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Just like the recent march towards 1x drivetrains for mountain bikes, we’re starting to see similar interest in dropping the front derailleur for road bikes as well. Also just like the mountain bikes, many riders are looking for inexpensive ways to modify their existing drivetrains to see what it’s all about without buying a full set up. However, due to the limitations of most road derailleurs, you can’t just stuff a bigger cassette into the rear wheel.

Enter the new Roadlink. A joint venture between Lindarets and Wolf Tooth Components, the Roadlink picks up where the Goatlink for mountain biking left off. Thanks to this clever little device, you can bolt on 43% lower gearing than your average 11-28t cassette without losing the high-end…

Machined from 6061 aluminum in Wolf Tooth Component’s Minnesota facility, links are then anodized black and laser etched with the logos from both companies. Each Roadlink includes a stainless steel bolt that uses a standard 5 mm Allen fitting. Weighing in at 16 g including the hardware, the link acts as a simple extension of the derailleur hanger placing the rear derailleur far enough out to use up to a 40t cassette.

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Meant to be used for road, cross, or gravel set ups the RoadLink will work for both Single and double ring cranks depending on the size of the cassette used. 11 speed drivetrains will be able to make use of new cassettes like the Shimano XT 11-40, while 10 speed groups can make use of cassette adapters like the WTC GC 40t. Roadlinks are only compatible with Shimano rear derailleurs with standard derailleur hangers. Double cranks will require a medium or long cage derailleur and triples are not supported. Lindarets also points out that due to the lack of clutch mechanism on road derailleurs, secondary chain retention systems maybe needed for aggressive riding.

Compatibility:

  • 10s Cassette Compatibility:
    • 11-32: Not Recommended
    • 11-36: Single or Double Chainring
    • 11-40: Single Chainring 
    • 11-42: Not Supported
  • 11s Cassette Compatibility:
    • 11-32: Not Required
    • 11-36: Single or Double Chainring
    • 11-40: Single Chainring 
    • 11-42: Not Supported
    • 10-42: Not Supported

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Available now through Lindarets for $21.95 including shipping, Roadlinks can also be bundled with a Special Edition Wolf Tooth GC40 and 16t cog for $99.95.

lindarets.com

WolfToothComponents

42 COMMENTS

  1. great, another expensive fix for a problem that doesn’t exist. because spending $80.00 to replace front chainrings is not ok and $500.00 for a new rear cassette is?

  2. @Askar,

    I’m not sure where the $500 figure comes from. At $22 for the RoadLink and <$40 for an SLX 11-36t cassette, we come in cheaper than many replacement front chainrings. Sure, if you want an 11s 11-40 single-ring setup you'd pay more- but even then the new M8000 XTs have an MSRP of $130 (and a lower street price). Add a Wolf Tooth Drop-Stop chainring and the whole package could easily come in under $200.

    Marc

  3. Sweet, 1×11-32 is a little limiting but a 36 would get all the range I’d ever need on the road.

    Only question now is when will WTC get rings out for Shimano’s new bolt pattern on their cranks.

  4. Ascar – I completely agree. In fact, I only ride a one speed and view anything that has to do with changing gears is an expensive fix to a problem that doesn’t exist.

    Joking aside, this is a great option for a versatile 1x cross bike. 11-36 cassette and a 44 tooth ring and you could go most places comfortably. Oh, and it will be a couple bills at most.

  5. that seems like a lot of chain flopping around when in the higher gears. This will be good when road derailleurs have clutches

  6. I want to shift a 11-40 cassette on my road bike.
    Is it possible to use a XTR Di2 rear derailleur M9050 with a Ultegra 6870 group?

  7. @ascar larkinyar, “another expensive fix for a problem that doesn’t exist”. Well the problem does exist for people wanting to get more out of a 1x set up, so your complaint is invalid in that regard. Cycling can get expensive if you delve into Frankenstein builds. You should ask for a raise at work, or figure out some sort of supplemental income because the constant complaining about price of goods is a tad gauche.

