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Hello I have a touring bike with Shimano Ultegra 6800 shifters and derailleurs (11 speed).

I have a compact crank with 50/34 chainrings, and I have a 11-32 cassette.

I would like to get lower gearing for big climbs and I'm looking for the easiest way to do that.

It looks like the largest cog for 11-speed ultegra cassettes is 32 teeth. Are 11-speed MTB cassettes compatible with my rear hub? If so, whats' the largest cog that the derailleur can accept?

If that won't work, could I put a smaller chain ring on my crank?

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    You are probably looking for a triple crank. There's no shame in those, at least not more than 32t cassette. – ojs Mar 12 '17 at 21:32
  • @ojs, I'm not sure if Shimano offers triple 11 speed components. – Klaster_1 Mar 13 '17 at 5:10
  • @Klaster_1 they have a web page, if you are not sure you can always check. Besides, there are manufacturers other than Shimano. – ojs Mar 13 '17 at 17:24
  • A 32/34 ratio is very close to 1.06 which is quite low already. My triple offers me 26/28 as the lowest climbing gear, at 0.94. If you could find a triple, then you'd be about 26/34 which is super low 0.77 ratio. – Criggie Mar 14 '17 at 4:02
  • You should list what derailleur you have if you wish to know the largest cog it can accept. The series from shimano generally have both SS and GS derailleurs (short and long cage) which have different ranges they can accept. Shimano does make a 11-40 XTR cassette which would probably work, but not if you have a short cage derailleur. – Deleted User Mar 14 '17 at 18:00
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A few options:

  • You can use a wolftooth roadlink.
  • You could also move to a sub-compact crankset. There seem to be a few options for 46/30 cranks, nothing direct from shimano though.

You don't have to resort to a triple.

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If that won't work, could I put a smaller chain ring on my crank?

No, 34T is the smallest for compact. There are some 33T that work with some.

A triple is going to be a fairly expensive upgrade and you probably need to go with a 10 speed but that should be compatible with an 11 speed chain.

If you go mountain then it looks like you jump all the way to 40 and that is probably more than you want and derailleur will probably not take it.

You have a pretty nice hill setup now and a nice group.

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  • Thanks. I need to explore all of my options. Yea if I went to a mtn bike cassette, I would also need a mtb derailleur. – Chris M Mar 17 '17 at 4:06

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