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  1. #1
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    I want to switch out my cassette for climbing - advice please.

    Hi all,
    I signed up for an August ride that is 190 miles and some hilly. I ride a stock Roubaix compact with the following setup:

    50 x 34t (front)

    Shimano 105, 10-speed, 12-27t (rear)

    The shifters are SRAM Rival.

    I want to 'eek' out every little bit of climbing ability by switching out the rear cassette and derailleur. Possibly something from the MTB range? My biggest question is what is compatible with SRAM Rival "Double Tap" shifters?

    I realize the bike is already a 'compact ' setup but I also ride a Trek Fx and find it so much easier on hills even though its a much heavier bike. There must be a cassette that I can switch in to give me a little bit of a boost. I dont want to spend a fortune as its more an experiment than anything.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks all.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    A SRAM Apex rear mid cage design derailleur is compatible with an 11-32 cassette as per their site. That should get you up about any hill that you what to conquer.

  3. #3
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    The winner of the TDEspana used a compact with a 32 so it can be done (34/32 combo...28.3 GI). As far as SRAM compatibility, I wouldn't know. Might get more info in the mechanics forum. If I remember correctly, they "may" be using MTB rear derailleurs.

    http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/...angliru_191093

  4. #4
    [IMG]http://i4.photobucke jeepseahawk's Avatar
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    I did just what you need, put an Apex mid cage rd and sram 11-32 cassette on my compact. This set-up works perfect for me and the front shifters are Force just in case you need to know. SRAM also makes the Rival mid cage rd for 11-32 cassettes.

  5. #5
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepseahawk View Post
    put an Apex mid cage rd .............. SRAM also makes the Rival mid cage rd for 11-32 cassettes.
    Are these der's MTB components?.....I don't know the SARM stuff

  6. #6
    Senior Member Laserman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Are these der's MTB components?.....I don't know the SARM stuff
    SRAM has Red, Force, Rival and Apex as their road groups.
    All their mountain groups have names like XX, X9, X7 etc.
    Set phasers to butt-whup!

  7. #7
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laserman View Post
    SRAM has Red, Force, Rival and Apex as their road groups.
    All their mountain groups have names like XX, X9, X7 etc.


    Oh wow, thanks. So SRAM is making supercog compat stuff in their road line.

  8. #8
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    I run sram cassettes on my shimano derailleurs/shifters so the spacing is the same. If fact That's what my Trek's OEM stuff is. To get the best shifting you need to adjust the chain length and the B tension when you go back and forth. I think compatibility issues between sram and shimano is more on the front derailleurs. I think the wide spacing of compact doubles pushes the issue. As far as changing cassettes it's easier than changing tires with the right tools.

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    SRAM and Shimano both use the same spacing between cogs on the cassettes so they are interchangeble. Front derailler compatibility is no issue also, as many people swap their SRAM FD for Shimano because the shimano's are less flexy and shift under load better than the SRAM FD's do. The problem is that SRAM uses a different amount of cable pull for the RD so if you have SRAM shifters you have to use SRAM RD's.

    For ultra low gearing you can also throw on an x9 rear and use 36t MTB cassette's. I set up my Roubaix like that for a trip to Skyline Drive last fall. The reason I chose the 12-36t over the Apex 11-32 is I only lost the 11 at the high end but gained the 36 at the low end. I didn't lose any other gears in the middle, so the already big gaps between gears didn't get any bigger and I had an emergency bailout gear in the 36t, which turned out to be too low for skyline and never got used but it was nice knowing I had it if I needed it.

  10. #10
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    It all depends on your current rear derailuers capacity. I have a SRAM Apex rear derailuer with a SRAM 11-32 cassette and a front 50/34 chainring. The SRAM Apex rear derailuer will work with your rival shifters. To swap out the rear derailuer and cassette would be less than 125 bucks.

  11. #11
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paisan View Post
    SRAM and Shimano both use the same spacing between cogs on the cassettes so they are interchangeble. Front derailler compatibility is no issue also, as many people swap their SRAM FD for Shimano because the shimano's are less flexy and shift under load better than the SRAM FD's do. The problem is that SRAM uses a different amount of cable pull for the RD so if you have SRAM shifters you have to use SRAM RD's.

