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Upgrade Cassette and tools required?

Old 03-16-20, 02:28 PM
  #1  
sean.hwy
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Upgrade Cassette and tools required?

My first new road bike SystemSix is a dream to ride. There's always a right gear to find.
I have never owned a road bike before. I love the compact gearing.


When I go back to the commuter bike Redux 2 that I bought dec 2019
there is a huge gap between some of my gears
that makes it difficult to maintain high speed. I either can't spin fast
enough or have to mash down on my pedals which hurts my knees.


my bike has Shimano 9sp 11-34t Cassette
https://www.raleighusa.com/redux2-r143

I was thinking of trying this 12-25 Sprokets included: 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25T
Shimano HG50 9 Speed Mountain Bike Cassette
https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-HG50-...M68?th=1&psc=1

Is this a good tool set to do the job? Or is their a better one I should get?
XCH Robots Chain Whip Bike Tool, Cassette Removal Tool with Chain Whip and
Auxiliary Wrench Bicycle Sprocket Removal Tools Sprocket Remover, Chain Whip Tool
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QPK3QTH...NsaWNrPXRydWU=

I assume since they are both Shimano 9sp it should work.
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Old 03-16-20, 02:46 PM
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A 12T cog won't be faster than an 11.
If you can't go fast enough on a 1X, you need to spin faster or get a bigger chain ring up front.
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Old 03-16-20, 03:05 PM
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sean.hwy
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I am on concerned with top speed. I am concerned with how big a jump the gears are when when I shift them. On my road bike the gear spacing is perfect. On my commuter bike they are too far apart. I want to know if the Cassette I had listed above would work on my bike.
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Old 03-16-20, 03:13 PM
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Unca_Sam
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
I am on concerned with top speed. I am concerned with how big a jump the gears are when when I shift them. On my road bike the gear spacing is perfect. On my commuter bike they are too far apart. I want to know if the Cassette I had listed above would work on my bike.
This is a good question, and with a little math, you can answer your question. You can also look at the website here and put in your bicycle's information to compare apples to apples, or gear inches to gear inches. Just add in your bike's information and you can compare the gear-inches or ratios (whichever you're more comfortable with). Note that the only additional information needed is the number of teeth for your chainrings, because that will tell you your ratios. Add in your wheel circumference (with tire mounted) and that will tell you how far one revolution of the pedals will take you.
I noticed that issue as well when I switched to a wider cassette on my 9 speed. I just shift back and forth since the lower gearing is important for my uses.

Last edited by Unca_Sam; 03-16-20 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 03-16-20, 03:32 PM
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Here is a calculator you can use to compare two gearing schemes side-by-side, both graphically and numerically, to see how they stack up: https://www.kstoerz.com/gearcalc/compare/
Going from a 34 tooth to 25 you will lose a lot of your lower gearing, so if you use those sprockets a lot you will miss them. To swap your cassettes you will need a cassette lockring tool, something suitable to turn it like a wrench or socket driver and a chain whip to hold the cassette while you loosen the lockring.
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Old 03-16-20, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
Is this a good tool set to do the job? Or is their a better one I should get?
XCH Robots Chain Whip Bike Tool, Cassette Removal Tool with Chain Whip and
Auxiliary Wrench Bicycle Sprocket Removal Tools Sprocket Remover, Chain Whip Tool
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QPK3QTH...NsaWNrPXRydWU=

I assume since they are both Shimano 9sp it should work.


I usually don't put a flywheel on my bike, but I suppose you could.

I hate when companies mix up "freewheel and cassette" in an ad, but as far as I can tell, that is actually a cassette tool. You get more tools than you need for that one task, but it should be good to have in general.

I don't have socket-set compatible removers, but that may well be a good idea... use with your 1/2" breaker bar.

If, for some reason they send you a freewheel tool rather than a cassette tool, you haven't lost much, and a new tool will be cheap.

https://www.rei.com/product/117164/p...-lockring-tool

All modern Shimano 9-speed cassettes should be compatible. It is always a good idea to check the derailleur stops and adjustment when changing cassettes. Also the B-Screw adjustment.
Your chain should be fine for now, but you might shorten it the next time you replace it.
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Old 03-16-20, 04:25 PM
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sean.hwy
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post


I usually don't put a flywheel on my bike, but I suppose you could.

