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Miche Cassette Experience

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Miche Cassette Experience

Old 06-08-22, 03:46 PM
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aliasfox
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Miche Cassette Experience

As the title says - anybody have any experience with a Miche cassette, relative to standard Shimano or SRAM options?

I'm hopefully getting my new wheels in a few weeks (Light Bicycle 45mm laced to DT240s!), and taking the Vision Team 30s off the bike. In the process, I'll need new brake rotors (6-bolt vs centerlock), and I'll want a new cassette. The old wheels have an HG800 11-34 mounted, and while it shifts perfectly, I've just never gotten along with the gear spacing. Given that I never use the 30 and 34T where I ride, I figured I could get a tighter ratio cassette. I have a SRAM 1170 11-28 on a different bike, and that gives me an 11-17 corncob. It shifts fine, but the slight problem is that I'd like to have slightly lower gearing if needed - currently, I climb short, steep grades in 34x27, and can bail out to 34x30 or even 34x34 if I really need to. I can run 34x28 on the SRAM, but there's nowhere to go from there.

So in my research, I came across Miche, and their Primato and Primato Light cassettes. Their 12-29 option includes a 12-17 corncob, and a slightly easier bottom gear than the SRAM. I almost never use the 11T, so that's fine, and getting a 26-29 as bottom two gears seems good to me.

Has anybody run a Miche, either the Primato or Primato Light, for a while? Pros or cons? The HG800 shifts flawlessly, and the PG1170 does as well, just want a similar level of performance (with a much preferred gear ratio).

Thanks!
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Old 06-08-22, 05:53 PM
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12-29 is probably one of the most popular 11s Campy options. Are you doing 11s? Could always put a campy freehub on your wheel build. I'm currently running a campy 12-32 which might be an option as well, fwiw. Sorry, no experience with miche though.
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Old 06-08-22, 07:54 PM
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I run a Primato Light 11-32 cassette with an eleven-speed Campy Potenza drivetrain. Shifting is identical to a Campy cassette, while the Miche is lighter than all but top end Campy. The Miche cassette is not nickel plated and I doubt it will last as long as a Shimano cassette and certainly not as long as a Campy one (sorry, no experience with SRAM). Anyhow, I’ve got a little over 2000 miles on it with no issues.
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Old 06-09-22, 04:24 AM
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I have not used Miche 11 speed, but have used numerous 9 and 10 speed cassettes. They always shift fine and seem to be durable. The ones I have used all had individually mounted cogs, which makes it easy to customize. If I needed and 11 speed cassette, I would not hesitate to purchase a Miche. I just ordered another 9 and 10 speed Miche cassette to have on hand.
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Old 06-09-22, 09:04 PM
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I have a mixed Miche cassette on my vintage 8 speed Campy Syncro drivetrain. It works very well, no complaints at all.
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Old 06-09-22, 09:42 PM
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Thanks all! Sounds like I shouldn’t be concerned about performance - if it can shift well for Campy, I don’t really see a reason why it wouldn’t shift well for Shimano.

As for nickel plating - is that for the bling factor, or is there a good performance or durability reason to have it? I gotta be honest, the reason I know I’m not using my 34T and 30T cogs is because they’re a lot shinier than the other ones - which means I definitely don’t scrub down my nickel plated cogs as is. Now, if nickel plating makes the cogs harder/more durable or less prone to rust/corrosion, that would be something else…
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Old 06-14-22, 12:28 AM
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I have a Miche 12-29 for all the ratio reasons you mention. No shifting issues.

I bought mine with a Shimano spline to fit my wheels, but it works great with my Athena 11 group.
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Old 06-15-22, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
I have a Miche 12-29 for all the ratio reasons you mention. No shifting issues.

I bought mine with a Shimano spline to fit my wheels, but it works great with my Athena 11 group.
Thanks! Just ordered the Michelin Light Primato 12-29 last night. Coincidentally, Light Bicycle sent me a few shots of my completed wheels this morning, so gratuitous wheel shot here :-)
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Old 09-26-22, 10:02 AM
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So here's a ~350mi update. Love the new wheels. Acceleration seems more eager, but cruising at 18mph just seems easier. Unfortunately, the bike had to be somewhere else for a couple of months, so haven't gotten a chance to directly compare performance with the old wheels much - the one time I did my standard 34mi course on the new wheels, it also happened to be in the low 90s... and still managed to get within a minute of my PR. So high hopes when I get to try that again.

