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  1. #76
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    OP. what are you trying to achieve with your new gearing?

    but first, lose the 2/5 terminology. that means nothing - thats just what your shifters tell you. learn the tooth count because bicycle gearing is all math.

    if you feel that a gear is missing between "5" and "6," find out how many teeth "5" and "6" have and get a cassette with your desired gearing

    if you spin out at the large ring/small cog and want to go faster, find out how many teeth your smallest cog has and go smaller, add a larger chainring - or both

    if you cant pedal up dat hill, find out how many teeth your largest cog has and go larger or add a smaller chainring - or both

    if you want more in between gears, and you have an 8sp, go for a 10sp with the large and small cog you desire. if you have a 9sp, i would save the money

    having said that, i would have to agree with the above posters to get ride more, learn proper pedalling and get a feel for the gearing before making expensive changes.

    an intermediate gear can sometimes be achieved by shfting both front and rear at the same time. for example: large ring --> mid ring + small cog --> large cog or vice versa

    many times the resulting gear would be in between a single cog shift

    also, clipless pedals can dramatically increase your pedalling efficiciency.

  2. #77
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellinibean View Post
    I think I'm enjoying the back and forth with Wanderer and Burton more than my original thread subject... :
    Hey - our shop gets to charge for tune-ups on the personal bikes owned by the top guys on the board of directors for Dorel Distributing. Thats the (Canadian) company that owns (among other things) Cannondale, Iron Hourse, GT, Schwinn, and the Sugoi Performance Apparel Company. Dorel grosses over 2.5 BILLION per year anf if their execs CHOOSE to have their personal bikes built and maintained at the shop where I work - there must be a reason.

  3. #78
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    Hey - our shop gets to charge for tune-ups on the personal bikes owned by the top guys on the board of directors for Dorel Distributing. Thats the (Canadian) company that owns (among other things) Cannondale, Iron Hourse, GT, Schwinn, and the Sugoi Performance Apparel Company. Dorel grosses over 2.5 BILLION per year anf if their execs CHOOSE to have their personal bikes built and maintained at the shop where I work - there must be a reason.
    I know you have trouble admitting when you are wrong. I have a 50/34 front compact crank, and factory rear was a 11-36 Trek changed my rear cassette to an 11-26, WHY would they have needed to shorten the chain ? Fastest gear (50 x 11) SAME ! lowest gear (34 x26) already had, I just no longer have 27 to 36. (was wasted gearing).but is still using the other factory gear ranges..
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  4. #79
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    I know you have trouble admitting when you are wrong. I have a 50/34 front compact crank, and factory rear was a 11-36 Trek changed my rear cassette to an 11-26, WHY would they have needed to shorten the chain ? Fastest gear (50 x 11) SAME ! lowest gear (34 x26) already had, I just no longer have 27 to 36. (was wasted gearing).but is still using the other factory gear ranges..
    If it had been the other way around, I would have had to lengthen the chain.. (Get it now)
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  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    I know you have trouble admitting when you are wrong. I have a 50/34 front compact crank, and factory rear was a 11-36 Trek changed my rear cassette to an 11-26, WHY would they have needed to shorten the chain ? Fastest gear (50 x 11) SAME ! lowest gear (34 x26) already had, I just no longer have 27 to 36. (was wasted gearing).but is still using the other factory gear ranges..
    You clearly have no experience wrenching and youre trashing sound mechanical advice. i have my own guesses as to why your trek dealer didnt shorten the chain, and its not "shortening the chain is unneccessary."

    running the shortest chain possible is one way to obtain the fastest shifting. back in the day, manufacturerers even made different cage lengths for mid level componentry. nowaydays its only the top two give you the option.

    are you aware that some people will run a mid cage for a 32 and drop down to a short cage for a 28? why do you think they do that when a long cage fits all? given all things equal, a shorter chain will reduce chain slap and shift quicker.

    why would you NOT run a chain in its optimum length?

  6. #81
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    for that matter, omg, you had better get a shorter arm derailleur, as you're wasting the range of the one you have, so it must be suboptimal!!!

    this is some seriously funny ePenis!

