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Old 06-24-20, 09:17 PM
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Dord
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Component help

Hi all,

I have a Shimano 105 full groupset. I have done some touring and light bikepacking on forest service roads in British Colombia, Canada, and I find myself needing a lower gear for climbing. For those unfamiliar with the terrain here it can be really mountainous, even on the higher trafficked roads, which means that you spend a lot of time going up some steep hills.

I am planning on cycling a portion of the Great Trial, a singletrack route that goes coast to coast in Canada, and I know that there are going to be some serious inclines.

So my question is: what is the easiest way to upgrade my current Shimano 105 groupset so that I can have a wide selection of lower-end gears to help with inclines. If anyone has a similar setup I would love to hear about it.

Thanks
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Old 06-24-20, 10:10 PM
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Go with a GRX group (or parts from it). Maybe try a sub compact derailleur and a different crank (White Industries comes to mind for ability to customize gearing) Unfortunately Shimano is not super interested in touring and bike packing cyclists as we don't race or gain them anything. If I go on tour people may see I have a Shimano XT derailleur and CX-70 Front Derailleur but it is unlikely they will think much of it and even if I was wearing Shimano gear I probably wouldn't reach people like I could at a Downhill race at Ft. William or the Tour de France.

GRX is certainly a nice step as is XT-T8000 but it is never going to be what we really want. I personally want to see the return of thumbies and a rear derailleur that can clear large cassettes with wide range front chainrings that have all the quality of XT/Ultegra.
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Old 06-24-20, 10:17 PM
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Could be something as simple as getting a smaller chain ring on your crank, but some more information on the bike, crank set and rear cassette would help
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Old 06-24-20, 11:54 PM
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If your 105 groupset has a compact crank 50/34 then you can't really do much about a smaller chainring without replacing the whole crank, which could be done by using a subcompact, 46/30 but it won't be cheap. Not sure what cassette you have but you likely could get an 11-34 to work though you might have to change your rear derailleur as well if you don't presently have the 105 Medium (longer) cage. Bottom line is..... yes, you can get a lower low but how much do you want to spend and how low do you want ?
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Old 06-25-20, 07:17 AM
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Another possible option that might be worth exploring is an On Ups Components 42T or 47T sprocket. I have done this on my Salsa Mukluk fatbike which I use for bikepacking. MInd you I did this from the get-go so the other components were chosen to work with this setup.
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Old 06-25-20, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Dord View Post
Hi all,

I have a Shimano 105 full groupset. I have done some touring and light bikepacking on forest service roads in British Colombia, Canada, and I find myself needing a lower gear for climbing. For those unfamiliar with the terrain here it can be really mountainous, even on the higher trafficked roads, which means that you spend a lot of time going up some steep hills.

I am planning on cycling a portion of the Great Trial, a singletrack route that goes coast to coast in Canada, and I know that there are going to be some serious inclines.

So my question is: what is the easiest way to upgrade my current Shimano 105 groupset so that I can have a wide selection of lower-end gears to help with inclines. If anyone has a similar setup I would love to hear about it.

Thanks
more info please.
bike name, specific crankset and cassette.
quick answer is that a change wont be cheap, and you're going to have to balance out money put out vs perhaps a diff bike, but dont know what you have.
you're up
(but yes, getting lower gearing makes all the difference with enjoying riding in hilly terrain, totally worth it--but to evaluate what to do really depends on all the details of bike etc)
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Old 06-25-20, 09:36 AM
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I have a road bike with a Tiagra 10speed groupset 50/34 11-32 and find it a bit too high for the roads around here (also in BC). I'm just about to buy a 650b wheelset for it and am considering gearing as well.
The easiest, quickest change I plan to try is to swap in an 11-36 cassette. The derailer should be able to handle that without modification. The specs for derailers are usually a little conservative. After that It seems one will have to start looking at derailer and/or crank swaps. Before that I will probably use a Wolftooth derailer adaptor to extend the range of my rear derailer and add an 11/40. When you go that wide range though you have to start being aware of cross chaining.

