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So for the past year I've been riding a very budget road bike, limited to 14 gears with a 38-48 up front and not much range on the back. So been struggling and grinding my way up many hills throughout Kent and Surrey.
So been looking forward to upgrading to a new bike with a compact chainset and better gear range for climbing the hills.

Was looking to purchase the Planet X Pro Carbon Ultegra for £999 (Baragain) with the Cyclescheme, which had a compact and a 11-28 cassette. But missed out by 20 minutes as they increased the price by £200 pushing it out of the scheme's pricing bracket. Gutted.
They have however introduced a SRAM Rival version for £999, and looking into it they have added the SRAM WiFLi cassette at the back giving it a 11-32.
Now a ratio of 34/32 would enable most people to spin up any climbs, but somehow I feel like it is cheating a bit.
I've been working really hard to improve my climbing with my heavy road bike and rubbish gear ratios, and looking forward to some extra ratios, but is this a step too far?
I know I could just stay out of that last ring and keep it in the 28 tooth ring, but what is everyone else's thoughts? And does anyone else use a SRAM WiFLi system, and how have they found it.

Cheers,
Lee

17 comments

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Grizzerly [254 posts] 1 year ago
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Why the hell would anyone need an 11t sprocket on anything other than a time-trial bike?

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jason.timothy.jones [293 posts] 1 year ago
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not cheating at all, think of it as having the range of a tripple without the 3rd ring

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Sevenfold [43 posts] 1 year ago
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Absolutely not cheating - I have Rival 11-32 with 50-34 chainset on both my Boardman & Condor. At the wrong side of 50, there are now climbs in the Cotswolds I can get up, albeit slowly!, when with 11-25 I stood no chance. It is difficult to climb standing though on 34/32.

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dave atkinson [6148 posts] 1 year ago
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use whatever suits you. the pros use compacts and wide ratio cassettes when it suits them.

i had a 34/32 when i did the fred whitton, and without it i wouldn't have got up hardknott  3

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farrell [1950 posts] 1 year ago
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I'm pretty sure Contador and Millar have used MTB derailleurs/cassettes in recent years for certain races.

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andycoventry [110 posts] 1 year ago
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Not cheating - at the end of the day if you don't need the 32t you wont use it, and you can swap it out if needs be.

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Pauldmorgan [217 posts] 1 year ago
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Go for it - as you say, try and only use it when you need it and maybe one day you won't. I make it my goal to get further down the block for all of my regular climbs as the months progress. Nice to have a "bail-out" gear in reserve though. I went out with 39/23 max the other day just to try it - I don't think I'm really ready!

I fitted a 32 when I went to Mallorca last year as I really didn't know what to expect (and didn't want to get thrashed by my 18 year old son). I was glad of it at the end of long rides when going up really long climbs. I don't now use the cassette but it's there to put back on if I feel I'll need to (thinking about it for the Etape Pennines in July).

Pretty cheap to change the rear mech for Rival if you want to go short cage further down the line too.

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glynr36 [637 posts] 1 year ago
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Grizzerly wrote:

Why the hell would anyone need an 11t sprocket on anything other than a time-trial bike?

To get even quicker going down!

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bashthebox [751 posts] 1 year ago
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I've got 34/28 on my best bike, and was surprised to find that on proper mountains, even if the gradient is relatively forgiving, I really did need the big sprocket. There's a big difference between being top 5-10% on Kent and Surrey hills, and being able to keep that effort piling out on real climbs.
And then there was the medium sized mountain with the 23% section after 400m of climbing. Honestly, it was all I could to to keep my pedals turning. It was awesome. Pain, but awesome.

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Grizzerly [254 posts] 1 year ago
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The wife won't like that...

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backflipbedlem [1190 posts] 1 year ago
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So just ordered the Planet X Pro Carbon SRAM Rival - Matte Black (Oh Yea!!!)

Decided having the extra bail out gear would be nice, but will do everything in my power not to use it, until I can move no more!

I compared the teeth on a 11-28 and the 11-32 and have similar numbers, so what the hey!

11-32 / 11 12 13 -- 15 17 19 22 25 28 32
11-28 / 11 12 13 14 15 17 19 21 24 28 --

Cheers for all your help guys!! Much Appreciated!

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rnarito [46 posts] 1 year ago
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I've been using an 11-32 cassette for some time. I don't use the largest gear unless it's a long climb and I need a bit of a break, or if the hill gets really steep. Nothing wrong with having that extra gear to bail you out!

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srchar [105 posts] 1 year ago
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backflipbedlem wrote:

I compared the teeth on a 11-28 and the 11-32 and have similar numbers, so what the hey!

11-32 / 11 12 13 -- 15 17 19 22 25 28 32
11-28 / 11 12 13 14 15 17 19 21 24 28 --

Thing is, that missing 14T will feel like quite a big gap a lot of the time on the flat, whereas you'll only feel the missing 32T very occasionally.

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backflipbedlem [1190 posts] 1 year ago
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srchar wrote:
backflipbedlem wrote:

I compared the teeth on a 11-28 and the 11-32 and have similar numbers, so what the hey!

11-32 / 11 12 13 -- 15 17 19 22 25 28 32
11-28 / 11 12 13 14 15 17 19 21 24 28 --

Thing is, that missing 14T will feel like quite a big gap a lot of the time on the flat, whereas you'll only feel the missing 32T very occasionally.

Now you tell me!  3

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fukawitribe [1430 posts] 1 year ago
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backflipbedlem wrote:
srchar wrote:
backflipbedlem wrote:

I compared the teeth on a 11-28 and the 11-32 and have similar numbers, so what the hey!

11-32 / 11 12 13 -- 15 17 19 22 25 28 32
11-28 / 11 12 13 14 15 17 19 21 24 28 --

Thing is, that missing 14T will feel like quite a big gap a lot of the time on the flat, whereas you'll only feel the missing 32T very occasionally.

Now you tell me!  3

Ditch the 11 and 12, add in an end-cap 12T and a 14T and ta-da ! I shall be doing something similar to my CS-6800 11-32 in the nearish future  1

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dreamlx10 [144 posts] 1 year ago
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I think the issue with these cassettes is not the 28 or 32 at one end but the 11 at the other. If you struggle uphill in a 28 and need a 32 then you certainly don't need an 11 at the other end, a 12 maybe but a 13 more realistically. No one is going to tell me that they can spin 50x11 after heaving themselves uphill on 34x28/32.

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GrahamSt [166 posts] 1 year ago
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Yeah, running WiFLi here with an 11-32 at the back and 50/34 up front.

Good range to have if you are somewhere hilly. I got the usual "dinner plate" comments when I showed up with it for a three day trip in the highlands with my mates.

After a couple of days grinding up 20% hills they were a bit less dismissive  4