road gearing to climbing gearing

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

road gearing to climbing gearing

Postby perception twin » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:21 pm

Hey all,

I was just wondering how easy (easy includes how expensive 8)) it is to change your gearing to go from road to climbing or something in-between.

I currently have a 9speed Campag veloce setup with a double chain ring and it is low enough to handle the short climbs around here but only just. I will want to eventually start going out into the hills and doing some real climbs so I think I will need a tripple chain ring at the least.

Any suggestions/cosinderations of what I will need to take into account?
New front deraulier?
perception twin
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: Adelaide

by BNA » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:28 pm

BNA
 

Postby sogood » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:28 pm

So where are you located?

Triple chainset would only be as good as the cassette that's being matched to it. While a crankset/chainring swap is somewhat labour intensive, a cassette change is much simpler. At the end of the day, you just need low enough gears to allow you to climb.

So, I would suggest that you first check the cassette you have at the back and then calculated the current gearing you have,

http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/

And then work out if swapping in an appropriate cassette would give you what you need. 12-27 and 13-29 cassette when matched with a regular double chainring would probably be low enough for most climbs.

If you are just dying to change your crankset, then consider a compact chainset on top of a triple. But do play around with that gear calculator and make up some hypothetical scenarios and see how the different combinations of chainset and cassette work.
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple :)
RK wrote:And that is Wikipedia - I can write my own definition.
User avatar
sogood
 
Posts: 16929
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Postby Bnej » Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:25 pm

You can climb pretty much anything with a double, it just takes practice, strength and good technique.

I rarely use the 30t ring on my triple now, I do most of my climbs on a 39t with something between a 22 and 26 at the back. With good pacing I can get up any hill with this, and it gives you more room to accelerate than if you are on the little chain ring.

That said, when I first started riding the road bike, the 30/26 gear saved me on several hills - it's good to have if you muck up your pacing and run out of energy part way up.

If you have something like a 12-23 corncob cassette, then you should try going to a 12-27 or something like sogood recommends.

What hills do you currently do and which ones are you thinking about?
User avatar
Bnej
 
Posts: 2880
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:43 pm
Location: Katoomba, NSW

Postby europa » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:00 pm

Seeing you already have a double ring fitted, going to a triple could easily require more effort and expense than justified. For starters, can your front shifter handle a triple?

You haven't told us what range of gears you've got at the back, but just go down to your lbs, with your bike (so that un-considered questions can be answered immediately), and buy the largest range of rear cogs that will go on your bike and can still be covered by your rear derailleur.

Although the gear calculator is fun and quite illuminating if you can get your head around it, you probably won't know what the numbers mean in terms of climbing ability. By all means have a play with the thing though - you'd be amazed what you learn about your bike once you start looking at the overlaps between the chainrings.

The Black Beast runs an 11-32 on the back, an SRAM cluster. I don't know if you can get them compatable with Campag though - possibly a different spacing. Not only that, you have to consider whether your rear derailleur can handle that spread of gears (the Black Beast has a DeoreLX rear dr). With that gearing, I can climb most things around here, only resorting to the granny for big climbs. Even with my lower than stock granny, I only get two extra gears over the lowest on the middle ring. However, I can not stand to climb on those low gears - if I stand, I have to be up three gears, which just happens to match the lowest gear on the middle ring.

The beauty of just fitting the largest range cluster your bike will take is that it's easily reversible - when you wear it out, if you've found you don't need the lowest gears, don't buy a cluster with them.

Richard
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
User avatar
europa
 
Posts: 7327
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:51 am
Location: southern end of Adelaide - home of hills, fixies and drop bears

Postby Kalgrm » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:06 pm

You'll need a longer chain too.
Think outside the double triangle.
---------------------------------------
My web site: www.scenebyhird.com
---------------------------------------
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance
User avatar
Kalgrm
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 9236
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 5:21 pm
Location: Spearwood, 9km SE of Fremantle, WA

Postby mikesbytes » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:57 pm

What rings and cassette do you currently have?
A helmet saved my life
User avatar
mikesbytes
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 14780
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:42 pm
Location: Tempe, Sydney

Re: road gearing to climbing gearing

Postby LuckyPierre » Fri Aug 31, 2007 3:07 pm

perception twin wrote: ...I currently have a 9speed Campag veloce setup with a double chain ring and it is low enough to handle the short climbs around here but only just. I will want to eventually start going out into the hills and doing some real climbs so ...

