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    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Cassette: Any reason to go with anything other than Ultegra 11-25 (ten-speed) ?

    I need a cassette. I've got a 6700 group. A few months ago I got a set of nice wheels, and retired the ones that came with my bike, but I've decided I'd like to use them when I ride especially bad roads, and as spares. I don't want to move the cassette over every time I do this.

    The 6700 cassette I've got is an 11-25, and a 10-speed. It has ~6,500 miles on it, and the wear checker tool makes it look like I can get a few thousand more. I used to get about 3K out of a cassette on my cross bike, so I'm happy with the longevity I'm getting now.

    I know I can get rid of some weight (about 40 grams for DA, maybe 80 with Red) if I spend an extra $200. Which I'd like, but honestly wouldn't make much difference. I wound up really loving road riding, more than I expected, and if I did it all over again, I'd want to go with a lighter groupset than I have. Mostly just for vanity, though. Would a Red or DA cassette give me anything besides weight savings? Ultegra is already very good.

    Also, I've been using an 11-25, and don't have any complaints about it, but I do a lot of climbing. If you were in my shoes, would you get the same gearing because it's worked fine, or would you get a few extra teeth just because?
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    RT
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    I saw a really cool cassette for one of my bikes the other day, a 15-25 Ultegra 10 speed cassette. I would have snatched it up, but I don't want to spend $90 on a cassette. They also have 13-25 and 14-25.

    I can spin just fine on some rides at 50/15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Also, I've been using an 11-25, and don't have any complaints about it, but I do a lot of climbing. If you were in my shoes, would you get the same gearing because it's worked fine, or would you get a few extra teeth just because?
    If you are able to climb (in a reasonable fashion) what you want to climb with a 25, then it would seem that you don't need a 28.

    (Personally, I'd go with a 28. And there are still climbs that I wouldn't mind a 32 for. And, personally, I don't think I need an 11.)

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    The DA cassette is lighter but doesn't last as long. The Sram ones are louder but the new one has rubber rings to make it much quieter. I would stick with Ultegra 6700 as it will last and is smooth. I just ordered a 12/23 6700.

    The Ultegra is the best option at around $70-80. Once you go Red or DA you shoot up over 200-240.

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    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTDub View Post
    I saw a really cool cassette for one of my bikes the other day, a 15-25 Ultegra 10 speed cassette. I would have snatched it up, but I don't want to spend $90 on a cassette. They also have 13-25 and 14-25.
    That's crazy! I'd love to try riding one, though. I might like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    (Personally, I'd go with a 28. And there are still climbs that I wouldn't mind a 32 for. And, personally, I don't think I need an 11.)
    I don't think I need an 11, either, really. I'm not sure how I'd feel about 27 or 28 T, and I'm not sure why not.

    I guess I'm a little concerned I'll wind up using a lower gear on long mountain climbs, but eventually winding up at the same low-ish cadence I do now (toward the end of the hill) in 25 T, and wind up a little less strong as a result.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    I spin a pretty high cadence so I might want something bigger than a 25 but otherwise Ultegra is great stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    I guess I'm a little concerned I'll wind up using a lower gear on long mountain climbs, but eventually winding up at the same low-ish cadence I do now (toward the end of the hill) in 25 T, and wind up a little less strong as a result.
    If you don't have a problem with the 25, then don't try to fix it! Keep in mind that, you don't have to use the 28 if you don't need to (hopefully, you are mentally disciplined enough not to be lazy!).

    There are some things that I (personally) want/need a 32 for.

    If you can drop (if you don't really use) the 11, then you can get a 28 with no (effective) loss of gearing (and the 12 lets you add back the "missing" 15 or 16).

    Note that I'm using a 50/34 compact and the 28 is usually low enough for me.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 06-01-12 at 10:37 AM.

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    If your going to run 2 sets of wheels then get a climbing cassette (11-28) on one and when the 11-25 wears out replace it with a 12-23 for fast and flat rides. It's what I have going right now with a PG1070 on the climbing set and an Ultegra on the 12-23.

  9. #9
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    For climbing, I like the 12-27. I may not use the 27 much, but it's nice to know I've got it.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

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    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    For climbing, I like the 12-27. I may not use the 27 much, but it's nice to know I've got it.
    I agree. It also, in a nice way, means you can shoot for steeper climbs than the regular ones you are used to.
    Regards,

    Jed

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    RT
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    I am kinda diggin' my Tiagra 4600 12-30. Some of you don't like wide cassettes, but it has really helped when challenging new climbs.

    I am secure in my Fredhood.

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    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTDub View Post
    I saw a really cool cassette for one of my bikes the other day, a 15-25 Ultegra 10 speed cassette. I would have snatched it up, but I don't want to spend $90 on a cassette. They also have 13-25 and 14-25.

    I can spin just fine on some rides at 50/15.
    Those are Junior Cassettes as juniors are limited in what gears they can run while racing.

    I run 11-25 on all my wheels during racing season then switch to a 12-27 during the off season. I prefer Ultegra cassettes over anything else. I've had bad experiences with Force cassettes and DA and Red are just too expensive.

  13. #13
    Descends like a rock pallen's Avatar
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    I love my 11-28. I see no reason to not have the widest possible range. On the other hand, if you've been fine with the 11-25 why fix what's not broke?

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    RT
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    Quote Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
    Those are Junior Cassettes as juniors are limited in what gears they can run while racing.

