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  1. #1
    The Female Enduro velo's Avatar
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    Shimano Cassettes

    Okay...here's the deal...I've got a Shimano Ultegra cassette that is a 14-25 (14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25). I'd like to have a cassette that includes a 13. Ideally, I'd like the 25, but I could live with a 23. Is there an easy way to convert my 14-25 to a 13-25 or 13-23? What size sprockets would it include?

    Another question to go along with this; I'm assuming sprockets can be bought individually, so does anyone know where to buy these? Where would I need spacers inbetween the sprockets for a 13-25/13-23 (I also don't know why they're there, if someone would like to explain that to me while we're at it!).

    Thanks!
    "....You have to have faith that if you're doing the work now,you'll get there sometime."
    - Nicole Reinhart

  2. #2
    Senior Member djbowen1's Avatar
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    I have never seen single sprockets for sale.

  3. #3
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    You can buy some cogs individually but others come with a carrier. You can find good information on what's available for Shimano Ultegra cassettes from this webpage.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
    "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122

  4. #4
    ld-cyclist prestonjb's Avatar
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    I would also recommend aebike.com as well as the above brandford web site.

    The trick for you is that you have a 14- which means that the 14 is the special "top-gear". So for you to even begin to convert to a 13 you will need to buy a new "non-top-gear" 14 and a "top-gear" 13.

    Note that from Ultegra up (and perhaps from 105 and up) the lower (bigger) gears are on special spiders that help reduce weight. The problem with using spiders is they pin the gears to the spider *AND* the gears are specially designed for that position on the spider.

    Currently at 105 the gears are still individual gears so if you buy a couple of gear clusters (cheaper to buy a group of gears than to buy them individually) then you can mix and match the gears to make the cassette you want... Caveat... You may still have to buy a special "top-gear" to suit the combination you are trying to make but both of these sites sell them, like $8 or so.

    Also note that some folks (shimano for one) will say you shouldn't mix gears because the special "hyper-glide" cuts on the gears are designed for certain gearst to be adjacent, however this simply means the gears may not shift as snappy... I've mixed them in any order and I've not noticed a difference in how it shifts.

    Note2: The 105 gears use cheap plastic spacers and they may be pinned together with a bolt or a rivit. If a rivit then use a dremel tool to grind off the rivet head and pull the gears apart (light prying with a screw-driver after grinding off the rivet head).

    The plastic spacers are junk. If you have some ultegra/dura-ace cassettes about they use the "quality" aluminum spacers... Use those instead. I keep spacers and lock nuts from older cassettes to use later in hand-built ones

    Note3: The lock nut for the 11T "top-gear" is different from the one for the 12,13, and 14. The 12, 13 and 14 "top gear" use the same "12T" lock nut.

  5. #5
    ld-cyclist prestonjb's Avatar
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    Oh on the 105 stuff... This year they are still seperate gears... With the shimano trickle down they may be on spiders next year so best to make sure before you order a bunch of gears...

    Also note that the gears on a "cheap" cluster such as a Teagra or the new 9-speed Sora are the SAME GEARS as on the others... Just better plating on ultegra and special "fake-titanium" finish on dura-ace.

  6. #6
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    If your current cogset is in good shape, consider selling it on eBay and buying a new 13-25 set. By the way, I would consider your 14-25 range ideal.

  7. #7
    Year-round cyclist
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    The Brantford site is a good one. Another good reference is Sheldon Brown at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/k7.html

    I also think Sheldon is one of the few who wants to sell individual cogs.

    On the tourer, my own favourite cassette is made of a 12-25 and a 11-32, HG-50 or HG-70 quality (i.e. no cogs mounted on spiders, which means a few extra grams, but more flexibility). I remove the little screws or cut the rivets and make a 12-14-15-16-17-19-21-25-32.

    Regards,
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  8. #8
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    This is actually pretty easy to do....but in your case, not cheap.

    I used branford bike and bought the previously mentioned 13 Top Cog. You will also need to buy a 14 cog w/o the spacer.

    Now you have a choice to make...least expensive option is to simply drop your 25 and you'll now have a 13-23 which will shift beautifully!

    If you still want the 25 at the top, you'll need to spend some more $$. If, as you say, you have an 18, then it's probably connected to the 19 and 21. At this point, you might as well buy a brand new 13-25 cassette from aebike.com.

