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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 12-15-12, 03:06 PM   #1
Black wallnut 
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Upgrade experiment

Monday will be one year since I bought my road bike. It has given me over 5K happy miles. Time to change out the chain for the third time which makes it time to swap out the cassette as well. It came with a 50/34 compact crank and 12-25 9 speed cassette. Going down some hills I have spun out and was wishful of an 11 cog. Going up some hills I was wishful for just a few more teeth on the back. I decided to go smaller and bigger at the same time knowing that my in between would have much larger steps, choose an 11-30. Lately in spin class I have been in one cog harder than the instructor/coach was asking for and usually on my cadence counts I was also spinning faster than suggested which pointed me to maybe it being time to kick it up a notch. I was able to secure a 53/39 used crankset complete with bottom bracket for a steal of a price. We will see how this works for me and if it does not I'm not out much plus my teenage son will be able to use it if I do not. At the end of the day my new combination is both faster and slower on each end. We shall see how much big gear I will be able to spin once spring begins. Until then I'll be working harder on the trainer. I'll likely wait until 60 weather to find my top down hill speed.
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Old 12-15-12, 03:10 PM   #2
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What is the max cog capacity of your rear derailleur? Some rear ders max at 28. Maybe some use them with 30s problem free but hopefully you looked into it first.
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Old 12-15-12, 04:01 PM   #3
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I would have suggested getting mid-compact chainrings for the front if you asked me first.

52x36 is the best of both worlds, and what I'm currently using. I have an 11-28 in the back but when I re-up some time in the future I'll probably get a 12-28 because frankly, I don't spin out till I'm > 40 mph and I don't really see the point, and I ONLY ever use the 11 cog on a big downhill.

I can go up some pretty steep hills with that 36/28 combo although a hill near me that is in the 13-15% range gives me heaps of trouble. (Cannon Rd going south from Imperial... I think it's technically still Imperial at that point for those of you in this area)

Anyway, good luck with your experiment!
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Old 12-15-12, 06:57 PM   #4
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A good cyclist has a collection of bike specific tools, and a box of used and new spare parts.

A great cyclist has a workshop dedicated to bikes and a garage filled with bikes that are still good, and he might ride them again one day.

You are on your way.
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Old 12-16-12, 02:34 PM   #5
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Shimano lists 27 as the largest cog for my rear derailleur, not real concerned about that. Heck I may be switching to an 11-27 in no time anyway.

TH I bought what was available for cheap. I might have to find a mid-compact as well! Thanks for the tip.

skilsaw, I like your thinking..... it is nice to have options.

Yesterday I did The Sufferfest The Wretched and like the new gearing. Can't wait for our roads to clean off and try this out on a road.
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Old 12-16-12, 03:30 PM   #6
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Cranks aren't cheap if you immediately have to buy new chainrings for them.

Good luck though.

Maybe you should consider building up a whole new bike for your whole new crank... a more flatland bike.
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Old 12-16-12, 04:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
Shimano lists 27 as the largest cog for my rear derailleur, not real concerned about that. Heck I may be switching to an 11-27 in no time anyway......
28 wouldn't be a problem, since Shimano is somewhat conservative.

What is the chain wrap capacity of your RDER? That's the 2nd part of the equation.
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