutra's T8000 groupset for a new GRX group set either 2x11 or 2x10.

One of the coolest things about it is the new hydraulic sub-levers. I currently have TRP Spyre cable disc brakes on my bike, with a set of sub-levers, however cable sub-levers do make the brakes a lot more mushy. So the hydraulic STIs, with hydraulic sub-levers, and finishing on the 4-piston BR-M8020 calipers. Giving me a killer braking setup.

Does anyone else have any plans to utilize new GRX components?
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Old 05-11-19, 12:14 PM
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hey, its the Sutra busted frame then super light Di2 guy. Havent seen your young aussi name around here for a while.

I dunno, a 46/30 to me is still kinda tall for when you are carrying junk, but I guess for carrying a minimum amount of junk it can work, but I still think for "touring" with a big "T", that can also mean carrying more junk than the young, fit guys and gals in the ads for GRX stuff and bikepacking in general, the gearing is still kinda tall.
From memory, we are still looking at maybe 19 g.i. up to 115 or more, and I guess its ok for a lot of stuff, but it just seems to me that a lot of cross chaining is going to going on in real life on regular folks schlepping moderate amounts of junk.

I dunno Mk 2, but a traditional touring triple still seems to me to be the best of all worlds for touring, for cost involved, for drivetrain life.

but I readily admit I'm an old, weak, skinny legged git that finds triples to work the best for these legs, and even younger, I found triples do work best, and never bought into the whole story of triples not shifting properly and or hard to set up, just not my personal experience at all.

I can't be the only one to find that a 30 is going to run out of steam pretty quickly, but also that pushing a 46tooth ring with junk on the bike is just going to be too tall most of the time......

I'm not against new stuff, I actually thnk its pretty cool they did the hydro interrupter lever thing--I really like interrupter levers, especially for over rough terrain.

*remember though, I find a 44/32/22 to be great for my touring, and I have interrupters that work fine on my mechanical disc dropbar setup.

I know you did say "touring in developed areas" , and sure, just as using brifters and hydro stuff in the majority of "normal" touring places are not at all a problem, so yes, the smaller cranksets are nice compared to 50/34, and will work great for all kinds of situations.
I guess its because Im still very much in the "probably four panniers" situation, so not a really light setup, so for me its not worth the mullah spent on a double setup, but I can certainly see how unloaded, or with a much lighter load situation, there is no reason these won't work.---but a triple like a 48/36/26 that can be changed to a 24 or whatever, is still going to be versatile for all kinds of load, and will cost many many many hundreds of dollars less.

but its all cool, and nice to see a new, lowered geared groupset idea that surely will work great for lots of applications.
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Old 05-11-19, 12:33 PM
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GRX is a nice option for maybe an ultralight setup, but I'd still want lower gearing. My new bike will be using Shimano XT 2x11 with 38/28T chainrings and an 11-42T cassette combined with XT hydro brakes. Perfect gearing range IMO, inexpensive, and reliable.

I've never understood the appeal of cross top brake levers on any bike. You reduce your leverage over the front end at the same time as more of your weight is shifting forward. If you want better control of your bike when braking, use the drops!
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Old 05-11-19, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by niknak View Post
GRX is a nice option for maybe an ultralight setup, but I'd still want lower gearing. My new bike will be using Shimano XT 2x11 with 38/28T chainrings and an 11-42T cassette combined with XT hydro brakes. Perfect gearing range IMO, inexpensive, and reliable.

I've never understood the appeal of cross top brake levers on any bike. You reduce your leverage over the front end at the same time as more of your weight is shifting forward. If you want better control of your bike when braking, use the drops!
I have to say, once I started using them, I found them to be handy. There are lots of times when riding on the tops that its nice to be able to brake, even slightly, like when following someone closely, or when on the tops due to really bumpy terrain.

my two bikes with them have no mushiness or whatever problems, one with cantis, and one with mech discs, BB7s, and while certainly not essential, I like having them, you kinda get used to having them.

on my disc bike, I bought a pair of tektro interrupters I think, maybe 25, 30 bucks, and set them up myself, worked fine from the get go, and not hard to install either. The tektro levers didnt even have the right cable pull "officially", but work perfectly fine, and dont even come close to the bars for good braking.
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Old 05-11-19, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by niknak View Post
I've never understood the appeal of cross top brake levers on any bike. You reduce your leverage over the front end at the same time as more of your weight is shifting forward. If you want better control of your bike when braking, use the drops!
Its not about better control, I think most people are like me a spend most of there time on the tops while touring, which means our hands are away from our brakes (unless you have cross top levers) and in a emergency braking situation not having to move your hands before braking saves you a second or 2.