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by pierce View Post
    for that matter, omg, you had better get a shorter arm derailleur, as you're wasting the range of the one you have, so it must be suboptimal!!!

    this is some seriously funny ePenis!
    It depends on the rider and the situation. Ideally, yes. Realistically - unless you have money to burn, i would not recommend such an expensive change on a mid level bike with a novice rider. an offroad racer or serious rider would swap derailleurs in a jiffy for the lesser chance of a thrown chain and faster shifting. Also, due to the low mileage of the OP, a new chain is not necessary.

    if i were building a bike from scratch i would choose the proper cage length. if i were checking out a custom build, and the housing were too long, brake levers set up parallel to the ground and a long cage der on a double chainring setup with a 25 t rear cog with a too long chain i would assume the builder did not know what they were doing.

    A chain length adjustment takes about five mins, is cheap, and is very easy to do. a new r der could cost the OP about 20% of his new bike cost. thats very bad advice. i only mentioned the different cages to illustrate that chain length does have an effect on shifting and that the top level componentry have this feature because it makes a difference. However, since a der is costly, the next best thing is to make sure you have the proper length chain. in this case, it means shortening the chain

    i think the advice of checking the chain length was sound. it is NOT bad advice - especially if youre running a triple and use your entire gear range.

    i dont care if you dont care that you run a chain thats too long, but to say that someone is giving bad advice by suggesting you run the proper length chain is flat out wrong. it may work for you but dont assume it will work for everybody. running the proper chain length works for everybody

  8. #83
    S'Cruzer pierce's Avatar
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    I'm really curious.

    under what conditions would a chain that worked on a 11-32 not work on a 13-26 ? in fact, other than the couple extra grams of the few extra links, how exactly is it sub-optimal? you're right in the middle of the derailleurs chain capacity range.

  9. #84
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
    It depends on the rider and the situation. Ideally, yes. Realistically - unless you have money to burn, i would not recommend such an expensive change on a mid level bike with a novice rider. an offroad racer or serious rider would swap derailleurs in a jiffy for the lesser chance of a thrown chain and faster shifting. Also, due to the low mileage of the OP, a new chain is not necessary.

    if i were building a bike from scratch i would choose the proper cage length. if i were checking out a custom build, and the housing were too long, brake levers set up parallel to the ground and a long cage der on a double chainring setup with a 25 t rear cog with a too long chain i would assume the builder did not know what they were doing.

    A chain length adjustment takes about five mins, is cheap, and is very easy to do. a new r der could cost the OP about 20% of his new bike cost. thats very bad advice. i only mentioned the different cages to illustrate that chain length does have an effect on shifting and that the top level componentry have this feature because it makes a difference. However, since a der is costly, the next best thing is to make sure you have the proper length chain. in this case, it means shortening the chain

    i think the advice of checking the chain length was sound. it is NOT bad advice - especially if youre running a triple and use your entire gear range.

    i dont care if you dont care that you run a chain thats too long, but to say that someone is giving bad advice by suggesting you run the proper length chain is flat out wrong. it may work for you but dont assume it will work for everybody. running the proper chain length works for everybody
    I have a 50/34 front, lets say I'm on the small chain ring. Now lets say the back is in 5, WHAT DIFFERANCE IS THERE IN REAR DERALLIURER TENSION..... ( NONE ) It's EXACTLY THE SAME AS BEFORE.
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  10. #85
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    I have a 50/34 front, lets say I'm on the small chain ring. Now lets say the back is in 5, WHAT DIFFERANCE IS THERE IN REAR DERALLIURER TENSION..... ( NONE ) It's EXACTLY THE SAME AS BEFORE.
    The chain is already adjusted to fit a 11-26, THERE IS NO LOOSE PLAY !!
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  11. #86
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pierce View Post
    I'm really curious.

    under what conditions would a chain that worked on a 11-32 not work on a 13-26 ? in fact, other than the couple extra grams of the few extra links, how exactly is it sub-optimal? you're right in the middle of the derailleurs chain capacity range.
    We have a WINNER !
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  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by pierce View Post
    I'm really curious.

