Dumb newbie cassette question
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  1. #1

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    Dumb newbie cassette question

    I recently bought a used Kline Quantum Race that has a very close ratio cassette 12-25 (I think). It is unsuitable for the centuries I'm wanting to do around here (pretty steep climbs). Harris cycle has a "Century Special" that I learned about on here 12-30, that they claim will work with my short cage derailer, so why wouldn't everyone want the biggest range of ratios possible (except serious racers)? Also why not also change my 53 39 chain rings to 53 38?

  2. #2
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    Answers...

    Quote Originally Posted by abqbiker
    I recently bought a used Kline Quantum Race that has a very close ratio cassette 12-25 (I think). It is unsuitable for the centuries I'm wanting to do around here (pretty steep climbs). Harris cycle has a "Century Special" that I learned about on here 12-30, that they claim will work with my short cage derailer, so why wouldn't everyone want the biggest range of ratios possible (except serious racers)? Also why not also change my 53 39 chain rings to 53 38?
    Close ratio cassette: I am the most efficient and comfortable at a certain cadence and power. If that cadence falls between two gears on the cassette because of the big jump, that's bad.

    Technically a 53/38 will be out of the specifications of the front and rear derailleurs. The front is only intended to shift a difference of 14 teeth and the rear is only intended to take up enough chain when going from a 11-39 to a 27-53. That said, it would probably work but one tooth on front is only a 2.5% change - wouldn't make much difference anyway.

    I have no reason to believe Sheldon's "Century Special" won't work.

    TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  3. #3
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    12-30? coming from a 12-25? except when you are climbing, you are going to find that cassette HELL because u wont be able to find a comfortable cadence. Damn, i'm on a 11-23 and I often wish i had something with even tighter spacing.
    Any day is a good day to take care of one of your vehicles!

  4. #4
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    Get climbing gears

    Quote Originally Posted by abqbiker
    I recently bought a used Kline Quantum Race that has a very close ratio cassette 12-25 (I think). It is unsuitable for the centuries I'm wanting to do around here (pretty steep climbs). Harris cycle has a "Century Special" that I learned about on here 12-30, that they claim will work with my short cage derailer, so why wouldn't everyone want the biggest range of ratios possible (except serious racers)? Also why not also change my 53 39 chain rings to 53 38?
    I agree that you should get gears that you'll be comfortable climbing in - otherwise, it will be a long day. The tradeoff is more spacing between gears and therefore perhaps you'll feel like the gear you want is between two that you have. Anyway, you didn't ask but one solution is to get a compact crankset - the alloy FSA one is about $150 - and get a 50/34 set up on the chainrings. That way, you could stick with your 12-25 cassette and a tighter range but still have a 34/25 smallest gear, which is pretty small. A 50/12 is still a pretty big gear and fine for century riding - you may find that you can spin that out descending at speed but otherwise you'll be fine.

  5. #5
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    century special...

    Quote Originally Posted by abqbiker
    I recently bought a used Kline Quantum Race that has a very close ratio cassette 12-25 (I think). It is unsuitable for the centuries I'm wanting to do around here (pretty steep climbs). Harris cycle has a "Century Special" that I learned about on here 12-30, that they claim will work with my short cage derailer, so why wouldn't everyone want the biggest range of ratios possible (except serious racers)? Also why not also change my 53 39 chain rings to 53 38?
    It's always best to avoid large jumps between cogs when possible, otherwise you can get caught on terrain where one cog is too high and the next one too low. You don't have to be a serious racer to want avoid that problem. A cassette for a century would be better if it started with a 13T cog rather than a 12.

    As others noted, changing to a 38T inner ring won't help much. The 39/30 should be plenty low enough. If not, then there's the triple crank option or an even wider spaced MTB cassette, like a 12-34, but that requires a long cage rear derailleur.

  6. #6

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    Long cage?

    Quote Originally Posted by C-40
    ...... or an even wider spaced MTB cassette, like a 12-34, but that requires a long cage rear derailleur.
    A long cage road RD won't do it. There are MEDIUM and long cage MTB that will.

  7. #7
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    Try a 12-27

    My old bike is a '99 Klein Q.R. I replaced the stock 12-25 cassette with a 12-27 as it was packaged wrong at my LBS (marked 12-25) and no one noticed. The only difference between a 12-25 and a 12-27 are the last three cogs, 21 23 25 for the 12-25, 21 24 27 for the 12-27. The 12-27 has a bigger jump and I find myself in the 24 gear a lot when I am climbing and only use the 27 as a granny gear or if I am having a very bad day. You should have no problem with a 12-25, I've climbed 13% grades with it and that's the common set-up for most of the roadies in my neck of the woods and I live on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. If you ride extrememly steep hills you should be able to climb walls with the 27. Learn to master that 25 then work on the 23. Climbing isn't about gearing, it's about legs, I get passed by young roadies once and awhile when I think I am doing pretty good. Climbing is an art, learn to love it...

  8. #8
    AJS
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    Lightbulb

    abqbiker -

    Go back and look at the specs on the Harris Cyclery site: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/k7.html#9cassettes

    They've got the 'Century Special' listed as:

    13 14 15 17 19 21 24 27 30

    Looks like it starts with a 13 instead of a 12 so you should be all set - unless they've changed it recently. I thought something was wrong there, because I could have sworn that cassette had a 13T top cog.

    Good Ruck on your century!
    Last edited by AJS; 05-09-2004 at 01:58 AM.

  9. #9

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    Sheldon's "century special" is just a stock Shimano 12-27 cassette with the 12&13 replaced with 13&30. If you already have a 12-27 cassette, Sheldown will sell you just the 13 & 30 cogs for $30 total.

  10. #10
    AJS
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    Question

    Yup, he could do that, or keep the 12-25 for another wheelset or faster road rides, or sell the 12-25.

    Also, don't count on Sheldon's to have the 30T in stock separately. A few weeks ago I ordered a 28T online but it never came. When I called, they said that many sizes of cogs were sold out, and that they were having trouble getting new stock in from Shimano. They might have full cassettes already made up that they'll sell you and/or maybe other sizes like 30/32/34T in stock - I don't know.

    But I would have had to wait in line indefinitely for an HG 28T.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ridewt
    I agree that you should get gears that you'll be comfortable climbing in - otherwise, it will be a long day. The tradeoff is more spacing between gears and therefore perhaps you'll feel like the gear you want is between two that you have. Anyway, you didn't ask but one solution is to get a compact crankset - the alloy FSA one is about $150 - and get a 50/34 set up on the chainrings. That way, you could stick with your 12-25 cassette and a tighter range but still have a 34/25 smallest gear, which is pretty small. A 50/12 is still a pretty big gear and fine for century riding - you may find that you can spin that out descending at speed but otherwise you'll be fine.
    50/34's Rock!!!

    After spinning up hills that were flogging my friends, FSA quickly had 3 more sales. I also switched to a 12/27 (though I'm trying to wean myself of the 27). If you want, do the math, or just take my word (I did the math - AKA geeked) the ratios, and they are the same with the except of the last few gears you climb in, and the absolute top end (do you really spin very much at 30 mph?).

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