Cluttered Bench: 11sp Cassette on 10sp Freehub Body
This is Adrian’s Campeur. Like my own, it’s her forever bike. It took her on our wedding tour, countless domestic tours, commuting, and thousands and thousands of miles. More recently, she has been exclusively riding her Pass Hunter and Neutrino. So, it has been a bit sad looking - flat tires, parts robbed here and there for other projects, fenders off... One slower day, I decided it needed to get fixed up. The Sensah 2x11sp Empire components were just the ticket to get it back on the trail!
So here is where we begin, a 2x10 speed drivetrain, bar end shifters, Deore rear derailleur, Tiagra front derailleur, 11-32 cassette, Drillium 34/48 crankset. Solid and dependable. Honestly, we would have rebuilt it very similarly if we could still get ahold of anything from Shimano. It’s also a great opportunity to show you a Bicycle Secret you may not know about.
You see, this bike has an older generation VO Grand Cru 10 speed freehub body and should theoretically only be able to take a 10 speed cassette due to the shorter freehub body length. But! If you use a Shimano spline 11 speed cassette with MTB gearing, it clears the spoke elbows, slides on, and tightens up without an issue.
This Sensah Empire 2x11 rear derailleur is really cool. Yes, it has a carbon cage, which is kinda cool on a steel tubed frame but that’s not all. Its capacity is listed as up to 34 teeth which in itself is quite good. But since we don’t sell an 11-34 cassette, I threw on an 11-36 cassette and with a little bit of fiddling with the b-tension screw, we got it to shift through all the gears without issue!
So now we have a modern 2x11 drivetrain on an older freehub, modern shifter ergonomics, and new Rubbery Tape. It’s honestly a great setup. Adrian typically prefers bar end shifters, but these integrated shifters have a light action and the ability to change the brake lever's reach via a little screw under the end of the hood. So even those with smaller hands can use these without worry.
This is just one Bicycle Secret in our Cluttered Bench, but we have a bunch more! Maybe we should make another “Bicycle Secrets” blog post? Let us know yours!
I’d love to read a “Bicycle Secrets” blog post, or series. It’s what we all crave!
Another great addition you might consider is a suspension stem, like the variable one from Kinect. Really makes a huge difference on longer rides.
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