    I run 11-25 on all my wheels during racing season then switch to a 12-27 during the off season. I prefer Ultegra cassettes over anything else. I've had bad experiences with Force cassettes and DA and Red are just too expensive.
    I have seen them labeled as such in the past, but really don't see how a name change makes them any less effective for tightening up a cassette. I spend maybe 5% of my time on 13 or less.

  15. #15
    jmX
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    I think you're experienced enough by now to know if you should try different gearing or not for the routes you ride.

    As for weight, I'd go for the lighter cassette since you've mentioned you wished you'd bought lighter components. Lots of the Ultegra vs DA weight savings is in the crank and cassette.

    Be warned, the 2011 style 1 piece cnc SRAM cassettes are loud (I have an "old" 2011 style 1 piece steel SRAM XX cassette and it's super noisy). DuraAce also seems noisier than ultegra but not as bad as the XX cassette. The new RED cassette for 2012-2013 is supposed to be light *and* quiet, might be worth a try if you have money to experiment with.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    So is there any actual benefit to a Red or DA cassette? It's a lot of money, and I'd rather hold onto it, or use it to pay for a couple hotels on the east side of the Cascades to do some climbs. But I'm happy with the durability I'm getting out of cassettes, so if, say, Red would get me 80ish grams and better shifting, I might swing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    If you can drop (if you don't really use) the 11, then you can get a 28 with no (effective) loss of gearing (and the 12 lets you add back the "missing" 15 or 16).
    This is something I'll need to put some thought into. I had a wider range cassette, and the 'gap' bothered me; I'd shift across the middle of the cassette in a few places I've enjoyed riding, and not have the 'right' gear for the terrain.

    Quote Originally Posted by pallen View Post
    I love my 11-28. I see no reason to not have the widest possible range. On the other hand, if you've been fine with the 11-25 why fix what's not broke?
    No good reason, really. I was curious about it because I need a cassette anyway, and I know it's a popular climbing option.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  17. #17
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTDub View Post
    I saw a really cool cassette for one of my bikes the other day, a 15-25 Ultegra 10 speed cassette. I would have snatched it up, but I don't want to spend $90 on a cassette. They also have 13-25 and 14-25.
    I believe Shimano lists these as "junior" cassettes. I've got a 13-25 on my CX bike. I spun it out in exactly one race last year with a single 36T ring up front. (Yes, I'm slow.)

  18. #18
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTDub View Post
    I am kinda diggin' my Tiagra 4600 12-30. Some of you don't like wide cassettes, but it has really helped when challenging new climbs.

    I am secure in my Fredhood.
    +1

    I've got a 12-30, which I like a lot. I was very happy when the Tiagra group went to 10-speed because it meant I could get cassettes under $50 without ordering from the U.K. Having the option of 30T cog is just icing on the cake. Within my tolerances the shifting I get from the Tiagra cassette with an otherwise Ultegra 6600 drivetrain is every bit as good as what I get with Ultegra cassettes. I guess the next test will be how long it lasts. I've got a bit over 2000 miles on it so far with no sign of trouble.

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    you didn't say what rings you had on the front were, but if it is a 52/53 I would seriously consider a 12-25 instead. The 16T is more useful than the 11T IME

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    muu
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    34-25's been fine on my roadbike so far. I got another 11-25 on wiggle since I needed to add some money on there to use their current batch of coupons. If I didn't have a compact crank I'd probably have gone for the 28.

    On my commuter/tourer I got what I believe are 12-34 on the rear and 46-36-26 cranks to match. 40lb bike with 30lbs of equipment going up a steep incline w/ 10mph headwinds and I was still able to keep pedaling, though it was still just as miserable as it sounds.

  21. #21
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    I don't think I need an 11, either, really. I'm not sure how I'd feel about 27 or 28 T, and I'm not sure why not.
    Get a 12-27.

    The spacing is exactly the same as a 12-25 except the last two cogs so there's literally no difference for the gears you use the most. In practice, whenever you need the 25, you need the 27.

  22. #22
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    ...
    Also, I've been using an 11-25, and don't have any complaints about it, but I do a lot of climbing. If you were in my shoes, would you get the same gearing because it's worked fine, or would you get a few extra teeth just because?
    When you need the extra teeth, you really need them. When you don't, you hardly ever use that gear anyway so where's the downside? I'd switch to 28 (or 30) in your shoes, and since it's your money I'd get the lightest available.

  23. #23
    Retired USAF, C-130 Guy M_Wales's Avatar
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    Running a Ultegra 6700 11-23 on one wheel set and a 12-25 on the other and love them both... Great Stuff!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    Get a 12-27.

    The spacing is exactly the same as a 12-25 except the last two cogs so there's literally no difference for the gears you use the most. In practice, whenever you need the 25, you need the 27.
    There is some truth to that. I never had a cog larger than 23 until about 4 years ago. I got a 25 and all of a sudden I need that gear. More seriously, it was nice having that bailout gear even though I hardly ever used it. Now I use it more frequently. I don't know what if anything that implies about my cycling. Maybe I should try a 27 just for grins and see if it becomes necessary.

  25. #25
    yada yada Urban Turkey's Avatar
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    I recently added to 12-32 cassette to my bike for an especially hilly (for me) ride. I intended to take off the larger cassette after the ride, but I realized that I actually like the cassette a lot. It lets me stay in the big ring (or little for that matter) without cross-chaining as compared with a 11-25, for example. I can use 50x25 and only be in my third largest cog on the back. You do have some larger gaps, but it rarely bothers me.

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