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Easiest/ most effective way to lower gearing

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Easiest/ most effective way to lower gearing

Old 05-14-15, 09:15 AM
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XXLHardrock
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Easiest/ most effective way to lower gearing

105 brifters, front and rear derailers, 34/50 and 12-30. If my math is right I have a range of 30-110 gear inches. Top end is plenty but I suspect I'll need a lower bottom end. I'm Ready to buy whatever is needed but don't want to buy more than I need to. At my fitness level (ie. lack of fitness), I'd sacrifice top end if I need to. This would hopefully be a temporary measure.

Edit: 10 speed

Your suggestions please.

Last edited by XXLHardrock; 05-14-15 at 09:25 AM. Reason: Content
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Old 05-14-15, 09:20 AM
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10 speed or 11?
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Old 05-14-15, 09:21 AM
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10 speed
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Old 05-14-15, 09:22 AM
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Most economical way would be to find another CL bike with a triple crankset and 12/32 cassette. Your pretty much at the "climbing Gears" range now. You could go to a mountain bike rear derailleur and cassette and get it down to a 36 tooth but I don't know if your shifters are compatible with that. (I am assuming we are talking about a road bike)
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Old 05-14-15, 09:23 AM
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You are already pretty low but you could go lower with a MTB cassette. That would be easier than switching to a triple crankset.
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Old 05-14-15, 09:24 AM
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It's not the bike in my profile. Its a modern road bike, 2x10, pressed in BB.
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Old 05-14-15, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by modelmartin View Post
You are already pretty low but you could go lower with a MTB cassette. That would be easier than switching to a triple crankset.
Is 30 inches considered low gearing for a road bike? I often climb at 23 inches on my MTB. Would a road bike be so much more efficient that I could climb at 30" as I would at 23" on the MTB?
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Old 05-14-15, 09:36 AM
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If you use a 9-speed Shadow MTB rear derailleur which will work fine with your shifters, then you can use a 36 cassette. You need the RD, cassette, and new longer chain.

Changing the front is more involved.

If you don't know yet how low you really need and you're only going by numbers, go ride first and see if you really need it. Some road bikes go uphill like a stabbed rat
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Old 05-14-15, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by XXLHardrock View Post
Is 30 inches considered low gearing for a road bike? I often climb at 23 inches on my MTB. Would a road bike be so much more efficient that I could climb at 30" as I would at 23" on the MTB?
Yes, probably, but of course it depends on what you plan to climb.
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Old 05-14-15, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
Yes, probably, but of course it depends on what you plan to climb.
+1. @XXLHardrock, go climb the steepest hills you can find in your area and find out if that 30" is low enough. Doesn't make any sense to swap parts before you know.
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Old 05-14-15, 10:01 AM
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34/30 is indeed pretty low for a road bike. Note that most roads aren't as steep as the off-road tracks you're tackling on your MTB so give it a whirl before you go throwing money at your bike.
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Old 05-14-15, 10:02 AM
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Two Feet.
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Old 05-14-15, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Two Feet.
that's 24 inches.
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Old 05-14-15, 12:23 PM
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British do call them "Push bikes". for a reason...
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Old 05-14-15, 12:31 PM
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Those gears are lower than my Schwinn Varsity.
You saying you can't ride that? But you are OK with a top gear of 110 inches?
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Old 05-14-15, 01:27 PM
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I'm not sure if anyone is making triples that work with the unfortunate press-fit BB system your bike has. But you already have a compact.

A bigger cassette + longer chain + new RD is the obvious choice for "easiest" and I think it will get you plenty of gear.

