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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 04-25-10, 06:40 PM   #1
commute
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low gearing

I'm working with a bike shop on a cyclocross bike. I like it, except the compact double gearing. I'm wondering if you all have any suggestions.

I'm not racing this thing, but I am climbing some single and double track (by riding, not running up on foot!) and a lot of hills. With my old bike, by the end of the day, I want to use the granny gear to climb, using 24x24 or 24x21 (with 26 inch wheels).

This new compact cross bike has a lowest gear of 34x27 with 27 inch wheels.

What are my options?

- go to a triple - apparently this might be expensive, most of the drivetrain would need to be swapped

- get a 13-29 cassette - cheaper, but still not quite as low as I'd like

Anything else?
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Old 04-25-10, 07:07 PM   #2
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A cassette with a 30T low will get you about the same as the 24x21 gearing you were used to, you'll need a 36t to get as low as the 24x24. You'll likely be able to run a road rear der with a 30t, but a 36t will take a long cage mtb der.
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Old 04-25-10, 07:45 PM   #3
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I should have also mentioned that this is a 10 speed (Shimano 105).

30t sounds nice. But is there a 30t 10 speed cassette? 10 speed jumps from 29t to 32t (edit: on Sheldon Brown's web site).
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Old 04-25-10, 08:00 PM   #4
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Yes, and on the Harris Cyclery (Sheldon Brown's employer) page you'll find the "century special" which is a 14-30.

Personally, looks like you're needing a mountain bike rather than a cross bike. But, you could run mountain bike gearing on it with the STI's. I converted one of mine to it for some strange reason. Then quickly converted it back. I used a Deore crank, front and rear derailleurs and a 12-34 cassette. There wasn't much I couldn't climb with it, but it wasn't that great for the road. I think I picked everything off ebay for about $150-200.

Edit: opps, that cassette is a 9 speed. I wonder if you could simply add another cog and spacer to it? Bet you could.
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Old 04-25-10, 08:20 PM   #5
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IRD makes, even though Harris doesn't list it, 10s cassettes with final of 28, 30, 32, 34 teeth.

http://www.interlocracing.com/cassettes_steel.html

I only know one 36t and it's a 9s.
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Old 04-25-10, 08:23 PM   #6
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Another option may be to switch to a "Super-Compact" Double, using a triple crank but with only two rings, double shifter and double derailleur, you could get down to a much smaller inner ring.
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Old 04-25-10, 08:42 PM   #7
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Yeah, this is unusual. I do use a mountain bike now. I wanted a light mountain bike (cross country, maybe) with drop bars, but cross bikes seem to be the closest beast unless I go to something much heavier - like a Fargo.

I guess I should have also mentioned that this is going to be my commuter bike. To stay off the numbered routes during rush hour, I take snowmobile trails and washboard dirt roads. That's 1/3 to 1/2 of the route (the fun part!). The rest of the route is pavement.


Anyway, if I could make that CS922 Century Special 13-30 a 12-30 by adding a cog, that would be just about perfect!
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Old 04-29-10, 07:37 PM   #8
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Well, the triple wasn't an option. And the store didn't want to put anything lower than a 27t on the bike, they said they didn't want to support it if it shifted poorly. I bought the darn bike anyway. Call me a fool.

Also, no go on adding a cog to 9 speed. Maybe with friction shifters, but not with STI. Spacing is different.

So. I read that Shimano will release a 10 speed 11-34 mountain cassette.

Is the MTB Shimano cassette compatible with road? I'm trying to decide if I should buy a 11-28 Ultegra and tune it myself or wait for the wider range MTB cassette.

Last edited by commute; 04-29-10 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 04-30-10, 07:33 AM   #9
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Shimano is going 10sp. Sram already has a 10sp MTB group. Also, the Sram Apex group has a 11-32 cassette. I would do a MTB der and a bigger cassette and leave the crank be.
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