Wolf Tooth Components new facility tour-34

If you look at the Shimano product line, there is still something missing. Ask many cyclocross racers, adventure tourers, etc., and you’ll probably find a number who wish they could run a clutched Shimano rear derailleur with Shimano road shifters. Unless a new group is right around the corner, Shimano doesn’t have a Shadow+ option for the drop bar crowd.

That, paired with the desire to run wide range cassettes gave the Lidarets x Wolftooth duo their next idea. As with the Goat Link and Road Link, the Tanpan was designed by Marc at Lindarets and manufactured in Minneapolis by Wolf Tooth Components at their brand new facility…

Wolf Tooth Components new facility tour-35

Roughly translated from Mandarin as negotiate or negotiator, the Tanpan isn’t exactly a new concept. For years, Jtek Engineering has been making their ShiftMate which changes the pull ratio of the shifter utilizing a pulley. Putting their own spin on the concept, the Tanpan is meant to allow for the use of 10 speed road Shimano shifters with a 10 speed Shimano mountain derailleur, or an 11 speed Shimano road shifter with Shimano 11 speed mountain derailleur. It also adds a barrel adjuster to make dialing it in easier, and uses a delrin self lubricating pulley for a total weight of just 17g.

Brendan with WTC mentions this was mostly done to allow for the use of clutched derailleurs for CX racing applications or off road touring rigs. The ability to run wide range cassettes with their Goat Link or Road Link is an added bonus.

Wolf Tooth Components new facility tour-43

After making a prototype Goatotype with a 3D printed metal body, it apparently took a bit of adjustment to get it dialed in since the math for the pull ratio didn’t work out perfectly in the real world.

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We had originally stopped by Wolf Tooth Components yesterday to check out their new facility. You’ll see a much more in depth tour in the near future, but in addition to the two local machine shops they have been using to create their products, WTC took possession of a new 4,000 square foot space to call their headquarters. In addition to product development, finishing, and packaging/shipping, WTC is starting to bring some production in house and just purchased two brand new machines. Between the Y axis lathe with live tooling and a 3 axis vertical machining center with a pallet changer, WTC is able to make products like the Tanpan without leaving their building. Tan pan bodies start as a large sheet of 6061 aluminum and are then machined on each side, popped out of the sheet one by one, and then loaded into the mill for finishing. The lathe is used to turn out the pulleys from large rods of delrin.

Wolf Tooth Components new facility tour-36

Another option in the Lidarets x Wolftooth derailleur optimization category, the Tanpan is available for preorder at wolf tooth and lindarets for $39.95 and they’ll start shipping March 25th.

Tanpan Compatibility Matrix-SH11 Tanpan Compatibility Matrix-SH10

*  GoatLink 10 Recommended for 10s Derailleurs
§  Achievable with Wolf Tooth GC40 or GC42 cog and compatible 11-36t cassette
†  11s Rear Derailleur Only
‡  GoatLink 11 Recommended for 11s Derailleurs 

  • The Tanpan SH10 is compatible with 10s shifters and derailleurs and up to 11-36t cassettes (11-42t with a Wolf Tooth Giant Cog and GoatLink).  
  • The Tanpan SH11 is compatible with 11s shifters and derailleurs and up to 11-42t cassettes (10-44 with a Wolf Tooth Giant Cog and GoatLink 11).  
  • Always adhere to manufacturer’s published derailleur tooth capacity specifications.

  • 1.1mm diameter shift cable required- and a fresh cable is always a good idea.

  • The Tanpan SH10 is compatible with ten-speed Shimano road shifters and optimized for ten-speed Shimano mountain derailleurs.

    • Eleven-speed Shimano mountain derailleurs may be used with only a slight decrease in shifting performance

  • The Tanpan SH11 is compatible with eleven-speed Shimano road shifters and optimized for eleven-speed Shimano mountain derailleurs.

    • Ten-speed Shimano mountain derailleurs may be used with only a slight decrease in shifting performance

 

23 COMMENTS

  1. I use to run a similar system about 15 years ago. Mike used Shimano STI shifters with a Sram rear derailluer. QBP made an adaptor to use road or standard pull brake levers to work with v brakes, the pulley wheel worked just like this, it double the cable pull though.

    • Jeff,
      Having been around for the transition to V-brakes, we certainly remember those double-wheels well. They were a lifesaver when most Shimano shifters were still a part of the brake levers (and the clamps could only be removed with a hacksaw).

  2. Looks more versatile than the jtek shiftmate 8, with the added adjuster barrel. Has anyone used the shiftmate straight model? Can’t find any reviews.

  3. I use the shiftmate straight to convert a front triple STI lever to work with a triple MTB front derailleur. It works great except the STI lever does pull enough cable to stop chain rub in higher (smaller) rear cogs.

  4. That’s a pretty sweet concept. About time. But new D/A is dropping for 2017. Maybe they’ll have a 1x clutch option coming at the same time. Would obviously be more money but it would work well.

  5. Been running with Shimano 10 speed STI shifters and XT 9-speed derailleurs — but no clutch. Great for touring bikes! 24-36-48 up front, and 11-34 in the back. Haven’t dropped a chain yet on gravel or even rough trails.

  6. Cable pulled between shifts isn’t the same between arbitrary shifts on Shimano systems. I highly doubt the cable pull intervals are just linearly shifted between 11s mountain and road…

    • Eric,
      You’re correct- that’s inevitable when the cable stop is fixed and the fixing bolt travels in an arc. While the ‘clicks’ aren’t spaced evenly, the ratio between (for example) the 1-2 and 5-6 shifts on a mountain and road shifter are extremely close. The result shifts extremely well- the clutch does add a tiny bit of hesitation (something mountain bikers will be familiar with), but we think that a lot of people will be surprised at just how well the Tanpan shifts..

  7. Eric, I agree with you but I am betting that this still works pretty well. I’d guess that it shifts perfectly around 99/100 times. Kind of like running Suntour 8spd thumbshifters on Shimano 8 speed drivetrains. I doubt it will meet Shimano’s internal company spec for true compatibility, ie. to shift perfectly 9999/10000 times or something like that.

    This is still an improvement over noisy, slapping chains that fall off (front guide makes falling off less likely) for those who need/want 1x wide range on drop bars and aren’t willing to switch over to SRAM. In my opinion the best part of the clutch derailleur is the reduction in noise which this should achieve adequately and is a nice addition even with multiple rings for an offroad bike.

  8. I’m sure a clutch would be nice, but right now I’m running a beat-up LX “Mega 9” rear on a 10sp 11-40 setup with a 5600 rear shifter, and combined with a Paul Keeper I’ve yet to drop a chain despite my best efforts.

    Cool to see this, though. I hope for the next generation, both companies move their road and mountain groups back to total cross-compatibility like it was with Shimano 9 and SRAM 10.

    • It never should have gone away. It was cheap and good.

      QBP’s travel agent has been around forever, and I seem to recall another brand that came and went.

  9. If you want to run road shifters with MTB clutch rear derailleur, you can do so easily with Di2. Using the E-Tube interface, road Di2 shifters (ST-9070 or ST-6870) can be paired with MTB Di2 Clutch RD (RD-M9050).

  10. Yes – electronic shifting works well, but not everyone has the funds to take things to that level, guys. My morning commute would be a whole lot faster in a Ferrari, too – but it’s just not going to happen.

    I applaud this kind of ingenuity – I’d love to try it – seems like it would add a whole lot of range to a Do It All bike. Not positive it’ll be a permanent solution, however. I wonder if it’s emergence will be more of a Transitional Fossil as the industry/component manufacturers try to figure out of the Gravel/Adventure touring/bikepacking market is a passing fad, or if it’s here to stay.

    • RichieB,

      In some ways I hope that you’re right- in that Shimano releases a ‘cross/adventure group that meets the needs of a lot of riders (drop bar shifters, disc option single or double, wide-range cassette, and clutched derailleur). For cyclocross and commuting a single is all that most riders need, and between gnarmac/adventure/touring and a generally aging population a lot of riders aren’t seeing their gearing needs met either.

      But, like with the GoatLink and Boostinator, changes in taste and standards leave opportunities for smaller players such as ourselves to address unmet needs. The big guys will undoubtedly catch up- by which time we will hopefully have moved on to the next challenge.

      Marc

  11. @Steve nah just use a Lindarets road link instead of dropping extra coin when you don’t have to.

    I put a road link on my 9070di2 and slapped on a 40XTR 11spd cassette no probs. Also Im pretty sure you have to change BOTH the front and rear mech if you want to run an XTR RD. Ie you can’t run road FD with a mountain RD if you are running di2. Correct me if Im wrong.

    As soon as these hit the market Im gonna buy a stack of em. This the best invention of 2016.

  12. I’ve installed a Tanpan on my Americano with Ultegra STI shifters and a Dyna Sys 10 speed derailleur. They work . . . flawlessly. Nice job Wolf Tooth. Going to order another Tanpan for my other road bike which, at my age, also wears an 11 x 36 cassette.

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