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  1. #1
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    Difference Between 11/32 and 11/28 Cassette

    I just got back from the LBS. They put the 11/32 Casette they had ordered for me on someone elses bike. THe owner told me that he has some 11/28's and that I would like them better. He can "just about guarantee I will."

    He states that there will be less difference between the gears. IOW, when i am in an "easier" gear and shift the difference will not be as great. I told him that i was concerned about not having a "low" enough gear to pull hills.

    I imagine it might depend on how you ride. I ride mainly gravel and paved roads. Some are flat while others are hilly. Should i let him put the 11/28 cassette on? BTW, this is an 8 speed.

  2. #2
    Senior Member prabbit's Avatar
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    You're in Kansas, huh? Not too many hills there, right? How much cycling have you done? Do you expect to do a lot of hills? If so, how long are they? How steep are they? Is this a mountain bike or a road bike?

    Part of the answer will have to do with what you have up front. Do you have a double or a triple? In either case, what size is the smallest chain ring up front?

    My guess is that the 11/28 will be fine if you've done any amount of riding and/or are in decent shape.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by prabbit
    You're in Kansas, huh? Not too many hills there, right? How much cycling have you done? Do you expect to do a lot of hills? If so, how long are they? How steep are they? Is this a mountain bike or a road bike?

    Part of the answer will have to do with what you have up front. Do you have a double or a triple? In either case, what size is the smallest chain ring up front?

    My guess is that the 11/28 will be fine if you've done any amount of riding and/or are in decent shape.
    I have a Trek 4300. There are hills in Kansas. I ride about 180 miles per week.

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    Well, my current do everything bike has a low of (front) 28 over (rear) 28 and is more than fine on anything that is a remotely finished surface including for loaded touring. The very low ratios (like 22/32) are only useful for mountain biking on very rough trails where you have 30% gradients and need to really slowly.....

    The question would be what size are your chainrings? If you have a road triple (30/40/50) then maybe the 32 if you intend to haul all your wordly goods over alpine passes but you would be much better served by a smaller inner chainring. The huge jump to the largest ring on mtb cassettes is quite annoying in my opinion and best avoided.

  5. #5
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    11/28 is fine if you'll not in a hilly area...... wouldn't hurt getting a 11/32. Your choice also depends on how small a granny gear you're running??? 22, 24, 26, or 28 granny on your mtb??

    FWIW, on my last camping trip I pulled a loaded Bob trailer up some very steep dirt trails. On a couple of switchbacks, I was forced to use my lowest possible combo....22 granny/32 rear. Other than that, I rarely use this combo...
    Last edited by roadfix; 07-27-04 at 01:24 PM.
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  6. #6
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    On road? You won't notice a difference unless you use the low as you can go granny gear setup often. Personally I use a SRAM R-9 11- 23 cassette on my commuter and I still don't need it geared that low for the paved terrain around here. On the flip side, I do have a XT 11-34 cassette on my trail bike because there are more occasions where I would use the lower gearing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    11/28 is fine if you'll not in a hilly area...... wouldn't hurt getting a 11/32. Your choice also depends on how small a granny gear you're running??? 22, 24, 26, or 28 granny on your mtb??

    FWIW, on my last camping trip I pulled a loaded Bob trailer up some very steep dirt trails. On a couple of switchbacks, I was forced to use my lowest possible combo....22 granny/32 rear. Other than that, I rarely use this combo...
    You must be talking about the front? (granny gear) I need to check and see, because i haven't ever checked. What about the point he made about better shifting? He is saying that i will probably like it better because my pedaling will be less interupted in the easier gears. He says that is because there is not as big a jump between the cogs. Is there any truth to this?

    The thing is, I do end up doing some climbing and find my self on the 34 tooth cog every day at least a couple times. This is usually only for a few short climbs but i do find myself there. I would really prefer to stick with what i am used to but i guess i trust him eonugh to listen to what he says. I guess i will give it a shot and report back.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Lets rephrase the situation.

    You ordered a 11/32 cassette.

    Your bike shop found another customer who wanted that same gearing and sold him the 11/32 cassette that you had ordered.