I hate when companies mix up "freewheel and cassette" in an ad, but as far as I can tell, that is actually a cassette tool. You get more tools than you need for that one task, but it should be good to have in general.

I don't have socket-set compatible removers, but that may well be a good idea... use with your 1/2" breaker bar.

If, for some reason they send you a freewheel tool rather than a cassette tool, you haven't lost much, and a new tool will be cheap.

https://www.rei.com/product/117164/p...-lockring-tool

All modern Shimano 9-speed cassettes should be compatible. It is always a good idea to check the derailleur stops and adjustment when changing cassettes. Also the B-Screw adjustment.
Your chain should be fine for now, but you might shorten it the next time you replace it.
Thanks that helps a lot.

I used to be an auto mechanic. I have a lot of hand tools. Geez way too many tools in the garage. I don't have any bike specific tools.

How come there are three different kinds of cassette lock rings? No pin in the middle, skinny tall pin in the middle, and a short thicker pin in the middle.

Which one do I need?




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Old 03-16-20, 04:35 PM
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The one with no pin would be needed if you have solid axles. The thick pin works best if you have through axles. The thin pin works best with quick release axles
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Old 03-16-20, 05:24 PM
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I have one with a thin pin and a 1/2" socket drive to use with my torque wrench, which I highly recommend. I put a bar clamp across wrench, tool and axle to keep the tool from popping loose and to allow me to use both hands.
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Old 03-16-20, 05:57 PM
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With my Quick Release (QR) type axles, I got in the habit of clamping the tool down with the QR... old habit from working on vintage 2-prong freewheels. Thus, NO PIN.

The pin type in the OP's original post is supposed to take a 1/2" socket, which would be nice (and, thus using a pin rather than the QR).
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Old 03-16-20, 06:38 PM
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I typically just use a pinless one, the tool goes deep enough to not be prone to a cam out. Use the open end of a 1" wrench on the flats and it will just twist the lockring off. The other two are an excuse to sell more tools
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Old 03-16-20, 08:03 PM
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Clipped from Mike Sherman's Gear Calculator. The calculator stores all the specs in the URL, so it can fill in the data from the bookmark if you reload it later.
All the charts update on the fly as you change gearing, cadence, etc.

I like this chart from the calculator. Here it's at typical flat road cadences, showing the gaps between shifts.

~~~~~

Your bike with 40 front and 11-34 9 spd rear. Calculator link for this setup.



~~~

The 40 front and 12-25 9 speed. Calculator link.
Note that this chart only reaches 25 mph, so I added some extra space to the right side to make it more comparable.

The 12-25 loses a little top end speed, but that's likely not much of a problem. You'll spin out a little sooner when pedaling downhill.

The tradeoff: It's about 2 full shifts harder to pedal on steeper climbs. With your existing 11-34, try climbing a typically steep hill in the 3rd from the largest cog. Then try that same cog on one of your extra steep climbs.

With this bike, what speeds are you typically riding when you notice the wide shifts? I find myself shifting up a gear, and it's a little too hard, so I shift down one, and it's a little too easy -- the gap is wide there.

This has closer shifts at the 10-15 mph range, and closer shifts near 20 mph. It's actually not too different than your 11-34 in the 16-19 mph range.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I think the close range gears, like the 12-25, are good for bikes with 2 or 3 front chainrings and easy to moderately steep climbs mixed with lots of flatter roads. That way, there's multiple overlapping ranges, all with close shifts. It's not quite as suited to a single front chainring.

For example, my road bike with 34 / 50 chainrings, and it's 12-25 11 speed cassette. Close shifts everywhere!



In reality, the shifts are actually way too close together in the 34 chainring (red).

And the low gear isn't nearly low enough for the steep local hills. So I only use this on long, fairly flat rides.

Last edited by rm -rf; 03-16-20 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 03-17-20, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
I was thinking of trying this 12-25 Sprockets included: 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25T
Yeah, 11-34 on a 9-speed is gonna have huge tooth gaps between sprockets. My last bike was 9-speed Shimano, and I crafted my own 13-25 cassette using a 12-25 cassette and an individual cog I bought online somewhere. This was a few years ago so I don't remember offhand where I got them anymore. I removed the 12t and added a cog in the first spot on the casette that had more than a 1-tooth gap. I'm not sure I remember correctly, but it was probably a 16t or 17t or so.

