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11-34 vs 11-30

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11-34 vs 11-30

Old 11-21-20, 09:49 PM
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Jayson17
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11-34 vs 11-30

I picked up cycling earlier this year and got myself a Giant Road bike 8-speed 11-34 cassette. I think I have outgrown my bike but also want something new with all the bells and whistle. Iím looking at upgrading to a Canyon CF Ultimate 11-speed 11x30 but since I live next to hills and all my routes require some type of climbing. I was wondering if anyone can tell me if by me going to an 11x30, is it equivalent to what I have now? Worse? Better?
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Old 11-21-20, 10:07 PM
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I trust you understand the chainrings makes just as much of a difference. (Your gear ration is the chainring teeth divided by the cassette teeth. The ratio is all that matters, not the cassette size.)

Tell us how many teeth on your small chainring and on the bike(s) you are looking at.
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Old 11-21-20, 10:19 PM
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Sorry still a little new with all the gear ratio to fully understand. But my old bike is 34/50 and the bike I want to get is 36/52.
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Old 11-21-20, 10:48 PM
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OK.. so a 36/52 is going to be a gear or two harder to push uphill than a 34/50, and a 11-30 will be one or two harder than a 11-34 cassette... sounds like you're going to lose 3 or 4 gears for the hill climbs (and have extra for the descents and flats).... in simple math...your old bike gave you an easiest gear of 34/34 and what you're looking at is going to give you 30/36.... so about 16% harder on the slackest gear.
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Old 11-21-20, 11:27 PM
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Thank you for the detailed explanation! Looks like I’ll just have to change the chainring to a 34/50 to close the gap of the lost gears. Was planning on upgrading the new bikes group set anyways. Now I have a better idea of what to get. Thanks a bunch! Appreciate it!
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Old 11-21-20, 11:47 PM
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chainrings are very expansive to change and the smaller you go the less efficient your drivetrain will be
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Old 11-22-20, 12:01 AM
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if you stick with a 50/34 - 11-34 config, you should be able to swap cassettes without changing chains or removing links, so if you want to ride the 11-30 one day, then you can just swap out the cassette from the 11-34.
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Old 11-22-20, 12:06 AM
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Do you suggest upgrading the cassette to a 11-34 instead? I think it depends on the rear derailleur what the max teeth you can have on the cassette and might need to change the whole drivetrain anyways. Looking for any tips or suggestion of what I can do to get the best drivetrain possible for climbing. Iím fortunate enough to have a buddy that works for popular bike part manufacturer where I can get the parts for a fraction of the cost. So thatís another reason why I donít mind upgrading.
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Old 11-22-20, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Jayson17 View Post
Sorry still a little new with all the gear ratio to fully understand. But my old bike is 34/50 and the bike I want to get is 36/52.
You are doomed, front and rear, unless your current bike is geared too low for your hills.

I have a 34T cassette paired with a 46/30T crank, and make use of all the low gearing. A second wheelset I use primarily off-road has an 11-36T cassette.
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Old 11-22-20, 01:19 AM
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What RD is on the Ultimate? If it's Ultegra Di2 GS, it will do 34t. Other Shimano RDs might officially support fewer max teeth, but can usually fit 2-4 more than spec.

You would be losing weight on the bike, so 36-34 front/rear wouldn't be too much worse than what you have. Of course if you don't mind the cost of smaller chainrings, then that's always an option.
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Old 11-22-20, 02:38 AM
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op says "hills.." are said hills connected to bigger mountains or ridiculously steep? where exactly is this riding area in question? makes a difference as
well as how often you're using that easiest gear to spin on the steepest/longest uphills...? every ride or rarely? on the steepest part(s), wishing you had
an easier gear to spin or just standing for a spell up it?

Last edited by ooga-booga; 11-22-20 at 02:44 AM.
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Old 11-22-20, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
op says "hills.." are said hills connected to bigger mountains or ridiculously steep? where exactly is this riding area in question? makes a difference as
well as how often you're using that easiest gear to spin on the steepest/longest uphills...? every ride or rarely? on the steepest part(s), wishing you had
an easier gear to spin or just standing for a spell up it?
On long 20% gradient climbs, I go at my lowest gear 34 ring / 32 cog standing on the pedal for most of the climb.

