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Do you really use your 11 cog to go faster?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Do you really use your 11 cog to go faster?

Old 11-24-15, 08:41 PM
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colnago62
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Do you really use your 11 cog to go faster?

I ask because I am needing to buy a cassette and having an 11 means no 16. It is a Campy cassette, so I would like get some perspective before making a decision.
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Old 11-24-15, 08:43 PM
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caloso
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I live in a pretty flat area so I rarely use the 11. I would much rather have a 16 than an 11.
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Old 11-24-15, 08:43 PM
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GlennR
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11 on the small chainring is not optimal and the only way i'd be in 11 on the large is going downhill.
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Old 11-24-15, 08:44 PM
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I am ok with a 12 as my top gear. That's with a 50 on the front.
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Old 11-24-15, 08:44 PM
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I'm a mere mortal, so the smallest cog on my road bike cassettes is 13t. It's still too small.
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Old 11-24-15, 08:46 PM
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What do you ride now? I have a 52T big ring and find the 12T on my cassette plenty big for blasting downhill. I'm building a new bike with a 50T big ring and still 'only' a 12T small cog but I doubt I'll miss anything smaller. I'd rather have closer spacing and/or a larger big cog than an 11T cog. YMMV.
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Old 11-24-15, 08:48 PM
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When I was 20-30 years younger I would have loved to have an 11 cog. These days I would probably never use it, but I like to have at least 1 gear higher than I would normally use "just in case".
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Old 11-24-15, 09:03 PM
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I would love to have both 18 and 16 cogs. Forget about the 11 and go for something you will really use.
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Old 11-24-15, 09:04 PM
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What 11 tooth...

with a 53/39 crank I can't imagine needing a taller gear than 12. Downhills here aren't log enough to spin out 53/12, and I'd rather have a closer spaced cassette. Actually, I'd rather have a 12-23 cassette, so it's entirely 1 tooth jumps, but nobody makes one in 11 speed.
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Old 11-24-15, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I would loce to have both 18 and 16 cogs. Forget about the 11 and go for somethig you will really use.
Shimano 12-25 11 speed gets you there: 12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23-25
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Old 11-24-15, 09:06 PM
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One of these days I will splurge for 2 ultegra or 105 cassettes and roll my own 12-28 with a 16t
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Old 11-24-15, 09:10 PM
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50 in front, replaced the 11-28 with a 12-30. Never miss the 11, love my 30.
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Old 11-24-15, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
Shimano 12-25 11 speed gets you there: 12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23-25
That's what I use, or a 12-23 10spd.
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Old 11-24-15, 09:20 PM
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I don't understand the OP's question. Presumably he has an 11T now.* How would we all know if he uses it or not? Hey OP, do you use it? If so, you might miss it. If not, then no, you won't miss it. Having another intermediate cog is pretty good trade off for a cog you rarely use.

*or maybe not. Why would that be omitted from the query?
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Old 11-24-15, 09:48 PM
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It all depends on what's up front.
With a compact, yes, I use it all the time - certainly more often than I notice a step between gears being bigger than I'd like. Also, a wide gamut works nicely on the varied local roads I keep to.
With a standard crank, I could get by without an 11T, even (or maybe especially?) in racing, where closer gears might be more appreciated.
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Old 11-24-15, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by kbarch View Post
It all depends on what's up front.
With a compact, yes, I use it all the time - certainly more often than I notice a step between gears being bigger than I'd like. Also, a wide gamut works nicely on the varied local roads I keep to.
With a standard crank, I could get by without an 11T, even (or maybe especially?) in racing, where closer gears might be more appreciated.
Are we talking 34/11 or 50/11. If 34/11, that is a crossed chain combo most folks wouldn't use. If 50/11, that is some serious gearing. I couldn't figure out how to use it at 90-100 rpm.
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Old 11-24-15, 09:59 PM
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Yes, that's what it is there for.
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Old 11-24-15, 10:07 PM
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Add me to the "Would rather have a 16" camp. I never needed an 11 racing, sure don't need one now. Middle gears are much more useful.
53 x 12 barely ever got/gets used. Even then, it's usually because I am flying downhill and shift into whatever the smallest cog is. Racing, or hammer group rides, you may need a big gear, but in general most people have a much bigger gear than needed, and give up a more useful mid range cog.
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Old 11-24-15, 10:15 PM
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I use it frequently enough to keep it, and run an 11-26 with a 50/34 crankset. I use the 26 less frequently than the 11, and I'm a spinner (average a cadence of 95+ rpm most rides).

I also keep an 11-28, and an 11-32 (with medium cage derailleur) for backups.
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Old 11-24-15, 10:30 PM
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I ride in steep hills all the time and use 53-11 regularly and often reach 80+kph every ride.
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Old 11-24-15, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Are we talking 34/11 or 50/11. If 34/11, that is a crossed chain combo most folks wouldn't use. If 50/11, that is some serious gearing. I couldn't figure out how to use it at 90-100 rpm.
That's the thing. Casual riding, cadence is often lower, so when hitting some descents, it's pleasant not to have to increase cadence too much higher than it's been up to that point. Even in not-so-casual riding, after a long climb, again, one gets used to a lower cadence, and it's nice not to have to get too "spinny" too soon on the descents, which often immediately follow. And sometimes, if the road is right, one can have fun sort of mashing downhill - the feeling of control is much greater. On flat roads, I very rarely use the 11T cog, and certainly never need it.
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Old 11-24-15, 11:20 PM
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i do, sometimes i wish i had a 10 cog, and i just switched over to 52/36 crank and when i'm descending i'll hit 55+ mph now, but i couldn't hit over 44 mph on my old 50/34 crankset.
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Old 11-24-15, 11:37 PM
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If I am going fast enough to use it, I tuck instead.
A 12 works for me, though I seldom use it. I do use my middle cogs quite a bit.
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Old 11-25-15, 12:02 AM
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On my MTB, with 3x6 setup, I'm more than happy to mount 14-28 cassettes - tight gearing with all the range I need.

The road bike has 2x8 setup with 53-39 crankset. I can't find any 8 speed cassettes starting with 14 teeth, not even with 13 teeth (except some that are double the price on Amazon, but none locally). If I could, I would.

11, even 12 teeth cassette makes sense for racing IMO, but for casual riding, recreational riding and mere mortals - damn Shimano?!?!


Of course I use descents for descending, sometimes get up out of the saddle, feeling the wind chill my balls. Never spin downhill, not racing, not rushing anywhere.
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Old 11-25-15, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
11, even 12 teeth cassette makes sense for racing IMO, but for casual riding, recreational riding and mere mortals - damn Shimano?!?!
Sram isn't even offering a 12 tooth 11 speed cassette. I was going to get a Red cassette to drop some weight, but they don't offer a cassette I would actually use. And for that matter, neither does shimano in anything better than 105.
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