Cassette advice needed - compact chainset

bianchi_tim
bianchi_tim Posts: 79
edited September 2012 in Workshop
I've recently got back into road riding and following a 43 mile ride yesterday encompassing the climb up to Leith Hill in Surrey to watch the Tour of Britain I have concluded I need a better range of gears for tackling climbs. I also need to shed about 6 or 7lbs :oops:

Currently I have compact chainset 50/36 and 12/25 (9 speed shimano). This I know should be enough for most occasions but whilst I'm getting back up to strength I'd like to have more of a fighting chance on the steeper climbs.

I was looking at changing to a 13 or even 14/25 to make life easier. Question is would the difference be worth the expense of new cassette and chain?

Any advice most welcome, thanks in advance.

Comments

  • nweststeyn
    nweststeyn Posts: 1,574
    Changing to a 13 would not help in the slightest as it's the larger sprocket on the cassette that provides your easier gear options...

    You could stick on a 13 - 28 (or 29 if you ride Campag) which should help. :)
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    I run an 11-28 on my compact, but some reach mechs won't take a 28. Which rear derailleur do you have?
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  • You could try the SRAM WiFLi system. Alberto Contador was running a 32 tooth big cog on some stages of the Vuelta.
  • nweststeyn wrote:
    Changing to a 13 would not help in the slightest as it's the larger sprocket on the cassette that provides your easier gear options...

    You could stick on a 13 - 28 (or 29 if you ride Campag) which should help. :)


    Thanks, that makes more sense!
  • unixnerd wrote:
    I run an 11-28 on my compact, but some reach mechs won't take a 28. Which rear derailleur do you have?

    Only cheapy Sora rear derailleur I'm afraid.

    Possibly a near future upgrade so if there is any further advice that relates to my cassette dilemma I'm all ears!
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    My old Sora came with an 11-28 but it was the long cage version as I had a triple.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    Go with a 12/27 on 9 speed shimano - same as your 12/25 except the 2 big sprockets. Should work fine with the existing rear mech.

    I have one on mine and no problems at all.
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  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    As you have a compact you also have the option of switching your small chainring to a 34 tooth unit.
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  • smidsy wrote:
    Go with a 12/27 on 9 speed shimano - same as your 12/25 except the 2 big sprockets. Should work fine with the existing rear mech.

    I have one on mine and no problems at all.

    Perfect, just seen I can get a new chain and cassette (12/27) in Ribble for around £30 so looks like a no brainer.

    Thanks all for the advice.
  • Ended up getting a 12/27 cassette and an sram chain, fitted them on Friday and headed out for the hills yesterday. The difference was just what I was looking for. Hills were still a challenge but I didn't feel like I was going to puke, there was a tricky headwind to deal with so very happy overall, plus I managed to up my average speed on my 27 mile training loop by 1mph so all good.
  • paul64
    paul64 Posts: 278
    DesWeller wrote:
    As you have a compact you also have the option of switching your small chainring to a 34 tooth unit.
    Tim +1 on this quote, it's also possible to get a Shimano cassette with a 30 and I was amazed when my LBS fitted one onto my 39/53 SRAM Rival set-up as it has no special rear derailleur.

    To start cycling and head straight for Leith Hill and some of the other local climbs is no mean feat though so just be patient with yourself. The old maxim that cycling doesn't get easier, you just get faster will show itself on the climbs you are doing. Next year you will climb better on your current set-up and each year after that. Muscle memory seems to be a big thing for us in cycling. Three years ago (returning to cycling after many years absence) I used a 34/50 and a 12-27 on bikes, now I use 39/53 on all of them and 12-27 except for the 30 I mention. I will typically climb in 53 x 25 because it suits me and only use the 39 x 25 or lower for Whitedown, Crocknorth etc. Apart from gears that suit you, comfort and solid position for the shoulders down the spine and the back muscles play a big part whilst climbing so that your legs can really work.

    I don't know about you but I did not have this strength cycling when I was younger.
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    paul64 wrote:
    now I use 39/53 on all of them and 12-27 except for the 30 I mention. I will typically climb in 53 x 25

    That's gonna wear out your chain, crossing it like that. Better to use 39-18.
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  • paul64
    paul64 Posts: 278
    you're right of course. I wanted to work my up the big chainring as stronger climbing has been a focus for me this year but more sensible to use 39-18/17/16 and probably 15 for the sake of the chain