Gear ratio and swapping cassettes?

So I happen to be zwifting on a kinetic smart trainer using a 2012 Marin Palisades Trail mountain bike with a 22-32-42 chainring and 36-11 cassette

I’m happy to report that a have the issue of getting close to running out of gears due to my improvement… Tough problem to have :wink:

To upgrade bikes to anything with, let’s say, Shimano 105 would easily push over $2K

That being said I’m thinking of just swapping cassettes to an SRAM PG1030, 1050 or 1070 with either 28-11 or 25-11 spacing (about $150 including tools)

This would help out with the wide jumps between gears which I find annoying… for example, downhill with 42-13 too easy but 42 -11 too hard… After upgrading I’d be able to use 42-12

I don’t like to assume anything so I’m asking if anyone sees a problem or issues with my plan. I am mechanically inclined so doing the job is zero issue


That seems reasonable but you can do better than $150 for all the parts and tools if the cost is a concern. The main consideration in my mind would be if the 42x11 is a big enough gear. For many people it would not produce enough resistance in a sprint. Also if you lower the Trainer Difficulty setting in Zwift, it will increase the resistance on descents, which you can use to fine tune the experience.

I wonder as well about 44x11 as being too small of a gear but as it sits right now it takes a massive effort to spin up 44x13 down a long hill (like the twin bridges loop approaching the start/finish line) for me to even use 44x11 (44x12 would help a lot I think)

I’m thinking that may become a ‘good’ problem to have down the road but can’t see it happening anytime soon… Although I hope I’m wrong :wink:

Being still relatively new at zwift I haven’t looked into the settings but will be sure to do so