Cassette & tire options


I ran out of gears (or legs…) on the weekend and I want more options for when I take the Giant TCX out to climb. I’m running Shimano 105 w/hydro discs - what cassette options do I have (how big can I go on the rear)?

Also I’m running some pretty rubbish came-with-the-bike 33mm tires and I’m thinking I’d like to a different way. Something gravel friendly but that wont mind simple wet commuting on bitumen from time to time, 33mm-35mm? Compass? Any recommendations?

Biggest you can go standard wise is 32.

You can get a 36 in there with the 105, I’ve seen pics, but not ridden it myself.

If you go a Roadlink, you can get up to a 40 in the rear.

assuming your already running a compact up front? 50/34?

you can always go smaller up front and run a 1x, but of course youd lose top end speed when your back on the bitumen.

46/36 up front

get a nerd crankset.

You can get a 34 for the front for the same crankset.

Maybe Knards? Compass would ride sweet as, but Knards would be tougher.

At least 34 front, 32 rear. Better would be like, 44/26 or something up front (nerd crankset?). 32 max rear should be fine, but maybe stick to 30 or so if you can get down to 26 on the front. I was running 26 front 30 rear on the weekend up Tawonga Gap no worries. 650b though.

But in 46/30 toothway. And it’s even sort of fancy, coz you probably don’t want to hear about repurposing 110/74 road triples or old MTB 94/58 triples.


+32 rear = sweet as

Gypsy is pretty confident about this too

I am running these in a 38c on my TCX for commuting/weekend rides with a little gravel (nothing loose obviously)

You may need to go to a med cage RD for 32t on the rear I think…but can throw a 34 front ring on without needing to change FD trim or anything

I personally wouldn’t worry about swapping the front chainring (at least not initiallly). Also I can’t recommend 1x for road and gravel applications you top out far too easily on Tarmac and it will shit you to tears when you have to spin at 120rpm to catch your buddies rolling down the hill in the big dog.

I would get a linarets road link and run a MTB 11-36 cassette.

As for Knards, I cant recommend them as a communter tyre, they are nice tyres for gravel are quite thin and pick up punctures easily from road debris. Personally I would run 35c TG Paselas – they are generously sized 35s.

Ooohhh that’s nice

I have specced my new CX bike as 2x for this reason. My current ride is 1x and its fine for commuting/gravel/CX but the new bike also replaces my road bike, so 2x it is…

Yeah, 2x for road for sure. On the CX I’m running 1x (38x11/36) and find that it works well. On descents I’ve never really been bothered with pedalling after my mates, cos #m8swaitform8s and #aerotuck.

I’ve recently gone from a compact crankset to a sub-compact 48-30 (11-32 cassette) and it’s awesome. Feels like flying up climbs. Would definitely look into Blakey’s recommendation for a 46-30 crankset.

Tyres: Compass’s are an awesome ride. Did a good gravel ride on Bon Jon Pass (35mm) setup tubeless last weekend, had a puncture which the sealant fixed with no problem. 2 thumbs up from me. Also, they are faaaaaast. And you like nice things, so you know you want to try them.

Probably too big for your frameset but I was entirely happy with the Compass Barlow Pass 38mm on the Wolverine for commuting, plenty of rough chip seal road and bike path commuting with minimal dirt/grass. Over 3000kms on them before I switched up to the Compass Snoqualmie Pass 44mm.

Have racked up almost 2500kms on the Snoqualmie, no flats, so long as I keep the psi at or above 40 I’m all good, gets squirmy in the rear below 45psi. Have only lost traction twice, flat out round a corner with low psi and the front stepped out on me, and the other day climbing a >20% wet road out of the saddle, the rear spun, so just sat down. Really loving the extra volume and cushion from the bigger tire.

How heavy are you? I’ve run the Compass Babbyshoes 650b/42mm down to 25psi with no real trouble. Low 70s kg…

I’ve got a little bit on you… like 37 quarter pounders or so…

Last weigh in was 85kg (down 4kg since start of year when I got back on the bike), plus ~16kg (I’d have to double check) for the bike.

Also I have a fear of pinch flats, as I’m a curb hopper, so I like a bit more air to ensure that doesn’t happen. Have yet to set it up tubeless as I couldn’t pump my floor pump quick enough to get them set while I was injured.

Im running a sram 1170 11-36 on my vaya with a shimano midcage rd. Shifting is good but if I am small small I get a bit of chain slap but nothing to brutal and the 12% lower gearing than a 11-32 makes it worthwhile.