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Better cassette spacing for aging rider

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Better cassette spacing for aging rider

Old 08-30-21, 12:38 PM
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cwilly8
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Better cassette spacing for aging rider

As I approach my 67th birthday, I find that my average speed for typical rides is not what it used to be. Related to that, I also find that I use the smaller cassette sprockets less frequently. Actually I never use the 11T and 12T sprockets at all. I can't push those gears on flat roads, and if I'm on a downhill I don't feel the need to keep pedaling above 35 mph.
So this leads to my question: Why don't manufacturers produce cassettes without 11T and 12T? My ideal cassette -- matched with my 50-34 crankset on an 11-speed (Shimano) bike -- would be a 13-30T (13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 30).
My internet searches tell me these cassettes don't exist, but maybe I've missed something. Your thoughts?
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Old 08-30-21, 12:41 PM
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I use Miche cassettes. I've bought them "off the shelf" but I think you can order them any way you want them.
LIGHT PRIMATO 11 SH (miche.it)

I turned 67 earlier this year and I still use the 12.

Last edited by big john; 08-30-21 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 08-30-21, 12:48 PM
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Combining 30/46 crank with a 12-25 cassette would get you close and Im sure a custom Miche cassette could do the trick as well. Either with a 34/50 crank or a 30/46.

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Old 08-30-21, 12:49 PM
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Such a thing does exist if you have Campagnolo compatible wheels

​​​​​​https://www.xxcycle.com/sprocket-11-...-13-30,,en.php
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Old 08-30-21, 12:53 PM
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I have been riding my Gravel bike with road wheels lately, and I am really liking the sub-compact 30-46 crankset.

Last edited by mgopack42; 08-30-21 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 08-30-21, 12:57 PM
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DR's spec a max size for the Top Sprocket. Commonly it's 12 teeth for the DR's I've paid attention to. Maybe similar to the max size for the Low Sprocket they are conservative, and it will be no issue.
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Old 08-30-21, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mgopack42 View Post
I have been riding my Gravel bike with road wheels lately, and I am really liking the sub-compact 30-46 crankset.
What cassette do you have? Does it have enough high gear?
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Old 08-30-21, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
What cassette do you have? Does it have enough high gear?
I think it is a 11-32 (Shimano) here is the gear chart.

I can spin out going down hill, but if the road is steep, I just coast. I have been trying to stay in zone 2 for endurance anyways on that bike. Getting ready for a week long credit card tour...
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Old 08-30-21, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mgopack42 View Post
I think it is a 11-32 (Shimano) here is the gear chart.

I can spin out going down hill, but if the road is steep, I just coast. I have been trying to stay in zone 2 for endurance anyways on that bike. Getting ready for a week long credit card tour...
Sounds interesting. Sometimes I'd like to have a lower gear than the 34x29. Credit card tours are fun but I haven't done one in ages.
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Old 08-30-21, 01:17 PM
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Some bikes now come with 46-30 or 48-32 instead of 50-34. It requires a new crankset, since the usual 34 can't go smaller.
That 30 chainring is 88% of the 34. So it's like moving everything down one shift.
So you get reasonably close shifts, but in an easier range. This would be very good for a lot of riders. Better than the ultra wide cassettes, like 11-36.

14-32!
A few years ago, I made a 14-32 11 speed! It's a mix of a 14-28 "junior racing cassette" and my 11-32.
Here's the details, and the disadvantages: Custom Rear Cassette for Shimano 105
More details: Building a custom 11-speed shimano cassette?

I only used it to keep up in fast group rides at 18-23 mph, where it had very close shifts. That worked great! Not as practical as an 11-32 for general riding.

Last edited by rm -rf; 08-30-21 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 08-30-21, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Sounds interesting. Sometimes I'd like to have a lower gear than the 34x29. Credit card tours are fun but I haven't done one in ages.
the bike has GRX setup, so I could even go lower if I wanted. I used to ride Campy Chorus, with a compact, and 29 was the biggest I could go in the rear, and it was hard in the hills east of Fresno, for sure! now I can spin up the long (8 mile or more) average 6-8% grades with relative ease.
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Old 08-30-21, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by cwilly8 View Post
As I approach my 67th birthday, I find that my average speed for typical rides is not what it used to be. Related to that, I also find that I use the smaller cassette sprockets less frequently. Actually I never use the 11T and 12T sprockets at all. I can't push those gears on flat roads, and if I'm on a downhill I don't feel the need to keep pedaling above 35 mph.
So this leads to my question: Why don't manufacturers produce cassettes without 11T and 12T? My ideal cassette -- matched with my 50-34 crankset on an 11-speed (Shimano) bike -- would be a 13-30T (13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 30).
My internet searches tell me these cassettes don't exist, but maybe I've missed something. Your thoughts?
Shimano does not make an 11 speed cassette with a 13T outermost cog. If you can do without the 13T cog, I would recommend an Ultegra (junior) 14-28 cassette.
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Old 08-30-21, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mgopack42 View Post
I have been riding my Gravel bike with road wheels lately, and I am really liking the sub-compact 30-46 crankset.
Yes, but on some road bikes sold with a 50/34 crankset, the front derailleur cannot be adjusted downward enough for a 46/30 crankset.
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Old 08-30-21, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Some bikes now come with 46-30 or 48-32 instead of 50-34. It requires a new crankset, since the usual 34 can't go smaller.
That 30 chainring is 88% of the 34. So it's like moving everything down one shift.
So you get reasonably close shifts, but in an easier range. This would be very good for a lot of riders. Better than the ultra wide cassettes, like 11-36.

