Rear Cassettes What Sizes are best?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by SCOOBA STEVE, Aug 13, 2003.

?

WHAT SIZE CASSETTE DO YOU RACE WITH

  1. 12-21

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. 12-23

    20 vote(s)
    12.7%
  3. 12-25

    61 vote(s)
    38.6%
  4. OTHER - LIST BELOW

    77 vote(s)
    48.7%
  1. retrogeek

    retrogeek New Member

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    I second what Roy is saying. What works best in terms of rear cassettes depends on what you have in terms of front chainring setup, and vice versa.

    I use a 12-21 9 speed rear cassette 90% of the time and change to different chainrings on the front to adjust to the terrain I am going to be riding on. I always use a triple chainring for all riding situations, I use a 48 tooth big ring on the front for training on flats and a 50 tooth big ring on the front when doing anything serious, like a century ride. For hills I might use anything as low as a 28 tooth inner ring on the front for really big hills that I am training on, and a 53 for the decents.

    The point is finding and using "effective" gear ranges for the conditions you are cycling in, training, racing, club rides, etc.. Get familiar with gearing charts and experiment with different combinations to see what works well. I personally like to use the straight block format of a 12-21 (9 spd) or 11-21 (10 spd) rear cassette to keep the jumps from gear to gear small, that way I can better control my pedalling cadence, and I use the triple chainring to compensate for any high or low ratios that I may need.
     


  2. rek

    rek New Member

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    I use a 12-25, 39/53 .. but never really use the 25 cog, and only occasionally use the 23. I guess I could move to a 12-23, but I like to have the 25 there as "insurance", just in case I bonk out, have no inclination whatsoever to get out of the saddle, or whatever other excuse I feel like coming up with at the time ;)

    As the 25 is there only as a bailout, a 26 tooth bailout would be even nicer.. hence my next cassette will probably be one of those SRAM 12-26s (same gearing as the 12-25 Shimano cassette, but the 25 replaced by a 26)
     
  3. xc_gumby

    xc_gumby New Member

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    12-21 x 39/53 is heaps.

    Though I do notice that under load changing down 53 to 39 occasionally the chains gets thrown off. I've tinkered, but to no avail.

    Used to ride with a 12-23 but I hardly ever used the 23 so I thought 'what's the point'? I hardly ever use the 21 for that matter.
     
  4. tafi

    tafi Member

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    I'm currently using a 23-11 and 39-53 combo. But am thinking about a 42-53 or 42-52 for a new set up. The idea behind the 52 is that the 11 is a few inches shorter, so it would get used more often.
    Anyone have any experience with this sort of set up?
    Calcuating it out shows tha I only lose the lowest gear when I change over and I'm going to get longer cranks anyway.
     
  5. jmcmillanut

    jmcmillanut New Member

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    I run an Ultegra 11-27 cassette w/ 52/39 chain rings. Need the 27 for the lengthy steep climbs we have in the Wasatch Front (Utah). Otherwise I'd have to resort to a triple chain ring.

    My bike maintenance book says not to use the smallest cog w/ the small chain ring, and don't use the largest cog w/ the big chain ring. Apparently using those combos causes wear on the cog and chainring teeth, which can negatively affect shifting down the line.

    Also, if you calculate gear-inches for the two "forbidden" configurations, you can usually find a similar gear (+/- 3 in.) that is acceptable to use in accordance w/ Shimano's guidelines. That is, the small chain ring/ middle cog combination is probably similar to using the unfavorable big chain ring/ big cog combo.

    Here's the calculation for gear-inches (and gear-cm):

    gear-inches=(chain ring teeth/ cassette teeth) x wheel diameter (in.)

    gear-cm=(chain ring teeth/ cassette teeth) x wheel diameter (cm.)

    Or you can go to this website which has a calculator on it:
    http://www.panix.com/~jbarrm/cycal/cycal.30f.html
    You just need to know your cassette teeth, chain ring teeth, and wheel diameter (w/ tires inflated).
     
  6. c_record

    c_record New Member

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    Unless you are riding on Europe on a pro team, you can leave the 11 at home.

    But every one should use a small gear on climbs. It depends on the climb of course, but any climb which sees you below 20 kmh really should put you into a 23 or 25 cog. it just saves your legs.

    Basically, your cadence should always be over 85 and when you are sprinting it at 130+. When you work out the cadence for the speed you are travelling during a race you will probably find the 12-23 (or 25 in the mountains) suitable. Or your in the middle of the 'Tour'!

    Though the 11 does help when you try to crack the 100 kmh barrier on a descent!
     
  7. memphiscyclist

    memphiscyclist New Member

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    I took my training wheels off when I was about 6.
     
