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  1. #51
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    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
    If I remember correctly, you stated that he would have to shorten his chain. It was completely erroneous, as the chain already works fine within that gearing range. It had nothing to do with calculating chain size.

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


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  2. #52
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    If I remember correctly, you stated that he would have to shorten his chain. It was completely erroneous, as the chain already works fine within that gearing range. It had nothing to do with calculating chain size.
    And why exactly do you think I've changed my mind?

    SRAM instructions are also completely in agreement with Park Tool, as are Shimano's and will result in shortening the chain four links.
    Place chain over largest front chainwheel and largest rear sprocket and add 2 links or 1 link + Power Link.
    Using your same logic - obviously the OP's gearing is fine because he can obviously still pedal the bicycle.
    Last edited by Burton; 05-06-13 at 10:25 PM.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    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.
    Well I dropped my bike off today at the LBS for it's initial adjustments after break-in and I inquired about this thread as well and one guy was adamant on me getting a road cassette while the other took the stance of Tom.. I laughed and told them about this same discussion. After careful consideration I'm going to use the calculator Tom linked and play around with the various combos of gears Trek has so provided. If after a bit, I'm still not satisfied, I was quoted 50 bucks for a road cassette installed.
    2013 Trek 7.2FX

  4. #54
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    Bellinbean, I have your problem. I live in West Seattle and the hills are killing my legs and I've got 1200 miles on my bike now. It's a Specialized Sirrus Elite 2013 with 34-50 chainrings and a 11,12,14,15,18,20,23,26,30 9-speed cassette. So, I'm looking to switch the rear cassette to an HG61 12,14,16,18,21,24,28,32,36 cassette and a Deore M592 derailleur. At 64 and riding around 20 miles per day for a year, I don't know if I'll be getting much stronger. I like the discussion from our experts here. Please advise.

    Lars

  5. #55
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomCat_Ford View Post
    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.
    Agreed, It will not make him faster. Didn't realize that was your point. Maybe less tired from catching up to the gaps in gears..
    2013 TREK 7.6 FX

  6. #56
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellinibean View Post
    Well I dropped my bike off today at the LBS for it's initial adjustments after break-in and I inquired about this thread as well and one guy was adamant on me getting a road cassette while the other took the stance of Tom.. I laughed and told them about this same discussion. After careful consideration I'm going to use the calculator Tom linked and play around with the various combos of gears Trek has so provided. If after a bit, I'm still not satisfied, I was quoted 50 bucks for a road cassette installed.
    LOL I agree with Tom, its not going to make you faster, (so to speak) just less frustrated maintaining your cadence. Which would increase your overall average speed.. On a longer ride, they put them on Road Bikes for a reason, & Mountain Bike gearing for another.
    2013 TREK 7.6 FX

  7. #57
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Halstrom View Post
    Bellinbean, I have your problem. I live in West Seattle and the hills are killing my legs and I've got 1200 miles on my bike now. It's a Specialized Sirrus Elite 2013 with 34-50 chainrings and a 11,12,14,15,18,20,23,26,30 9-speed cassette. So, I'm looking to switch the rear cassette to an HG61 12,14,16,18,21,24,28,32,36 cassette and a Deore M592 derailleur. At 64 and riding around 20 miles per day for a year, I don't know if I'll be getting much stronger. I like the discussion from our experts here. Please advise.

    Lars
    As you should, I have a 50-34 front also. But live in flat Florida. We do not have the 3rd smallest chain ring to drop to. 48/38/28 like he does.
    2013 TREK 7.6 FX

  8. #58
    Senior Member robble's Avatar
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    Get a computer that will measure your speed AND cadence. As others have said you are probably pedaling a lot slower than you think. You'll improve your speed greatly by getting used to a high cadence of 80+. Gearing could help you maintain cadence but without knowing how my gears compare to yours I can't say much on that. I'm always on the big ring up front and usually on #7-8 on the back (there is a noticeable jump between those two). #9 is too hard for me to hold a high cadence.

    You average 12.5mph? Is that for a whole trip including stop lights etc? Or is that based on a steady speed on flats? If including red lights etc that's not so bad but if on the latter, the 41 would say HTFU as 12.5 average steady state speed is pretty slow. You should be shooting for 18+. After having ridden about 600 miles on my Trek 7.4fx I can maintain 20+ for quite a while on the flats and 18 for an hour fairly easy. I hadn't ridden a bike in over 20 years before this one.
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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by robble View Post
    Get a computer that will measure your speed AND cadence. As others have said you are probably pedaling a lot slower than you think. You'll improve your speed greatly by getting used to a high cadence of 80+. Gearing could help you maintain cadence but without knowing how my gears compare to yours I can't say much on that. I'm always on the big ring up front and usually on #7-8 on the back (there is a noticeable jump between those two). #9 is too hard for me to hold a high cadence.