Ps. I've ridden several sections of the Great/TCT trail in the lower mainland upper Fraser Valley. It's a real mixed bag of conditions
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Old 06-25-20, 10:07 AM
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A Wolf Tooth Roadlik rear derailleur extender should allow you to use a bigger rear cassette cog with your present 105 rear derailleur. You'll probably need a longer chain though.


Cheers
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Old 06-25-20, 10:17 AM
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Happy Feet, I've swapped several 11-32 to an 11-34 with no problem but the couple I went up to an 11-36, I had to reverse the B screw to get it to shift well. Just a consideration if you can't obtain clearance.

Oh and yes, I had to add a chain link or two if memory serves me correctly

Last edited by robow; 06-25-20 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 06-25-20, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
Happy Feet, I've swapped several 11-32 to an 11-34 with no problem but the couple I went up to an 11-36, I had to reverse the B screw to get it to shift well. Just a consideration if you can't obtain clearance.

Oh and yes, I had to add a chain link or two if memory serves me correctly
Yes, I forgot to add that part about the B screw.
I've even put an 11-40 with a stock LX derailer (and a Tourney) but had to actually swap out the B screw for one far longer. It worked but I wouldn't recommend it for a long tour as the derailer seems perched in a somewhat flimsy manner.
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Old 06-25-20, 05:54 PM
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A Tiagra triple crank is another way to go. Thereís not a big difference in quality between Tiagra and 105, and the triple can be set up as 26/39/50 to give a really wide range, especially when paired with an 11-34 cassette. Iíve heard of folks even using a 24 small ring, but havenít tried it myself. I use the 26/39/50 and it works fine even though I think itís technically out of spec for the derailleur.
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Old 06-25-20, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by AeroGut View Post
A Tiagra triple crank is another way to go. Thereís not a big difference in quality between Tiagra and 105, and the triple can be set up as 26/39/50 to give a really wide range, especially when paired with an 11-34 cassette. Iíve heard of folks even using a 24 small ring, but havenít tried it myself. I use the 26/39/50 and it works fine even though I think itís technically out of spec for the derailleur.
Its been a while, since tiagra went to 10 speed, but at that time, they changed the bcd of the crank, and 30 became the smallest granny you could put on.
I'm fairly positive of this, but check out out.
my fsa 10 yr old 50 39 30 can take a 26, but I'm fairly sure not a 24

For riding with a 39 or 40 mid ring loaded, I just find them too high.Have ridden both loaded and why I see a 36 as a better choice.
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Old 06-25-20, 11:36 PM
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If he goes with a triple crank, he now needs a new crank, a new set of shifters (not cheap), a new front derailleur, new chain, a new long cage rear derailleur, heck I would just get a new bike.
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Old 06-25-20, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
If he goes with a triple crank, he now needs a new crank, a new set of shifters (not cheap), a new front derailleur, new chain, a new long cage rear derailleur, heck I would just get a new bike.
Plus his full groupset 105 bike could be 20 years old for all we know
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Old 06-26-20, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Its been a while, since tiagra went to 10 speed, but at that time, they changed the bcd of the crank, and 30 became the smallest granny you could put on.
I'm fairly positive of this, but check out out.
my fsa 10 yr old 50 39 30 can take a 26, but I'm fairly sure not a 24

For riding with a 39 or 40 mid ring loaded, I just find them too high.Have ridden both loaded and why I see a 36 as a better choice.
Sorry about the confusion. I am indeed using a 9-speed Tiagra, which is relatively new to me. I also have the same setup on an 8-speed Sora. Both are 130/74 BCD. However, the Shimano info on the Tiagra 10-speed triple says the inner BCD is still 74, but the outer is now 110. The big difference on the inner is the switch to 4-bolt instead of 5. It may be that appropriate 4-bolt chainrings smaller than 30 are not available?
In any case, 3x9 can be set up with a very wide range.
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Old 06-26-20, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by AeroGut View Post
Sorry about the confusion. I am indeed using a 9-speed Tiagra, which is relatively new to me. I also have the same setup on an 8-speed Sora. Both are 130/74 BCD. However, the Shimano info on the Tiagra 10-speed triple says the inner BCD is still 74, but the outer is now 110. The big difference on the inner is the switch to 4-bolt instead of 5. It may be that appropriate 4-bolt chainrings smaller than 30 are not available?
In any case, 3x9 can be set up with a very wide range.
It's been a while since I read about the bcd change, so am not 100% sure now. But yup, I've done the change to 26 on two bikes both with fsa cranks, s and the fd"'s handled it fine as is and the 13t jump is fine also to live with, for me anyway.
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Old 06-26-20, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
A Wolf Tooth Roadlik rear derailleur extender should allow you to use a bigger rear cassette cog with your present 105 rear derailleur. You'll probably need a longer chain though.

