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triple vs. mtn cassette(7 posts)

triple vs. mtn cassetteSpiderman
Jun 11, 2001 8:25 PM
I am going across the US later this summer with a buddy of mine and i am a little concerned about the mountains. I know a lot of people get triples which i can't afford to do, so i am thinking of getting a good mountain cassette and derailleur. Anyone have any experience with this? Thanks.
certainly an option, but...C-40
Jun 11, 2001 8:52 PM
you will have big jumps between gears if you switch to something like an 11-32 or 12-34, particularly with anything less than 9 speeds. You'll often find it difficult to find the right gear for the road conditions. Your cadence may be too fast or too slow.

This is the first thing I noticed when I once borrowed a mountain bike for a ride on the road, while on vacation. I was used to closely spaced racing cogs and could never seem to find the right gear on the widely spaced mtb cassette.
Agree with Spiderman BUT:Spoke Wrench
Jun 12, 2001 7:39 AM
Consider this:

People used to ride with this relatively wide gear spacing all the time. Part of the adventure of a trip like you are planning is how you adjust to the situations which come up that you are not ideally prepared for. Actually, I kind of like wider gear spacing when I ride hilly routes. Besides, you don't even have to use the same cassette for the whole ride.

My advice would be to get the triple if you can, but not to let lack of a triple become an excuse for not making the trip. Put together the best bike you think you can afford and get out there and have some fun. It should be an epic experience. I wish I was going along.
Agree with Spiderman BUT:...Alpine Gearing?...
Jun 12, 2001 10:13 AM

Believe you are right. My old sixties 5-speed Sachs-Mailliard Heliocentric(~!) free wheel cassette was a 14X32 and would paste the gear combos on the stem for the Sugino 54X42 front chain rings to get the in-between gearing, etc. Sun Tour non-indexed bar end shifters back then for the mountains. You rode "what you got" back then :) My Bicycle Gearing book is packed away but believe it was written by Harvey manning of the Seattle Mountaineers. Great exercise in Gearing combo's, etc!

It's hard to say what combo's to recommend for mountain gearing as fitness, rider weight, pitch of climbs, tolerance for resulting shifting cadence, rider weight, bike weight, all factor in. I gear for all except the one or two bad pitches here in the back country where our slopes average 110 ft/ mile and no flats, etc., and one or two near 25% short steep grades Have the S52/42/30 and 12/25 8-speed rear, dt indexed shifters, light 19 pound weight bike with me being about 165 lbs. This works for all but two pitches which i have to criss-cross ride up those kinda' like a Nordic Skier does on too steep a slope. Hard to push with plastic LOOK cleats and slippery heeled Sidi's! These gear combos suck on the front end as one can still make up the rears if using old pinned cassettes, etc. Would like to have more front end chain ring options as Mavic once offered. Have much experience making up geared cassettes for mountain MTB, MTB on the road with slicks, and straight road biking. I would "err" on the high side, a 12X28 being the min if you are not sure. A 12X32 will typically get you up any paved road as you can "wander" some. A 12X34 is too much for most any road app.

Bike Trivia:
Sachs-Maillard Freewheel Aris:
"For sport, fitness, and training cyclist"
"All sprockets easily removable"
translates so right on the box.
Still have an 7-speed new in the box 13X24 Sachs-Huret SA with the complete Datasheet Nr 902.1 DFE included which use as a paper weight now-a-days :)

Alpine Gearing?...breckBreck
Jun 12, 2001 10:22 AM
yikes, did not first log in but still took? suffering a 26.4K Baud rate here in the mountains and the "In and Out Burger" routine is very slow :)

re: triple vs. mtn cassetteStickers
Jun 12, 2001 9:55 AM
My new bike had a small racing cassette, eight speed, which I had changed before I left the shop. My small chainring was also switched ( 53/39, 11/28). Later, after riding the hills, and walking some, that,s without a load on me or the bike, I purchased an XTR rear derailler and a pie pan 12/32 cassette. WHAT a difference. LOVED IT! I am now changing to a triple Ultegra with a nine speed XTR rear derailleur and a 12/34 pie pan cassette. Do what YOU need to do. Good luck! Have a GREAT TRIP!
Maybe bothRay Sachs
Jun 12, 2001 12:58 PM
How much stuff are you carrying? If you're doing a self-supported tour and camping out, you're gonna be hauling a load. Most experienced self-supported tourers go for a low gear in the low 20's, which is something like a 24x30 or 24x32. This type of gearing is really only attainable with a triple and a mountain cassette. A lot of touring bikes use mostly mtb components to begin with. I personally don't mind the larger gaps of a mountain cassette and just vary my cadence some.

If you're doing a credit card tour and just carrying a few pounds of gear, either a triple or wider range cassette should work without needing both.