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11-32 cassette with a 53/42 chainring setup - not 100% happy

daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,773
edited June 2009 in Workshop
Hello all,

I am taking part in a sportive next month, and have been training, but not as much as I would have liked, over the last few months.

It's fairly hilly round here, and the sportive in question is likewise.

I decided to buy a 11-32 cassette, as the current 12-25 just didn't give me a low enough gear in my current level of fitness, to spin up the hills, I could just about make it, but it was grind all the way, and that would knacker me in no time.

My friend has an older Raleigh 8 spd, and fitted a similar cassette with no issues.

I bought a new HG73 chain (Ultegra) and an HG50 cassette, which tonight I fitted.

At first I tried the chain in it's original length, 57 links I think, but it soon became apparent that it wouldn't go into the smallest gears, so I ended up taking 4 or 5 links out, and now it will go into the bottom gear, but doesn't sound fantastically happy, it is just a bit rattly, but I can't see any obvious reason why.

It doesn't have enough chain to go into the bottom of the topset, but that's not a problem, as there's no need to skew the chain that much anyway.

Looking online it appears that there are short cage, medium cage and long cage, I would suggest mine is either medium or long cage, and I see now that the rear setups sometimes state the max teeth they can accomadate is 27.

The rear uppermost jockeywheel is fairly close to the 32t cog, is there anyway to adjust the derailleur downwards - I couldn't see any obvious way.

Have I made a massive faux par, and can I ride it as it is, or am I likely to damage something seriously?

I took it out for a brief spin up and down the road, and it seems rideable, and in actuality, I would only require the 32 on the steepest of hills, so that do you think?

Scrap it and get a 27 rear cassette, stick with it, or something else entirely?

Your pearls of wisdom will be greatly appreciated,

Many thanks

Dan
Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
Scott CR1 SL 12
Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
Scott Foil 18

Posts

  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,404
    You need an MTB rear mech. Assuming you're running Shimano (Pinkbike's not loading so I can't look at your bikes) any of their MTB mechs will fit. Deore's really good and cheap too. A short cage MTB mech will have enough movement for your requirements, but there's no reason why you can't run a long cage if they're cheaper/easier to find.
  • k-dogk-dog Posts: 1,652
    Yeah, 11-32 is probably a bit much. You would probably be fine with a 27.

    What is your rear derailleur at the moment? That would tell us if it can cope with a 32.

    After removing and refitting the cassette it isn't unusual to need to tweak the gears as it's maybe not in exactly the same place - and that would make it noisy. A small adjustment to the barrel adjusters will do it.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,773
    Thanks for the replies chaps,

    It's my Felt, and it's curently running Shimano 9spd 105 throughout, looking online it wouldn't appear to be the short cage one, I'm pretty sure it's a long cage or medium type.

    I have a replacement 105 HTII 53/39 chainset to fit, and am now wondering if I am better to just get a 12-27, or 12-28 and pair it up with that.

    It's a bit of a censored , as I fear now I have made the new chain too damned short :evil:

    Not sure that to do realy, was planning to ride 40 hilly miles tomorrow evening, and now not sure whether to risk it or not, I certainly don't have time to buy and fit a new derailleur, the best I could do is put the old cassette back on I guess........

    Dan
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • k-dogk-dog Posts: 1,652
    Is the chainset you have right now regular sized?

    The best thing you could do is change that for a compact - 34x25 is enough for most hills. Bit more expensive though.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • UncleFredUncleFred Posts: 227
    Go with the 12-27 and use the 53/39, that 42 is killing your spin. You won't need the 11 with the 53 unless your planning on some serious sprints and as you've discovered you're going to have to change the rear derailleur to accomodate the 32.

    You might even find that the 39/25 is enough for you to get up the hills.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,773
    Hi K-dog,

    the current chainset is an FSA 53/42, in hindsight I probably should have gone compact, but thought I would have missed the 53 cog too much, so went for the next best option, a 53/39 HTII with a new ultegra HT bb.