If I'm just going to sit, those gearing won't be enough and need even lower gears
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Old 11-22-20, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Jayson17 View Post
I picked up cycling earlier this year and got myself a Giant Road bike 8-speed 11-34 cassette. I think I have outgrown my bike but also want something new with all the bells and whistle. Iím looking at upgrading to a Canyon CF Ultimate 11-speed 11x30 but since I live next to hills and all my routes require some type of climbing. I was wondering if anyone can tell me if by me going to an 11x30, is it equivalent to what I have now? Worse? Better?
Maybe I'm missing something but why consider the Canyon if the gearing is not what you need right out of the box? Seems there could be better options new than absorbing additional costs not necessary?
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Old 11-22-20, 06:49 AM
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I seriously don't see the point in upgrading, unless your current bike doesn't fit you comfortably. That would be the only reason to want to switch it up.

buying a new bike and changing out the cassette and front crankset is even more silly imo.

FWIW, my current road bike has 40/54 chain ring and a 14/34t freewheel in the back. 2x5. I don't have any issues climbing, although I do find myself using the lowest gear often up the hills and I'm sure that many people would be better off with some more climbing ratios than me.
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Old 11-22-20, 06:50 AM
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Fitting onto your bike properly is more important than any fancy feature you can get on a modern bike.
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Old 11-22-20, 07:36 AM
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If your RD can handle it go with 11-32 or 34
You will like the 52 up front. The difference in 2 teeth up front is minimal compared to 2 or 4 in back.
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Old 11-22-20, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Fitting onto your bike properly is more important than any fancy feature you can get on a modern bike.
They don't have to be mutually exclusive you know. Besides which, there have been some pretty bizarre configurations recently touted on BF as "proper fit." OP, consider the source when you evaluate BF advice.
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Old 11-22-20, 08:06 AM
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OP, another thing to consider is that bikes are often sold with gearing the manufacturer considers appropriate for intended use. For example, a bike that comes with 52-36 and 11-30 will also likely have a "race" or more aggressive fit. A bike with 50-34 and 11-32 might have more of an "endurance" fit. Since you have a source for parts, switching out a crank may not be a big deal. However, if you get a frame with too much saddle to bar drop than you are comfortable with, you'll be stuck with a huge stack of spacers or some other kludge that you will regret.
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Old 11-22-20, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
OP, another thing to consider is that bikes are often sold with gearing the manufacturer considers appropriate for intended use. For example, a bike that comes with 52-36 and 11-30 will also likely have a "race" or more aggressive fit. A bike with 50-34 and 11-32 might have more of an "endurance" fit. Since you have a source for parts, switching out a crank may not be a big deal. However, if you get a frame with too much saddle to bar drop than you are comfortable with, you'll be stuck with a huge stack of spacers or some other kludge that you will regret.
It's funny that not that long ago 52/36 and 11-30 was very easy gearing and "race" bikes came with 53/39 and 12-25.
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Old 11-22-20, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
It's funny that not that long ago 52/36 and 11-30 was very easy gearing and "race" bikes came with 53/39 and 12-25.
Even longer ago they came with 52/42 and 5 or 6 speed straight block corn cobs. Keep going back and the smal ring sometimes was in the 45-47T range.
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Old 11-22-20, 12:18 PM
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Yep, my first "nicer" bike, a Raleigh Comp, came with 52-42 and maybe a 23 largest cog. Almost 50 years ago.... World seemed much flatter back then!
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Old 11-22-20, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Even longer ago they came with 52/42 and 5 or 6 speed straight block corn cobs. Keep going back and the smal ring sometimes was in the 45-47T range.
Ah yes, the days of my youth, when I bent a Regina 23 on my 42 tooth front going up Smugglers... To be 21 again! What impresses me most are fellow 60 year olds or better still using those gears. Iím not proud, Iíll take my 36-32!
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Old 11-22-20, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Even longer ago they came with 52/42 and 5 or 6 speed straight block corn cobs. Keep going back and the smal ring sometimes was in the 45-47T range.
Yes, but the timeframe I've been riding is especially funny to me no just because it's the part I've seen, but that when I started "nice" bikes came with gearing harder than I could use. Now they come with gearing easier than I want. And for the few years in the middle they came with the gearing I want, I was marathoning. Awesome.
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Old 11-22-20, 01:29 PM
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(36/30)/(34/34) = 1.2

The lowest gear on the Canyon is 20% higher than the lowest gear on your bike now. Assumed same size wheels.
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Old 11-22-20, 01:38 PM
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I still have 52/42 on all of my bikes.......
............with a 30T granny included.
More often that not, I'm on the 52/42, but the granny is there if I need it. The main benefit is reduced shifting. Where I live the terrain is up/down/up/down. Instead of shifting 5-7 with the front/back then returning the other way in a minute or two, I can shift the front once or twice and cover the same range. Over a multiple hour/all day ride that helps a lot. Otherwise, my right forearm muscles get extremely tight. I eventually lose the ability to shift, brake or even grip the handlebar with that hand. Safety becomes an issue.
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