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Hello all.

So, on my Canyon Grail Carbon gravel (the one with the "distinctive" handlebar) I'd like to replace the 11-34 11speed cassette with an 11-36.

At Chainreaction they suggest:  SRAM PG1130 + the KMC X11 11 Speed Chain + the RoadLink.

They say, though, that it's not ideal to mix and match Shimano and SRAM parts at the higher 11 speed range...

Do you guys think it's feasible nevertheless?

Another option would be: keep cassette and simply replace the 34t in the 50-34 crankset with a 32?

 

Thanks for any feedback!

25 comments

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kil0ran [1646 posts] 1 week ago
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You can't *officially* replace the 34 in the 50/34 with a 32, because Shimano road derailleurs can only handle a drop of 16T (50-34=16). Having said that, it might work fine, possibly just a slower/heavier shift.

The SRAM cassette option will work, as long as your derailleur is the long cage (GS) version - which it should be if you're already running an 11-34 cassette. I thought Shimano already did an 36T cassette option? Announced recently with the GRX groupset?

The other option you have is to swap the chainset for a 46/30 or 48/32 - options from Miche (Graff) and FSA (Tempo Adventure) available will work with your existing front mech, or you can go down the Shimano GRX route which will also require a GRX derailleur. The Graff works with your existing Hollowtech BB but is the most expensive of the three options. I went with the FSA Tempo Adventure.

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Joe Totale [174 posts] 1 week ago
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"They say, though, that it's not ideal to mix and match Shimano and SRAM parts at the higher 11 speed range..."

They're talking nonsense here, there's no issue whatsoever with using an 11 speed SRAM cassette with a Shimano groupset. It doesn't make a difference if it's at the higher end or not. 

I use 105/Ultegra cassettes with my SRAM Red groupset as they're far cheaper. 

I find this article very handy when it comes to knowing what can be mixed and matched with 11 speed groupsets:

https://cyclingtips.com/2017/12/mixing-road-groupsets-what-works-togethe...

 

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Huckfinn [71 posts] 1 week ago
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Hi kil0ran, thanks! The Ultegra RX rear derailleur is medium cage so I'd have to use a WolfTooth Roadlink, which is ok. I've been searching for the GRX 11-36 cassette but can't find it...any idea where to look?

For the chainset I still prefer 50max to 48, so that' a no go....

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Woldsman [333 posts] 1 week ago
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Huckfinn wrote:

... Another option would be: keep cassette and simply replace the 34t in the 50-34 crankset with a 32? ...

I’ve read about the possibility of fitting a 33T to a compact chainset, but not a 32. As well as the bolt circle diameter (BCD) of your existing chainset there is also the variable of whatever make and model you currently have (mine, for instance, is a Shimano Ultegra 6750 model). Given that you have a compact chainset and and 11-34 cassette you're just about at the limit of what you can do with your existing rear mech and chainset IMHO.  There may be an option for a rear mech extender and, say, an 11-40 cassette, but it’s a bit hit and miss really. 

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Huckfinn [71 posts] 1 week ago
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I think I'll stick to the cassette/derailleur mod...

You guys reckon I could either use a Roadlink with existing medium cage derailleur OR replace the derailleur with the new GRX one?

@Joe Totale : saw your post only now. Thanks for that!

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fukawitribe [2867 posts] 1 week ago
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Huckfinn wrote:

I think I'll stick to the cassette/derailleur mod...

You guys reckon I could either use a Roadlink with existing medium cage derailleur OR replace the derailleur with the new GRX one?

I'd be tempted to try the existing rear mech with the cassette before trying a RoadLink or getting a new one - feedback from various places online seems to indicate it could well work with either winding the B-tension screw in or reversing it; when I went to an 11-34T from an 11-32T (fully supported) I didn't need to even need to adjust it on a Shimano 6800 medium cage so I wouldn't be surprised if it went at least a couple of teeth more with minimal furtling..

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vonhelmet [1407 posts] 1 week ago
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50/34 seems like too big a chainset for a gravel bike. I'd be dropping the chainset for a smaller one, 46/30 as suggested.