    under what conditions would a chain that worked on a 11-32 not work on a 13-26 ? in fact, other than the couple extra grams of the few extra links, how exactly is it sub-optimal? you're right in the middle of the derailleurs chain capacity range.
    on a triple your chain is now too long in the granny for more than the largest cogs. also your pulley tension is now lower than before. the solution is running the proper chain length. due to the smaller diameter cog in the rear, this means shortening the chain. just because a double user didnt encounter this issue is no reason to discard advice from a pro mechanic

    there are many ways to calculate the proper chain length. none of them read like this: install 11-32 cassette. install chain. remove. install 11-25.

    there can only be one proper chain length for a drivetrain. if you change the diameter of a drivetrain component, how can you still have the proper chain length?

    its like having just the right amount of cable housing. how would you feel about an expensive bicycle with a foot extra of housing on each end? its a sign of competent builder / mechanic to check these things

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    The chain is already adjusted to fit a 11-26, THERE IS NO LOOSE PLAY !!
    aside from assuring the correct chain length, what else can you do to the chain to "fit a 11-26?"

    you said earlier that they didnt do anything to the chain
    Last edited by DorkDisk; 05-11-13 at 07:34 PM.

  14. #89
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    I know you have trouble admitting when you are wrong. I have a 50/34 front compact crank, and factory rear was a 11-36 Trek changed my rear cassette to an 11-26, WHY would they have needed to shorten the chain ? Fastest gear (50 x 11) SAME ! lowest gear (34 x26) already had, I just no longer have 27 to 36. (was wasted gearing).but is still using the other factory gear ranges..
    Yeah - if you think a 34/36 gearing requires the same chain length for adequate derailleur tensioning as a 34/26 - I can see where the problem is. Look - its your bike - do what you want. I have enough people standing in line willing to pay for good advice - I see no point in wasting my time giving advice for free where its not wanted.

    Guess its a good thing I didn't mention that a long cage rear derailleur should be swapped out for a short cage for that combo.
    Last edited by Burton; 05-11-13 at 06:49 PM.

  15. #90
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    Yeah - if you think a 34/36 gearing requires the same chain length for adequate derailleur tensioning as a 34/26 - I can see where the problem is. Look - its your bike - do what you want. I have enough people standing in line willing to pay for good advice - I see no point in wasting my time giving advice for free where its not wanted.

    Guess its a good thing I didn't mention that a long cage rear derailleur should be swapped out for a short cage for that combo.
    The rear derailleur forgot to Google ParkTools website, to realize its not going to go past 34/26 anymore. And I'm not going to tell it, something's are better left unsaid... (Just Saying) & when running a compact crank, if there were any issues, it would be (NOT) running a long cage derailleur. A standard 53/39 could handle a shorter cage rear DR. Keep giving that advice to your customers lined up out the door..
    2013 TREK 7.6 FX

  16. #91
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
    It depends on the rider and the situation. Ideally, yes. Realistically - unless you have money to burn, i would not recommend such an expensive change on a mid level bike with a novice rider. an offroad racer or serious rider would swap derailleurs in a jiffy for the lesser chance of a thrown chain and faster shifting. Also, due to the low mileage of the OP, a new chain is not necessary.

    if i were building a bike from scratch i would choose the proper cage length. if i were checking out a custom build, and the housing were too long, brake levers set up parallel to the ground and a long cage der on a double chainring setup with a 25 t rear cog with a too long chain i would assume the builder did not know what they were doing.

    A chain length adjustment takes about five mins, is cheap, and is very easy to do. a new r der could cost the OP about 20% of his new bike cost. thats very bad advice. i only mentioned the different cages to illustrate that chain length does have an effect on shifting and that the top level componentry have this feature because it makes a difference. However, since a der is costly, the next best thing is to make sure you have the proper length chain. in this case, it means shortening the chain

    i think the advice of checking the chain length was sound. it is NOT bad advice - especially if youre running a triple and use your entire gear range.

    i dont care if you dont care that you run a chain thats too long, but to say that someone is giving bad advice by suggesting you run the proper length chain is flat out wrong. it may work for you but dont assume it will work for everybody. running the proper chain length works for everybody
    (20% you say) 24.99 http://www.jensonusa.com/!760ByoNC3W...FYqk4Aodd14AVg
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  17. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    wow thats great. a lowend shortcage. not being facetious - happy they are available

    but that doesnt change anything about proper chain length, does it?

