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  1. #1
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    Building Custom 11-Speed Cassette

    My current cassette, an 11-speed Shimano 105, 5800 on a 2018 Cannondale Synapse, has a fairly useless 11-32t, 11-speed cassette. At the ripe age of 65, pushing a 50/11 or even a 50/13 is not very likely these days.

    I'd like to end up with a 14-32t cassette but cannot find any outside of Miche, which I've heard mixed reviews about, in particular some nasty install issues on Shimano hubs. A friend of mine picked up a Miche 14-32t and had some real struggles getting the smallest cog onto the hub splines.

    Might it be possible to combine 5800 cogs with a Shimano 6800 14-28, replacing the inboard 6800 cogs with the largest ones from the 5800, giving me the desired 14-32t configuration?

    If this is not possible due to groupset incompatibilities, would a combination build of two 6800s, a 14-28 and an 11-32 give the desired gear range and be compatible with the Synapse Shimano 105 groupset?

    Thanks for any assistance or suggestions!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmvgmvgmv View Post
    My current cassette, an 11-speed Shimano 105, 5800 on a 2018 Cannondale Synapse, has a fairly useless 11-32t, 11-speed cassette. At the ripe age of 65, pushing a 50/11 or even a 50/13 is not very likely these days.

    I'd like to end up with a 14-32t cassette but cannot find any outside of Miche, which I've heard mixed reviews about, in particular some nasty install issues on Shimano hubs. A friend of mine picked up a Miche 14-32t and had some real struggles getting the smallest cog onto the hub splines.

    Might it be possible to combine 5800 cogs with a Shimano 6800 14-28, replacing the inboard 6800 cogs with the largest ones from the 5800, giving me the desired 14-32t configuration?

    If this is not possible due to groupset incompatibilities, would a combination build of two 6800s, a 14-28 and an 11-32 give the desired gear range and be compatible with the Synapse Shimano 105 groupset?

    Thanks for any assistance or suggestions!
    If you are old and rickety, I am not btw at age 64 and ride with guys in their 70's that can flat hammer...then shorter gearing makes sense. But you are looking at gearing with a common mistake. You need shorter gearing overall and you are focused on finding a cassette that is as common as a black swan. Not necessary. Change your chainrings in front.
    A smart rider has customer gearing based upon his particular needs. Most of us do in fact...based upon our individual strength and what kind of elevation or not we climb.

    Your 11-32 in back gives you nice 'breadth' of gearing. 11 cogs in the back keep jumps between gearing nice and tight...or tight enough. What you need to do is change your chainset in front. This came up a while ago. Some older riders on this forum ride a 46-36 chainset up front. Or 44-34 or different combinations in this range. That is what you need.

    Hope that helps.

    Related discussion:
    https://www.bikeradar.com/forums/vie...php?t=13019468

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmvgmvgmv View Post
    My current cassette, an 11-speed Shimano 105, 5800 on a 2018 Cannondale Synapse, has a fairly useless 11-32t, 11-speed cassette. At the ripe age of 65, pushing a 50/11 or even a 50/13 is not very likely these days.

    I'd like to end up with a 14-32t cassette but cannot find any outside of Miche,
    which I've heard mixed reviews about, in particular some nasty install issues on Shimano hubs. A friend of mine picked up a Miche 14-32t and had some real struggles getting the smallest cog onto the hub splines.

    Might it be possible to combine 5800 cogs with a Shimano 6800 14-28, replacing the inboard 6800 cogs with the largest ones from the 5800, giving me the desired 14-32t configuration?

    If this is not possible due to groupset incompatibilities, would a combination build of two 6800s, a 14-28 and an 11-32 give the desired gear range and be compatible with the Synapse Shimano 105 groupset?

    Thanks for any assistance or suggestions!
    Hi gmv3,

    Thank you sooo much for writing those two lines I underlined. I'm in my mid-50s, still race--my age bracket--kermesses here in Belgium, and when doing those I need the 11 and 12 in the rear (along with 52/39 front depending on course). But that being said, 99% of the riding I do I use my other bikes that have 50/36 and 12-28 10-spd cassettes.

