Best option for adding another gear?

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Best option for adding another gear?

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:58 am

My Oppy C6 came with Ultegra Crank 39/53T, 105 Freewheel 12-25T (10sp). I'm doing a lot of climbing recently, and there's been a few times it would have been nice to have just one more lower ratio to slip into for those 14% climbs when you already have 100+km in the legs. What would people advise as the most cost-effective way to add that? I asked at the bike shop and they suggested I might as well get a whole new bike if I wanted a compact crank, but that I could get a new rear cassette that went to 27T (I think?), for about $160 including installation.
I'm not prepared to try installing it myself but I'm ok with buying online and getting the shop to fit it, assuming they're happy to.
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by BNA » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:37 am

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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:37 am

I guess I found my own answer - can get a 12-27 cassette online and pay a shop to fit it (I'm completely mechanically inept!). The mark-up they charge for those in the stores is insane...more than double the online price.
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby Xplora » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:03 am

You could buy the torque wrench, the cassette and the install tool for 160 :idea: It's not THAT hard. I installed my cassette without a torque wrench (in hindsight, probably not a wise move).

If you're pumping the 39, you might want to consider a 38 chainring as well, as well as perhaps an 11-28 cassette? that's as low as you could go without having to change your crank or RD
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby Big_Red » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:07 am

Also, if you have a SS (short throw) rear derailleur and you go something like an 11-28T cassette, you'll have to add in 2 chainlinks to the chain.

+1 to what Xplora suggested in that the cost of a chain whip, casette removal tool & new cassette bought online would be far less than getting the shop to do it for you, and it isnt that hard to do the change. A torque wrench for this type of maintenance is overkill. Plenty of youtube vids out there to show you how to do the job and Sheldon Brown's website is a goldmine of info.

I've gone from an old 6 sp 13-21 freewheel cluster to a 10 sp 12-27 freehub cassette on my roadbike and it made those hills so much easier to do...
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:12 am

Big_Red wrote:Also, if you have a SS (short throw) rear derailleur and you go something like an 11-28T cassette, you'll have to add in 2 chainlinks to the chain.


From the spec:
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Ultegra 10sp

I can get a 11-27T or 11-28T online for ~$60, I gather the shop isn't likely to charge more than $20 to fit it. But if the 28T requires changing the chain as well, I'd stick with the 27. Also, only having looked at eBay so far, I'd have to pay $80 for the 28 if I wanted it before Mar 10 (Hotham Challenge).

It's not that it's difficult, it's just that my various attempts to perform any sort of maintenance in the past have ended in tears. Can't be good at everything...and I do actually want keep my LBS in business :-)
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby mitzikatzi » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:37 am

wizdofaus wrote:...snip...(Hotham Challenge).
...snip...)



Big Hills? Maybe a 38t cog on the front.
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:07 am

mitzikatzi wrote:
wizdofaus wrote:...snip...(Hotham Challenge).
...snip...)



Big Hills? Maybe a 38t cog on the front.


Front's Ultegra though so will be a lot more expensive to replace! And I like that the 11-28 gives me a much wider range of gearings than my current cassette.
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby TDC » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:28 am

Probably easier to buy a new bike :lol:
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:46 am

TDC wrote:Probably easier to buy a new bike :lol:


Well, yes, it's very easy to watch the 1000s column in your bank balance tick downwards...until the next column starts ticking down etc. etc.

It is only 3 months old though, and I had bought it on the hope it would be at least 2 years before I was in the market for another one. I'm more likely to want a good MTB before another roadie.
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby DoogleDave » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:54 am

+1 to buying all the tools and doing it yourself (including chainbreaker and new chain).

Your chain, cassette and chain rings are all consumable items that will require replacing again and again over time as they wear.

If you look after your bike and maintain it you'll likely replace a few chains before needing to replace your cassette (from wear) and then a couple of cassettes before replacing your chain rings.

Much easier to buy the tools once, learn to do it yourself and then maintain them as required. Quicker and cheaper (and more satisfying).

Also, I have a compact crank (50/34) and have two cassettes (11-25 and 11-28). I just recently took the 11-28 off my bike and put the 11-25 back on (I wasn't using the 28 much and there's not many huge hills where I live)...and when I installed the new chain I cut it to length so it works for both the 11-25 AND 11-28 cassettes.

Depending on who installed the original chain to your bike, and how they measured it to fit the bike will depend on if it is long enough to support the extra teeth the 28 has over your current 25 cog (but I'll hazard a guess it's too short).
In either case, it's probably a wise idea to change the chain at the same time - and chains aren't that expensive (also worthwhile looking at the KMC quick links, or similar) which make taking the chain on/off very easy and makes cleaning the chain much easier.

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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby mitzikatzi » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:13 pm

wizdofaus wrote:
mitzikatzi wrote:
wizdofaus wrote:...snip...(Hotham Challenge).
...snip...)



