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Old 02-25-10, 05:46 PM   #1
Oregon Southpaw
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New Crank or New Cassette?

Hi guys,

I am currently running a bike that has 52/42 chainrings, 6 speed. I live in Oregon and love climbing, but I do find I run out of spinnable gears on some of the wicked uphills. Freewheel on the rear hub.

My gut reaction was to just throw a 39t chainring on but I have been told that my crank (Sugino Super Mighty) will take 41t at the smallest, and those aren't easy to track down (or worthwhile).

I'm running friction with a Cyclone FD and a Sprint 9000 (index-capable) RD.

So I'm looking for the cheapest way to go. I've got access to all the tools I would need and some capable help at the bike co-op down the street.

Would the 42t -> 39t change be worth it? I'm looking at some really cheap 144BCD cranks online as we speak. I felt like I had all the gears I'd ever need on my dad's 7sp 52/39, but then again, that was Indiana where there is no climbing.
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Old 02-25-10, 06:16 PM   #2
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Sounds like you are riding some vintage steel there.

I get by with a 42/53 and a 14-28 for hill climbing and would be loathe to swap my Sugino Mighty for some characterless modern crank...

What is the gear range on your freewheel now ?
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Old 02-25-10, 06:24 PM   #3
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14-24

As this is neither C&V nor the Road Cycling forum, I'll ignore any HTFU comments since I spent a whole season doing that...

Looking for some crank pictures while we're at it
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Old 02-25-10, 06:25 PM   #4
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Some options:

Swap in a 6 speed megarange that has a 14 - 15 - 18 - 21 - 24 - 34 or pony up $50.00 for an IRC with a 13 - 15 - 18 - 21 - 24 - 32 or consider an upgrade to a 7 speed with a Shimano 14 - 16 - 18 - 20 - 22 - 24 - 34 or the IRC 7 speed with a 13 - 15 - 18 - 21 - 24 - 28 - 32.

Your rear d will need to be able to handle the larger rear cogs and with a 7 speed upgrade you may need a spacing washer on the drive side... with a steel frame you can add a matching washer on the non drive and avoid having to re dish the wheel and it should still fit quite nicely.

The 7 speed is a little tighter across it's top 6 speeds with 2 tooth jumps which can help with maintaining cadence and avoids bigger jumps in gearing.

I use an 8 speed mega cassette on my touring bike... it makes for smoother shifting across the main 7 and I have a 34 there when things are pointing straight up.
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Old 02-25-10, 06:30 PM   #5
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14-24

As this is neither C&V nor the Road Cycling forum, I'll ignore any HTFU comments since I spent a whole season doing that...

Looking for some crank pictures while we're at it
Try a 14-28 and see how that goes... with a 42/52 and a 14-28 you have a gear range similar to a compact but lose a little off the top.

My set up for climbing... love those vintage Sugino cranks.

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Old 02-25-10, 06:31 PM   #6
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Thank you Sixty Fiver, for options to consider. Those seem like valid options, and like you mentioned earlier, I don't think my friends would like me anymore if I swapped out the crank since they ask about buying it on a weekly basis.

Sad, but this is the only good picture I have of it
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Old 02-26-10, 12:02 AM   #7
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Thank you Sixty Fiver, for options to consider. Those seem like valid options, and like you mentioned earlier, I don't think my friends would like me anymore if I swapped out the crank since they ask about buying it on a weekly basis.

Sad, but this is the only good picture I have of it
Yeah, that crank is 144mm bolt pattern, which means 42 tooth is a small as you go (41, as you've found, is really rare.)

The perfect swap for you would be an old set of Sugino Mighty Tour cranks, with a 38/52 double or even a 34/46/52 triple. Sadly, finding Mighty Tour cranks seems pretty tough. I found a set of arms on Ebay, but you'd have to get some 110mm rings to make 'em work.

I have a set of NOS Mighty Tour arms in my collection, but I'm not letting them go, no way.

Here's the modern version:
http://www.suginoltd.co.jp/english/p...er_english.htm
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Old 02-26-10, 12:14 AM   #8
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Thank you Sixty Fiver, for options to consider. Those seem like valid options, and like you mentioned earlier, I don't think my friends would like me anymore if I swapped out the crank since they ask about buying it on a weekly basis.
I have gotten a few offers for my Mighty as well... they are dead sexy and very well made cranks.
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