Lindarets and Wolf Tooth have announced the RoadLink, a little adaptor that sits between a Shimano road rear derailleur and the existing derailleur hanger that allows the use of wide-range cassettes. The concept isn’t totally new, with the two brands introducing the GoatLink to mountain bikers earlier this year.
Designed for 10 and 11-speed Shimano road drivetrain users, the RoadLink is pitched as a solution to Shimano road drivetrain users seeking a single-ring drivetrain or a wider gear spread on a double-ring setup.
The RoadLink is optimized for use with 11-36 and 11-40t cassettes. Cassettes with a 42t largest cog are not recommended.
The brands warn that a secondary form of chain retention such as a chain guide may be needed for off-road use, because of the lack of clutch mechanisms on Shimano road derailleurs.
While the RoadLink is said to be compatible for double-ring use, you’ll need to ensure you have a mid or long-cage rear derailleur. Triple chainring setups, direct-mount hangers, and SRAM and Campagnolo drivetrains are not compatible with the Shimano-only RoadLink.
It's one of those 'why didn't I think of that' parts...
Weighing a claimed 17g, the US-made RoadLink is CNC machined from 6061 alloy and comes with stainless steel hardware. Installation is said to be pretty simple, with just a 5mm hex key and a dab of grease needed for the link itself.