What Cassette ?

bianchibob Posts: 306
edited June 2012 in Workshop
My son has recently acquired a Cervelo frame that he is building up into a road bike. He has fitted a Shimano Ultegra front chainset to the frame which has 53 / 33 gearing. Could anyone advise a suitable 10 speed cassette combination.
The bike is to be used for sportives and general road riding, he is 5' 11" 23 years of age and physically fit.
We live in the Hampshire area with a mixture of flat and rolling terrain. He would need a cassette that will give him good hill climbing and speed on the flat.

Any advice would be appreciated


  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,863
    53/33 on the front doesn't make sense, do you mean 53/39?

    what's he riding now? is the lowest gearing low enough, or does he need lower to keep a good cadence?

    what model rear mech is on the cervelo?
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • cycleclinic
    cycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Well that a question no one can truely answer. 53/33 cannot be bought unless you have started with a compact and fitted aftermarket rings then 53/33T is possible.

    I have a compact 50/34T and use a 11-25 cassette. The 50:11T ratio is usless at 85 cadance I am doing over 30 mph and I can only do that down hill. If I change down into 50:13 I can still maintain the same speed just spinning abit more. So given you have a 53T ring start with a cassette that has 13T or 14T small sprocket. A 25 to 27T big sprocket will be fine for most hills. 14-25T ultegra cassette would work and give good cadence control but if you have a 53/39 then the 39:25T ratio may not be low enough for hill climbing. Ther is a 12:30t ulgetra as well and 12:27T 105 cassette.

    I think confirmation of the crankset chainring siozes would help as well as more details of how he rides e.g cadance.
    I am working on a cadance of around 85+ for my suggestions.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • bianchibob
    bianchibob Posts: 306
    Ooops sorry for that have just rechecked chainrings and they are as suggested 53 / 39 my mistake.

    Any suggestions on cassette, cadence of about 85ish sounds about right.

  • jonomc4
    jonomc4 Posts: 891
    Personally I would use an 11-28 rear cassette but I like a nice big spread. for all environments and levels of knackardness.
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    The problem is that we cannot answer exactly for your son, everyone has their own strength/fitness and personal preference for cadence...and then you add in terrain...

    Cassettes are easy to change and don't cost the earth (well, anything below DA level anyway) so I would therefore not fret about getting the exact right combo now (because it may not be right in a year's time anyway). Hence, with a standard double, I would be tempted to get a 5700 (105) 12-27 as that gives a very decent range. It would also not cost a load of cash (£35ish) and yet performs very well indeed. When your son has had a few months on that he will know what his actual preference is (an 11 cog on a 53 is just a waste, IMO, but he may find that he can cope without the 27 and so move to a nice Ultegra cassette, e.g., 6700 12-25). Hope that makes sense.
  • John.T
    John.T Posts: 3,698
    +1 for a 12/27. Anything with an 11 loses the 16 which is a far more useful sprocket. If you can find a 13/27 (or 13/28), which I doubt, you get an 18 which is also very useful. Ideally you want 1 tooth jumps as far up the cassette as possible. Once you get to the 19 2 teeth is better and after 23 you can go to 3 teeth. All to do with % differences.
    IMO 12/27 is better than 12/25 as you only use the 24 and 27 on the small ring and the lower gears are there when you most need them.
  • cycleclinic
    cycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    The other option is a custom cassette from the like of Miche. I am comptimplating buying the Miche sproket board so I offer this in the shop. Don't know at the moment.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • racingcondor
    racingcondor Posts: 1,434
    In my first 3 years of riding I used a 12-25 (also on a 53-39 chainset). I suspect that would do him fine in Hampshire although a 12-27 would give him a little more for the hills.