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12-25 or 12-23 cassette?(22 posts)

12-25 or 12-23 cassette?Muskrat
Jun 6, 2002 6:55 PM
I am buying my first road bike, a cannondale R2000. It comes with a 12-23 cassette.Should I have the shop switch it to a 12-25? The bike has a 53x39 chainring.I am 42 155 pounds.I am in very good shape from running and blading.I wiil probably use the bike mostly for 2-3 hour training rides but probably some longer rides too.I live in New England.Thank you.
12-23 cassette.weiwentg
Jun 6, 2002 7:10 PM
unless you live in a really hilly area (I'm not from the US, so I don't know if New England is hilly), get the 12-23. you will appreciate the closer spacing.
you're not heavy, and you're in shape. you likely won't need the 25. you will probably miss the 16 if you get the 12-25.
re: 12-25 or 12-23 cassette?mmquest
Jun 6, 2002 7:14 PM
You are going to be limited by the steepest/longest hill that you plan on riding on an even semi-regular basis. Without knowing that and not knowing what kind of cycling shape you are in (trust me, I ran cross-country and track in high school...running and riding are not the same!). Personally, I think a good course of action would be to talk the shop into letting you test ride a bike so that you can take it to your steepest/longest hill and give it a go. They might even let you ride your bike for a day or two and swap out the cassettes after that if you feel you need to.

One word of caution, you definitely don't want to be undergeared. It will KILL your performance on the hills if you need a 25 but only have a 23.

Good luck!
re: 12-25 or 12-23 cassette?R-I-D-E
Jun 6, 2002 9:19 PM
Be safe and go with the 12-25. It's a no-brainer to me, especially if you live in an area with some good climbing.

re: 12-25 or 12-23 cassette?lott
Jun 6, 2002 9:20 PM
I'm pretty much in the same situation as you. I'm 40 and 150. I have the same setup as yourself and I opted for the 12-25. Believe me, having the 25 can really help when you start getting tired or you decide to do longer rides and there happens to be big hills on the route. In fact, I'm considering getting the 12-27 because I'm getting tired of mashing gears up the hills where I live.
re: 12-25 or 12-23 cassette?scruffyduncan
Jun 7, 2002 1:51 AM
go for the 12-25, there'll be hills that are steep and long and you'll be tired. Also do you see yourself getting fitter or less fit over the next 10 years?. If you race you may miss the extra cog, if not you won't.
re: 12-25 or 12-23 cassette?Leisure
Jun 7, 2002 2:37 AM
I got the 12-25 for the versatility to ride where I want without feeling hindered, the fact that my conditioning goes down every winter, and that I didn't consider myself the type that needed a particularly aggressive component setup. Still, there are some days I just want to climb a big ugly hill without killing myself and just drop right into the 25 the entire way up. I don't NEED the 25, but it's very nice to have.
Training and versatility being the priorities, not knowing what type of rider you'll eventually be, and not being too familiar with all the riding in the New England area that's what I'd suggest. If you end up never using the 25 you can always change later, but if you get the 23 and the rides you do tomorrow are pushing you into cadences you don't like it could irritate you.
I have both nowMike P
Jun 7, 2002 3:24 AM
I have been riding with a 12-23 for a couple years now; something to do with that 16. I picked up a 12-25 a couple weeks ago because I figured it may come in handy on those longer hilly rides. Anyway, for most hills here in the SE I was ok with the 12-23, but there were a lot of times I was wishing for a 25.

Get one or the other. If you are just starting out, you might want to start with the 12-25 if you will be riding in an area with big hills. Then, after you have had some time on the bike you can decide if you want to get a 12-23.

I like the 12-23 better, most of the time. But, I use the 12-25 on rides I think I could die on if I was not to have the 25, like the cherohala challenge.

re: 12-25 or 12-23 cassette?tarwheel
Jun 7, 2002 4:02 AM
If you're just starting out, I would go for the 12-25. I see too many cyclists mashing their gears when they should be learning to spin. Having some easier gears will help you do that. After switching from a 12-23 to a 12-25, I liked it so much I later switched to a 12-27.