    You average 12.5mph? Is that for a whole trip including stop lights etc? Or is that based on a steady speed on flats? If including red lights etc that's not so bad but if on the latter, the 41 would say HTFU as 12.5 average steady state speed is pretty slow. You should be shooting for 18+. After having ridden about 600 miles on my Trek 7.4fx I can maintain 20+ for quite a while on the flats and 18 for an hour fairly easy. I hadn't ridden a bike in over 20 years before this one.
    12.5 is with lights, pedestrian traffic, etc. Downtown Seattle is PACKED with bikes and people, so I do alot of speed changes. Riding here in the PNW is a crowded adventure alot of times. I'll have to see what a flat rail trail in the country gives me for averages.
    2013 Trek 7.2FX

  10. #60
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    And why exactly do you think I've changed my mind?

    SRAM instructions are also completely in agreement with Park Tool, as are Shimano's and will result in shortening the chain four links.


    Using your same logic - obviously the OP's gearing is fine because he can obviously still pedal the bicycle.
    Obviously this is beyond your grasp. If I was a LBS and trying to sell a new chain, I might suggest that. Everything is new, and there is no reason that he HAS TO CHANGE or SHORTEN HIS CHAIN. It will work just fine the way it is, and he can even go back to the other cassette whenever he likes, without doing anything to his chain. And it will still work.

    You only have to shorten/lengthen a chain, when the derailleur can no longer handle the extra or shorter length. In this case, this is not the case - the derailleur will handle it fine. The proof is that it is already handling those gearing ranges, in the OEM cassette.

    Why try to make something that is already easy, so hard?

    Get a grip, I'm done.

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


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  11. #61
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    OP-
    I had the exact gearing issues as you when I got my 2008 Specialized Globe.
    I have no idea what they were thinking with THAT 11-32 cassette with a shift from 18T to 15T!
    I just about blew my already bad knee out the first time I tried THAT shift.
    I had a 13-25, I'd made out of loose cogs for my other bike. It was on ASAP!

    I've since upgraded it to 9 speed and totally different ring sizes. (22-32-36 with a 12-21/23 cassette)

    Also-
    Ignore anybody that tells you how fast you should be unless they have personally given you a medical evaluation.
    I'm 65, have a bad knee, back & emphysema. IF I can maintain 14-15 MPH on flat pavement with NO wind, I'm happy as a clam!
    That's with 26mm tires and a new "skinny" wheel set I built.
    Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 05-07-13 at 04:33 PM.

  12. #62
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Obviously this is beyond your grasp. If I was a LBS and trying to sell a new chain, I might suggest that. Everything is new, and there is no reason that he HAS TO CHANGE or SHORTEN HIS CHAIN. It will work just fine the way it is, and he can even go back to the other cassette whenever he likes, without doing anything to his chain. And it will still work.

    You only have to shorten/lengthen a chain, when the derailleur can no longer handle the extra or shorter length. In this case, this is not the case - the derailleur will handle it fine. The proof is that it is already handling those gearing ranges, in the OEM cassette.

    Why try to make something that is already easy, so hard?

    Get a grip, I'm done.
    Give it up, you know your right, I know you right and so does every decent mechanic out there. Maybe he didn't notice that the (TREK DEALER) were I bought my bike installed my 11-26 in place of 11-(36), & said there was NO NEED to shorten my chain. Because it was a long caged derailleur, and I could always put the other cassette back on.. AND they did readjust the limit screws, and derailleur..
    2013 TREK 7.6 FX

  13. #63
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robble View Post
    Get a computer that will measure your speed AND cadence. As others have said you are probably pedaling a lot slower than you think. You'll improve your speed greatly by getting used to a high cadence of 80+. Gearing could help you maintain cadence but without knowing how my gears compare to yours I can't say much on that. I'm always on the big ring up front and usually on #7-8 on the back (there is a noticeable jump between those two). #9 is too hard for me to hold a high cadence.

