11-30 Vs. 11-34 Cassette (In-Depth Comparison)

11-30 vs. 11-34 Cassette

Both the 11-30 and 11-34 cassettes have high qualities, and it’s no surprise you’d want to compare them and pick to suit your preference.

Having the right cassette size for your bike would benefit you in many ways. Especially if you always want to ride at a particular speed or on off-road terrains like the mountains, hills, or valleys. 

The 11-30 cassette has many interesting features, but the 11-34 is also a good option. Although the 11-34 is an improved and more recent version, the 11-30 is also very useful. Both cassettes satisfy different riding purposes, speeds, and environments. 

What is 11-30 Cassette?

11-30 vs. 11-34 Cassette

An 11-30 bike cassette is a particular size cluster of sprockets you fix on your bike’s rear hub.

The 11-30 cassette has cogs of different sizes, beginning from size 11 to 30, hence the name, the 11-30 cassette.

The first teeth of the cassette are 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 17. The middle carriers are 19 and 21, and the middle cogs use a fiber-reinforced composite. 

Both sets of cogs are metallic and made from steel precisely. The last set of cogs, or the largest trio, is in sizes 24, 27, and 30, made of steel with spider aluminum plating. 

The 11-30 cassette is usable on any setup. It also fits the Shimano ultegra speed of 11-speed systems perfectly. The average speed with this cassette is 13.2km/h. 

What is 11-34 Cassette?

An 11-34 cassette is a range of sprockets or gear clusters. The 11-34 cassette has 11 cogs of different sizes, the smallest being 11, the largest 34, and a range of nine other sizes in between.

While  The first six cogs of sizes 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, and 21 squeeze together with an aluminum lockring.

The middle cogs are in sizes of 23 and 25, all aluminum. The last set of cogs, three in number, are in the sizes 27, 30, and 34.

The 11-34 cassette perfectly fits the Shimano ultegra 11-speed systems by using the 1.85mm spacer it comes with on order.

You only need to remove the spacer to work on a 10-speed freehub body. This fact is an advantage of the 11-34 cassette. 

Using an 11-34 cassette, you will need a long cage derailleur and a long chain to accommodate the cassette’s 34th teeth.

The 11-34 cassette is very good for hiking or mountainous areas, and the large range in the cog sizes makes it easier to ride in such areas. 

All you need to do is switch from a lower cog to a higher one to help ease your movement and give you balance.

That is why if you’re buying the 11-34 cassette to replace an older cassette, you should also buy a chain that will be long enough to carry down to the 34th teeth.

11-30 vs. 11-34 Cassette Weight 

The 11-34 cassette is heftier than the 11-30 cassette. The 11-34, although it has the same 11 number of cogs as the 11-30, the cogs are of different sizes.

Most sizes are slightly larger than their corresponding cogs in the 11-30 cassette. This difference in cog sizes is why the 11-34 is heavier compared to the 11-30 cassette

The 11-34 weighs 339g, while the 11-30 weighs 271g. However, this weight is just the average because the 11-30 and 11-34 cassettes come in different sizes.

But it is important to know that regardless of the type or brand, the 11-34 cassette weighs more than the 11-30 cassette. 

Which Cassette is Good for Climbing: 11-30 or 11-34?

Compared to the 11-30, the 11-34 cassette is better for climbing. This fact does not displace the 11-30 cassette as good for climbing.

It is also good for climbing, but the 11-34 is much preferable. The 11-34 is a good option because it will give you the easiest gear, which makes pedaling easier and thus, aids your climbing.

There is a huge leap on the cogs of the 11-34 cassette, from 30 to 34. Switching from 30 to 34 may seem difficult, especially if you’re not used to it, but with enough practice, you can get used to it.

Mastering the switching act could be very useful to you in climbing mountainous terrains.

Knowing when to switch and how to stay balanced during the switch only makes climbing with the 11-34 cassette better.

If you have the 11-30 cassette and intend to climb, upgrading to the 11-34 cassette would be better, as that is the best option for climbing.

The 11-30 is a good option as a road bike cassette but not the best for hills or mountains.

What Size Cassette Do Pros Use; 11-30 or 11-34?

Whereas the 11-30 cassette is very comfortable and easy to ride, the 11-34 is more complex due to the switch in gears from 30 to 34.

This difficulty in switching gears may even throw one off balance. 

Therefore, some professionals prefer to use the 11-30 cassette for better balance and to control effort and cadence.

However, 11-34 is the best option. And with substantial knowledge of the switch, a pro would be more comfortable using the 11-34 cassette to the 11-30.

Other pros also prefer the 11-34 cassette because it is easier to ride, especially on hills, and gives the option of a greater switch for greater speed and more comfort.

Although pros pick cassettes for their bikes according to cassette features, every professional knows what they can work with while riding.

That is why a pro with an 11-30 may be faster than another with an 11-34 cassette. It depends on their skills and how they can make do with their cassette choices. 

With enough knowledge and a perfect understanding of these two cassettes, many pros prefer to use the 11-34 cassette.

t is a good cassette choice, not just a road bike cassette but also good for climbing areas.

Main Difference between 11-30 and 11-34 Cassette

There are a lot of differences between the 11-30 and the 11-34 cassettes.

The table below contains the major differences between these two cassettes. 

11-30 cassettes11-34 cassettes
The largest sprocket size is 30.The largest sprocket size is 34.
The leap from the second to the last cog is smaller.The leap from the second to the last cog is bigger.
Lighter in weight.Heavier in weight.
They have smaller corresponding cogs for the first set, e.g., 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 17.They have larger corresponding cogs, e.g… 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, and 21.
Its lowest gear is not as low as that of the 11-34It has a slightly lower gear to make riding easier.

Even though these cassettes have their differences, you can use them for different riding areas and purposes.

They both have the same 11 number of cogs and run at similar maximum speed. These differences make them unique in their ways and raise the need for them. 


Both cassettes are great choices you should consider according to your preferences.

An 11-30 cassette is a modern-age product with very good features and serves primarily as a road bike cassette.

Whereas the 11-34 is an upgraded version with much larger cog sizes that are tolerable to mountain environments and give a good balance while riding your bike.

Josh Matthews

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