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Old 03-09-09, 09:53 AM   #1
insurin
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road MTB gears

I am after some advice about gears. I am looking to buy Dawes Discovery 601, the gears on the bike are

Rear Derailleur: Shimano 105

Front Derailleur: Shimano FD-R443
Shifters: Shimano SL-R440 Rapidfire

Chainset: FSA 53/39/30 175mm crank
Bottom Bracket: FSA BB-6000 Sealed cartridge
Chain: Shimano HG53

I have only ever had mountain bikes. Can anyone shed light on what these gears are aimed at, i.e. road gears for racing, MTB gears for multi purpose. I will be riding over the pyrenees during the summer so I will need easy (high?) gears to get up the hills. All I know is the 'big cog' at the back is the easy one.

Bob
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Old 03-09-09, 10:29 AM   #2
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You don't specify the number of speeds or the rear cassette range, but the crankset is a run of the mill road crank. Rear derailer is road, shifters are flat bar/mtb/hybrid as is the front derailer. I suspect the rear cassette is road also.
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Old 03-09-09, 10:45 AM   #3
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this is the bike that I am looking at

http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products....id=m1b0s18p878

The one I currently have is a Claud Butler Cape Wrath d27 2007

http://www.falconcycles.co.uk/CORP/cb/capewrathD27.html

Can I get up steep hills on the Dawes?
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Old 03-09-09, 10:53 AM   #4
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That link unfortunately doesn't give the rear cassette specs. But to answer your question, sure it'll get up hills, just how easily may be determined by the rear cassette
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Old 03-09-09, 11:02 AM   #5
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For the Pyrenees, depending on your physical condition and how much you are carrying on the bike, you may want to switch to a long cage MTB derailleur and a cassette with a 34t low gear.
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Old 03-09-09, 11:09 AM   #6
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The fact that it has a triple on the front, and a 105 rear derailleur (it will be a long cage since the bike has a triple crank) it means that the maximum rated teeth on the rear is likely to be 27... but you can use 28 (I run an 11-28 SRAM cassette on my 105 equipped bike)

This however doesn't say what the bike comes with, it just says what it is capable of. As a guess, the large cog is likely to be either 25 or 27... If it is a 25 you should be able to climb pretty well, if it is a 27 you will be able to climb even better.

Either a 30x25 or a 30x27 low gear should be fine for climbing for most people. Touring bikes tend to have lower gears because they haul heavy loads, but if you are just riding without packing equipment you should do fine. Touring bikes (and off road mountain bikes) usually have even lower gears, but for a road bike, your gearing would probably be considered pretty low.
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Old 03-09-09, 11:14 AM   #7
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It is likely a GS (medium cage), not the much rarer SGS (long cage). But you are correct about the 27T rated max. Some have been able to successfully use a 30T with that RD, but if he is doing a loaded tour, I would follow my first post.
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Old 03-09-09, 11:54 AM   #8
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I will be taking panniers but will not be too heavily loaded. The bike is 10.5kg without pannier racks. I will let you people keep talking because it's all going over my head. However I am trying to learn as you go along. I am pretty fit though. I'll try and find a more detailed spec on the Dawes.
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Old 03-09-09, 12:33 PM   #9
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Believe the Dawes comes with a Shimano CS-HG50 12-25T cassette. Everything depends on the OP and what cassette will work best for the trip/conditions they have planned and their physical abilities.
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Old 03-09-09, 01:25 PM   #10
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I ride hills and have a compact double up front 50/34 and a 12/27 rear cassette. That will get me up the mile long 12 to 15% hills we have round here but a couple of years ago- I went the the Alps and climbed Ventoux. This was in my early days of road riding and I had an OCR3 with 24speed Sora. Chainset was 52/42/30 and a 12/26 cassette. That still did my local hills but for Ventoux- I changed the Granny to a 28 and put on an 11/28 cassette. that 1 to 1 ratio of the lowest gear was perfect and have to admit that it was the only gear I used except when it flattened out to about 3%

With 9 speed- You can fit an 11/32 or 34 cassette. I find that the only difference is that largest ring and the next one down is a 28. The jump from 28 to 34 is big. I know as I use it on the MTB and I do find the 32 a better combination and if you stay with the 30 up front- you will be better than 1 to 1 ratio. Then you will still have the option of going to a 28 as granny if you think you need it. One thing about low gears- doesn't matter how low you go- you will use the lowest gear and have trouble mentally going back up. And the lower that gear is- the slower you will be.