  8. larry barr

    larry barr New Member

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    I have a 13-29, paired with a 42/53. I find it really efficient. I also like it because I can just change out the 42 for a 39 if I am going to head into the mountains.
     
  9. larry barr

    larry barr New Member

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    As noted above, the only problem with only having a 13 is that you spin out on big descents. It is a trade off against having the 29 for the really steep stuff.
     
  10. crystal_tears_

    crystal_tears_ New Member

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    I use an 11-23 Dura Ace with 53/39 rings. Unfortunately with this cassette ratio there isn't a 16 tooth sprocket which would be useful. The countryside is quite rolling around this part of England. Lots of gear changes are required. So i'll make sure to buy a 12/23 when my gears pack up which will give me a 16 in the back.
     
  11. closesupport

    closesupport Banned

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    DURA ACE Groupo 12/21 9speed 53/39 i prefare 53x the larger 3 gears. one day i'll bother counting how many there is :)
     
  12. commjoe

    commjoe New Member

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    An 11-23 9-speed cassette with 53-39 chain rings.

    Ref: 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23

    We have 6-8% grade hills where I ride, plus I haven't sensed much benefit from going to the 11-21 (or 12-23) in which you have the 16-17 in the middle which is only a 6% change, hardly worth the bother of a shift. The 11 is actually most useful when at the end of the paceline just to stand-up and stretch while rolling over that big gear.
     
  13. closesupport

    closesupport Banned

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    that case
    tri 53x14/15 12 on flats
    racer 53x12/13
    mtb 49x17 (spin purpose only) 49x11 on flats.

    that 6% makes a big difference i find especially when accellerating
     
  14. li0scc0

    li0scc0 New Member

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    But if you learn to spin up the hills you will get up faster AND fresher than if you grind the big gears!!!
     
  15. closesupport

    closesupport Banned

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    i have dura ace 12/21....... 23 is to small for anything other than climbing walls.

    as for spinning up hills and being fresh, why can't you obtain time to recover with short one legged intervals giving each leg adequate time to recover, then they seem fresh again without loosing any valuble time from spinning.

    I also like mashing out a large respectable gear, with additional pulling on the bars just so that i can provide a touch more power on climbs, if you can stomp hard on the padals and force the pedal through at the bottom, this i find to be a better method than spinning the smallest gear, at 4-5 mph i'd rather try to maintain 12-15mph on accents with the methods i encorporate into my training regimns.
     
  16. jamesvbusa

    jamesvbusa New Member

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    I'm just getting back into biking after a 10 year layoff. I've been climbing a 1 mile long (10% grade average) using 39/21 gearing. Should I be able to spin up that type of climb? Currently my 43 year old, out of shape, (190 pounds) body is out of the seat for the last 1/4 mile. I'm afraid I'll cough up lung unless I get lower gearing. Opinions please.
     
  17. bluecann

    bluecann New Member

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    for whats it worth, ill give mine. im in pretty much the same position as you. im 42, 200 lbs, but i wouldnt consider myself out of shape. ive been running (30-36) miles a week for the last 15 years but recently switched to biking (4 months ago). there is a long up hill on my daily ride that has an even longer steeper decline on the other side. when i bought my bike it had an 11/21 cassette and going up the front of the hill in 39/21 it was all i could do to make it before passing out. i would try to keep spinning but the legs & lungs just wouldnt keep up as i got to the top. i could just barely make it. climbing the longer backside on the way home was a losing proposition. 39/21 just wasnt enough and i would have to get off and walk the last 1/5th of the hill. i have recently switched to a 12/26 cassette and all is better. the front side i am able to spin & not die in 39/23 and the steeper/longer backside i am able to spin & make it all the way in 39/26. i kept my old 11/21 cassette and might put it back on as i get into bike shape but so far im loving the 12/26 and plan on staying that way for a while. from one new old guy to another.:cool:
     
  18. jamesvbusa

    jamesvbusa New Member

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    Thanks Bluecann,
    I think I'll switch to 12/25 until I get my legs back. I'm using the Rosarita to
    Ensenda ride as my current goal. Then I'll start racing just for the fun.
     
  19. bike4miles2

    bike4miles2 New Member

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    I think you mean 11-23 and 11-21 but at any rate the 11-23 will get your butt up any hill, as long as you are in shape. If your not in shape, you will get there fast with the 23 cog!
     
  20. bannerrefugee

    bannerrefugee New Member

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    I have a 12-25 I use for training or racing. I have a second bike which I use for time trials which is a 7 speed cog which is missing the 12 and goes from 13-21.
     
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