    When I am by myself, which is most days except for every other weekend club rides and/or races, I find even with a 50T front, I am never using even the 12 and 13 cog in the rear. In other words, I would jump all over a Shimano cassette that offered a (non-Youth priced) 14-28 and/or 14-32. Most guys I know in their late 30s up to your age & beyond echo the same thing. 12 and 13 cog are rarely used when riding alone, save for descending some long inclines and/or racing or weekend fast club rides.

    Regarding your question (others here will chime in as they know for sure) I am pretty sure given the way the both 10 and 11-spd cogs are pinned together at certain combos, you will not be able to produce a combo of 5800/6800 and achieve a 14-32T cassette. Same logic goes for the 14-28 and 11-32.

    Shimano is a major pain in the you-know-what about letting consumers mix and max cassettes among and/or between groupos. Shimano just pins their different cassettes where this just isn't allowed (you end up with either huge jumps and/or duplicating cogs when combining diff cassettes).

    One thing I tried (and posted on here some years back) was un-pinning Tiagra cassettes (albeit 10-spd, not sure how 11-spd would work) and building my own cassette by adding bought 16 or 18T cogs and 13T end-cog. Here's the post if you're interested:

    Build your own custom 12 or 13 - 28 Shimano cassettes for cheap: Tiagra

    My objective back in 2015 was getting either 16T and/or 18T cogs in a cassette that didn't cost an arm and a leg, and having a 13T end, which at the time wasn't affordable (in my opinion). It works in 10 spd, but know that a cassette un-pinned is not as tight as when it is pinned. For 11-spd, and especially with a 32T cog and the size spider that goes with it, I think for 11-spd (doing my method) wouldn't be possible.

    Anyhow, if you end up finding out a way to get a 14-32T Shimano cassette working in 11-spd, please post back here because I personally would be greatly interested.

    My newest cassettes I am playing with are 14-25T and 14-27T Youth 10-speed cassettes---strictly for when I am riding alone. Only thing, these cassettes are not widely stocked in Europe and/or the USA (which I have still have access too online ordering) plus, as mentioned above, they are expensive as heck to purchase. I've been first trying the 14-25T cassette, and boy it sure was a revelation in having both the 16 and 18 cogs in a cassette that goes from 14-25T Never had an instant when shifting either up and/or down where I lost my spin due to "leg thud" (translation: being able to spin, say, the 50/19 but having my legs scream when going to 50/17---didn't happen because the 18 was there).


    Good luck in your quest & keep us posted!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BelgianHammer View Post
    Hi gmv3,

    Thank you sooo much for writing those two lines I underlined. I'm in my mid-50s, still race--my age bracket--kermesses here in Belgium, and when doing those I need the 11 and 12 in the rear (along with 52/39 front depending on course). But that being said, 99% of the riding I do I use my other bikes that have 50/36 and 12-28 10-spd cassettes.

    When I am by myself, which is most days except for every other weekend club rides and/or races, I find even with a 50T front, I am never using even the 12 and 13 cog in the rear. In other words, I would jump all over a Shimano cassette that offered a (non-Youth priced) 14-28 and/or 14-32. Most guys I know in their late 30s up to your age & beyond echo the same thing. 12 and 13 cog are rarely used when riding alone, save for descending some long inclines and/or racing or weekend fast club rides.

    Regarding your question (others here will chime in as they know for sure) I am pretty sure given the way the both 10 and 11-spd cogs are pinned together at certain combos, you will not be able to produce a combo of 5800/6800 and achieve a 14-32T cassette. Same logic goes for the 14-28 and 11-32.

    Shimano is a major pain in the you-know-what about letting consumers mix and max cassettes among and/or between groupos. Shimano just pins their different cassettes where this just isn't allowed (you end up with either huge jumps and/or duplicating cogs when combining diff cassettes).