    For ultra low gearing you can also throw on an x9 rear and use 36t MTB cassette's. I set up my Roubaix like that for a trip to Skyline Drive last fall. The reason I chose the 12-36t over the Apex 11-32 is I only lost the 11 at the high end but gained the 36 at the low end. I didn't lose any other gears in the middle, so the already big gaps between gears didn't get any bigger and I had an emergency bailout gear in the 36t, which turned out to be too low for skyline and never got used but it was nice knowing I had it if I needed it.
    Thanks all so much. This post seems the most appealing to me. Unfortuantely Im not well versed in which "x9 rear and use 36t MTB" I should use. Can anybody provide a link to the EXACT, budget - priced components I would need to perform this setup? I assume I would need a cassette removal tool as well.

    Thanks so much!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    Thanks all so much. This post seems the most appealing to me. Unfortuantely Im not well versed in which "x9 rear and use 36t MTB" I should use. Can anybody provide a link to the EXACT, budget - priced components I would need to perform this setup? I assume I would need a cassette removal tool as well.

    Thanks so much!
    I can send pics if you want.

    This is the RD I used: http://aebike.com/product/sram-x.9-1...d4733-qc30.htm

    I paid around $90 for mine on an end of season clearance so look around I'm sure there are better prices

    I used this cassette:http://aebike.com/product/sram-pg-10...w6237-qc30.htm

    Any Shimano or SRAM 10 spd casette will work so choose the one that best fits your budget and the gear ratios that you prefer. I chose this one because it's the closest to the Apex 11-32 with the exception that it drops the 11 at the high end and adds a 36 at the low end. All of the other gears stayed the same.

    You will also need to either get a new chain to accomodate the much larger gearing or pay very close attention when you're in the big ring to not cross chain and shift into the 2 largest gears in the back or you risk ripping your hangar off, destroying the derailler and possibly throwing the RD into the spokes and shredding your wheel also.

    Just like the cassettes any 10spd shimano or SRAM chain will work. Pick the best one that fits your budget.

    My total cost shipped was around $200. When the trip was done I left the RD on the bike and swapped back the old chain(powerlinks are awesome) and cassette. The big gear stuff got cleaned and went into a container for future mountain trips.

  13. #13
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paisan View Post
    ... pay very close attention when you're in the big ring to not cross chain and shift into the 2 largest gears in the back or you risk ripping your hangar off, destroying the derailler and possibly throwing the RD into the spokes and shredding your wheel also.
    Yikes !

    I would love pics of your setup if possible.

    Also, would this rear derailleur work or does it have to be "10 speed"?
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/SRAM-X-3-Rea...ht_3183wt_1141

    Thanks so much for your time.
    Last edited by magohn; 01-26-12 at 08:48 PM.

  14. #14
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    I don't believe that SRAM 9spd deraillers are compatible with SRAM 10spd shifters.

    Here's some pics of my Roubaix with the set up.




  15. #15
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Awesome pics. Looks like a nice ride. Im researching the most budget friendly combo

    Thanks!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    That's pretty much an entry level RD. Your bike deserves much better!

    I can't find specs on it for chain wrap capacity or largest cog it will handle.

    36T cogs are a new territory, so you have to be cautious on getting a RD that will handle it "properly".
    You don't want to turn your bike into something that shifts like a $60 box store bike.

  17. #17
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    The SRAM Apex is probably going to be close to the cheapest alternative, and probably the best bet for compatibility.

    I am effectively running your setup on my Felt F75. 50/34 105 Chain Ring, with SRAM Rival shifters, small cage Rival RD, and a 12/28 cassette.

    I have seen people run the MTB SRAM stuff on road shifters (clearly it work on paisan's bike). But i have heard that some of SRAMs MTB stuff has a different cable pull rate and might not work. In which case i would be a little hesitant to go that route, not knowing what is what, and what specifically to get. Especially when Apex is set up to do 11/32 right out of the box.