Big Hills? Maybe a 38t cog on the front.


Front's Ultegra though so will be a lot more expensive to replace! And I like that the 11-28 gives me a much wider range of gearings than my current cassette.


FSA Pro Road 34/38T Chainring at Wiggle Australia $38

I know what I would be fitting YMMV

or
Shimano Tiagra Double 4600 10 Speed Chainset 34/50 $60
Last edited by mitzikatzi on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby jacks1071 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:47 pm

wizdofaus wrote:I guess I found my own answer - can get a 12-27 cassette online and pay a shop to fit it (I'm completely mechanically inept!). The mark-up they charge for those in the stores is insane...more than double the online price.


I made a video the other night on how to service the Pro-Lite Bracciano freehub, its hardly a professional production but I included cassette installation & removal in the video which you might find helpful. The tools required are a torque wrench, lockring tool, chain whip and an adjustable wrench. The bike specific tools you should get for about $20 each.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FZeV3glmOI
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby cyclotaur » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:54 pm

I went from 11-23>11-25>11-27 on my old roadie with a 105 rear der without adding links to the chain. Assuming you only engage the 27 cog with the 39 front ring chain length shouldn't be an issue.

Don't pay over the odds for Ultegra cassette, 105 is fine and much cheaper. If you don't like fiddling around changing cassettes get a spare rear wheel and fit the 12-27 to that and just swap wheels when you go climbing.

Even an Ultegra short cage RD will take a 28t cog. Consider getting an Ultegra/105 11-28 cassette. If you get a Medium Cage ultegra RD and you can fit a 12-30 cassette.

If you've paid $2500+ for the Oppy C6, paying $500 for new Med Cage RD, a new 12-30 cassette and getting your LBS to fit it seems reasonable, if you don't want to do it yourself. (it's easy stuff really, once you have a go...)

Then head for the hills. :wink:
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:29 pm

You can replace just a single cog with an FSA one on a front Ultegra crank? (apologies if I have the terminology mixed up)

What's the difference between a chainset and a crank? The pic from your second one looks like what I understood the crank was...

As for the all the comments that I should learn how to do it myself, like I said - anything of that nature is just not my forte, and I'm more than happy to leave it to (and pay) the professionals, just as I was when I owned a car.
The most maintenance I've ever tried before is adjusting the brakes, and I even managed to screw that up to the point I had to take it to the shop anyway. Hell there was one time my girlfriend almost fell off her bike because I'd tried to adjust her seat-post and somehow managed to get it wrong (I swear it was as tight as I could get it)!

OTOH I could tell you that playing Bach's Prelude in C is a piece of a cake, but if you're musically inept you're never going to get it.
Last edited by wizdofaus on Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby TDC » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:41 pm

wizdofaus wrote:
TDC wrote:Probably easier to buy a new bike :lol:


Well, yes, it's very easy to watch the 1000s column in your bank balance tick downwards...until the next column starts ticking down etc. etc.

It is only 3 months old though, and I had bought it on the hope it would be at least 2 years before I was in the market for another one. I'm more likely to want a good MTB before another roadie.


3 months with no upgraditis??? :shock:

seriously at Ribble, $41 for a 105 11-28 cassette, $9 for Park tool cassette lock ring tool, and $18 for Park tool cassette whip which has a socket on it to suit the lock ring tool. $67 + freight and 20 min of your time. Job done. Grab yourself a chain breaker and some quick links (wipperman ones are good), basic set of allen keys and you can do most basic maintenance jobs on your bike.

Hunt around online and you might find the tools cheaper.
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:42 pm

cyclotaur wrote:If you've paid $2500+ for the Oppy C6, paying $500 for new Med Cage RD, a new 12-30 cassette and getting your LBS to fit it seems reasonable...


Very bizarre logic. $500 is $500 regardless of what else I've bought! I can think of lots of things I'd rather spend $500 on than making it a bit easier to climb hills (I haven't even hit any yet that I've really struggled with, this is purely a nice-to-have).
It's like the people who will walk 200 metres to the next store to save 50c on a $2 pen, but won't spend another minute shopping around to save $10 on a car. Humans are very strange sometimes.
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby TDC » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:44 pm

wizdofaus wrote:
mitzikatzi wrote:
FSA Pro Road 34/38T Chainring at Wiggle Australia 34/50 $38

I know what I would be fitting YMMV

or
Shimano Tiagra Double 4600 10 Speed Chainset $60


You can replace just a single cog with an FSA one on a front Ultegra crank? (apologies if I have the terminology mixed up)

What's the difference between a chainset and a crank? The pic from your second one looks like what I understood the crank was...

As for the all the comments that I should learn how to do it myself, like I said - anything of that nature is just not my forte, and I'm more than happy to leave it to (and pay) the professionals, just as I was when I owned a car.
The most maintenance I've ever tried before is adjusting the brakes, and I even managed to screw that up to the point I had to take it to the shop anyway. Hell there was one time my girlfriend almost fell off her bike because I'd tried to adjust her seat-post and somehow managed to get it wrong (I swear it was as tight as I could get it)!

