It Takes Two
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bloomington, IN
Bikes: 1973 Chiappini w/ Campy New Record, 2004 Kestrel Talon w/ Campy Chorus, 2006 Santana Team Niobium
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It appears that Giang makes the IRD 11-32 and 11-34 cassette. Giang does definitely make the 11-34 for Santana and Santana does not rebrand it - it says Giang on the lockring and I have spoken to McCready on the phone about the cassettes. We put 4,000 miles last year on the original Giang that came on our Santana Niobium. When shifting deteriorated because of a derailleur cable that was fraying inside the lever (but before I figured that out), I bought a new cassette from Santana. The newer one had the larger cogs on a spider so it is lighter. It has about 5000 miles on it now and I don't see any wear problems. We do use the 53 - 11 on our favorite downhills but if we didn't have it we would be OK.
I think that a large range cassette is destined to not crisp as shiftly as a tighter range cassette and I have no complaints about the rear shifting of our 11-34. I have found over our 9000 tandem miles in the last two years that when I have the bike shifting fine in the stand, I will probably have to do some fine tuning on the road more than I would have to on my single.
If you need the range I wouldn't be afraid of it but a smaller range will no doubt be crisper.