Elite Direto cassette - can’t align rear derailleur

Points well taken, thank you for taking the time to address these issues and some things that I have clearly misunderstood. I’m going to read up and watch that derailleur adjustment video. Thanks again for taking the time to explain, really appreciate it!

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Thank you very much! I have realized during this thread how behind I’ve been on rear derailleur adjustments, too many wrong assumptions on my part.

Haha yeah, that’s what I used to do and now got the dumb idea that an 11 speed should equal pefect compliance for each gear. On the bright side, this has shown me just how woefully inadequate my understanding of gears were

I have a bike that stays on trainer all the time, 10sd shimano

When just riding on Zwift, my misalignment challenge comes when going from big ring to small up front

I blamed Direto for similar problem. Same bike on trainer and outside. If indexed correctly for one, crappy shifting on other. Asked LSB if they could fix if I brought trainer in too. Nah, they said, one or the other.

Turns out the leftover cassette on the trainer was Shimano 11-32, whereas the same level cassette on new bike was 11-34. I remembered at time thinking no problem, since they’re both same level 11-spd. And there wasn’t in erg with no shifting. Resuming Zwift after COVID is when problem surfaced. It disappeared when I replaced older 11-32 with new 11-34 I was saving. Apparently the cogs are spaced just enough differently to require slightly different indexing. Who would have thought?

  • That’s not correct.

The cogs on ALL Shimano 11-speed road cassettes are spaced EXACTLY the same.

As I mentioned above, the 11-34 cassette is effectively more of a MTB style cassette. The main cassette width as the mounting flanges is effectively a 10-speed MTB cassette. This cassette requires the typical 1.80-1.85mm spacer when used on a road freehub body.


Indexing issues between a wheel and trainer are down to the subtle tolerance differences of where the exact final position of the cassette lands between each device. Manufacturing tolerances lead to a different left/right location, and when that is off enough, it leads to poor shifting and the need to adjust the derailleur using the barrel adjuster.

This is no different than having two wheels for the same bike where the cassettes are not perfectly matched. It is fairly common and something that can be handled quickly once you know the right adjustment process.

For those that want a “perfect” match between bikes and trainers, it’s possible to use very thin shims (like the ones for shimming disc brake rotors) to get the alignment between cassettes on different wheels and trainers much closer. It’s possible get them all close enough to eliminate the need for adjustment.

I was wrong then.

That’s what the LBS seemed to be saying, although he didn’t have a shim fix.

Nonetheless, when I did my own swap out of the two cassettes, the problem disappeared, and now the bike shifts perfectly on or off trainer. :man_shrugging:

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Sure, you swapped one cassette for another. Each cassette is likely to vary in width and functional cog location (within the specified tolerances of the mannufacture) so one may be slightly offset when compared to another. In your case, that may have just been enough of a difference to “fix” the issue.

Same problem here.

I will try to use additional ring under the cassete to make the offset the same on both a bicycle wheel and Direto.

Hi everyone, I have the same issue and it’s quite frustrating. One of the main reasons I’ve decided to buy a turbo trainer was convenience (wheel on/off and go). Seems like I was very wrong.

I’ve followed some of the advice here (barrel adjustments) and have used the 1.85mm ring that was delivered with the shimano cassette. Still, I can’t get the chain to run relatively smooth and there’s still friction if I shift +/- 2 gears.

Did anyone of you make it work to an acceptable level? In addition to the shimano spacer, did you also use the other rings that came with the trainer? I’m also thinking about giving it a try to use these very thin rings for micro adjustments…

Are you trying to setup a 10 or 11 speed cassette? It’s been some time since I set up my Direto but for Shimano 11 speed cassettes and hubs you install without any spacers. For 10 speed Shimano you use that 1.85mm spacer and the 1mm spacer that comes with the cassette.

If you put a spacer when you shouldn’t have that may explain why things are off.

Hi, using the Shimano 11s 11-34 cassette. What was explained in comments earlier is that it’s effectively like a mtb cassette so I’ve added the spacer that came with it. Otherwise the cassette is pretty lose. I’m just wondering if the other people here added additionally to the Shimano spacer also the spacers from the trainer itself. I’ll probably just give it a try since it’s really not running smoothly yet…

Which model cassette? Sounds like you have an HG800 which I believe is one of those new 11 speed cassettes that can fit on a 10s hub. Not 100% sure on the spacers to use but I imagine you’d need 2.85mm total of spacers (the 1.85mm +1mm unless you’ve also got a 2.85mm single spacer on hand). If that’s the case that should get rid of the slack in your setup as it sounds like you don’t have enough spacers in there if it’s loose. It shouldn’t be with no lateral play/movement at all.

I’ve got a Shimano 11s HG700 11-34 cassette on my bike and got the same problems with the suito.
I tried to align the suito-cassette but didn’t get it to fit perfectly. After reading about my HG700 cassette, I just decided to order another HG700 to mount it on my suito, but still got the same problems:
I can’t get on the smallest cog. My limiter seems to be set up correctly, as the derailleur sits underneath it. Anyway, it’s at it’s maximum as I cannot get it to move further out. But even 2 whole turns of the barrel adjuster aren’t enough to get on the smallest cog smoothly.

I used the 1.85 spacer delivered with the new HG700 cassette and even tried it without it. I will try to use 2.85mm total of spacers and see if it does the job better

  • Despite the above…
  • This indicates your high gear limit screw is probably not correct for the trainer.
    • If you have not already tried, loosen the HL limit screw 1/2 a turn and retest. Make absolutely certain you are adjusting the correct screw. They are usually marked, but sometimes hard to read or not there at all.

I have the Elite Suito but same issue. New chain and 11 speed cassette that came with the trainer. I have followed the instructions to use the skewer spacers. Bike fits ok but [ derailleur will not move chain to the highest 3 gears on the rear of the cassette and runs pretty rough anyway, far worse than when the wheels is on the bike. It looks like spacing is wrong - which makes it feel like indexing also off. But I am using the only spacers that could work. Solution as someone else said is to call it a day at gear 8!