Originally Posted by XXLHardrock View Post
Is 30 inches considered low gearing for a road bike? I often climb at 23 inches on my MTB. Would a road bike be so much more efficient that I could climb at 30" as I would at 23" on the MTB?
On a modern road racing bike, yeah I think so. It'll be quite a bit easier. You might not need to make any changes. Try it and see.
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Old 05-14-15, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by XXLHardrock View Post
105 brifters, front and rear derailers, 34/50 and 12-30. If my math is right I have a range of 30-110 gear inches. Top end is plenty but I suspect I'll need a lower bottom end. I'm Ready to buy whatever is needed but don't want to buy more than I need to. At my fitness level (ie. lack of fitness), I'd sacrifice top end if I need to. This would hopefully be a temporary measure.
Your suggestions please.
Until you have actually taken the bike out for a hilly ride you should do nothing. Don't buy stuff based on a suspicion that you might need it
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Old 05-14-15, 05:27 PM
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A Deore 9-speed mountain bike rear derailleur (yes, it will work on 10 speeds) and a bigger cassette. 34 teeth is easy to find. You'll likely need a longer chain as well. Say $125 total for the parts.

This is really low gearing. My climbing bike has a 34/50 compact crankset with a 28 tooth cog at the back, and this is low gearing. Marco Pantani used to climb massive hills using what? ....a 44 tooth small ring and a 23 tooth cog at the back!
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Old 05-14-15, 06:53 PM
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Be careful... wide gearing on a road bike is very bad for keeping a steady cadence when you want to ride fast.

If you ride mountains, maybe you need it. If not, try and grow into 'road hill gears', which for 10 speed is 28-32 in the back, 34 in the front.

I lived in the southern alps for 6 months for a job. My apartment was at the top of a long 12%er. I was riding ski roads in the weekend. I had a 32/42/52 triple and a 13-26 cassette.

I would have liked lower gears.

The thing is, if you put low gears on a road bike, then you might as well make some other changes too. So you go for a more upright position, because you aren't putting out as much power now, with low gearing.

Ok, so add a tall stem with a rise. Now why not add bigger tires to smooth out the ride.

Ok, now you've got 28mm tires, mtb gears, high handlebars. This bike is getting pretty useful and comfy, why not add some racks, for shopping trips?

Now try turning up for a fast group ride.

Whoops, you've got a touring bike.
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Old 05-14-15, 09:50 PM
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What the bloody hell are you climbing? My low gear is 39/25, my commuter/tourer has 38/23, and my classic bike has 42/24. I hardly want a lower one except on the classic. If I were planning to spend time in mountains I would get a subcompact but keep my cassette. If you're thinking you need less gear go ride for a bit. I also suggest not using the word brifter...

you could get a 105 triple crank, but I don't think its worth the hassle. You could get a wide range cassette, and kill your cog spacing even more. Most roads aren't steep enough to warrant that low a gear.
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Old 05-26-15, 03:13 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. Very informative. Context: I live in British Columbia. We have a few hills. I'm 49 and didn't get off the couch ( chesterfield in Canadian) till about 2 years ago. I'm weak. And I have a short term goal of riding a 200K Brevet.

I've ridden the bike and find it much more efficient than my ridgid MTB rolling on Big Apples. I can climb better But my cadence is way slower. I haven't been able to compare on the same hills but I know that on the longer pulls I'm going to run out of steam.

The 9 speed derailiour with a 11-36 option sounds perfect. Do I need the long cage? Does it need to be a shadow?

Also, the B screw on mine sticks out quite a ways. Does screwing it in make room for a larger cog?
Thanks!
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Old 05-26-15, 03:42 PM
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The B screw may be moot if your RDER can't handle the larger cog or have the chain wrap capacity.

You might let us know WHICH RDER you currently have so we have an idea of how low you can go without having to change it.
You state 105, but 5500, 5600, 5700????????
5701 spec's a 30T max which means you have a good chance of getting 32T to work.
However, a SS means you are already at chain wrap capacity with a 30T, although it would still be usable if you stayed out of SMALL:SMALL

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Old 05-26-15, 04:03 PM
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RD is a 105. That's all I know for sure. But it's running a 12-30 now.

On on the 9 speed MTB RD, will it have the barrel adjuster as well or would I need to figure that part out as well?

Thanks
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Old 05-26-15, 06:00 PM
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It's a 5701. A 32 hardly seems worth the trouble but a 34, if it could work with this RD would be sweet.
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