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Hi all, I'm new around here so hello - and go easy on me!

I've got some events lined up for when summer arrives, namely the Dartmoor Classic and Etape du Tour and hills are not my forte (strange choice of events given my weaknesses, but they're the ones we're meant to target right!?). I have a compact chainset and 11-28 cassette. My question is how bigger cassette (sprocket) can I squeeze in on my 105 (5700 short cage) rear mech? Was wondering specifically if a 11-32 would fit and whether the real world gains would be significant?

Any help appreciated,

Kev

65 comments

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chiv30 [986 posts] 3 years ago
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As far as I understand, you are on the limit with a short mech and your current compact and 11-28
If you want to go larger you will need to change to another rear mech,

A 9 speed Shimano deore will work and allow you to go to a 32 rear if needed

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the_mikey [163 posts] 3 years ago
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Maybe swap the existing derailleur for a new 10 speed tiagra derailleur and a 11-32 cassette?

Tiagra 4601 is the GS version that will handle 11-32.

This may affect the required chain length, so you'll need a new chain to go with that too.

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SammyG [275 posts] 3 years ago
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dreamlx10 [169 posts] 3 years ago
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I would say if you can't get up any of the hills with a 34/28 then don't bother going you either need to lose a lot of weight or get fitter.

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chiv30 [986 posts] 3 years ago
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dreamlx10 wrote:

I would say if you can't get up any of the hills with a 34/28 then don't bother going you either need to lose a lot of weight or get fitter.

And that answer is helpful how?  7

Cheaper option than the new tiagra is def a 9 speed older shim deore mtb mech , same cable pull as 10 spd shim road gearing , still if money isn't an issue then buy the new tiagra

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Shanefutcher [98 posts] 3 years ago
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Whack it in the big chain ring,dance on the pedals and push through the pain

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Simon E [2845 posts] 3 years ago
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34x28 is already a pretty low ratio. The 32t cassette isn't a lot lower and may well require a MTB derailleur (Shimano say 10-speed Tiagra works with up to 30 teeth on the cassette). It won't really get you up really steep inclines much easier - when they're that steep they are tough work whatever your lowest gear is.

dreamlx10's comment may be a little blunt but the fact is that riding hills will help you far more than even smaller gears. You will both get fitter and improve your climbing technique. If you're not very good at hills that means there is scope for being better at it, and it will be a more rewarding experience.

If at the same time you can lose some weight will also make a significant difference (assuming you're not already skinny). This also brings additional benefits such as feeling good about yourself and finding that tight-fitting lycra isn't quite as restrictive as before  3

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Bedfordshire Clanger [344 posts] 3 years ago
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Simon is right. If you can't ride up something on 34x28 you probably need a ladder. That ratio should get you up hills that are 25% plus and you won't find anything that steep on the Dartmoor Classic or the EdT.

However, if you do feel the need for an extra bail out gear then you'll want a medium cage rear mech.

Good luck on those rides and have fun. I really enjoyed the Classic last year.

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dreamlx10 [169 posts] 3 years ago
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"And that answer is helpful how?"

Straightforward advice really,you need to get fitter. How low are we going to go on gears just so unfit people in team jerseys and riding fancy bikes can pretend to be cyclists. I'm afraid to say there is a lot of pain and suffering to go through to get there. But when you're dropping people on a climb it feels brilliant. So stop riding a road bike with MTB gears and just get stuck in.

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mhtt [43 posts] 3 years ago
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wow, that's a lot of rubbish elitism, there are plenty of people rocking an 11-25 and 0 spacers under their stem who have an awful pedalling technique, dodgy knees and avoid riding up a long hill, but they look down on people just because the bike doesn't look 'pro'.

Your rear dérailleur will take 11-30 (or 12-30 tiagra cassette to keep prices down); current tiagra (4600) or 105 (5700) mid-cage mechs will take up to 11-32 with a compact crank. As was mentioned a cheaper option might be a 9 speed mtb mech (a 10 speed mtb mech wont work). The difference in gear ratio is 15%, which is pretty significant, but not a game-changer really. And don't listen to anyone who tells you what you should or shouldn't put on your bike, or how to ride, bikes are all about freedom (and legs rather than equipment).

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chiv30 [986 posts] 3 years ago
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dreamlx10 wrote:

"And that answer is helpful how?"

Straightforward advice really,you need to get fitter. How low are we going to go on gears just so unfit people in team jerseys and riding fancy bikes can pretend to be cyclists. I'm afraid to say there is a lot of pain and suffering to go through to get there. But when you're dropping people on a climb it feels brilliant. So stop riding a road bike with MTB gears and just get stuck in.

And I guess you think ppl shouldn't ride triples either?

