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Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:41 pm
by Lewski33
Evening all!
So i have an old Trek Madone with a Shimano Ultegra 'octalink' crank. I dont think I can afford to buy a new bike but I am looking to upgrade some part on my bike to save weight and in the case of the groupset, upgrade and get something running a bit smoother. I understand that I will have to change shifters, derailleurs etc but could I possibly upgrade to a Dura Ace 11 speed groupset (if that is compatible with an octalink crank/bottom bracket?) Or is there an adapter for this?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Lewis

P.S. I've attached what the crank and BB look like. Hope it helps.

Re: Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:01 pm
by Kurets
You replace the octalink BB with a hollowtech2 BB if you wamt to run more modern cranks.the tool for removing the BB is the same as for square taper BBs, no need for a special "octalink only" tool. The exception to that is that the regular square taper crank removal tools are not compatible with octalink.

Re: Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:01 pm
by Weenie

Re: Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:16 pm
by Lewski33
Thanks Kurets!
Is it really that easy? I understand that I will have check diameter etc maybe a trip to the LBS would be a good shout. Just hope my grasp of the French language is better than my understanding of cranks and bottom brackets!

Re: Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:28 pm
by mattr
TBH, a madone is a recent frame, a "standard" shimano groupset from any of the box shifting warehouses will almost certainly fit with virtually no issues or "specials".

Only thing to bear in mind is that your 9 speed era hub won't take an 11 speed cassette *unless* it's a mavic wheel.

Re: Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:18 pm
by Lewski33
mattr wrote:TBH, a madone is a recent frame, a "standard" shimano groupset from any of the box shifting warehouses will almost certainly fit with virtually no issues or "specials".

Only thing to bear in mind is that your 9 speed era hub won't take an 11 speed cassette *unless* it's a mavic wheel.


Thanks a lot! I have been looking at getting a Chris King 24" threaded bottom bracket and maybe going from there.....Maybe I am being too hopeful? Didn't really think about the rear hub either, so im guessing that would mean a new wheelset or can I (meaning LBS) just buy a new rear hub that accommodates an 11 speed and replace it with the old hub?

Again, thanks for you time!

Re: Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:50 pm
by bikerjulio
I question the wisdom of going to the expense of converting the bike to 11-speed.

If the wheels and hubs are in good condition you could consider a switch to a 10-speed group.

Tiagra 4700 gets good reviews and will update and refresh the bike for a very reasonable price. While doing this you will have a wide range of crankset and cassette options to choose from that will fit your current frame and wheels.

http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/shimano-tiagra-4700-10-speed-double-groupset/

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Re: Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 6:00 am
by TheKaiser
bikerjulio wrote:I question the wisdom of going to the expense of converting the bike to 11-speed.

If the wheels and hubs are in good condition you could consider a switch to a 10-speed group.

Tiagra 4700 gets good reviews and will update and refresh the bike for a very reasonable price. While doing this you will have a wide range of crankset and cassette options to choose from that will fit your current frame and wheels.


I second this suggestion, or if you have some attachment to keeping the Ultegra or Dura-ace level names on your bike, then cruise ebay for NOS (New Old Stock) 9 or 10spd parts at those levels.

The actual weight savings that you will achieve by upgrading to more modern equivalents of what you have are minimal. If your goal is weight savings at a reasonable price, you will likely save more grams per dollar by upgrading your seatpost, stem, handlebar, etc...and while you are at it you would have the opportunity to dial in your position and try some of the newer handlebar bends if you are so inclined. Plus fresh bar tape of course.

If your goal is to "freshen" up the feel of your bike, newer generation parts won't help so much as just new unworn parts. Many people would argue that shimano shifting reached it's zenith with your generation of parts and that they have gone downhill since the introduction of the internal aero shifter cable routing that goes through the hood, rather than exiting right out the inside edge of the levers. Similarly, 11spd is more finicky and less tolerant of cable misadjustment or hanger misalignment than 9 or 10spd. If your parts don't have a lot of miles, it is probable that you could achieve fresh performance with just a new set of cables. If your bike has 1000s of miles on it, and the chain is sloppy and cassette worn, then add them on to the list too, along with a new small chainring. Unless you have already blown through many chains and cassettes in sloppy conditions, then I would doubt that your shifters or derailleurs have an significant wear, at least beyond what some spray lube would remedy.

