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Old 05-05-06, 01:26 AM   #1
Jed19 
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Changing 42t Chainring to 44t on a Commuter

I have an 1994 Cannondale Killer V900 bike that I am trying to convert to a commuter. The Chainrings are 22*32*42 (94BCD, 5bolts). I am considering changing the 42t to a 44t.

My questions are: 1) Can I find a steel 44t, 94BCD, 5bolts chainring anywhere; 2) Considering that the 42t on there now is a Sugino alloy, would steel 44t clash with the 22t and the 32t alloys; 3)The Shimano LX front derailleur is the original circa 1994 that came with the bike, and I am wondering if the LX derailleur can, with adjustment, take on the extra 2teeth jump that it will be asked to do, without any strain; 4)Do I need new chains? or will the new 2teeth jump work with my present chains sized for the 42t big chainring?

If it helps, I run 12/28, 7-speed cogs, and the bike has an XT rear derailleur.

By the way, I am thinking steel 44t b/cos I understand they last much longer than alloy chainrings, and I am not terribly concerned about weight.

I know some people will think that I should just get rid of the bike, but I am the original owner, have some sentimental attachment to the bike, and paid close to a thousand dollars for it in 1994. Moreover, I just do not like selling stuff.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 05-05-06, 02:00 AM   #2
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44t, 94bcd is the easy part, there are a bunch of those out there at normal prices ($30 to $70). Steel, however, isn't going to be easy. I would just go for the Al.

Your FD will be fine, it might need to go up just a spot, might not. Remember if you move it you have to adjust the cable as well.

Consult the usual resources (sheldon, park tool) about how to measure how long your chain should be once you have the stuff in hand. You can get away with too short for a little while if you don't use any dumb gear combos, but add a link or replace your chain if the situation calls for it.
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Old 05-05-06, 06:12 AM   #3
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Aluminum chainrings last a long time unless you are riding in extremely harsh, abrasive conditions (like on the beach ). Larger ones last longer than smaller ones too so your should be fine with an Al chainring. As Langolier said, steel is going to be difficult to find as most steel large rings came on super cheap cranks and weren't replaceable.

You will probably have to raise the fd a bit if it's properly set now but it should work fine once adjusted.

As to chain length, you are probably ok. Check that you can shift into your current big-big combination and still have a bit of slack. If it's too tight now, you will have to lengthen it for the new ring.
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Old 05-05-06, 11:55 AM   #4
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3) Should work. I run 22x32x46 with an LX FD with no problems.
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Old 05-05-06, 12:37 PM   #5
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You might want to reconsider even changing. The difference in gear inches between a 42X15 and 44X15 is 3 inches. Basically, you won't be able to feel the difference. If you want bigger gears, go to something around a 52 for the big CR.
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Old 05-05-06, 01:06 PM   #6
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Also, the large chainring doesn't get used as much, as well as having more teeth to spread out the use that it receives, so you may as well go with an alloy 44t. But that said, a 44t won't be much diff than a 42. If you're going to change (I assume b/c you want bigger gears for downhills), go with a 46 at least.
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Old 05-05-06, 01:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Gonzo Bob
3) Should work. I run 22x32x46 with an LX FD with no problems.
I would love to have a 22x32x46 combo. I would like to know if you have any problems whatsoever shifting between the 32 and the 46 chainrings. Does the FD perform sluggishly between these two chainrings?

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Old 05-05-06, 04:18 PM   #8
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The 32-46 shift is slightly more sluggish than the original 32-42. But that's partly because the 46 is not as "exquisitely" ramped and pinned as the 42. The crank and original rings are Shimano Deore LX and the 46 is a CODA ring I got cheap on eBay.
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Old 05-05-06, 07:22 PM   #9
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Definitely use aluminum on your two outer rings, and do your heavy torquing/grinding in your inner ring.

42/12x26 gives you a 91-inch top gear, which is low even by my standards. A 44T ring would bring you up to a 95 gear-inches, which I find adequate. (I have 104 on one Capo, 100 on the PKN-10, 96 on the mountain bike and the Bianchi, 94 on the other Capo, and 93 on the UO-8.)
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Old 05-06-06, 11:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by John E
Definitely use aluminum on your two outer rings, and do your heavy torquing/grinding in your inner ring.

42/12x26 gives you a 91-inch top gear, which is low even by my standards. A 44T ring would bring you up to a 95 gear-inches, which I find adequate. (I have 104 on one Capo, 100 on the PKN-10, 96 on the mountain bike and the Bianchi, 94 on the other Capo, and 93 on the UO-8.)
Actually, I am now thinking of taking out the whole crank and replacing it with the Sugino XD300 in 26x36x46.

I hope I do not have to buy a new BB to mount the Sugino. The 26x36x46 will be just perfect for the kind of riding I want to do. I envision using the bike as a comfortable spinner/exercise bike. The only problem is that the Sugino XD300 (26x36x46) only comes with either 175mm or 170mm cranks. I would have loved it with a 172.5mm crank. Anyway, I am thinking of getting a 170mm. I think that will make for a perfect spinner, as I am about 5' 10" with a cycling inseam of 34inches and size 12 shoes.

What do you people think of the Sugino XD300 (26x36x46)? It has steel chainrings by the way.

Thanks.

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Old 06-09-06, 05:07 PM   #11
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Actually, I am now thinking of taking out the whole crank and replacing it with the Sugino XD300 in 26x36x46.
If you want just a spinning bike than a single 52T would do.

I have a 47-38-28, and think that is a silly design. It basically gives just 2 extra gears on the big and little cranks. I don't understand why they make cranks that narrow. 42-32-22 at least gives 3 extra gears on bottom and 2.5 on top. I just dont understand why the default cranks aren't set up much wider than they are.

I liked your original idea of just changing the larger crankwheel to bigger.
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Old 06-09-06, 06:00 PM   #12
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For a better high gear, my first suggestion is to switch to an 11-28 or 11-30 rear cassette. The 11 is a significant improvement over a 12. You'll want a new chain to go with that, I'd get a Sachs PC-58. At that age, you might need a very thin ~1mm spacer behind the cassette for it to use up all the space on the cassette body and snug down.

For a front chainring, here's a killer deal: http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.asp?id=10218 These are very, very durable rings, made of hard 7075 aluminum plus they're nickel-plated on top of that. And that is an excellent price. They won't shift as smoothly as a pinned-&-ramped Shimano, but they'll outlast it, and for a dirt-cheap price too.
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Old 06-09-06, 08:15 PM   #13
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Sometimes you can get chainrings on eBay cheap. You can just buy a few rings and try them out. Resell the ones you don't want. I would cruise ebay and froogle.
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Old 06-09-06, 08:31 PM   #14
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I'd go with the new Sugino crank and new a new bottom bracket as well-- should cost you under $100 and you'll be set with nice new stuff that will last for a long time-- longer than the bike will last maybe. Oh, well, that crank can always be put on the next bike!
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Old 06-09-06, 08:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillRider
Aluminum chainrings last a long time unless you are riding in extremely harsh, abrasive conditions (like on the beach ).
NOt just on the beach. I ride mainly on dirt and gravel roads and just had to replace my middle aluminum ring on my mountain bike. It wasn't even a year old yet.
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