Wolf Tooth Tanpan: Mix MTB Components with STI Road Shifters to Lower Your Gearing

Just days after we covered the JTek range of Road-to-MTB shift cable adapters, Wolf Tooth announced a product that works in the exact same way. Called the Tanpan, it uses a sealed bearing roller to adapt your cable pull ratio from 10 or 11 speed Shimano STI shifters to Shimano MTB derailleurs.

Due to the necessity of a matching cable pull ratio, road shifters will only work with road derailleurs. This can be an issue on a touring bike when the lowest road gear on offer is 34t (front) x 32t (rear). By using MTB components you’ll be able to get cassettes with larger than 42 teeth, and front chainrings with as small as 22 teeth – significantly reducing the gear inches of your lowest gear. That should get you up any climb worth riding!

Wolf Tooth Tanpan Cable Adapter

‘Tanpan’ loosely translates to ‘negotiator’ in Mandarin – Wolf Tooth like to think of this product as able to cross boundaries and break down walls – at least in the drivetrain world.

The Tanpan comes in two different models which are very straight forward:
SH10 – Optimised for 10 speed Shimano road shifters and 10 speed Shimano MTB derailleurs
SH11 – Optimised for 11 speed Shimano road shifters and 11 speed MTB derailleurs

Wolf Tooth say that it will also combine 10/11 speed SRAM derailleurs with 10/11 speed Shimano shifters, although they note that the shifting performance is ‘moderately decreased’.

WolfTooth Tanpan 02
The Tanpan is designed to slot perfectly into a Shimano MTB derailleur

The 17 gram Tanpan is CNC machined in the USA and finished with a barrel cable adjuster, stainless steel hardwear and a high quality steel cartidge bearing. You can get your hands on one for US $39.95.

Don’t forget to check out my Complete Guide to Road Shifter and Gear Hacks to Achieve Low Climbing Gears.

  1. Using 11 speed Inline Tanpan with Shimano with 105 shifter/ hydraulic disc brake lever, MTB M8000 rear derailleur and a 11-42 cassette . It performs perfectly. Very pleased.

  2. Is the shifting as smooth as using Shimano road RD or is it harder to shift due to locking feature in M8000 RD ? Thanks in advance

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