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12-28t Cassette..?

Old 01-23-21, 02:10 AM
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Moisture
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12-28t Cassette..?

I'm currently using a 38/48t front dual biopace ring setup and a 11-34 9 speed cassette in the rear. I think it works great for my needs, but...

I can change to either 8 speeds or 10 in the future, if I prefer. Releastically id prefer to switch to a 126mm hub and go for 7 speeds some day.

I like having a 30/34t in the rear for windy days while riding lightly loaded, but I don't think more than 28 or 30t in the rear is necessary from an efficiency x performance perspective.

I've been eying the possibility of going for a 12-28t cassette. I think that having 11t as the final drive is totally unnecessary in nearly all applications. But do you guys reckon that 38t front, 28t rear would be sufficient for light touring applications?

For reference, my two front chainrings are oriented backwards so that I get more teeth count in the most powerful part of my stroke. It works very efficiently and smooth with my strap in pedals. 175mm arms.

Thoughts? I'd like to hear your guys personal opinions on my current setup, and what you guys use.
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Old 01-23-21, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
But do you guys reckon that 38t front, 28t rear would be sufficient for light touring applications?
It wouldn't be for most folks. However, I don't see the logic in basing your gearing on a pipe dream. Touring, light or otherwise, isn't in your future with that bike. If you think you'd enjoy a 12-28 for the riding you actually do, then go for it. It's not a costly experiment to change gearing.
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Old 01-23-21, 12:07 PM
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Light touring in my area means the probability of Cascade mountains.
I run a vintage double 46/30 & 14/28. Or triples with a 30ring and 28 tooth cog.

For a multi-day tour, 34 cogs might be a necessity for me in the local mountains.
It all depends on rider ability, load, terrain and distance.
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Old 01-23-21, 01:25 PM
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Once toured norther Europe with a 48/38 and an 11-28, only had one large bag strapped do to my rack, a light sleeping bag and stayed in hostels, train stations, and on a park bench. It was doable but the load was light and there were times I'd have wanted better. Last tour was less light since I was actually camping, but other then steep rollers fairly flat and that was with a 34 ring on a 34 cassette and I wished a couple times for less. Now equipped with a 32 ring and 36 cassette. The new touring bike will probably feature a 26 ring and 36 cassette but its meant to go a lot further afield.
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Old 01-23-21, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
Once toured norther Europe with a 48/38 and an 11-28, only had one large bag strapped do to my rack, a light sleeping bag and stayed in hostels, train stations, and on a park bench. It was doable but the load was light and there were times I'd have wanted better. Last tour was less light since I was actually camping, but other then steep rollers fairly flat and that was with a 34 ring on a 34 cassette and I wished a couple times for less. Now equipped with a 32 ring and 36 cassette. The new touring bike will probably feature a 26 ring and 36 cassette but its meant to go a lot further afield.
You also had 38/48 up front? Interesting. Were they regular circular rings? Did you otherwise enjoy using them?

I found a Biopace HP 3x crankset (28/38/48) , the two outer rings just so happened to use the same BCD as my current Truvativ crankset. I don't think I could have ended up finding a better chainring combination than this. Anything less than 38 for the granny rings and I feel like there is a lacking gap in between, and 48/11 for your highest gear is already more than enough for downhill sprints. My current ratio spread is much more useful, most of the time than my previous 34/50 setup. I also like the small fast jump switching between 38 and 48.

Each biopace ring was designed with a different elliptical shape in mind according to its intended use (28 for uphill, 38 flat, 48 less pronounced elliptical design for downhill sprinting) . I think this is what makes it a fantastic set of chainrings.

My 34t gear is currently blocked out because my derailleur will not reach far enough on the 9 speed cassette, but when dealing with wind, even lightly loaded on fairly mild inclines I would not want to have less than 30 or 34t. Maybe 28 max.

in the future, I would opt for 12-X versus 11-X. Better ratio spread, and 11t is just unrealistic for regular use.
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Old 01-23-21, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
You also had 38/48 up front? Interesting. Were they regular circular rings? Did you otherwise enjoy using them?

I found a Biopace HP 3x crankset (28/38/48) , the two outer rings just so happened to use the same BCD as my current Truvativ crankset. I don't think I could have ended up finding a better chainring combination than this. Anything less than 38 for the granny rings and I feel like there is a lacking gap in between, and 48/11 for your highest gear is already more than enough for downhill sprints. My current ratio spread is much more useful, most of the time than my previous 34/50 setup. I also like the small fast jump switching between 38 and 48.
Each biopace ring was designed with a different elliptical shape in mind according to its intended use (28 for uphill, 38 flat, 48 less pronounced elliptical design for downhill sprinting) . I think this is what makes it a fantastic set of chainrings.
My 34t gear is currently blocked out because my derailleur will not reach far enough on the 9 speed cassette, but when dealing with wind, even lightly loaded on fairly mild inclines I would not want to have less than 30 or 34t. Maybe 28 max.
in the future, I would opt for 12-X versus 11-X. Better ratio spread, and 11t is just unrealistic for regular use.
Only ever has one set of biopace and they never worked well for me.
I'd set up the bike for cross and the current crank was a 130bcd so 38t minimum. On the whole the resulting gearing served me well. For light duty touring in flatter areas I'd still think it was fine, for regular riding its a fairly nice combination. For the touring I've done the last few years I like my 32 ring with 34 cog, especially now that I have to pull a trailer for when kids get too tired to ride and carry their equipment too.
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Old 01-23-21, 08:46 PM
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My bike came with 48-34 chain rings and an 11-34 cassette. I never used the big cogs on the cassette so switched to an 11-28 cassette and it's working well for my riding. Whether it works for you depends on the specific rides you take, but the switch to 11-28 has worked well for me. The big advantage is that there is less of a jump between gears as I shift.
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Old 01-23-21, 10:11 PM
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38/28 is fine if you aren't carrying much and/or you are strong and/or you aren't riding much elevation change.

None of us know any of those details for you.
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Old 01-24-21, 05:55 AM
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In general I find 12-28 works as well as or better than 11-28---I am never spinning 12x50 at 110 rpm for more than a few seconds .... but then, I live in Flatahoma, where driveways are considered "serious climbs."

As for the rest .... I'd say, get your bike fully functional as it is before dreaming about what it might be, Figure out your derailleur issues, and then .... tune the bike to how you actually ride, not how you ride in your fantasies.

As for anything else, @mstateglfr nails it---you know what roads you ride or plan to ride, you know your legs and lungs. We cannot tell you what only you know.
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Old 01-24-21, 02:07 PM
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A single speed is fine for me most of my routes in DFW.
SoCal is a different story and my nice road bikes with like 50/36 & 14/28 are necessary.
Im also a masher so like big gears and getting off the seat.
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Old 01-25-21, 01:58 PM
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After going for a regular unloaded ride today, it's especially apparent that 32 or 34t when paired with a 38 front chainring would be helpful.
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