    With Apex being a longer cage though...i wonder if it would accept a 12/36 cassette? Hmmm...must consult my local SRAM guru now.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buck_O View Post
    I have seen people run the MTB SRAM stuff on road shifters (clearly it work on paisan's bike). But i have heard that some of SRAMs MTB stuff has a different cable pull rate and might not work.
    You are correct. The SRAM 9 spd mtb and 10 spd road groups are not interchangeable because of different cable pulls. But the 10spd road and mountain are, since I use the 10spd X9 RD it works perfect. There is no noticeable difference in shifting performance even when I switched back to my other cassettes which were road specific.

    If you scroll down this page there are some comments from Lennard Zinn (I know he's not Sheldon but he's pretty damn close)concerning compatibility.

    http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/...eedback_155209

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck_O View Post
    With Apex being a longer cage though...i wonder if it would accept a 12/36 cassette.
    I've had a conversation with the guys at my LBS about this and we wondered if using a longer B-tension screw would allow this. The cage length between a mid cage Apex and the X9 is pretty much the same but the Apex tension is bottomed out on a 32. By using a longer screw it might give enough clearence for the larger cassette. We've discussed trying this when there's a spare apex RD hanging around but until then it's just a theory.
    Last edited by paisan; 01-31-12 at 09:27 AM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Hi paisan and others,

    I finally "won" the same X9 RD that you linked to on eBay. The price was too good to resist - $50. Apparently, new and removed from a 29'er. So now I need the rear cog and chain. You linked the cog but could you also link a suitable chain (for length etc) ?

    Thanks all - cant wait to feel that 36T on the hills around here

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    congrats, thats a great find!! You can use any 10spd chain, but I wouldn't go less than this:
    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/pr...8046.23.1.html

  21. #21
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paisan View Post
    congrats, thats a great find!! You can use any 10spd chain, but I wouldn't go less than this:
    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/pr...8046.23.1.html
    Thanks! Youve been a lot of help

  22. #22
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Well - she's done!

    Fitted the 36T cassette and the X9 derailleur and everything "seems" to be running great. I can get all gears in all combo's. My only regret is that I got too excited and "settled" for an Ultegra chain from the LBS. I would have preferred to keep it all SRAM (none in stock) but the chain seems fine.

    A quick test drive around the driveway and the lowest gear is SO "easy" - we will see how it is on the 8%+ grades

    Paisan - quick question. In the red-circled area in the below pic, should there not be an adjuster there? The SRAM Rival derailleur I took off has an adjuster there, the X9 does not. Everything worked out of the box so Im not sure if thats the design. Does your X9 have an adjuster? If not, how do you fine tune the selections?

    THANKS for all your help.


  23. #23
    2nd Amendment Cyclist RichardGlover's Avatar
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    You can put an adjuster anywhere in your cable line. My RD has one there (mostly there, I use an Apex mid-length), and another one on the downtube where it's more convenient for mid-ride fine-tuning if I'm having problems.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    Well - she's done!

    Fitted the 36T cassette and the X9 derailleur and everything "seems" to be running great. I can get all gears in all combo's. My only regret is that I got too excited and "settled" for an Ultegra chain from the LBS. I would have preferred to keep it all SRAM (none in stock) but the chain seems fine.
    I'm not sure an Ultegra chain is "settling" LOL that's a pretty damn good chain and you won't have any problems out of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    Paisan - quick question. In the red-circled area in the below pic, should there not be an adjuster there? The SRAM Rival derailleur I took off has an adjuster there, the X9 does not. Everything worked out of the box so Im not sure if thats the design. Does your X9 have an adjuster? If not, how do you fine tune the selections?
    That's normal. My X9 is the same ay. I have downtube barrel adjusters on mine. As Richard Glover said depending on your frame you can use a set of Downtube barrel adjusters like this:
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/211...p=050%20ALIBA0
    http://www.ecrater.com/p/9618720/jag...own-tube-index
    or inline adjusters like this:
    http://www.jensonusa.com/!EKyB9BLdyO...medium=organic
    http://aebike.com/page.cfm?action=de...=30&SKU=CA4723
    Or if you have old style downtube cable stops that are bolted into the frame you can use these:
    http://www.bicyclebuys.com/bikeparts/Cables/1010093

    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    THANKS for all your help.
    Not a problem!! Glad I was able to help

  25. #25
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Thank you

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