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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinus View Post
    Here is you issue, you have a : Shimano altus HG31 8 cass Cogs: 11/13/15/18/21/24/28/32... The gear you are looking for just isnt there !

    You proly want a : 12-13-14-15-16-17-19-21T 8 speed Shimano Sora HG50 ... That way your granny gear ( smallest chainring on the crank ) can get some use. : o)
    so is a cassette swap doable or will I need a different rear end all together?
    2013 Trek 7.2FX

  2. #27
    Senior Member martinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellinibean View Post
    so is a cassette swap doable or will I need a different rear end all together?
    New cass... may or may not need to shorten the chain ...

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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinus View Post
    Here is you issue, you have a : Shimano altus HG31 8 cass Cogs: 11/13/15/18/21/24/28/32... The gear you are looking for just isnt there !

    You proly want a : 12-13-14-15-16-17-19-21T 8 speed Shimano Sora HG50 ... That way your granny gear ( smallest chainring on the crank ) can get some use. : o)
    the hg31 on the 7.2 is 12-32. can't find the tooth count for the middle cogs.
    2013 Trek 7.2FX

  4. #29
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    Here is a gear calculator, this is the same one my local Trek dealer uses. You said that you ride in 2 & 7 most of the time, the 12-21 mentioned above would give you LOTS of smooth up shifting, and to go faster, you would just go to the largest chain ring in the front when 2 & 7 is not enough. Your not loosing any gears, just gaining fine tuning. Play around on this chart, and you will understand. http://home.earthlink.net/~mike.sherman/shift.html
    OK, I see your point. Basically, the bike manufacturers are building the hybrids with mountain bike gearing when they should be building them with road bike gearing. It isn't just about OP getting stronger, though if he does make the change, he might need to used the smallest front chainring more for climbing.

  5. #30
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    OK, I see your point. Basically, the bike manufacturers are building the hybrids with mountain bike gearing when they should be building them with road bike gearing. It isn't just about OP getting stronger, though if he does make the change, he might need to used the smallest front chainring more for climbing.
    Correct... I did some playing around with the calculator before bed, and with the information he has given. I think a 12-23 would be great. And I'm POSOTIVE you would NOT need to shorten the chain. Just adjust the derailleur high & low limit screws, but the Local Bike shop would do all this for the 10.00 dollar swap. For them it's not much more than changing a tire, just be sure to buy the new cassette from them. You will feel like your riding a new bike.
    2013 TREK 7.6 FX

  6. #31
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    Correct... I did some playing around with the calculator before bed, and with the information he has given. I think a 12-23 would be great. And I'm POSOTIVE you would NOT need to shorten the chain. Just adjust the derailleur high & low limit screws, but the Local Bike shop would do all this for the 10.00 dollar swap. For them it's not much more than changing a tire, just be sure to buy the new cassette from them. You will feel like your riding a new bike.
    OK so I work as a mechanic myself and can't say some of this makes sense to me. Going from a 32T to a 23T without changing the front crankset would definately require shortening the chain. Going from one cassette to another normally doesn't require resetting limit screws - the derailleur starts and stops at exactly the same points for all 8-speed cassettes regardless of tooth count.

    And as a commuter - I use a mtb cassette and crankset myself. Sticking in the middle chainring and just using the tallest gears will just accelerate cassette wear. I'm running a 44/32/22 up front and going to the large chainring lets me drop two gears and use the middle of the cassette. There may or may not be a gearing issue, but the notion that all road bike gearing is corncob gearing with a single tooth difference between gears sure isn't in line with what I'm selling either on new bikes or as spares.

  7. #32
    Senior Member martinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    OK so I work as a mechanic myself and can't say some of this makes sense to me. Going from a 32T to a 23T without changing the front crankset would definately require shortening the chain. Going from one cassette to another normally doesn't require resetting limit screws - the derailleur starts and stops at exactly the same points for all 8-speed cassettes regardless of tooth count.
    You "size" the chain when cross chained in small/small or big/big ... ( some people even check it in the "big meat". big chainring/smallest cog. Then the der pullies should be in vertical line under the rear axle ) the rear der. should take up the slack. I wouldnt worry abot it, esp if its a long cage.

