Custom Casette

Gunjira

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Oct 2, 2009
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#1
I'm planning a full overhaul of my bike, including cockpit and drivetrain. For the later, I wanna try out rotor q-rings in the front matched by a custom cassette in the back. I'm currently using standard dura-ace rings with an 11-28 ultegra.

I planning to use custom gears between 12-29 and was looking at Miche, which sells each sprocket individually, so I can fully customize.

Has anybody experience with Miche or alternatives?
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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www.roadfixie.com
#3
I've been playing around with quite a few different cassettes. As I commented to FE when I was mashing through gears on last weekend's ride, ' it looks great, but it's crap'. Shimano has the best shifting cassette for it's gear. Period. Everything else I tried just doesn't shift smooth or many times, at all. Shimano has patents on their gear engineering so other makers just have to make something similar - but not on the money. With the newer ranges available (mainly the Ultegra CX series) , you should be able to find an upper and lower set that meets your requirements (like Pete made). I hacked together a DA lower end with Ultegra top end (to get the 30T) and I love it. If I was half smart - I should have used this last week instead of the Ti Recon 'bling wear'.

Another option is the SRAM cassettes - they cover block units that have good choice of ranges. The only downside is that they don't shift as smooth as Shimano and are more noisy. Also - they aren't <exactly> Shimano spec - so they may not fit on Shimano specific freebodies , whilst a Shimano cassette will almost always fit on a SRAM / Shimano universal freebody.

For now, I'm really sold on the Ultegra cassettes based on their cost / performance value. And if you want to drop a few grams, then just get some DA cogs to slap in.

By the way - Sheldon has a pretty good interchange chart. Doesn't include the latest range - but only a few new options have been added since this was published.

http://sheldonbrown.com/k10.shtml
 

Gunjira

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Oct 2, 2009
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#4
Just remembered that I still have a barely used dura 12-23, I could use for this.

It's just that I would really love to have a:
12-13-14-15-16-17-19-22-25-29

Not having the 16 with my current 11-28 bugs me the most, with lots of unsatisfied shifts between 15 and 17.

Maybe I'll use the bottom of a shimano and just the top gears from a different brand.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#5
Then just buy another cassette with the block you require then.


There is no point in buying the 3 block cluster as this is actually the most expensive part of the cassette - so just buy the whole cassette and build it up how you require.

I build all my own cassettes - Dura Ace and Ultegra, I do not mix the two however.
 

Gunjira

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#8
James, that's what I'll do. Buy an ultegra 12-25 and just the Miche sprockets for the 22-25-29 (which don't exist as blocks from shimano or SRAM)
If things don't work out I can still switch to my existing 21-24-28 shimano block.

Pete, I know what you mean, but 53:15 and 16 are close to what I ride on the track and having a bigger jump to the third-highest gearing is a plus too. That way I have a wider range when using the big ring before chainrub occurs.
 

GSAstuto

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#10
Token is basically a RECON. By the way, you can get them to custom make blocks as well. But none of these will shift as smooth and precise as the Shimano original cogs. They can't. Shimano has the tooth profile patented. Pete's 12-28 setup is really fine - I made one, too. And can't pry it off of Eric's bike. I'd use the 11-30 I made for Haute Route - but it's a bit 'gappy' for a sprinters ride - so why I chose riding my RECON Ti which is a 12-28. Less gappy where you need it in the lower range - but shifting (again) very poor and it's noisy. Plus, like FE mentioned on the ride - you almost need to put a new chain specifically for this unit. It wears in very fast and if you swap chains the result is even worse. So - optimally I use a KMC chain with the RECON. But - I still <even more emphatically> suggest going with a DA or Ultegra unit.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#11
Tim you know me Shimano all the way - I thought I would suggest the Token as another option.

One brand I was happy with in regards to shifting was Stronglite. These are a 3 peice block and THE lightest on the market - but they wear so damn quick :( it makes it a non viable option to those on a budget.
 

GSAstuto

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#13
Totally - I would suggest these UL or vanity brands mainly for very specific use. Like if you had a TT where a few milliseconds might make or break a podium and rapid, smooth, shifting is not a concern.

Tim you know me Shimano all the way - I thought I would suggest the Token as another option.

One brand I was happy with in regards to shifting was Stronglite. These are a 3 peice block and THE lightest on the market - but they wear so damn quick :( it makes it a non viable option to those on a budget.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#14
Yep, it's tough to beat the Ultegra cassette's quality, shifting performance, durability and overall value!
Amen to that!

Although DA is bloody amazing the price kind of makes me bulk at pulling the trigger - However if you are only using it for racing then it does last. Ultegra on the other hand is just an all out performer on every level.
 

Gunjira

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#15
Well seems like everybody loves Ultegra!?

Thanks for all the recommendations.
I'm an ultegra man myself and will see how it works out. Italian brand Miche has a reputation for good cost performance for their track parts and my lbs has them in stock, so will at least give them a try. Three single sprockets shouldn't break the bank.