Safety is my main reason, but I will admit I have found them quite convenient aswell.
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Old 05-11-19, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by azza_333 View Post
Its not about better control, I think most people are like me a spend most of there time on the tops while touring, which means our hands are away from our brakes (unless you have cross top levers) and in a emergency braking situation not having to move your hands before braking saves you a second or 2.

Safety is my main reason, but I will admit I have found them quite convenient aswell.
I'm glad you and DJB like your cross top brakes. To me they seem frivolous. I don't tour with drop bars or on a gravel bike anyway, so what do I know
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Old 05-11-19, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by niknak View Post
I've never understood the appeal of cross top brake levers on any bike. You reduce your leverage over the front end at the same time as more of your weight is shifting forward. If you want better control of your bike when braking, use the drops!
I like interrupter levers for high traffic areas when I want to keep my head high and a finger on the brakes.
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Old 05-11-19, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
hey, its the Sutra busted frame then super light Di2 guy. Havent seen your young aussi name around here for a while.
Yeah, I come and go from this forum, usually only being active when I've got a tour coming up. I'm going to Japan again, top to bottom, but following a different route, I'm going to check out the far side this time).

Originally Posted by djb View Post
I dunno, a 46/30 to me is still kinda tall for when you are carrying junk
Really, I was actually thinking the top end was a bit low, I would of preferred they make the 48/31 for 10 speed, so you could still run the 11-36 cassette.

Originally Posted by djb View Post
I can't be the only one to find that a 30 is going to run out of steam pretty quickly, but also that pushing a 46tooth ring with junk on the bike is just going to be too tall most of the time......

I found triples do work best, and never bought into the whole story of triples not shifting properly and or hard to set up, just not my personal experience at all.

I guess its because Im still very much in the "probably four panniers" situation, so not a really light setup, so for me its not worth the mullah spent on a double setup, but I can certainly see how unloaded, or with a much lighter load situation, there is no reason these won't work.---but a triple like a 48/36/26 that can be changed to a 24 or whatever, is still going to be versatile for all kinds of load, and will cost many many many hundreds of dollars less.
Personally I have never traveled with 4 panniers, I have only travelled with 2. Currently on my Kona I have a 48/36/26 crank and 11-36 cassette, and I found that during my last tour (top to bottom of Japan), which was also my most heavily loaded I have ever toured (about 10kg in panniers) I didn't need my smallest gears. Not to inflate my own ego, but I do know I am stronger than most bicycle tourers. So for very heavy loads or older tourers I agree that the GRX gear ratios probably wont cut it. For me they are perfect though.

I have never heard of anyone complaining about triples being difficult to setup/index, I definitely agree with you, I have never had a single problem with a triple (if you don't count wearing out a bar end shifter). I don't have a single bad thing to say about them, and I have gone through 3 different triple groupsets.

Actually I wasn't going to bore everyone with the details of why I am swapping out my Shimano T8000 group set for the GRX with narrower range, if I didn't have issues with the bar ends I would definitely keep my current setup.

So on my Kona I had Shimano XT T8000 front and rear mech, matched to Microshift 10-speed MTB bar end shifters (Friction for the front, and indexed for the rear). To begin with everything was perfect, but during my last tour the rear indexing was getting very sloppy, I tried fixing it, a couple of bike shops tried fixing it, even once I got back home to Australia I tried again to get it fixed, long story short, it turns out that I had literally worn out the rear bar end shifter, I didn't even know that was possible. So instead of replacing the bar ends, I threw the bike on my turbo trainer as my dedicated turbo trainer bike, swapped out the drops for a flat bar, and installed the official Shimano T8000 trigger shifters.

Now I am in the planning stages of my next tour, so I will need my drop bar on the Kona for the tour. I really don't want to buy another set of bar ends, and risk having the same thing happen again, so I have decided GRX has the gear range I need, it natively supports drop bars, and I would be a massive brake upgrade. So I would give it a go.

I might even try some experimenting to see if I can swap out the big ring for a 48t and still have decent shifting.
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Old 05-11-19, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
a 46/30 to me is still kinda tall for when you are carrying junk
Originally Posted by niknak View Post
I'd still want lower gearing.

