/ Road Bike Cassette

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MattJP - on 11 Jul 2013
I could do with some collective advise!

I currently live in Mid Wales and I am looking at getting a road bike and a very long lay off!

Being a big lad, and Mid Wales being very hilly, I have been advised by some of the local lads to go for a bike with a compact chainset and an 11 or 12 to 32 or 34T Cassette.

These bikes fit the bill:-

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=104494

and

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/bmc/granfondo-gf02-105-compact-2013-road-bike-ec043697

I am going to a bike shop tomorrow to sit on a few bikes to find my size.
However, there are so many excellent bikes out there with great discounts that have 11 - 28T Cassettes. Would 4 or 6 teeth make a massive amount of difference?

Many Thanks in advance!
GrahamD - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MattJP:

Yes, it will make a massive difference. Personally if I were in your shoes with very little base cycle fitness, I'd go all out practical and get a triple so I could enjoy my cycling rather than gurning up all the hills desperately wishing for another gear.
andy - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MattJP: changing a cassette is a five minute job - although the rear mech might need changing if you go from a 28T sprocket to 34T. I'm no whippet either, and I can get up pretty much anything in the Dales or the Lakes on 34/28, even with tired legs.
Guy - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MattJP: The simple answer is yes, a very large difference between a 34x28 and a 34x32. I use a 34x27 for all the steep stuff >20% but I am light(ish). The problem you will have is that most road bikes don't have a rear derailleur capacity which will allow you to have a 32 on the back. You will probably have to upgrade the rear derailleur to a long(er) cage and add in a new chain too of course.
Marek - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to MattJP) changing a cassette is a five minute job - although the rear mech might need changing if you go from a 28T sprocket to 34T. <SNIP>

This would be my way. Shimano rear derailleurs are very forgiving about how big you can go at the back. The Tiagra GS derailleur (for instance) is only specced for a 26 tooth cog, but I've happily used it with an 11-32 cassette when I was on a hilly holiday. As above, cassettes are very easy (and relatively cheap) to change.
MattJP - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MattJP:

Thanks guys, thats great advice. I will research the bikes linked above and do some sizing and take it from there.

I should have mentioned that I am a regular MTBer so have some base fitness for a MTB, just not a road bike.

Where we live is all hills. In fact we live at the top of a huge hill! :D
quirky - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MattJP:Go compact rather than triple! Triple is good if you are carrying loads, panniers etc. With the myriad options on cassetes these days it is rare to run out of gears.. Being MTBer you will be able to thug it up anything very steep!
Enjoy those hills!!
GrahamD - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to quirky:

Why the obsession with compact ? I've a bike with a triple (my first) and a new bike with a compact and the triple really is the best option for me with the extra low ratios available.
LastBoyScout on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MattJP:

I did last year's Etape #2 with an 11-32 (I think) XT cassette - didn't need to change my Ultegra rear mech, just adjust the bump-stop screw.

Looked at changing to a compact chainset, but wasn't worth it for just 1 event.

I wouldn't bother with a triple, unless you're a big girl ;-)
steev on 12 Jul 2013
In reply to MattJP:

Depending on what you're aiming for with your road bike, you *could* go for the 28t cassette, and if you find it too hard on the hills use that as incentive to get fitter/lose weight. If you're focused it wouldn't take long to build up the right strength.

If you're just aiming for heading out on some adventures, then the easier gearing is surely the way to go.
sleavesley on 12 Jul 2013
In reply to MattJP: shimano Ultegra now have a 30t cassette (30:12) which works with their medium cage derailleur and the new di2 models.
Campag do a 29t too.
SRAM go up to 28 for their road cassettes but you could use their mtb cassette with a long cage derailleur as David Millar did last year at the tour.
I have a 28:11 with a compact and can get up most things in North Wales around Llangollen and the Clywds.
I haven't tried the hill in Harlech in the top 100 original climbs with the reported 40% start though!
FrankBooth - on 12 Jul 2013
In reply to MattJP:

Quick (related) question:
I've just bought a 28-11 to make the switch but realised my chain whip is for a 7/8 speed block. Before I mangle bits of my new bike, can anyone tell me whether getting a 10 speed-size chain whip is really all that essential?
MattJP - on 12 Jul 2013
In reply to FrankBooth:

what bike did you get in the end?
MattJP - on 12 Jul 2013
In reply to steev:
> (In reply to MattJP)
>
> Depending on what you're aiming for with your road bike, you *could* go for the 28t cassette, and if you find it too hard on the hills use that as incentive to get fitter/lose weight. If you're focused it wouldn't take long to build up the right strength.
>
> If you're just aiming for heading out on some adventures, then the easier gearing is surely the way to go.

The ultimate aim is to get fitter and lose weight. I just done want to be blowing out of my arse on big long hills straight away until I build up. I was getting it back on my MTB but I have been laid off for 8 weeks with a back and rib injury.

I will be using it for commuting too. If you can imagine we live in a valley at the top of a big hill, its a daunting prospect going home - 6 miles uphill, 2 miles slightly down hill then a big 1:5 uphill then down to our gaff! And in reverse, big feck off hill to get out of village then downhill all the way after the 2 miles incline.

:D
Toby_W on 12 Jul 2013
In reply to FrankBooth: I have, I think an 8 speed chain whip and use it with my 9 & 10 speed drive trains. It works but I have to be careful which sprocket I put it on at the back, wrap it right round and almost hold it and so on. So it works but I'm tempted to get another one just to make life easier.

Cheers

Toby
FrankBooth - on 12 Jul 2013
In reply to MattJP:
> what bike did you get in the end?

I went for the Boardman - fantastic bike for the price, although as suspected, the Halford's team didn't put it together too well! The headset hadn't been tightened properly, the handbar bolts were loose, the brakes aren't centred and the gears not really indexed!!
FrankBooth - on 12 Jul 2013
In reply to Toby_W:

Thanks very much, Toby - that's exactly what I needed to know!
Euge - on 12 Jul 2013
In reply to MattJP: Question... why go for such an expensive bike when you are just starting off????

Also, look at Ribble...

E
woolsack - on 12 Jul 2013
In reply to Euge:
> (In reply to MattJP) Question... why go for such an expensive bike when you are just starting off????
>
> Also, look at Ribble...
>
> E

E has been already taken by Enty!
sleavesley on 12 Jul 2013
In reply to Euge: I always find that when you add up the extras for ribble, dolan and Planet X the advertised 1000 soon becomes 1500 or even more. I think going for last years model is better from an economical point of view or even earlier if you can get it.
As an example http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/m7b0s6p3604/GIANT-TCR-ADVANCED-2-2011
With decent groupset and wheels!
Although its a double so add on 150 for a compact chain set and cassette (105)
aligibb - on 13 Jul 2013
In reply to MattJP:

Depending on what the hills are like... I've done more of my cycling in the Alps than the UK and have found my triple invaluable, in that I wouldn't have been able to do most of the stuff around me without it.

Though I guess I am a girl and don't have testosterone floating around my system so I think the important thing is getting up hills in a decent time for you rather than what gear you have done it in.

Also I started cycling after a knee injury so having the third was great to ease myself back onto the bike without straining my knee.

I generally don't use the third cassette in the UK though, but on occasion on a longer ride it gets cranked out on the hills!

Ali
MattJP - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to MattJP:

Well after popping into the local bike shop, he has almost convinced me to buy a triple! :D

I am going for a fitting tomorrow night on a Specialized Sectuer Sport triple. At 850 it leaves me with a few quid to get shoes and peddles!

On a tangent, he has also talked me out of going for a full sus MTB and go for a 29er hardtail!

I shall report back!

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