New cassette – riding shows a real improvement.

Harris Cyclery Century Special 13-30, 9 speed

It’s been a couple of weeks now that I’ve been riding Trekkie with the new Harris Cyclery 13-30 9 speed cassette. I bought it with the recommended Sachs chain and had both installed by Smart Cycles, who did the swap overnight. Shifting is crisp and clean across the cassette and up and down the chain rings. I had thought about changing the rings to lower the ratios further but decided to wait and see how widening the cassette from 12-25 to 13-30 would feel. So far, the extra points have made a real difference, allowing me to find climbing gears on which I can keep my cadence up and not struggle or lose form. I haven’t had to use my 30T chain ring yet, which I sometimes dropped down to for some of the short, steep climbs on my routes because I needed something lower than 42/25. Looks like I’ll have plenty of reserve, which was a goal, and don’t have to lower the front rings. While researching cassettes I learned that 11-32 are quite popular on triples and compact doubles. For the type of fitness riding I do – and the terrain I ride – on Trekkie, I didn’t think I would get much use out of the 11T and 12T cogs, so it seemed that starting with a higher cog like 13 would be a better choice for me. If I owned, or was buying, a new bike with a 10 or 11 speed cassette compared to my 9, the 11-32 seems to be a good choice, as it gives a wider range and the option of bigger gears when you want them.