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11-30 vs 11-34 cassette

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11-30 vs 11-34 cassette

Old 07-15-20, 10:01 PM
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Joearch
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11-30 vs 11-34 cassette

I ordered a a Bianchi Infinito CV Ultegra Disc and it comes with 11-30 cassette. My current bike is a 11-34. I have mostly been doing relatively flat rides and am in the 11-17 range. I was thinking The Infinito might get me into climbing some. Not sure and wonder what to do. LBS who is a Bianchi dealer said they can do the switch to 11-34 which is changing cassette, chain and rear derailleur for $199. Apparently a fair number of folks make that switch. I am 64, getting back into riding the last 4 months doing 20-35 mile rides 4-5 days a week. Suggestions?

thx

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Old 07-15-20, 10:54 PM
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1) Presumably you're already on a compact crank or smaller? Have you thought of switching to a 46-30, which would give you the same 1/1 low gear as a 50-34/11-34?
2) Are there any climbs around you where you need a 34? If you're in the 11-17 range most of the time, it doesn't sound like you need anything bigger than a 30.
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Old 07-15-20, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
1) Presumably you're already on a compact crank or smaller? Have you thought of switching to a 46-30, which would give you the same 1/1 low gear as a 50-34/11-34?
2) Are there any climbs around you where you need a 34? If you're in the 11-17 range most of the time, it doesn't sound like you need anything bigger than a 30.
Bike comes with a 50-34 crank. I live in Los Angeles so there are a lot of hill/mountain opportunities. In the time I have started up riding again I have not done much climbing. Was wondering if this bike would get me into rides that have more climbing. Was one of the reasons for getting disc's. Honestly so for even mild climbs have been tough for me. So maybe have a wider range in the small gears is more functional for me. I can start that way and change later if I get stronger and start doing some climbing.
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Old 07-16-20, 12:23 AM
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What's the cost to change later, if you so decide? Probably not much more.

Nobody can tell you if 34-30 is sufficient for you. Your power to weight ratio, the grades you want to climb, and your riding style all factor in.

With that said, I'd go with the bike as it comes and make a change if there's a problem. At that time, you can consider the different options for lowering gearing.
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Old 07-16-20, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Joearch View Post
Bike comes with a 50-34 crank. I live in Los Angeles so there are a lot of hill/mountain opportunities. In the time I have started up riding again I have not done much climbing. Was wondering if this bike would get me into rides that have more climbing. Was one of the reasons for getting disc's. Honestly so for even mild climbs have been tough for me. So maybe have a wider range in the small gears is more functional for me. I can start that way and change later if I get stronger and start doing some climbing.
If it were me, I’d immediately go 11-34 and not even think twice.
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Old 07-16-20, 05:14 AM
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I'll agree with Downtube42. No one else can tell you what works for you. I'm 74 and ride with a compact and 11-28. So what? That has nothing to do with you. If you haven't been climbing, you don't have climbing fitness. And, I'm guessing, you don't have climbing technique. I'd buy whatever bike works for you as is. Then I'd start climbing. After awhile you will know if you need different gears. My guess is as you get more fit, your gearing needs may change again. Go with the bike that "speaks" to you and make changes as needed.
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Old 07-16-20, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I'll agree with Downtube42. No one else can tell you what works for you. I'm 74 and ride with a compact and 11-28. So what? That has nothing to do with you. If you haven't been climbing, you don't have climbing fitness. And, I'm guessing, you don't have climbing technique. I'd buy whatever bike works for you as is. Then I'd start climbing. After awhile you will know if you need different gears. My guess is as you get more fit, your gearing needs may change again. Go with the bike that "speaks" to you and make changes as needed.
Bruce stole my thunder. I own a Bianchi Infinito CV with the 11-30 cassette. There are times I would really like the 34. I would get what you think will be the best out of the box, you can always change down the road. BTW, I've ridden mine about 3,000 miles since last fall and I am 68 years old. It's a great bike!
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Old 07-16-20, 05:54 AM
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Just to ask.. but isn't there also an 11-32 and would this require the RD change?
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Old 07-16-20, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Joearch View Post
I ordered a a Bianchi Infinito CV Ultegra Disc and it comes with 11-30 cassette. My current bike is a 11-34. I have mostly been doing relatively flat rides and am in the 11-17 range. I was thinking The Infinito might get me into climbing some. Not sure and wonder what to do. LBS who is a Bianchi dealer said they can do the switch to 11-34 which is changing cassette, chain and rear derailer for $199. Apparently a foar numner of folks make that switch. I am 64, getting back into riding the last 4 months doing 20-35 mile rides 4-5 days a week. Suggestions?