I'm running 46/30 rings up front with an 8050 GS rear derailleur and 11/42 XT mountain bike cassette. A 1.85 mm spacer was used behind the cassette to make up for the wider road freehub. An entire 116 link chain was used. Low gear is 19.5 inches. It shifts like a champ. This is becoming a reasonably common setup for gravel riding and I bikepack with this setup.

The only difference between the 8000 series rear derailleur and the GRX are cosmetic. There is zero doubt in my mind that GRX 2x systems will also work with a much larger cassette than the officially supported 11/34.

The GRX 2x inner chainring is 80 BCD and so a 26 tooth little ring is possible. The outer ring is still 110 BCD and I don't know if 42 tooth rings are available to make a 2x 42/26 setup.

I'll probably jump on the new brake levers when they become available but I'm expecting a long wait.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 05-11-19 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 05-11-19, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by niknak View Post
I'm glad you and DJB like your cross top brakes. To me they seem frivolous. I don't tour with drop bars or on a gravel bike anyway, so what do I know
hey, no worries, all bikes and all bar types are neat, especially if they work for you, thats all that matters.
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Old 05-11-19, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by azza_333 View Post
Yeah, I come and go from this forum, usually only being active when I've got a tour coming up. I'm going to Japan again, top to bottom, but following a different route, I'm going to check out the far side this time).

Really, I was actually thinking the top end was a bit low, I would of preferred they make the 48/31 for 10 speed, so you could still run the 11-36 cassette.



Personally I have never traveled with 4 panniers, I have only travelled with 2. Currently on my Kona I have a 48/36/26 crank and 11-36 cassette, and I found that during my last tour (top to bottom of Japan), which was also my most heavily loaded I have ever toured (about 10kg in panniers) I didn't need my smallest gears. Not to inflate my own ego, but I do know I am stronger than most bicycle tourers. So for very heavy loads or older tourers I agree that the GRX gear ratios probably wont cut it. For me they are perfect though.

I have never heard of anyone complaining about triples being difficult to setup/index, I definitely agree with you, I have never had a single problem with a triple (if you don't count wearing out a bar end shifter). I don't have a single bad thing to say about them, and I have gone through 3 different triple groupsets.

Actually I wasn't going to bore everyone with the details of why I am swapping out my Shimano T8000 group set for the GRX with narrower range, if I didn't have issues with the bar ends I would definitely keep my current setup.

So on my Kona I had Shimano XT T8000 front and rear mech, matched to Microshift 10-speed MTB bar end shifters (Friction for the front, and indexed for the rear). To begin with everything was perfect, but during my last tour the rear indexing was getting very sloppy, I tried fixing it, a couple of bike shops tried fixing it, even once I got back home to Australia I tried again to get it fixed, long story short, it turns out that I had literally worn out the rear bar end shifter, I didn't even know that was possible. So instead of replacing the bar ends, I threw the bike on my turbo trainer as my dedicated turbo trainer bike, swapped out the drops for a flat bar, and installed the official Shimano T8000 trigger shifters.

Now I am in the planning stages of my next tour, so I will need my drop bar on the Kona for the tour. I really don't want to buy another set of bar ends, and risk having the same thing happen again, so I have decided GRX has the gear range I need, it natively supports drop bars, and I would be a massive brake upgrade. So I would give it a go.

I might even try some experimenting to see if I can swap out the big ring for a 48t and still have decent shifting.
on one of my bikes, with 50/12, it comes out to about 112 gear inches, and I spin that bike out at about 70kph, but realistically, we are hardly ever going down descents where we get up to past that speed. The times Ive gone the fastest on pedal bikes has been when I'm way past the redline anyway, and in a tuck, so the times I've been past 70, up to 80 and 90, the gearing has nothing to do with it, and most of the time, wind resistance ends up giving a terminal velocity of my four pannier and handlebar bag bike of about 70k, so to me, a high gear inch is pretty useless.
One of my bikes has a top gear of 103g.i. and thats perfectly fine, especially as I want the low end for when carrying lots of gear.

10kg, heck, thats only 22 lbs, Ive carried probably 50lbs or more for some trips, but thats with extra food, extra water and extra stuff just cuz of the places I was riding through.
but yes, with only 10kg, its a very different riding experience.

but again, all bikes and all types of touring are cool.
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Old 05-11-19, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I'm running 46/30 rings up front with an 8050 GS rear derailleur and 11/42 XT mountain bike cassette. A 1.85 mm spacer was used behind the cassette to make up for the wider road freehub. An entire 116 link chain was used. Low gear is 19.5 inches. It shifts like a champ. This is becoming a reasonably common setup for gravel riding and I bikepack with this setup.