But that is just my take on things. I know a lot of people like buying stuff, and are searching for ways to justify it, but since you mentioned budgetary concerns it seemed prudent to offer some alternative perspectives.

Re: Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 6:14 pm
by Lewski33
Thanks for all your time and responses!
So, the upgrade isn't necessarily for 11 speed, 10 speed would suffice but a newer groupset tend to start with 10 speed so I am ok with that. Now I understand that Shimano still make 9 speed and yes, any excuse to buy something new and possibly upgrade the bike at the same time. I've gone down the road of new wheels (just some shimano 105's), new cassette, cables, bar tape, new Fizik carbon seat etc but the bike has done 1000's of miles since 2003 and living in the Alps, I am finding it hard sometimes pushing a 53/39 crank! (or so my legs and head tell me!) The crank, derailleur, shifters are quite beaten up as you can imaging over the years. New seat post, stem and handlebars are on the shopping list also :)
Lets start with this new BB and go from there. Again, thanks for your help, suggestions and time. It really is a great forum for advice and tips!

Re: Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 7:33 pm
by vejnemojnen
from my experience, 9spd octalink era was a dark age for shimano.

the 65-55 series ultegra-105 shifters were prone to failure, the derailleurs developed significant lateral wobble and weakened springs in short time, and the longevity of oktalink bb-s are notoriously short.

it's just my observation, though. 9spd okta-era sh stuff should be avoided.

I'd buy a whole new 47..tiagra gruppo, with 13-25 ultegra 10spd cassette and compact chainset if I were you. :thumbup:

Re: Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 7:55 pm
by bikerjulio
Thanks a lot! I have been looking at getting a Chris King 24" threaded bottom bracket and maybe going from there.


Lets start with this new BB and go from there.


The CK BB is for a different crank than the one you have. It's for a modern Shimano crank.

By the time you have paid for a CK BB (169 euro) and new crank (Tiagra 77 euro) you are 2/3 the way to the complete Tiagra group (389 euro).

The new group would immediately replace all your worn components and allow much better gearing choices for the mountains.

https://www.bike-components.de/en/Shimano/Tiagra-4700-Gruppe-2x10-34-50-p53758/

Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:40 pm
by jwj410
Easiest to just do hollowtech bottom bracket conversion and toss the octalink bb. 11spd you would have to have a new wheelset or upgradable freehub. Should be no problem if you do a 10 speed conversion as the hub is the same size as for 8-9spd. Seeing modern groupsets on an almost "vintage" frameset is pretty cool IMHO


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Re: Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 9:20 pm
by Lewski33
jwj410 wrote:Easiest to just do hollowtech bottom bracket conversion and toss the octalink bb. 11spd you would have to have a new wheelset or upgradable freehub. Should be no problem if you do a 10 speed conversion as the hub is the same size as for 8-9spd. Seeing modern groupsets on an almost "vintage" frameset is pretty cool IMHO


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That's kind of what i am going for. No real money to play with regarding a new fancy carbon bike etc so im just going to give this bike some new components and parts as I love to ride it. Plus, by buying the parts bit by bit I can spread the cost.....That's what Ill tell the wife if she finds out!

Re: Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:13 pm
by kdawg
I’d agree with the Tiagra suggestions. My winter bike has old 105 and my new cross bike has new Tiagra - and it’s an improvement. Cosmetically it’s really close to new Ultegra on my best bike too.

That would be an easy swap too - although 2 things.

1. The cable pull is different from other 10 speed so you need to do the shifters and RD at the same time - you can’t just upgrade parts. Obviously you could do the chainset on its own.

2. It’s worth having the BB shell faced. Your current BB sits inside the she’ll but a hollow tech one butts up to the edge. I went through a few hollow tech BBs before getting that done - and since then I’m still on the same one. Seems to help bearing life by lining everything up.

Re: Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:19 pm
by Svetty
You could get Ultegra R8000 and then fit the corresponding 11 -34 cassette to your existing freehub.......

Re: Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:30 pm
by AJS914
Bah-humbug on 10 speed.

I say go for all new 11 speed with Dura Ace or Ultegra or the highest level you can afford. It's really nice to get an all new groupset. And get a compact setup to save your legs in the Alps. Get new wheels too. It will be like a new bike and something you are only doing every 10-15 years anyway. I say do it right the first time.

Re: Octalink Groupset Upgrade

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:30 pm
by Weenie