    You average 12.5mph? Is that for a whole trip including stop lights etc? Or is that based on a steady speed on flats? If including red lights etc that's not so bad but if on the latter, the 41 would say HTFU as 12.5 average steady state speed is pretty slow. You should be shooting for 18+. After having ridden about 600 miles on my Trek 7.4fx I can maintain 20+ for quite a while on the flats and 18 for an hour fairly easy. I hadn't ridden a bike in over 20 years before this one.
    Those numbers are very impressive.. I can barely maintain over 20 for a mile or so... LOL
    2013 TREK 7.6 FX

  14. #64
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Halstrom View Post
    Bellinbean, I have your problem. I live in West Seattle and the hills are killing my legs and I've got 1200 miles on my bike now. It's a Specialized Sirrus Elite 2013 with 34-50 chainrings and a 11,12,14,15,18,20,23,26,30 9-speed cassette. So, I'm looking to switch the rear cassette to an HG61 12,14,16,18,21,24,28,32,36 cassette and a Deore M592 derailleur. At 64 and riding around 20 miles per day for a year, I don't know if I'll be getting much stronger. I like the discussion from our experts here. Please advise.

    Lars
    If you didn't mind spending the money, the awesome fix would be to change the front crank to a triple. It would add extra weight, and not knowing what shifter and derailleur you have, you MIGHT have to change one or both. When I was running a 53-39 up front & a 11-25 rear (10 speed) there was one hill close to my house I struggled on. Now with the 50-34 and 11-26 it's know problem. Just another option..
    2013 TREK 7.6 FX

  15. #65
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Basically, the bike manufacturers are building the hybrids with mountain bike gearing when they should be building them with road bike gearing.
    No,they're gearing them to be all-round bikes. Road bikes have tall gearing because they're intended for athletes who are out for speed. MTB's have low gearing because they're intended to climb hills and deal with things like mud and sand. Hybrids generally have a wide median range gearing because they're designed to be jack-of-all-trades.

    Quote Originally Posted by bellinibean View Post
    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.
    When I started riding,I was in the military,and figured it would be no big deal. Learned real quick that running doesn't translate into cycling. Took me about a week before I could make it into work without having to get off and walk the bike up a hill. About another week before I could make it home without walking it(route was mostly downhill going to work,uphill coming home). A few years later we had a project going on where I had weekend duty and had to go back and forth to work five times over the course of the weekend. Didn't phase me because I had my legs by then.

    Different activities use different muscles. As other folks have said,put in more time and then decide to make changes. If you never need the low gears,then swap on a road cassette. But if you use your lowest gears even once a week,might be worth it to keep them. Also note you could just run a slightly tighter cassette;instead of 11-34,11-30,then you'll still have a bailout gear while narrowing the gearing of the rest of the cassette.

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  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    No,they're gearing them to be all-round bikes. Road bikes have tall gearing because they're intended for athletes who are out for speed. MTB's have low gearing because they're intended to climb hills and deal with things like mud and sand. Hybrids generally have a wide median range gearing because they're designed to be jack-of-all-trades.



    When I started riding,I was in the military,and figured it would be no big deal. Learned real quick that running doesn't translate into cycling. Took me about a week before I could make it into work without having to get off and walk the bike up a hill. About another week before I could make it home without walking it(route was mostly downhill going to work,uphill coming home). A few years later we had a project going on where I had weekend duty and had to go back and forth to work five times over the course of the weekend. Didn't phase me because I had my legs by then.

    Different activities use different muscles. As other folks have said,put in more time and then decide to make changes. If you never need the low gears,then swap on a road cassette. But if you use your lowest gears even once a week,might be worth it to keep them. Also note you could just run a slightly tighter cassette;instead of 11-34,11-30,then you'll still have a bailout gear while narrowing the gearing of the rest of the cassette.
    While I agree that the muscles used are different, I'd tend to believe that cardiovascular endurance rings the same whether running, biking, rowing, etc. I rarely get "smoked" pedaling and have to catch my breath. It's almost always a muscle failure thing. The only time I can think of that I was completely out of breath was trying to pedal up the trails at Chamber Creek Golf Course in University Place Washington. Cat 5 doesn't scratch the surface of those switchbacks!
    2013 Trek 7.2FX

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellinibean View Post
    I rarely get "smoked" pedaling and have to catch my breath. It's almost always a muscle failure thing.
    That's a sure-fire sign that you're trying to push too much gear. Mashing your pedals will overtax your muscles (and could harm your knees), whereas running a higher cadence gets your heart rate up and utilizes your cardiovascular system.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomCat_Ford View Post
    That's a sure-fire sign that you're trying to push too much gear. Mashing your pedals will overtax your muscles (and could harm your knees), whereas running a higher cadence gets your heart rate up and utilizes your cardiovascular system.
    thus why I will study cadence better and look for more efficient gear combos. Before I pull the trigger on new hardware, id like to know I've exhausted the options I've already paid for.
    2013 Trek 7.2FX

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    Oh, I know. I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm beating a dead horse! Off to tune a finicky rear derailleur...

