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Old 07-16-09, 01:09 PM   #1
Lalato
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Need More Gears...

Well, I've finally started riding the Tikit around here in Salt Lake City, and I've come to the realization that I need more gears. While most of the valley is fairly flat, we decided to get a place in the hills. It's fun going down hill, but going up hill has been less than pleasant.

I've lived my entirely life in flat places... so this whole concept of hills is new to me. LOL

Now I just need to figure out the best possible way to get these extra gears of the granny variety. It's either that or I need to lose a lot of weight and build up some serious leg muscle.

--sam
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Old 07-16-09, 01:53 PM   #2
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Easiest is a smaller front chain ring. Roger
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Old 07-16-09, 04:44 PM   #3
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Well, I've finally started riding the Tikit around here in Salt Lake City, and I've come to the realization that I need more gears. While most of the valley is fairly flat, we decided to get a place in the hills. It's fun going down hill, but going up hill has been less than pleasant.

I've lived my entirely life in flat places... so this whole concept of hills is new to me. LOL

Now I just need to figure out the best possible way to get these extra gears of the granny variety. It's either that or I need to lose a lot of weight and build up some serious leg muscle.

--sam
Sam if climbing is new to you I'd recommend you tough it out for a few weeks. You'll get better fast if your starting from very little climbing experience. You may find that in a month or so you'll be fine with the Tikit's 8 gears and save yourself a lot of $$$.
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Old 07-16-09, 05:05 PM   #4
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If your legs don't come around in the next month as Alex suggests, then Roger's idea is a minimal cost way to lower your gearing.
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Old 07-16-09, 05:20 PM   #5
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I agree with Vik that it's good to tough it out for awhile. If still no good a smaller front chainring is a good solution. However, you would also lower the higher gears, of which the tallest is only ~80". I would also look at swapping cassettes. I believe the stock one is 11-28 and I have read people talking about fitting 11-32 and 11-34 cassettes on their Tikits.

If money is not a huge issue, I would look at the SRAM Dual-Drive. I have one on my Dahon and it would be perfect for living in the hills and also doing a lot of valley floor riding as it offers a huge gear range.

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Old 07-16-09, 05:44 PM   #6
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Hey... thanks for the tips everyone. I'll tough it out for a month or so and see if I develop legs and lungs of steel. []

My main concern with swapping the chain ring is speed on the flats. That SRAM setup is pretty awesome and perhaps out of my price range for the next several months. Maybe by then I'll have developed the aforementioned legs and lungs I need anyway.

Thanks again.

--sam
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Old 07-16-09, 08:49 PM   #7
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The cheapest way is to change the cassette to 11-34. Use Sheldon's caculator to deterimine what the lowest gear will be but a 24' inch gear should do the trick. Otherwise, go Bionx!
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Old 07-16-09, 09:04 PM   #8
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I will "3rd" the "tough it out" motion. Although I love being able to take it easy up hills, and I've gone through a lot of trouble to get the biggest gear range I can manage. Even so, I was single-speeding it for a while when my gear bike was being fixed. At first I was walking up the hills on my route and couldn't wait to get my gears back. But after a week or two, I was only walking up the steepest hill. Eventually I was climbing that one, too. Sometimes I would still walk it because I'm lazy, but by the time I switched back to my gear bike, I knew that I could manage those hills if I wanted to.

But, like I said, I like a wide gear range, and you might, too. It wouldn't hurt to look at other options. I don't know how the Tikit is geared. If it's a standard, rear derailleur bike, look at other gear clusters. I also wanted an easier time on the hills, but I didn't want to sacrifice the speed I had in the flats. I found a cluster that had the same size smallest cog, but with a nice, big granny gear. That got me up the hills without sacrificing the other end of the range.
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Old 07-16-09, 10:55 PM   #9
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Ya, tough it out for at least a mouth.

Hills will put some hair on your chest!
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Old 07-16-09, 11:51 PM   #10
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Ya, tough it out for at least a mouth.

