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On a different mission...
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My friend just gave this to me(Dura Ace 9-speed 11-21). Is this cassette too "advanced" for a new road biker? It sure is much lighter than my PG-950 12-26!
 

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road bike resurrector
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I have a 23-11 DA 9-speed.

Until it pedals the bike for you, parts will never be more advanced than the people riding on them.
 

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Le Misérable
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Zachariah said:
My friend just gave this to me(Dura Ace 9-speed 11-21). Is this cassette too "advanced" for a new road biker? It sure is much lighter than my PG-950 12-26!
Well, that depends on how and where you ride:). Not to mention on what sort of setup you have up front (triple, standard double, compact double or some weird hybrid).

But hey, unless you're running a standard double and do a lot of climbing--21/39 might be a little rough on an 8% grade--why not throw it on and give it a shot? 21/34 is climbable if you run a compact, and if you've got a properly-functioning triple it really shouldn't matter at all...and in any case, you can always take it off and reinstall the old cassette if it turns out you need more teeth.
 

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Klein Pilot
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I used to ride a 11-23 with a standard crank and noticed my knees were always aching so I went to a compact crank and a 12-26 and its the best thing I ever did to my bike. I used to be a masher and now I'm a spinner and feel much more efficient. Most of my riding is in the mountains so if I was riding more flats/rollers I might go back. I would try & experiment to see what works best for you.
 

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To save 150g is useless if you can't go uphill with a 39x21, but make calculations:

Take note of the speed you easily reach in plain terrain. Then look the gearing you have used. Ideally the chain sould be in the big chainring and the 3th or 4th smaller sproket (ie: 12, 13, 14 AND 15) Check too the speed you reach in a steep ramp with the 26 and 23 sprockets.

Make a table of gearing versus speed here:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

Then choose from the table the gearing that makes your chain be more straight most of the time and let you climb as slowly as you need. Think too the speed you usually reach downhill, and that you may sometimes want to pedal downhill too.

If you decide to change your chainrings for smaller ones, think that the front derailleur must be able to go down and be 5 mm from the smaller circumference or the big chainring in order to work well (ask at your LBS)
It has happened to me that the original chainring (Shimano) changed slightly faster than the new one.
 

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Wow, that's a complex table. I agree with Andrea138--try it out, and if you don't like it or it doesn't work for you, switch back.
 

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If you ride in a flat area, you should be fine. If you have hills, you likely will hate it. There is nothing wrong with putting it on and trying it.
 
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