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Question on chain length and different wheels w/different cassettes.

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Question on chain length and different wheels w/different cassettes.

Old 06-21-21, 01:22 PM
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MrWasabi 
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Question on chain length and different wheels w/different cassettes.

I'm setting up another wheelset for mostly paved riding and am thinking of going with different gearing on it. My sometimes hard pack/off road wheel has an 11-32 cassette on it. I have a Tiagra 11-25 cassette in my parts stash that I was thinking about using for the paved set. Where I ride paved here in FL is basically flat. Will my chain work with both wheelsets or is that too extreme of a change? My derailleurs are Deore M591 9 speed if that matters.

Thanks for any input.
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Old 06-21-21, 02:14 PM
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It doesn't matter. If the chain is long enough for the 32 it's obviously going to be fine for the 25. They both start at 11 right? Think about it...if you're using the 11-32 but you're only in the 25t cog it's the same thing as riding the 11-25 cassette.
If your chain was sized big/big for the 25 cassette you might have a problem w/ the 32...this is why small/small is a great way to size chains.
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Old 06-21-21, 02:18 PM
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Thanks for the input.

That makes sense. Yes, they both start at 11. I figured if I went the other way from 25 to 32 I would have some issues being too short but I was wondering since I'm going with less teeth, will it be too long or will the derailleur make up for the difference? On the flat paved riding I do, I'm thinking some closer gears in the back may give me more useful options.
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Old 06-21-21, 02:19 PM
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If it's not too long for the 11-32 how can it be too long for the 11-25? The smallest cog on both is 11...
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Old 06-21-21, 04:03 PM
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that derailer can handle wrap of up to 45 teeth per spec (wrap = difference hi/lo cassette + hi/lo crankset) it should not be a problem at all.

Another way to think about it is that some place on the 11-32 you have gear that is pretty close to 25 and it handles it an lower..... you are good to go
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Old 06-23-21, 06:45 PM
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The longer chain might give a little less than optimal shifting performance on the lower gears because of increased distance between the jockey pulley and the cogs. Loosening the B-screw a little for the 25 will get it closer.
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Old 06-25-21, 12:06 AM
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The overlong chain on the 11-25 will shift worse on it. Also that derailleur was really never intended to shift a road cassette and will, again, shift slightly worse. It's likely to be good enough for you--only real way to know is try. Won't break anything.

As a pro mechanic, multiple times a week I shorten a chain by a couple links (to spec) and find shifting very meaningfully better, but often this is when there are a number of other factors making shifting worse (worn components, mostly).
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