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Shimano rs11, to use spacer or not?

w1lzw1lz Posts: 37
edited July 2017 in Workshop
Hi there!

So I recently had to change my wheelset due to a dodgey hub. I bought shimano rs 11s.

They come with a spacer that says '1.85mm spacer. For use with 10 speed casette sprocket on 11 speed road wheel and 11 speed road free hub'. So as I have an 8 speed casette I assumed I didn't need it. Took it into a shop to get them to swap over the casette and he said I did need it... as I didn't take it in he had one that he put on.

Anyway 5 miles into first ride and the spacer smashed to smitherines, took it back to the shop and he apologised and said He wasn't sure what was wrong (but the one he put on was plastic). He then put the spacer on that came with the wheel (the 1.85mm one, metal).

I now have no idea if it's meant to have one or not. I find conflicting opinions online. But on the questions and answer sections on wiggle for example it says it should be used on an 8 speed cassette?!

But if this is the case why did the one he put on smash to pieces?

Is it even an issue or will it affect the working if it's on or off?

With this wheel combo and 8 speed casette should it have a spacer?!

Thanks in advanced!


  • k-dogk-dog Posts: 1,652
    edited July 2017
    Yes, you need one. An 11spd freehub is slightly wider (to accommodate a wider cassette) so anything that was designed for older narrower hubs needs the spacer (although confusingly except for some cheaper cassettes which include the spacer built in - 10 speed Tiagra for one).

    As you've seen though the spacers are metal as the cassette is tightened quite firmly against it. That was a stupid mistake using a plastic one. Sounds like he used the sort of spacer you get inbetween cogs (although I can't say why those last better in that situation - a leverage issue?)

    If you didn't use it you wouldn't be able to tighten the cassette - with the lockring bottomed out there would still be play in the cassette.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • plodder73plodder73 Posts: 319
    If the cassette has no play then the wheel obviously needs the spacer. Imagine if you took it off, you would have a lot of play, the lock ring wouldn't take that away. I imagine the other one smashed as its plastic and tightening the lock ring caused it to fracture.
  • plodder73plodder73 Posts: 319
    K dog beat me too it, but what he said.
  • w1lzw1lz Posts: 37
    Thanks chaps, will ride on it tomorrow with a bit more trust!!
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    You can use one of the spacers supplied with 10 speed Shimano cassettes for this purpose. They are fractionally wider - 2.35mm IIRC - than the 1.85 one that ideally should be there but in my experience the 0.5mm doesn't impact on shifting.
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
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