Cateye Strada wired with cadence
For whatever reason, the Sigma Sport 2606L wireless computer with cadence just wouldn’t work properly on my road bike Trekkie. I like Sigma products generally and their warranty and customer support are exceptional. They worked with me to resolve, swapping parts and such, but no luck, so I looked elsewhere. I’ve had great experience with Cateye – one of their cadence units installed on an older road bike works perfectly after 18 years. I would have moved it, but the display doesn’t show speed and cadence simultaneously, whereas the Strada does.
I went for the wired version. They have a well-regarded wireless unit, but at this point I wanted dependability and simplicity. One of Cateye’s calling cards is that speed is taken off the rear wheel and cadence from the left crank, putting the sensors in one line and avoiding having to wire both wheels, which gives a clean appearance. Installing is straightforward. The manual specifies 3mm (about 1/10 of an inch) distances between the magnets and sensors, but there was no way I could make the gaps that small. The nearest I could get was about 10mm. I routed the wire anyway, configured the head (off the bike) and then mounted it on the handlebar. A few turns of the crank confirmed that the sensors picked up the magnets just fine. For my road riding, I care more about cadence than speed, so I’m happy. Some people have written that the cadence display is small, but I haven’t found that to be an issue. The unit does what it’s supposed to do; it’s one-touch control is a nice feature.
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.
Not for Mountie my commuter bike, but for Trekkie my road bike. The stock cassette – 12-25, 9 speed was too narrow for the local terrain – lots of short, steep climbs, and a lower level of fitness from less time on the road. I swapped out to a 13-30 9 speed Shimano cassette and am now much, much happier. Harris Cyclery builds this custom cassette and they were terrific to deal with. I had the parts shipped to my local store – I bought their recommended chain – and they made the change. I’m training for a 135 mile in late June, just me and a friend doing a ride we wanted to do for years, and this cassette will help. To be honest, I think the biggest benefit is psychological, knowing that I have some gears in reserve relaxes my mind and gives me the confidence that I can get up and over whatever is in front.