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  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2013

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    N.Y. if you're into math Sheldon Brown, just google him, left us with a wealth of gearing/drivetrain info and calculators. It also helps in thinking more about easier drivetrain shifting selections, hill gearing etc.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Yes, Sheldon Brown does have great information. I also use this site for gear inches:


    It gives me a better visual of speeds that may correspond to the gears. Right now I may go with a 28-44 combination chainrings on the sram crank with a 11-36t cassette. That would give me a range of 21-104 gear inches. Not too bad. Still playing with the numbers right now.

    Look up Wolf Tooth Tanpan and GoatLink. A couple options compatible with Shimano.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2013
    north woods of Wisconsin
    It will be cheaper to try a smaller chainring on the crank, but switching to an 11-32 cassette on the rear also works. Either way, you'll need to make sure your derailleurs can handle the wider range. If not, changing out derailleurs will get expensive in a hurry. Compacts and the derailleurs they use only have so much latitude as to what gear ranges they can handle. Be sure to check.

    I much prefer disc brakes on all but my road bike (add a lot of weight), but it's not a simple conversion. The bike has to be pretty much be built around them, wheels and all. Will cost you an arm and leg to convert over, even if it is possible on your particular bike. If you really think you need disc brakes, you're better off buying a new bike. Then you can also get a triple if that's a concern. Nothing wrong with caliper brakes, though, as long as you keep them properly adjusted, keep your rims clean and replace pads as needed (and be careful when the rims get wet).
    Last edited by north woods gal; 04-25-2016 at 02:08 PM.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    northern Virginia
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    This is a very useful thread. My bike currently has SRAM Rival components, 50/34 compact double with an 11-28, 10 speed cassette. Last fall I found myself walking up a particularly steep climb (it was that or fall over with an asthma attack) as I watched my friend effortlessly spin up to the top with her mountain-bike gearing. That was when I decided my next cassette would be better for climbing. Given the rides I'm planning this year, I think it makes sense to keep what I have until it wears out. When that happens I will be wondering the same thing -- what cogs do I want on the new cassette. So this is giving me an idea of what to look for.

    <bump> Just picked up my bike from the LBS. They had done a rear derailleur adjustment recently to address some shifting problems, but I took it back because it was still not shifting right. (Also there were possible free hub issues, but they did the required maintenance on that and it appears ok.) They told me that several of the rear cogs are looking worn. So I told them that I'd been thinking about getting better climbing gears when it came time to replace the current cassette. I also wanted to look into a smaller large chain ring; I rarely use the one I have now because it tends to cause knee pain. And I want to replace as few things as possible, which means staying with SRAM components.

    They recommended that I get a SRAM 11/32 10-speed cassette for easier climbing (contrasted with the 11/28 that I have now). This would necessitate a new rear derailleur, specifically a SRAM WiFli RD.

    As near as I can tell from poking around online, the new cassette would have the following cogs: 11-12-13-15-17-19-22-25-28-32. The old one has 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-22-25-28. So they're the same except the new cassette adds the 32 cog in place of the 14. The current cassette is a SRAM P-1070, and unless I'm missing something on the SRAM website, I think I'd be replacing it with another P-1070.

    I am a bit confused regarding the new rear derailleur. At the LBS we talked about a "SRAM Climber's Kit in a Box," which includes the 11/32 cassette, WiFli rear derailleur and a chain. However I think this comes with a Force 22 WiFli derailleur, which is an 11-speed RD. I currently have a 10-speed drive train. I know that my rear wheel could handle 11-speed components, but if I'm understanding the SRAM website correctly the current shifters would have to be replaced if I went to 11 speeds. So I will need to talk to them further to make sure I'm getting the right derailleur to work with the new cassette as well as all the old components. Outside of 11 vs 10 speed issues, I have no complaints with the quality of the Rival components that came on my bike but am open to upgrading to Force as long as I'm replacing the derailleur.

    So, I have something of a plan for the cassette and rear derailleur but still a few details to work out.

    As for also getting a new front chain ring, I think I will wait on that, for budget purposes. We discussed replacing the current 54 chain ring with a 44, but they recommended also getting a front derailleur with a clutch (whatever that is) to prevent problems with the chain falling off. So we'll wait on that and spend that money another day.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles



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