    One thing I tried (and posted on here some years back) was un-pinning Tiagra cassettes (albeit 10-spd, not sure how 11-spd would work) and building my own cassette by adding bought 16 or 18T cogs and 13T end-cog. Here's the post if you're interested:

    Build your own custom 12 or 13 - 28 Shimano cassettes for cheap: Tiagra

    My objective back in 2015 was getting either 16T and/or 18T cogs in a cassette that didn't cost an arm and a leg, and having a 13T end, which at the time wasn't affordable (in my opinion). It works in 10 spd, but know that a cassette un-pinned is not as tight as when it is pinned. For 11-spd, and especially with a 32T cog and the size spider that goes with it, I think for 11-spd (doing my method) wouldn't be possible.

    Anyhow, if you end up finding out a way to get a 14-32T Shimano cassette working in 11-spd, please post back here because I personally would be greatly interested.

    My newest cassettes I am playing with are 14-25T and 14-27T Youth 10-speed cassettes---strictly for when I am riding alone. Only thing, these cassettes are not widely stocked in Europe and/or the USA (which I have still have access too online ordering) plus they are expensive as heck to purchase. I've been first trying the 14-25T cassette, and boy it sure was a revelation in having both the 16 and 18 cogs in a cassette that goes from 14-25T Never had an instant when shifting either up and/or down where I lost my spin due to "leg thud" (translation: being able to spin, say, the 50/19 but having my legs scream when going to 50/17).


    Good luck in your quest & keep us posted!
    In bold, because mixing cassettes is a fool's errand. Shimano and Campy offer enough permutations of gearing in back. A plethora. If your gearing is wrong as you choose the best cassette in back, you need to choose appropriate chainring sizes in front.
    Gearing isn't just in back. Its an aggragate of front and back. Shimano gets it right and its the consumer who many times rides the wrong gearing for their needs based upon their lack of understanding. Not Shimano's fault.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 11spd View Post
    In bold, because mixing cassettes is a fool's errand. Shimano and Campy offer enough permutations of gearing in back. A plethora. If your gearing is wrong as you choose the best cassette in back, you need to choose appropriate chainring sizes in front.
    Gearing isn't just in back. Its an aggragate of front and back. Shimano gets it right and its the consumer who many times rides the wrong gearing for their needs based upon their lack of understanding. Not Shimano's fault.

    There is a whole universe in that word, 11-spd, and it doesn't mean the same thing in every one. Riding/cycling clubs here approach 200+ riders some weekends, and rubber on the ground & riders (like myself, who own several bikes and different front and rear setups) say otherwise. Equally, being here decades & listening (at attended races) to continental & pro-team level riders echo the same thing, again disproves the "many" logic.

    Furthermore, it is quite possible the person (gmv) wouldn't have posted his question here if he didn't already have copious amount of years cycling & was still struggling. Even Shimano reps here (of which are several in the Flanders clubs), when not on official record, lament the same thing I wrote above Their euros/dollars only stretch so far too, and they've tried nearly every front/rear combo. The clamor for an affordable Shimano 13-28T 105 and/or ultegra rear cassette is and has been notable here for years. Funny how Dura-Ace can make a $200 13-28T, but it is missing anywhere else. Ever wonder why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BelgianHammer View Post
    There is a whole universe in that word, 11-spd, and it doesn't mean the same thing in every one. Riding/cycling clubs here approach 200+ riders some weekends, and rubber on the ground & riders (like myself, who own several bikes and different front and rear setups) say otherwise. Equally, being here decades & listening (at attended races) to continental & pro-team level riders echo the same thing, again disproves the "many" logic.

    Furthermore, it is quite possible the person (gmv) wouldn't have posted his question here if he didn't already have copious amount of years cycling & was still struggling. Even Shimano reps here (of which are several in the Flanders clubs), when not on official record, lament the same thing I wrote above Their euros/dollars only stretch so far too, and they've tried nearly every front/rear combo. The clamor for an affordable Shimano 13-28T 105 and/or ultegra rear cassette is and has been notable here for years. Funny how Dura-Ace can make a $200 13-28T, but it is missing anywhere else. Ever wonder why?
    To me, what you write is ridiculous when the gear inches you posit can be more easily replicated by simply choosing appropriate gearing in front. There is no need to make a custom anything.

