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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-28-14, 11:42 AM   #26
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Also, if you're running Shimano 10sp you can get a 12-30 Tiagra cassette from Ribble for $20 and a 105 chain for like $17. My Roubaix came with a 12-30 but it was overkill so I switched to a 12-27 and I don't miss the 30 (and love the 16.)

Shimano 10 Speed Tiagra 4600 Cassette, Cassettes, CASSETTES
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Old 03-28-14, 12:06 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
Also, if you're running Shimano 10sp you can get a 12-30 Tiagra cassette from Ribble for $20 and a 105 chain for like $17. My Roubaix came with a 12-30 but it was overkill so I switched to a 12-27 and I don't miss the 30 (and love the 16.)

Shimano 10 Speed Tiagra 4600 Cassette, Cassettes, CASSETTES
I'm still trying to figure out how I can easily manage multiple cassettes - As PhotoJoe mentioned, I stuck a 11-32 on my bike specifically for an attempt on the lifts (and the palm springs tramway tomorrow) but for ordinary riding, it's overkill. I'm not super keen on having to switch out cassettes and chains every time i want a different cassette though, and I only have one wheel with a power meter but I do have other wheels languishing in the garage.

Decisions.
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Old 03-28-14, 12:23 PM   #28
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I'm not super keen on having to switch out cassettes and chains every time i want a different cassette though, and I only have one wheel with a power meter but I do have other wheels languishing in the garage.
If you have a Powertap you could buy an extra freehub body and just leave the cassette installed on it and swap the whole thing out. I saw somebody suggest that over on Slowtwitch. That would be a little easier than using a chain whip.

As far as chain sizing I use the Campagnolo method (small-small pull just enough tension on the chain so it clears the jockey wheel.) That results in a longer chain which means you shouldn't have to resize when swapping cassettes.
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Old 03-28-14, 12:48 PM   #29
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If you have a Powertap you could buy an extra freehub body and just leave the cassette installed on it and swap the whole thing out. I saw somebody suggest that over on Slowtwitch. That would be a little easier than using a chain whip.

As far as chain sizing I use the Campagnolo method (small-small pull just enough tension on the chain so it clears the jockey wheel.) That results in a longer chain which means you shouldn't have to resize when swapping cassettes.
interesting idea! I forgot about that "feature"... in fact, it freaked me out one time while i was changing a rear flat and the freehub came loose.

I find myself in the small chainring more with a 32 on the back and the large when I have a more reasonable cassette. I could just figure out which combo small chainrings was too loose and avoid them.

Thanks for the idea.
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Old 03-28-14, 12:52 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I'm still trying to figure out how I can easily manage multiple cassettes - As PhotoJoe mentioned, I stuck a 11-32 on my bike specifically for an attempt on the lifts (and the palm springs tramway tomorrow) but for ordinary riding, it's overkill. I'm not super keen on having to switch out cassettes and chains every time i want a different cassette though, and I only have one wheel with a power meter but I do have other wheels languishing in the garage.

Decisions.
Even easier than getting a different freehub... Get another PT wheel
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Old 03-28-14, 08:33 PM   #31
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As far as chain sizing I use the Campagnolo method (small-small pull just enough tension on the chain so it clears the jockey wheel.) That results in a longer chain which means you shouldn't have to resize when swapping cassettes.
One needs to watch out now a days on chain sizing. If all of your bike components match then this method way may work. I'm old school and even the way I learned with chain on the big chain ring on front, and on the small cog on the rear, the rear derailleur cage (wheel axis) should be at 90 degrees to the floor. I ride mountain bikes to road bikes and in between, the chain sizing I use now is from Sram, in which you place the chain around the large chain ring and large cog and add 1 inch. They even state that you may not get all of the gears in the small chain ring (smaller cogs). But, you will never break off you rear derailleur or hanger if the chain is too tight due to a short cage rear derailleur on a triple or rear derailleur over capacity, or?

Just a thought,
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Old 03-28-14, 11:13 PM   #32
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One needs to watch out now a days on chain sizing. If all of your bike components match then this method way may work.
The Campagnolo method results in the longest chain length compared to the SRAM/Shimano methods so you're least likely to rip the RD off on the big-big combo. In theory it also results in less friction. Since I replace my own chains I also find it pretty easy to do. It's just a way to size to the chain, it has nothing to do with what brand of chain you use or what group set you run.

