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  1. #1
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Miss Lightweight Makeover

    For the road bike purists this will probably give them extreme heartburn but I've completed the makeover of my 5900. What I've done is change it from a 10 speed to a 9 speed and changed the rear gearing with my most recent modifications.

    I purchased the bike used a few months ago. It came as 10 speed Dura Ace and a 53/39 crank. I changed the crank to a 50/34 but left it 10 speed. I've done several centuries with a 12/27 rear cassette and for the long rides with grades 10% and below it works great. However, I realized that I needed a slightly easier gear for the centuries that might have a long climb late in the ride or have sections of double digit climbs. My cadence was dropping down into the mid 50's on the steeper climbs and that's just not healthy on the knees or hips.

    So, after looking at the gear inch tables I installed a 11/32 XTR cassette, a Deore XT rear derailleur and a 9 speed Dura Ace right shifter. I left the front shifter, compact crank and derailleur as it was.

    I'm really excited about this combination and hope it performs well on the road. It gives me a little more gear on the high end (50/11) and a good bit easier gear on the low end (34/28 & 34/32). I took it out for a brief shakedown this afternoon and the shifting seemed to be fine. It's certainly not in the class of all Dura Ace but if it will just shift when I need for it to I'll be okay with that.

    Its giving me the spread of gears I'm looking for and keeping the weight at a minimum at the same time. In fact, I've now got a slightly easier gear than I have on my triple at 30/27 so I'm really excited about some of the tougher climbing centuries that are coming up.

    The 10 speed equipment is not going to go to waste!! I'll give the 5900 a couple of good rides and then probably convert the Madone to a 10 speed using the equipment I removed from the 5900.

    Here's some pics of the new drivetrain.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    jock doc
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    Your garage needs painting.
    Cheers
    Oh ya honey, nice bike.
    "and chase the frothy bubbles, while the world is full of troubles..."
    W.B. Yeats

  3. #3
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammerdocnomo
    Your garage needs painting.
    That's funny!! I wondered if anyone would pick up on that. It's been on my list for way too long. I'm going to get around to it right after I finish training and complete the next big ride. Let's see. I've been telling myself that for about 18 mos now...... I've promised myself I'd get to painting the house this summer, though.

    Anyone out there want to help??

  4. #4
    jock doc
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    Good God, no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Why do you think we all ride?
    I've mowed the lawn twice in 11 years at this house.
    Besides, that's why God made kids.
    "and chase the frothy bubbles, while the world is full of troubles..."
    W.B. Yeats

  5. #5
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Nice conversion. I'd be very interested in knowing what you think after some additional miles and hills.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  6. #6
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    For the road bike purists this will probably give them extreme heartburn but I've completed the makeover of my 5900. .
    Phooie on those purists....besides, jppe, you've already beaten most of them!

    I admire your resourcefulness in making over Ms. Lite for the long, hard haul. Your knees etc will still be climbing mountains in coming years while the current OCP'ers are climbing into bed. Naturally, we'll want ride reports from those steep, hilly centuries....especially the ones where the quads have melted into jello-- and then you get to the REAL climbs.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
    .

  7. #7
    Senior Member Raketmensch's Avatar
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    Wow... that is one whompin' big cluster on the back... not to mention a really long derailleur. You oughta be able to climb up walls with that rig! Nicely done, and I bet you like the 10-speed on the Madone as well.

  8. #8
    Semper Fidelis
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    be interestng on how everything works, especially with the climbing and the gearing
    "Advantages Must Be Pressed, Disadvantages Must Be Overcome"

  9. #9
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    JPPE,

    I'm glad to see that you sacrificed weight for safety with your red flashy blinkie on the seat post! I have one on each of my bikes even though my 13 year old says they are so "nerdy."

    As I work on my '66 Paramount to ride here in the NH mountians, I'm setting it up in a similar fashion. The crankset will be a 52 and 38 or 36 (the smallest chaineing I can use on a vintage crankset without a triple), and the rear is an unusual Regina 6 speed freewheel that ranges from 13 to 31. With this setup I can't use the original Campagnolo Nuovo Record RD. I managed to find a brand new (late 70s) Campy Rally long cage RD. The purists over on Classic and Vintage think I'm nuts to set up a Paramount this way, but the original 52-49 crankset and the 13-21 five speed rear won't move me 25 feet up most of my hills!

    Good luck on your shake down rides! May all your steep climbs come easy!
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

    Visit my websites:
    FreeWheelSpa.com orpastorbobnlnh.com

  10. #10
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Smart move. Your back and knees will thank you. BTW, I always like seeing bikes modified to suit the rider rather than the other way around. Every bike should have some aspect that makes it like no other bike in the world.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Just when I think you've pretty well tricked out all of your rides you manage to raise the bar higher. It looks nice jppe, I hope it continues to shift smoothly.