Hills will put some hair on your chest!
Ha! I already have enough. LOL

--sam
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Old 07-17-09, 09:45 AM   #11
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Eh, doesn't look like you need the input I was going to give... you've already made the right choice.
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Old 07-17-09, 09:48 AM   #12
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Actually you don't need gears at all

Your legs will adapt and your bike will be lighter.
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Old 07-17-09, 10:09 AM   #13
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Actually you don't need gears at all

Your legs will adapt and your bike will be lighter.
I wasn't going to bring that up.
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Old 09-29-09, 02:56 PM   #14
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Just wanted to give an update. I am now able to get up the steep hill to my house, albeit slowly and with a lot of effort. I can do it... and that's what is important.

It took a bit longer than expected for my lungs to get fully acclimated to the altitude. I get out of breath still, but nowhere near as bad as when I arrived here. Seriously, when I first got here, I was out breath just going to the street to check the mail (up a flight of stairs and uphill to the mailbox). Sad, but true.

Now the problem for me is getting better brake pads. Next stop... Kool Stop. Those stop signs/lights at the bottom of the hills are no bicyclists' friend.

--sam
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Old 09-29-09, 04:44 PM   #15
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My main reservation about the stock Tikit is the limited gear range - 31-77. I can live with 31, but 77 at the top is just too low, even for me.

Looks like the 11-34 gives 25-77. That would be much better for climbing.

To raise that top end, with a 54t front ring, it's 26-79. With a 56t, it's 27-82. Hmm, still kinda low in top gear. (I'd like something around 30-90.)

I could go for a custom Tikit (e.g. Express/Capreo or Season/Nexus), but the price goes way up.

Perhaps I can get the stock Tikit and swap in a Capreo drivetrain. Anyone know offhand about how much the Capreo hardware would be?
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Old 09-29-09, 05:00 PM   #16
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Just wanted to give an update. I am now able to get up the steep hill to my house, albeit slowly and with a lot of effort.
Mind your knees.

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Old 09-29-09, 07:27 PM   #17
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i think it is more of the high altitude thin air in salt lake city than the legs. i have been to the grand canyon before and just walking 10 min and i'm out of breath...but i guess if u live there awhile, u will get use to it.
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Old 09-29-09, 08:16 PM   #18
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I think hub, cassette, derailleur go for about $200. The real trick is finding them. My bike has a capreo derailleur, but not the hub or cassette. I have no idea why the previous owner opted for this setup. LOL

--sam
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Old 09-30-09, 09:29 AM   #19
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I think hub, cassette, derailleur go for about $200. The real trick is finding them. My bike has a capreo derailleur, but not the hub or cassette. I have no idea why the previous owner opted for this setup. LOL

--sam
I believe that the Capreo derailer, since it is designed for a single chainring -- has a very short tension pulley but a jockey pulley optimized for that 9-26 cassette. If you have 16" wheels, the short derailer creates more clearance with the ground. Mind you, I have never seen anything but a rear hub/cassette from the Capreo group.

The Harris Cyclery and Bike Friday are the two main sources for Capreo components. A Capreo rear hub is ~$50 ... not too different than a 105 rear hub. So ~$120 for the rear hub and cassette. Personally, I would use a standard 105 -- or road alternative -- derailer (SS) to leave the option of fitting a dual chainring up front. Since the Capreo has standard nine speed spacing, I don't see any reason to use other Capreo components other than the rear derailer if one is particularly concerned about ground clearance.
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Old 09-30-09, 10:04 AM   #20
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My main reservation about the stock Tikit is the limited gear range - 31-77. I can live with 31, but 77 at the top is just too low, even for me.

Looks like the 11-34 gives 25-77. That would be much better for climbing.

To raise that top end, with a 54t front ring, it's 26-79. With a 56t, it's 27-82. Hmm, still kinda low in top gear. (I'd like something around 30-90.)
I've been looking into approaches as well, without going Capreo. Two minor items:

1. If you buy somewhat fatter tires (Greenspeed Scorchers at 40-349) not only do you get a much better tire, but your wheel diameter is larger and your top end goes up a bit. 32.0 to 81.3

2. The largest front ring you can fit on the tikit is, I believe, barely 61T before it starts interfering with the folding mechanism. 60T aren't all that rare. 60T plus a 40-349 tire will put you at 36.2 to 92.1. But you'll have to give up the chain guard (where are you gonna find a 60T chainguard?) and it's one honkin' big front gear.