    ...as for cass, even know they are supposed to be the same spacing, they are all over the place, some times you need a spacer, some times you dont ... but double checking the limits is never a bad idea.
    Last edited by martinus; 05-06-13 at 07:40 AM.

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  8. #33
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    You do not need to shorten the chain. It already works fine at those gear ranges.

    You should find another line of work. Bad advice from a mechanic.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  9. #34
    Senior Member martinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    And as a commuter - I use a mtb cassette and crankset myself. Sticking in the middle chainring and just using the tallest gears will just accelerate cassette wear. I'm running a 44/32/22 up front and going to the large chainring lets me drop two gears and use the middle of the cassette. There may or may not be a gearing issue, but the notion that all road bike gearing is corncob gearing with a single tooth difference between gears sure isn't in line with what I'm selling either on new bikes or as spares.
    Cass selection is all about the tire size. ( I forgot is it drag or friction ? )

    "Fittness" hybrids with skinny 32c or 35c road tires, that will only see pavment use, should def have road gearing !

    "Dual-sport" hybrids with 26", "knobbies" that are meant to go off-road, whould need an MTB cass... sure, you might notice the problem the OP stated on pavement, but it wont be as bad, with the big tires... plus, you will want/need the MTB cass when off-roading .

    ... good luck, with anything in between.

    My hybrid came with 32c road tires, but its a 9 speed 11-32 cass ... so, half the cass is "corn cobb" then the gears jump 2 teeth at a time for the 4 easy gears.
    Soooo... you shift the front "gears" more than the avg bear, to stay in the "corn cobb" side of the cass when on road ... its just a little more complicated, that just leaving the cain in the middle chainring up fromt, and using the entire cass in back.
    Last edited by martinus; 05-06-13 at 08:06 AM.

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  10. #35
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    Let me start off by saying that all I am trying to do is help you (the original poster) out. This isn't the 41, I'm not going to tell you to HTFU and deal with it. I'm trying to analyze the perceived problem and help you come to a proper solution. That said, here we go:
    Quote Originally Posted by bellinibean View Post
    As best I can tell, if i'm in say, 2/5 on a flat trail it is easy enough that my foot completes a revolution around twice a second.
    I just input your gearing and tire size into an on-line calculator. If you were pedaling with a cadence of 120 in 2/5 (38/18) you should be seeing a speed of 20.5mph. You say that you're doing around 12.5mph, which would actually put you around 70-75 for cadence.
    [I]f I switch to the next gear to slow my cadence down it's a huge change and i'm then pedaling 40-60 id say, which I feel is too slow for maintenance speed.
    2/6 for you is 38/15. At a cadence of 60, you'd be doing around 12.3mph, which isn't too far off from your average speed.
    I need that gear in between so I can sit around 15mph @ 60-90 rpm. That's what I would like ideally. Am I wrong in expecting that from an entry level hybrid?
    I don't think that you need another gear. I believe you think that you need another gear because you are uncomfortable riding at higher cadences. If you want to see 15mph at 60RPM, use 48/15 (3/6). If you want to see 15mph at 90RPM, use 38/18 (2/5).

    After running the numbers, I stand by what I said earlier: you're cadence is much lower than you think it is. My suggestion would be to ride more and become more comfortable riding at a higher cadence. Installing a new cassette will, in my opinion, be a waste of money and time because your current goals are completely attainable with your current setup.

    In the attached link, please find the spreadsheet data with regard to your current setup:

    http://www.machars.net/bikecalcs.php...s=mph&call=xls

    Quote Originally Posted by martinus View Post
    you can listen those ^^^ guys ( donno if they even read your post ) & train all you want, there is only one fix.
    Please see my response to the original poster above. The numbers do not lie.

    For the record, I did read the original poster's post (I read all of yours too, even though your posts are somewhat hard to read). I suggest that you read mine and learn something about gearing instead of suggesting that someone waste money on unnecessary gearing changes. I'm not trying to sound harsh, but suggesting that myself and the others didn't read the original post is rather rude, and I take offense to it.

