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  1. #1
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    What size rear cassette with a double front?

    I am using a standard double front chainrings and I was wondering what range rear cassette I should use? I was thinking of a 12-25 or 12-27 and I wasn't sure if this was too big or if there was any downside to have a larger cog if I still had the 12 small.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    A cassette with a big rear cog, like a 12-27, will make it easier to ride up hills. Cassettes with a lot of cogs clustered together, like a 12-23, make it easier to find a gear right in the "sweet spot" when you are riding on the flats. Where you live and how you ride will determine which is best for you.

  3. #3
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    Tells us more about you and where you ride. "Standard" combos are usually 12-23 or 12-25. I ride mostly with 12-23s in moderate hilly areas where I train while I'll drop down to a 12-21 or 11-21 for flat crits. But that's my style which probably isn't the same as yours. The nice thing is that with a few dollars of tool investment you can have multiple cassettes ands quickly swap them around for different conditions. That being said; a basic 12-25 should suit the vast majority of riders (although I hate giving up the 16 gear on a 9 speed).

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    No real downside, just more range. The only downside will come if you don't ever get into the largest (27T) cog. If thats the case drop back to the 12/25. I'm sure it will work with an 8/9/10 speed drivetrain so no worries there. You may have to add a chain link or two if you are jumping from a 12/23 to a 12/27 but if youre putting a new cassette on put a new chain on anyway. Save the old cassette and chain if they are not too worn and then you will have 2 matched cassette/chain combos.

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    I live in Philadelphia, PA. There are some hills around here. The front is a standard double - like a 39.53. I am building this bike up, so there is no old cassette and chain. I was trying to find a cassette that would still let me climb hills - which there are some decent ones around here - its just not Colorado. I am a MTB'er so I am not quite sure what I would need on the road side. This is a 9 speed build up - not a 10.

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    One other problem I am having in this vein is finding a cassette that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I was thinking of a nashbar cassette, but they skip in size from 12-23 to 12-28. The bike I am putting together is mostly high end components - would it be that detrimental to save 30 on the cassette?

  7. #7
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Good value with 105 or SRAM cassettes, imo. Also check out JensonUSA.com. I got a DA 12-21 9speed cassette for $50, but that was a few months ago.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

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    You can get a 9sp Ultegra ($55) or a SRAM 970 ($45) from Nashbar....that seems like pretty short money, Either one would work great and you'd never notice a difference between them and the more expensive ones.

    As far a size is concerned...you'll have to figure that one out yourself....sorry

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    http://sporting-goods.listings.ebay....istingItemList

    Ebay is your friend. I'm assuming you're running Shimano but it was never mentioned. IF that is the case any Shimano or SRAM 9 speed cassette should work regardless of level. IE: Dura-Ace, Ultegra, 105... all of them are interchangeable. Personally, I would look for something like a 105 or SRAM 12/23 or 12/25. You should easily be able to pick one up for under $40-50 including shipping. Personally, I think with a 39 front ring, a 12/25 should be more than enough for any hill, but it really is going to depend on your fitness level. Personally, I'm running a 42 on the front and I find the 25 rear is still plenty for any hills Ive come across so far.

  10. #10
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    I just bought a 105 12-25 from Nashbar for $35. If you are new to road biking and don't plan on racing anytime soon the 12-25 should be fine.

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    A 12x25 provides too high a top gear for most riders. How many can actually make use of a 119 inch high gear?

    Shimano makes a 9-speed 13x25 cassette at the 105 level and it gives a more usable high gear (110 inches) and also includes the very useful 16T cog.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    A 12x25 provides too high a top gear for most riders. How many can actually make use of a 119 inch high gear?

    Shimano makes a 9-speed 13x25 cassette at the 105 level and it gives a more usable high gear (110 inches) and also includes the very useful 16T cog.
    Also at the Ultegra level, and it is a very good choice. I usually ride a 13-26 9-speed or 13-26 10-speed, nice versatility with close ratios.

    Al

  13. #13
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    A 12x25 provides too high a top gear for most riders. How many can actually make use of a 119 inch high gear?
    I can make use of it, but you're right it's not needed. Once you'e going downhill, it doesn't matter if you're spinning at 90 or 120 as long as you're keeping smooth.

    I live around some nice hills and am getting rid of my 12-23 for a 13-28 if I can find it. But I really have to complain about cassette prices. Anyone know where I can get a deal on a CAMPY cassette?

  14. #14
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    SRAM 12-26 9-speeds are still around and going for $40 most places. You could go 13-26 (as mentioned above) if you don't need so big of a top gear, or 13-28 if you want to be confident of having good gears for hills. 13-28 9-speed woud probably be ideal for you, if anyone makes it. I'd want a 28t cog with a 39t small chainring, if I were going to be riding on hilly stuff with any frequency.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    A 12x25 provides too high a top gear for most riders. How many can actually make use of a 119 inch high gear?

    Shimano makes a 9-speed 13x25 cassette at the 105 level and it gives a more usable high gear (110 inches) and also includes the very useful 16T cog.
    I use my 53/12 on every ride, there is a fairly steep and long downhill leaving my house. The 53/12 is perfect as I pedal the whole way down at 35-38mph. But of course you could argue I could just coast down. On the way up, my 39/25 is perfect and if I feel good I can do it in the 23.

    BTW I see Nashbar now offers front rings for standard (non-compact) cranks down to 50, at least for Dura-Ace. That would make the 12 more useable if you wanted and would seem to take the wind out of the compact crank rage.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin70
    I use my 53/12 on every ride, there is a fairly steep and long downhill leaving my house. The 53/12 is perfect as I pedal the whole way down at 35-38mph. But of course you could argue I could just coast down.
    I have similar downhills in my neighborhood and I find I go just as fast if I tuck in efficiently and let the bike run with out pedaling.

    There are, of course, riders strong enough to make good use of a 53/12 high gear but way too many recreational riders try to emulate the Pros with 12 and even 11T small cogs that are wasted on them. I would rather have a better choice of intermediate cogs than a once-a-year downhill only high gear.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    13-28 9-speed woud probably be ideal for you, if anyone makes it. I'd want a 28t cog with a 39t small chainring, if I were going to be riding on hilly stuff with any frequency.
    It's fairly simple to convert a 9-speed 12-25 to a 13-28 but will cost about as much as a complete cassette. Other than custom builders I don't know of anyone who markets it. My 9-speed 13-26 is home built from three other cassettes, including the center cogs out of an XTR (very light).

    Al

  18. #18
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin70
    I But of course you could argue I could just coast down.
    True, but some people like me are doing this for the exercise and shouldn't be taking the break. But learn how to spin and a 12-53 will go at least to 40 mph.

  19. #19
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Did anybody mention Harris Cyclery? Sheldon puts together custom and semi-custom cassettes, including a 13-28 and a 13-30. http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/k7.html
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

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