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What difference, if any, would I notice from changing to a higher quality cog?

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What difference, if any, would I notice from changing to a higher quality cog?

Old 08-06-18, 09:41 PM
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atxdmd
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What difference, if any, would I notice from changing to a higher quality cog?

I bought a single speed with a flip flop hub that said it did not include a fixed gear cog, so I bought a shimano dura ace cog. Turns out the bike did come with a fixed gear cog. Same amount of teeth. Any reason to change it? Would I notice any difference? Thanks.
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Old 08-06-18, 10:01 PM
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For full disclosure, I don't know what I'm talking about

But I doubt the nicer cog could make a difference performance wise. Maybe it will have better long term durability, or something???
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Old 08-06-18, 10:59 PM
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If you already purchased the Dura Ace cog I'd just go ahead and swap it out, you can't go wrong with those. As for the cogs that come stock, it can be a mixed bag depending on the manufacturer. From my experience some have lasted for a long time and some might wear faster at best, or snap off teeth at worst.
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Old 08-07-18, 09:41 AM
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The fancy cog increases your street cred. And will strengthen your performance by means of the Placebo Effect. Do install!
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Old 08-07-18, 01:07 PM
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Maybe a quieter chain line but no performance benefits.
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Old 08-07-18, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
The fancy cog increases your street cred. And will strengthen your performance by means of the Placebo Effect. Do install!
I can vouch for this.


-Tim-
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Old 08-07-18, 02:54 PM
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It will lighten you wallet.
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Old 08-07-18, 04:59 PM
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I bought my last DA 16 tooth cog for $14.99.
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Old 08-07-18, 07:52 PM
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a Dura Ace cog is "fancy"? How about an EAI gold medal
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Old 08-07-18, 08:01 PM
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Higher quality parts will generally be more round and concentric and will sometimes have coatings or better finishing to make them smoother and generally quieter. This would apply to chainrings and cogs. A lot of times rather than just stamping a part out they will CNC machine it so it ups that precision.

Also Dura Ace is well known for being tops and that is never bad for the street credentials. Personally I would like to run a EAI Gold Medal cog and a Sugino Super Zen chainring (on direct drive cranks with a ceramic BB) but the budget isn't so much there, however DA stuff is great quality and works quite nicely on my Langster.
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Old 08-07-18, 08:05 PM
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It depends on the cog. Some cheap cogs are simply stamped out of sheet metal to form the teeth and a flange, and threads are cut into the flange. I've seen cases where these strip out, ruining the threads on the hub.

Here's an example of a cheap, stamped cog:




While a Dura-Ace cog isn't the fanciest cog out there, it is well-made and machined, not stamped to form the teeth and threads.

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Old 08-07-18, 09:41 PM
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It's an example of diminishing returns. Going from the cheapest cog available up to, say, a $20 All City one, there will certainly be an improvement, but it might be only 10% better in terms of real, noticeable benefits. To then go from $20 up to a Phil Wood or an EAI Gold Medal (like 100 bucks probably?), there might be only an additional 2-3% gain. How much benefit the Dura Ace model can offer is subject to debate. Obviously, the DA is better than your stock one, almost without a doubt... but it's probably not a lot better. Perhaps only a tiny bit, or perhaps enough to be noticeable while you ride.

Do you like the Dura Ace? Will it make you happy to see it on your bike? Can you afford it? If so, use it. If you'll only ride that bike twice a year, your kids are going without shoes, or you have to skip lunches for a week to afford the cog, send that silly thing back for a refund.
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Old 08-08-18, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
It's an example of diminishing returns. Going from the cheapest cog available up to, say, a $20 All City one, there will certainly be an improvement, but it might be only 10% better in terms of real, noticeable benefits. To then go from $20 up to a Phil Wood or an EAI Gold Medal (like 100 bucks probably?), there might be only an additional 2-3% gain. How much benefit the Dura Ace model can offer is subject to debate. Obviously, the DA is better than your stock one, almost without a doubt... but it's probably not a lot better. Perhaps only a tiny bit, or perhaps enough to be noticeable while you ride.