  18. #93
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    OK, back on track, I rode 35 miles today, stayed in the biggest chain ring (48) to see the different gear combinations, and averaged 14.9mph. this is with red lights, traffic, etc. The mph increase was about 3, but my body says, quit mashing so much as my quads just above my knees are smoked. I know it's not optimal to say 2/5 or 3/6 etc, but 3/5 to 3/6 proved too much of a change in cadence to be of any benefit to me. I need something in between to carry me to the next gear. do I make sense or should I HTFU? overall I was happy with my new, higher average. thoughts?
    2013 Trek 7.2FX

  19. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
    wow thats great. a lowend shortcage. not being facetious - happy they are available

    but that doesnt change anything about proper chain length, does it?
    I have that derailleur actually. on my low end 7.2 FX. FML.
    2013 Trek 7.2FX

  20. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellinibean View Post
    OK, back on track, I rode 35 miles today, stayed in the biggest chain ring (48) to see the different gear combinations, and averaged 14.9mph. this is with red lights, traffic, etc. The mph increase was about 3, but my body says, quit mashing so much as my quads just above my knees are smoked. I know it's not optimal to say 2/5 or 3/6 etc, but 3/5 to 3/6 proved too much of a change in cadence to be of any benefit to me. I need something in between to carry me to the next gear. do I make sense or should I HTFU? overall I was happy with my new, higher average. thoughts?
    the cheapest thing you can do is get a 11-28 or a 12-28 8sp cassette if you have hills or a 11-26 if you dont.

    here is one on sale: http://www.jensonusa.com/Bicycle-Cas...Speed-Cassette

    if youre into tools, buy a chainwhip, a freewheel tool and a chaintool and do it yourself. it takes ten minutes

  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
    the cheapest thing you can do is get a 11-28 or a 12-28 8sp cassette if you have hills or a 11-26 if you dont.

    here is one on sale: http://www.jensonusa.com/Bicycle-Cas...Speed-Cassette

    if youre into tools, buy a chainwhip, a freewheel tool and a chaintool and do it yourself. it takes ten minutes
    money isn't an issue. If I wanted I'd CL my hybrid and buy a Madone. I was just trying to get some advice for more efficient riding whether it be new gears or just learning how to ride better. Honestly, I find your arrogance annoying and given your post count and join date, I'm suspecting you are a friend of Burton and are here simply to bolster his ideals. Eitherway, thanks for the link, I'll take it under advisement.
    2013 Trek 7.2FX

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    Quote Originally Posted by bellinibean View Post
    money isn't an issue. If I wanted I'd CL my hybrid and buy a Madone. I was just trying to get some advice for more efficient riding whether it be new gears or just learning how to ride better. Honestly, I find your arrogance annoying and given your post count and join date, I'm suspecting you are a friend of Burton and are here simply to bolster his ideals. Eitherway, thanks for the link, I'll take it under advisement.
    i dont know anybody here irl. i just dont like bad advice by people who obviously dont know what theyre doing.

    i dont see how i was arrogant. if it was about the low end, i dont mean it as an insult-its just a reality of product plcement. some of my favorite bikes are not only low end but 40 years old. i also love shopping for generic parts for my frankenbikes.

    ive been cycling, bulding and fixing bikes for 25 years, sorry for my low post count

    ive given you advice on what you can do; and im not talking about a link to a cassette. have you tried double shifting? also try clipless pedals.

    buying a madone would be the stupidest solution to this problem

  23. #98
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    The rear derailleur forgot to Google ParkTools website, to realize its not going to go past 34/26 anymore. And I'm not going to tell it, something's are better left unsaid... (Just Saying) & when running a compact crank, if there were any issues, it would be (NOT) running a long cage derailleur. A standard 53/39 could handle a shorter cage rear DR. Keep giving that advice to your customers lined up out the door..
    This posting wasn't started by you and as much as you'd like - isn't all about you either. The OP posted that they had a Trek 7.2 FX. That comes stock with a Suntour NEX, 48/38/28 TRIPLE crankset, a Shimano HG31 12-32, 8 speed cassette and an Alivio rear derailleur. YOUR initial recommendations given on this board was to change the cassette to an 12/25 or 13/26 without changing either the chain length or the rear mech.

