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Going from 11-34 to 11-32 - how much will I notice?

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Going from 11-34 to 11-32 - how much will I notice?

Old 06-13-16, 05:50 PM
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JakiChan
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Going from 11-34 to 11-32 - how much will I notice?

I know no one can really answer this, but...

The upgrade bug has hit. I keep being "warned" by my bike shop that 10 speed parts are hard to find, etc. And I love the 11 speed mechanical Ultegra ergonomics. However I also have a 9 speed XTR rear derailleur on my bike, and an 11-34 rear cassette. Because I'm fat and I don't climb well. Part of me wonders how much I will notice 11-34 to 11-32? I would think not much. But maybe it's more than I think? It's got a me a little worried. I hate climbing enough as it is. If anyone else has made a similar move I'd love to hear about it.
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Old 06-13-16, 05:55 PM
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When your 11-34 wears out, then get a 11-32. You'll only notice the difference on very steep climbs.

You can buy 5-6-7-8-9 speed cassettes, freewheels, and other related parts still. I doubt that you'll have trouble getting 10-speed parts for a decade or so.

You might find it easier to get another LBS if they are spewing that kind of BS.
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Old 06-13-16, 05:55 PM
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If someone had swapped these without telling you it might be years before you notice. However, now that you know, you'll convince yourself that this is why you couldn't climb that steel hill yesterday.

For practical purposes, you might actually notice if there's a specific hill that you were just able to climb in low, or one where you couldn't decide between low and 2nd low. Otherwise, it's less than half a step, and as I said, you wouldn't have noticed unless you already knew.
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Old 06-13-16, 06:49 PM
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I would notice immediately, because at least with the XT cassette I run, the 11-34 and 11-32 have only a single cog in common-- the 11T. Every gear would feel ever so slightly off, like driving an unfamiliar car.

As to the perceived change between a 32T and 34T cog, guesstimating the reduced cadence from the loss of 1.5 gear inches, you'd likely be around 0.4mph slower on a steep climb with the 32T vs. the 34T-- provided you can comfortably spin the larger gear above 80rpm. If you can turn the 32T as fast as the 34T, you'd be 0.4mph faster.
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Old 06-13-16, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by JakiChan View Post
I know no one can really answer this, but...

The upgrade bug has hit. I keep being "warned" by my bike shop that 10 speed parts are hard to find, etc. And I love the 11 speed mechanical Ultegra ergonomics. However I also have a 9 speed XTR rear derailleur on my bike, and an 11-34 rear cassette. Because I'm fat and I don't climb well. Part of me wonders how much I will notice 11-34 to 11-32? I would think not much. But maybe it's more than I think? It's got a me a little worried. I hate climbing enough as it is. If anyone else has made a similar move I'd love to hear about it.
I can only give my opinion, obviously. I am pretty big (350+) and steep climbs are tough when I am 100+ lbs over the weight of giant riders,

My first bike had an 11-30 10 speed. I did the 9 speed MTB rear mech trick and put an 11-34 cassette on it. This was a pretty noticeable improvement for me allowing me to get up some hills that I had to walk previously.

That bike got stolen and the one I replaced it with had 11 speed with 11-32 stock. It is a better bike (carbon vs aluminum) on smaller tires and I really didn't miss the 34 *all* that much.

That said, I did put an 12-36 IRD cassette on the new bike it is a noticeable difference for me.

HTH,

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Old 06-13-16, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I would notice immediately, because at least with the XT cassette I run, the 11-34 and 11-32 have only a single cog in common-- the 11T. Every gear would feel ever so slightly off, like driving an unfamiliar car.
You're a better rider than I.

I guess I'm more wondering: Will I end up walking up any hills that I can currently struggle up right now? I know the answer is "rule 5"...
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Old 06-13-16, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DWhitworth View Post
That said, I did put an 12-36 IRD cassette on the new bike it is a noticeable difference for me.
You bring up a VERY valid option. IRD does make 11-34 11-speed Shimano cassettes. But I'm not enough of a mechanic to know the answer to this question: If Shimano says the RD only has so much capacity of teeth, then how can those work. Can I really use their 11-34 on my 6800 GS RD?
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Old 06-13-16, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JakiChan View Post
You bring up a VERY valid option. IRD does make 11-34 11-speed Shimano cassettes. But I'm not enough of a mechanic to know the answer to this question: If Shimano says the RD only has so much capacity of teeth, then how can those work. Can I really use their 11-34 on my 6800 GS RD?
My bike has a RD6800 Long Cage on it and it would have no problem with the 34.(50-34 front) I looked very hard at this option, but decided against spending the money for only 2 teeth.

The rear mech actually *almost* worked with the 12-36. It would shift all the gears, it just didn't have quite enough engagement in the 36 and it would skip under power. For all I know, the chain was too short/too long or something else was out of adjustment.

Anyway, a WolfTooth Road Link fixed it right up : RoadLink ? wolftoothcomponents.com

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Old 06-13-16, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by DWhitworth View Post
My bike has a RD6800 Long Cage on it and it would have no problem with the 34.(50-34 front) I looked very hard at this option, but decided against spending the money for only 2 teeth.

