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Old 03-06-07, 11:12 AM   #1
joseph senger
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cassette for touring

i need a new cassette, and was wondering if i should stick with the LX one i have, i think its 12x34 or go with closer gearing, like a road cassette. like 12x26? also do road cassetts fit mtb hubs? ive never had a road bike before. i will be touring mountains with a heavy load, so thats why i was thinking about the closer gearing being more effecient

thanks
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Old 03-06-07, 11:19 AM   #2
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You're more efficient spinning and you'd have to be a sadist to mash up mountains with a loaded bike.

Keep the 12-34. You need lower gears for hills which will be a lot harder with more weight.
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Old 03-06-07, 12:31 PM   #3
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What Hocam said. A 12-26 would be suicide on a loaded rig up mountains unless you like to walk a lot. You will need the 13-34.
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Old 03-06-07, 02:49 PM   #4
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I agree with the others...stick with the lower gearing (11-34 or the like). As to your other question, a shimano 8/9 hub will accept any cassette that is shimano hub compatible (read everything but campy). That means yes, a road cassette would fit on the hub, but if you make big changes (like 34 to 26) you may have too much chain and need to take out a link or two (depending on how much slack you have and what your derailleur can take up).
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Old 03-06-07, 04:38 PM   #5
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11-34 has made my life much more pleasant in this hilly terrain.
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Old 03-06-07, 05:14 PM   #6
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gearing

On some of my tours, I've been asked many questions, like,"How many gears does that thing have?"

I usually respond with, "It doesn't matter how many gears it has, more importantly is size of the granny gear."

Tour with the smallest granny you can find. An 11-34 fits the bill in the back, what's your chainring size?

Personally, I run a 24-34 granny. I've never walked a hill with it. Your knees will love you for it.
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Old 03-06-07, 07:10 PM   #7
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The real questions :

– What gears do you use currently, especially when you carry a load?
– Do you long for more lower gears?

From your experience, you should be able to decide what you need and want.

My personal preference is for a cassette that has low low developments (i.e. large cogs) and close ratios towards the top.

So my touring single bike has : 12-14-15-16-17-19-21-25-34
and my tandem touring bike has: 13-15-16-17-18-20-23-26-34

You could buy a customised cassette such as the Cyclotouriste 13 or 14 from Harris Cyclery or you could do as I do: cobble together cobs from lower-end cassettes: with a 11-34 and a 11-34 and a 12-25 (and I think one or two leftover cogs), I cobbled these two cassettes together. That way, I get close ratios towards the top and low low gears.
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Old 03-07-07, 11:57 PM   #8
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thanks for the info guys

it still kinda throws me, im thinking up the mid inclines i will be running my granny around the 18 on the cassette, so having a cluster around 18-24 really tight may come in handy. i will have to see how she feels. and i suppose having 9 speeds on the back allows for a nice gap like 11-34 to not really be to jumpy. i will probably run
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Old 03-08-07, 10:00 AM   #9
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It won't hurt to keep the LX cassette, but if you're touring in 26" wheels with slicks and using a mountain bike crankset, you can get away with smaller cogs in the rear. I put a 12-28 on my wife's 26"er long haul trucker and she's been happy with it. Can't remember the numbers, but I think her low gear (22x28) is pretty much equivalent to a 24x34 on my 700c bike.
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Old 03-08-07, 02:36 PM   #10
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Joe,
I am going through the same thought process as you. I much prefer closely spaced cassettes for all riding. I have a 26 small chain ring, and am going to use a 12-27 for the eastern half of the TransAm. I have a 12-32 for the mountains (western half of the TransAm). I think Michael is on to something with the closely spaced gears and then a BIG jump to the granny of 34.
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Old 03-09-07, 04:09 PM   #11
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Just my personal opinion, but you may want to rethink that plan - there's more climbing in VA on the transam than any other state on the route.
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Old 03-09-07, 09:30 PM   #12
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I like the tight ratios, I have something likea 14-28 for a bike I am building that will have 26" slicks on it. I want tight gears with the granny but not much top end. As others have said you need to think out upcoming tour what kind of gears you really use in a tactical sense. If you have a long downhill, that may only be a few minute going up the other side may feel like forever. It's up to each rider to decide whether they want to build them close or build them close for efficiency or wide appart for other reasons.

Basically the gearing should match the feet gained map you are planing to travel. Like on a lot of steep ups and downs 10 cog jump into low gear may really help since there isn't really anything but the lowest gear that works on the way back up. I find that kind of situation or rolling parts of snowmobile trails. But if you had more varied terrain, where you need to find the right gear to labour in, then density is nice, or, if you just plain have extremes, then maybe you need a megarange cassette. You really need to examine how you use your gears and what you expect to need for the enxt trips.
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