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomCat_Ford View Post
    Oh, I know. I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm beating a dead horse! Off to tune a finicky rear derailleur...
    I'm learning, the least I can do is listen and apply advice. Thanks for your help as well as everyone elses.
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  21. #71
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    I switched my hybrid from a 11-32 to a 13-26 (8 speed) and am happy as can be. the 28T granny gear still is way plenty low enough for any hill I'm going to ride up with the 26. I'll never push a 48:11, thats insanely tall, when I raced in the 70s, high gear was 52:13 which isn't as tall as 48:11



    with your existing gearing, if 2:5 to 2:6 is too big fo a step, try 3:4 or 3:3 instead.

  22. #72
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Obviously this is beyond your grasp. If I was a LBS and trying to sell a new chain, I might suggest that. Everything is new, and there is no reason that he HAS TO CHANGE or SHORTEN HIS CHAIN. It will work just fine the way it is, and he can even go back to the other cassette whenever he likes, without doing anything to his chain. And it will still work.

    You only have to shorten/lengthen a chain, when the derailleur can no longer handle the extra or shorter length. In this case, this is not the case - the derailleur will handle it fine. The proof is that it is already handling those gearing ranges, in the OEM cassette.

    Why try to make something that is already easy, so hard?

    Get a grip, I'm done.
    Yeah - I can see you've 'mastered' MAXIMUM chain length. There's also MINIMUM chain length and proper rear derailleur tensioning. Correct chain length is more about assuring that the rear derailleur has adequate tension than deciding that its just OK because it doesn't touch the rear derailleur cage.

    Based on your viewpoint then obviously no-one should have to lengthen a chain either when going to a cassette with a larger cog and all road bike should be running long cage derailleurs - - just because.

    I don't personally worry too much about what goes on in other shops. The one I work in has a reputation for being one of the best in the business. So thanks for all the concern about my credentials - my reputation is already well established here with other professionals in the business. A few Internet comments isn't going to change my life.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    Yeah - I can see you've 'mastered' MAXIMUM chain length. There's also MINIMUM chain length and proper rear derailleur tensioning. Correct chain length is more about assuring that the rear derailleur has adequate tension than deciding that its just OK because it doesn't touch the rear derailleur cage.

    Based on your viewpoint then obviously no-one should have to lengthen a chain either when going to a cassette with a larger cog and all road bike should be running long cage derailleurs - - just because.

    I don't personally worry too much about what goes on in other shops. The one I work in has a reputation for being one of the best in the business. So thanks for all the concern about my credentials - my reputation is already well established here with other professionals in the business. A few Internet comments isn't going to change my life.
    I think I'm enjoying the back and forth with Wanderer and Burton more than my original thread subject... :
    2013 Trek 7.2FX

  24. #74
    Senior Member martinus's Avatar
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    So quick re-cap ... His options are : new cass / spin to 120 ( get cadence comp ) / shift the fd as much as the rd ...

    Also could the op chime in, with his age, weight, and reason for getting his hybrid.
    Last edited by martinus; 05-10-13 at 07:08 AM.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    If I remember correctly, you stated that he would have to shorten his chain. It was completely erroneous, as the chain already works fine within that gearing range. It had nothing to do with calculating chain size.
    A chain should always be the correct length for the drivetrain. the best way is to have the der cage at a 45 degree angle at the big/big combination. this is to guarantee that nothing will be broken off while in this forbidden ratio.

    when changing to a smaller cassette, the assumption is that the chain is long enough and will work. ideally you should shorten it to achieve the best shifting. a larger cassette will mean that you need to add links, assuming your chain was the proper length to begin with

    to say that you dont need to change the chain length when going to a smaller cassette means you do not care about chain slap, optimum shifting, or perfection

    sure, you can say that you dont need to change the chain length when going to a smaller cassette, but i can also never get a job and collect welfare

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