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Old 08-26-12, 06:49 PM   #1
Chrome Molly 
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What would you do (another gearing question)

I purchased a Sugino 48/34 compact crankset for the DD and it worked swimmingly with my 13/26 8 speed shimergo rear and veloce 10 speed brifters. Issue is that I'm getting spun with some frequency due to the 48/13 not being quite enough for descents and down wind. This is my 5-6 hour weekend ride bike, so I sort of want to form an opinion instead of trial and error.

Therefore, I need to do one of these things (add more if you can think of other options)
  • Hub-bub it to a 9 speed ultegra cassette 12-27
  • Purchase a 50+ tooth large ring and a chain keeper
  • Completely swap out the rear for campy 10 speed 12-?, including a new wheelset (which is warranted given I was roll passed by teenagers on the descents) - wouldn't happen until later this winter though...
  • Put on the pre DD 53-39 and avoid the steepest local hills (not liking that idea, since I don't want to give back my climbing legs, but it is an option)
  • Cobble together my own cassette, but the 13-26 and other ones I've recently purchased are riveted, so need some guidance in that case
  • Triple crank - maybe
  • Do nothing and just be spun out every now and then

Other thoughts or reasons for personal preferences for any of the options are appreciated. Leaning toward swapping out the rear for full campy, but know there are cheapskates and artists on this forum that might have me picking another idea.
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Old 08-26-12, 07:00 PM   #2
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The thing I didn't see is the BCD.
FSA makes a 52t chain ring that fits on a 110BCD compact crank arm.
If your FD and RD can handle the gap, that's what I'd do.

I built a bike with a 52/36 compact and it was really a nice combo.
I wish I'd have had it at DD, but not sure it would have made a difference because my motor was gassed.

The 52/34 and swap the 13t for a 12t (12-26 should give you a pretty good setup.)

To avoid getting rolled past, just do what I did-gain 25 lbs.
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Old 08-26-12, 07:07 PM   #3
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SRAM makes an 11-26 8 speed cassette. The PG850.
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Old 08-26-12, 07:33 PM   #4
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If it were me, and assuming that the current set-up is jewel-fine smooth and working nicely, I think that I'd elect to just spin out on descents. Achieving a slick vintage transmission is no mean achievement IMHO. So personally, I'm inclined to accept what comes close to perfection and live with the compromises. But then, I neither race nor participate in group rides. But ... here is a suggestion:

Currently, I'm on vintage freewheels or SS, and they are all geared differently. My climber bike is my Vitus 979. (I'm not a distance rider, but if I commute on Velo, one of my destinations has some steep hills.) The front drive is Record with 52 x 39. The 6 speed FW has a 28 bailout cog. To ensure capacity, I put on a SunTour XC RD. I can winch my way up to work with a backpack full of stuff. I've used to ride the same route using an MTB three ring drive, but I was frustrated by the loss of speed on the way back. The Vitus setup is a good compromise, even as it looks a bit weird with the oversize RD hanging off it.
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Old 08-26-12, 07:45 PM   #5
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It is a 110 compact.

An 11 high gear would mean sacrificing in the current 13-17 range (where the 16 is already missed). I'd thought of that, but left it off the list since I didn't like it on other bikes I've set up (but thank you for the omitted suggestion). I wish the 8 speed MTB cassettes started at 12 vs 11, then my problem would be solved.

And yes, the current setup is awfully nice. It splits the Veloce triple brifter settings beautifully, offering stopped low and high trims on both chainrings. So much so, that I tossed on the 48/34 where I had a 53/39 and didn't lower the FD because I didn't want to touch a thing (looks awful, but still works nicely).

I'm wondering if a 52/34 would be do-able? I recall that Sugino makes 110 chainrings up to 52. A 52/13 is really all I'd need.
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Old 08-26-12, 07:59 PM   #6
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If it were me, and assuming that the current set-up is jewel-fine smooth and working nicely, I think that I'd elect to just spin out on descents.
This would be my suggestion too. 48/13 is the high gear on my Boulder and I know it's a personal decision; for me, it's ok to spin out on the descents because the rest of the ride is darned near perfect, which is what I hear you saying also.
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Old 08-26-12, 08:20 PM   #7
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I'm voting for the 52/34. I had a 52/39 with a 13/26 7spd for the DD and only missed having a lower ratio on that hill in Gov. Dodge park.(of course I only did 100k, I don't know what other hell/hill was out there) I passed a lot of folks downhill with the 52/13. I've got a 50/39 and 12/26 8spd now. I also know you're strong enough to just do the 53/39!
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Old 08-26-12, 11:03 PM   #8
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52!
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Old 08-26-12, 11:20 PM   #9
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48/13 works out to about 97 or 98 gear inches. I'd use those downhills as an opportunity to stretch the hamstrings.
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Old 08-26-12, 11:32 PM   #10
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I'd change the 13t to a 12t, for the cheapest fix.