The only difference between the 8000 series rear derailleur and the GRX are cosmetic. There is zero doubt in my mind that GRX 2x systems will also work with a much larger cassette than the officially supported 11/34.

The GRX 2x inner chainring is 80 BCD and so a 26 tooth little ring is possible. The outer ring is still 110 BCD and I don't know if 42 tooth rings are available to make a 2x 42/26 setup.

I'll probably jump on the new brake levers when they become available but I'm expecting a long wait.

-Tim-
I toured a lot on a bike with a low of 21.5 g.i. and so 19.5 is a great low for the vast majority of touring situations.
For sure, your bike+load total weight is probably a lot lot less than my old 21.5 g.i. bike back in the day, with probably 35-40lbs of stuff, and a lot lot less than my heavy setup, so I can completely see how the gearing range of 19.5-100+ is a perfectly good setup.

I guess because I come from a triple background, I wonder how real life cross chaining is and how it affects chain life. I realize a double must put less chain angle than a triple, but I do wonder if chain life is a lot less than with older systems and triples where the chain is simply going to be a lot straighter most of the time.
I guess we could also touch on the whole chain life/strength thing, ie are 10 and especially 11 speed not as strong as 8 or 9.
I personally just dont have enough experience with 10 and 11, although I am a light guy, and certainly not a powerhouse, so I put a lot less force into a drivetrain, and on top of that, I really keep on top of drivetrain maintenance, which helps a lot with chain life etc.
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Old 05-12-19, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post

The only difference between the 8000 series rear derailleur and the GRX are cosmetic. There is zero doubt in my mind that GRX 2x systems will also work with a much larger cassette than the officially supported 11/34.

The GRX 2x inner chainring is 80 BCD and so a 26 tooth little ring is possible. The outer ring is still 110 BCD and I don't know if 42 tooth rings are available to make a 2x 42/26 setup.

-Tim-
You're right that you can get away with a larger cassette to get the gearing low enough. I'd still never need a 46T while touring.

It appears that GRX is following the rest of Shimano's 11s line by using an offset bolt hole pattern that's not compatible with standard 4-bolt chainrings. So even though you might be able to find an 80 and 110 BCD chainring in lower tooth counts, unless they're specifically made for the Shimano offset pattern, they're not going to fit.

It's for these kind of reasons that I long ago abandoned drop bars on touring bikes. It's so much easier to use mountain bike drivetrains that are already optimized for low gearing. Throw on some Jones bars or the VO Crazy bars and you can move around and stay comfortable all day.
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Old 05-12-19, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by niknak View Post
It's for these kind of reasons that I long ago abandoned drop bars on touring bikes. It's so much easier to use mountain bike drivetrains that are already optimized for low gearing. Throw on some Jones bars or the VO Crazy bars and you can move around and stay comfortable all day.
I have yet to use Jones bars for more than a short ride, and certainly havent yet used Crazy or Moloko's or stuff like that, so I just can't know how they would be for me day and day after day.

I do know that drops are so far anyway, the most comfortable for me day after day after day after day, and this is why I went with this solution-Gevenalle.

Works with all kinds of gearing systems, old mtb, dynasis mtb, road, road or mtb disc cable pull, friction if one wants, 9, 10, 11 speed....
Just a neat, simple system that for me and what I do, a perfect solution to the whole drop bar shifter/gearing system issues that do absolutely have complexities and mismatches.
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Old 05-12-19, 09:42 AM
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46/30 with a 34 in the back for touring? No go for me. Went with a 26/36 with a 42 in the back, 2x11 sram on my new bikepacking build. Surly Krampus, works well. Don't use drop bars on my tours stuff anyway.
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Old 05-12-19, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by leebo View Post
46/30 with a 34 in the back for touring? No go for me.
+1.
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Old 05-12-19, 03:26 PM
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On my relatively flat most recent trip, I went with 1x11. The chainring was 38 and the cassette 11-46. I used the lowest and highest gears frequently enough to justify the range. 21.5 to 89.8 gear inches. Really liked the 1x setup. For a more typical tour, I’d go with a wider range.

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Old 05-12-19, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
On my relatively flat most recent trip, I went with 1x11. The chainring was 38 and the cassette 11-46. I used the lowest and highest gears frequently enough to justify the range. 21.5 to 89.8 gear inches. Really liked the 1x setup. For a more typical tour, Id go with a wider range.