Mix and match rear cassette sprockets - try a 12-26 cluster first, then (albeit with a bit of skullduggery) you could try a 13-29 (hint, borrow the big sprocket pair from a 10-speed cluster). If the 12-26 is almost there (and it may well be enough on its own) think about a smaller 'small' chain ring. That might be easier than getting the bits for a 13-29 cassette.
I've just about stopped using the big sprocket on my 12-27 9-speed Ultegra cassette and initially I'll use a 12-26 9-speed Record cassette on my 'new' bike when it's built.
ps. Enzo's ProFit pedals have arrived - that's one less excuse for not finishing him
Litespeed Classic - 3Al/2.5V titanium tube set, Record 9-speed groupset, Open Corsa Evo CX
Alchemy Diablo - Columbus Zonal tubing, Ultegra 9-speed groupset, UltraGatorskins
Gitane Rocks T1 - U6 tubing, Deore/XT groupset, CrossMarks
User avatar
LuckyPierre
 
Posts: 1432
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:37 pm
Location: Canberra, ACT

Postby sogood » Fri Aug 31, 2007 3:15 pm

Mix and match cogs may not be too easy. Within a cassette, there are spacers of different thicknesses.
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple :)
RK wrote:And that is Wikipedia - I can write my own definition.
User avatar
sogood
 
Posts: 16929
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Postby toolonglegs » Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:05 pm

If you really need to go to a 29-30 rear then I would be thinking of triples or compact doubles....to big a jump with in the range otherwise.Plus 27 is maximum recommended on shimano.You can go higher but not sure it is that wise.
User avatar
toolonglegs
 
Posts: 14353
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:49 pm
Location: Somewhere with padded walls and really big hills!

Postby Aushiker » Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:09 pm

europa wrote:Although the gear calculator is fun and quite illuminating if you can get your head around it, you probably won't know what the numbers mean in terms of climbing ability.

I don't know what the numbers mean period :oops:

Andrew
"Pedal-pounding pounce" - D. Fluellen - West Australian 13/1/14
Image
User avatar
Aushiker
 
Posts: 20087
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Fremantle, WA

Postby sogood » Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:30 pm

toolonglegs wrote:If you really need to go to a 29-30 rear then I would be thinking of triples or compact doubles....to big a jump with in the range otherwise.Plus 27 is maximum recommended on shimano.You can go higher but not sure it is that wise.

It's a difficult issue, especially for riders who doesn't know what their capabilities are.

For Campag (OP has Veloce), short RD can handle everything apart from 13-29, which will require a medium or long RD. In any case, there would be some extra costs with shifting to triple as they invariably require a triple FD and a medium or long RD. So I suspect the cheapest to an adequate solution is to just change the cassette and possibly RD/chain.
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple :)
RK wrote:And that is Wikipedia - I can write my own definition.
User avatar
sogood
 
Posts: 16929
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Postby Kalgrm » Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:54 pm

Aushiker wrote:
europa wrote:Although the gear calculator is fun and quite illuminating if you can get your head around it, you probably won't know what the numbers mean in terms of climbing ability.

I don't know what the numbers mean period :oops:

Andrew

Andrew,

I'll send you an eXcel spread sheet with a line chart in it. It shows the progression of my own gearing with a side-by-side comparison of two clusters. It helped me choose the gearing for both my MTB and my bent.

Cheers,
Graeme
Think outside the double triangle.
---------------------------------------
My web site: www.scenebyhird.com
---------------------------------------
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance
User avatar
Kalgrm
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 9236
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 5:21 pm
Location: Spearwood, 9km SE of Fremantle, WA

Postby perception twin » Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:29 pm

Thanks for all of the replies 8)

I dont have time to decypher the posts at the moment but there is a lot of useful info. I never knew gearing could be complicated but it shouldn't take long to get the gist of it.

I will check out what setup I have after dinner when I have time to sus it out.

On a radom note I had my first (hopefully last) 2km/h stack today.. was having a break up a hill so I drove into the shops which were on a slight slope. Then when I decided its time to go I put my right foot into the pedal started going and turning right but too slowly so I lost balance and did the whole "oh crap, wrong foot" stack 8) And here I was thinking I was immune to these things hehe. The bike is fine just the seat got a little scrape, so did the bar tape and I knocked the chain off.
perception twin
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: Adelaide

Postby perception twin » Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:35 pm

From all your suggestions I should either A) fit a casette that is low enough for climbing or B) fit one that has as many variations as possible. But there is no point bothering with 13-29 without modifications. I have also decided a tripple chain ring is too much trouble after reading what has to be modified.

I think I am still a bit away from riding in the Adelaide Hills, at the current rate anyway :D I can tackle all of the local hills with my lowest gear, but thats with poor bike fitness so it will get easier.

Really all of these combo numbers are quite confusing to begin with 8), usually I can get with things pretty quick so I guess its another thing to learn. On my bike:

Front chain rings:
52/39
39/09

Rear cassete:
no idea atm. I can't seem to see any numbers anywhere but I will have to check it in the daytime as the light is dodgy.
perception twin
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: Adelaide

Postby europa » Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:06 pm

perception twin wrote:Rear cassete:
no idea atm. I can't seem to see any numbers anywhere but I will have to check it in the daytime as the light is dodgy.


