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Old 03-11-10, 10:32 AM   #1
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Dura Ace 9-speed RD - okay with different cassettes?

I have a 2002 Orbea with DA 9 speed. The bike came with 53/39 up front and a 11-23 cassette.


That combo has served me well so far but I am doing longer rides now with more hills. I have an old 1980s Trek 500 sports bike that has a 12-32 cassette; I tried to swap rear wheels but the Orbea's DA would not climb on to the largest two cogs.

I bought a spare rear wheel and mounted a 11-26 cassette. I still had a little difficulty getting the lowest cog but it made it, albeit with rub on the jockey pulley.

I turned the B-tension screw all the way in and there seems to be plenty of clearance now (I started getting clearance about 2/3 in, but went further to be safe). So far, I've only used the bike on the trainer with this wheel, not out on the road.

I have a 10-week SIG training coming up so I was gonna bring the bike in to a shop for a general tuneup tweak, new cables, etc. My questions:

If they adjust everything for the 26t low, will it mess up the shifting on the 11-23 wheel if I go back and forth between wheels/cassettes?

Fwiw, the 11-23 is a Dura Ace cassette, the 11-26 is a SRAM (the more expensive one with the orange spacers). The chain is the Shimano original.
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Old 03-11-10, 12:09 PM   #2
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I'm pretty sure you'll be fine and not need to adjust the b-screw at all. Do your adjustments based on the 26 and leave it alone. 23 to 26 is not that much. However if you said 23 to 32...then that might cause some problems.
Curious..how is the chain tension? Did you have to add any links?
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Old 03-11-10, 12:27 PM   #3
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I'm pretty sure you'll be fine and not need to adjust the b-screw at all. Do your adjustments based on the 26 and leave it alone. 23 to 26 is not that much. However if you said 23 to 32...then that might cause some problems.
Curious..how is the chain tension? Did you have to add any links?
no, I didn't touch anything other than the b screw.

Funnily, I had way too long a chain on my 1986 Trek, which probably helped that RD (a non-indexed short-cage/narrow-range 600 model) accept the 32 - but then, there was lots of clearance already, the bike originally came with a 14-28 6-speed freewheel. I've been using that with 9-speed for about a year and just brought it in to have a LX RD and rapidfire shifter added in place of the old RD and downtube shifter (I left the FD and DT shifter alone).
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Old 03-11-10, 12:28 PM   #4
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Proper B-screw adjustment is critical to indexing performance. It should be as close as possible without bumping into the largest rear cog when the chain is on the smaller ring.
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Old 03-11-10, 02:53 PM   #5
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Thanks. So maybe I should let the mechanic know I plan to go between a 26t and 23t low? Or do I need to bring both rear wheels in?
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Old 03-11-10, 06:32 PM   #6
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If your wheels are both the same then you will not need to have your rear deailleur adjusted when going from 1 wheel to the other. If you have 2 different wheels then you may or may not need to have your rear derailleur adjusted. Take both wheels to your LBS and have this tested to see what - if any - adjustment you need performed. Make sure the mechanic shows you what you need to do. You are not dealing with a issue going from 23t to 26t unless your chain was cut too short to begin with. What you are most likely dealing with is 2 different hubs manufacturers. If you have 2 of the same brand hubs then you might need to adjust the spacers/axle.
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Old 03-12-10, 09:40 AM   #7
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that makes sense. They're two different wheels, the 26t is a Ultegra hub, the 23t is a Ritchey from 2002 or so.

I actually have another Ultegra (with the 32t), so I reckon I might be better off putting the 23 and 26 on those...but I already just paid for the tune up on the Trek with the Ultegra and 32t....*sigh* live and learn....maybe next time.

I rode the Orbea in to work today to drop it off when I pick up the Trek...it handled the 26t fine and the shifting was okay but it jumped around on the sprockets a lot and shifted by itself a few times, something it never did with the 23t. I would have liked to have left it alone, but reality is I'll never survive these rides with a 39x23. 39x26 is pushing it!
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Old 03-12-10, 10:21 AM   #8
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If your wheels are both the same then you will not need to have your rear deailleur adjusted when going from 1 wheel to the other. If you have 2 different wheels then you may or may not need to have your rear derailleur adjusted. Take both wheels to your LBS and have this tested to see what - if any - adjustment you need performed. Make sure the mechanic shows you what you need to do. You are not dealing with a issue going from 23t to 26t unless your chain was cut too short to begin with. What you are most likely dealing with is 2 different hubs manufacturers. If you have 2 of the same brand hubs then you might need to adjust the spacers/axle.
Again.

Wheel swapping may require

1) Limit screw adjustments
2) B-tension (ESPECIALLY since the OP is switching to different cogs) - if you care about shift performance
3) tension adjustment

Basically a full r.d adjustment check. You may be able to get away without doing any of those, so the way to do this is to check proper r.d adjustment after swapping out each wheel and note the differences. Is it significant enough to warrant adjustment? There's your answer.
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Old 03-12-10, 05:01 PM   #9
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The reality is I really need the 26t with a 39 up front, so I'll probably just leave that alone...I'll save the 23t wheel for when/if I get a triple or a compact (I'm sure my next road bike will be the latter - unless I wait too long to buy again, in which case it may be the former!). If anything The 23t would mostly get used on the trainer (I like having a spare rear for the trainer so I can just use older tires that are no longer roadworthy), so no biggie.

