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I have this bike: http://www.cxmagazine.com/blue-bicycles-norcross-al-cyclocross-bike-review, with a 48/34 chainring and 11-26t cassette. I'd like to add some lower gearing.

SRAM offers at 11-32 cassette (https://www.sram.com/sram/road/products/pg-1050-cassette), and it's supposedly for Apex, but I've been told I'll need a new rear derailleur as well - is this true? And will the 11-32 cassette work with the compact crankset? Thank you!

  • And does anyone know if it's possible to swap from an Apex derailleur to a Force (or other SRAM component) while keeping the same shifters, etc? – Elizabeth Hearn Mar 29 '16 at 13:50
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The length of the cage on the bottom of your derailleur that holds the two small cogs is what decides the size of cassette you can use on your bike.

There are 2 numbers that matter, the max size and tooth capacity.

Max size is is the largest cog the derailleur is designed to clear and the capacity is the largest difference between the small-small and big-big gear ratios that it can take up the slack in.

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Since your bike came stock with a 11-26, I'm going to guess it has a short cage derailleur, the largest cog this can accept is 28.

SRAM road derailleurs come in short and medium cage, and have a max cog size of 28 & 32 and a max capacity of 33 & 37 respectively.

You may also need to change your chain, not a bad idea anyway with a new cassette.

  • so a new front derailleur, not the rear one? – Elizabeth Hearn Mar 28 '16 at 15:45
  • New rear. It's the one that has to accommodate for extra chain. – ojs Mar 28 '16 at 15:47
  • No, this is all about the rear. Front deraillers have max sizes too, but the gaps are quite large. – alex Mar 28 '16 at 15:47
  • oh, went back to look, now i see what you mean - thank you both! – Elizabeth Hearn Mar 28 '16 at 15:51
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    If you're getting a bigger cassette and a RD with a longer cage, then you'll definitely need a new chain - the old one won't be long enough. – Mike Baranczak Mar 28 '16 at 16:27

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