    The OP now has two approaches to choose from...your Rube Goldberg approach versus simply choosing chainrings and existing cassettes which there has never been more available than there is today for appropriate gear inch requirements specific to the rider which includes redundant gear inches between chainrings..redundancy being good, another tenant of gearing lost by those that revise their gearing.

    PS: many that have copious years of cycling are pretty clueless about bike tech. I would say conservatively 50% would do better with different gearing than they have...provided they even understood how to ride which many don't.

    As discussed, I am 64 y.o. and have been riding for 50 years...many competitively. People by and large don't know what they are doing on their bikes. Unless a severe physical ailment for example, I can't imagine not wanting at least 50-12 out on the road for the simple reason to get out of the saddle down wind and stretch your legs out of the saddle. Even with 50-11 out of the saddle, I am short of gear inches if riding hard downwind if merely wanting to stretch my legs at lower cadence. By contrast, I don't need or can adequately push a 53-39 standard chainset based upon my lack of strength. And if riding in the Alps, I may do best with a triple in front and wide cassette in back for both short climbing inches and big descending gear inches. Same rider, different gearing.
    Last edited by 11spd; 04-14-2018 at 04:50 AM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks to all for the input. I'd like to continue this discussion, but for the moment, I'm heading out to celebrate my cousin's 90th birthday. When I return, I have some observations that might prove worthy of consideration. So, later perhaps?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmvgmvgmv View Post
    Thanks to all for the input. I'd like to continue this discussion, but for the moment, I'm heading out to celebrate my cousin's 90th birthday. When I return, I have some observations that might prove worthy of consideration. So, later perhaps?
    Sorry, but that won't be acceptable. Discussion will have to be discontinued. For one reason, nobody has a 90 y.o. cousin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BelgianHammer View Post
    Hi gmv3,

    Thank you sooo much for writing those two lines I underlined. I'm in my mid-50s, still race--my age bracket--kermesses here in Belgium, and when doing those I need the 11 and 12 in the rear (along with 52/39 front depending on course). But that being said, 99% of the riding I do I use my other bikes that have 50/36 and 12-28 10-spd cassettes.

    When I am by myself, which is most days except for every other weekend club rides and/or races, I find even with a 50T front, I am never using even the 12 and 13 cog in the rear. In other words, I would jump all over a Shimano cassette that offered a (non-Youth priced) 14-28 and/or 14-32. Most guys I know in their late 30s up to your age & beyond echo the same thing. 12 and 13 cog are rarely used when riding alone, save for descending some long inclines and/or racing or weekend fast club rides.

    Regarding your question (others here will chime in as they know for sure) I am pretty sure given the way the both 10 and 11-spd cogs are pinned together at certain combos, you will not be able to produce a combo of 5800/6800 and achieve a 14-32T cassette. Same logic goes for the 14-28 and 11-32.

    Shimano is a major pain in the you-know-what about letting consumers mix and max cassettes among and/or between groupos. Shimano just pins their different cassettes where this just isn't allowed (you end up with either huge jumps and/or duplicating cogs when combining diff cassettes).

    One thing I tried (and posted on here some years back) was un-pinning Tiagra cassettes (albeit 10-spd, not sure how 11-spd would work) and building my own cassette by adding bought 16 or 18T cogs and 13T end-cog. Here's the post if you're interested:

    Build your own custom 12 or 13 - 28 Shimano cassettes for cheap: Tiagra

    My objective back in 2015 was getting either 16T and/or 18T cogs in a cassette that didn't cost an arm and a leg, and having a 13T end, which at the time wasn't affordable (in my opinion). It works in 10 spd, but know that a cassette un-pinned is not as tight as when it is pinned. For 11-spd, and especially with a 32T cog and the size spider that goes with it, I think for 11-spd (doing my method) wouldn't be possible.

