Specialized diverge a1 11 spd upgrade qs

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by GuitarRider2002, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. GuitarRider2002

    GuitarRider2002 New Member

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    I recently purchased a new Specialized Diverge A1. The main reason I'm wanting to upgrade to an 11 speed drive train is i want to be able to run much lower gears than what I have now. I'd like a 42-46t in the rear. I know I'll need a long cage derailer, and most likely only 11 speed cassettes come with that low gearing.

    I'm relatively new to upgrading/repairing bikes so I don't completely understand if my current hub will be compatible with an 11 speed cassette. I'm guessing it probably won't. I should just be able to remove my current cassette and measure the hub to see if there is enough clearance? If the hub is not wide enough, does that mean I will have to buy new wheels?

    If I do need new wheels, can someone please suggest some compatible wheels, or tell me what I need to look for. My budget is $300-500. Will I be able to run 28mm tires with 25mm outer width wheels? Is carbon in my price range?

    If anyone knows of any other considerations that I haven't thought of for this upgrade, please share.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    If I'm reading the technical specs for the bike correctly, it came with an 8-speed Sunrace freewheel. If that is the case you will need new wheels.

    The Diverge A1 has a $900 MSRP. An 11-speed drive train and wheels (at least a new rear wheel) might set you back $300 on the cheap to $500. Putting together a driveline that will handle that huge cassette gear you're wanting will probably entail buying a higher end derailleur, but you would have to price that out on the web.

    Shimano and SRAM make 40 and 42 tooth cassettes for single and double chainring applications, but i think the 46 tooth cassettes are only for use with single chainring setups. Again, this is something you will have to research on the web. Your local Spesh dealer can also advise you as to suitable upgrade combinations.

    Lastly, be aware of how much you're going to spend in upgrades weighed against the cost of buying another bike that was built to your specs or at least very close to what you're trying to upgrade to. It's always your choice and do what makes you happy!
     
  3. GuitarRider2002

    GuitarRider2002 New Member

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    Thank you for the reply.

    My budget for the wheels is $300-500, I don't mind spending a few more hundred on the drivetrain. I had saved enough money to buy a higher end Diverge, the model I was originally going to get came with Tiagra, but at that time, and with my limited knowledge I decided that it was more economical to buy the cheaper model, and add the upgrades I wanted. The higher end models did not come with lower gearing, although in hind sight the 11 speed thing would have been much simpler. I didn't know I might have to change wheels. Hopefully I can get the wheels and drivetrain upgraded for under $800-900. I really do enjoy this bike, and plan to keep it for years.

    Even if I can't run the 46, a 40 would probably be low enough. I live in the Ozark Mountains so I really need the lower gears. My mountain bike has a 36 in the rear, and for the most part it's low enough, but it also has a 30 up front. I've considered upgrading to a 10 speed, and using a 36t cassette instead of the 11 speed conversion, but not sure that makes things any easier.
     
  4. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    I think converting to a triple front would be a cheaper option.
    That way at least you get to keep the wheels.
    11-speed wear and go out of tune faster and the parts are more expensive.
    To go to a 46T you also get quite big steps between gears unless you rework your crank to a half-step.
    IMO the only thing possibly making 11-speed worth it is If you go to a single front.
    Is front shifting really that bad?

    Unless you're very skilled at bargain hunting, buying a bike already planning a thorough upgrade is a bad way to spend your money.
    Bike parts are considerably more expensive piecemeal than as part of a complete bike.
    You're better off even taking a loan to buy the bike you want instead of upgrading later.
     
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    STOP THE CLOCK ...

    I am a big fan of using comparatively wussy MTB Cassettes on Road bikes ...

    BUT, what makes YOU think that you want to use a rear wheel whose largest Cog is either a 42t or 46t?!?

    Are you old-or-infirm'd and/or out-of-condition OR are you planning a loaded tour which will traverse mountain roads?

    Are you currently having difficulty pedaling uphill when you are using your bike's current lowest gearing?
    Fortunately, CAMPYBOB is incorrect that your current bike's rear wheel has an 8-speed "Freewheel" ...

    AFAIK, your bike's rear wheel has a Cassette (yes, SunRace makes Cassettes), that means that you can install a 10-speed Cassette on your current rear wheel; but, an 11-speed Cassette will EITHER require a different rear hub-or-wheel OR you can simply re-stack an 11-speed Shimano/-compatible Cassette without one of its intermediate Cogs & spacer and thereby turn the 11-speed Cassette into an 10-speed Cassette (the Cog spacing is essentially the same on 10-and-11-speed Cassettes) ...

    So, SunRace's 11-42 10-speed Cassette should work for you AFTER you change shifters ...
    BUT, either an 11-34 or 11-36 may provide a low enough gear for your riding.
    As far as the new shifters ... you can use 11-speed shifters with 10-speed Cassettes.

    Despite the need for cables whose diecast ends are Campagnolo-compatible (i.e., smaller diameter ... if you are handy & patient, you can simply file them down to size), I strongly recommend that you opt for a set of 11-speed Campagnolo shifters ...

    If you choose Shimano-OR-SRAM shifters, you will need a new front derailleur, too.​
    You will need a longer chain ...

