Lindarets x Wolf Tooth GoatLink
Stated Benefits (from Lindarets):
- You will NEVER need a longer b-screw with the GoatLink
- Chain Wrap at 11t/40t (affects cassette life) improved by 69%
- Chain Wrap at 11t/42t (affects cassette life) improved by 53%
- Free Chain at 11t/40t (affects shifting precision) improved by 25%
- Free Chain at 11t/42t (affects shifting precision) improved by 19%
Manufactured in Minnesota, USA
Stated Weight: 19 g
Mounted To: Santa Cruz Nomad MkIII
Test Duration: 15 days
Test Location: Park City, Utah
Lindarets, which was previously just an apparel and sock company based out of the US, has paired with Wolf Tooth to offer a solution for running aftermarket 40t and 42t cogs on 10 speed cassettes.
The GoatLink is a pretty simple part that replaces the stock link between the derailleur hanger and a Shimano 10-speed derailleur with a longer one.
Essentially, it just moves the rear derailleur farther away from the cassette without increasing the length of the derailleur b screw, which rotates the pivots of the derailleur into some not-so-happy positions.
According to Wolf Tooth the GoatLink works with “Shimano Shadow+ 10 speed rear derailleurs that have a Direct Mount link (including spacer, if so equipped) or B-pivot knuckle with a thickness of 7.9-8.1mm. Shimano changed to this sometime in 2013.”
So get out a caliper and figure out what ya got.
Installation was pretty easy, it just required a Torx and Hex set. But make sure you have the correct model year derailleur (as mentioned by Wolf Tooth) and be careful with the circlip that holds the hanger bolt in. It is easy to bend.
Performance / Durability
Once I had the GoatLink mounted up, I took it out for a ride and was delighted (and a bit surprised) to find that shifting was noticeably better than using a longer b screw as I had done previously. There was much a quicker response in shifts in both directions.
Furthermor, tooth wear on my Wolf Tooth GC42 chainring has slowed down dramatically. Fifteen days is just enough riding that I would expect to see noticeable wear on the big cog, but I have not. I expect that this link would pay for itself in a year by reducing cog wear.
Vs. Shimano XT 11 speed:
I’m actually happier with a XTR 10-speed shifter, SLX 10-speed rear derailleur, and XT 11-36 cassette modded with a Wolf Tooth 42t cog than I am with the dedicated XT 11-speed setup.
The gear range is the same, but the shifting is lighter and quicker on the modified 10-speed setup. So don’t ditch your conversion for XT 11-speed yet!
Vs. SRAM GX 11 speed:
Shifting with the GoatLink is as smooth as with GX. However, the shifter ergonomics are entirely different. I like SRAM’s better, but I prefer the double downshifts that Shimano allows. Importantly, GX does offer a 420% gear range instead of the 382% of the 10-speed conversion because it has a 10T small cog instead of a 11T cog. That range difference is significant.
Unfortunately, I haven’t tried the One Up replacement cage yet, so I can’t speak to how it compares to the GoatLink.
If you are going to run a 42-tooth ring on a Shimano 10-speed setup, the Lindarets x Wolf Tooth GoatLink is worth the money. It will pay for itself just in the reduced wear on your chainring, and it makes 10-speed conversions much more competitive with 11-speed setups.