Also, it's not all that hard to spot a short chain before it turns into catastrophe. If you run multiple cassettes and want to be safe I'd size the chain to the cassette with the lowest granny gear.

Last edited by Dunbar; 03-28-14 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 03-29-14, 12:19 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
The Campagnolo method results in the longest chain length compared to the SRAM/Shimano methods so you're least likely to rip the RD off on the big-big combo. In theory it also results in less friction. Since I replace my own chains I also find it pretty easy to do. It's just a way to size to the chain, it has nothing to do with what brand of chain you use or what group set you run.

Also, it's not all that hard to spot a short chain before it turns into catastrophe. If you run multiple cassettes and want to be safe I'd size the chain to the cassette with the lowest granny gear.
I'm just talking out of experience when setting up a Sram XO drive train, I did set it up small, small with the rear derailleur at it's most relaxed position and in the end, the chain was too short. I then looked up how Sram recommended sizing their chain and now I'm set on their way. SRAM Chain Sizing - YouTube

Yes, it cost me 1 $40+ dollar chain for this error (I do not like reusing the pressed out link to make it longer). I'm just trying to save someone else form my experience. The old school ways do not work on some of the newer stuff!

You can not rely on a small, small gear and come out with the longest chain length, the world is not all Campy.

Mike
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Old 03-29-14, 10:49 AM   #34
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You can not rely on a small, small gear and come out with the longest chain length, the world is not all Campy.
I'm thinking that's more the case for mountain bikes with giant pie plate sized cassettes. As long as you use the right cage length derailleur I don't see it being an issue on a road bike. Also, losing gears on the small ring is not ideal IMO.
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Old 03-30-14, 05:43 AM   #35
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Grinding up a 12% grade at 28 rpm, your cadence will magically rise to a full 30 revolutions per minute.
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Old 04-01-14, 11:03 AM   #36
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I keep various cassette's for the various rides on different terrain...there would be a big difference for me moving from 11-28 to 12-30....I would even consider adding a couple more sprockets...IMHO
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Old 07-19-14, 05:18 PM   #37
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Yes... this is an old thread. But it's speakin my language!

In the Eastern Sierra, 12-30 makes more sense than 11-28 for me. In the past few years, I've ridden all the big canyons on the Eastside, from Lone Pine to Markleeville, on a 12-27 except Sonora Pass which I rode last year after switching to an 11-28. Not saying any of them were easy but I did them and felt fine although a 30 tooth would have been nice except it would have required a different RD. I just found a new in the box Ultegra RD-6700A SS from Planet Cyclery on eBay for $79 delivered. It has 30T stamped on the short cage so I expect to pick up a 12-30 to go with it when the new 11-28 I just bought wears out...

That said, having just turned 60, I no longer feel the need to blaze the downhills at 50-60 mph. Heck.. I coasted down a local hill the other day at 55 without spinning..at all. Good enough. Pretty much tells me another climbing gear rather than a small tooth for adding a few mph on the downhills and in tailwinds is the way to go. Plus, I really like the low end cluster in the CS-6700 12-30 (19-21-24-27-30) vs the same in 11-28 (17-19-21-24-28).
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Old 07-19-14, 05:35 PM   #38
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Ha! Since you reawoke this thread... I'll admit I have a 11-32, an 11-28 and TWO 11-26 cassettes and (shame) I leave the 11-32 on all the time. You know what? It's just nice to have when I'm tired or every time I need to get out of my drive way (which tops out at 20% or so). If you live in the Eastern Sierras you probably know exactly what I mean - there's no such thing as a totally flat ride (near me) - there's always one nasty hill on every ride no matter where I go.

I'm not even 60 (46) but i've given up trying to set land speed recordes going down hill - it just isn't worth it to me anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love going fast but going 45 is the same as going 50 to me now... really. It's not worth pushing it.
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Old 07-20-14, 02:29 AM   #39
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Built my new frame up with Ultegra 6800 and it has the new 11-32 cassette on it. "Yes", I do use that 32 from time to time.
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Old 07-20-14, 07:49 AM   #40
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So, you're all saying the "28" is the new "23"? Sweet. I'm feeling pretty good about myself right about now!
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Old 07-20-14, 10:52 PM   #41
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I switched to 11-34 and I really like it a lot. Had to put on a MTB derailer though, but no big deal to me. Using Deore M-591 SGS 9 speed derailer with D/A bar-ends. The new der was easy to get dialed in, just set the limit screws and a few clicks to the right on the barrel adjuster, shifts perfect.
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Old 07-26-14, 03:51 AM   #42
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Very recently I went from a 11-23 to an 11-28 and it made a HUGE difference, much more than I even expected it to.. 15%ish difference?