    You may-or-may-not need a different rear derailleur ...
    IMO, if you really need lower gearing than you currently have then dabac's suggestion of a different crankset is probably a better (as in, more economical) option ... in THAT regard, if you think you want significantly lower gearing, then a MTB crankset might be a better option than a Road Triple ....

    I'm NOT sure about the BB which your bike actually has ... the indication is that it is an Octalink ... if that's true, then an older XT/LX crankset which uses the Octalink BB will work ... probably <$50 for a used on on eBay ... if the only Octalink-compatible MTB cranks you can find are closer to $100, then you should probably opt for a MegaExo or Hollowtech II crankset + a set of Hollowtech II external BB cups..

     
  6. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the correction, Alf. It is a cassette system.
     
  7. GuitarRider2002

    GuitarRider2002 New Member

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    As mentioned, I live in the Ozark Mountains, and yes I do plan on doing lots of touring in this area. I handle most hills fine with the compact double, but constant rolling terrain or steep mountain grades really gets to me. I've only been cycling a few years, I've lost about 60 lbs and I'm in better shape, but I still adore lower gearing. Better to have and not need.

    I was going to swap out my current crankset for a tripple, but my current setup is 32t in the front and 32t in the back, a tripple crankset would take me down to a 30t, so only loosing 2 teeth, it would certainly help but not a big change. If you look at the other road tripples available some don't even go that low, Tiagra has a 32t front and 28t rear. If I were going to not opt for the 11 speed, I would take the 10 speed option and use the Sunrace cassette you suggested, which I did not know existed, so thanks for that. I have no idea what derailer I could make work with it though.

    I really would like new wheels ANYWAY, so I think I am just going to go that route, and get the 11 speed, but I haven't completely decided. I'm still really confused on selecting the correct wheels.

    I am confused on the campy shifters, why would they be a better choice for me?

    I will do some more research on my bottom bracket, I'm pretty sure it's a standard road width, but I don't know the type. I am mostly wanting to make sure I select a BB that's compatible with my frame.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  8. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    While Campagnolo drivetrains are more expensive, you can buy a pair of 11-speed Athena-or-Portenza shifters a la carte for less than the alternatives ...

    Campagnolo shifters can be made to work with most Shimano & some SRAM rear derailleurs ...

    Campagnolo shifters can work with almost any cable-operated front derailleur ...​

    Campagnolo mechanical shifters can move the chain effortlessly from a small Cog to a larger Cog & from an inner chainring to an outer chainring WITHOUT ramping on the teeth OR pinning on the interior of the chainring

    SRAM & Microshift shifters should be as efficient with shifting the rear derailleur ... but, maybe not.

    Apparently for philisophical reasons, SRAM chose to convince users that the emperor's-new-clothes was more fashionable when they gave up on making an efficient front shifting mechanism and offered their 1x option.

    Because Shimano's intentional incorporation of "dwell" in their shifters, Shimano developed ramping-and-pinning -- a good thing.

    There are TWO different Octalink spline engagements ...

    I am one-of-the-twelve people in the World who loves the Shimano Octalink interface ...

    I am only familiar with Octalink BBs which use either English or Italian THREADed BBs .... so, your frame probably has an English threaded BB shell ... THAT's a good thing!

    AFAIK, only Shimano's vintage Dura Ace, Ultegra, and XTR Octalink cranksets use their V1 ("version 1") type Octalink spindle ...

    The FSA cranks which have an Octalink interface use the V1 type.

    Presumably, the Ritchey cranks which have an Octalink interface also use the V1 type.​

    AFAIK, all of the other Shimano Octalink cranksets use the V2 Octalink spindle was introduced with their XT cranks almost immediately after the introduction of their V1 Octalink BBs & cranks ...

    The V2 BB interface is presumably a little more robust (i.e., longer splines which result in more greater contact surface which presumably reduces the likelihood of deformation of the splines if the crankarm becomes loosened during a ride).

    The two Octalink versions are NOT interchangeable.
    IF you opt for a MTB Triple, then you probably will NOT need to change the BB for one with a longer spindle ...

    If you opt for a Road Triple which uses the Octalink interface, then you may-or-may-not need a BB with a longer spindle to ensure that the chainrings clear the chainstay ...

    I found that a 112.5mm XTR Octalink BB worked well with an Utegra 6503 (Triple) crankset on a steel framed bike ...

    I found that a 118mm Ultegra Octalink BB was needed to mount the same Ultegra crank on a particular aluminum framed bike otherwise the outer most chainring would not clear the chainstay.​

    FYI. You can install a smaller-than-30T Granny on a Road Triple. As smalla as a 74BCD 22T chainring is available .

    While I love the Octalink interface, I recommend that if you opt for a Road Triple then you should probably give serious consideration to a MegaExo or Hollowtech II crankset & BB.
     
  9. GuitarRider2002

    GuitarRider2002 New Member

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    After thinking about this for a while now, I have decided to go the triple route eventually. For now I will probably get a triple crankset and use it as a double by removing 1 of the chainrings and adding some spacers. I have a FSA crankset/BB and it is Meg Exo, so I will most likely get a Mega Exo road triple crankset since my BB doesn't have much wear yet. At some point, probably at the end of this year, I am going to buy some new wheels, and may even convert it to a 10 speed, so my "mountain double" idea is good because I won't be wasting any money on a shifter.

    Thanks for the help everyone!
     
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