General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Cassette Rss Feed  
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2017-01-17 12:58 PM


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Subject: Cassette
I have discovered the used bike I bought has a 9-speed cassette and the derailleur and shifter are 8-speed. So I am going to pick up an 8-speed cassette. I know I could upgrade the derailleur and shifter, but I do not want to go down that road right now. Besides, it seems like a cassette is under $50; so this feels like a pretty cheap and quick fix.

Before buying, what do I need to know? Can I pick up any old cassette? Are certain cassettes compatible with only certain types of derailleurs or wheels? What gearing should I get? I have absolutely no idea what the gearing is right now, but I can go count if needed.

This is on a tri bike, and I'm racing Raleigh 70.3 and an international distance this spring, if that matters. I think the terrain I ride is pretty standard. It is not really hilly, but it is also not flat.

Thanks in advance for the thoughts.

Matt


2017-01-18 7:16 AM
in reply to: mstimpson

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Subject: RE: Cassette
A couple of things, first, 8 speed has been obsolete for quite some time so it will get a bit more challenging to find a cassette. In terms of compatibility, you need to have a cassette that is the same brand as your derailleur (so if it's a Shimano, get a Shimano cassette) (ps. there's other brands that may fit, but to keep it simple, just stick with the same brand...). The rear derailleur has a maximum gear ratio it can handle, but to keep it simple, as long as the largest cog in the cassette is no more than a 25 (it can be larger for 10 and 11 speed, but we're talking 8 speed for this...), you'll be fine.

The gearing is very personal and depends on quite a few different things... first, a stronger rider can ride a closer ratio cassette with smaller top gear and bottom gear; second, the chain rings will influence the choice, in your case, I bet you have a 53-39 or a 52-39 (two most common 8 speed since that was really before the advent of compacts which tend to be 50-34); third, your cadence, some riders ride at a higher cadence and some at a lower cadence (try to stay in the range of 85-95); fourth, terrain, if you live or race in hilly terrain, then you need a cassette with a wider gear ratio (basically difference between the largest cog and smallest cog) whereas if you live or race in flat terrain you would like to have as narrow gear ratio as possible (which gives you smallest difference from one gear to next, allowing you to find a comfortable cadence easier)
2017-01-18 9:34 AM
in reply to: audiojan

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Subject: RE: Cassette
I had a friend who recently had his 9 speed worked on (cassette and derailleur replacement). It took the bike shop a MONTH to find the parts. So if you're looking at owning this long term and having to get maintenance on it, I'd get a bike with more modern parts.
2017-01-18 10:42 AM
in reply to: mstimpson

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Subject: RE: Cassette
Sounds like what you have is oddly cobbled together. I'm gonna assume you have Shimano/SRAM. If you have Campagnolo, you can skip this reply completely because I don't know jack about Campy compatibility or upgrades.

1st, I'd ask if you're sure you have an 8 speed derailleur. If it's actually a 9 speed, you're only a $35 bar end shifter away from having use of all 9 gears on your current cog. Even if it really is an 8 speed, you're only another $18 for a 9 speed rear derailleur and $12 for a 9 speed chain away.

https://www.excelcycle.com/products/sunrace-shifter-sunrace-hb-baren...
https://www.randombikeparts.com/products/shimano-sora-rd-3500-2-x-9-...
http://www.artscyclery.com/descpage-99482.html?gclid=CM6YhpGIzNECFQ...



If you're certain you don't want to upgrade your shifter and/or derailleur, 8 speed stuff is still plentifully available. Shimano still offers the 8-speed Claris road group, and many entry level road bikes are still being built with it. There are tons of cassette options out there for between $15 and $30. It's difficult to make any kind of specific recommendation without knowing what size front rings you have and how strong a cyclist you are. That said, Raleigh looks like a pretty damn flat course so I'd imagine you're going to want something pretty tight ratio; probably in the 12-23, 12-25, or 13-26 range.
2017-01-18 10:59 AM
in reply to: mountain_erin

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Subject: RE: Cassette
Originally posted by mountain_erin

I had a friend who recently had his 9 speed worked on (cassette and derailleur replacement). It took the bike shop a MONTH to find the parts. So if you're looking at owning this long term and having to get maintenance on it, I'd get a bike with more modern parts.


