Cassette for climbing

And just so it doesn’t seem like I’m a shimano fanboy, I love SRAM too, same cassette on my 1x race setup


I understand that you can put larger cassettes in, but that’s different from designing cassettes and making derailleurs that officially support larger cassettes. The trend is clear: more and more customers go 1x, other customers want more range on a 2x setup. Either way, that means you need to offer (officially supported) cassettes with larger range. They can continue to offer an 11-34 cassette for the folks who want it, but in addition, I’d have liked to see a 11-36 cassette and official support for 2x with 11-42 cassette. Give customers the choice in what they want to ride :slight_smile:

PS I am not a SRAM fanboi, my 9-year-old mountain bike has a 3x10 XT drive train, XT brakes and XT hubs. I have never serviced the hubs, they are still perfect, ditto for brakes (apart from yearly bleeds and new consumables). I’m in Japan so sticking to Shimano would be much easier in terms of availability. They have modern 1x12 mountain bike drive trains, and I’d have no issues with getting a Shimano drive train for my next mountain bike.

However, their on-road stuff does not suit my needs in terms of gearing and I don’t like their STI levers. If I had to go with a Shimano drive train, I would have used a setup similar to yours, probably: get third-party cranks (Rotor perhaps), use an 11-40 or 11-42 cassette (with perhaps a Wolftooth expander) and call it a day.

PPS Nice bikes. Is the second one a SuperSix?

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See thats the funny thing, I think we come at this from opposite directions because when sram came out with the 11-36, it had a very niche specific purpose and the tight high gearing wasn’t made for the road, it was specifically made for cyclocross for a very narrow range of gearing. The tight 11, 12, 13 spacing was that way so that you could get the holeshot off the line and stop at the appropriate gearing to continue to sprint during the race, paired with a relatively small front ring. It just happens to be your preferred steps but it was never designed for road or for 2x. Sram was the one with limited gear range for a long time for offroad use since the rx800 RD came out before sram had a 2x clutched setup that could run low gearing, and even then it only went down to 34x32, you had to stick to 1x for anything lower than 1:1. So sram kinda just stumbled into low gearing but didn’t design around it, just like shimano they kinda mish mashed different aspects of their line together. It wasn’t until AXS that they actually offered a usable low gear, there is still no officially supported 2x11 speed clutch option that goes below 34:32.

The bike is a pretty old SuperX, I still run QR and tubs for racing. Neither one of those are even my road bikes, thats probably overgeared with a 52/36 11-32 that would make you groan haha

I did the Triple bypass with a 28 at the back and a 34 at the front and that was plenty of gearing (for an 80Kg at the time rider). For the Alps, you can never have enough gears, so get at least a 32 and you can get up any of the classic climbs without too much drama. I now run a SRAM AXS 10-36 with a 46/33 crank set as I was meant to be doing a Cent Cols Challenge this year, but that is postponed to 2022.

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Has anyone had any experience running the Sram 11-36 with the Ultegra 8050GS derailleur? I am currently running a 11-30 cassette but am thinking it would be nice to have some extra range when I do Lincoln Gap in a few weeks. I would pick up the Shimano 11-34 but can’t find one it stock

Not if you want decent shifting.

Should work just fine, as the di2 should be exactly the same cage as the mechanical R8000


I run 50-34 and 11-40 with an RD 8050 GS and no wolftooth required. I do need a 116 link chain mind you.

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Think bigger than your cassette and change your cranks. There really is only so much you can get with cassette changes. If you swap your cranks from what I am guessing are 50/34s to say 40/28 mountain bike cranks, you’ll be spinning up those hills. I swapped from road to mountain bike cranks five years ago, I’ll never go back. Most people simply do not need road cranks, they’re overkill. With mountain bike cranks, you can still go hard on flats but spin up hills. The ability to spin up any hill at good cadence will save you time and energy and make you overall much faster. My FTP is 220 to give you a comparison and my watts per kilo are 2.9.