SRAM all-steel cassettes are much lighter than any 8s Shimano road cassettes, cost half as much and are nicely chromed. SRAM makes a 12-26t cassette in 8sp, for about $25 online.
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Old 08-27-12, 03:33 AM   #11
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Personally I never got the whole compact crank thing. I may have gone with a more standard road set up like a 39/52(3) and 'bailout' granny in a low 30ish. It has been maybe 4 years since I was through that part of Minn so I can't recall what the hills are like.
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Old 08-27-12, 06:07 AM   #12
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So I think it's down to FSA 52 chainring (maybe $50 all done plus chain guide - needed anyway), and 12-26 cassette (which I'll need to find). Thanks for the input. I'll save the full campy for later if a wheelset change demands it. The biggest decision now is if I want to mess with lowering the FD or not. The nice trim, is making me lean for the bigger ring. I could adjust it to work as well as now, but days are already getting shorter and the quick fix might be better. Either way, the cassette or ring should solve the spin out issue. Thx
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Old 08-27-12, 06:09 AM   #13
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http://www.amazon.com/SRAM-PG850-8-S.../dp/B003WOQ5DM

If I'm not wrong that cassette goes 13, 15, 17. Doesn't get your 16, but it's probably as close as it gets.
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Old 08-27-12, 06:19 AM   #14
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I'd change the 13t to a 12t, for the cheapest fix.
+1 and leave the rest of everything alone.

I'm also of the opinion that the gap between the smallest cog and the 2nd smallest doesn't need to be tight on a recreational bike. You're only ever using it on descents anyway, so who cares if the hill isn't *quite* steep enough to get you up to your preferred cadence?
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Old 08-27-12, 06:49 AM   #15
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Did you say ten-speed brifters? Whoah--you have an expensive problem. I'd replace them with some Suntour bar ends, redish the wheel, and put a 6-speed 14-16-19-22-26-34 freewheel. Then I'd put on a long-cage derailleur(something like a Cyclone or a VGT Luxe) and replace the 48 with a 46. That would allow me to be happy on flats and the steepest of ascents. I would accept a certain amount of spinning out on the downhills with philosophic calm. I have that setup on one of my bikes, and it works really well for me.
That's not to say it would work for you, but the question was what would I do.
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Old 08-27-12, 07:34 AM   #16
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So I think it's down to FSA 52 chainring (maybe $50 all done plus chain guide - needed anyway), and 12-26 cassette (which I'll need to find). Thanks for the input. I'll save the full campy for later if a wheelset change demands it. The biggest decision now is if I want to mess with lowering the FD or not.
If you're set up for a 48t big ring, and you swap it for a 52t, you'll have to raise the FD, not lower it.

If it were me, I'd leave it as is. When the teenagers pass you on the descents, just yell, "Get off my lawn!"
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Old 08-27-12, 07:36 AM   #17
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Am I mistaken in thinking that a 52/13 gives the same gear inches as a 48/12 combo? If so, just the 12/26 cassette swap is quick and painless.
http://www.amazon.com/SRAM-PG850-8-S.../dp/B003WOQ5DM
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Old 08-27-12, 09:27 AM   #18
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Am I mistaken in thinking that a 52/13 gives the same gear inches as a 48/12 combo? If so, just the 12/26 cassette swap is quick and painless.
http://www.amazon.com/SRAM-PG850-8-S.../dp/B003WOQ5DM
No, you are not mistaken. 52/13 and 48/12 are the same. I'd probably swap the cassette, as you suggest. 12-26 is nearly as tight a cluster as 13-26, so the spacing between gears won't be hugely different.
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Old 08-27-12, 10:34 AM   #19
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If you asked me (and you asked all of us, didn't you?) I'd say leave it. There are several reasons.

In my experience 36/52 or even worse 34/52 FD shifts can be problematic, though with newer rings and chains not as bad as in the old days. If you must change something, change the rear.

From a simple physics standpoint the incremental gain in speed from exerting force on the pedals is less at higher speeds, since drag increases as the square of the speed and power increases as the cube of speed. The incremental decrease in elapsed time from point A to point B diminishes even more. Which is all a fancy way of sain' it ain't worth the effort to pedal when you're already goin' lickety-split. Or to put it another way, it's like gunslingers. There can always be a downhill steeper than you can pedal. So where do you draw the line and stop chasing?

YMMV, of course. Everybody's does.
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Old 08-27-12, 05:42 PM   #20
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I'd just do a 50/36 compact with a 12-27 9-speed.

Everything is common like dirt and can be had on the cheap.

Skip the Ultegra and stick with the 105.
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Old 08-27-12, 06:11 PM   #21
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Did you say ten-speed brifters? Whoah--you have an expensive problem. I'd replace them with some Suntour bar ends, redish the wheel, and put a 6-speed 14-16-19-22-26-34 freewheel. Then I'd put on a long-cage derailleur(something like a Cyclone or a VGT Luxe) and replace the 48 with a 46.
and paint it red.
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