Do you know how far up your own rear you sound? , it's comments like yours that put ppl off riding a road bike

The op asked for gearing advice and the helpful ppl have given it , if a 34-32 allows him to enjoy his cycling the more he will cycle , ergo the fitter he will become and eventually will have no need for his 32 cassette

Advice, don't be an elitist prick all your life  14

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 3 years ago
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The 105 5701 GS rear mech will take a 32T rear sprocket if you want to stay with 105: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-105-5701-10-speed-rear-derailleur/

Is it worth it? well, if it's the difference between riding up hardknott pass or walking up it, like it was for me at the Fred Whitton, then yes. it's worth it.

dreamlx10 wrote:

you need to get fitter. How low are we going to go on gears just so unfit people in team jerseys and riding fancy bikes can pretend to be cyclists. I'm afraid to say there is a lot of pain and suffering to go through to get there. But when you're dropping people on a climb it feels brilliant. So stop riding a road bike with MTB gears and just get stuck in.

that's a pretty poor attitude, thanks for sharing. Kev's bike has 105 on it and you have no idea what he wears on a ride, so try not to make sweeping generalisations.

Contador ran a 32T on the day the Vuelta went up Angliru last, and he wasn't the only one. Millar ran an XX mech and a 36. You going to tell them to man up? Use the gears that work for you.

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dreamlx10 [169 posts] 3 years ago
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Quote:

And I guess you think ppl shouldn't ride triples either?

Advice, don't be an elitist prick all your life  14

Nothing wrong with triples, I didn't mention them, you just asumed that I have something against them. Thanks for the "prick" comment, I don't remember insulting you or anyone else for that matter.

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pirnie [199 posts] 3 years ago
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Well said Dave. Ride whatever gears make things easier for you, in my view there's a lot of stigma attached to riding low gears for no real reason.

I ride a triple and get some (friendly) stick from my clubmates about it, but I'm the one laughing as I spin up >20% gradients while they're grinding away.

Like I said, ride what works for you. I usually climb at a cadence of over 100 rpm so the low gears a triple offers are great for me

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climbingkev [1 post] 3 years ago
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Cheers for the comments guys.

To be honest I'm not surprised with the "Man Up" style comment from dreamlx10, just thought it might be an avenue worth pursuing. From what I've read and like someone else said, there's plenty of pro's out there doing it on alpine stages. Fitness and weight are certainly not an issue, from what I've ascertained on my last 2 (and only!) events, nor am I poor at climbing it's just "my" weakness.

However, I hadn't considered a team kit as a viable performance enhancer! Do you find a particular team strip passes you more frequently than others, dreamlx10? Or is there a colour scheme in particular you despise? Clearly, these would leap-frog to the top of my shopping list!  3

Cheers All!

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Al'76 [110 posts] 3 years ago
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A friend ran a 32 cassette in the Alps last year and will do so again this year in the Pyrenees.
He only used that gear (34 x 32) on one occasion, but says is was a real psychological help to know that it was there if needed. BTW, the cassette is used in conjunction with a long arm Ultegra derailleur.
If it makes the rides more enjoyable then who cares?

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chiv30 [986 posts] 3 years ago
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dreamlx10 wrote:
Quote:

And I guess you think ppl shouldn't ride triples either?

Advice, don't be an elitist prick all your life  14

Nothing wrong with triples, I didn't mention them, you just asumed that I have something against them. Thanks for the "prick" comment, I don't remember insulting you or anyone else for that matter.

You're welcome.

Not insulting? You told someone to either lose a lot of weight , get fitter and basicly he should only ride gears that you deem correct on a road bike without any real advice .

So yes my comment still stands from my perspective , perhaps it may help you think before typing in future  39

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dreamlx10 [169 posts] 3 years ago
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Still no need for your use of the word "Prick".You obviously can't handle criticism, even though it's not directed at you.

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chiv30 [986 posts] 3 years ago
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dreamlx10 wrote:

Still no need for your use of the word "Prick".You obviously can't handle criticism, even though it's not directed at you.

Anyone else notice the irony here.....

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Simon E [2845 posts] 3 years ago
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In the end we can only make suggestions to the OP, he can choose to buy whatever he likes. Being rude doesn't help anyone.

Dave Atkinson wrote:

Contador ran a 32T on the day the Vuelta went up Angliru last, and he wasn't the only one. Millar ran an XX mech and a 36. You going to tell them to man up? Use the gears that work for you.

And Cobo won that day (and more or less secured the Vuelta) because he twiddled up in 34x32 while Brad and Froomey honked and stalled with their 38t oval chainrings.

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big mick [184 posts] 3 years ago
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dreamlx10 wrote:

I would say if you can't get up any of the hills with a 34/28 then don't bother going you either need to lose a lot of weight or get fitter.

So true

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chiv30 [986 posts] 3 years ago
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big mick wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:

I would say if you can't get up any of the hills with a 34/28 then don't bother going you either need to lose a lot of weight or get fitter.

