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Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
I'm currently running two wheelsets. The 1st wheelset has my knobby trail tires and the 2nd wheelset my gravel road slicks. I'm running a 10 speed Shimano Deore 11-42t on the trail wheels and a Shimano 11-36t on my road wheels. I found I had to make derailleur adjustments between the two whenever I switched wheels, so I decided to buy another Shimano 11-42t 10 spd. cassette. Unfortunately within the last month that Shimano cassette has sold out everywhere! I was looking at alternatives such as the SunRace 11-42t 10 spd. cassette, but then I looked on Amazon Prime and found this no-name brand (that was the actual description) rainbow/oil slick colored 11-42t cassette for $20 USD! I figured why not, can't really go wrong for the price.

The cassette arrived today and I was a bit worried because it came in a box stamped as an 11-50t/ 11 speed cassette. I double checked and saw it was an 11-42t/10 speed, but marked wrong on the box! I then installed it on the freewheel hub. First impressions is that it's not as refined as a Shimano cassette, but still mounted easily enough; the stamped metal is okay, maybe not as tough as a Shimano hub, but plenty durable. I then attached it to my bike derailleur and surprisingly it shifts fairly smooth. Only difference in gearing is the 9th cog is a 36t and my Shimano 9th cog is a 37t, but there's no need for any adjustments. On a side note, during installation I found both my rear derailleur hangars were loose - WTH! I tighten them and will now check periodically to make sure they don't fall off!

I'll test it out on the road later today, if I don't report back it probably exploded and I'm on a long walk back home! :roflmao:

Picture of the cassette:
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Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Got results from xray last night: wrist bone fractured through right at the joint with the Radius, which got a slight notch in it from the contact. Currently in a "sugar splint"... seeing ortho sometime soon. When swelling goes down, a cast.

Grinning and/or bearing it...
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Any landing you walk away from is a good landing! :D Here's to a speedy recovery! 🍻
 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Another photo of the $20 11-42t 10 speed cassette and my bike in it's current form sporting new Panaracer GravelKing SS plus (w/more puncture resistance) black gravel slicks. I also picked up a new bell with a nicer tone. I usually ring the #$&% out of it at every chance I get here in Los Angeles! Unfortunately I don't trust car drivers in this city! 🔔😮

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tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
It must be really flat around your area to bike 30 miles out on a single speed. If I tried doing that, I'd be walking within the first 10 miles in my neighborhood!
West Virginia is actually very hilly . . . we're not called the Mountain State for nothing! However, we have some nice converted rail trails that run mostly through river valleys, and they typically have at worst gentle inclines, like the one I was on yesterday. I just had to drive 90 minutes to get there. We have a lot of bike trails within an hour of my house, and not a one of them is single speed friendly. I've done a lot of hike-a-bikes near my home, where at least part of the "ride" was pushing the bike up some tough terrain. Fortunately, a new trail in our area is supposed to be completed within a year, opening up a 78 mile long rail trail corridor that I can get to in about 45 minutes.
 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
West Virginia is actually very hilly . . . we're not called the Mountain State for nothing! However, we have some nice converted rail trails that run mostly through river valleys, and they typically have at worst gentle inclines, like the one I was on yesterday. I just had to drive 90 minutes to get there. We have a lot of bike trails within an hour of my house, and not a one of them is single speed friendly. I've done a lot of hike-a-bikes near my home, where at least part of the "ride" was pushing the bike up some tough terrain. Fortunately, a new trail in our area is supposed to be completed within a year, opening up a 78 mile long rail trail corridor that I can get to in about 45 minutes.
Man, I wish we had better bike trail infrastructure around here in Los Angeles. I'm either risking my life riding through LA's concrete jungle or grinding it out on the steepest mountain fire roads! There's nothing pleasant in-between! 😭

Have you considered converting one of your SS bikes back to geared? I've been looking at some 1x geared configurations, you can build a pretty good hillclimber with a fat cassette for not much money, especially if you kept your current front chainring.
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
Man, I wish we had better bike trail infrastructure around here in Los Angeles. I'm either risking my life riding through LA's concrete jungle or grinding it out on the steepest mountain fire roads! There's nothing pleasant in-between! 😭