thx
I'd go with an ''easier'' gearing combination if I were you, especially if you climb a lot. 34/50 & 11-30 is a good combination, but it will make you sweat (and swear)!
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Old 07-16-20, 06:40 AM
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I'm with Matt, go straight for the 11-34. I do a lot of climbing here, and I'm very fit, and still want 1-1 on the road, better than that on gravel.
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Old 07-16-20, 07:00 AM
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Great input. I am not sure which way to go. Not doing much climbing yet but 34 might get me there sooner. Need to ask the LBS that would do the work if the swap of the cassette, chain and RD would all be the same OEM parts as I would want to keep it stock other than gear sizes.
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Old 07-16-20, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Joearch View Post
Great input. I am not sure which way to go. Not doing much climbing yet but 34 might get me there sooner. Need to ask the LBS that would do the work if the swap of the cassette, chain and RD would all be the same OEM parts as I would want to keep it stock other than gear sizes.
You have the 34 now, on your current bike. I would say take it up some hills this weekend. Work out a manageable 1-2 hour loop within, say, 20-30 miles of home with about 1,500-2,000ft of climbing, and see how you do. If you need the 34 on your current bike, you'll probably need it on the Infinito. If you don't need it now, you definitely won't after. No need to take it up the hardest climb, just something that you find a little bit intimidating.
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Old 07-16-20, 08:38 AM
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Unless you are 150 lbs and already a solid climber, in the SoCal area, it is always a benefit to have a 34:34 possibility when you hit extended grades of 8+% for several miles. $200 is a bargain to make the switch.
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Old 07-16-20, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Joearch View Post
I ordered a a Bianchi Infinito CV Ultegra Disc and it comes with 11-30 cassette. My current bike is a 11-34. I have mostly been doing relatively flat rides and am in the 11-17 range. I was thinking The Infinito might get me into climbing some. Not sure and wonder what to do. LBS who is a Bianchi dealer said they can do the switch to 11-34 which is changing cassette, chain and rear derailer for $199. Apparently a foar numner of folks make that switch. I am 64, getting back into riding the last 4 months doing 20-35 mile rides 4-5 days a week. Suggestions?

thx
Try it out. If you dont like it, spend the $200. No one can tell what gears suit you, but you.
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Old 07-16-20, 09:06 AM
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I stopped paying attention to new bike tech and what other people were riding about 12 years ago, after a 2-year binge in which I bought one new bike, build another, and rebuilt a third. I kept riding, some years more, some years less. So, reading this thread, where everyone's talking about running a 34 x 34 as a necessity is a revelation!

I feel like Rip Van Winkle, falling asleep in a world where my 12-27 cassette and 25mm tires were a source of shame, an admission that I was out of shape. And everyone pumped their tires up to the max on the sidewall.

