The simplest solution is always the best, right? Well, as it applies to modifying 10 speed derailleurs to work with wide range 10 speed cassettes that might just be the case. Just before Frostbike we caught wind of a new product from Lindarets that had nothing to do with high performance socks or apparel. Listed only as a collaboration with Wolf Tooth Components thus sticking to the Lindarets ethos of American made, American sourced products, the teaser was a good one. We had no idea what to expect.
Cassette adapters like Wolf Tooth Component’s GC are great since they greatly expand the range of the drivetrain without having to invest in all new parts. However, the added B-tension needed for Shimano derailleurs needed to clear the large cogs results in reduced chain wrap which leads to poor shifting. Focusing on the chain wrap issue, Lindarets paired up with Wolf Tooth Components to produce the new GoatLink – a replacement intermediate link for Shimano derailleurs. Claimed to greatly improve the chain wrap on modified drivetrains, the GoatLink is a simple, affordable solution to the wide range question…
According to Marc Basiliere the founder of Lindarets, the idea for the GoatLink came to him during an endurance mountain bike race while he was following behind a fellow rider. Marc commented that his derailleur seemed nearly vertical which as most of us know will affect the quality of the shifting as the upper pulley is moved farther away from the smallest cog. In the end, the answer seems quite simple – add a new intermediate link to the derailleur that moves the derailleur into a better position. The resulting placement of the derailleur eliminates the need to drastically thread in the b-tension screw which means better shifting.
Optimized for Wolf Tooth Component’s 40 and 42t Giant Cogs and Drop Stop Rings, the GoatLink will also be compatible with any 11-40 or 11-42 ten speed cassette. WTC is working on their own derailleur cages that will offset the pulley, but Marc feels that the GoatLink is the answer for Deore, SLX, and XT derailleurs while full cages will be the XTR solution, mostly given the price for the GoatLink at just $19.95.
Technical Details from Lindarets:
Chain Wrap at 11t:
- 40t: Improved by 69%
- 42t: Improved by 53%
Free Chain at 11t:
- 40t: Improved by 25%
- 42t: Improved by 19%
Compatibility: The GoatLink is compatible with all Shimano 10s Shadow+ rear derailleurs that make use of the Direct Mount intermediate link to mount to standard derailleur hangers. Direct Mount-native hangers and SRAM derailleurs are not supported. Shimano eleven-speed derailleurs are not supported at this time.
Discussion: All improvements are based on nominal Shimano-specification derailleur hanger geometry. An unmodified Shimano rear derailleur adjusted for the appropriate Giant Cog serves as the baseline (0%), and an unmodified rear derailleur adjusted for a 36t top cog as the target (100%). Due to variations in derailleur hanger geometry, chainstay length, chainring size, B-screw adjustment, and suspension configuration, individual results will vary.
As a collaboration between Marc at Lindarets and Wolf Tooth Components, the Lindarets designed piece will be manufactured by WTC in Minnesota. Precision machined from 7075 aluminum, the link will include a stainless steel bolt and assembles in most cases with only a 5mm allen wrench and without having to remove the chain or cable and housing. It is mentioned above, but the link is only compatible with Shimano rear derailleurs that are compatible with the new direct mount standard. The giveaway is the width of the intermediate link at 8mm, since the previous generation used a narrower link. Also any frames that use the new new direct mount from Shimano are not supported.
Weighing in at 20g, the GoatLink certainly won’t qualify as a huge weight penalty. Likely the first of a few exciting new products we see out of Lindarets, the GoatLinks are available for preorder and will be sold through both Lindarets and Wolf Tooth Components for $19.95.