Installing Wolf Tooth Tanpan SH11 to allow wide-range mtb cassette on road/cx/gravel bike

I love my 2020 Giant Revolt 2 gravel bike but found myself wishing for easier gearing when climbing steep hills, especially when fully loaded on bikepacking trips such as the BT700. My Giant Revolt came with Shimano 105 shifters, rear derailleur, 11×34 cassette and 32/48 crankset. What I wanted was my mountain bike’s Shimano XT rear derailleur with a 11×42 cassette.

Luckily for me the Wolf Tooth Tanpan makes Shimano 10- and 11-speed road shifters work with 10- and 11-speed mountain bike rear derailleurs, using a pulley wheel that amplifies road shifter cable pull to function with mountain bike rear derailleurs. There are Tanpan 10SP and 11SP models and an Inline Adapter. The Tanpan’s MSRP is $60 Canadian.

The Tanpan can be mounted at the rear derailleur or inline near the shifters. The Tanpan is mounted between the rear derailleur and the end of the cable housing, when the cable is not internally routed and the cable housing has sufficient free length to accommodate the Tanpan without tight bends. The Tanpan is mounted using the Inline Adapter up front near the shifters inline between two parts of housing, generally for bikes with internal cable routing.

The Tanpan Traditional installation instructions are relatively clear and easy to follow with supporting images. However the Tanpan Inline instructions have no images. Luckily on the Traditional installation page the first image is of the Tanpan Inline installation.

Wolf Tooth Tampan Inline

Mounting the Shimano XT rear derailleur and 11×42 cassette was easy.

I used one of the many available videos to help me replace the internally routed gear cable on my bike. The rear piece of cable housing had to be shortened slightly because of the closer positioning of the XT rear derailleur.

I put a new Shimano chain on with a quick link without removing any links and was pleased that it worked perfectly.

Here are images of my components before and after the Tanpan Inline installation.

On the stand I adjusted the rear derailleur top, bottom and b-screw and it flawlessly shifted through the entire rear cassette range with the front in both the small and big ring. I then did a road test with some steep hill climb repeats. It shifted flawlessly even under load. Most importantly I had easier gears for spinning up this steep climb and wasn’t near as tired after ten repeats with the 11×43 as I would have been with the 11×34. I’m looking forward to long bikepacking trips with this Tanpan upgrade.

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