    Anyhow, if you end up finding out a way to get a 14-32T Shimano cassette working in 11-spd, please post back here because I personally would be greatly interested.

    My newest cassettes I am playing with are 14-25T and 14-27T Youth 10-speed cassettes---strictly for when I am riding alone. Only thing, these cassettes are not widely stocked in Europe and/or the USA (which I have still have access too online ordering) plus, as mentioned above, they are expensive as heck to purchase. I've been first trying the 14-25T cassette, and boy it sure was a revelation in having both the 16 and 18 cogs in a cassette that goes from 14-25T Never had an instant when shifting either up and/or down where I lost my spin due to "leg thud" (translation: being able to spin, say, the 50/19 but having my legs scream when going to 50/17---didn't happen because the 18 was there).


    Good luck in your quest & keep us posted!
    Lots of riders would love to have a 14-28 gearing with those elusive 16 and 18 cogs. Those gears are right in the middle of cycling speeds, so would be used all the time. Yet, the useless 11 and 12 cogs take up the space, so above the 15 cog, there are two tooth jumps between 15 and 17 and between 17 and 19, defeats the whole idea of close gearing at normal cycling speeds, 10-20 mph.

    True, rider could go to 50/34, but that places a large 16 tooth jump in front shifting. Rider would be double shifting each time, as there's no gear overlap, rather gaps in the speed range the legs can handle, 15-20 mph. A 16 and 18 are one tooth jumps, right where they'd be appreciated.

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    I've mix-n-matched cassettes, and it's not hard, provided you have a Dremel to grind the pins to take apart the cogs. I've never felt the need to re-pin them, but if it's important to you, they are available. Some people online will make you a custom cassette, too.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

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    I'm recovering from a tibial tubercle osteotomy. They ground out the underside of my kneecap and installed cadaver cartilage then cut my tibia and screwed it down in a different place. Needless to say my right leg isn't very strong right now but my 8 inch scar looks pretty dope.

    Here's my 14-34 cassette made with an Ultegra 14-28 and a HG-800 11-34. I didn't just swap the top spiders because I wanted a more even jumps.
    Building Custom 11-Speed Cassette-img_20180102_175709_151.jpg

    I'm doing it on my gravel/commuter 1x with a 38t elliptical Absolute Black and a Chorus RD without a Wolf Tooth road link. I'm able to use all my gears now but I spin out around 22 mph. That's fine by me.

    Here's the Ultegra gearing (copied from the internets) to make sure you don't double up on anything. It looks like you'd have a big jump from 21 to 25 if you just swapped the top spiders.

    Options/Combinations:

    11-25: 11-12-13-14-15-16-17-19-21-23-25
    11-28: 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25-28
    11-30: 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-27-30
    11-32: 11-12-13-14-16-18-20-22-25-28-32
    11-34: 11-13-15-17-19-21-23-25-27-30-34
    12-25: 12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23-25
    14-28: 14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-23-25-28

    After combining the 11-34 and 14-28 I had the following cog sizes left over- 11-13-15-17-18-19-20-21-23-25-28

    PS I only skimmed some of the posts so some of this may have been said before. Also I don't read these forums much so it's kind of surprising someone is considering doing something I actually know about.



    EDIT- You could also get a CX 46/36 crankset. If you don't like the 36 you can order a 34t small ring for like 11.54 on Amazon.

    The only issue I'm having with my monstrosity cassette is the occasional clicking when I'm in the 27t cog (3rd from the top). I think this is because the HG-800 is dished inwards to fit on 10s mountain freehubs.
    Last edited by Volsung; 04-14-2018 at 01:54 PM.

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    OK, so one suggestion offered is to go with a 46 or even 44 larger chainring in the front with the 11-32 rear. A 46/11 gives a gear ratio of 4.18:1 with the 44 providing a 4:1. The 50/14 combination still offers a lower 3.57:1.