What did you do for rear derailer clearance?
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Old 05-12-19, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
What did you do for rear derailer clearance?
Wolftooth Goatlink 11 with a long cage RD. All Shimano M8000 except the chainring, which is also Wolftooth.
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Old 05-12-19, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Wolftooth Goatlink 11 with a long cage RD. All Shimano M8000 except the chainring, which is also Wolftooth.
Doesn't a XT 8000 SGS RD handle 46t on the cassette without an adapter? Seems to indicate 46 is within spec here (even the mid cage GS should go 46t):

https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/produ...M8000-SGS.html

https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/produ...-M8000-GS.html
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Old 05-12-19, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
Doesn't a XT 8000 SGS RD handle 46t on the cassette without an adapter? Seems to indicate 46 is within spec here (even the mid cage GS should go 46t):

https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/produ...M8000-SGS.html

https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/produ...-M8000-GS.html
It was impossible to shift to the 46 without the Goatlink 11. Possibly a longer B screw could have made it work, but not sure about that. Im not an expert in this, but the Wolftooth website seems to indicate significantly improved performance.

https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/...ts/goatlink-11
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Old 05-12-19, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
On my relatively flat most recent trip, I went with 1x11. The chainring was 38 and the cassette 11-46. I used the lowest and highest gears frequently enough to justify the range. 21.5 to 89.8 gear inches. Really liked the 1x setup. For a more typical tour, Id go with a wider range.
hey, I toured on this bike back in the 90s, with almost the same gear inch range, just about the same low and one gear higher than your 1x, and so I can see that this is a setup that would work well for all kinds of situations--and I suspect the jumps between gears are as good or better than my old 7spd setup with a 13-30.
That said, I'm still not really sold on the idea of 1x or even 2x, but just wanted to point out that your 1x setup is still a very useable setup, and comparing it to my old bike that I toured on and had a great time and was able to climb all kinds of hills, shows that your setup is still perfectly useable.

It will be interesting over time to see how chain life is with the diff 1x and 2x systems, 10 and 11 speed, and yes, cost of stuff to first put on a bike, and to replace chains, especially if there is a significant lower chain lifespan going on.
Ive used about 5000kms as a ruler ish for chain life for me, for the last many many years, thru the 7 to 9 eras.

Last edited by djb; 05-12-19 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 05-12-19, 07:12 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
I guess because I come from a triple background, I wonder how real life cross chaining is and how it affects chain life. I realize a double must put less chain angle than a triple, but I do wonder if chain life is a lot less than with older systems and triples where the chain is simply going to be a lot straighter most of the time. I guess we could also touch on the whole chain life/strength thing, ie are 10 and especially 11 speed not as strong as 8 or 9.
Di2 with 8050 (and presumably GRX) will not allow the two smallest rear sprockets to be used when the front is in the small chainring.

My guess is that Shimano shares some of your concerns. I also think they realize that some will push the boundaries of what's possible and are trying to put up guardrails.

Anyway, it is blocked in software. When I upgraded from 6870 to 8050 shadow/clutch, those two gears were simply gone.


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Last edited by TimothyH; 05-12-19 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 05-12-19, 07:15 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by niknak View Post
It appears that GRX is following the rest of Shimano's 11s line by using an offset bolt hole pattern that's not compatible with standard 4-bolt chainrings. So even though you might be able to find an 80 and 110 BCD chainring in lower tooth counts, unless they're specifically made for the Shimano offset pattern, they're not going to fit.
My bet is that Absolute Black will make smaller, oval rings when GRX becomes widely available.

I'm not holding my breath, but they will surely be made at some point.


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Old 05-12-19, 07:55 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Di2 with 8050 (and presumably GRX) will not allow the two smallest rear sprockets to be used when the front is in the small chainring.

My guess is that Shimano shares some of your concerns. I also think they realize that some will push the boundaries of what's possible and are trying to put up guardrails.

Anyway, it is blocked in software. When I upgraded from 6870 to 8050 shadow/clutch, those two gears were simply gone.

-Tim-
thats interesting. I've generally always been very aware of not cross chaining, but we always had to do it in our heads, and I know a lot of people dont give it a second thought or are aware of it, so thats neat that with electronic shifting, they just took those combinations off what combos you can shift into.

I'm still interested in seeing how 11 spd chainlife compares, although I am very aware that there are many many factors that come into play for chain life, but I still think that a consensus will start to show as more folks use 11, and not just in perfectly clean situations.
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