    From what I can tell, you'll be spending $20 for the 13 top and 14, or $45 for an entirely new cassette.

    Before you spend the $20, make sure both the cassette and chain are in VERY good shape. Otherwise, just buy a new cassette and chain...you'll be much happier

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    The Female Enduro velo's Avatar
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    I think I'm going to go with a 13 top cog, then buy a regular 14 and drop the 25. Then I'll have a 13-23 and I'll be happy. Thanks for everything guys!
    "....You have to have faith that if you're doing the work now,you'll get there sometime."
    - Nicole Reinhart

  10. #10
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    Shimano makes an Ultegra cassette that has exactly what you are looking for: 13-14-15-16-17-19-21-23-25. As far as the spacers, they provide the clearance between cogs for the chain to sit properly. One some cassettes they are made from plastic, which is obviously lighter than the steel that the cogs are made from.

    DEMON

  11. #11
    ld-cyclist prestonjb's Avatar
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    Get the aluminum spacers not the plastic ones. The plastic ones don't last and they are not as exact (IMHO) as the aluminum ones.

  12. #12
    El Inglés el Inglés's Avatar
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    Go for the 105 cassete , it´s bolted together with allen screws so you can mix and match at will , remember that road and mtb cassetes use the same cogs so you can swap them around as needed 13 - 28 , simple take off the 23 , 25 and add a 24 + 28 easy .
    Shimano say 27 max but everybody whos tried the 28 says it works fine .
    Shops here sell them solo so you can really fix what you want .
    ' To Old To Rock ' N ' Roll : To Young To Die '

  13. #13
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Velo,
    Unless I am mistaken the 14-25 is only available in Ultegra which means that the five or so large cogs are rivetted rather than screwed together as the 105s are. This is only a minor inconvenience since 5 minutes with a grinding stone in a Dremel tool will take the heads of the rivets off. I have done this a couple of times. You can then do what you want. You can then leave the cogs separate. The rivets/bolts are just for assembly convenience and not necessary for use.
    Regards,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  14. #14
    Senior Member djbowen1's Avatar
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    i had no idea you could buy single cogs.

  15. #15
    ld-cyclist prestonjb's Avatar
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    RainmanP:

    The problem is the ultegra big gears are not only riveted together... They are riveted together on a spider (carrier). They are also milled down to fit onto the carrier and therefore cannot be used as single gears. I am not sure if the carrier is different from cluster to cluster... I suspect they are. Reason: The larger the gear the more steel shimano would want to remove to replace with the aluminum spider stuff...

    I went for buying "lower" grade clusters like 105s and Teagras and Nexave (comfort bike) stuff. The rear gears are all the same (strength) just different finish. Now with this assortment I can mxi and match to make many combinations. In some cases I will still use the spidered gears if they help me achieve what I want... My Six-Gap cluster of choice is a:

    13,15,17,19,23,27,30,32 composed of a nexave 12-34, an LX 11-32 and an Ultegra 12-27 with a single top-gear-13T.


    I use the above instead of adding a triple. The 32T is only for climbing Hog-Pen-Gap's 12-14% grade (for 2 miles)...

    My Mt Mitchell cassette drops the 32 and adds a 14 for the speedy first 70 miles. Mitchell has a 13-16% grade but only for 1/4 mile. So I wind through and get back to the8-10% part where the 30T is plenty.

  16. #16
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    Getting back to the ORIGINAL question, the easiest and cheapest way to get the 13-25 is to BUY a pre-assembled, brand new, shiny 13-25 Ultegra cassette. By the time you find shops with all the single cogs you need, and the spacers, you will have spent more money and time (which also has a monetary value), than the damned thing costs in the first place. To custom build something that is already sold as one piece is senseless. If you look at the tech info sectionof SHimano's website, you will see that they make several different models of the same sized cog. This is because the ramps need to be set up differently depending on which cog is next in line. I know that doing it yourself will work, even if the ramps aren't in the right place, but it will work BETTER and put less strain on your drivetrain if you just buy the damned cassette and ride your bike.

    DEMON

  17. #17
    ld-cyclist prestonjb's Avatar
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    Actually there were two questions.

    You answered the first pretty well. The rest of the thread is about the second question.

