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  1. #1
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    Gearing question - Cannondale T1

    I have a 2010 Cannondale T1 tourer with the stock gearing- 30t small chainring and 105 cranks, 11-32 rear and an ultegra 10sp rear derailleur. Ultegra STI brifters, I would like to get some lower climbing gears.

    I was thinking the easiest thing would be to go to an 771 xt 9sp derailleur and an 10sp 11-36 cassette.

    Does anyone see any problems with this?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by reltor View Post
    I have a 2010 Cannondale T1 tourer with the stock gearing- 30t small chainring and 105 cranks, 11-32 rear and an ultegra 10sp rear derailleur. Ultegra STI brifters, I would like to get some lower climbing gears.
    30 up front, and 32 on the rear and you want lower? Ooooh-kay.

    Are you gonna be able to spin fast enough to stay upright?

    I was thinking the easiest thing would be to go to an 771 xt 9sp derailleur and an 10sp 11-36 cassette.

    Does anyone see any problems with this?

    Thanks
    It probably won't shift quite as well. I've done that, and the shifting was noticeably worse than shifting with the road RD. It worked, but sometimes I had to coax a shift, and it was never really smooth.

  3. #3
    tcarl
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    I don't see a problem with what you're suggesting (but I can't say I know anything about it either). I had a similar problem when I bought my Cannondale T2000 touring bike in 2000. It came with a 30-42-52 crankset which was WAY too big for heavy loads/touring. I solved the problem by putting a 26/36/48 mountain bike crankset on. The other problem with the bike was that it came with 15g spokes on both wheels. So for that's been OK for the front, but I kept breaking the rear wheel spokes and eventually replaced them with 14g. To achoo: a 30/32 low isn't really low enough for heavy loads on long steep hills. The idea of these really low gears is so that the low gears are low enough that you can spin. Loaded touring bikes are very stable and those huge 700x32 tires help keep you upright. Even if the bike isn't heavily loaded all these last comments still apply.
    Last edited by tcarl; 03-25-14 at 08:03 PM.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    smaller in front turning a bigger one in the back is a lower gear

    a 22.36 48 or 20 32 44 is possible 58 bcd .. 24t when it's 74 105

    road triple is probably over geared


    But the upshift when there is over 15t difference .. 24 to 39 is slower than 30 to 39. 9t.


    IMO 53:11 only good for the 40 mph finish sprint to the race podium.

    49-39 , 28?
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-27-14 at 04:56 PM.

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    I had a 50-39-30 Shimano 105 crank on my bike. I wanted some more ooommf for climbing, so I replaced the 30T ring with a 28T ring. I've heard some report that they have swapped a 30T for a 26T without problems. My 28T ring was made by Specialites TA. Works fine. By using a small chainring, I can use a little closer spacing on the cassette than I would get with those with very large big cogs. Something to consider.

  6. #6
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    I have 24-42-52 chainrings and a 11-34 cassette. I don't use the 24/34 combo often, but when I need it, I need it. Yes, it's possible to ride an 18-inch gear. 52/11 is only useful on downhills, but it's fun to pedal past other riders who are coasting.

    Used all the gears on this day: Day 10: Lillooet to Pemberton - A bike ride in British Columbia
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  7. #7
    Senior Member spdracr39's Avatar
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    Try to start doing some leg workouts to increase your strength. That will be the best way to improve your climbing. If you ride very long the changes you make will not be used later and working out is cost free.

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    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
    replaced the 30T ring with a 28T ring. I've heard some report that they have swapped a 30T for a 26T without problems.
    This. Cheapest and easiest way to change your gearing.

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  9. #9
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    I am assuming since you have a touring bike that you are going to tour and you will most likely need lower gears. You might ask this on the touring forum you will get replies from people who understand riding with a heavy load.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    This. Cheapest and easiest way to change your gearing.
    I thought there would be a problem with the 105 triple FD and it's vertical range? Also I believe you are limited to a 10 tooth differential between chainrings.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by spdracr39 View Post
    Try to start doing some leg workouts to increase your strength. That will be the best way to improve your climbing. If you ride very long the changes you make will not be used later and working out is cost free.
    Are there any hills in Arkansas

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    I get a real kick out of the people who think they know better than the OP what gears he wants or needs. "Get Stronger" "30 up front, and 32 on the rear and you want lower?"

    Seriously I have no patience for people who think that just because they don't need low gears, nobody should, and if they do, they just need to HTFU. Not at all helpful, but they sprout up in every low gearing conversation. Pfft.