Now, 25s are considered skinny, and everyone's running MUCH lower pressures, and an 11-30 cassette is now not only acceptable, it's considered not enough! I'm LOVING this new world! I just bought a new Canyon Endurace with a 52/36 and 11-34 in back, with disc brakes, running 28s and it's FANTASTIC! No more grinding up hills at 50-60 rpm!
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Old 07-16-20, 09:19 AM
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It depends on how steep are the climbs that you plan to be doing. I am 62 and live in a pretty hilly area with some big 12% to 15% climbs, but certainly not all are like this. I use a compact 50/34 crank and an 11/29. Just put on an 11/32 and it is just right for me. Most of the time I only use the 29 in rear but the 32 is there for a bail out gear or to keep my crank speed up. One suggestion is to get yourself back into cycling shape for the next 3 months with the 11/30 and as you develop some power for hills, see how the 30 does. If it is really not enough, change cassettes and chains. Most rear detailures that will work with a 30 will also work with a 34, medium cage. Likely you are going with Shimano and their rear mechs are not that expensive if you must change.
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Old 07-16-20, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ultrarider7 View Post
Bruce stole my thunder. I own a Bianchi Infinito CV with the 11-30 cassette. There are times I would really like the 34. I would get what you think will be the best out of the box, you can always change down the road. BTW, I've ridden mine about 3,000 miles since last fall and I am 68 years old. It's a great bike!
Bike looks great...beautiful location. Mine is on a UPS truck on its way to the LBS. I may just wait and see hoe the 11-30 feels. Thx
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Old 07-16-20, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
You have the 34 now, on your current bike. I would say take it up some hills this weekend. Work out a manageable 1-2 hour loop within, say, 20-30 miles of home with about 1,500-2,000ft of climbing, and see how you do. If you need the 34 on your current bike, you'll probably need it on the Infinito. If you don't need it now, you definitely won't after. No need to take it up the hardest climb, just something that you find a little bit intimidating.
Thx for the suggestion. I will try to find a location with some moderate climbing and see how that feels.
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Old 07-16-20, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Joearch View Post
Thx for the suggestion. I will try to find a location with some moderate climbing and see how that feels.
Yeah, that's a good idea!

Where I live, I can choose rides that are mostly flat, or flattish with AT MOST short 5 minute climbs, or I can choose ones with a few 10-15 minute climbs, or I can go for some climbs that take at least half an hour. Right now, I'm doing the middle option, and feeling stronger with each passing week, so I think it's the time of year to start throwing in the longer climbs. I know if I try to go from the flat rides to the big climbs without doing the medium climbs first, I suffer!!!
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Old 07-16-20, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Fox Farm View Post
It depends on how steep are the climbs that you plan to be doing. I am 62 and live in a pretty hilly area with some big 12% to 15% climbs, but certainly not all are like this. I use a compact 50/34 crank and an 11/29. Just put on an 11/32 and it is just right for me. Most of the time I only use the 29 in rear but the 32 is there for a bail out gear or to keep my crank speed up. One suggestion is to get yourself back into cycling shape for the next 3 months with the 11/30 and as you develop some power for hills, see how the 30 does. If it is really not enough, change cassettes and chains. Most rear detailures that will work with a 30 will also work with a 34, medium cage. Likely you are going with Shimano and their rear mechs are not that expensive if you must change.
Sage advice. BTW Prague is one of my favorite places in the world.
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Old 07-16-20, 11:20 AM
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Definitely go 11-34 or higher. There are some hills here where 32 front 36 rear is barely enough.
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Old 07-16-20, 01:09 PM
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Go 11-34 no question. What would be the downside?
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Old 07-16-20, 01:11 PM
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I think if a 11-34 is going to encourage you to bike up steeper grades, then what's $200 on a very nice new bike? That upgrade price seems pretty fair and you could probably sell those parts if you wanted to offset some of the costs.

For a long time I used to stay in the lower range of the cassette as well, grinding it out with a 52 up front and 15 or so in the back. I'm a pretty new to cycling as a sport, but the more I do it, I find that I appreciate the larger cogs as I'm spinning more and more. I personally run on the 10-30 my bike shipped with and there are more than a few occasions when I wish I had a slightly broader range like a 32 or 34.
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Old 07-16-20, 01:19 PM
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I also have the Infinito with Chorus 11 speed. I changed myself cassette, RD and chain for 11-32 to better climb hills where I live. No regrets and 11-34 would be even better if it were available.
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Old 07-16-20, 01:26 PM
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Back when I did group rides, having the 34t was like a having a superpower when passing other riders just as fit as me on those grades over 10%.
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