but a 28 to a 30 is what? 5-6%?
I actually just did this Wednesday. You're right, the difference is amazing!
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Old 07-26-14, 09:07 AM   #43
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My new bike has ultegra 11-28 cassette, I had heard all along that I would not miss my tripple front chain rings that i had on my old bike as the double compact would hit the same area's in general. I had a 26 tooth cassette on the old bike & it was good enough for me on hills as I have done the Hilly Hundred twice with it & made it up all those hills each time without walking.

Well today I attempted one of my hill climbing interval sessions on the new bike & I completed the task but it left me knowing I'm in need of another higher gear or two as it was way more tough on me to pull it off this time, in fact i was not sure I was going to be able to make the 10 climbs but I mashed it out & completed them.

My question is: how much of a difference am I'm going to feel switching out the rear cassette for the new 12-30 vs the 11-28... what are the pro's & con's. I like to do hill repeats but on this steeper longer one that I sometimes visit, I remain seated most all of the time as it's around a half mile to the top & remember I'm not a light weight person, (I'm a lower level clydesdale on a good day, so i sit & spin to save energy most off the time) with the 11-28 I'm in the easiest gear practically all the way up & my cadence ends up not being where i would like it to be & it's feeling to hard, I feel i need atleast 1-2 more easier gears than the 11-28 gives me so i can settle in & spin it out to the top.

I just upgraded my bike to the new Ultegra 11 speed (6800) and for kicks tried a 11-32 cassette since we ride in the mountains a bit when on vacation. I have a collection of cassettes and I change them out depending on terrain. It's pretty easy and I can do it in less than 5 minutes.

That all said, I really don't like the 11-32. The 32 seems too low to me to the point where it feels like I'm putting in tons of spin and not getting a whole lot for it. But the real thing is that I just hate the spacing of the cogs - the gaps are just too big so I seem to have a hard time finding the right cadence at a given speed. I never use it anymore.

What I do like is an 11-28 on a 50-34 crank. That seems about perfect and I haven't found anything that I want to ride that this doesn't work well for up to 8-9% grades.

Some advice in general, if one pays attention to form - specifically pedal stroke and trying as well as making sure cadence is in the 80-85rpm range, then it's really doubtful you'd need anything higher than the 28. Yes, Contador did use the 11-32 in a mountain stage, but I don't plan on riding some of the 8+% pitches he does either. From just paying attention to my speedo, it seems that when I concentrate on powering the non downstroke portion of the pedal stroke, I get about a 30% bump in additional power. That is going to make up for any difference in gearing and is probably better in the long run.

The 11-28 is nice because on the small chainring the faster half of the cassette is all pretty much a one tooth cog difference. When you go to the slower side, then it's a 2-3 tooth difference. That allows you to really fine tune your shifting for comfortable cadence or for acceleration.

J.
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Old 10-06-15, 06:08 PM   #44
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I'm a flat-lander (without enough extra cash to buy a pure road bike right now) who just moved to Albuquerque and run out of gears too soon on a couple of these climbs on my tri-bike with a 53-39 crank and an 11-25 cassette.

After reading these posts today, it looked like one or two guys don't see a lot of difference between 28 and 30, so I went ahead and ordered an 11-28 cassette instead of the 12-30 and am hoping it'll be enough to make the climbs easier without losing the top speed.

Probably should have gone 12-30...I dunno.

M
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Old 12-06-15, 10:36 PM   #45
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My bike came with a 10sp Ultegra 11-23T and it was a struggle to climb hills. On steep hills, forget it!
I bought the 11-28T (ultegra) and it was night and day difference. I'm glad I swapped it out. It works
great at Mt. Diablo (you will see double digit grades there).
I also bought a 12-30T, but haven't put it in yet.

I recently built a 11sp bike with an 11-32T. With that bike, it was even easier to climb Diablo.

I took the 10sp bike with 11-28T and found that I'm now struggling. With that cassette, I'm
only spinning about 55-65RPM on the double digit grades. Now I will upgrade my 10 sp again,
but this time from a 11-28T to 12-30T. I like climbing and want to target 80+ RPMs. Yes,
I need a mid-length RD (which I have now).

Gary

Last edited by garyhgaryh; 12-06-15 at 10:39 PM.
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