Thanks for the heads up on this everyone.
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Old 03-12-10, 11:30 PM   #10
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Dear Mr. operator:

1. In my response to pgoat I didn't mention the B screw adjustment because it had already been mentioned.
2. High/Low/B screw adjustments was covered when I said to have the mechanic show pgoat what adjustments he did to make both wheels work on the same bike.
3. Tension adjustment ? A little vague. If you ment cable/chain tension these would be checked by the mechanic. There are a few things that will effect cable/chain tension. Tension is important and the mechanic will tell pgoat all the information concerning the different cable/chain tensions.
4. In pgoat's case he may indeed need to make adjustments when going from his Ritchey hub and the Ultegra hub ---- just want to mention for pgoats information ---- not all wheel swaps need adjustments.
5. Thank you for agreeing with my ideas on what pgoat needed to do. After a full check up by a qualified mechanic -- the mechanic will inform pgoat what he needs to do to adjust the derailleur after swapping wheels.
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Old 03-12-10, 11:46 PM   #11
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the shop guy said I'd need a ful adjustment every time I changed my wheel. But he also checked my chain and told me I had a week left on it - he literally told me after one more week of riding my cassette would be shot and two weeks and my chain rings would be dead too. It was the usual - all the older experienced mechs are fine at this shop but I got someone younger this time who was being a tool.

I am just gonna leave it with the 26t and if I pop in the 23t for the trainer and it works, fine, if not, no biggie. But I appreciate the advice here - the lateral alignment def. seems to be key here.
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Old 03-13-10, 12:37 PM   #12
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You need to learn how to measure a chain for stretch (elongation). Replace by the time a 12 inch interval has stretched to 12 1/16".
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Old 03-13-10, 03:48 PM   #13
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the shop guy said I'd need a ful adjustment every time I changed my wheel. But he also checked my chain and told me I had a week left on it - he literally told me after one more week of riding my cassette would be shot and two weeks and my chain rings would be dead too. It was the usual - all the older experienced mechs are fine at this shop but I got someone younger this time who was being a tool.

I am just gonna leave it with the 26t and if I pop in the 23t for the trainer and it works, fine, if not, no biggie. But I appreciate the advice here - the lateral alignment def. seems to be key here.
So what's wrong with the mechanic's advise? The older mechanics took you aside and told you the young guy is full of s*it? Since you are having trouble simply switching wheels...
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Old 03-14-10, 05:11 AM   #14
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So what's wrong with the mechanic's advise? The older mechanics took you aside and told you the young guy is full of s*it? Since you are having trouble simply switching wheels...
no, I know BS sales talk when I hear it. I don't mind if they give it a shot (hey, it's a business, after all) but there's a limit, and this person was pretty pushy. I measured the chain, it's about 1/2 way done, I told the guy I have a new chain at home and will throw it on. He was just giving me the hard sell that I should bring it in and pay them $15 to put it on. I know all about chain wear, cassette wear, etc. He just made it sound like one more ride and my bike would explode, which was a bit much. He's right it should be changed...I have a chain gauge and will check it myself, problem solved.

by the way, I could sit down and tweak everything to switch wheels - I am paying the shop to do it because I am really busy lately and don't have the time. Just because someone brings their bike in for work doesn't mean they are clueless. And lest you think it's an age rant, I've had plenty of good work by younger guys and crappy work by older guys - my post just referred to this one place.
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Old 03-14-10, 02:49 PM   #15
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no, I know BS sales talk when I hear it. I don't mind if they give it a shot (hey, it's a business, after all) but there's a limit, and this person was pretty pushy. I measured the chain, it's about 1/2 way done, I told the guy I have a new chain at home and will throw it on. He was just giving me the hard sell that I should bring it in and pay them $15 to put it on. I know all about chain wear, cassette wear, etc. He just made it sound like one more ride and my bike would explode, which was a bit much. He's right it should be changed...I have a chain gauge and will check it myself, problem solved.

by the way, I could sit down and tweak everything to switch wheels - I am paying the shop to do it because I am really busy lately and don't have the time. Just because someone brings their bike in for work doesn't mean they are clueless. And lest you think it's an age rant, I've had plenty of good work by younger guys and crappy work by older guys - my post just referred to this one place.
The additional detail of why you thought the advice wasn't good advice now makes some sense. However, you probably spent more time taking it to/from the shop than it would take to simply make the necessary adjustments.
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Old 03-14-10, 05:06 PM   #16
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The additional detail of why you thought the advice wasn't good advice now makes some sense. However, you probably spent more time taking it to/from the shop than it would take to simply make the necessary adjustments.
well, true, except it was at a shop a few blocks from my job, so it just added a few minutes to my commute. In future, I'll try to make more time to do it myself.
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Old 03-17-10, 09:18 AM   #17
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crikey! Got the bike back yesterday and it's running like a top!

In all fairness to that repair guy the old chain skipped twice just a tad on the way home so I am gonna toss the new chain on this weekend. I was surprised because it was fine before and this 26t cassette probably has a similar amount of wear/mileage. But whatever, no biggie throwing a new one on.
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