    I just retired "Oscar," the Zeus equipped, Dynamax steel frame bike I purchased with paper route money back in 1966, raced with in the 1970s, and continued to ride until late last year when frame rust necessitated extensive restoration. It's still in the shop on the last stages of painting and decaling.

    For years, I have ridden that bike with a 47/42 up front combined with a 14-28 5-speed freewheel. So, the 46/11 will just be more than I'm comfortable with.

    Clearly, if my friend's Miche does not work out, I guess I can mess around with a cassette mod as it seems do-able with some effort.

    At any rate, thanks for all of the suggestions and any others that can be shared.

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmvgmvgmv View Post
    OK, so one suggestion offered is to go with a 46 or even 44 larger chainring in the front with the 11-32 rear. A 46/11 gives a gear ratio of 4.18:1 with the 44 providing a 4:1. The 50/14 combination still offers a lower 3.57:1.

    I just retired "Oscar," the Zeus equipped, Dynamax steel frame bike I purchased with paper route money back in 1966, raced with in the 1970s, and continued to ride until late last year when frame rust necessitated extensive restoration. It's still in the shop on the last stages of painting and decaling.

    For years, I have ridden that bike with a 47/42 up front combined with a 14-28 5-speed freewheel. So, the 46/11 will just be more than I'm comfortable with.

    Clearly, if my friend's Miche does not work out, I guess I can mess around with a cassette mod as it seems do-able with some effort.

    At any rate, thanks for all of the suggestions and any others that can be shared.

    Thanks.
    I have to ask you what is it you want to achieve with this change? Going from 11-32T to 14-32T would give you closer gearing. Moot point since this isn't possible with Shimano cassettes unless you resort to Toulouse's method.

    If it is simply not needing the high spin out speed of 50/11. 50/12 or 50/13, why not just stay in the 34 ring and just shift in back? Your drivetrain will easily work in small/small, though you may hear a bit of chain against FD chatter. This can be adjusted out easily if you never use your big ring. 34/12 will be silent regardless.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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    Lombard,

    From Shimano's 6800 PDF:
    http://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-CS0004-04-ENG.pdf

    It seems as if the largest three cogs are connected to each other forming a group of three with the next two smaller cogs also connected forming a group of two, the remaining six smallest cogs on both the 11-32 and 14-28 being free and unattached.

    With this in mind, looking at the two separate stock 6800 cassettes:
    14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-23-25-28 and
    11-12-13-14-16-18-20-22-25-28-32

    wouldn't one be able to assemble either a:
    14-15-16-17-18-19-20-22-25-28-32 or a
    14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-25-28-32

    This would seem to offer a do-able setup without any drilling or other cog mods.

    The combinations suggested should offer a more articulated selection of gears in the mid range and avoids the unpleasant cross chaining that I'm encountering with the present 11-32 setup.

    If this is not a sound approach, what am I missing here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Moot point since this isn't possible with Shimano cassettes unless you resort to Toulouse's method.
    It is possible. You don't need to drill or dremel anything if you keep the spiders intact.

    gmv- You're absolutely correct and can build that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmvgmvgmv View Post
    Lombard,

    From Shimano's 6800 PDF:
    http://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-CS0004-04-ENG.pdf

    It seems as if the largest three cogs are connected to each other forming a group of three with the next two smaller cogs also connected forming a group of two, the remaining six smallest cogs on both the 11-32 and 14-28 being free and unattached.

    With this in mind, looking at the two separate stock 6800 cassettes:
    14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-23-25-28 and
    11-12-13-14-16-18-20-22-25-28-32

    wouldn't one be able to assemble either a:
    14-15-16-17-18-19-20-22-25-28-32 or a
    14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-25-28-32

    This would seem to offer a do-able setup without any drilling or other cog mods.

    The combinations suggested should offer a more articulated selection of gears in the mid range and avoids the unpleasant cross chaining that I'm encountering with the present 11-32 setup.

