• 05-04-2011
    Casette question? 34t 32t 28t??
    Bear with the noob-ness of this question, but what does the 11-34t or 11-32t or 11-28 t mean? I am looking to buy a new cassette, I know i have to buy a 9 speed , but do I have to replace my Shimano HG30, 9-speed, 11-34t. with an 11-34t alternative?
  • 05-04-2011
    that number denotes the number of teeth on the largest cog on the cassette.
    More teeth means larger cog which in turn means spinnier/easier gearing.

    A 28t will require more effort, while a 34t will require less
  • 05-04-2011
    Besides the difference in gear ratios of the big rings, the 32 and 28 will be lighter and have closer gear ratios between shifts.

    Some people don't ride trails that require the low gearing of a 34. Do you presently use low gear on climbs? Climbing in low gear with a 32 will only be slightly harder. The low (1) ratio of a 28 will be like climbing when between 2 and 3 on your 34.
  • 05-04-2011
    I'd add that the first number of 11-34T is the number of teeth on the smallest (and hardest) cog. The 2nd number is the more relevant for most of us. It's the number of teeth on the largest (easiest) cog.

    More detail than you want to know section:
    The tooth size on all cogs (and rings, for that matter) are all the same - they all have to accommodate the same chain. Therefore, more teeth means the cog (or ring) is larger. The mechanical advantage gained when pedaling is determined by the ratio of the sizes of the front ring and rear cog. Smaller in front gives you greater mechanical advantage. Likewise, larger in back gives you greater mechanical advantage. The smallest ring combined with the largest cog is the easiest gear conbination, and is often called the granny gear (even your granny could pedal it).

    In short, if you want a "lower" low gear, go with the 34T option.
  • 05-04-2011
    If your small chainring (on the crank) is 22t (it probably is) I would opt for an 11-32 or maybe even an 11-30 if you can get an 11-30 in a 9 speed.

    I am running an 11-30 8 speed W/a 22-32-42 chainring & the 22X30 is all the granny gear I need, perhaps a bit more than I really need. 1.36:1 ratio

    When I go 3X9 I want a 26-36-48 chainring. That will allow an 11-34 cassette to give me good, usable 26X34 granny gear. 1.31:1 ratio

    The 48X11 top road gear will fly.