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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 06-10-13, 08:49 PM   #1
69isfine
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Benefits of adding 2 teeth

I have an opportunity to from a 12-28 105 cassette to a 12-30 ultegra on a 2012 Kona jake the snake. Will I notice the benefits on hills. I have quite a few hills to climb since I am going on a "safe" route to work.
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Old 06-10-13, 09:26 PM   #2
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...Will I notice the benefits on hills...
I sure did. Don't use it every time, but it is reassuring to know that I have one more bail-out gear available when I need it. I've put a 12-30 on all my bikes.
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Old 06-11-13, 12:22 AM   #3
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Clearly, since 30 is about 7% bigger than 28, you'll find t about 7% easier to climb steep hills in that gear. What you will pay for that benefit is bigger steps between the gears lower down the cassette.

If you can manage the hills with the 28, stay as you are. If you can almost manage them but struggle, the 30 may be worth having.
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Old 06-11-13, 08:12 AM   #4
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For commutes, I'd say don't bother. If you're planning on doing a lot of longer rides with lots of climbing, having those extra teeth will save you a little bit of energy on each climb, which can add up. But for day-to-day riding, where the rides and climbs are shorter, I'd say the extra gearing is a crutch you may want to avoid relying on...improve the engine and you won't need those extra gears.
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Old 06-11-13, 09:17 AM   #5
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I have some killer his around my home, and my road bike has a megarange cassette (12-28, then a big jump to 34) I use it a lot, but when I get to 200 lbs in a couple of months plan to replace the 34 with a 30.
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Old 06-11-13, 09:59 AM   #6
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But for day-to-day riding, where the rides and climbs are shorter, I'd say the extra gearing is a crutch you may want to avoid relying on...improve the engine and you won't need those extra gears.
+1 to this right here. After you ride the 30t a few times, your will start riding it more and won't even notice the change and just get slower when before you can push the 28t. There is usually a large gap between the last 2 gears. That gap you will feel allot more with a 30t.
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Old 06-11-13, 02:11 PM   #7
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My biking started out with wide range gearing, as I get older, and my knees more vocal, I find narrowing the jumps on the cassette are important to my knees.

My direction now is to gear for normal riding, then have a bailout chainring for the abnormally steep parts. On our T50, we currently run 26-44-54 chainrings; 90% of our riding is in the 44T middle ring.
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Old 06-12-13, 06:02 AM   #8
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Are you currently spinning at or above 70rpm going up hills? If not then a 30 may make sense, however if you are then rule 5.
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Old 06-12-13, 06:14 AM   #9
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When I saw the thread title, jokes about West Virginians began swirling in my head.
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Old 06-13-13, 06:10 AM   #10
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When I saw the thread title, jokes about West Virginians began swirling in my head.
Need a 32 then...
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Old 06-13-13, 07:25 AM   #11
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Are you currently spinning at or above 70rpm going up hills? If not then a 30 may make sense, however if you are then rule 5.
I don't have a cadence meter. Just a huff and puff. Since my bike is a cyclocross (jake the snake), I find the sudden hills I come across on the trail as challenging and actually just off the bike to walk the bike. On the commuting hills, it's 2 climbs at each end of the ride with panniers of about a mile each. It's the last 1/4 mile, that has me spinning at a low rate.
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Old 06-13-13, 07:27 AM   #12
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When I saw the thread title, jokes about West Virginians began swirling in my head.
Funny, but lets not get personal. How would I spit my chaw?
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Old 06-13-13, 10:55 AM   #13
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Need a 32 then...
Good one!
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Old 06-13-13, 05:23 PM   #14
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Will you notice a difference? Probably.

I just replaced a 12-25 with an 11-28 on my training bike. On last Saturday's ride there were a couple hills where I was now able to keep my cadence slightly higher. However, at the expense of a little speed. So, less low rpm/high resistance leg fatigue and delayed unset of cramp, but, a slight reduction in climbing speed.

Give it a try and see if you appreciate the lower gear more than the additional 2 tooth gap in the middle of the range. Not much to loose.
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Old 06-25-13, 01:53 PM   #15
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2 rides with new cassette. Results are great. I went up some challenging hills smoothly.
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Old 06-25-13, 04:35 PM   #16
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What you will pay for that benefit is bigger steps between the gears lower down the cassette.
It's important to look at the ratios when making this decision. In this case only the lowest three cogs are different. The middle-to-top end of the cassette is identical.

12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 17 | 19 | 21 | 23 | 25 | 28 teeth

12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 17 | 19 | 21 | 24 | 27 | 30 teeth
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