Rear gear cluster with up to 36 teeth
Right now if you want a wide range of gears on a touring bike, you can get rear clusters that have, say, 11 or 12 teeth at one end, and 32 or 34 teeth at the other end.
Is it true that clusters with up to 36 teeth will soon be available? Where can I find out more?
That's the rumor. The difference between 34 and 36 would be really hard to notice. Aside from the fact that you will pay a premium for being an early adopter. But it's your money so do what makes ya happy.
You can get up to a 39 toothed cassette through Action Tec. They are made from Ti and expensive, but they'll last a long time. You'll also need a rear derailer with a very long cage.
Originally Posted by acantor
Thank you, Randy. Those cogsets are news to me. To get ever tinier granny gears, it will be easier to swap my rear cluster -- which after five years need replacing anyways -- than to change my front gears.
Does anybody know what kind of derailleurs handle, say, 11-36T? (I don't think I would go so far as 11-39T, as the gap between gears is likely to be extreme.) If my current derailleur works with 11-34, would it be OK with 11-36?
The 11-36 cassettes are supposedly going to drop when the big manufacturers begin the whole new 2x10 mountain groups. The idea will be to ditch the fussy triple in favor of a 36/24 double or things like the truvativ hammerschmidt. While i do see how a triple with indexed shifting is a PITA, i don't know if this 10speed ultra-wide range cassette is necessary. Articles i've read have suggested that the current long-cage atb derailers (SGS, etc) will accept the 36t cog, but this remains to be seen. Whatever; the new XTR/x0 groups will absolutely feature new rear derailers that can handle the 36er.
For the cyclotourist, this basically means you'll be able to have a 3x10 mtb-derived drivetrain with a super-low 22x36t granny option. As someone mentioned earlier, i don't know if you'll notice much difference between that and the current 22x34t grannies that many of us are rockin'.
Personally, i feel like a 22x34 gear ratio is low enough for anything that you're likely to encounter. Steeper and crazier hills than that, and you might be better off pushing the bike up the hill. I know many ppl do long for a lower gear, but really... 22x34 is pretty low..
An 11-36 would be rad, but I've heard nothing of it. No rumor; Shimano is confirmed for 12-36 in Deore and XT levels sometime soon.
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