    OP: Your idea is fairly inexpensive and will give you a little lower gear. You're probably pushing $100 for the derailleur and cassette for just a little improvement. Like other people, I suggest taking a look at your front gearing and either change the small ring or the whole crank. You can get a very serviceable mountain bike crank that will work with your 105 shifting with significantly lower gears (as opposed to the slightly lower gears w/ your plan).

    I have a cross/commuter bike with Ultegra shifters and road derailleurs and I have an old 46-36-26 inexpensive MTB crankset on it. This crank has no ramps or pins or modern features on the chainrings and probably doesn't comply with the specs for that Ultegra road triple derailleur, but it shifts very well. In an earlier iteration, I used the same FD with a triple with a 44 big ring and 24 small ring and it worked fine too.

    Just a thought, you don't have to stick with a "road" triple".
    Last edited by Camilo; 03-27-14 at 04:22 PM.

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    Camilo, Thanks for the help, here in W. Pa we have got some pretty ridiculously steep hills and it not that one can't make it too the top, but you hammer everything to get there. I mainly ride the tourer because I'm about 240lb and the wheels and components hold up a little better. If I ever seriously tour more than a couple days, I may switch to trekking bars and bar end or rapidfire shifters which would give me more options than I have with the STI as far as chainrings go. My old steel trek 720 would twist to the point the rear tire would rub on the chainstay. I relegated it to a trailbike I ride with my kids.

    I think the mountain cranks are probably the best idea. I'll probably put a better BB in when I do it. I am not hung up on the road cranks. XT cranks always had a good reputation. I imagine I would just have to lower the FD some.

  14. #14
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reltor View Post
    Camilo, Thanks for the help, here in W. Pa we have got some pretty ridiculously steep hills and it not that one can't make it too the top, but you hammer everything to get there. I mainly ride the tourer because I'm about 240lb and the wheels and components hold up a little better. If I ever seriously tour more than a couple days, I may switch to trekking bars and bar end or rapidfire shifters which would give me more options than I have with the STI as far as chainrings go. My old steel trek 720 would twist to the point the rear tire would rub on the chainstay. I relegated it to a trailbike I ride with my kids.

    I think the mountain cranks are probably the best idea. I'll probably put a better BB in when I do it. I am not hung up on the road cranks. XT cranks always had a good reputation. I imagine I would just have to lower the FD some.
    IMO: first try a 24-tooth small chainring. I'm not that much lighter (230 lbs.) and my gearing got me through the ride I pointed to earlier.
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    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reltor View Post
    I thought there would be a problem with the 105 triple FD and it's vertical range? Also I believe you are limited to a 10 tooth differential between chainrings.
    Naw,plenty of 52/42/30 and 50/39/30 triples out there(I own both). 12t won't be an issue,14t shouldn't. More than that,maybe,but at that point I'd look to a lower range cassette.

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  16. #16
    Senior Member spdracr39's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reltor View Post
    Are there any hills in Arkansas
    Why yes there are I have a specific route I ride to train for hill climbing. I do most of my riding on relatively flat terrain but I do want to be prepared for the hill country. I weigh in the 215 range and as I get stronger I use those low gears less and less.

    Camillo apparently hates opposing opinions but I feel compelled to offer mine as an example of what works for me. If you use it fine . If you hate it fine. But if everyone just told you what you wanted to hear then the forum would be pointless. I never said nobody needs lower gears so don't get your panties in a wad.


    Quote Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
    I get a real kick out of the people who think they know better than the OP what gears he wants or needs. "Get Stronger" "30 up front, and 32 on the rear and you want lower?"

    Seriously I have no patience for people who think that just because they don't need low gears, nobody should, and if they do, they just need to HTFU. Not at all helpful, but they sprout up in every low gearing conversation. Pfft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spdracr39 View Post
    Why yes there are I have a specific route I ride to train for hill climbing. I do most of my riding on relatively flat terrain but I do want to be prepared for the hill country. I weigh in the 215 range and as I get stronger I use those low gears less and less.

    Camillo apparently hates opposing opinions but I feel compelled to offer mine as an example of what works for me. If you use it fine . If you hate it fine. But if everyone just told you what you wanted to hear then the forum would be pointless. I never said nobody needs lower gears so don't get your panties in a wad.
    No, I only "hate" people who disparage others' need for lower gears. That's all.

  18. #18
    tcarl
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    Quote Originally Posted by reltor View Post
    Are there any hills in Arkansas
    Try the Boston Mountains in the northwest part of the state.