I am not certain if a 105 RD will take the extra teeth so get it checked out with the LBS. And if a lot of mountain riding is being planned-Especially if you are going down on size on the granny- then get a 50 as the largest ring. 53 is a BIG ring unless you are going downhill and will not be needed with an 11t on the rear.

As I said- I run compact gearing but have just set my TCR up with a triple 105 crankset- 50/39/30 for when I go back to the Alps. 30/27 should just about be low enough for me- but I will still have that option of fitting a 28 as granny.
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Old 03-09-09, 02:14 PM   #11
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You might be better off with the Discovery 501 which has mountain bike gears - 48-38-28 at the front, 11-32 at the rear.

You can see the full specs on the 601 here: 50-39-30 at the front, 12-25 at the rear.

There is a substantial difference between 30-25 and 28-32. 28-32 will let you ride up a wall at walking pace, which you likely will if you've been going uphill all day. 30-25 won't let you spin slower than 6mph, which sounds easy, but isn't if your bike is loaded and you've been going uphill all day.

At the top end, 48-11 is close enough to 50-12. I hit 50mph (according to my computer) going down Hardknott Pass on a mountain bike in 48-11, that was enough to keep me pedalling up to 38mph.
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Old 03-09-09, 02:58 PM   #12
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rbrian: It is riding my friends Discovery 501 (yellow frame, not sure what year) that made me decide I like the Dawes. Naturally I went for the best one which according to what I had been reading was the 601. It was the weight that swung it even further (10.5kg).
So the 501 has MTB gears and the 601 had road gears?

stapfam: and others. While I appreciate your thorough responses, Some of this stuff I am reading may as well be in another language. This does not mean I won't try to learn it though. You are giving your time to help me and I will certainly read up so I can make full use of your advice.

I will for sure want easy gears for riding up the hills, from what I can make out, the Dawes 601 comes with some easy gears but not as many as MTBs do. Less that 6mph does not even sound that easy anyway to me, well at least going up a hill. If I can change the cogs at the back (is this the chainset/cassette?) to provide me with the easy gears (MTB style), I have no problem forking out an extra 30 pound or so to make the change as long as the change is possible.
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Old 03-09-09, 03:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by insurin View Post
rbrian:
So the 501 has MTB gears and the 601 had road gears?

stapfam: and others. While I appreciate your thorough responses, Some of this stuff I am reading may as well be in another language. This does not mean I won't try to learn it though. You are giving your time to help me and I will certainly read up so I can make full use of your advice.

I will for sure want easy gears for riding up the hills, from what I can make out, the Dawes 601 comes with some easy gears but not as many as MTBs do. Less that 6mph does not even sound that easy anyway to me, well at least going up a hill. If I can change the cogs at the back (is this the chainset/cassette?) to provide me with the easy gears (MTB style), I have no problem forking out an extra 30 pound or so to make the change as long as the change is possible.
Try to make it simpler but you can change the High road gearing to the lower MTB gearing but on a stock bike- it will cost you. You can change the rear cogs to a lower set and you could even change the front gears to a lower set aswell.

But one word of warning- You can go too low and finish up with gears that you will never use- Even up mountains. I do not class myself as Ultra fit but just normal. I climbed Ventoux as my first mountain to climb with 28 as the low gear on the front and 28 on the rear cog. Any lower than that and I would not have had sufficient speed to stay upright.

I have sent you a PM so from one "Mountain Climber of slow speed"- to another- Get in touch if you want further information.
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Old 03-09-09, 04:27 PM   #14
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The extra kilo or so is probably due to the disc brakes in large part. I don't know too much about them, never having used them, but I suspect they'll come in useful going down the mountains.
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