  8. This is good stuff. I swapped my ultegra di2 10 speed group to a gravel bike with a k-edge conversion to run an 11-36 with a compact crankset. Fantastic setup. Good to see additional options for running big cassettes with road come along.

  9. There’s nothing wrong with Shimano front derailleurs. I get why SRAM does singlering, their front derailleurs are crap, so bad that it make the huge gaps of a wide range cassette worth the tradeoff. But that’s not necessary with a Shimano drivetrain, except maybe by beginners who haven’t worked out how to shift gears.

  10. Run a saint or zee mech. Made for road cassettes and has a clutch. Idk if compatible with sti levers.. but still. Stop the whinin’. Sh*t. Love you! Xo

  11. @Kernel- Instructing other people you don’t know and whose income you don’t know is far more gauche than complaining about the price of bike parts, imho. The Angry SingleSpeeder may not have been the first to give this advice to people who say bikes are too expensive, but I seem to have been hearing this comment more since he said it a few weeks back. He backed up his argument by saying something like, “I am not smart, that’s not what I am known for, so you should listen to me”. And not everyone is in a position to get a different job. And lastly- has ascar himself complained more than once to your knowledge about prices? Or are you heaping the complaints you’ve heard from others on his shoulders?
    All that said- 21 bucks for this smart little widget is frankly a steal; seventy bucks or so for a wider range cassette seems quite reasonable, too. The price for an XT- or Ultegra-level cassette has been about the same for years, in spite of inflation.

  12. Don’t worry, prices will drop once baby-boomers get too old for the sport, and gen-x-ers start thinking about their retirement. There’s still a lot of value at the low end (look at Felt), bike companies are just trying to cash out while they can.

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned using a mtb derailleur instead, I run SRAM and it works great for wide-range with road shifters. Also, it’s not just about 1x setups. I’m a big guy, but I still like to make it up hills. A wide range cassette let me switch to a compact setup with near-touring gearing.

    Are mtb derailleurs so unsightly that they can’t be on a road bike?

  13. I have a 1×11 drivetrain bike. So it is possible to use a SRAM cassette PG1130 11-36t with a Shimano Ultegra 6800 derailleur?

  14. @FreeBeer,

    While 9s Shimano road and derailleurs were cross-compatible, 10s and 11s aren’t- which is why riders aren’t able to use clutch mountain derailleurs with STI levers. That said, Gevenalle does make a clever ‘cross-oriented shifter that *will* work with Shimano mountain derailleurs. Ren Cycles, out of Portland, have used those in combination with our GoatLink for a 10s 11-40 adventure build:
    https://www.facebook.com/REN.bicycles/photos/a.355955964553556.1073741830.346140455535107/508408495974968/

  15. Thanks for the comments all. As most have said, this is not a product for everyone, but it certainly fulfills the need for many that find and 11-28t pr 11-32 cassette is just not enough!

    @QSFDG – yes, it will work with that setup very well. I have been running a similar setup through all the testing and even running an 11-40 at time to try all the configurations.

    @FreeBeer – I would like some. Regarding mountain rear derailleurs, the 9 speed shimano rear derailleur does have the same pull, but we have had limited success getting these to shift well with how road frames are designed (around a road rear der with b-tension vs b-set screw). That is why we did the RoadLink. Plus, this is a 5 min install and no too expensive.

    Finally, we believe that one of the more popular applications will be the 2x with an 11-36 cassette for those in very hilly areas, gravel riders/racers, and those that like to strap 40 pounds of gear on their bike and go on an adventure.

  16. Ordered and shipped yesterday for my wife’s bike. We live in steep hill country (and those hills provide shelter on crazy windy days). She will love the shifting this provides on her 11-36, as compared to the extra long b-screw currently in place.

    GO MINNESOTA!

  17. @Brendan – I have a Giant Anyroad CoMax with an 11-32 Shimano 105 setup (2 x 11). I’d like to do the 11-36 setup. Can you tell me if my stock rear dérailleur will work for this and also what 11-36 cassette I would need to buy (I was having trouble finding a shimano version)?

