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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Where I live there are some decent hills that I simply can't climb yet (still losing weight and gaining strength). I'm also planning to buy another wheelset, and for that I'll need another cassette. My Trek 2.1 has a 12-27 105 10-speed cassette (50/34 front) so it's geared pretty low already. I do at times use both the highest and lowest gears.

But the steeper hills are beckoning and I'm looking at 11-28 options. Shimano 105 does not have one, but Ultegra and up have 11-28s. Would I need a longer chain for just one more tooth in back? Is there anything about the 11-28 that I should be concerned about?

Thanks,

Dave
 

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That's only a 3% easier gear. (28/27=1.03) The jump from one gear to the next on your cassette will range from 6% (from 16 to 17) to 12% (from 24 to 27). So it's only 1/4 of the jump to your 27 gear. It won't help you enough to notice.

With an 11-28 cassette, you lose the 16 cog. I like having close gears in the 15-20 range, so I can get the exact gear I want when cruising along. You'll only need the 11 on steep downhills, pedaling over 30 mph. (My top gear is a 13, and I can spin it up to 33-34 mph)

I get up really steep hills by standing up, and slowing my cadence way down so I don't get maxed out. I'm balancing the bike and only going about 3 mph on the steepest sections. I'm standing right over the pedals so there's minimal force on my hands, either pulling up or pushing down.
 

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beat me to it. the 15-16-17 are my most used range. hate to lose the 16. and you'd rarely need the 11. stick with 12-27 and keep at it.
 

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dgeesaman said:
Where I live there are some decent hills that I simply can't climb yet (still losing weight and gaining strength). I'm also planning to buy another wheelset, and for that I'll need another cassette. My Trek 2.1 has a 12-27 105 10-speed cassette (50/34 front) so it's geared pretty low already. I do at times use both the highest and lowest gears.

But the steeper hills are beckoning and I'm looking at 11-28 options. Shimano 105 does not have one, but Ultegra and up have 11-28s. Would I need a longer chain for just one more tooth in back? Is there anything about the 11-28 that I should be concerned about?

Thanks,

Dave

That 12/27 you have is a good all around cassette - I changed to that a while back.

How long have you been riding? The reason I ask is that eventually you'll be doing the hills just fine. If you are just starting into cycling, put yourself on a training schedule. There's a good one on the Ride The Rockies (www.ridetherockies.com) web site.

I started riding in December 2004 (new to cycling) and was ready for the 2005 Ride The Rockies in June. The ride that year wasn't pretty, but I got it done. The real noticeable improvement was in the next year. Also, snow ski season 2005/2006 was incredible - it's amazing what a improvement in your aerobic capabilities can do (not to mention the leg strength).

Find some gradual hills and do them over and over but don't overtrain. Something like a freeway overpass to start. Once comfortable there, then start in on some long gradual hills and move yourself to longer and steeper climbs. In my opinion you're going to get more training bang for your buck by starting out on the flats and getting longer and longer distances there - then add in rollling/hilly flat. then hills.

Good luck!

ColoradoVeloDude
Colorado Springs, Colorado
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've been riding a month. So far the steepest continuous grade I've done is about 6% and I've done it by spinning. I think I need to get familiar with slowing down and standing on the pedals to get up steeper sections. There are a few 10% grades around here and I'd like to be able to ride them.

My aerobic capacity is not the issue, I think it's leg strength. My quads burn up easily although even in just one month I've become a lot more durable. It will take time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Related question: am I safe to buy any Ultegra or Dura-Ace 10 speed cassette to use with my 105 drivetrain?

David
 

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Yes you are safe to buy pretty much any Shimano/Sram cassette. However, with the Dura Ace cassette, the 3 biggest gears are made out of titanium for weight savings, but they wear out faster and costs 2x as much as the Ultegra cassette.

Bottom line, just get the Ultegra cassette.
 

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Not sure I agree w/ the other posters (except frdfandc)... if you have a lot of hills that you'll be riding, a 11-28 is awfully nice to have. Yes, you do give up the 16-cog, but if you're really going to be doing a lot of hillclimbing, it's worth it.
That said, keep att it!! You will get stronger at climbing- but you'll get there faster, IMO, with a 11-28. Besides, if you have two wheelsets- one w/ 12-27, one w/ 11-28 -it's nice to have a choice.


(now if you REALLY have a lot of hillclimbing, SRAM now makes a 11-32!! But you will be jumping around a *lot* more than with an 11-28).
 
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