Cheers
I’ve used the Roadlink to extend the range of the rear derailer on my touring bike

Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

It works well and allows me to use a 36 tooth cog on the cassette without issue. On my Cannondale, I did have to do some file surgery to the hanger, however. The Roadlink doesn’t work on all derailer hangers.
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Old 06-27-20, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
more info please.
bike name, specific crankset and cassette.
quick answer is that a change wont be cheap, and you're going to have to balance out money put out vs perhaps a diff bike, but dont know what you have.
you're up
(but yes, getting lower gearing makes all the difference with enjoying riding in hilly terrain, totally worth it--but to evaluate what to do really depends on all the details of bike etc)
Thanks for the reply!

I have a 11speed 11-32t cassette in the back, a medium cage 105 rear derailleaur, 105 front derailleaur and a 50-34t crankset.
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Old 06-27-20, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Plus his full groupset 105 bike could be 20 years old for all we know
It's the 105 5800 from 2018 if that helps!
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Old 06-27-20, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
A Wolf Tooth Roadlik rear derailleur extender should allow you to use a bigger rear cassette cog with your present 105 rear derailleur. You'll probably need a longer chain though
Cheers
Thanks!

I have seen these around but my inexperience with components leaves me wondering about compatability. If I was to get the RoadLink to accept a larger rear cog, could I simply buy a Shimano/SRAM wide range 11spd cassette and be done with it? I've seen some people saying that you would also need to get a long cage derailleur too in order for that to work.
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Old 06-27-20, 11:35 AM
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I have seen this Shimano Deore M5100 52t 11-Speed Cassette and I am wondering if I can just simply throw this on there? Again, please excuse any naivety as I am new to the world of bike building.
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Old 06-27-20, 12:51 PM
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No, your 105 rear derailleur won't handle that large a cog on the cassette. You would likely need a true mountain bike length long-cage to achieve that and..... someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm pretty sure your 11 speed STI shifters won't have the same length pull as needed for that MTB derailleur.
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Old 06-27-20, 01:01 PM
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dord, i think your only hope (within budgetary reason) is to look into a smaller crankset that other 11 spd systems and your 105 shifters will work with.
As mentioned, and as Im sure bike stores will tell you, you're looking into mucho component changes and money, for more or less lower gearing depending on the options.
good luck getting some viable options
also, as you didint say what bike you own, if you are doing this to a road bike that has limited tire width options and other frame constraints, you might be wasting your money.
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Old 06-27-20, 07:11 PM
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I am quite ignorant of 11 speed systems, so maybe this is a bad idea. But since your goal is to change to lower gears for serious uphills, maybe you could retain your front and rear derailleurs, your 11/32 cassette and switch to a double crank with something like 42 and 26T chainings. Or even 40 and 24T. Such chainring combinations would maintain the 16T difference in chainring sizes that you currently have.

If you did this, you would lose the highest gears that you now have that are nice for those long shallow downhills, that could be a concern too.

I have no idea if your front derailleur could be installed down lower on the seat tube or if it is one of those that has a frame mounted tab that it hangs from.

I also do not know if any such cranksets exist that would work with a 11 speed chain.

It says that this is 11 speed compatible, but that is something you would want to verify with them first.
https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m2b0s109...h-Zicral-Rings

This is square taper, would need different bottom bracket.

I have not ordered from Spa for several years, it is my recollection that I had to e-mail back and forth a few times to get a shipping quote and price without VAT arranged before I ordered from them.

I suspect you would want to have the tools necessary to swap back and forth between your road crank and the hill climbing crank, which would include bottom bracket tools, so that would be a budget impact too.
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