New Cassette Sprocket - Input Required

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by vvanherk, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. vvanherk

    vvanherk New Member

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    Hey All

    I'm looking to change the gearing ratio on my bike, and could use some input.

    I'm on a Trek 5500 with Dura-Ace components. I purchased bike in central California about 14 years ago, and just do pleasure riding.

    It was pretty flat out there, so the gearing was pretty good. I'm now living in Southern Ontario, Canada, and the landscape is not as flat. There are some big hills and escarpments that I'd like to bike up, but find it is just too hard of a push.

    My existing cassette is a Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7700 12-23
    - What would be a good cassette to move to?
    - Should I stay with Dura-Ace, or is Ultegra fine for 1/2 the price?
    - Do I need any special tools to replace?

    I'm planning to purchase from PBK and do myself(unless there is some compelling reason not to). I find the LBSs out here out to lunch on pricing.

    So, that's the scoop. Any input appreciated.
     
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  2. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I would try a 13 - 28. Do you have a compact crankset? Might be worth looking into if you don't have it.

    Ultegra is fine. It might last a little longer too.

    The only special tools that you will need is a lockring tool and a chain whip.
     
  3. vvanherk

    vvanherk New Member

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    In looking online at PBK for Shimano cassettes, I do not see a 13-28 as an option.
    The 12-23 I currently have is a 9 speed cassette.

    As mentioned, I have the Dura-Ace components that came with the bike. I'm not sure what you mean by a compact crankset. The large chain-ring on the crankset is SG B-53.

    I'm not looking to swap too much out at this point. I was just hoping that getting a new cassette, like one of the following would provide a bit of an edge for getting up some steeper hills:
    Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7700 12-27
    Shimano Ultegra 6500 12-27

    Any further input from any and all is appreciated.
     
  4. OldGoat

    OldGoat New Member

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    Either the D/A or the Ultegra will work fine. My Aegis originally came with a 9-spd D/A 12-27. Largest cogs are titanium, which reduces weight a bit, but not worth the added cost IMO. Being an old guy and overweight and out of shape at the time, I dropped the 13-tooth cog and added a 30-tooth (bought from Harris Cyclery) on the inside, using the spacer that had been behind the 13. Worked fine with my D/A rear der. Actually, I tried a 32 back there first, but the rear der couldn't handle it. As I've gotten stronger (unfortunately not younger though...), I've been able to move to an 11-26 SRAM (another option for you to consider) in back and can still handle the hills of northwest Connecticut. The nice thing about 9-speed stuff is the wide range of options, even including "mountain" rear ders and wide-range cassettes up to 11-36. Cheaper than 10- or 11-speed too! And if you want--or when your 9-speed Shimano shifter craps out (it will)--you can ditch your 9-speed Shimano shifters for 11-speed Campagnolo ones--the cable pull is almost identical for both!--and keep the rest of your Shimano drivetrain.
     
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    In looking online at PBK for Shimano cassettes, I do not see a 13-28 as an option.
    The 12-23 I currently have is a 9 speed cassette.

    As mentioned, I have the Dura-Ace components that came with the bike. I'm not sure what you mean by a compact crankset. The large chain-ring on the crankset is SG B-53.

    I'm not looking to swap too much out at this point. I was just hoping that getting a new cassette, like one of the following would provide a bit of an edge for getting up some steeper hills:
    Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7700 12-27
    Shimano Ultegra 6500 12-27

    Any further input from any and all is appreciated.


    FWIW. You could simply buy a 9-speed 11-32 LX cassette and cannibalize the 28t cog from it and restack your current cassette ...

    OR, use the 11-32 cassette, as is, and adjust the B-screw on the rear derailleur to increase (i.e., create) enough clearance for the 11t upper pulley wheel to clear the 32t cog ...

    OR, do what I do, and replace the 11t upper pulley wheel with a 10t pulley wheel.

    +1 on marrying Campagnolo shifters with Shimano drivetrains.
     
  6. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    Get a 12-27, Ultegra. I'd put a new chain on as well unless the old chain is almost new and sized properly.
     
  7. Motobecane

    Motobecane New Member

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    definately replace the chain at the same time. A "compact crankset" is a crank with 2 rings which are usually 50/34 as opposed to what you have now which is probably 53/42 It gives you more range on the bottom end without sacrificing too much on the top end.

    as others mentioned, you need a chain whip to remove the cassette but you can also pay your lbs a few bucks to do it for you, if you buy the casette from them they'll probably swap it for free. I wouldn't bother with getting a duraace cassette, you say you just do pleasure riding, you should price out SRAM casette and chains as well, it's shimano compatible, readily available and usually cheaper. I could be wrong on this but i feel like shimano chains don't come with the powerlink so you need a chain tool, but I could be wrong.

