Best cassette for compact double (hill climber)

by Paultheagle   May 28, 2014  

I am currently in the process of building (via my LBS), my first lightweight tourer/audax bike (kinesis 4s frame, ultegra compact double & group set,mavic open pro custom wheels, tubus rack, full guards etc.

Just wanted opinions on cassette, taking into account that I still light tour with circa 6kg on the rack and with hills in mind.

I was thinking 11-28 gives me the best balance between climbing ability and on flat cadence - what does everybody think, or have experience of ?

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I run 11-28 and probably carry the 6kg you'd have on the rack as an additional instalment of my arse (and the rest).

It gives a good range, I have found the 11t much more useful than the prospect of being able to use the 30t I had on the 12-30 that came with the bike. No complaints here.

posted by turboprannet [48 posts]
29th May 2014 - 8:52

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12-27

posted by Scoob_84 [188 posts]
29th May 2014 - 10:12

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Unless you have thighs the size of Mark Cavendish, I think the 11t is a bit of a waste, I would say at tiagra 12-30 is the best option for touring

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
29th May 2014 - 11:17

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jason.timothy.jones wrote:
Unless you have thighs the size of Mark Cavendish, I think the 11t is a bit of a waste, I would say at tiagra 12-30 is the best option for touring

I'd second that - can't see an 11T would be that useful unless you're desperate to go over 40mph for any length of time or have thighs like jason alluded to (and/or pretty low natural cadence). Those sound like a nice to have, but a 30T might actually save your butt.

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posted by fukawitribe [349 posts]
29th May 2014 - 11:58

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I've done a bit of light touring and never had a problem with 34/28 as a lowest gear. I'm no climber either but if you're only carrying 6kg, a 11-28 seems absolutely fine.

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [547 posts]
29th May 2014 - 12:08

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jason.timothy.jones wrote:
Unless you have thighs the size of Mark Cavendish, I think the 11t is a bit of a waste, I would say at tiagra 12-30 is the best option for touring

I'd normally say the same but 11t does afford the possibility of using 34x12 without cross-chaining completely. Might save swapping chainrings so often, as happens with compact chainsets.

For that reason I would also suggest a 46/36 or 46/34 chainset - there's less of a jump between the two sets of ratios than a 50/34 compact.

If you choose 11-28 but think it may not be low enough you could always check that the rear mech you choose has the capacity to run 30t. That way you can swap to 12-30 if needed. It's a piece of cake to change the cassette, they cost about £15.

(the above assumes you're considering 10 speed gearing)

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posted by Simon E [1940 posts]
29th May 2014 - 16:57

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Just my 2p but......

Have you considered a 12-34 rear cassette and mtb rear mech? If you prefer to sit and spin a long climb then it allows you a couple of bailouts ie the 32 and 34t .

Used that setup in the alps and after a long day in the saddle and a finish on top of alpe d'huez I was greatful for those two gears near the top .

If you take a 28 or a 30t max with you and can change a cassette and remove a link or 3 of chain then you have all the gearing you will ever need

posted by chiv30 [857 posts]
29th May 2014 - 17:30

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Grateful for all the comments guys, many thanks - probably go for 12 -32 as offers best hill climb/flat combo for me Smile

posted by Paultheagle [10 posts]
30th May 2014 - 12:22

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