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  1. #1
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    More useful gears

    Ok so now that I have a road bike and I've been riding for a while (and raced once) and I understand how the gears etc work (with a lot of help from this place) I've been getting much better and faster workouts by upping my cadence. That said, now that I understand how everything works, i don't know that the group on my bike was he best choice and maybe I should have upgraded when buying it. Or maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about.

    Its a shimano sora 8 speed setup, triple chainring in front 52/42/30 and an 8 speed shimano cassette 11-28. So far I have found no use whatsoever for the 30T chainring or the 28T rear gear (even on the worst hills), however I do find myself hunting for the sweet spot on the lower gears, and I sometimes I feel like I can't find it. I am getting very good at keeping an 80-100 cadence, but sometimes its just not right and I feel like I'm over or under driving myself.

    So now I look at gears, and I see these 10 speed cassettes 11-23 or 11-26, seems like a lot more options! A double front chainring is fine too, since I never ever use the smallest.

    Am I right in assessing my situation? HOWEVER I guess the bad news is I need to replace almost everything (besides the brakes) to switch to such a setup. I've been looking at SRAM Rival... and wishing I had just ponied up the extra few bucks when I bought the bike.

  2. #2
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    REI has an 8 speed 12-25 cassette for $30. If you don't like your triple, just unbolt your inner ring and adjust the endpoint of the derailer so that you can only shift between the two bigger rings. There isn't much point in spending the money to upgrade to 9 or 10 speeds unless your shifters were wore out and you needed to replace them anyway.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  3. #3
    Cries on hills supton's Avatar
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    I believe you are stuck with 8 speed cassettes, at least until you change the brifter to match.

    If it were me (and I know it's not, but since you asked), I'd think about getting a 12-23 8 speed (or similar). Maybe even 12-19, something foolish like that. Tighten it up so that most of the gears are 1T apart. That should help with finding the "right" gear, as you will have the most fine steps that you can have.

    Personally, I don't see a real good reason, unless if you are racing, to remove the granny gear. It makes for a good bailout gear if you get tired, or if you find that killer hill. Plus, if you do go to like a 12-19, you will suddenly find a use for that 30T!

    Anyhow, that's what I'd think about doing. Before I bought my bike, I was looking at bike with a double and a 12-26, and I was thinking about changing to a 12-23, for the same reason--I did not like the big jumps in gearing. My current bike has a 12-25, and I like it quite a bit. I could go 12-23 but at the moment (rarely use 23 and 25), I find my 9 speed to be just fine on the gearing steps. But I also heavily use the 30T, and rarely use the 52.
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  4. #4
    ROAD enthusiast revolator's Avatar
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    If priority is still stay in budget and ride, then get a new cassette

    Priority to get a new group and have the funds, get as much money as you can get, and buy one group higher than you're thinking now, because it will happen again.

    What is the hardest hill you ride? If you like hills, there are plenty of hills that will use your gearing. If you don't like hills, then the triple and 34 is probably dead weight for you.

  5. #5
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    Ride what you have now. Sell it when you are ready. Buy/build what you want then.
    Not too much to say here

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
    REI has an 8 speed 12-25 cassette for $30. If you don't like your triple, just unbolt your inner ring and adjust the endpoint of the derailer so that you can only shift between the two bigger rings. There isn't much point in spending the money to upgrade to 9 or 10 speeds unless your shifters were wore out and you needed to replace them anyway.
    Thanks for the responses everyone. For $30 this seems like it will do what I want (and cheap!) well enough till some day in the future when I can upgrade. I don't think I will bother removing the smallest chainring, not worth the work. Plus always good for that what-if scenario (although Ive done a few tough hills and still haven't found a use for it). I think 12-25 is a good fit as I do use the 26 now, so I'd like to have the 25 in there then to go so low as a 23. I guess I should mention I'm on the 52 front 95% of the time and i really only go down to the 42 on an uphill. And yes I am racing, I prettymuch only ride this bike for Triathlon training which I will be doing year round (obviously I'm new to it all though). I have an old Trek Hybrid with Knobby tires that I mountain bike with or ride to the store or the pool and stuff like that.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    This will show some options-
    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830608759.pdf

    I've made a "custom" 8 speed from a couple cassettes. I'm currently using a -
    13-14-15-16-17-19-21-24 with options of using a 12T top cog (which I was until I recently went to shorter cranks) or putting an 18, 23, 26 or 28 into the "mix".
    This is on a "commuterized" 86 Rockhopper. I've got 28-38-48T rings and only use the middle! Works great for my flatland riding. I have 160MM cranks, so I spin instead of mash.

  8. #8
    tsl
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    I have a Shimano 13-23 on my eight-year-old, Sora equipped Trek 1000. They're no longer made, so you have to hunt them down. I stumbled upon mine two years ago. It's perfect for me. I generally ride in the 42 ring at 90-95 cadence and use all eight cogs in most rides. With 8-speed chains so cheap, I'm replacing them at 1,000 miles just to preserve this honey of a cassette.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
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    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

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