If you're trying to match old-school high end 9 speed stuff (i.e. late 90's Dura Ace/Ultegra) with like-quality components, parts can be difficult to come by. But Shimano has been building 9 speed road cassettes and derailleurs continuously for 20 years. Within the last year they introduced an upgraded 9-speed Sora groupo. I see no reason to think 9 speed parts in general are in any way close to extinction.
2017-01-18 8:37 PM
in reply to: gary p

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Subject: RE: Cassette
I agree with above, you should go to 9 speed rather than 8. Going backwards is rarely a good choice.


2017-01-19 7:31 AM
in reply to: Oysterboy


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Subject: RE: Cassette
Thanks to everyone for the reply. I am pretty confident that the derailleur is 8-speed, but I'll do some more digging to make sure.

All of the components are Ultegra, and they are on a Softride. While I am speculating, I suspect the components are original to the bike. They show some pretty significant wear and while they work, I do plan to upgrade them in the future, as I plan to keep the bike long term.. However, I am not ready to upgrade right now, so I am really just looking for a low cost solution that will get the bike shifting correctly.

I will see what more I can dig up on the derailleur.

Thanks again,
Matt
2017-01-19 9:00 AM
in reply to: mstimpson

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Subject: RE: Cassette
Is the rear derailleur labeled "Ultegra" or "600"?
2017-01-19 10:41 AM
in reply to: gary p


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Subject: RE: Cassette
I am really glad you asked that question....it is branded Ultegra and on the back side, after I scraped off a bunch of dirt, I see 6500 is stamped. Google seems to indicate that the 6500 was a 9 speed. So maybe it is just the bar end shifter that needs to be changed.

The shifter is Shimano and seems to be indexed for "8" gears. Is there anything else on the bar end shifter I should check? Or does this seem like the issue is the shifter and not the cassette or RD? I will say, changing a shifter is certainly less hassle than a cassette.

Matt
2017-01-19 12:34 PM
in reply to: mstimpson

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Subject: RE: Cassette
Changing the shifter is about 30 min if you know what you're doing. Changing a cassette is 2 min max...

2017-01-19 3:35 PM
in reply to: mstimpson

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Subject: RE: Cassette
Originally posted by mstimpson

I am really glad you asked that question....it is branded Ultegra and on the back side, after I scraped off a bunch of dirt, I see 6500 is stamped. Google seems to indicate that the 6500 was a 9 speed. So maybe it is just the bar end shifter that needs to be changed.

The shifter is Shimano and seems to be indexed for "8" gears. Is there anything else on the bar end shifter I should check? Or does this seem like the issue is the shifter and not the cassette or RD? I will say, changing a shifter is certainly less hassle than a cassette.



Yeah, I asked because you were certain you had Ultegra and the 8 speed Ultegra level stuff of that approximate era was labled "600." I didn't think there'd be a 9 speed cassette with 8 speed derailleur/shifter.

If you're only getting 7 clicks (indicating 8 gears), there's a small possibility that there's a cable- or derailleur-related issue, but it's most likely something inside the shifter.


2017-01-19 7:31 PM
in reply to: audiojan


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Subject: RE: Cassette
If you have the tools for the cassette, which I don't.

Matt
2017-01-19 7:35 PM
in reply to: mstimpson

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Subject: RE: Cassette

Would you be able to run the shifter in friction mode?

2017-01-20 7:34 AM
in reply to: triosaurus


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Subject: RE: Cassette
Originally posted by triosaurus


Would you be able to run the shifter in friction mode?




What does that mean? Would that be like not indexed?

Matt
2017-01-20 9:56 AM
in reply to: mstimpson

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Subject: RE: Cassette

Originally posted by mstimpson If you have the tools for the cassette, which I don't. Matt
The Nashbar chain whip and lockring tools can be picked up for < $20.

2017-01-21 8:43 AM
in reply to: mstimpson

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Subject: RE: Cassette
Originally posted by mstimpson

Originally posted by triosaurus


Would you be able to run the shifter in friction mode?




What does that mean? Would that be like not indexed?

Matt


Yes, exactly, non-indexed. This is means you need to shift by feel (which is a whole lot easier than it first seems).


2017-01-21 8:45 AM
in reply to: mstimpson

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Subject: RE: Cassette
Originally posted by mstimpson

If you have the tools for the cassette, which I don't.

Matt


So you have a housing/cable cutter, but not a cassette tool? If you replace the bar end shifters, you would probably should replace cables and housing at the same time, plus you need to set up the derailleurs. If you want simple and fast, that's NOT the place to start...
2017-01-21 12:19 PM
in reply to: audiojan


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Subject: RE: Cassette
When I am cutting cable I typically use a pair of angle cutters.

Matt
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