Old 12-26-16, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Oct 2015
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Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

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I'd swap everything but the chainrings. A 42-tooth top is just too small for the street (IMO.) You might not "spin out" the 42x11 but a more reasonable quick cadence (90 rpm, say) might be unsatisfyingly slow ... though going to 11T in the back will help a lot. Really your call.

If the rear hub is a freehub/cassette and not a freewheel/cluster, you can make the switch there; otherwise you would need a new wheel. Make sure the rear dropout width (distance between the two chain-stay axle mounts in the rear) is 130 mm, or stretch it (cold-set it) to 130 mm to accept modern wheels.

The real issue is, why do it at all? Do you find yourself frequently stuck "between" gears, where one forces you to push too hard and the next one demands that you spin too fast? Do you find yourself switching between neighboring gears frequently, looking for that "right" ratio?

Swapping parts might be really easy, or might open you up to a world of difficulty as stuff which Should fit, just doesn't and stuff which used to work, for some reason doesn't.

If you have the tools, the time, the know-how (or an Internet connection--YouTube has every bike repair video you could want,) a lot of tolerance and patience, and a back-up bike in case the project takes a lot longer than anticipated .....
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