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Cassette compatibility

Old 12-04-13, 06:34 PM
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Cassette compatibility

Living in a hilly area, I want to increase the range of my gears. I'm hoping to change my 12-24 (7 speed) cassette for an 11-28. Can my rear derailleur handle this? Check the spec seems to be the advice.
I found the spec for my shimano rsx (ss I think) here
Am I reading it right that this would be OK? I have 53-42 chainrings.
Furthermore, would then switching to 53-39 take me outside the total capacity?
(53-39)+(28-11)=31??
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Old 12-04-13, 06:39 PM
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How much lower do you want to go ? Do you feel you just need 1 more low gear, or are you struggling so much you wish you had 4 more gears ?
27 to 28 is a miniscule change. Going to a compact crankset is 1 option to go a few steps lower at once.
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Old 12-04-13, 06:51 PM
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Not struggling so much as four gears. Just wanting to tweak my oldish second hand bike for commuting, without making any major investments. I can get up all the hills OK, just some days I'd like to do it a little slower
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Old 12-04-13, 08:01 PM
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What are the specs for your crankset ? Going from 42 to 34 should help a lot.
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Old 12-05-13, 09:18 AM
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The 11-28 range is ok. You might need a new chain.

But going from 7 speed to 8 speed is another issue. You'd need to change the freehub on your wheel ( or get a new wheel) and I believe you'd need a new brifter.
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Old 12-05-13, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by niceboy
Living in a hilly area, I want to increase the range of my gears. I'm hoping to change my 12-24 (7 speed) cassette for an 11-28. Can my rear derailleur handle this? Check the spec seems to be the advice.
I found the spec for my shimano rsx (ss I think) here
Am I reading it right that this would be OK? I have 53-42 chainrings.
Furthermore, would then switching to 53-39 take me outside the total capacity?
(53-39)+(28-11)=31??
A 12-28 or 13-28 (both available in 7-speed) cassette would give you more low range without pushing the RD capacity as much as an 11-28 -- the jumps between gears will be nicer, too.
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Old 12-05-13, 01:21 PM
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Not sure but you might need a longer cage derraileur to go 28. In any case going with 50/34 chainrings makes much more sense. You even might not need to change the crank. According to St. Sheldon's gear calculator, you'll have a 2.7 gain ratio with a 34t chainring in respect to the 3.4 with your 42t.

I can say 2.7 is a pretty relaxed ratio, I do most of my climbing with 2.9 or above even though I have a triple which goes all the way to 2.2
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Old 12-05-13, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by uluchay
Not sure but you might need a longer cage derraileur to go 28. In any case going with 50/34 chainrings makes much more sense. You even might not need to change the crank. According to St. Sheldon's gear calculator, you'll have a 2.7 gain ratio with a 34t chainring in respect to the 3.4 with your 42t.

I can say 2.7 is a pretty relaxed ratio, I do most of my climbing with 2.9 or above even though I have a triple which goes all the way to 2.2
He doesn't need a long cage derailluer to go to the 28. It's within his derailleurs max cog size, and the wrap capacity with the 42 chain ring.

As for the 50/34, changing cranksets is a much bigger expense than just getting a new cassette, which needs to be replaced from time to time, anyway.

I'd go with a 7 speed 12-28, and that wasn't low enough, change the small chainring to a 38, or 39.
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Old 12-05-13, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
As for the 50/34, changing cranksets is a much bigger expense than just getting a new cassette, which needs to be replaced from time to time, anyway.
I didn't suggest changing the crankset. On my LBS's web site they are selling a 34t 110 BCD Ultegra Chainring for 6,20€ which is a no brainer. Well of course the OP should check his cranks before ordering but in any case it shouldn't cost more than 10-15 $.
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Old 12-05-13, 04:41 PM
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Odds are pretty good he has a standard crank, given the 53-42 setup.

That's 130 BCD bolt circle. It won't take a 110 BCD

You can't put a chainring smaller than 38 on a standard 130 bcd crank.
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Old 12-05-13, 06:08 PM
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Thanks for good advice guys. Was riding and thinking today about those big jumps between gears on an 11-28 (7 speed), and not too sure I fancy that. My crank is 130 bcd, so I'll probably just look for a 38T chainring for now (to go 38/53) and think about a different cassette when it's time to replace it.


Any tips on choosing a chainring?

Is a chainring for 9/10 speeds ok for my 7 speed?

Last edited by niceboy; 12-06-13 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 12-05-13, 09:21 PM
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I advise against an 11, because you have to give up a cog in the middle that you would use much more often. Might be good to verify exactly what brand & model you have now to make sure a new one is compatible. Take a close up picture and post here or in the mechanics forum.
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Old 12-06-13, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by niceboy
Thanks for good advice guys. Was riding and thinking today about those big jumps between gears on an 11-28 (7 speed), and not too sure I fancy that. My crank is 130 bcd, so I'll probably just look for a 38T chainring for now (to go 38/53) and think about a different cassette when it's time to replace it.


Any tips on choosing a chainring?
Just so you know, Nashbar is selling their house-branded compact crank (34/50) right now for $49.99. Peanuts. If I remember correctly from having satisfactorily run one of these a few years ago, it takes an ISIS splined (not flat) bottom bracket spindle which might put you out about $30 max for a whole new cartridge BB. Long story short, if you like, you can have a compact crank for way under $100 that is not grossly incongruous with your other components (weight, construction material, etc.). I even resold mine for little loss when I didn't need it anymore. So for just the risk of a few bucks, you could find out how the compact crank works for you and how it would mesh with your existing and other cassettes. Just sayin'.
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Old 12-06-13, 12:43 PM
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Times is hard here in Spain though. The whole bike only cost me 100 euros.
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Old 12-06-13, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by niceboy
Times is hard here in Spain though. The whole bike only cost me 100 euros.
Yep. Sorry, I did not mean to be presumptuous. But keep this in mind in case you decide to purchase other parts like a new cassette. You may be surprised how little the difference is to get the compact crank. Good luck whatever you choose to do.
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