    Third I stated that mixing the ramped gears is suppose to change the characteristics of shifting quickness... But I'd bet you wouldn't notice.

    Fourth... In answering question #2 I pointed out that you cannot build non-standard cassettes without mixing with even mountain bike cassettes.

    I've done it... I shared my experience. I answered question #2. Did you?

  18. #18
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    My answer to #1 makes the rest of the question(s) moot.

    DEMON

    PS- I'm not trying to be a jackass, just efficient.

  19. #19
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    Easy there guys...Velo checked out of this discussion a while ago saying he was going to drop the 25 and add a 13...he'll be all set with a 13-23, should be cheap solution and ramped just right!

    As long as the chain and other cogs are in fairly new condition, rider will happy as a clam. (Even if moderately used, how often is one in the 13 anyway?)

    Peace

  20. #20
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by demoncyclist
    My answer to #1 makes the rest of the question(s) moot.
    Not necessarily. Prestonjb has a very valid point regarding customization, and this discussion is a good example. The stock 13-25 configuration is
    13-14-15-16-17-19-21-23-25, ie, it lacks the 18. I really like having 1-tooth increments up through 19 so I would prefer giving up either the 21 or 23. Now that's just my preference based on the terrain I usually ride. If I am headed to an area with some good hills I put on a different configuration with a 14 small cog, keeping the 1-tooth increments through 19 as well as the 21, and putting on whatever I think I might need for the two big cogs, up to and including a 34. Stock cassettes that go up to 28, 32, 34 almost all have a (to me) undesirable spread in the smaller cogs. It only takes 30-45 seconds longer to slip on the individual cogs which is a small price to pay for having exactly the gears you want.

    Each to his own. The only thing that matters is having fun on the bike...and working on bikes!
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  21. #21
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    Holy Joker Rainman!

    How do you deal with such a spread...even with a large cage rear derailler? And I'm guessing you set your chain to the longest allowable with a 13 T cog.

    I have mine measured for the shortest allowable for my 27T, and w/my Ultegra shorty in the rear I can easily accomodate a 12 if I want.

  22. #22
    ld-cyclist prestonjb's Avatar
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    demoncyclist: I gues sthe woring sounded blunt to me... Sorry for the harsh remarks...

    Yes if indeed his goal is simply to change the top gear then you are correct the thread should end.

    If however he wants to consider other possibilitys (unclear from original post) then we are exploring that aspect.

    Big R:

    I swapped out my DA rearD for an XTR rearD two years ago. The long cage DA is only speced to clear a 27 (yes you can go a bit more but the specs... nevermind)....

    The XTR is spected for a 34 so the 32 is fine. The XTR also has a longer cage for soaking up the difference between 13T and 32T. I set my chain size to handle the 32T (while in the 53T) and simply cut it that length on every replacement (even if I am running a 12x23).

  23. #23
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    Actually, in my quest to keep my Bianchi Shimano free, I just (like 10 minutes ago) ordered a SRAM 8 speed road cassette and PC68 chain to use with a Wheels Mfg kit to fit my Spinergy wheel into a Campy 8spd drivetrain (you have to go with a Shimano compatible freehub and a respaced cassette because the 8spd and 9/10 speed Campy cassettes use diferent splines). I understand that everyone is trying to be helpful, but my completely Virgo soul (and respect for Bauhaus sensibilities) always seeks the most simple and elegant solution, when it is possible. No offense meant to anyone, and certainly none taken.

    DEMON

  24. #24
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Aw, c'mon, Demon, where's the fun in that? Note my tag line. I get as much fun messing around with bikes as riding them...well, almost!

    Big R, I always check the chain length and put on one of appropriate length. I have one of my road bikes set up with a Deore XT rear der which handles the spread just fine. As long as the der is properly adjusted the DA STI shifters work like a charm. On that bike I also have a 110 BCD double crankset with 48/34 chainrings. So if I put on a 34 in back I can get down to a 27 inch gear without resorting to a triple.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    It's not worth it money wise to just change 1 cog. I have a few places on the net that sell the single cogs for $10 - $15 each. You might as well purchase a whole new cogset and be done with it. If you just ride in that same cog over and over it may be worth it but I would never go through the motions. Check the sales.

    Marc

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