  19. #19
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    Are you gonna be able to spin fast enough to stay upright?
    Yes, it is possible to stay upright with a much lower gear.

    Quote Originally Posted by reltor View Post
    Are there any hills in Arkansas
    Yes, there are. And like the "hills" in New England or Appalachia, they are far nastier than the "hills" we have in Colorado. Ours are taller and steeper but we don't do stupid things like go straight up the hill. These are all from western Arkansas on the Talimena Byway.





    The Ouachita mountains are the tailend of the Appalachian range.


    Quote Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
    I get a real kick out of the people who think they know better than the OP what gears he wants or needs. "Get Stronger" "30 up front, and 32 on the rear and you want lower?"

    Seriously I have no patience for people who think that just because they don't need low gears, nobody should, and if they do, they just need to HTFU. Not at all helpful, but they sprout up in every low gearing conversation. Pfft.
    I fully agree. Gears are as individual as saddles. reltor wants lower gears. He (or she) knows his needs. Why does the "my lowest gear is 100 gear inches" think that they are the final arbiter of gearing? I have bikes with gears as low as 15" and I use them. Sometimes for hours on end. No, I don't fall over. No, people walking don't pass me. No, I don't feel less of a man for doing so. Yes, I have ridden in that gear for hours on end. And, yes, I have wanted lower.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by reltor View Post
    I have a 2010 Cannondale T1 tourer with the stock gearing- 30t small chainring and 105 cranks, 11-32 rear and an ultegra 10sp rear derailleur. Ultegra STI brifters, I would like to get some lower climbing gears.

    I was thinking the easiest thing would be to go to an 771 xt 9sp derailleur and an 10sp 11-36 cassette.

    Does anyone see any problems with this?

    Thanks
    Greetings reltor,

    The strategy you propose will be rather costly, as you’ll incur the expense of a new rear derailleur, new 11-36 cassette, and new longer 10-speed chain.

    Conversely, it would be far less costly to purchase a 26 tooth granny chainring, as I did for my 2011 Trek 2.1 road bike, which originally had a 50/39/30 crankset with 11-28 cassette.

    A 26/32 combo (22.1998 gear inches per a 700 x 32 tire) would also give you a slight mechanical advantage over your proposed 30/36 combo (22.769 gear inches per a 700 x 32 tire) and it would reduce weight in the process rather than increase weight via a heavier cassette and longer chain (though the amount of weight we’re dealing with here is no deal breaker).

    The front derailleur on my road bike shifts “to and from” the 26 and 39 chainrings flawlessly without the addition of a chain catch.

    My 26/28 combo (25.0714 gear inches via my 27” diameter 700 x 28 tires) has proven adequate for the greater majority of my ascents, but there are a few steep grades (up to 19.3%) whereby I wish I had lower gearing still (like 24/32 gearing hence 20.25 gear inches). The problem is; I’d have to give up a desirable cog (the 11 tooth or the 14 tooth) in order to go with either a SRAM PG-1050 12-32 or SRAM PG-1050 11-32. The 11 tooth is the most expendable, but I still use it quite a bit via the middle and large chainrings, so I’d definitely miss it. So for the time being, I’m holding off on installing a SRAM cassette with the hope that my legs continue to get stronger or I don’t run into many of the 19.3% grades (and realistically, there aren’t many that steep, so I can walk up whatever portion my legs can’t pedal up). The installation of a 24 tooth granny on my road bike would be its next gearing upgrade.

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    Nice pics cyccommute!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
    I get a real kick out of the people who think they know better than the OP what gears he wants or needs. "Get Stronger" "30 up front, and 32 on the rear and you want lower?"

    Seriously I have no patience for people who think that just because they don't need low gears, nobody should, and if they do, they just need to HTFU. Not at all helpful, but they sprout up in every low gearing conversation. Pfft.
    I concur.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by reltor View Post
    I have a 2010 Cannondale T1 tourer with the stock gearing- 30t small chainring and 105 cranks, 11-32 rear and an ultegra 10sp rear derailleur. Ultegra STI brifters, I would like to get some lower climbing gears.

    I was thinking the easiest thing would be to go to an 771 xt 9sp derailleur and an 10sp 11-36 cassette.

    Does anyone see any problems with this?

    Thanks
    It'll cost more than changing the small ring and not go as low.

    74m BCD road triples accept small rings down to 24T with a 26T providing a slightly easier gear than you'd get with 30x36.

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