Have you considered converting one of your SS bikes back to geared? I've been looking at some 1x geared configurations, you can build a pretty good hillclimber with a fat cassette for not much money, especially if you kept your current front chainring.
Nah, I have the geared Trek if I want to ride hills. I used to do a lot of fire roads, both hiking and biking, but now I mostly just hit rail trails. I was riding the back streets of a nearby small river town, but even there I had some fool cut right in front of me instead of waiting 3 seconds for me to go past. People in cars are idiots when it comes to cyclists. Or worse. A friend of mine has a saying that I find to be 100% true: "It's hard to tell the difference between malicious and just plain stupid.".
 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Nah, I have the geared Trek if I want to ride hills. I used to do a lot of fire roads, both hiking and biking, but now I mostly just hit rail trails. I was riding the back streets of a nearby small river town, but even there I had some fool cut right in front of me instead of waiting 3 seconds for me to go past. People in cars are idiots when it comes to cyclists. Or worse. A friend of mine has a saying that I find to be 100% true: "It's hard to tell the difference between malicious and just plain stupid.".
I always run my bike lights day or night (which I rarely do now) just to help with visibility. I also have both a magnetic bell (for the trails) and my new brass bell that I ring like crazy until I get eye contact confirmation that a car driver sees me. The worst roads here in LA are the bike lanes that have the bike route signage on the street, but no bike lane whatsoever! I just scratch my head and think, what's the point? 🤔
 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
I felt really good on the trail today. My legs were strong and my uphill grind was a breeze! When I rode by a few MTB'ers I heard them mention in surprise that I was on a "road" bike! I also saw a few MTB'ers walking up the trail, despite having similar if not lower gearing than my bike!

It was overcast, but the air was cool and not hot. Also the trails which are usually dusty, was slightly damped instead, but not enough to be muddy. The downhill was a lot of fun and I just made sure to pick the best trail lines for my bike with the lack of suspension. ;)

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I also ran into Bambi! :D
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Last edited:
Location
Boston Burbs
Real Name
David
I'm in my 40s, I just don't act like it according to my wife! :D That young kid was a real cyclist, I was watching his pedal strokes and he could power up the hills with ease. Makes me want to train harder now! Most of LA is flat, I just happen to live in the hilliest areas of the city. 🙂........
Back when I was kid (way back) my high school had an annual bike trip. We went from upper middle VT down to off the coast of MA to take a ferry over to Martha's Vineyard. One day I was riding with one of the chaperones. We did a downhill mile and then headed up, I just waved bye at him after about 100 meters, I'm not sure he actually slowed down from the downhill section.

From a while back but....

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tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
The rail trail I was on a couple of days ago has a couple of long railroad grade climbs to the tunnels, and those are no problem. But I have never been strong on technical uphill sections, and at age 62, that's likely not going to change.
 

KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Location
Hood River, OR
Real Name
Kyle
Back when I was kid (way back) my high school had an annual bike trip. We went from upper middle VT down to off the coast of MA to take a ferry over to Martha's Vineyard. One day I was riding with one of the chaperones. We did a downhill mile and then headed up, I just waved bye at him after about 100 meters, I'm not sure he actually slowed down from the downhill section.

From a while back but....

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Ah cool - the wife and I took that ferry to Marthas with a sidecar motorcycle, loaded with Brompton folding bikes, for our 10th anniversary 7 years ago. Had such a great weekend, other than a cold foggy moto ride in the dark, narrowly dodging a deer. Had to clean out my shorts after that one.

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Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Yesterday I didn't actually complete the full trail loop I posted and ended up going back down the same way I came. So today I snuck off after doing some work and finished the entire trail loop! The MTB'ers on the trail were super helpful, but again I was the only gravel bike, receiving some curious looks. Apparently riding full rigid is not the norm for them! :D On the plus side for me, the trail ends on a neighborhood street with a steep downhill. With road bike geometry going downhill on the pavement was just as fun! ;)

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Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
If there isn't any gnarly, rocky terrain on those rides, then a gravel bike is a great choice, frankly.

This particular trail in my opinion wasn't difficult at all. I used to ride trails like that back as a kid on either a BMX or rigid mountain bike in the 80s and 90s! Not to mentioned we rode our bikes down whatever ridiculous steep hillside, rocky road or a flight of stairs. I didn't even start wearing a helmet until after high school!

I rode this particular downhill fast while sticking to good line selection. Plus I've been spoiled by hydraulic brakes due to their excellent stopping power. 🙂
 

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