Now onto the cassette (the topic of this thread). I got the Miche Light Primato 12-29. The good news: the gear range is just about perfect - I use the 12-17 range all the time on rail trails and rolling terrain. The 26T is enough for the little bit of climbing on my regular routes, and I still have a 29T to hop to if needed (never needed the 30T on the HG800). But the shift quality definitely leaves something to be desired. Sometimes it hesitates in both directions. Sometimes it clunks into the next gear - in both directions (say, from 15T to 16T). It denies that the 13T even exists when I try to shift from 14T - I have to shift twice, get it to drop down to 12T (which it does fine), then back up to 13T. If I slacken the cable enough to get a 14T to 13T shift, I can no longer reliably shift into easier gears. I initially thought this was an issue with my 3k mi Ultegra chain, which I subsequently swapped for a new SRAM Red chain (the only thing I could get quickly). It helped, but still nowhere near as reliable as my old HG800 or the PG1170 on my Cannondale.

Unfortunately, as much as I love the gear range offered by the Miche, I'll be swapping over to a PG1170 11-28 next week. I want the small gaps between 12-17, but I really would prefer the consistency offered by the Shimano and SRAM options I've used on other bikes.
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Old 09-26-22, 01:16 PM
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I'll be curious to hear if your shifting improves with a new cassette. I've heard mixed reviews on Miche cassettes. I decided to try one a couple months ago anyway. Shimano has made the 16 and 18 all but extinct and I just don't use more than 100 gear inches. A Miche 14-32 11 speed with a 52/36 crankset has been fantastic. It has not had any issues and shifts exactly how you would expect.
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Old 09-26-22, 01:45 PM
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To me, it sounds like a cable issue, not the cassette. I wonder if the OP used the barrel adjuster at the RD, he mentions slackening the cable, but does not mention the adjuster. In addition, I am curious how old the cables and housing are, or if they were replaced, was it correctly done? Are the limit screws set correctly?
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Old 09-26-22, 02:13 PM
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I have been using a Miche 12-29 10 speed cassette on one of my bikes for a couple of years. The shifting is very good, however I must confess that my components are Campgnolo Chorus. The cassette is a bit on the heavy side, but I need the widest range cassette that my derailleurs can handle. Combined with a 50 - 34 crank I can get up hills that were impossible for me before
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Old 09-26-22, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
To me, it sounds like a cable issue, not the cassette. I wonder if the OP used the barrel adjuster at the RD, he mentions slackening the cable, but does not mention the adjuster. In addition, I am curious how old the cables and housing are, or if they were replaced, was it correctly done? Are the limit screws set correctly?
- The limit screws ought to be set correctly. The inside limit is set such that the chain doesn't pop off the big cog into the spokes, and the outside limit is set just enough so that the chain falls onto the 12T - no more, no less.
- I had thought about the cable and housing, but the reason I'm discounting that is that the HG800 shifted perfectly right up until the day I removed the old wheel and cassette, indicating that there shouldn't have been any issue with friction. At changeover, the bike had ~2900mi on it, and she has ~3270mi now.
- The Lynskey has barrel adjusters both at the derailleur, as well as on the head tube (yeah, they stick out like ears). On the stand, I played with the rear barrel adjuster exclusively; while riding, I tweak the head tube adjuster as needed. I didn't break out the Y tool and pliers - again, her cable tension was perfect for the old cassette, I wouldn't expect a new cassette to need something particularly different.

I've worked in two separate shops in high school and college, and built up my Cannondale last summer. That bike shifts perfectly with a Force derailleur, chain, and PG1170 cassette. The ramps on the Miche seem less aggressively profiled than I'm used to seeing on the Shimano and SRAM options, so I wonder if that might be the reason.
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Old 09-26-22, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BradH View Post
I'll be curious to hear if your shifting improves with a new cassette. I've heard mixed reviews on Miche cassettes. I decided to try one a couple months ago anyway. Shimano has made the 16 and 18 all but extinct and I just don't use more than 100 gear inches. A Miche 14-32 11 speed with a 52/36 crankset has been fantastic. It has not had any issues and shifts exactly how you would expect.
Likewise. I would've been happy to spend for an Ultegra cassette (at which point if the bike doesn't shift, it's definitely my fault), as the entire rest of the Lynskey is Ultegra... but Shimano obviously doesn't want my money. Nor do they want a 14T, 16T, or 18T on a cassette for mere mortals.
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Old 09-27-22, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox View Post
So here's a ~350mi update. ... Unfortunately, as much as I love the gear range offered by the Miche, I'll be swapping over to a PG1170 11-28 next week. I want the small gaps between 12-17, but I really would prefer the consistency offered by the Shimano and SRAM options I've used on other bikes.
Originally Posted by aliasfox View Post
... I would've been happy to spend for an Ultegra cassette (at which point if the bike doesn't shift, it's definitely my fault), as the entire rest of the Lynskey is Ultegra... but Shimano obviously doesn't want my money. Nor do they want a 14T, 16T, or 18T on a cassette for mere mortals.
aliasfox Like you, I don't need an 11T cog or a 32T cog. Shimano 11s 12-28 cassette is only available in Dura-Ace. It has recently dropped in price (now < $200), but I am concerned about the durability of the titanium cogs and the CF spider. So I have been making do with an Ultegra 12-25 cassette. Then I discovered this:

