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Old 01-30-07, 05:51 PM   #1
tromper
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Cassette Type etc.

Hi folks,
A simple sweet question that may well have a complex debated answer.

I'm in need of a new 9 speed cassette for my Jamis Nova.
I'm running a sram chain which seems agreeable with my shimano octalink cranks, & current 105 cassette.
I'm thinking the
Shimano Ultegea 12-27 - Expensive
SRAM 970 12-26 - Not too bad for price - Funky orange spacers
SRAM 950 12-26 - Great Price

What do ya think would be best. I'm no weight weenie, heck I can lose more then the diff in weight by jogging around the block before riding. But durabilty, & shifting are the questions since I use this bike for commuting in Seattles wonderful varied terrain.

Is there a major difference between these?
Is the Shimano worth the money?
Is the 970 that much cooler then the 950? (Orange spacers seem silly aesthetically; however I don't spend a lot of time staring at my cassette)
I'm also thinking of replacing some chain rings on this & my old trek multitrack 750 (Lugged!!) any prefered brand or type for either of those?

Thanks for your thoughts & advice. Flame if ya wanna as long as it has something to back it up
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Old 01-30-07, 07:11 PM   #2
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I've used the SRAM 970 and Shimano XT cassettes in the nine speed version, which I think would be comparable to the Ultegra in terms of quality. I can't say there's any noticeable difference in durability, they're both good cassettes. As far as compatibility, all three you mention are fine, and that applies no matter which brand of chain you use also, as long as it's a nine speed model........I've seen the SRAM 950 as OEM on some new bikes, I must admit it looks a little cheaper than the 970, but as far as durabilty I wouldn't be surprised if it's as good as the others. I haven't seen the orange spacers you're talking about on the SRAM 970 (mine doesn't have them), so no comment on that-
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Old 01-30-07, 07:11 PM   #3
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... Or you could get a Shimano LX-grade (HG-50 or HG-70, I think) at a great price if you want something like 11-32 or 11-34.

Basically, apart from actual gearing range, the only differences between all of these are:

– Economical cassettes use individual cogs. They cost therefore less to manufacture, but they weigh a few grammes more.
– More expensive cassettes have a few large cogs attached together on a spider. This reduces weight a bit, but unless you race, I see no advantage to do so.
– There are even more expensive and less durable cassettes, the Dura Ace ones, that have their large cogs made with titanium. If you have money to burn, please send it to me.

As for orange vs grey spacers, do whatever you want. Once you travel 15-20 km in the rain, they will be grey anyway.
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Old 01-30-07, 08:41 PM   #4
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Sounds reasonable so far. I fear I have the stock rear derailleur so anything beyond a 27 is a bit dubious. I've read Mr. Brown's comments on optimized vs. it works on that, I can live with a 25 so a 26 so the "optimal" range should be fine. Far as the spacers go orange was what I've seen stock, I dunno if those are supersecretstuff spacers that make you 25% faster when using a SRAM chain or if they're just a fashion statement, so was a bit curious if anyone knew.
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