The rear mech actually *almost* worked with the 12-36. It would shift all the gears, it just didn't have quite enough engagement in the 36 and it would skip under power. For all I know, the chain was too short/too long or something else was out of adjustment.

Anyway, a WolfTooth Road Link fixed it right up : RoadLink ? wolftoothcomponents.com
Thank you so much for ALL of that. I really want the 11-speed upgrade. Firstly the 11-speed brifters fit my hand WAY better. Plus, the XTR RD has never quite worked exactly right. I'd love to get to something more "normal". If I just can't get strong enough (or small enough) to do the 11-32 then maybe I can do a 12-36.
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Old 06-13-16, 09:34 PM
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If you want to spend the money and have it go for it. I doubt you will notice a 2 teeth difference. It will not be the difference between walking up a hill or not. Your fitness to ride will determine if you need to cross train on the hills. Hills are hard no matter the gear or your fitness or weight. As you lean out or gain strength they do not get easier you just go faster. In some ways they become harder because once you understand that it will not kill you, you start attacking to prove you are better than you were last month, year, etc.

I ride lots. I do not avoid hills and actually embrace them however I am still as slow as a slug on hills. They are just hills, I get over them.
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Old 06-13-16, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
Hills are hard no matter the gear or your fitness or weight. As you lean out or gain strength they do not get easier you just go faster.
I have always, and will always disagree with this. On long, steep climbs, I used to struggle to manage 5-6mph. Now I can do double that at a tempo pace, and yeah, it's tough. But if I sit down, go to the bailout gear and spin up the hill at 6mph, my HR will drop down into Z2. Yeah, hills get easier. They get hard again when we try to go faster.

If you have the gearing and are content to go up a hill at a walking pace, they can be pretty easy.
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Old 06-14-16, 03:46 AM
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I know that physically I may not notice much, but mentally I would notice and therefore hills would feel super easy compared to before. But I may not be the best judge because I'm always convinced my car feels sharper and quicker after I've cleaned it.
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Old 06-14-16, 11:24 AM
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you probably won't notice until about 27% grade. But at that point, you'll be kissing the stem and riding the nose of the saddle just so you don't tip over backwards.
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Old 06-14-16, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by JakiChan View Post
how much I will notice 11-34 to 11-32?
In my local riding area, I can't tell the difference between an 11-28 and an 11-32 cassette in ride feel alone.

Now, when I go on vacation and do a ride somewhere that there is double the elevation of my local riding area, then I can really tell the difference between that 28 and 32 cog.
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Old 06-14-16, 01:27 PM
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I actually thought about getting a 11-32 cassette to replace my 11-34 cassette, not so much for hills, but due to some of the middle gears not feeling correct with the amount of energy I'm giving on some slight grades. Feels like if I'm in one gear, my cadence is too high, but switching to the next gear down and it was too much of a drop and my cadence suffers. I've checked and the teeth on all the cogs are different between the two cassettes.

So I've wondered if switching to 11-32 could even out the gear ranges, making them closer and maybe even make the shifts smoother. Am I correct in thinking this?
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Old 06-14-16, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
If you want to spend the money and have it go for it. I doubt you will notice a 2 teeth difference. It will not be the difference between walking up a hill or not. Your fitness to ride will determine if you need to cross train on the hills. Hills are hard no matter the gear or your fitness or weight. As you lean out or gain strength they do not get easier you just go faster. In some ways they become harder because once you understand that it will not kill you, you start attacking to prove you are better than you were last month, year, etc.
I'm just trying to preserve my knees. Grinding hurts. Spinning does not. At some point a hill is just to steep to grind.

I'll find out. I'd rather try it, fail, and make some equipment changes than go with the Frankenbike approach out of the gate. I'm hoping "stock" Ultegra will work for me.
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Old 06-14-16, 10:43 PM
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@JakiChan is your veloviewer.com graphic an accurate portrayal of your cycling this year? If so with all due respect you need to ride more to attain basic fitness before you worry about what gearing is on your bike. Unless you made all those rides in the last two weeks you do not have cycling fitness IMHO. Even if in the last two weeks you need much more base than that. The more you ride the more you will build your endurance to ride.
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Old 06-14-16, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
@JakiChan is your veloviewer.com graphic an accurate portrayal of your cycling this year? If so with all due respect you need to ride more to attain basic fitness before you worry about what gearing is on your bike. Unless you made all those rides in the last two weeks you do not have cycling fitness IMHO. Even if in the last two weeks you need much more base than that. The more you ride the more you will build your endurance to ride.
Your unsolicited opinion on my fitness, as usual, is noted.

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Old 06-15-16, 09:39 AM
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I noticed as soon as I tried the climbs on my usual rides. It was easier, not by a lot but a significant amount. I didn't even wait 200 miles before I upgraded my 5800/105 to an 11/32 Cassette. It makes a big difference in ease in climbing hills. Spin baby, spin.
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Old 07-08-16, 12:28 AM
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Got the new gear on the bike. Upgrading to 11 speed was totally worth it. Glad to be away from the Frakenbike setup I had.
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