3. If you go the route of #2 (and tell me how it goes!) you can always expand the rear cassette range. The default is "R/ah" (11-28) I believe. Push that to "ak/an" (11-30) and you'll get the bottom back down to 33.8. Go with the crazy "Megarange" approach (11-34, but I'm not sure if you can put on a 34!) and you're down to 29.8.

So: buy Greenspeed Scorchers, put on a 60T front gear, and change the rear cassette to a Shimano Megarange 8-speed Cassette, you could theoretically get 29.8 to 92.1. Not sure what to do about the chain guard...

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Old 09-30-09, 10:51 AM   #21
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(where are you gonna find a 60T chainguard?)
One would get an even bigger chainring and file down the teeth.
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Old 09-30-09, 11:23 AM   #22
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I've been to SLC last year and It's the flattest place I've ever seen. If you change your chainring, you might lose a lot of speed on flat parts, which might make your ride less fun.
Try as hard as you can, don't get off to push it, keep trying. You'll get fitter soon. It's amazing how much you can improve if you just keep at it.
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Old 09-30-09, 12:21 PM   #23
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I've been to SLC last year and It's the flattest place I've ever seen. If you change your chainring, you might lose a lot of speed on flat parts, which might make your ride less fun.
Try as hard as you can, don't get off to push it, keep trying. You'll get fitter soon. It's amazing how much you can improve if you just keep at it.
Yeah... the valley is definitely as flat as anywhere else I've lived. Unfortunately I live in the foothills. So I have to deal with some steep inclines. I agree though... that I'm getting fitter every day. Now if that would also translate to actually losing weight, then we would be really cooking with gas. LOL
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Old 09-30-09, 01:58 PM   #24
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I lived in Provo (an hour south of SLC) for six years. The valley is flat, but the mountains are very steep indeed. To get to my house, I had to climb an incline so steep that in the winter some cars could not make it up and had to be dragged up by volunteers running winches.

Utah demands a big gear range.

I will be very interested in knowing how the bike fares in the Utah snow. In Provo we'd sometimes get three feet or more. I fear an aggressive ("muddy") tire mountain bike may be in your future.

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Old 09-30-09, 03:56 PM   #25
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I believe that the Capreo derailer, since it is designed for a single chainring -- has a very short tension pulley but a jockey pulley optimized for that 9-26 cassette. If you have 16" wheels, the short derailer creates more clearance with the ground. Mind you, I have never seen anything but a rear hub/cassette from the Capreo group.

The Harris Cyclery and Bike Friday are the two main sources for Capreo components. A Capreo rear hub is ~$50 ... not too different than a 105 rear hub. So ~$120 for the rear hub and cassette. Personally, I would use a standard 105 -- or road alternative -- derailer (SS) to leave the option of fitting a dual chainring up front. Since the Capreo has standard nine speed spacing, I don't see any reason to use other Capreo components other than the rear derailer if one is particularly concerned about ground clearance.
I bought a Reach Road that came with a Capreo gruppo(I've always wanted to use that word) with 451 wheels and a 39-53 front. I changed the rear derailleur to a short cage SRAM X9 and X7 twist shifter. I prefer SRAM 2:1 shifting as I think its crisper than the Shimano. The X9 short cage is only slightly larger than the Capreo, so no problems there. At some point I will modify the cassette. The cogs from 15-26, on the Capreo, are all standard Shimano spline. The 4 largest cogs are riveted together, but there is nothing that prevents one from putting 4 different individual cogs on the hub. Yes, I realise the cogs will dig into the hub. I plan on going 9-10-11-13-15-18-22-27-32. This will give me a 30.4-108.2 range with a single 48 tooth single ring front, which I have already changed to. It will also be in the range of the 23 tooth spread of the short cage X9. Of coarse, with a smaller wheel one can not get this great a range without going to a dual ring front.
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