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Don't know if it is just a consequence of maturing- but High gears for me have always been difficult to pull. Doesn't mean to say I am slow, but those 53/11 gearings have never existed for me- I have enough trouble on the flat at 48/11, except whem gravity takes over, so The "NEW" roadbike at 52/12 will probably not have the big gears pulled too often. Mind you- already found out where the 30/26 is so Perhaps I ought to reverse my rides.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  13. #13
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raketmensch
    Wow... that is one whompin' big cluster on the back... not to mention a really long derailleur. You oughta be able to climb up walls with that rig!
    Raket I figured you'd notice how it would look since your setup was what I originally had and I agree!! The large cluster and long cage on the 5900 is like putting overalls on Carmen Diaz........

    My bike shop wrenches all wriggled their noses when I would ask them about this setup. However I talked with enough guys who have done it so I'm confident it will work.

    I've gone from being anxious about some of the steep climbs to now looking forward to getting this thing out and spinning at a higher cadence. Well see!!!

  14. #14
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    Raket I figured you'd notice how it would look since your setup was what I originally had and I agree!! The large cluster and long cage on the 5900 is like putting overalls on Carmen Diaz........

    My bike shop wrenches all wriggled their noses when I would ask them about this setup. However I talked with enough guys who have done it so I'm confident it will work.

    I've gone from being anxious about some of the steep climbs to now looking forward to getting this thing out and spinning at a higher cadence. Well see!!!
    Doing Hills? Need the gearing. Doing lots of hills? Need the right Gearing. Tandem uses a triple 48/36/24 and an LX 11/32 cassette. We need those gears offroad and it is surprising how many times we need that Granny uphills on the road. See you have gone XTR cassette and we have not tried this yet. Have tried an XT cassette and we fold them, so keep on the cheaper LX that is stronger. Too much power and they normally last just a bit up the first hill. What we have done though was to fit an XTR rear derailler. Did not notice a great deal of difference, possibly a bit smoother but not much, until the Yearly maintenance. I have to change rear derailler every year. Whether it be XT or LX (XT is smoother than LX by the way). There is just a bit too much wear in the pivot pins so I normally buy a new XT and the old Tandem one goes on my solo. This year I had bought a new rear derailler- an XT- but took it back for a refund. It was not necessary. That XTR derailler is as good as new- barring the scratches and dings in it. Glad to see you are getting the Bike sorted- and hope that My new venture into skinny tyres will go jusrt as smoothly.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  15. #15
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    Doing Hills? Need the gearing. Doing lots of hills? Need the right Gearing. Tandem uses a triple 48/36/24 and an LX 11/32 cassette. We need those gears offroad and it is surprising how many times we need that Granny uphills on the road. See you have gone XTR cassette and we have not tried this yet. Have tried an XT cassette and we fold them, so keep on the cheaper LX that is stronger. Too much power and they normally last just a bit up the first hill. What we have done though was to fit an XTR rear derailler. Did not notice a great deal of difference, possibly a bit smoother but not much, until the Yearly maintenance. I have to change rear derailler every year. Whether it be XT or LX (XT is smoother than LX by the way). There is just a bit too much wear in the pivot pins so I normally buy a new XT and the old Tandem one goes on my solo. This year I had bought a new rear derailler- an XT- but took it back for a refund. It was not necessary. That XTR derailler is as good as new- barring the scratches and dings in it. Glad to see you are getting the Bike sorted- and hope that My new venture into skinny tyres will go jusrt as smoothly.
    Very good info!! From what I've read many others agree with the issues of bending the sprockets on the XTR cassette-- but the XTR is a good bit lighter and that's what I'm chasing with this bike. I'm taking a little bit of chance with it as I've heard of folks bending the 14 and 12 gears. I figured that if I can watch for smooth shifts that might help. Also, I'm also much more of a spinner and don't have the power in the legs a lot of guys do so I'm hoping the XTR will give me better service. Most of the issues I've read about have been from using it off road so I'm hopeful I have better luck.

    I debated the XTR derailleur versus the XT and got the XT on sale. It shifts okay but it is a bit "clunky" and a little noisy-compared to some road derailleurs anyway. Good to hear of your experience with the XTR derailleur. I might have to give that a second look as it's a few grams lighter and might shift a little better.

    I bet when you first jumped on the road bike that front tire looked really skinny......

  16. #16
    sch
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    You might miss the single step gearing of your 12-27 with 12/13/14/15 when riding with a group on the flats at 22-26mph. It is sometimes nice to pop up and then down a tooth for cadence adjustments at higher speeds. OTOH you will spend a lot more time on most of the centuries you tackle going up the hills at 7-12mph where that 27 and 32t are handy.
    Have you considered doing the Cherohala century next weekend? I did it twice in the '99 and '00 editions and it is right up your alley, assuming motorcycles don't bother you.
    Steve H.

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