  11. #36
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    What you say, is spot on! You can find the right gear, with a little work.

    MHO, is that the OP was looking for an easy, single shift, resolution to his slightly different speed. The only way to do that, is with a closer spaced cassette, so he only has to shift a single rear cog.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  12. #37
    Senior Member martinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomCat_Ford View Post
    Please see my response to the original poster above. The numbers do not lie.

    For the record, I did read the original poster's post (I read all of yours too, even though your posts are somewhat hard to read). I suggest that you read mine and learn something about gearing instead of suggesting that someone waste money on unnecessary gearing changes. I'm not trying to sound harsh, but suggesting that myself and the others didn't read the original post is rather rude, and I take offense to it.
    I'm sorry buddy. I did not know, my comments on an on-line interveb forum would ruffle your feathers so much ...
    I will tone it down... and I thank you, for pointing out that my recommendation of spending 20$ for a cass ( + 5$ labor @ my LBS ) so some reg. joe, so that he may WITHOUT training, instantly have more fun riding his HYBRID, is way out of line...
    I'm sudying your post and learning as much as I can, and @ 35yrs of age and @ 220 # hope to use it, to train for the olympics...
    In the mean time, I hope this pic will make you feel better.

    Last edited by martinus; 05-06-13 at 10:16 AM.

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    Bend the knees, watch the trees ... 5 $ please .

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinus View Post
    I'm sorry buddy. I did not know, my comments on an on-line intervebs forum would ruffle your feathers so much ...
    I will tone it down, and I thank you, for pointing out that my recommendation of spending 20$ for a cass so some reg. joe, so that he may with out training, instantly have more fun riding his hybrid, is way out of line.
    I'm sudying your post and learning as much as I can, and @ 35yrs of age and @ 220 # hope to use it, to train for the olympics...
    You can use all the sarcasm you want, but the fact of the matter is that you are the one who originally suggested that myself and others were not reading posts. If that isn't rude, I do not know what is. I certainly don't go around in public telling people that they must not have been listening to the person talking, do you? I don't because it's rude.

    As for needing to train, the OP shouldn't have to do too much. Even with his current setup, as the gearing chart I posted suggests, he can reach the speeds he is looking for. Changing the gearing is not going to magically allow him to pedal faster, harder, or for a longer distance. Further, it will cost more than $20. If the OP does the job himself, he'll have to buy the proper tools. If he doesn't do the job himself, he'll have to pay has LBS to do it.

    Also, I do apologize for the tone of my response; it was a little childish and immature, but I simply do not react well to rude comments. I might be the pot calling the kettle black when I respond in such a manner, but it is what it is.
    Last edited by TomCat_Ford; 05-06-13 at 10:02 AM.

  14. #39
    Senior Member martinus's Avatar
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    Hang on, editing ...

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    Bend the knees, watch the trees ... 5 $ please .

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    Senior Member Delmarva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinus View Post
    You proly have a MTB cass. on there, from one gear to the next there is a 2 tooth diff... a road bike cass. each gear is only ONE tooth bigger then the next ... you can listen those ^^^ guys ( donno if they even read your post ) & train all you want, there is only one fix.
    Yes, the cassette could have two tooth jumps on the smallest the three or more on the larger cogs. Might be one of those mega range units. Switching to a tighter gearing on the rear and learning to use the rings will reduce the large leaps in cadence. A cassette with an ultra wide spread probably has more visual attraction and sells more bikes but it makes the actual ride more of a challenge.

    eidt: apparently the original poster has an 8 speed really wide range rear. Just switch to a 13-26 or a 13-23 as shown below. No need to go any tighter imho. A cassette swap is easy with the right socket and a whip wrench. Otherwise just let the lbs do the work.

    HG 50 cassettes:


    • 12-21 - 12.13.14.15.16.17.19.21
    • 12-23 - 12.13.14.15.17.19.21.23
    • 12-25 - 12.13.15.17.19.21.23.25
    • 13-23 - 13.14.15.16.17.19.21.23
    • 13-26 - 13.14.15.17.19.21.23.26
    Last edited by Delmarva; 05-06-13 at 10:47 AM.