    Your bike shop is telling you that rather than the 11/32 cassette, which they have had at least two customers request, that you'll be just as happy with an 11/28. If this is true, why didn't they mention that when you ordered the 11/32 in the first place?

    I don't have any way of knowing what your gearing requirements are and what you'll be happier with. I do know that your bike shop is trying to persuade you to take the cassette that's best for them, the bike shop, to sell; rather than the one that you, the customer, had wanted.

    It looks to me like you're trying to take your business to them and they are taking you for granted in favor of somebody else (they guy who got the 11/32 cassette). That's pretty rotten if you ask me. I think that I'd order an 11/32 cassette from Performance with 2nd day shipping, for probably a significantly lower price, and avoid paying the sales tax. But that's just me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Lets rephrase the situation.

    You ordered a 11/32 cassette.

    Your bike shop found another customer who wanted that same gearing and sold him the 11/32 cassette that you had ordered.

    Your bike shop is telling you that rather than the 11/32 cassette, which they have had at least two customers request, that you'll be just as happy with an 11/28. If this is true, why didn't they mention that when you ordered the 11/32 in the first place?

    I don't have any way of knowing what your gearing requirements are and what you'll be happier with. I do know that your bike shop is trying to persuade you to take the cassette that's best for them, the bike shop, to sell; rather than the one that you, the customer, had wanted.

    It looks to me like you're trying to take your business to them and they are taking you for granted in favor of somebody else (they guy who got the 11/32 cassette). That's pretty rotten if you ask me. I think that I'd order an 11/32 cassette from Performance with 2nd day shipping, for probably a significantly lower price, and avoid paying the sales tax. But that's just me.
    You are right on all of your points. In my typical life i don't put up with crap like that. However, this is a wierd situation. We only have one LBS in town so there is no competition. The nearest other bike shop is 70 miles away. So it ends up with me having to do all the arse kissing instead of vice versa.

    Don't get me wrong, i like these guys, i just typically wouldn't put up with something like this. There have been a number of times where they have worked on my bike and not even charged me. They are also friendly and fun to visit with. I understand that they have a very "conservative market" here and that is why there is likely only one LBS here. Our population is 49,000.

    I could go on and on but the point is that this is a unique situation. I want to preserve my relationship with my LBS guys and sometimes i think that may have to be done instead of getting everything i want. For one thing, he may be right, i might like this cassette better, than again i might hit my first hill and get very angry. Probably the smart thing to do is to order the tool to remove the cassette and also order my own cassette. It can't be that difficult to replace.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    11/28 is fine if you'll not in a hilly area...... wouldn't hurt getting a 11/32. Your choice also depends on how small a granny gear you're running??? 22, 24, 26, or 28 granny on your mtb??

    FWIW, on my last camping trip I pulled a loaded Bob trailer up some very steep dirt trails. On a couple of switchbacks, I was forced to use my lowest possible combo....22 granny/32 rear. Other than that, I rarely use this combo...

    I have 25 teeth on my granny gear (front chainring).

  11. #11
    Senior Member kbabin's Avatar
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    I would agree with Retro that they are trying to go the easy route for them.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    I have 25 teeth on my granny gear (front chainring).
    If you've used 34 regularly in the past as you mentioned, then have your LBS order another 11/32 for you. Don't let them have the easy way out. I'm assuming it is a SRAM 8-speed casette. I've got one on my Mtb.
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  13. #13
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    I'd say politely, but firmly stick to your guns and wait for the 11/32. Insist on it.
    Carpe who?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    I could go on and on but the point is that this is a unique situation. I want to preserve my relationship with my LBS guys and sometimes i think that may have to be done instead of getting everything i want. For one thing, he may be right, i might like this cassette better, than again i might hit my first hill and get very angry. Probably the smart thing to do is to order the tool to remove the cassette and also order my own cassette. It can't be that difficult to replace.
    OK, then try this middle route: Go ahead and let them have the business for your cassette, but make sure they see my post. Maybe it'll give them some insight as to how their customer service looks to a disinterested third party. I'm sure they are decent fellows, but sometimes even decent fellows need to be shaken up a little.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all of the replies. I have decided to give the cassette a shot. Today on my normal ride i did a little experimenting. I had noticed that the second to largest cog had 25 teeth so i figured it would compare pretty well to a 28. Instead of gearing down to the 32 to climb some of the steeper grades that i normally do, i left it in the 25. (25 front-25 rear)

    This should be a slightly harder to pedal combo than the 25/28 will be. What i found was i was able to stay seated and pull even the steepest grade without much of a noticeable difference. I did notice that i was breathing a little harder at the top but i am in it for the workout anyway.

