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G'day, I've just picked up a reasonable quality road bike. The gearing seems quite high, 52/42 chainring and 13 thru 20 x7 speed sprocket. Does this seem perhaps the previous rider was quite experienced? I'm wondering if perhaps not so suitable for my purpose. Thx
Yes that is pretty crappy ratios, very high. Just change the rear cassette. Look for a 13-25, 12-24 (7 speed) or even a 7 speed MTB cassette.
You can get Sunrace/ Shimano 12-28 pretty cheap on Ebay
Err what is your purpose?
Does it have low enough gears to get you up the biggest hill around?
Certainly the gears are not low enough for long days in the mountains, but they will get you up modest hills ok. The old riders used to use these gears up big hills, but many have gotten smarter since then. If you don't need the lower gears then keeping the gears within the useful range is valuable.
My first race bike with unrestricted gears was a 52-42 with a 13-18 six speed cluster, my training wheels had a 13-20, I couldn't imagine riding the same roads on those gears now (mind you that was 35kg ago).
Twowheels where in Perth do you intend to ride it?
As long as you keep out of the darling scarp you should have no troubles with those gear ratios.
My TT bike runs a 53/44 11-23 and I do not have any issues with it even commuting to work up a couple of short steep inclines, the same when I am on my 53x16 singlespeed. Sometimes punching into the Fremantle Doctor is hard work on the singlespeed.
For climbing, yes it would be nice to use 39 x 28 to get up the steep 10% parts of a 2km plus climb. But if you are not doing those type of climbs the ratios you have will work good for general purpose, round the rivers type rider.
Thanks for info so far. Just checked again in the light of day. rear cluster is actually 13 to 19. Purpose is for commuting (with a loaded rear rack), car substitute for small shopping trips (with a loaded rear rack) and general fitness. I would like to regularly commute a ride with hills that rise 30 metres over 500 metres (6%, 3.5 deg). Hope this further info can help with advice, thanx.
For me (or another experience rider) the gearing would be fine
I do remember struggling with 53/39 & 11-23 into 30kph+ fremantle doctor when I first started riding.
So I would recommend getting a 12-28 cassette and new chain for an entry level rider (it does teach bad habits of riding at lower cadences due to the gaps between ratio) and keep the 13-19 until you feel comfortable riding with it
Group set is Shimano Exage sport, chainring marked as Shimano Biopace. I believe there is heaps of capacity (availabe movement) to change the rear freewheel.
Re this, I have checked via Sheldon Brown, definitely a 7 speed freewheel ( the splines do not turn when the sprockets are spun backwards). Unfortunately it is a Suntour, unfortunate because I don't currently have the tool (on order). I going to make sure I can remove the current 13 to 19 freewheel before I order a new 13 to 25 freewheel.
What i need to know is how to determine if the freewheel will be compatible with the chain and chainrings and the SIS. How do I find out this? My questions to Prof Google have not been useful to date.
all 7 speed freewheel have same spacing (Suntour microdrive is a slightly different, but will work the same) http://sheldonbrown.com/cribsheet-spacing.html
so the freewheel will be compatible with your existing chainrings and rear derailleur
The chain will be compatible the the freewheel, my only concern is, is the chain long enough to shift onto the 25 cog
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