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I am now two years into this road cycling "thing".

Minor background:

Completely hooked (and yet another reason to buy gadgets)  1

I aquired a Canyon Endurace CF SL 9.0 bike (2017 model) and it was equipped with the Ultegra groupset (6800)

50/34 chainrings and 11-32 cassette. All is fine. BUT....

after two years and quite some four digit total miles on the bike I find the gear "spacing" (<-- excuse the lag of proper terminology) to be a little akward in the most used gears on flat-ish roads.

I looked at the dealer manuals from Shimano for both the 8600 and newer R8000 groupsets and they seem to be interchangeable.

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Dillemma:

I really would like a 15T cog as I find the 14->16T jump somewhat large. I could "just" get stronger of cause...  1

As of now I have 11-12-13-14-16-18-20-(22)-(25-28-32T) cogs

I very rarely use 11T and 12T (12+13T at downhils, but again. They are mostly untouched

I notice from the shop manualt that there are now a 11-30 cassette from the R8000 series.

 

Could I combine it to the following:

 

12-13-14-15-16-17-(19-21)-(24-27-30)  ---> () incicating the fixed cogs on the spider assembly

 

This would be simply great in a number of ways:

 

12T would still not be uset much but prevent cross chain stress AND I would get my 15T cog.

32T vs 30T is not that concerning for me.

I did type this into an online gearing/rollout sharting calculator and t looks OK.

CONCERN:

 

Will it shift properly. I can see from the shop manuals that the same cogs are not available from each cassette. They are market A B and C in the manual and am I right in assuming this is due to the machining of the cog to assist in shifting. ?

 

Please advice (and sorry for the lengthy post)

 

Regards

Allan

Denmark

 

16 comments

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StraelGuy [1586 posts] 3 months ago
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You could mix and match the first few ratios because the cogs are seperate but the last few are riveted together. It was much easier back in the day when they wer e held together with teeny hex-headed bolts. You should be fine though, the 15 and 16 tooth zone is well within the seperate cog zone.

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drjohn [56 posts] 3 months ago
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What you suggest would be fine. But here is another suggestion.... don't swap the cassette, just get a 39T inner chainring. It will satisfy 99% of your flat riding needs with nicely spaced 12,13,14T rear cogs. Save the big ring for sprints and descents.

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wycombewheeler [1342 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
drjohn wrote:

What you suggest would be fine. But here is another suggestion.... don't swap the cassette, just get a 39T inner chainring. It will satisfy 99% of your flat riding needs with nicely spaced 12,13,14T rear cogs. Save the big ring for sprints and descents.

And never climb hills again?

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madcarew [858 posts] 3 months ago
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It will shift fine. The sprockets used are the same between clusters. 

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vonhelmet [1329 posts] 3 months ago
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Some places sell totally custom cassettes, where you choose all the sprockets yourself and they send them to you. I know miche do them for Campag, not sure if they do them for shimano/sram as well.

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JimD666 [88 posts] 3 months ago
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vonhelmet wrote:

Some places sell totally custom cassettes, where you choose all the sprockets yourself and they send them to you. I know miche do them for Campag, not sure if they do them for shimano/sram as well.

They do.
https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/collections/cassette/products/miche-11-spee...

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CXR94Di2 [2276 posts] 3 months ago
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I've combined CS6800 11-32 and a 14-28. to make a 14-32 Cass. one step from 14 to 19 in single teeth jumps. if you then change your chainring for a 53/39, swap out the 39t ring for a 34t you will have a fantastic range with small steps

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vonhelmet [1329 posts] 3 months ago
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It seems odd to go for 53/14 as your top gear. That’s lower than 50/12 by quite a long way. At the other end 39/32 is a marginally higher gear than 34/28. Why not stick with a compact and go for a 12-28? You could do 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 25, 28. 50/18 is lower than 53/19, so your single steps still work out.

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srchar [1074 posts] 3 months ago
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Another shout for custom Miche cassettes. I have 13 or 14 Miche sprockets which I combine to give:

13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-23-26 for flat riding

and

14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23-26-29-32 for the mountains

(admittedly, I did whack a Centaur 11-32 on my best bike for my last Euro trip, because I couldn't be arsed to move the Miche sprockets off another bike)

Personally, I wouldn't create a custom cassette from OEM clusters unless you have them in the spares box. I wouldn't change your chainrings either; it doesn't sound like you want more top-end, and 6800 items aren't exactly cheap.

Separate sprockets will also allow you to tune your ratios for very little additional cost, should you discover when riding that you miss that nT sprocket.

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Sasquatch1976 [3 posts] 3 months ago
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Hi all.

Thank you for the replys. I will make a ‘combined response here’  1

 

I would like to keep the compact 50/34 (I guess?)