    So based on this i think my LBS guy might be right. Besides the fact that he is trying to just sell me what he has in stock (i wasn't born yesterday), he also knows exactly where/how i normally ride. He has ridden a lot over the years and raced for many years so i think he has expertice.

    On a side note, i refer to this way of doing business as Purple Recliner business practices. One day years ago i was in a small, small town not far from here. I had to stop into a small furniture store that also sold satellite dishes. I was also in the satellite business and purchased a few from him because i had run low at the time. Anyway, he had a bunch (probaly 12 or so) of recliners in there for sale. I asked him, "how do you ever have the right color someone is looking for?"

    "Well, he said, "if they come in looking for a brown recliner and all you have is purple, you have them sit in it and tell them how good they look in purple. You would be amazed how many of them will go home with the purple."

    That has always stuck in my mind and i think it is a common small business practice today. That, along with lying to customers. I see a lot of small businesses that twist the truth a lot to make an extra buck
    .

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    There are hills in Kansas.

    wait wait say that again...


    That has always stuck in my mind and i think it is a common small business practice today. That, along with lying to customers. I see a lot of small businesses that twist the truth a lot to make an extra buck.
    I'm starting to suspect my LBS of this. They were great in the past but the old time manager resigned or quit or some such deal, now it seems much more high pressure sales. But I have options 10 miles=3 more LBS 25 miles= another 5 or 6 including an REI and a Performance(next door to each other) But I prefer 2 miles.
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    Senior Member TechJD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    I just got back from the LBS. They put the 11/32 Casette they had ordered for me on someone elses bike. THe owner told me that he has some 11/28's and that I would like them better. He can "just about guarantee I will."
    Of course you will cause he says so
    odds are one of the guys installed it on the other bike and didnt relize it was sold
    have seen this before so it's the manages place to try and keep everyone happy
    did he offer you a discount on the Casette ?
    if he didnt that would have been the next step to try and keep you happy and not get pissed
    cause they didnt mark it when it came in as sold
    I hate busness pratices like this but it happens a lot
    and "The american people are the most gullable in the world." Tell them what you think they want to hear and if it is, they will beleive it. If it aint then try another line
    every busness owner/manger know this and most pratice it

  18. #18
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    Well in case anyone is unfortunate enough to be following this story, i will give my results. LBS put on the 11-28 and i had my first 25 miler today. I am perfectly fine with this cassette and noticed no difference. I think climbing a wall might be more difficult but i don't hope to do that anytime soon.

  19. #19
    Evil Genius capsicum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    ...I am perfectly fine with this cassette and noticed no difference. I think climbing a wall might be more difficult but i don't hope to do that anytime soon.
    I stand by what I said before

    Quote Originally Posted by Capsicum
    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    There are hills in Kansas.

    wait wait say that again...
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  20. #20
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    Good choice! I think you'll like the new cogs. The bike store guy was correct about smaller differences between gears, its going to be a subtle difference, but you will be less likely to find one cog too easy and the next one too hard. When that does happen, there should be a gear on one of the other chain rings that will have a ratio in between the two that aren't quite right. Its hard to know how to shift through all the combinations in order of increasing or decreasing gear size. Involves a lot of back and forth between rings with offsetting shifts between cogs. I never figured it out, but with 8,9,10 speed cogsets you don't really need to do that half-step thing, it was necessary w 5,6 speed freewheels. I stay on one chainring untill I've run out of cogs then go to next ring. In other words the tighter spacing on your new set-up should make your ride easier. Your Trek came with 24-34-42 tooth chainrings. You will be fine unless you want to climb steep technical single-track ( steep hiking trail w rocks, roots, etc.), or hauling loaded trailer over mountains.

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