    If this is not a sound approach, what am I missing here?
    Right on. Single tooth jumps all the way to the 20 t. cog where they're needed, then more teeth jumps in the slower gears where the legs can adjust more easily. Looks like a winner!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 11spd View Post
    Your 11-32 in back gives you nice 'breadth' of gearing. 11 cogs in the back keep jumps between gearing nice and tight...or tight enough.
    I guess it depends on your definition of "nice and tight." For folks who like to ride steady and have some flats and wind to deal with, the kind of jumps in an 11-32 cassette are not that great. I ride a 12-25, which I consider to be nice and tight - all jumps less than 10%. That keeps the cadence change in the 5-7 rpm rather than the 10-15 rpm affliction from wide-range cassettes.

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    It works!
    I've done this. My 14-32 combo cassette works great for me. I use this cassette most of the time now.

    Actually, the 14-28 by itself works pretty good, except for the steepest climbs.

    See this post for all the details: 14-32 11-speed -- fast group ride cassette

    The advantages:
    Very close shifts from 15-25 mph. Really great on fast-for-me rides. This 14-32 is really designed for 19-23 mph hard efforts -- allowing a "just right" cadence. And still able to climb very steep hills.

    The downsides:

    I spin out at 29-30 mph. That's usually fine, but if I was doing very long downhills, I'd like to soft pedal instead of coasting the whole way.

    I need to shift 4 or 5 cogs when I shift the front chainring. That's not a problem with Di2 electric shifting, but might be kind of annoying with mechanical shifting.

    The 34 chainring only goes to about 16 mph, maybe 17 mph. And the 50 chainring is pretty useless under 15 mph. So front ring shifts are more common than with the 11-32, where the small chainring can go past 20 mph. That's the real advantage of having an 11 cog: the 34-12 is usable.

    So, this 14-32 is kind of annoying on more casual paced rides, needing more front chainring shifts as speeds change up and down near 15 mph.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 04-15-2018 at 09:45 AM.

  19. #19
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    32/48 crankset
    Some bikes are available with 32/48 instead of 34/50. That's a fairly small change, though, probably not worth swapping a crankset. This would be a good new bike setup for many riders.

    30/46 crankset
    A few riders are experimenting with 30/46. See this thread.

    That's pretty good with a 12-25 cassette, lots of close shifts. But not quite as low as a 34-32. A 11-28 with this 30/46 has the same low gear as a 34-32. Do they make a 12-28? That would be perfect.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 04-15-2018 at 09:45 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmvgmvgmv View Post
    Lombard,

    From Shimano's 6800 PDF:
    http://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-CS0004-04-ENG.pdf

    It seems as if the largest three cogs are connected to each other forming a group of three with the next two smaller cogs also connected forming a group of two, the remaining six smallest cogs on both the 11-32 and 14-28 being free and unattached.

    With this in mind, looking at the two separate stock 6800 cassettes:
    14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-23-25-28 and
    11-12-13-14-16-18-20-22-25-28-32

    wouldn't one be able to assemble either a:
    14-15-16-17-18-19-20-22-25-28-32 or a
    14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-25-28-32

    This would seem to offer a do-able setup without any drilling or other cog mods.

    The combinations suggested should offer a more articulated selection of gears in the mid range and avoids the unpleasant cross chaining that I'm encountering with the present 11-32 setup.

    If this is not a sound approach, what am I missing here?
    So it sounds like you are looking for closer gearing. I would definitely keep the 32 cog for steep hills. What I bolded are from and to. Since the smallest 6 cogs are separate, you will only need to buy a 15, 17 and 19 cog to complete the arrangement you want. The inner clusters can be left alone.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    So it sounds like you are looking for closer gearing. I would definitely keep the 32 cog for steep hills. What I bolded are from and to. Since the smallest 6 cogs are separate, you will only need to buy a 15, 17 and 19 cog to complete the arrangement you want. The inner clusters can be left alone.
    This plan won't work. The smallest two cogs are different from the others, designed to work with the lock ring. You can't substitute a 14 cog from the 11-32 for the 11 cog.

    That's why I bought a 14-28.

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