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Hey guys, I'm new to serious bicycling, but rode until I began driving. Still rode a little after that, but nothing to the point to where I'd need the support of a forum. I've got a novices question here: What does an 8 speed cassette which has a 32 to 10 range sprocket set-up accomplish vs. the same 8 speed cassette in, say, a 26 to 10 range or 26 to 12 range? Would one be more useful racing and the other be more useful for regular commuting? I'm thinking about messing around with my bike.
Thanks
 

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Well the 10 is about as small as you can go and combined with a 53 up front would be a rocket!
The 30 will be better for hills but also make all the other gears in the cassette lower for less speed out of each.
So for flats go with the 26 and hills the 30!
I run a 12-25 now and want an 11-28 for hills, my rear dérailleur won't accept a 30!
 

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Eocyclist
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742 Posts
Hey guys, I'm new to serious bicycling, but rode until I began driving. Still rode a little after that, but nothing to the point to where I'd need the support of a forum. I've got a novices question here: What does an 8 speed cassette which has a 32 to 10 range sprocket set-up accomplish vs. the same 8 speed cassette in, say, a 26 to 10 range or 26 to 12 range? Would one be more useful racing and the other be more useful for regular commuting? I'm thinking about messing around with my bike.
Thanks
Play with these calculators a little if you want to compare cassettes and chain ring combinations.

Look at the max speed you can get from largest chain ring/smallest cassette cog at whatever cadence you can maintain.

Look at the gear inches calculated for the smallest chain ring/largest cog to find which will be easiest for hill climbing. Loaded touring cyclists usually have gear sets with 20 gear inches or less.

Look at the % difference in gear ratios from one cog to another to see if the gear ratios are closely and regularly spaced, or if there may be large gaps, or very closely spaced or duplicated gear ratios.

If you don't have all the cassette sizes you can still get good comparisons for max speed and min gear inches with the tooth counts on just the largest and smallest chain rings and the largest and smallest cogs.

Slide the gogs around for good graphics and easy comparisons
http://www.gear-calculator.com

This site gives lots of good tabular info
http://www.jbarrm.com/cycal/cycal.html
 
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