  16. #41
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    There is good advice in this thread. Martinus,Tom Cat Ford, and xoxoxolive all make valid points. It wasn't until I did some time on an indoor trainer that I realized I was probably not pushing a high enough cadence generally. On the other hand, Martinus and xoxoxoLive do seem to have a point that in an effort to make it easier for an out of shape person to climb using the middle chainring, the bike companies are actually making their hybrids less enjoyable to ride.

  17. #42
    Senior Member Delmarva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    OK so I work as a mechanic myself and can't say some of this makes sense to me. Going from a 32T to a 23T without changing the front crankset would definately require shortening the chain.

    I'm running a 44/32/22 up front and going to the large chainring lets me drop two gears and use the middle of the cassette. There may or may not be a gearing issue, but the notion that all road bike gearing is corncob gearing with a single tooth difference between gears sure isn't in line with what I'm selling either on new bikes or as spares.
    No need to touch the chain as long as he is going from a wider range to a narrower range cassette. The new cassette is within the range of the older one so the derailleur will continue to take up the slack just fine.

    I agree that most road bike gearing is not corncob although some of us do ultimately switch to them. I think the advice in other posts to go to a 21-12 or 23-12 will result in gearing that is too tight and high for a hybrid rider.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomCat_Ford View Post
    Let me start off by saying that all I am trying to do is help you (the original poster) out. This isn't the 41, I'm not going to tell you to HTFU and deal with it. I'm trying to analyze the perceived problem and help you come to a proper solution. That said, here we go:I just input your gearing and tire size into an on-line calculator. If you were pedaling with a cadence of 120 in 2/5 (38/18) you should be seeing a speed of 20.5mph. You say that you're doing around 12.5mph, which would actually put you around 70-75 for cadence.2/6 for you is 38/15. At a cadence of 60, you'd be doing around 12.3mph, which isn't too far off from your average speed.I don't think that you need another gear. I believe you think that you need another gear because you are uncomfortable riding at higher cadences. If you want to see 15mph at 60RPM, use 48/15 (3/6). If you want to see 15mph at 90RPM, use 38/18 (2/5).

    After running the numbers, I stand by what I said earlier: you're cadence is much lower than you think it is. My suggestion would be to ride more and become more comfortable riding at a higher cadence. Installing a new cassette will, in my opinion, be a waste of money and time because your current goals are completely attainable with your current setup.

    In the attached link, please find the spreadsheet data with regard to your current setup:

    http://www.machars.net/bikecalcs.php...s=mph&call=xls

    Please see my response to the original poster above. The numbers do not lie.

    For the record, I did read the original poster's post (I read all of yours too, even though your posts are somewhat hard to read). I suggest that you read mine and learn something about gearing instead of suggesting that someone waste money on unnecessary gearing changes. I'm not trying to sound harsh, but suggesting that myself and the others didn't read the original post is rather rude, and I take offense to it.
    perception vs reality differ apparently. The cadence between one gear and the next is such a drastic change though. I've combed over the data and before I drop coin, I will experiment with the suggestions you've made. none-the-less, I'm clearly still on m learning curve. Thanks everyone for the advice.
    2013 Trek 7.2FX

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    There is good advice in this thread. Martinus,Tom Cat Ford, and xoxoxolive all make valid points. It wasn't until I did some time on an indoor trainer that I realized I was probably not pushing a high enough cadence generally. On the other hand, Martinus and xoxoxoLive do seem to have a point that in an effort to make it easier for an out of shape person to climb using the middle chainring, the bike companies are actually making their hybrids less enjoyable to ride.
    One thing I can admit is that I need more riding time. This wil make me more efficient with gear selection as well as train my body to sustain various cadences that are currently uncomfortable. As far as beng in shape goes, I'm in the military, so the cardiovascular aspect is covered. I don't get winded per se. I do however annihilate my quads especially just above the knee at times.
    2013 Trek 7.2FX

