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Old 08-03-08, 10:41 AM   #1
dlharrison
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Compact Crank Cassette Recommendation

I am curently riding my Litespeed Tuscany set up with a compact crank and a 11-23 cassette. I ride around the central Indiana area where the terrain is somwhat flat with a few hills. In about a month I will be riding the Old Kentucky Home Tour out of Louisville. The ride has a lot of hilly stretches and I am looking at installing a larger cassette. Any recommendations as to the cassete size would be welcome.
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Old 08-03-08, 11:00 AM   #2
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Assuming your crankset is along the typical lines of 50-34/36, I would consider either the 12-25 or 12-27 depending on your ability to climb and the steepness of what you will be climbing. I road for about a year on an 11-23 and while I was able to climb it was more of a workout and involved more "standing and mashing" than I wanted. Went to a 12-27 and I can climb the steeper stuff a little faster and more efficiently. Just sayin.
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Old 08-03-08, 01:08 PM   #3
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I'd go with the 12 - 27. I think it's better to have the extra, rather than needing the extra and not having it.
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Old 08-03-08, 01:09 PM   #4
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I put a Sheldon Brown (R.I.P.) special 12-30 on my recently built TCR with a 50/36 compact crank. The percent change gets larger as you shift to through the larger cogs but remains close through the higher gears. I am happy with it so far. You can find the cassette here. http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails...gId=39&id=2369
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Old 08-03-08, 01:32 PM   #5
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I live in an area with hills and Lots of short sharp 10%+ for about 1 mile.I have a 50/34 and a 10spd 12/27. I find that just about sufficient and no problems. We even have a 16% for about 3/4 mile and although HR is way up the top by the end of it- and Cadence is pretty slow- even that is manageable.

But if you are Normally riding on flat stuff- no matter what gearing you have- hills will be hard so get some practice in before the trip. They say a 20mph headwind is good practice- so pray for a few windy days.
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Old 08-03-08, 02:17 PM   #6
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go 12x27 the difference between that and the 12x25 is the biggest 3 cogs, on one it is 21,23,25 and on the other it is 21,24,27. The other cogs are the same, so go with the one that gives you a little bigger spread.

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Old 08-03-08, 02:22 PM   #7
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go 12x27 the difference between that and the 12x25 is the biggest 3 cogs, on one it is 21,23,25 and on the other it is 21,24,27. The other cogs are the same, so go with the one that gives you a little bigger spread. ...
If I need to compromise between tight gearing and total range, I, too, favor spreading out the lower gears while maintaining tightly-spaced mid-range and higher gears.
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Old 08-03-08, 08:34 PM   #8
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12-25
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Old 08-03-08, 08:45 PM   #9
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12-25
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Old 08-03-08, 09:19 PM   #10
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i assume that you have a 10 speed cassette. i suggest looking at the SRAM 11/26 and the 11/28.
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Old 08-04-08, 09:41 AM   #11
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I recently set up a Schwinn Premise with a compact 34/50 and a 12-28 cassette. You might have a little trouble with that 28 on a standard road derailleur. Since this was a new build I used an LX medium cage, top normal mountain bike rear derailleur to handle the larger cog in the back have enough chain wrap. I don't even look at "road" derailleurs or cassettes for my projects. The Shimano LX and XT can handle the bigger cogs I want for the hills. If you decide to use a "mountain" derailleur make sure it is "top normal."

Sure, Big Tom Boonen rides a 53-11, but let's see what he rides when he's 50 and weighs 225 lbs.

Last edited by reverborama; 08-04-08 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 08-04-08, 10:57 AM   #12
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I didn't want the larger leaps, but did want lower gears, so I replaced my 11-23 with a 13-25. But I have huge hills (mountains) here and wanted an even lower gear. Went 12-27 and I found, to my surprise, I didn't miss the in between "missing" gears a bit.

I vote low.
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Old 08-04-08, 11:07 AM   #13
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What I got for my area in NE Pennsylvania is the SRAM 11-28.

The wider the gear range the better.

There are enough gears in a 10 speed cassette to ensure no excessive gaps in the 11-28 for me.

Of course, with it, and the 50/34 crank I needed at least a medium cage RD according the the LBS, I believe for the chain wrap.
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Old 08-04-08, 02:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
I didn't want the larger leaps, but did want lower gears, so I replaced my 11-23 with a 13-25. But I have huge hills (mountains) here and wanted an even lower gear. Went 12-27 and I found, to my surprise, I didn't miss the in between "missing" gears a bit.

I vote low.
Have to admit that I ride 12/27- but I do get annoyed at the spacing on the top 3 gears occasionally. The difference between them is just a bit too big- But if I am going uphill- and change down- I do need that lower gear.

However- I do have a 12/25 set up on a set of wheels and If I know it is going to be a flat ride- I use this cassette. PerfectRatios- right through the cassette. Only problem -as I have found out- The ride may be flat but the headwinds can be strong. Surprising how many times I could just do with a lower gear when I use the 25.

Now if you are talking about mountains- or plenty of steep hills- Then go 9 speed. With a compact on the front of 50/34 and a mountain bike cassette of 12/34- you have gearing that will get you up anything. Just a pity about the expense of an MTB rear derailler.
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