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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Harris Cyclery Century Special 9-speed cassette

    Hi All - I am thinking about putting together a road bike based on the Surly Pacer steel frame. I am not planning to race the bike, but I would like to put together a bike that is a bit quicker and lighter than my current general purpose bike (old Trek 800 steel-framed mountain bike).

    I'm thinking about installing a Harris Cyclery "Century Special" or "Century 12" 9-speed cassette.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/k7.html#9

    This is a custom cassette that has a 12 or 13 tooth small cog and a 30 tooth large cog. The Sheldon Brown website says that it should work with most modern rear derailleurs (including short cage derailleurs).

    Does anyone have any experience with this type of cassette? I am thinking about installing this to give me some extra low gears for the hilly routes around NH. I am planning on installing a triple chainring crank up front.

    I would prefer to install a short cage derailleur instead of a mountain bike long cage derailleur on my road bike. Does the Century Special work well with such a short cage derailleur?

    The Sheldon Brown website said you can often install a cog that exceeds the derailleurs max tooth limit, provided you don't use the smallest chainring in combination with the smallest rear cogs (too much slack in the chain if you do). Is this correct?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member embankmentlb's Avatar
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    I run a 28 miche rear cog backed up to a standard 12-25 shimano cassette using a short cage rear d & 39-53 front. This setup works but is at it's very limit. If i decide to go with a larger cog i will have to go with a long cage. With a triple you will need a long cage. The Dura-ace 9 speed GS uses what they call a smart cage. Its more like a medium cage but good luck finding one.

  3. #3
    Senior Member climbhoser's Avatar
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    Why are you averse to a long cage? If it's aesthetics then your choice of a road is the Dura-Ace mentioned. If you have some other hangup about MTB rear ders. then get over it. I have an 8 speed XTR on my roadie because I can run a 12-32 cassette, which when paired with a compact double gives me my mountain climbing gears (literally...for riding Mt. Evans, America's highest paved road).

    Shifts crisp, mates with 8-speed barcons and I'm set!
    View my blog: climbhoser.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    I have that very same cassette on my century bike. Triple fdr and long cage rdr. Shimano 105.

    I had to install a new chain, since the chain length was not adequate for the 30-52 combination. I know that you should not ride like that, but on centuries the mind wanders.

    I have never had problems with too much slackness on the small small combination. (Again, the mind wanders).

    Stick with the long cage if you have a triple. Weight savings are insignificant.

  5. #5
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by climbhoser View Post
    Why are you averse to a long cage?
    Have to echo that. Nothing wrong with a long cage. Gives you a lot more flexibility.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

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