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I've broken my rear derailleur so I've decided to upgrade from my 2x10 to a 1x setup. For that, I've initially bought:

  • Deore XT 11 speed derailleur RD-M8000-GS (I've read it can work with 10s, but indexing is not the problem now).
  • MSC 10 speed 11-46 cassette (I may change this by an 11 speed, same range. See below*).
  • 30T chainring, a chain, and I'm keeping my old 10s Deore shifter (guess these aren't relevant).

My problem is regarding range. It looks like the derailleur wont climb to the 46T cog, even though:

  • By the spec, it supports 11-46 in 1x setup.
  • The b-screw is all the way in.
  • My hanger looks like a direct mount (goes back and outside) and the derailleur is installed as so (no extra link).

* I understand a 10s cassette is not the same as an 11s, but I guess that the biggest cog (46T) is the only one that is in the same position (flush to the base of the hub), so I fear if I buy an 11s cassette (and an 11s shifter) I'll have the same issue.

What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance!

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    You need a chain on there. Oct 7 '20 at 0:36
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    As Daniel stated, you need a chain. These derailleurs have offset upper pulleys that require a chain to rotate them into the correct position. Side note, 11 speed MTB cassettes have the largest cog offset towards the spokes, so it actually hangs over the back edge of the freehub. Road cassettes aren’t big enough to clear the hub (I believe you need at least a 34t), hence why 11s road needs a special freehub.
    – MaplePanda
    Oct 7 '20 at 1:10
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    @MaplePanda You should just post that as an answer. Oct 7 '20 at 7:55
  • Can you confirm that the frame really is supposed to have a direct mount without the mech b-link? Because it could be that the frame just has a "funny" looking hanger and it's been assumed to be direct mount.
    – abdnChap
    Oct 7 '20 at 11:04
  • Fwiw, the 10 speed and 11 speed rear derailleurs are identical for a given cassette size/total capacity , apart from the jockey wheels. And that doesn't seem like an important distinction. So I wouldn't bother with changing to 11 speed
    – thelawnet
    Oct 7 '20 at 11:54
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As Daniel stated in his comment, you need a chain. These derailleurs have an offset upper pulley that require a chain to rotate them into the correct position. Side note, 11 speed MTB cassettes have the largest cog offset towards the spokes, so it actually hangs over the back edge of the freehub. Road cassettes aren’t big enough to clear the hub (I believe you need at least a 34t), hence why 11s road needs a special freehub.

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  • Anyone care to explain why they downvoted me?
    – MaplePanda
    Oct 9 '20 at 16:10
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As the comments suggest, you need to install the chain to adjust the rear mech. You can test this yourself by manouvering the shifter to mimic having a chain and you should notice that the mech cage can move up and down.

The proper intaliation process is:

  1. Install derailleur with b screw half way on the hanger
  2. Install chain, length calculated using the manufacturer's instruction
  3. Adjust b screw according to manufaturer's instructions
  4. Fine tune the shifter/ cable
  5. Re-check the b screw as the fine tuning of the cable can change it

On a side note, I tried this same setup, but with xtr 11s mech and xt 10s shifter, and the middle gears where always off and a little jumpy. So I just bought the 11 shifter and I wouldn't recomment mixing it.

Whether the mech is direct mount or not, shouldn't affect this, as long as the mount is not bent or damaged.

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  • Thx for your answer! I'll give @MaplePanda the chance to post his comment as an answer to accept it, since he was first, but if he doesn't I'll accept yours. Regarding mixing 10 and 11, I've also read somewhere else about it not working perfectly. I've decided to order everything 11 speed.
    – nandilugio
    Oct 8 '20 at 16:22

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