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Huckfinn [71 posts] 1 week ago
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@fukawitribe: thanks. Good news! Any cassette or should I just go for a Shimano one?

@vonhelmet: I use the 50t too often to replace it... ;-))

 

PS: I guess once the new cassette is on and running I could try the OneUp Components’ 42t Sprocket !!:

https://bikerumor.com/2013/11/28/exclusive-take-your-cassette-to-the-nex...

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kevvjj [476 posts] 1 week ago
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I'll add my two cents worth...

No issues at all mixing 11 speed SRAM and Shimano - Chain Reaction talking bollocks (not unusual).

I agree with fuckawitribe, try the 11-36 before buying an extender. Shimano are always conservative with what they 'say' will work because they won't recommend changing parts that might not be 100% perfect. For example I had an 11-34 10 speed cassette working very well with a short cage Dura Ace 7800 derailleur - B screw was screwed all the way in. I think you'll be fine with the 11-34 and judicious tinkering with the B screw.

I agree with vonhelmet - a smaller inner chainring is needed for proper off-road gravel stuff... unless you are happy walking the steep stuff.

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Wafty Crank [32 posts] 1 week ago
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FWIW I know that a Sunrace CSRX1 11-36 works fine with an R7000 GS rear derailleur.   CX bike I bought came with 46/36 and 11-28.  I wanted (needed) lower gearing so changed the RD to GS and bought the Sunrace cassette.  No problems at all so far (and I think the Sunrace cassette is lighter than the SRAM one if that matters).

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Huckfinn [71 posts] 1 week ago
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Great, thanks for that.

The Sunrace would work with the R8000 setup as well?

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Wafty Crank [32 posts] 1 week ago
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Huckfinn wrote:

Great, thanks for that.

The Sunrace would work with the R8000 setup as well?

I've never used R8000, sorry, but according to this https://road.cc/content/feature/246424-how-get-ultra-low-gearing-gravel-bike-adventures the R8ooo and R7000 look geometrically the same.

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Huckfinn [71 posts] 1 week ago
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Cool.

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John Stevenson [447 posts] 1 week ago
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I'm a bit unclear as to whether we're talking about an Ultegra RX800 GS rear derailleur here or a standard R8000 GS model, but it doesn't matter.

Both Ultegra GS derailleurs will almost certainly work fine with an 11-36 cassette. The RX Di2 version works with an 11-40 as our Dave Arthur found, so while I always hesitate to be definite about things I haven't personally tried, I'd be astounded if the regular RX800 won't handle an 11-36. You won't need a Roadlink.

Similarly, the standard R8000 GS will work. The article by me that Wafty Crank cites was inspired by several people's YouTube videos of the R8000 GS shifting across an 11-40 cassette.

Shimano calls these GS derailleurs 'medium cage' but they're better though of as long cage, and the SGS mountain bike derailleurs for triple systems as extra long.

Shimano doesn't make an 11-speed 11-36 cassette, but the SRAM one will work. The spacing is identical.

There's a Tiagra-level 11-36 10-speed cassette, which the new GRX 400 rear derailleur is supposed to accommodate, and I think that's where the confusion in some replies here comes from. 

At the front end, you can't fit a 32-tooth inner ring to a compact chainset with 110mm bolt circle. The only exception is Praxis chainsets like the Alba M30 that have cut-aways on the crank spider to make room for the chain. 

If I had a gravel bike with a compact chainset and any sort of 11-speed GS rear derailleur I'd simply fit an 11-40 cassette and, if necessary, a new chain to get lower gears. It's the most cost-effective first step. You can always change the chainset later and get even lower gears.

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fukawitribe [2867 posts] 1 week ago
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John Stevenson wrote:

At the front end, you can't fit a 32-tooth inner ring to a compact chainset with 110mm bolt circle. The only exception is Praxis chainsets like the Alba M30 that have cut-aways on the crank spider to make room for the chain. 

 

AbsoluteBlack make 48/32 and 46/30 (oval) chainrings for 110BCD 4-arm Shimano compatible cranks

https://absoluteblack.cc/oval-road-chainrings-30-46-and-32-48-for-110-4bcd/

 

Not cheap,  some complete sub-compact chainsets are less, but available (and look good).

