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  1. #1
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    Convert 10 speed to 15 or more speed

    I have a 10 speed that I like and am wondering how hard it is to convert it to a 15 speed or something with more gears.

    Seems like it should be pretty easy.

    Thank you for your advice.

  2. #2
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    I assume you mean a 10 speed in the former sense that it has two chainrings and 5 rear cogs. You could fit a triple (three chain rings) crank to get 15 speeds but it may not be cheap or easy depending on what bike you have and what the existing crank looks like.

    Mor details about what you have would help.

  3. #3
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    Generally speaking these kinds of upgrades are possible but cost more than the bike is worth, unless you have some special sentimental attachment to the bike's frame.

    Al

  4. #4
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    Thanks all.

    My bike does not have a huge amount of sentimental value but if I could convert it cheaply I would. Looks like that is not a viable option though.

    Thanks for the replies so now I know.

  5. #5
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    Most all "10 speed" bikes are older, and have a 5-speed rear cogset thats likely a freewheel. If we're talking about a roadster with friction shifters, then buying and installing a six or seven speed freewheel is not a big proposition.
    Nashbar normally has them for about 20 bucks. Likely you'll have to go to a bike shop to have the correct freewheel puller used to remove the one on your bike. They may charge a couple of bucks for this, maybe not if you bring the wheel in.
    Then it's just a matter of changing the stops on the rear derailleur to accomodate the wider freewheel.

    However.... Depending on the spacing of the rear frame dropouts, you may have to spread the dropouts as well. It would help to know exactly what kind of bike you're talking about, it's age, and so forth.

  6. #6
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    You can easily get a servicable 21-speed bike (3x7) or better on Craigslist for under $100, possibly under $50.

    Bottom line is, you could probably do surgery on the old bike, but it's probably not worth the cash outlay.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ender7 View Post
    I have a 10 speed that I like and am wondering how hard it is to convert it to a 15 speed or something with more gears.
    The odds are real good that you have the amazingly common square taper bottom bracket, so finding a "new" used crank with a triple that'd fit should be very doable. Getting another freewheel cluster 6 or 7 spd shouldn't be too hard or cost that much either.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabac View Post
    The odds are real good that you have the amazingly common square taper bottom bracket, so finding a "new" used crank with a triple that'd fit should be very doable. Getting another freewheel cluster 6 or 7 spd shouldn't be too hard or cost that much either.
    The odds are about the same that it's an Ashtabula crank and the OP would have to change everything.

    Going to a 6 or 7-speed freewheel could also require an axle change from 120 to 126 mm, redishing the wheel and respacing the frame.

    That's why I asked what the bike currently is.

  9. #9
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabac View Post
    The odds are real good that you have the amazingly common square taper bottom bracket, so finding a "new" used crank with a triple that'd fit should be very doable. Getting another freewheel cluster 6 or 7 spd shouldn't be too hard or cost that much either.
    Even if it is square taper doesn't mean it is necessarily long enough to accomodate a triple crank. Although if he finds a donor bike with a triple crank and BB, they could potentially both be moved over.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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  10. #10
    Senior Member cmcanulty's Avatar
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    I just did it very cheaply a $40 crank from bikeman.com 44-32-22, and a $5 triple front derailleur from niagara cycle works for $5, I did have friction shifters so they were OK also I picked the crank as it fits a 110 or113 BB which was what I already had.Here are the links, email me for questions
    http://www.bikeman.com/CR7276.html
    http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=10686
    both companies are very helpful with information on phone. Now I have super low gears and hills are a snap.

  11. #11
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    Zombie thread revival time!

    What if it's an Ashtabula double and I already have an Ashtabula triple that looks like it might fit? Will the old FD generally have enough range to handle it, and are there other problems likely to arise? Specifically, this is on the old Huffy Bay Pointe from this thread, and the triple is from a WalMart bike I've already scrapped the frame of. I may even have another FD from a triple laying around.

    Yes, I know I should get off my lazy butt and try it, but I'd hate to have what looks like a 30-minute crank-swap and FD adjustment turn into a mess if it's predictable.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KD5NRH View Post
    Zombie thread revival time!

    What if it's an Ashtabula double and I already have an Ashtabula triple that looks like it might fit? Will the old FD generally have enough range to handle it, and are there other problems likely to arise? Specifically, this is on the old Huffy Bay Pointe from this thread, and the triple is from a WalMart bike I've already scrapped the frame of. I may even have another FD from a triple laying around.

