Bought an alternate cassette?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Uawadall, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    I'm currently using a 50/34 chain ring with a 11/28 cassette. Since I've purchased a new set of wheels, I hardly go into the smaller gears anymore(bottom 4) and bought a 12/23 to swap out from time to time. I have a brand new 11/28 as well and can swap back if the 12/23 doesn't work out. The cassette was practically free, I don't mind if the experiment doesn't work out.I have a few questions:

    Does anyone use a 12/23? From what I hear its not the best for hills, but is more than adequate for flat or rolling terrain.

    Will I need to shorten the chain or tweak the derailleur?

    What Cassette do you use?
     
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  2. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    If you're not using the low end of your 11-28, then the 12-23 makes perfect sense for your terrain. If I wasn't 63 and living in Colorado, I'd probably be using a 12-23, too. Actually, my first bike with compact gearing came with an 11-23 cassette, and it got me everywhere except the switchbacks above Jamestown. And if, where you live, you don't need the 23 to get up the hills, you don't need the 11 to power down 'em.

    While shortening your chain might give you crisper shifting with the smaller cassette, you won't be able to re-use it for the 11-28. On the other hand, the chain will not be too loose since you're going from 11 to 12 on the fast end. For snappier shifting, loosen the B screw to get more chain wrap and move the jockey pulley closer to the cogs. Then when you go back to the 11-28, tighten so the jockey pulley clears the cogs.
     
    #2 oldbobcat, Mar 21, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  3. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    Gearing is dependent on terrain and personal preference. I mostly use 12-23 or 12-25 cassettes. My primary bike has a 53-39 double in front and 12-25 in back. Another of mine has 52-42-(never use) triple in front and a 12-23 in back. Big gears can still get up hills, if you have the legs to grind a bit. While i do like to keep my cadence up in a climb, my PR for a local climb was done in quadzilla mode using the big ring in the 40-50 rpm range for about 4 minutes.
     
  4. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking of using this for my rolling hill routes between 20-50 miles. I'm a thin guy, but strange enough I love to stand climb and grind a lot.I often stand for a few minutes at a time and usually save the spinning for long rides or long climbs. I guess i'll just have to test the cassette out and see how it feels, not the end of the world if I don't find it more efficient.
     
  5. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    I've used a 12-25 most of the time, and occasionally change it to an 11-23 if I'm doing a table flat ride. I'm still using 10 speed cassettes. I can count on one hand the number of times I've had to drop to the 25 on the small ring (34), but I occasionally offend the cross chain police by using my 25 on the 50 on the last few yards of a hill. :cool:
     
  6. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Terrain is the key. Get the gearing you need and don't worry about what someone else uses. My home hill peaks at 14%, and most days I don't hit it hard coming back to the house so I'm in my lowest gear at 3-4 mph. Old bike has a triple, with 30/27 low, while the new one is a compact with 34/32.

    I thought the compact would be harder to get used to after all the years with a triple, but I like the 50/34 and 11-32 set up. With the 11 speed Ultegra 6800, the gaps are fine enough between the cogs so the wide-range isn't really an issue.
     
  7. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    Second question first. I use a 50/34 and 15-27 most of the time. Most of my current hills are big ring hills and a 50/27 gets me up all of them in decent fashion. On my only current little ring hill I use the 34/23. But there are hills nearby where a 34/30 is hard.

    A 12/23 is more than enough for flat to rolling. But you might as well have gears for the worse conditions - head wind going up hill.
     
  8. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    An error on my part, but probably a good mistake...Just looked at the old cassette and its a 12-26...The cassette I bought with the new wheels is a 12-28(the order says 11-28o_O) and my new purchase is a 12-23. The 12-23 might be overkill at this point, but on the plus side, I have options for any type of terrain now. Also, I won't have to worry about chain size or adjustments since they are all 12's.
     
  9. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Errr...yeah, you do. You dropped FIVE teeth from the 28 to the 23. You would need to shorten the chain 5 links (four in reality) to compensate for the same wrap. Comprende?

    Changing in between the 28 and 26, set up for the 28 and there is no need to shorten the chain for intermittent use. Using the 25 when set up for the 28? Yeah, you really should lose those links. You might want to keep two chains around with a quick disconnect link on them.

    A 23 works over lightly rolling terrain for most young guns that are using a 53-39 crankset. With your compact rig that should get you over the most of the local hills and grades, but even with a 34 ring you might need to go lower. It all depends on your strength, climbing abilities, body mass and willingness to suffer going up.

    Your 34 x 23 is 39.9 gear inches.
    My 39 x 25 low gear is a gear higher at 42.1 gear inches.

    If my 62 year old ass can get over the steepest stuff in the Appalachian foothills and the glacial terminal moraines I figure your 40 gear inch ratio will get you over the same stuff.

    Stay thin and light. Build power. Suffer in style.

    And do remember that even pro's bolt on a 27, 28 or even a 32 (and sometimes albeit rarely, a compact crankset!) gear to get over those massive days of repeated 17%-20% slogs.
     
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