    I am a bit p1ssed off now, as I think I have buggered things up somewhat :?

    Dan
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • k-dogk-dog Posts: 1,652
    I am a bit p1ssed off now, as I think I have buggered things up somewhat Confused

    Probably. 50x12 is plenty of gear for most occasions - you'll spin out on a big descent but that's unusual - it'll be about 42mph (at 120rpm) for the 50x12 - and most people don't attain that speed too often when they're actually pedalling.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,773
    Yes indeed, looking back now I can see that a compact with a 12-27 would have covered all the bases.

    But now I have a brand new HTII 53/39 and bb to fit, which was a present from my gf, so I don't see how I can not fit it really, selling it on ebay would lose a fair bit on the value at the very least.

    So it would appear my options are to stick with that I currently have, and hope the strange noises don't develop into anything nasty.

    Buy a replacement 11-28 cassette, and probably a new sodding chain as well.
    Fit the new crankset

    Buy an mtb rear derailleur.

    Dan
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • richara3richara3 Posts: 153
    Did you try adjusting the B tension screw...?
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,773
    We did whilst trying to get it to change smoothly, winding it in didn't seem to make any difference, so we wound it back out again.

    Now looking at it indoors, I can actually see the jockey wheel move away, all be it only a few mm, so I have wound it all the way in, and see how it rides tomorrow.

    Worst case, I guess I should be safe if I just don't use the 32 for the ride?

    Dan
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    Personally, I'd stick with a 32 and a MTB rear deraileur for a hilly Sportive - I've seen lots of overgeared people dropping like flies when the road goes severely uphill - To put it another way, yes on fresh legs its "easy" going up a 25-30 % gradient with a 27 on the back - also, it's obviously quite do-able, to do most/any Sportive with a 23 or 25 - but how hard do you want to make it for yourself ??? on a hilly Sportive with 50-60 fast miles already in the legs, you'll be thankful for a 32 on the back when you encounter 10 + % - all imho. I've swapped cassettes in the past for different events - gets quicker and easier the more you do it.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,773
    Hello all,

    just to update this thread, I took the bike out for a hilly 40 miler ride on friday, and it seemed fine, a little bit more clicky that I am used to, and the gaps inbetween gears isn't ideal, but it did get me up the hills, and didn't seem to cause any problems, o I thikn it will be staying for the sportive.

    I think realistically I will need to be looking to swap to a compact and a standard road cassette later this year though, unless I suddenly become much fitter.....

    Dan
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    39/27 is a lot lower than 42/25 and will work with no compromises. You may find this is enough and you will still have fairly close ratios.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,773
    Hello all,

    the new 105 HTII crankset double I have had since January hasn't been fitted and is still in the box.

    Feeling cheeky, I e-mailed Chain reaction and asked if I paid the return postage and difference in cost, whether I could exchange my never used and still boxed double for a compact.

    I was very pleasantly surprised when they agreed!

    So I think i will be sending it back and going for a 50/34, and then trying the stock cassette I had (12/25) and if not sufficient changing to a 12/27 or 28.

    Does that sound like the best solution to most people?

    I'll run through the actual gear ratios tonight on Sheldon Browns website.

    Cheers

    Dan
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • k-dogk-dog Posts: 1,652
    Absolutely. That's great that they did that too.

    You should find that 34x25 is enough - and if you struggle it would be easy to change to a 27 at the back without giving too much up.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    Sounds good although I still prefer the 12/27 cassette as I find the 21/23/25 cogs are too close. The 21/24/27 seems better to me and as you hardly ever use the last 2 on the big ring you loose nothing.
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    Daniel B wrote:

    Does that sound like the best solution to most people?

    Dan

    50/34 12/27 is a common solution - amongst other things, adequate for Sportives. Quite alot of peeps use it.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,773
    Cool, well I shall be sending off the 53/39 this weekend, and looking forward to getting the 50/34 back, and see where I go from there.

    For this weekends sportive the mtb cassette will have to get me round!

    Cheers

    Dan
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
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