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Huckfinn [71 posts] 1 week ago
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Thanks to all!

@John Stevenson : it's an RX800 GS. So all good for the 11-36, which is great! The unknown factor is wether the RX800 GS would work with the 11-40, right?

HAS ANYONE tried that yet...???

Thanks for the Praxis suggestion. Although reasonably cheap (just over 100euros on bike24), I would miss the big 50.... Same for the advice from fukawitribe .

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Dicklexic [112 posts] 1 week ago
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+1 for the Sunrace RX11 cassette option.

I have mixed and matched Shimano/SRAM 11spd cassettes on all my bikes without issues in the past, and am currently running a Sunrace RX11 11-32 on one wheelset,  Shimano 105 11-34 on another, and SRAM on a third, swapping all the wheels between Ultegra 6800 on the road bike, and SRAM Force 1x on the CX bike as needed.

I have found no issues with the 11-34 cassette on the Ultegra 6800, despite it being officially limited to a 32 tooth, so I would expect an 11-36 to work fine on an R8000 mech which is rated for a 34 max. sprocket.

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John Stevenson [447 posts] 1 week ago
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fukawitribe wrote:

(oval) chainrings

Blimey, is it that time of the decade already? Time flies!

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John Stevenson [447 posts] 1 week ago
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Huckfinn wrote:

Thanks to all!

@John Stevenson : it's an RX800 GS. So all good for the 11-36, which is great! The unknown factor is wether the RX800 GS would work with the 11-40, right?

Like I say, I'd be astounded if it doesn't work. Except for the Di2 gubbins the RX800 GS and RX805 GS appear to be identical. I'll ask Dave Arthur tomorrow if he tried it.

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fukawitribe [2867 posts] 1 week ago
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John Stevenson wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:

(oval) chainrings

Blimey, is it that time of the decade already? Time flies!

?

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Huckfinn [71 posts] 1 week ago
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@Dicklexic & John Stevenson : thanks for that.

 

I was thinking about the Praxis ALBA 48-32 (or similar) option. Accepting that I won't have the slight advantage of the 50t, and considering that there are some rather steep climbs were I live (South-East France), would you guys reckon it's "better" to have a 32 front /34 back or 34 front (as is now) /36 back?.

Is there some dummies way to calculate that? I mean:

32:34x28=26.35, 34:36x28=26.44, basically the same mathematically, but which one would be better for climbing?... Are they in fact equal?

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John Stevenson [447 posts] 1 week ago
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Huckfinn wrote:

32:34x28=26.35, 34:36x28=26.44, basically the same mathematically, but which one would be better for climbing?... Are they in fact equal?

They're equal. What matters is the gear ratio, not how it's achieved.

How often do you really get to spin that 50/11 top gear? I love going downhill fast, but I'm fine with 46/11 - that's still a 117in gear, which is higher than the 53/13 (114in) top gear that was common in the pro peloton not very long ago.

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Huckfinn [71 posts] 1 week ago
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Ok, 

I use it reasonably often when riding with friends. Could be just because of the fun coming from 20years of a 3x9speed mtb. 42-11 max with 26" wheels. Used to spin out like crazy downhill...

46-11 is really a bit on the "low" side. I tried it. But tell me: if I decide to swap chainrings,of the ones you now, which 48-32 would you advise, cost per lb? Ovals maybe?...

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John Stevenson [447 posts] 1 week ago
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Huckfinn wrote:

46-11 is really a bit on the "low" side. I tried it. But tell me: if I decide to swap chainrings,of the ones you now, which 48-32 would you advise, cost per lb? Ovals maybe?...

Fair enough on the gearing.

As for chainsets I'd go Shimano FC-RX810-2, the GRX 48/31 double. Ultegra quality, trivially heavier than the carbon fibre FSA or Praxis units, but considerably cheaper even when you factor in the new front derailleur you're supposed to need.

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Huckfinn [71 posts] 1 week ago
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Great, thanks for that.