So true

It isn't true at all , as the op said his fitness and weight aren't an issue he just wants to make his hill climbing easier .... It's no wonder people stick to mtbs with attitudes like this  13

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edster99 [336 posts] 3 years ago
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chiv30 wrote:
big mick wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:

I would say if you can't get up any of the hills with a 34/28 then don't bother going you either need to lose a lot of weight or get fitter.

So true

It isn't true at all , as the op said his fitness and weight aren't an issue he just wants to make his hill climbing easier .... It's no wonder people stick to mtbs with attitudes like this  13

OK so to put my cards on the table : I have had a bike with a triple up until recently. I've got a compact now - 34 / 25 min gear. The lower the gear, the faster you need to spin to go fast enough to not fall off sideways. A bit more strength allows you to push a slightly bigger gear at a sensible cadence. That's my roundabout way of saying - go for it on a really low gear, but over time if you get stronger you hopefully wont need it any more!

And if you only use the biggest sprockets on the small ring, and the smallest sprockets on the big ring, and don't cross over too much, you can probably get away with a short mech. That requires some 'gear discipline'  1

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dreamlx10 [169 posts] 3 years ago
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chiv30 wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:

Still no need for your use of the word "Prick".You obviously can't handle criticism, even though it's not directed at you.

Anyone else notice the irony here.....

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I don't think calling someone a "Prick" is criticism though. It's just name calling.

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Old Cranky [257 posts] 3 years ago
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I fitted a 105 5701 GS rear mech and SRAM 12-32 Cassette to my son's road bike. It works perfectly.

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chiv30 [986 posts] 3 years ago
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dreamlx10 wrote:
chiv30 wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:

Still no need for your use of the word "Prick".You obviously can't handle criticism, even though it's not directed at you.

Anyone else notice the irony here.....

 19

I don't think calling someone a "Prick" is criticism though. It's just name calling.

I think I called you an elitist prick, this was based on your response thus criticism, however just a prick would have been name calling , in that respect you are correct .

Now I have passed my helpful advice on, so I am happily finished with this thread however I do believe the op also asked for your most hated kit so by all means carry on and answer him  4

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FMOAB [268 posts] 3 years ago
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If you want lower gears go for it. I recall seeing an article here last year that showed Wiggins Tour bike with a massive cassette on the back and a rear mech put together by the mechanics using an mtb cage to give it the capacity required. Me, I recently installed a deore xt mech so that I could run a 32 on the back - and I'm on a triple.

Just remember to be courteous to the purists pushing their bikes up that 20% as you pass them in the saddle  1

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seoul [2 posts] 2 years ago
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My wife and I retired to Korea and I shipped out my 20-speed Felt F75, a good entry-level road bike. Whereas the 11-28 cassette was fine for me in London, I was struggling on Korean hills even in the city. To give you an idea of the gradients, the first time I unloaded a toolbox from the car outside our flat I made the mistake of putting it on the road. It accelerated downhill until it lodged against a tyre of the next car down. Plenty of hills like this.

So, with the Felt 8 years old and needing replacement chainrings, cassette and chain, I switched to a 12-32 and my original Shimano 105 copes fine. I can vouch that the extra 4 teeth do make a difference; I can now cycle up to my gate and climb pretty well all the local hills.

Losing weight, getting fitter and putting up with pain? If your cycling is more endurance than enjoyment, you'll probably give up long before your free bus pass and pension. After 50 years on more bikes than I care to count, I'm routinely getting up at 5a.m. this summer to enjoy riding before the temperature hits 30C. We also have a self-built timber house on a steep mountain road in the countryside. For this I ride my Giant XTC with 30 gears. You'll read comments about modern bikes having "too many gears". Well, I wouldn't like fewer: they all get used within the first 10 minutes of steeply undulating mountain roads.

Finally, when you get to the wrong side of 60, your legs don't rev like they used to. You become more diesel, less petrol, you have the torque but the legs can't be persuaded to fly round. More gears over a wide range mean that the legs can keep a steady rhythm and frequent gear shifting takes care of the road speed.

Enjoy riding and you'll cycle more and drive less. That'll go a long way towards fitness and weight control. When retirement gives you more time for cycling, you'll be keeping up with the speed merchants half your age and it won't hurt. Honest!

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enrique [2349 posts] 2 years ago
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seoul wrote:

My wife and I retired to Korea...

Damn fine post...

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DaveE128 [669 posts] 2 years ago
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Why some people think it's not the done thing to cycle at an efficient cadence up long steep hills, I cannot understand.

Personally I say put on whatever gears you need to maintain a comfortable cadence up the steepest hill you have to deal with.

If you believe riding fast up steep hills is essential to avoid falling over, I think that's a different problem and it might be wise to work on your bike handling. With practice it is perfectly possible to ride an 26" mtb or tourer with a 22x32 gear up very steep hills at an efficient cadence without wobbling that much.

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