9 Speed Cassette Replacement- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    9 Speed Cassette Replacement

    I have a trek 4500, and needed to replace the current 11-34 cassette due to wear. While researching replacement cassettes, i found the the stock SRAM PG -950 comes in very gear ratios. I decided that i would replace my stock cassette with a 11-26 under the theory that I don't use the biggest gear very often, and that the 11-26 gives me a small er incremental gear ratio across the 9 speeds, which i would think would be better for the riding I do. Does my logic make sense?

  2. #2
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    If a 26 works for you then sure, why not. You will likely need to shorten your chain.

  3. #3
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    Shimano has road cassettes with that gearing ,if you ever go off road where there are hills you will miss the lower gears.

  4. #4
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    Geez, I run 11-28 on my road bike (with bigger gears up front of course). If you have the legs for steep climbs, or don't have any climbs go for it. Personally I couldn't live without my granny gear, which I think is like a 0.6 ratio
    *Not a real mountain biker

  5. #5
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    okay. that's why is asked. This may have been a mistake. Is shortening the chain a necessity?

    thanks

  6. #6
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    Just curious about the chain shortening and why that would be important. I am going to order the SRAM PG 970 11-34 which makes more sense for my riding, which is replacing the stock cassette. Still learning here...

  7. #7
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    well, you won't need to shorten the chain. If my logic is correct, when you use the 26T and one of the front chain rings, it would be the same as it was now when you used your old 11-34 cassette, but in one of the smaller sprockets. If you want to be absolutely sure and by the book, take the chain off, and pull it around the 26T and the big sprocket in the front (bypassing the rear derailleur), and add 2 half links to that length. break, and reconnect. That is the right length for your setup. When the chain is too long, the RD isn't able to pick up the slack, keep up the tension, and the chain ***** slaps all around, or it simply falls off

  8. #8
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    If you're replacing the cassette because it's worn, have you checked the chain and front chainrings as well? They tend to wear faster than the cassette in my experience.

  9. #9
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    Thanks! I replaced the front chain rings (the middle and outer) at 3000 miles. Now I am at 5300 and I replaced the chain and the cassette. Makes sense to check the chain rings again. Question about the cassette. I cleaned up the old one pretty good so I could see clearly what worn teeth look like. Now I understand the hook description for worn teeth. I also notice that the cassette is held together by 3 pretty small allen bolts, and the gears are loose (they move a little in relation to each other). I assume this is not good and I wonder is this something I should be checking this when I do some PM on the bike. Seems odd that they move at all.

  10. #10
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    the cassette rings are held in place by the freehub, it is normal for the rings to wobble or come apart when off the hub unless its a higher end cassette with a single spindle thing like this


  11. #11
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    So I ordered a replacement 11-34 cassette, but went riding with my current setup. It felt good. I was able to climb using the smallest chain ring and staying in the three biggest cogs. When I had my other cassette I rarely used the smallest chain ring so this is a change in the way I used my gears, but it seemed to work well. I live on Long Island, NY, and there are no real steep climbs so I think this may work. Looking at the gear ratios, it seems that I still get the gear ratios i frequently use with old cassette, but with a better chain alignment, whether that really makes a difference I'm not sure.

  12. #12
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    I rode Long Island a couple times when I lived in New York. I could see 11-26 being fine there. If it works and you like it, there you go. Do you notice the tighter gear ratios?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
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    Yes. I went to Stillwell Woods which has a combination of technical single track, challenging hills (for LI) and sand and I did pretty good with this gear combination.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Druman View Post
    So I ordered a replacement 11-34 cassette, but went riding with my current setup. It felt good. I was able to climb using the smallest chain ring and staying in the three biggest cogs. When I had my other cassette I rarely used the smallest chain ring so this is a change in the way I used my gears, but it seemed to work well. I live on Long Island, NY, and there are no real steep climbs so I think this may work. Looking at the gear ratios, it seems that I still get the gear ratios i frequently use with old cassette, but with a better chain alignment, whether that really makes a difference I'm not sure.
    Okay, I am confused.
    You ordered a 11-34 and rode with your old cassette which is also 11-34. So you changed your mind about what to buy? And you are assessing the different feel of the bike even though you haven't changed anything yet? Nor will you change anything.

    Small chain rings give you lower gears that make climbing easier. Big cassette cogs also give you lower years that make climbing easier. You state that you were in a small ring and big cog and climbing was easy -- I am not surprised.

    Maybe the time change has just confused me and I am misinterpreting something but your post I am quoting makes no sense to me. Your original post does. Yes, switch to a 11-26 if you like to stick to a particular cadence. While you are at it get a new chain and shorten it by 8 links for the new setup. Shortening the chain is not mandatory as your derailleur evidently has enough capacity for the old cassette but running the shortest possible chain is usually desirable.

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