Prestacycle UniBlock Cassette | 11-Speed Shimano / SRAM /Campagnolo for HG 11 Freehub - Prestacycle

This cassette follows the Shimano Dura-Ace gearing (12T, 13T, 14T, 15T, 16T, 17T, 19T, 21T, 23T, 25T, 28T) which is my holy grail. (Prestacycle gear ratio listing is incorrrect.) Shifting (with an CN-HG701 Ultegra chain and a 105 RD-5800 medium cage) is just about as smooth (but sounds a little bit raspier) as my Ultegra 12-25 cassette.
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Old 09-27-22, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox View Post
- The limit screws ought to be set correctly. The inside limit is set such that the chain doesn't pop off the big cog into the spokes, and the outside limit is set just enough so that the chain falls onto the 12T - no more, no less.
- I had thought about the cable and housing, but the reason I'm discounting that is that the HG800 shifted perfectly right up until the day I removed the old wheel and cassette, indicating that there shouldn't have been any issue with friction. At changeover, the bike had ~2900mi on it, and she has ~3270mi now.
- The Lynskey has barrel adjusters both at the derailleur, as well as on the head tube (yeah, they stick out like ears). On the stand, I played with the rear barrel adjuster exclusively; while riding, I tweak the head tube adjuster as needed. I didn't break out the Y tool and pliers - again, her cable tension was perfect for the old cassette, I wouldn't expect a new cassette to need something particularly different.

I've worked in two separate shops in high school and college, and built up my Cannondale last summer. That bike shifts perfectly with a Force derailleur, chain, and PG1170 cassette. The ramps on the Miche seem less aggressively profiled than I'm used to seeing on the Shimano and SRAM options, so I wonder if that might be the reason.
The above shifting symptoms may also be explained by a cassette and chain that have worn together, such that the worn chain does not play nice with a new (Miche) cassette. Have you tried a new cassette not made by Miche?
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Old 09-27-22, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
I have been using a Miche 12-29 10 speed cassette on one of my bikes for a couple of years. The shifting is very good, however I must confess that my components are Campgnolo Chorus. The cassette is a bit on the heavy side, but I need the widest range cassette that my derailleurs can handle. Combined with a 50 - 34 crank I can get up hills that were impossible for me before
I've been using Miche 12-29 cassettes with 10 speed Chorus for at least 30,000 miles. That bike doesn't shift perfectly but it may be because it has over 50K miles on the shifter and derailleur. It still shifts better than my Ultegra 10 speed with 35K miles. On that bike I can see the rear derailleur getting sloppy.
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Old 09-27-22, 07:46 AM
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it sounds like the cassette doesn't have a good ramp setup. If the der can be set to over extend it's shift & pull itself back to alignment of the cog, that might get it to follow thru with all the upshifting. Downshifting will be hard to solve.


Prestacycle Uniblock Cassettes has been on my radar to try, but I want what the 11-32T offers but with a 34T at the end.
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Old 09-27-22, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
The above shifting symptoms may also be explained by a cassette and chain that have worn together, such that the worn chain does not play nice with a new (Miche) cassette. Have you tried a new cassette not made by Miche?
I thought that too, so I picked up a new SRAM Red chain right after my first ride on the new wheels and cassette. The new chain helps a bit, but still nowhere near as consistent as it used to be with Shimano/Shimano cassette and chain.

I haven't run with a different (new) cassette yet. I ordered a PG1170 after my last ride, but it hasn't arrived yet. Hopefully it shows up by Friday, as I should be able to skip out of work a little early and get some miles in. I saw the thread on the CNC cassette, which looks really snazzy... but given that I already have good experiences with the PG1170 11-28, and it was only $60, I thought it best to stick with that. I considered a DuraAce 12-28 - the wear issues don't concern me that much (after all, I cruise at 120-160 watts, and really can't hold 350w for more than a handful of minutes - don't the pros that DuraAce is built for hold ~350w for hours on end, with kilowatt sprinting ability? Yeah, not me), but I couldn't find one for much less than ~$250.