    I'm sticking with my original statement. On the OP's bike that's not only NOT the best advice - its an amateur fix. Not that lots of people don't do things like that - but then the largest percentage of bike riders in North America are perfectly happy riding a $150 K-mart bike too so it doesn't really mean much.

    And its Sunday morning and my last post in this thread. I have to get ready to get into work and in spite of your smart ass comments - we're having a record year while apparently the other two major stores here are just doing what they usually do. That may be in part because we get a lot of bikes in that have already been 'fixed' in other shops and still work like ****.

    I haven't actually offered any advice in this column except to note that changing a cassette size normally requires a chain length adjustment, and that having to adjust limit screws after swapping out a cassette makes about as much sense as having to adjust limit screws after changing tires. And I posted a link to the Park Tool website where that info could be confirmed.

    My own advice would be very different from yours for the OP because I'd start at the crank end myself. The OP still has a large chainring that he doesn't use and you've suggested nothing that'll change that yourself.

    But that's just me - and I'm off to work with some people that are actually fun professionals. Like I said - its your bike - you can do whatever you want - it won't change my life. I do, however, take exception to your decision to question the professionalism and advice of others people on this forum but if those are the rules you want to play by - be prepared to treated the same way.
    Last edited by Burton; 05-12-13 at 07:50 AM.

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    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    The rear derailleur forgot to Google ParkTools website, to realize its not going to go past 34/26 anymore. And I'm not going to tell it, something's are better left unsaid... (Just Saying) & when running a compact crank, if there were any issues, it would be (NOT) running a long cage derailleur. A standard 53/39 could handle a shorter cage rear DR. Keep giving that advice to your customers lined up out the door..
    Anytime you want to post an understandable translation of whatever that was supposed to be - feel free.

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    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellinibean View Post
    money isn't an issue. If I wanted I'd CL my hybrid and buy a Madone. I was just trying to get some advice for more efficient riding whether it be new gears or just learning how to ride better. Honestly, I find your arrogance annoying and given your post count and join date, I'm suspecting you are a friend of Burton and are here simply to bolster his ideals. Eitherway, thanks for the link, I'll take it under advisement.
    Just for the record I have no idea who DorkDisk is but he IS at least one of the few posters here that seems to be showing a good understanding that chain length isn't a 'one size fits all' installation. You can choose to take or ignore that advise if you want to. Its all easily confirmable through Park Tool, Sheldon Brown, SRAM and Shimano website references. If you're actually interested in improving your cycling you need to learn what makes things work optimally rather than just putting things up for a vote on some forum with a bunch of strangers. Any and all of those references explain things very clearly and for some strange reason - are all in agreement with each other.

    Based on your last post of an average of 14.9mph over a 35 mile distance with stop signs etc ( congratulations on choosing to stop! ) Ihave the feeling you're in pretty reasonable shape. You might find a close ratio mtb triple up front gets you closer to where you want to go than the 48/38/28 hybrid crankset you currently have. Most are 44/32/22 but 42/32/22 cranksets are also available A higher cadance overall and the possibility of using all three front chain rings. Suggest you test drive a couple before making any more decisions. A 44T can be spun to 30mph with an 12T rear if your cardio is in good shape. That change will also be better for the chainline. You should look into shortening the chain if you go that way as well and sorry if I don't understand all the fuss about a 60 second operation. As already pointed out by DorkDisk, optimal cable length is determined by frame size, bar height and bar width and no one seems to have problems understanding that. Chains are no different and optimal shifting performance is only achieved by minimizing lengths in both cases - cable runs and chain lengths.
    Last edited by Burton; 05-12-13 at 08:47 AM.

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