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I also have to accept another problem -- chain slap. With some of my lowest gears, the chain runs loose because the derailleur does not have the ability to wrap that many teeth.

I'm sorry, but that's just a recipe for unreliability. Surely mountain bike dérailleur can take up that much slack? (I only ride road bikes, so I don't know)

If not, I believe the new SRAM Apex groupset will be able to support it - it has an 11-32 cassette (http://www.sram.com/node/2121/brand/sram-road/src/cat)

Yeah, modern derailleurs have fixed that problem - it's a fairly old article. A couple of our bikes have gearing that low, and no issues with chain slap. They use MTB derailleurs.

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