6800/R8000 cassettes are not that pricy I think. I would rather have a gear range I really like and pay for it. Compared to the total cost of road biking this is not the drop that will make the glass overflow. Dura-Ace... that is a nother story for what you get I think....

 

@vonhelmet ...12-28 cassette. I must have somehow missed this??? I see it in the shop manual..  1 I have both 28 and 32 in my current setup but think perhaps 28 for climbing could be tough, again I do not really remember using 34/32.. perhaps its just mental.

Edit: This is in the quite expensive Dura Ace line...  1 Tripple orice here in Denmark at least. (150 vs. 60 EUR)

@‘everyone’ Good to know I can mix the individual cogs btw. cassettes. But why have them as individual parts (the A,B,C lettering) then. Confuses me and others as well.

@Miche suggestion: I looked into this, but seems to be out of cogs constantly when configuring on their website....

 

Kind Regards

Allan

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Sasquatch1976 [3 posts] 3 months ago
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Hmm just noriced the 12-28 is from the tripple priced Dura-Ace line. 

 

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mikepridmorewood [45 posts] 3 months ago
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How about a CS 5800 105 cassette with 12-25 and use some of the lower ratios to get what you need using the 20-22 & 25-28-32 from your current cassette? not too expensive and should work with your Ultegra bits. You could then have 12-13-14-15-16-18-20-22-25-28-32

http://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-CS0004-04-ENG.pdf 

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drjohn [56 posts] 3 months ago
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wycombewheeler wrote:
drjohn wrote:

What you suggest would be fine. But here is another suggestion.... don't swap the cassette, just get a 39T inner chainring. It will satisfy 99% of your flat riding needs with nicely spaced 12,13,14T rear cogs. Save the big ring for sprints and descents.

And never climb hills again?

<Sigh> Yes, just like in the old days when we made do with a 34/28T low gear and avoided all hills. Not long ago 28T was the biggest cog in a Shimano road cassette, and you got extra low gearing by using a road triple up front to get a cheeky 30/28 ratio and laughed at your mates as you danced up a 16% grade as though it was, erm, 14%.

Please forgive the sarcastic tone, my point is that without resorting to MTB (or touring bike gearing, as it was in the 70s) there will always be a road too steep to climb on a road bike even if you're Chris Froome (just read "The World According to G"). 

Today, an 11-32T cassette gives that range of a triple but without the close ratios, and I find the 14-16-18T jumps in the 90rpm cadence sweet spot are the price you pay for the extra range when you are riding on the big ring. On a 39T, I find 11-12-13-14 covering the same sweet spot. On a 34T I will be spinning out in a fast group ride. I've gone to a 39T front ring for just this reason and I have that same ultegra 11-32 cassette. I've also "done the math".

I give this advice as an enthusiastic and unapologetic cassette customiser. My finest customising moment was mating the lower half of a 9-speed HG cassette and the upper half of an 8-speed HG cassette, to work with 9 speed campag. It worked better than the Campy cassette it replaced!

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Sasquatch1976 [3 posts] 3 months ago
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mikepridmorewood wrote:

How about a CS 5800 105 cassette with 12-25 and use some of the lower ratios to get what you need using the 20-22 & 25-28-32 from your current cassette? not too expensive and should work with your Ultegra bits. You could then have 12-13-14-15-16-18-20-22-25-28-32

http://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-CS0004-04-ENG.pdf 

 

A fair option. 

 

In general to all of you who replied. I appreciate this. Sorry for not having been into cycling for a decade or more having experienced the advancements in group sets. 

Having answeeed my most important question of mixing cogs from cassettes is a win-win for me.

I am fully aware that I can’t have everything from both worlds (climb+speed) and the 11-32T Default Ultegra setup is great for me and the rides/terrain I usually throw myself into. 

The arrival of the 11-30 ( at least I have not seen this before the r8000 release) and/or mixing with my current cassette looks to be the way.

Being able to delete the 11T and start from 12T is great.

I thank you all for the great help.

Regards from Denmark

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srchar [1074 posts] 3 months ago
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Sasquatch1976 wrote:

@Miche suggestion: I looked into this, but seems to be out of cogs constantly when configuring on their website....

Call Malcolm at Cycle Clinic.

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ChrisB200SX [850 posts] 3 months ago
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I haven't got around to combining my 5800 12-25 and 11-28 cassettes to make 12-28 with the missing 16T I need so much. I'm also on compact and I full agree with your approach. Small cost for ultimate convenience. I use a 6800 14-28 cassette on my turbo trainer, it's wonderful!

I'm not a racer but I'm quicker and more powerful than most. I use 11T and 12T a bit but I don't think I would miss them much, i think losing the 13T by using 14-28 on the road might be a step too far though.

I think the A/B/C cogs differ in where the shift ramps are, I haven't compared 16A with 16B yet to confirm. I think it would just mean a less perfect shift when you quickly skip across a few gears that go across A/B/C.