What that did for me was give me one more 1-tooth down- and up-shift in a speed range where I found myself riding a huge amount of the time on my solo rides. All I gave up by getting rid of that 12t was maybe a couple mph on a certain mountain descent every once in a while when a group ride I did once a week decided to do that mountain. Big woop. Oh, and one time on that group ride we had this 25-mph tailwind on the return leg of a very long ride along nearly perfectly flat ground, and I finally got dropped at over 30mph once I finally spun out that 13t. One time. Meanwhile, The vast majority of my rides were solo rides in relatively flat terrain cruising in the 18-19 mph range, which at my cruising cadence put me right in that gear range where that extra 1-tooth shift was. It helped me lessen the abrupt cadence changes necessary when up- or down-shifting in that range.

As far as tools go, yeah you'll need the chain whip, and the little star tool thing for undoing the lock ring. I just went with Park Tools and didn't give it a second thought. They work, and I couldn't be bothered whether I could have saved $5 if I'd have spent more time looking.
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Old 03-17-20, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Clipped from Mike Sherman's Gear Calculator.

Notice the "missing" 16t right in a speed range that many people will find themselves in during solo rides quite a bit. On my 9-speed bike I removed the 12t sprocket and added a 16t. Gave up almost nothing on my solo rides, was still in range on group rides at 13t, and got a nicer shift at common speeds during solo rides. I'm not sure why more folks don't do this.

I think I'm using a 12-27t now on my 11-speed. I get the 12t back, a slightly easier gear for those infrequent climbs where it comes in handy, and get to keep my close shifts in the speed ranges I'm usually at. Good stuff. I just don't find I really miss an 11t sprocket.
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Old 03-17-20, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by SethAZ View Post
The vast majority of my rides were solo rides in relatively flat terrain cruising in the 18-19 mph range, which at my cruising cadence put me right in that gear range where that extra 1-tooth shift was. It helped me lessen the abrupt cadence changes necessary when up- or down-shifting in that range.

As far as tools go, yeah you'll need the chain whip, and the little star tool thing for undoing the lock ring. I just went with Park Tools and didn't give it a second thought. They work, and I couldn't be bothered whether I could have saved $5 if I'd have spent more time looking.
On my commuter bike with 47 wide tires I hit speeds around 18 to 21 but I think most of the time I am closer to 17/18 ish. After my 2016 motorcycle accident when I got side swiped at less than 40 mph with all my gear on ( kevlar pants with knee pads, motorcycle jackets with pads, back protector, gloves, full face helmet, etc... ) I still can't run today. I am NO rush to bomb down hill on bike doing 30+ mph with just spandex and styrofoam helmet. I have zero interest in gears that are used for down hill.
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Old 03-17-20, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
On my commuter bike with 47 wide tires I hit speeds around 18 to 21 but I think most of the time I am closer to 17/18 ish. After my 2016 motorcycle accident when I got side swiped at less than 40 mph with all my gear on ( kevlar pants with knee pads, motorcycle jackets with pads, back protector, gloves, full face helmet, etc... ) I still can't run today. I am NO rush to bomb down hill on bike doing 30+ mph with just spandex and styrofoam helmet. I have zero interest in gears that are used for down hill.
I hear ya. When I see someone mentioning how they just couldn't get along with that 11t sprocket I think wow, I doubt you could find wear marks on my 11t on my new bike with an electron microscope it gets used so seldom. I'd much rather have fine shifts in my cruising range than the ability to eke out an extra couple mph on a descent. There's a very noticeable difference between my cruising cadence dropping by 10 or 11rpm on a shift vs. only dropping 5 or 6 rpm. I'm glad your more or less alright after that motorcycle accident.
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Old 03-25-20, 12:05 PM
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sean.hwy
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I guess I will update this in case someone else searches.

I love it! Makes a huge difference where I spend most of my time ( 15 to 18 mph ish )

Pedro's Vise Whip

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001Q270CC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Feedback Sports Bottom Bracket/Cassette Wrench

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MFA131P/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Shimano HG50 9 Speed Mountain Bike Cassette

Sprokets included: 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25T
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1






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Old 03-25-20, 11:56 PM
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If you're not worried about have low climbing gears, you can try a 12-23 cassette. I find that 16t cog very nice on the flats. Also, you'll need to shorten the chain if reusing old chain, but a new chain is recommended.
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