Expand gears on cross to make more gravel/adventure

gdcfc1 Posts: 127
Hi - Have 2016 Cube CrossRace SL with full Shimano Ultegra 36/46 and 11-28. I want to have more choice on gearing - add lower end - so can do more hilly/adventure gravel riding. Should I leave crankset untouched and just replace rear cassette? Recommendations for range to go to? 11 -?? ? Will I need to change arm? chain? Sorry to be dim,hope someone can help me at least understand enough to go to LBS. TIA.

looking into the +1


  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,788
    Easiest is a bigger cassette - your rear mech will have a limit on how big - might require a new chain. You can probably replace the 36 chainring with smaller - I'd have thought a 34 for sure maybe less.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • singleton
    singleton Posts: 2,523
    If you look at the GRX 2x gravel groupset, the front chainset is a 48-31 combination, so as a first stage you could replace your front small ring with a 31 or 32 and then see if you needed to extend your rear cassette range.
  • Mad_Malx
    Mad_Malx Posts: 5,042
    With a long cage derailleur you can go 36 on the back. Will need longer chain.
    Could likely put a 34 little ring on the front, but that's only really half a gear smaller. anything lower would prob need a different chainset eg grx 30-46, which brings other possible complications.
  • gdcfc1
    gdcfc1 Posts: 127
    thanks folks - appreciate your speedy answers
    looking into the +1
  • Put an 11-32 or 34 rear cassette on, will make a big difference. Rear mech can often manage 2 teeth bigger than the stated limit
  • mattsccm
    mattsccm Posts: 409
    I use a MTB double chainset. 42/28 with an 11/32 cassette . Silly low bottom gear and maybe at times the top is a touch low. When the 42 is knackered I'll fit a 44.