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Old 07-10-09, 07:06 PM   #1
NABRXX
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Gearing, crankset, cassette question....

I have a 1994 mt 300 Raleigh hard tail. 21 speed. The front rings are 24/34/42 tooth with a seven speed cassette out back. I want to make the higher (harder) gear harder. I want to have more room to increase downhill speed. What is the easiest most dependable mod for this? A larger front ringset...or a different rear cassette?...I appreciate any insights.
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Old 07-10-09, 07:33 PM   #2
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Depends on what gear range you've got on the rear.
First, make sure you've got a cassette and freehub on back, not a freewheel with gears that screw on.
For casettes, 11t is the smallest (hardest) available, so if you've got a 12t or higher smallest gear on your cassette, swap in an 11t-Xt cassette. Whatever rear derailleur you have should be able to handle an 11t smallest gear.
On the front, you could go with a bigger biggest cog, but remember that you'll need to go up by about 4 teeth on front to get the same effect as going down 1 tooth on the back, percentage-wise. Then you'll also have to deal with re-mounting or replacing the front derailleur, getting a longer chain, and so forth.
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Old 07-10-09, 08:35 PM   #3
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Thanks...food for thought...
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Old 07-10-09, 08:40 PM   #4
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Make sure it's a cassette, not a freewheel. Those only go down to 13t in the rear, but a 13t smallest sprocket alone doesn't make it a freewheel.
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Old 07-11-09, 01:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by NABRXX View Post
1994 [...] 24/34/42 [...] seven speed cassette
Sounds like the specs for the first year of Shimano STX. If so, you'll find that the chainrings are essentially nonreplaceable. To get different gearing up front, you'd have to change the whole crankset.
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Old 07-11-09, 02:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
Make sure it's a cassette, not a freewheel. Those only go down to 13t in the rear, but a 13t smallest sprocket alone doesn't make it a freewheel.
Actually not. I have a 7-speed freewheel, 11-30. It's either Taiwanese or Chinese made. It's difficult to see any markings on it, but I'll check when I can.
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Old 07-11-09, 03:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mondoman View Post
Depends on what gear range you've got on the rear.
First, make sure you've got a cassette and freehub on back, not a freewheel with gears that screw on.
For casettes, 11t is the smallest (hardest) available, so if you've got a 12t or higher smallest gear on your cassette, swap in an 11t-Xt cassette. Whatever rear derailleur you have should be able to handle an 11t smallest gear.
On the front, you could go with a bigger biggest cog, but remember that you'll need to go up by about 4 teeth on front to get the same effect as going down 1 tooth on the back, percentage-wise. Then you'll also have to deal with re-mounting or replacing the front derailleur, getting a longer chain, and so forth.
Shimano made 11-28 and and 11-34 type C freewheels-and they've been out of production less than 2 years, I have one 11-28 and 3 11-34s. I also have an 11-26 Sachs, and some 12x Sachs and Suntours.
There was also a DuraAce 12x freewheel.

There were some rare Moulton 9x freewheels for the Moulton folders-I bid on one on ebay 2 years ago-it went for almost $300.
There was also an aftermarket adapter to change DuraAce 12x freewheels to 11x.
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Old 07-11-09, 08:48 PM   #8
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Thanks...a lot of good info...I usually just ride em, not fix or mod them.....the comments here will inform my searches .
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