  20. #45
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    I stopped at the LBS by my house. (GIANT DEALER) The mechanic is one of the best in Jacksonville, I asked about this very thread, (went for something about my bike though). He SAID, a 12-25 would be a good choice, & YOU DO NOT NEED TO SHORTEN YOUR CHIAN.. It will help you maintain a constant cadence, but you also will have to learn how to shift, when up shifting to the bigger ring (in the front). You would shift up 2 in the back, and so fourth.. There not the ones who changed mine, a Trek dealer did, (where I purchased the bike), and they did not shorten my chain. You can take the advice, or leave it. Just was trying to help you with your OP... I changed mine for this very reason.
    2013 TREK 7.6 FX

  21. #46
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Don't know why I mentioned you would have to learn how to shift. It's the same principle with any cassette, just was typing what he said.. LOL Duhhh
    2013 TREK 7.6 FX

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    Quote Originally Posted by bellinibean View Post
    perception vs reality differ apparently. The cadence between one gear and the next is such a drastic change though.
    I know that it seems like a big difference. I was in the same boat you are in now and ended up completely re-gearing a bike (chain rings and cassette); in hindsight, it was a waste of money and time. But I wanted to ride faster, and I thought changing my gearing would allow me to do that. Years later I can tell you that I was "mashing" and was uncomfortable riding at a higher cadence, I just didn't know it at the time. My wife went through the same thing last year, as well. As we were riding, she'd complain about her speed and/or the amount of effort she'd have to exert. I suggested that she up her cadence and she has been seeing improvements across the board.

    Happy riding!

  23. #48
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomCat_Ford View Post
    I know that it seems like a big difference. I was in the same boat you are in now and ended up completely re-gearing a bike (chain rings and cassette); in hindsight, it was a waste of money and time. But I wanted to ride faster, and I thought changing my gearing would allow me to do that. Years later I can tell you that I was "mashing" and was uncomfortable riding at a higher cadence, I just didn't know it at the time. My wife went through the same thing last year, as well. As we were riding, she'd complain about her speed and/or the amount of effort she'd have to exert. I suggested that she up her cadence and she has been seeing improvements across the board.

    Happy riding!
    I mean this with all respect, it has nothing to do with speed, or a faster cadence. It is so you can maintain the one you like the best, whether it be 70 RPM, or 90... So when you shift to the next gear, it does not drop you by 20 RPM's, then you have to pedal harder to get back to that Cadence, you just drop like 5 RPM.. and vise versa, you don't go from 75 to 90 by shifting up one gear. ( it just has to do with the amount of change per shift)
    2013 TREK 7.6 FX

  24. #49
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    So for all those experts that think I should find a different line of work - here's a link to the Park Tool site that details several different methods of how to properly calculate chain length. Only two are applicable in this case and both will result in shortening the chain. None of the techniques suggested in this thread are even mentioned.

    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...-length-sizing

    But actually I really like 'home mechanics'. They're good for business because they either end up buying a ridiculous amount of parts to avoid admitting they're in over their head - or eventually bring in a basketbcase for repairs anyway.

    So have fun

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    I understand, as I have gaps in my gearing as well! My hybrid has a good 2-3 tooth gap throughout the low-middle of the cassette, but I deal with it by adjusting my cadence accordingly. Getting comfortable at a higher cadence allows me to stay in the lower gear longer before shifting to the higher gear. Now I hardly notice the gaps (unless I'm towards the end of a long ride, I suppose). My wife has the same problem, but again, working on the cadence has helped bridge the gap between the gears making a cassette change unnecessary.

    My point of all of this, though, is that the original poster is frustrated because he wants to go faster (15mph vs. his current 12.5mph average). Changing the gearing is not going to change how fast he can ride his bike. Given the spreadsheet linked to above, all the original poster has to do is change his cadence a bit and select the appropriate gear with his current setup. Changing the cassette to one with a tighter gearing will make things more convenient, but it isn't necessary going faster. At the end of the day, he doesn't need to change anything on his bike to accomplish his goal of going faster, he needs to work on tuning his engine.

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