Do you like the Dura Ace? Will it make you happy to see it on your bike? Can you afford it? If so, use it. If you'll only ride that bike twice a year, your kids are going without shoes, or you have to skip lunches for a week to afford the cog, send that silly thing back for a refund.
It sounds like maybe you haven't had a chance to use a nice cog. Sure some cogs are quite expensive and maybe not as worth it to some but they certainly quiet things down and run a lot smoother using higher quality parts. Dura Ace is a fine cog, not super expensive but of good quality and is a perfect upgrade from a low end cog. Certainly if you are not able to live because you bought a Dura Ace cog then maybe you really need to work out your life and get some help. I could understand if you were saying that about a Super Gigas or Gold Medal cog which are rather expensive but DA track stuff isn't so bad price wise.
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Old 08-08-18, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
It sounds like maybe you haven't had a chance to use a nice cog. Sure some cogs are quite expensive and maybe not as worth it to some but they certainly quiet things down and run a lot smoother using higher quality parts. Dura Ace is a fine cog, not super expensive but of good quality and is a perfect upgrade from a low end cog. Certainly if you are not able to live because you bought a Dura Ace cog then maybe you really need to work out your life and get some help. I could understand if you were saying that about a Super Gigas or Gold Medal cog which are rather expensive but DA track stuff isn't so bad price wise.

I like to buy stuff in the middle of the spectrum. My road bike has a combination of 105 and Ultegra components, and Mavic Open Pro wheels. I have a WTB seat, a Fabric, a Fizik, and a few Brooks. My best, most expensive fixed gear bike rolls on Reynolds carbon rims and Phil hubs (that I bought used), and it has a Zipp seat post, Profile stem, Cinelli handlebar, Tektro brake lever, and DuraAce caliper. My bike that I ride more than all others is a Surly with All City crank, Fabric seat, and Velocity wheels. I don't pay full retail for anything, but look for clearance sales and lightly used parts from private sellers. I would not be opposed to spending for a DuraAce cog. Most of my cogs run in the 20-30 dollar range, from All City, Surly, and Soma, plus a few cheapo stamped ones that I don't use but keep as spares...

My point in the message above was not to degrade the quality of nice, somewhat expensive parts, but to point out that as you go up in price point, you gain lesser and lesser practical improvements. Along the spectrum from the absolute cheapest to most expensive parts, I believe the stuff of best value* usually falls somewhere around the 20 to 40% range. As an example, I just checked Retrogression's range of cog offerings. They go from the 2-Dolla cog at one extreme to the Sugino Gigas (with invaluable NJS stamp!) at the other: a range of $2 to $110. Whaddya know! The DuraAce sits right at 28% in that range.

You can do this with tires, frames, even complete bikes, and it almost always works. Sometimes you have to exclude the high outliers, like primo boutique parts. Otherwise, it seems the 30-ish percent price point almost always offers the most value for ordinary guys like me.

I doubt most people will notice any difference between a DA cog, at $30, and a $20 Soma while installing it or riding it. Most probably will notice subtle benefits from a DA vs. a stamped Chinese 2-Dolla cog. But I'm almost certain nobody here will be able to differentiate the DA from the $110 Gigas without looking to see which is installed. If you've got lots of money, go ahead and spend it on bling parts. If you're a Keirin racer, you have to spend extra for the NJS stamp. For all the rest of us, the best bang for our buck comes from the low to mid-range stuff... not the cheapest available, but not stuff at even the 60% point on the price spectrum.


* value = quality per dollar

Last edited by Broctoon; 08-08-18 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 08-08-18, 05:13 PM
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Not sure but in cycling it seems like one of the things they might try to make lighter which makes it less durable the more expensive it is and .05 grams lighter doesn't do much for you. Either way at 15-20$ its probably not super anything
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Old 08-08-18, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by atxdmd View Post
Any reason to change it? Would I notice any difference?
Aside from the fact that cheap stamped cogs are not as round/true/hard as a properly machined cog like a DA the OEM assembly process is likely to have little to no grease applied to to the hub & lock-ring threads and unknown force applied to the lock-ring. Removing both when nearly new to assure proper lubrication will prevent difficulty in replacing a worn cog in future. Might as well install the DA at that point, torque all properly and have at it.