14-32!
A few years ago, I made a 14-32 11 speed! It's a mix of a 14-28 "junior racing cassette" and my 11-32.
Here's the details, and the disadvantages: Custom Rear Cassette for Shimano 105
More details: Building a custom 11-speed shimano cassette?

I only used it to keep up in fast group rides at 18-23 mph, where it had very close shifts. That worked great! Not as practical as an 11-32 for general riding.
Nice! I came across your thread last year when researching how to make my own Frankenstein Ultegra 12-28 cassette, but the downshift across the transition between the two donor cassettes was not good.

Bike Forums - View Single Post - Custom 12-28 cassette
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Old 08-30-21, 02:47 PM
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I had a 11 speed custom Miche 13-32 made at the Cycle Clinic UK a couple of years ago, 13-14-15-16-17-19-21-23-25-28-32. I use it for extreme gradients to keep my 69 year old knees happy. I think I could nearly climb a tree with a 50-34 and the 32.
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Old 08-30-21, 04:25 PM
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+1 to using 46/30 chainrings. That's what I've got on my distance bike, paired with an 11-30 cassette. Once in a rare while, I wish I had one gear higher, but realistically, I don't produce enough power to justify bigger gears.
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Old 08-30-21, 05:33 PM
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Maybe there is a 46 chainring that will fit your crank and FD

https://www.jensonusa.com/SRAM-11-Sp...inrings-110BCD
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Old 08-30-21, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
I use Miche cassettes. I've bought them "off the shelf" but I think you can order them any way you want them.
LIGHT PRIMATO 11 SH (miche.it)

I turned 67 earlier this year and I still use the 12.
Yup. Nice parts. I have a 14-26 somewhere.
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Old 08-30-21, 08:54 PM
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https://absoluteblack.cc/oval-road-c...-for-110-4bcd/
They make 46/30 and 48/32 chainrings that fit standard shimano road cranks. I run their 46/30 on my road/gravel bike. They aren't cheap though and if you want more of a compromise a 48/31 GRX crank and new GRX fd would also work and gain you a few more MPH on the top end. Personally I don't spend very much time pedaling at over 30mph so I don't care.
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Old 08-31-21, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Canker View Post
https://absoluteblack.cc/oval-road-c...-for-110-4bcd/
They make 46/30 and 48/32 chainrings that fit standard shimano road cranks. I run their 46/30 on my road/gravel bike. They aren't cheap though and if you want more of a compromise a 48/31 GRX crank and new GRX fd would also work and gain you a few more MPH on the top end. Personally I don't spend very much time pedaling at over 30mph so I don't care.
I thought minimum tooth count on 110 was 34?
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Old 08-31-21, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
I thought minimum tooth count on 110 was 34?
It is (I think I've seen a 33t, but yeah). Absolute Black is using oval rings, which lets them get away with the smaller rings. And there's someone else out there making 30t chainrings where they do something sketchy with the bolt holes—I can't find a link, but I know they've been discussed here on Bikeforums.
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Old 08-31-21, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
It is (I think I've seen a 33t, but yeah). Absolute Black is using oval rings, which lets them get away with the smaller rings. And there's someone else out there making 30t chainrings where they do something sketchy with the bolt holes—I can't find a link, but I know they've been discussed here on Bikeforums.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/362960929730

The small ring is tapped and the chainring bolts are screws. Not sketchy, kind of more sensible actually. Working well on my cx bike with 11/36 since beginning of the year.
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Old 08-31-21, 12:56 PM
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I ride primarily flat roads in Florida, although there are decent hills in Lake County. I found myself constantly wishing for one tooth jumps in the middle of the cassette. I rarely use the 11 or 12 sprocket. Recently installed a Shimano 14/28 cassette. Unbelievably efficient for my level of riding. 1 tooth jumps up to the climbing gears; 14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-23-25-28. 11 speed cassette and I have 50/34 crank.
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Old 08-31-21, 02:23 PM
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A shimano grx 46/30 crank is $145. There is a FD dropping adapter, if needed. Google front derailleur lowering adapter.

I use grx 48/31 and 46/30 cranks with my sram force axs 12 speed drive trains. I do use spacing washers to correct the +2.5mm chainline.
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Old 08-31-21, 03:34 PM
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My road bike low gear is 34F-32R. I'd like an even lower gear, but this is good for the hills I climb, that often reach 12-14% briefly. I think 18% is about as steep as I can do now, for maybe 120 feet high, but that would be hard.

My adventure/gravel bike has a triple, and I recently put a bigger cassette on the back. 52-39-30 and 11-34. Yeah!
The 30F-34R let me stay seated on a 12-15% grade. Nice.
I almost never shift to the 52. The 39-11 or 39-12 reaches the low 20 mph ranges.
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