    Thanks

  18. I wonder if we will reach a drivetrain singularity at some point? One rear derailleur that works with any rear cassette (with the right adapter, subject to # of speeds), works with single or double front rings of any size, and can be connected to your choice of road, trigger, or barcon shifter. Complete interchangeability within a given speed # for any bike you want to put it on.

  19. @Ultraclyde,

    Unfortunately, I think that we’re actually getting further from that point. Before indexing, it was somewhat easy to mix one thing with another. We ran Suntour thumb shifters with Shimano derailleurs and later terrible CNC’d levers from one company with similarly terrible CNC’d cantis from another. But there’s little incentive for the bigger companies to offer interchangeability- not only can they better control the user’s experience (think Apple/Mac), leading to improved rider satisfaction, but there’s more money to be made if replacements have to come from the mothership.

    It’s not ideal for those looking to tweak one thing or another- but even I would argue that the majority of riders get better-performing components from the current model. And heck- it gives us the opportunity to fill in the gaps.

  20. > Now I can run 11-36 with a road derailleur on my
    > cross bike/adventure bike/touring bike

    You can already do this with the SRAM rear derailleurs.
    Either with the SRAM Force 1 Rear derailleur, or with a mountain rear plus a barrel adjuster.
    Unlike Shimano, 10-speed SRAM road and 10-speed SRAM mountain are compatible.

  21. @ab, yes, you can use Ultegra 6870 with XTR Di2, but you cannot mix and match the road and MTB derailleurs.

    Read more about my tinkering here – http://www.gravelcyclist.com/bicycle-tech/tinkering-shimano-xtr-di2-road-shifters/

    Simply substitute the hydro shifters I have in the article for your mechanical brake Di2 shifters. Keep in mind that getting the front derailleur to sit close enough to your frame may be a factor – remember road = 68mm BB shell and MTB = 73mm BB shell. In our experiments, we could not get clearance for the chain on the small chainring, big cog combo without chain rub. However, all of that had to do with the front derailleur mount.

  22. @Velociraptor: This is about (inexpensively) modding an existing Shimano drivetrain to run 11-36, etc. Not ripping everything out and replacing it with SRAM.

  23. Nice idea.
    But if you pretend to go on 1x on your road/cx bike…
    Why not use a Mtb rear deraileur?
    I use a X0 rear der whit my Force Shiftere and 11-32 XX cassete whit 46T Garbaruk Mellon and so far so good!
    Also have a XX 11-36 i can swap easily if i pretend to ride the hardest climbs!

  24. Already running an X.9 mid-cage rear (no clutch) with a 36T XT cassette and chain on an all-road bike with full Apex up front (2×10, road levers, 50/34 chainrings). Don’t have any issues, and have a matching X.9 short cage with clutch waiting in the wings when I go back to 1×10 on that bike. Very happy with the ease of mashing up the SRAM stuff.

  25. SRAM
    -10speed Mtb/road are compatibke
    -They make the force cx1 rear deraileur that is supposed to work with 10 or 11 speed road shifters. If so that means you can use it with 10speed Mtb . The 11speed Mtb is supposed to have a different pull ratio. Any one here have luck running sram 11speed road shifters with an 11 speed Mtb deralieur(xx1,xo1,x1)?

  26. I’ve been doing some homework, cannot find out why this isn’t SRAM compatible…. I saw something about slightly filing a tip on the roadlink down, but no mention of SRAM compatibility. My Red rear der doesn’t have the range I want right now. Anyone have a simple answer?

  27. My road bike is 26/42 11-27 and the off-roader is now 24/38 11-30.

    I don’t like triples and I like relatively closely spaced gearing, so double it is (don’t want the big jumps between sprockets you get with 1x drivetrains). I also REALLY dislike the look of long cage derailleurs.

    The only compromise is using 11t and 12t sprockets, but those are downhill only gears, so no biggie.

  28. This is not a new idea? Been doing this year’s, and £20 is definitely a rip of for cheap grade ally, easily made at home with sparse tooling, or lol around net you will find extended hangers or similar for a fraction of the price.

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