Bike and Cycling Forum > Bike Forums > Road Bikes > What is the advantage of 1 speed cassette over 10/9/8/7/6 speed, or the old 5 speed?


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Old 01-19-2010, 06:35 PM   #1
OldPilot
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What is the advantage of 1 speed cassette over 10/9/8/7/6 speed, or the old 5 speed?

I don't understand the advantage of having an 11 speed (gear) rear cassette over say 10/9/8/7/6 or 5 speed cassette? Is this the same marketing gimmick as the 4 or 5 bladed razor? You don't get a closer shave from a 4 or 5 bladed razor than a 3 bladed razor, if you think so I would submit that it is the placebo effect. I understand that you need to stay in a range of your optimum cadence, but track bike racers manage with varying their cadence? You would think that spreading the seat stays further apart would make the bike less stiff, am I wrong in my thinking?



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Old 01-19-2010, 06:42 PM   #2
IanHighfield
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Marketing. There really is no reason for 11. They can now make it fit and so they do.

I race trials and make very few gear changes. Road racers use about 3-4 gears unless riding in the mountains and then they use a smaller sprocket up front. They don't need 11 choice in the rear either. But the moneyed recreational rider does not know this or understand this. They want the latest useless option. It's all about marketing after about a 6-7 speed cassette.



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Old 01-19-2010, 06:55 PM   #3
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I don't have the experience nor talent to discern the differences between the 7 speed cassette on the road bike & 8 speed cassette on the mountain bike. You would think that the people obsessed with weight wouldn't buy into the marketing of 11 speed vs 10/9/8/7 speed cassette. That is why I thought maybe there is some advantage to more gears in the cassette.

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Old 01-19-2010, 07:18 PM   #4
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OldPilot, don't get me going on fat people buying the lightest bike part when all they have to do is lay off the pizza for one week and lose more body fat weight than all the money in the world can pare off their bikes. All one has to do is look at a gear inch chart and have a tiny bit of riding experience to know that minute gear inch changes are a waste of time and shifting. The fewer gear changes a rider makes the fewer chances of throwing a chain or buggering a derailler, especially the front changer.

Pros are made to ride this equipment because part of their "deal" with the maker is they actually use his new idea. I am a professional rider and can tell you that much of what is presented to us is heavily modified or ignored altogether. I can assure you no decent road racer is whipping through 10 or 11 gears. None. They have their favorite flat piece gear (54x14) and then make 2 or 3 lower shifts for head winds or inclines that go on for more than 400 meters or so. Mountains do require climbing rings but not 11 speed hubs.

The second best 10 mile time trial I ever ran was with a fixed gear bike of 55x14. Ran 18:33 on a rolling course on a lifting day before a thunderstorm. That's one gear and I never stood up.

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Old 01-19-2010, 07:30 PM   #5
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An eight speed titanium cassette is all I'll ever need. Besides my single speeds.

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Old 01-19-2010, 07:32 PM   #6
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The chains on the 11 & 10 speed bikes are much thinner than the old chains, do Pro riders like yourself break many chains. To be able to spin a 55x14 you must be really stressing the chain?

I only use maybe 2 gears on flat ground & 4 gears (shifting between crank rings) on hilly roads. I never really road in the mountains so no point of reference. I guess except the mountain bike, but I am using 3/4 gears but all 3 crank rings.

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Old 01-19-2010, 07:36 PM   #7
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Hack, the best part of you is your love of the single-speed. A most underrated bike and best for 90% of all riding when properly geared (70"). More if you ride all the time and have good strength. I like 80" for general banging around. Some lads can ride bigger stuff.

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Old 01-19-2010, 07:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldPilot View Post
The chains on the 11 & 10 speed bikes are much thinner than the old chains, do Pro riders like yourself break many chains. To be able to spin a 55x14 you must be really stressing the chain?

I only use maybe 2 gears on flat ground & 4 gears (shifting between crank rings) on hilly roads. I never really road in the mountains so no point of reference. I guess except the mountain bike, but I am using 3/4 gears but all 3 crank rings.
I'm strictly a time triallist, hill climber in England. I rode on a junior national team as a young teenager and that is the limit of my road racing experience. (4 seasons) At age 17 I decided to specialize at time trialling as it fit my personality better.

As a kid I never broke a chain while racing in packs or training. Modern chains are amazingly strong and we (team) were kept in good, clean equipment. Plus, we were not as strong as adult males.

As a somewhat adult time triallist (21) I've snapped chains on hill climbs several times. Never on a time trial or training run on a flat course. Simple riding on the flat would require a very worn chain or defect to break in my opinion. I change chains fairly often and don't worry about it. Stress on a chain is most apparent on getting up to speed; once you are cruising in your biggest gear there is not that much pressure on the chain and the pressure is constant. Sudden surges are what break chains. Like while climbing or sprinting out of the saddle.

I would not worry, ever, about breaking a chain if you are a recreational rider and pay some attention to mileage and wear.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:28 PM   #9
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So, if there is no real advantage to a "average" cyclist (commuter and/or recreational on terrain that isn't too hilly), then my questions is, is there any benefit to "downgrading?" I currently have a 10 speed... is it possible to slap a cassette on that has fewer gears?

I guess it's a silly question -- unless you're really concerned about weight (which I'm not), but I thought I'd throw it out there...

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Old 02-24-2010, 11:57 AM   #10
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I think there is a place for 9 and 10 gear casettes, Its for us old guys or casual rider that want a comfortable gear to pedal in. some times you just wan't that inbetween gear that is not there on a 7 gear casette. I think the pros have put in time trying different chain rings and casetts untill thay do end up with a 3 or 4 gear setup thay like. Allso thay are in better pedaling shape than a casual rider and can pull a gear that might seam like a big change to me for them it is small change.
My.02
By the way my new bike 10x3. I hope I have a comfortable gear to ride in



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single speed, cassette, one speed, road bike, vintage, fixie, ss

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