    Yes, I know I should get off my lazy butt and try it, but I'd hate to have what looks like a 30-minute crank-swap and FD adjustment turn into a mess if it's predictable.
    It's predictable but not certain.

    As a general rule you can never change just one part on a bicycle. Everything works together so, when you change one part, you generally have to modify or change something else to make it work.

    In your case I can't think off hand what the hic-cup might be but I'd be willing to bet there will be one.

  13. #13
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    Well, I got to try it last night; set out for my bank run (~3mi round trip, I like to take the Huffy just for the heck of it) and things felt fine. Got about a half mile out and the pedals felt wrong. By the time I made it home, the NDS cone had backed out enough that the DS bearing retainer was in pieces and the NDS one only had three bearings left in it. Since the other crank's bearings and retainers were still sitting in the "to be degreased and stored for future use" bucket, (AKA the "random greasy or oily crap that might be useful later but that I can't be bothered to do anything with yet" bucket) I decided to mount it all up and try it out.

    Still needs some tweaking on the FD stops, but it hits all three rings with careful shifting. Went from 52 to 48 on the big ring, but also dropped a couple teeth on the small ring, and the middle one keeps it from being such a big jump. I'm not planning to do any serious sprinting on this bike anyway, and 3-5 went from being essentially unturnable from a dead stop to just barely startable, (and still just about as fast as I'll ever want to go on a Huffy) while 1-1 is now a decent spinner on the small hills, rather than "just low enough that I don't have to get off and push."

    I think I have a usable 6-speed freewheel laying around too...but an 18-speed 10-speed is starting to sound silly. It doesn't quite scream Frankenbike yet, but it's getting there. (Watch; I'll end up finding some rusty junker with trekking bars and those old heavy plastic BMX aero discs at a garage sale for $5 and feel compelled to add it to the parts mix.)

  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    What are you trying to accomplish?

    If your objective is just to "mod" your bike some way, here's another idea.

    Count the number of teeth on your largest rear cog. If it's less than 34, you can buy a replacement freewheel that will give you an easier hill climb gear.

    The bad news is that you'll need a special tool to remove your old freewheel and you'll also have to replace the chain and you'll need a special tool to do that. You might find out that you need a new rear derailleur too.

    The good news is all the "stuff" that you'll learn through the process. Just getting the old freewheel off will be a major learning experience.

  15. #15
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    What are you trying to accomplish?
    Experimenting with a cheap bike. Generally, just seeing what fits, then seeing if it has any benefit at all. (Including looking odd in a good way - it's helpful if the local cops can recognize all my bikes from a distance, since most of them already know me and take interest if they see someone else on one of them.) If not, it goes back on the spares or recycle piles.

    The good news is all the "stuff" that you'll learn through the process. Just getting the old freewheel off will be a major learning experience.
    Actually, I figured that part out; it sticks out just enough that a file held sideways in the vise will engage the notches to remove it. It's already using an 8-speed chain, since that's what was available locally, so the only real reason I haven't tried a 6-speed freewheel on it yet is that I haven't gotten around to fishing a good one out of the pile.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by KD5NRH View Post
    Actually, I figured that part out; it sticks out just enough that a file held sideways in the vise will engage the notches to remove it. .
    Speaking from experience - don't do that. Files are meant to hard - i.e. brittle. I've snapped one against a stubborn freewheel, and those shards are sharp! It's a nasty ping when they ricochet against the workshop walls too.

  17. #17
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabac View Post
    Speaking from experience - don't do that. Files are meant to hard - i.e. brittle. I've snapped one against a stubborn freewheel, and those shards are sharp! It's a nasty ping when they ricochet against the workshop walls too.
    It's a ~1/4" thick file clamped in with maybe 1/4" of the edge above the jaws. Not much to snap, and if I ever have occasion to remove that freewheel again, I'll probably be replacing it with one that I have a tool for anyway. If I planned to do it on any sort of regular basis I'd forge a good bar out of the old dozer blade edge I made one of my knives from...or just anneal one of the $3 files I have laying around.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by KD5NRH View Post
    It's a ~1/4" thick file clamped in with maybe 1/4" of the edge above the jaws. Not much to snap,
    Again, I've tried it. Setup was close enough to what you're describing.There's obviously enough to snap. But go ahead, it won't be my pain next time.

    Quote Originally Posted by KD5NRH View Post
    .. If I planned to do it on any sort of regular basis I'd ... anneal one of the $3 files I have laying around.
    You know, that sounds a lot more sensible.

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