Another thing to keep in mind is that cassettes are very easy to change. You can buy a second cassette cluster for $35-40 new and have it on hand for different conditions. Believe me, I am not very mechanically inclined or knowledgeable. But after finding out that my bike shop would charge me $130 to install a new Campy 10 cassette, I ordered the cassette on-line, bought a few tools and did it myself. It took me about 30 minutes, mainly because I was going real slow to make sure I didn't mess up anything the first time.
re: 12-25 or 12-23 cassette?Galibier
Jun 7, 2002 4:45 AM
Do you have Campy or Shimano components? If Campy 10, then definitely get the 12-25. If Shimano, then it depends on how much and what type of climbing you will do. The problem with a 12-25 Shimano is that you lose the 16 gear, which happens to be one of my favorites.
re: how about a 13-25?CurtSD
Jun 7, 2002 7:03 AM
keep the 16, and get the 25 too. se FW-67-11 here:
re: 12-25 or 12-23 cassette?vitusdude
Jun 7, 2002 5:02 AM
At your weight, get the 12-25. Your knees will last longer.
12-25 Couldn't imagine riding anywhere w/o hills (nm)B2
Jun 7, 2002 6:18 AM
re: 12-25 or 12-23 cassette?Woof
Jun 7, 2002 6:48 AM
Contrary to a popular belief, I'd say that you would need 12-25 (yes, 25) for racing and 12-23 for general riding, not the other way around. Hills are harder and you save more energy by spinning, and thats where a 25 comes in handy. On your long training rides 23 makes you suffer. To tell you the truth, I rarely use a 23, except in races. WEird...

I never owned a 25 though.

Woof the dog that spins like cccccrazy.
re: 12-25 or 12-23 cassette?No_sprint
Jun 7, 2002 7:40 AM
If you're road racing, or even crit racing, there is absolutely no need for the 25. You'll probably not be in the 23 much at all either. The 11 is what you'll find critical for downhill descents.

There is no one on my team that I know of that uses a 25 in races. That is our trainer.
Your theory doesn't make any sense. nmelviento
Jun 7, 2002 8:44 AM
Terrain dependentDCP
Jun 7, 2002 7:03 AM
I live in an area with flats and rolling hills, but no extended climbs. My bike came with a 12-25. I rode it for about a year and then bought a 12-23. Just don't need the 25 for what I do and the closer gear spacing is better for me. I am 46 and pretty fit. I was not so fit when I bought my bike, so the 25 was a good choice for me then.

Happily neither the tool nor cassettes are too expensive (at least in Shimano) and so you can experiment.
Get another wheel...chrisbaby
Jun 7, 2002 7:07 AM
...for $250 you can get a good rear wheel with alternate gearing. You're about to spend $2k on a bike, what's another 250 to get exactly what you need?
Neither. Get a 14-25.unchained
Jun 7, 2002 7:15 AM
I'm assuming its a Shimano 9 speed.

12-23 means doing without an 18, leaving a gap in your gearing where you might need it. (Bontempi won several stages of the Giro one year with a 13, do you really need a 12?)
12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 19 - 21 - 23

12-25 leaves you without a 16 and 18. Assuming you have the power you can sprint like Cippolini in the 12 or 13, but you will be forever reaching for gears in the mid range. Yuck!
12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 17 - 19 - 21 - 23 - 25

13-23 is a better idea than a 12-23. Unless you are racing you can live without a 12. Look at the close ratios.
13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 21 - 23

If you can live without an 18 and still need a 25 try this:
13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 19 - 21 - 23 - 25

This is the best set of nine speed Shimano ratios for a recreational cyclist. Close ratios and a good range. European pros used to make do with a 14 - can you? If you are worried about your speed going down hill tuck, or rest your legs for the uphills and flats.
14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 21 - 23 - 25
Neither. Get a 14-25.LC
Jun 7, 2002 8:21 AM
I use a 11-25 for racing hilly crits. I use every single cog during the race, but never switch to the small ring up front. I found I would spin out the 12 every time I came down the hill so I took it out and used a 11. I don't use the 25 much, but is nice for the couple of laps that I want to recover.
Racing vs Recreationunchained
Jun 7, 2002 9:17 AM
When you are racing you may be put at a disadvantage by not having similar gearing as your competitors.

A recreational cyclist is often training alone, over long distances. In my experience a good range and the closest possible ratios are more important in this situation.
NE has some actual mountains. Lots of hills. W/O hesitation,bill
Jun 7, 2002 8:03 AM
get at LEAST the 12-25. Without apology.
This is my fourth year of cycling pretty seriously. You're just starting; even if you're fit, it takes awhile to get cycling fit. Even IF you were cycling fit, a 12-25 is no shame, no shame at all.
When I take my bike to CT, where my in-laws live, I have come to look forward to the hills, because there really aren't many where I live in VA. In Virginia, I rarely use the 25, other than hammerfest group rides, but I wouldn't think about CT without the 25.
Oh, and, whoever tells you that you need an 11, I would like to know why. I have one on one wheelset, but I never, ever use it. If you are going that fast where an 11 is at all doable, it's downhill, and you can tuck as fast as you can spin downhill.