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Old 08-08-18, 06:14 PM
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I raced on the track for decades exclusively with Dura Ace cogs, and never had a bad one. Most of my fellow racers favored them as well. The only reason I don’t use them on most of my road fixed gear bikes is that they max out at 16 teeth, and I need cogs with more teeth to get the lower gearing I use on them.
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Old 08-09-18, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by atxdmd View Post
I bought a single speed with a flip flop hub that said it did not include a fixed gear cog, so I bought a shimano dura ace cog. Turns out the bike did come with a fixed gear cog. Same amount of teeth. Any reason to change it? Would I notice any difference? Thanks.
In my experience, higher end cogs are made to better specs, run more true, last longer, cause less problems with chains.
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Old 08-09-18, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I bought my last DA 16 tooth cog for $14.99.
Tim,

Where did you find that deal? That's a really good price.

​​​​​​​Dave
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Old 08-09-18, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
I like to buy stuff in the middle of the spectrum. My road bike has a combination of 105 and Ultegra components, and Mavic Open Pro wheels. I have a WTB seat, a Fabric, a Fizik, and a few Brooks. My best, most expensive fixed gear bike rolls on Reynolds carbon rims and Phil hubs (that I bought used), and it has a Zipp seat post, Profile stem, Cinelli handlebar, Tektro brake lever, and DuraAce caliper. My bike that I ride more than all others is a Surly with All City crank, Fabric seat, and Velocity wheels. I don't pay full retail for anything, but look for clearance sales and lightly used parts from private sellers. I would not be opposed to spending for a DuraAce cog. Most of my cogs run in the 20-30 dollar range, from All City, Surly, and Soma, plus a few cheapo stamped ones that I don't use but keep as spares...

My point in the message above was not to degrade the quality of nice, somewhat expensive parts, but to point out that as you go up in price point, you gain lesser and lesser practical improvements. Along the spectrum from the absolute cheapest to most expensive parts, I believe the stuff of best value* usually falls somewhere around the 20 to 40% range. As an example, I just checked Retrogression's range of cog offerings. They go from the 2-Dolla cog at one extreme to the Sugino Gigas (with invaluable NJS stamp!) at the other: a range of $2 to $110. Whaddya know! The DuraAce sits right at 28% in that range.

You can do this with tires, frames, even complete bikes, and it almost always works. Sometimes you have to exclude the high outliers, like primo boutique parts. Otherwise, it seems the 30-ish percent price point almost always offers the most value for ordinary guys like me.

I doubt most people will notice any difference between a DA cog, at $30, and a $20 Soma while installing it or riding it. Most probably will notice subtle benefits from a DA vs. a stamped Chinese 2-Dolla cog. But I'm almost certain nobody here will be able to differentiate the DA from the $110 Gigas without looking to see which is installed. If you've got lots of money, go ahead and spend it on bling parts. If you're a Keirin racer, you have to spend extra for the NJS stamp. For all the rest of us, the best bang for our buck comes from the low to mid-range stuff... not the cheapest available, but not stuff at even the 60% point on the price spectrum.


* value = quality per dollar
I notice a little difference between Gigas and DA it is maybe not huge but I need to do a side by side because it has been a while since I have used the Gigas cog (WI freewheel took over on the cross bike) It is certainly a very quiet drivetrain with the same chainrings but slightly different chains (though both pretty high quality decent dollar ones). No I didn't buy it for the NJS stamp and could care less for it but mainly for a top notch drivetrain which is way cheaper than going full Dura Ace road or XTR mountain.

I will say mid range stuff is just fine for most folks and I would say Dura Ace is a good mid-range cog. The lower end stuff not so much but spending for a DA cog is not that much compared to your Soma cog and I think would be of better quality or at least more of a known quality. Soma makes fine stuff don't get me wrong but everyone knows Duraaces the finest of all the Italian components ; )

105 and Ultegra is great stuff. My road bike is all Ultegra (well eeBrakes are the exception and those aren't cheap) and I probably wouldn't go Dura Ace unless I got a better deal on it because I think Ultegra through most of their iterations except maybe the 9 speed era has always looked better. My vintage road bike is 7400 Dura Ace but honestly the 600 tricolor looks way way better. Especially over the Dura Ace rear derailleur, but maybe back then it looked better but alas I was a bit young to be working in a shop then.
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