All that said - I noticed that Shimano finally puts out an 11-30T with every cog between 11-17... but only for 12 speed (which I don't have), which is only Di2 (which I don't really want). Good for Shimano, always putting out exactly what I don't want to spend money on!
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Old 09-27-22, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox View Post
I ordered a PG1170 after my last ride, but it hasn't arrived yet. Hopefully it shows up by Friday, as I should be able to skip out of work a little early and get some miles in. I saw the thread on the CNC cassette, which looks really snazzy... but given that I already have good experiences with the PG1170 11-28, and it was only $60, I thought it best to stick with that. I considered a DuraAce 12-28 - the wear issues don't concern me that much (after all, I cruise at 120-160 watts, and really can't hold 350w for more than a handful of minutes - don't the pros that DuraAce is built for hold ~350w for hours on end, with kilowatt sprinting ability? Yeah, not me), but I couldn't find one for much less than ~$250.
Good luck. When I ordered my Prestacycle Uniblock 12-28 cassette, I saw that Excel Sports has the Dura-Ace version for $198. Just in case you need it:

Shimano Dura-Ace CS-R9100 11-Speed Cassette Excel Sports | Shop Online From Boulder Colorado
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Old 09-27-22, 10:12 AM
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I have been researching cassettes and gearing since joining BF in late 2020. My very first post here was about building an 11 speed Frankenstein cassette from two Ultegra cassettes: Bike Forums - View Single Post - Custom 12-28 cassette.

Somehow there seems to be a significant difference moving from 10 speed to 11 speed. In the 10 speed universe, no one had issues with Miche cassettes, and people were successfully building Frankenstein cassettes by combining two Shimano cassettes. From what I can gather (from my ultimately unsuccessful quest), the individual cogs in a Miche cassette are designed to be mixed and matched, so they may not have shift ramps that are aligned between adjacent cogs, the arrangement in other cassettes in which the set of cogs are designed to be used as a single unit.
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Old 09-27-22, 01:01 PM
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The PG1170 arrived earlier, and I just installed it between meetings. No need to adjust the limit screws, and almost no hesitancy going up/down the cassette on the stand - where the Miche would only reluctantly get into the 29T, the SRAM easily engages the 28T. I initially thought there was some hesitancy going from 14T to 13T, but it turns out there just wasn't enough chain speed - cranking a little faster cured that. All in all, on the stand, at least, the SRAM PG1170 shifts better than the Miche Light Primato. We'll see how she feels when I get to take her out again.

From a design perspective, it's interesting to note the differences between the cassettes.
- The Miche has 11 individual cogs, the SRAM has the biggest cogs mounted together.
- The Miche has plastic spacers, the SRAM has alloy
- The Miche requires you to compress the plastic spacers with the lockring to get the last cog to fit. The SRAM's smallest cog doesn't sit fully on the freehub body either, but with freehub grooves that don't go all the way through + alloy spacers, I doubt there's any meaningful compression going on when I install the lockring
- The Miche is matte, with an alloy 29T; the SRAM is chromed and presumably the same material throughout.

With alloy freehub bodies being common, I would've thought it would be more common for cassettes to have cogs on a one-piece carrier to distribute the load better? I can definitely see thin individual cogs biting into freehub bodies over time.
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Old 09-27-22, 08:03 PM
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As you can see the Miche cassettes do have shift ramps timed with one another. There is also another set 180 degrees away. Thinking about it more, my good results might be due to not having any shift cable housing other than the loop at the rear derailleur. Just direct cable from the shifter, under the BB and through the loop with grease to the RD.

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Old 09-27-22, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox View Post
With alloy freehub bodies being common, I would've thought it would be more common for cassettes to have cogs on a one-piece carrier to distribute the load better? I can definitely see thin individual cogs biting into freehub bodies over time.
I don't have a power meter, but I must generate even less watts than you do; the splines on my freehubs look pristine.
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Old 09-28-22, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
I don't have a power meter, but I must generate even less watts than you do; the splines on my freehubs look pristine.
Not saying I've seen it yet (only ~350 miles on these hubs, hoping for another ~65mi on Fri...), it just feels reasonable to me to distribute the forces as much as possible.
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