OTOH I could tell you that playing Bach's Prelude in C is a piece of a cake, but if you're musically inept you're never going to get it.


Playing Bachs Prelude in C was probably hard before you learnt it. Like most things in the world.
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby cyclotaur » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:59 pm

wizdofaus wrote:
cyclotaur wrote:If you've paid $2500+ for the Oppy C6, paying $500 for new Med Cage RD, a new 12-30 cassette and getting your LBS to fit it seems reasonable...


Very bizarre logic. $500 is $500 regardless of what else I've bought! I can think of lots of things I'd rather spend $500 on than making it a bit easier to climb hills (I haven't even hit any yet that I've really struggled with, this is purely a nice-to-have).
It's like the people who will walk 200 metres to the next store to save 50c on a $2 pen, but won't spend another minute shopping around to save $10 on a car. Humans are very strange sometimes.

I was just adding the cost of a new RD and labour (through your beloved LBS) to you OP price of $160 to swap a cassette, and then rounding up a little. Maybe $300 is closer to the mark. Either way, you said you wouldn't do it yourself, so ..... not so bizarre really.

In a recent post you said the bike is only 3 months old. If you put it in for a decent service soon (often free for the first couple?), or when you've done 3-4000kms, and get them to swap the cassette then and they give you a new chain at the same time etc and it costs say $200 then that's pretty standard. If you don't do any of your own servicing you will need to spend some money - that's what it costs to keep the bike in good nick.

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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:11 pm

cyclotaur wrote:I was just adding the cost of a new RD and labour (through your beloved LBS) to you OP price of $160 to swap a cassette, and then rounding up a little. Maybe $300 is closer to the mark.

I wouldn't do it if was $160. But it doesn't look like I should need to pay more than $100 total for parts+labour to put on a bigger cassette. My point was that as long as it doesn't some how "let down" the bike, it's irrelevant whether the bike was $10K or a freebie how much I pay for this.

cyclotaur wrote:In a recent post you said the bike is only 3 months old. If you put it in for a decent service soon (often free for the first couple?), or when you've done 3-4000kms...


Pretty sure I've already done close to 5K actually (I bought it early November, just after ATB, guess that's 4 months now), but I've already taken it in for a minor servicing. You get a year's worth of free servicing.
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:15 pm

TDC wrote:Playing Bachs Prelude in C was probably hard before you learnt it. Like most things in the world.


Hmm, actually...no...it really is the sort of piece that any 5-6yo kid with a natural musical bent can learn in a few sittings. OTOH, I'd go nuts trying to teach it to my son, who apparently missed out on that gene from me.
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby bychosis » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:44 pm

Consider checking online prices adding fitting by the lbs and then see if they will come anywhere near. They might end up throwing in the fitting "for free" but it shouldn't take a decent mechanic long to switcha cassette and give you a chance to keep the lbs in business.
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:51 pm

I do wonder though...are all LBS's so poor at responding to e-mails? Sent to 3 separate shops before 9 this morning, and not a single response yet. I did call the shop I bought the Oppy from (which is no longer my "local" unfortunately, but still where I can get free servicing), and they were fine with installing a cassette I'd bought online, though couldn't do it on the spot unfortunately, which given that shop is now out of my way, suggests I'll probably have to go elsewhere. If the other stores had e-mailed back they've probably have my business...
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby twizzle » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:29 pm

If anyone knew where you were, you might get some offers to fit a cassette. It's a two minute job. Hint: Set your location in your profile! Even a vague one would help.

Re. chain length, if it was correct to start with, it will be fine after, Shimano does chain sizing using the big chain ring and smallest cog, so unless you changed from a 12-25 to a 13- or 14-, it *should* be long enough. If you use an 11-28, it will be slightly longer than it was before in the Shimano sense.

All of the RD's will happily accomodate a 11-28 with standard or compact, in fact my old Ultegra short-cage is happily dealing with an 11-28 matched to 34-52.
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby cyclotaur » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:51 pm

wizdofaus wrote: My point was that as long as it doesn't some how "let down" the bike, it's irrelevant whether the bike was $10K or a freebie how much I pay for this.


:? .... Well, whatever - good luck with it !
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Re: Best option for adding another gear?

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:03 pm

twizzle wrote:If anyone knew where you were, you might get some offers to fit a cassette. It's a two minute job. Hint: Set your location in your profile! Even a vague one would help.


Done, but um..."two minute job"? The most optimistic assessment I've heard yet by a reasonable seasoned amateur bike mechanic is 15 min!

Mind you I did say a 5yo could learn Bach's Prelude in C in a "few" sittings, which is only true for sufficiently large values of "few" (probably about 15 unless they were the next Mozart).
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