    Regarding pricing, keep in mind lbs need to maintain brick and mortar storefronts, and are usually priced higher. As a member of a local cycling club, my lbs gives me a 15% discount on parts so that discount usually gets the pricing close especially when you factor in not having to pay for shipping and th einstant gratification factor.
     
  8. vvanherk

    vvanherk New Member

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    Hey All.

    Thanks for the great input.

    I have 53/39 chain-rings on the crank, so I think I will leave those alone for now, and just do the cassette.

    I talked to a guy at the lbs, and he seemed to think the jump from a 12-23t to a 12-27t would give me what I'm looking for, so I will go with that. He was the owner, and pretty nice guy, so he is gonna get me prices on both D/A and Ultegra cassette(I'm leaning towards the D/A, just cause everything else is D/A, and I'm picky that way) Anywho, if local guy is close to pricing, I will just go through him, as it is nice to support a local resource.

    So, a couple of you have mentioned that I should replace the chain. I have no problem with that, but what is the reason? Is it because existing chain and cassette have worn down together? If so, how does that logic apply to not replacing the chain-rings on the crank?
     
  9. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    By adding more teeth on the rear cassette it takes more chain to complete the distance around the largest two sprockets. So if your chain is not long enough you will have problems.
    Have you replaced your chain at a regular interval?
    Chains do wear out and need to be replaced periodically. There are chain checker tools available to measure wear and also a method of measuring chains using a steel rule measuring the distance between the pins over twelve inches. If worn chains are not replaced they will lead to premature breakdown of your cassette and chain rings which will cost more to replace.
    I am surprised that the LBS has not recomended replacing your chain.
     
  10. OldGoat

    OldGoat New Member

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    "So, a couple of you have mentioned that I should replace the chain. I have no problem with that, but what is the reason? Is it because existing chain and cassette have worn down together?"

    Yes. See this link:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html

    "If so, how does that logic apply to not replacing the chain-rings on the crank?"

    Teeth on the cassette (especially the teeth on the smaller cogs) experience much more wear than do teeth on the crank chainrings, though it may eventually be necessary to replace the chainrings as well.

    Sheldon Brown (R.I.P.) has a nice explanation of cassette removal process; see also the Park Tool website.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/k7.html#remove
    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/cassette-and-freewheel-removal

    Here's a ParkTool link describing how to go about replacing the chain.
    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/chain-installation-derailleur-bikes

    Sheldon Brown and ParkTool discuss chain length at the links below. You will almost certainly need our new chain to be two links longer than your old one in order to accommodate a 27-tooth rear cog.
    http://sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html#chain
    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/chain-installation-derailleur-bikes

    You should acquire a chain measurement tool, and replace your chain whenever it indicates you should. Chains are cheap; cassettes and chainrings are expensive. By replacing your chain before it's excessively worn, you can prolong the life of the rest of your drivetrain. As a general rule, any new cassette should start out its "life" with a new chain. Here's a link to the chain gauge I use and prefer:
    http://www.amazon.com/ProGold-11022-Progold-Chain-Gauge/dp/B001AYMR7Y

    Keep your new chain clean and well lubricated and it will last longer and perform better. Use of a 9-speed SRAM link with your 9-speed chain (whether SRAM or Shimano) rather than Shimano pins makes it easier to remove your chain for a periodic thorough cleaning; in between such cleanings, use a brush (old toothbrush will do) to remove grit and then apply lube. I like White Lightning's Clean Ride self-cleaning wax lube myself, but everyone has their own preference. (I do not wish to rekindle the holy lube wars....)
    http://www.whitelightningco.com/products/index.htm

    Note for anyone else who may refer to this post: Be aware than SRAM's 8-speed links work with SRAM 8-speed chains only, and do NOT work with Shimano's 8-speed chains, which are slightly wider than SRAM's. If you have an 8-speed drivetrain and wish to use SRAM links, purchase only SRAM chains.
     
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  11. Motobecane

    Motobecane New Member

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    regarding "I'm leaning towards duraace because everything else is durace anyways" if you've got the money to burn, great, but quite honestly, I think you can find an SRAM 9speed casette for between 35-$50 while the dura ace is gonna run you upwards of $100. your really not going to notice any performance difference and quite frankly, the cheaper casette is probably MORE durable. products designed to be lighter in weight, often wear faster. your better off saving that $50-75 and spending it on other items for the bike. just my 2 cents.
     
  12. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    +1. SRAM cassettes and chains are less expensive and work just as well with Shimano derailleurs as OEM Shimano equipment does. A bonus with the SRAM chain is the Powerlink which allows you to break the chain without a chain tool. With the Shimano chains, you need a chain tool to break it, and a special replacement pin to put it back together.
     
  13. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    The chain may be too short to go big-big w/o breaking said chain. Depends on the age of the chain and if it were sized properly. If it's fairly new and sized properly, leave it on.
     
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