The usual routine is to clean the rotten things, look for numbers, fail, count the teeth, get lost, count again, get lost, count again, note it down, then discover where the numbers are.

Where exactly are you? I may be able to recommend a shop.

There's no point getting too wound up about this. Just go to a good bike shop and see what they can fit on there. Sure, you can be a lot more technical and thoughtful about it, but at an early level of fitness, it doesn't matter too much. Save the technicalities for a bit later when you can make full use of it, at which time designing your gearing becomes a fascinating black art.

Richard
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
User avatar
europa
 
Posts: 7327
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:51 am
Location: southern end of Adelaide - home of hills, fixies and drop bears

Postby perception twin » Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:52 pm

europa wrote:
perception twin wrote:Rear cassete:
no idea atm. I can't seem to see any numbers anywhere but I will have to check it in the daytime as the light is dodgy.


The usual routine is to clean the rotten things, look for numbers, fail, count the teeth, get lost, count again, get lost, count again, note it down, then discover where the numbers are.

Where exactly are you? I may be able to recommend a shop.

There's no point getting too wound up about this. Just go to a good bike shop and see what they can fit on there. Sure, you can be a lot more technical and thoughtful about it, but at an early level of fitness, it doesn't matter too much. Save the technicalities for a bit later when you can make full use of it, at which time designing your gearing becomes a fascinating black art.

Richard


Clean it :shock:..
Maybe counting will work better.. just clean 1 tooth to mark the spot 8)

I am in the North-Eastern suburbs. My closest shops are JT Cycles Holden Hill and Standish Cycles Klemzig. I guess the Salisbury JT cycles is also pretty close as well.

Not in any real hurry in terms of changing cassette, I am mainly interested in what my options are for the near future. I am trying to do 20km rides a few days a week which is helping, this area has lots of hills and false flats.
perception twin
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: Adelaide

Postby europa » Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:58 pm

Sadly, I'm not impressed with either Standish or JT, however, that's based on the franchises at the southern end of town. Anyhow, give one of them a go. There's the technical way of doing things and the easy way. In this case, the easy way is probably more suitable. What you're after isn't rocket science and if all else fails, ride into town to Bicycle Express.

Richard
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
User avatar
europa
 
Posts: 7327
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:51 am
Location: southern end of Adelaide - home of hills, fixies and drop bears

Postby mikesbytes » Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:24 am

perception twin wrote:I think I am still a bit away from riding in the Adelaide Hills, at the current rate anyway :D I can tackle all of the local hills with my lowest gear, but thats with poor bike fitness so it will get easier.


Hi Perception, fitness will build quite quickly, 12 months from now you'll be able to do the cork screw.

Don't worry too much about equipment until your fitness has built.
A helmet saved my life
User avatar
mikesbytes
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 14780
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:42 pm
Location: Tempe, Sydney

Postby europa » Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:58 am

You haven't seen the corkscrew have you Mike :roll:

But yeah, in the time it takes you to wear out a rear cassette, you'll be in a position to work the heart out of that gear calculator sogood linked to and design the system that works best for you.

Richard
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
User avatar
europa
 
Posts: 7327
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:51 am
Location: southern end of Adelaide - home of hills, fixies and drop bears

Postby mikesbytes » Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:56 am

europa wrote:You haven't seen the corkscrew have you Mike :roll:


Been up it in a cage, probably need the triple for that one
A helmet saved my life
User avatar
mikesbytes
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 14780
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:42 pm
Location: Tempe, Sydney

Postby perception twin » Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:49 pm

Thank's all for the tips.
I think I will give myself a few months of riding before I decide what I need as you all suggested.

What I need to work on now is my fitness in general.. I am trying to get in 20k or more rides at least once every three days for now. I can't really ride much on the weekends as I work both days and can't seem to get up early enough in the morning 8)
perception twin
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: Adelaide

Postby adri4n » Sat May 17, 2008 5:04 pm

Hi guys, I'm new to the forum, I recently purchased a second hand road bike to get some fitness and for short trips. I've been trying out the bike but I find the gearing really tough to get up hills. i've been reading some entries and tried out sheldon's gear calculator. Currently i have a double crank up front (54,39) and a 7 speed (13-23). I was thinking of switching out the rear cassette for a wider range, theres one on ebay I'm looking at which goes up to 28. I've entered them into the calculator, but I don't really understand the numbers, is it worth switching cassettes or should I just continue trying to go up hills, at the moment I can't handle hills well, which really limits my cycling at the moment. I just posted here so I don't start another thread, looking forward to your input. thanks
adri4n
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 5:00 pm

Postby mikesbytes » Sat May 17, 2008 5:44 pm

39-23 is a bit tall for a new rider. The 28 cassette you are thinking of getting will make a big difference.
A helmet saved my life
User avatar
mikesbytes
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 14780
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:42 pm
Location: Tempe, Sydney


Return to Buying a bike / parts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit