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Swapping out front cassette

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Swapping out front cassette

Old 07-28-18, 07:27 PM
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Oldmanrider
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Swapping out front cassette

Please excuse my ignorance at possibly not using the right terminology. Brand new to the road bike scene. I just purchased an old peugeot 103 caebolite. Considering switching the front cassette from a 2 to a 3 gear. Any suggestions? And also is it possible to go from a 6 to a 7 or 8 without replacing the rear wheel?
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Old 07-28-18, 08:20 PM
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The front "cassette" are referred to as the chainrings (small/middle/large).

There are a couple of ways about this if you need more suitable gearing.

1) Your bike most likely has a freewheel (the gear cluster on the rear wheel). You could try switching the freewheel for something that has larger tooth counts. There are 7-speed freewheels available but selection is limited. Switching to >7-speeds would require that you get a new wheel with a freehub system. Switching the freewheel would probably be the most cost effective route (although it may not reach your gearing requirements). Depending on the drivetrain of your bike, you may have to pay attention to the brand of freewheel you get.

2) buy new chainrings with lower tooth count and install them on the existing crankset. "Compact" and "sub-compact" double chainrings combos is kind of the modern day standard since triples are out of favor and are intended for people requiring lower gearing up front. A 50/34 or a 46/30 is typical. Or buy them piecemeal to match your setup and needs. Make sure you match the rings with the Bolt Center Diameter (BCD) on your crankset if going this route.

3) You can buy a triplizer that can convert your double into a triple. This is essentially three chainrings that bolt onto your existing crank arms. I have not done this but I would think it may require switching out the bottom bracket with a longer one for a proper chainline. I would only recommend this if you were particularly attached to the existing crankset since it takes just as much work as completely switching out the crankset.

4) Swapping out the double crankset for a triple crankset which would require you swap out the bottom bracket as well. An old touring or old mountain bike crankset would have the lower gearing up front you are looking for.

5) Depending on how much you spent on the bike and whether you can source parts for cheap, it may be more cost effective to just buy a different bike that is more suitable for your needs. Rough estimate of a freewheel, crankset, bottom bracket and tools: $50~$90

6) If there is a local bicycle co-op, you might be able to find all the parts needed for free/little cost and get some help in fixing it up.

Last edited by zze86; 07-28-18 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 07-28-18, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldmanrider View Post
Please excuse my ignorance at possibly not using the right terminology. Brand new to the road bike scene. I just purchased an old peugeot 103 caebolite. Considering switching the front cassette from a 2 to a 3 gear. Any suggestions? And also is it possible to go from a 6 to a 7 or 8 without replacing the rear wheel?
First; why? What are you trying to accomplish? After you communicate your goal, we can be much more helpful.

On my bikes, I am in the process of removing chainrings to go to 1x drivetrains. My human powered bikes are 1x9 with a 44T front ring with 622 BSD rims or a 48T front ring with 559 rims, and a 12-36 or 11-32 9 speed cassette. On my ebikes, I am moving to 14-28 5 speed freewheels with a large front ring. ebikes don't need closely spaced ratios, as an electric motors torque band is extremely wide compared to a human.
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Old 07-28-18, 09:51 PM
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My intent was to give myself a wider range of gears to choose from. From what I've been rraread since I posted the original post. Adding rings might not be the most logical option. Instead switching out the ones that I currently have. I will post the numbers tomorrow. I purchased the bike yesterday for $185. And it's been raining off and on all day today so I haven't had an opportunity to take it out and test how the gear range works with the hills iny area. With the Peugeot bikes are there any markings on it that would give an indication on when it was made?
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Old 07-29-18, 12:02 AM
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Here is my take...

If you have a 6 speed freewheel, you can probably just replace it with a 7 speed freewheel. Measure the rear frame dropouts and if it is 126mm (or close), you can just remove the 6 speed and thread on the 7 speed. This was a the popular route to go in the late 80's, which is when I first did the swap.

Going from a double to triple requires a new, probably an older used crank. This can get tricky because you will need to replace the bottom bracket, which is the crank spindle and the cup, cones, and bearings. You can probably buy a cartridge for the new crank. I'm guessing you have a square taper crank. If you go to a triple crankset, you will most likely need a new, or older, front derailleur. But, if your crank has a 110mm bolt circle, which is unlikely, you can go to a 34t for the smaller chainring.

While it is true that 1x systems with wide range cassettes are popular, for you to do it would be a complete replacement of your drive system. You would need to get at least a new rear wheel with an 8-10, or 11, speed freehub, an 8-11 index shifter, probably a set for the brakes. May want to get SLR brakes, but might not he needed. The rear dropouts to fit the new wheel. Can probably keep your existing crank and j
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Old 07-29-18, 12:06 AM
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I accidentally hit Submit Reply and the software on this Bike Forums is the only one that I can't edit on my phone.

​​​​​​​I was going to say that you can run a 38-? Cha
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Old 07-29-18, 12:06 AM
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Chainring on the outer position if the crank.

​​​​​​​John
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Old 07-29-18, 09:20 AM
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Current numbers 52,40 front 13-28 rear
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Old 07-29-18, 12:21 PM
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If you're new to cycling, and if you cycle a lot, I'd recommend walking up hills if necessary for now. If you keep cycling, you'll develop strength you don't yet have. IOW, I think your best approach - which you seem to be taking - is to ride first, then see what adjustments you want to make.

Swapping freewheels is relatively easy and cheap, if your rear dropouts have 126 mm spacing. Removing your current freewheel without damaging it (or any other part of the bike) requires a tool that is specific to the manufacturer of the freewheel. The tool is probably less than $10, but a bike shop will do it for less, and a co-op probably has the tool. The new freewheel will also need a tool - a different one. If you go from 13-28 to, say, 13-32, you may need a new rear derailleur,

If your RD looks like this SunTour V GT Luxe derailleur (1500) it probably will handle a 32T cog. If it looks like this SunTour Vx derailleur (2200), probably not. (The diff is the distance between the wheels.)

But going from 28T to 32T in back gives about a 14% difference. Going from 52-40 to 46-30 in front makes a much bigger difference.
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Old 07-29-18, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldmanrider View Post
Current numbers 52,40 front 13-28 rear
wider range would be increasing the size of the biggest cog on the rear wheel

with a 13 - 34t freewheel and replacing either the 40 with a 34 t chainring, if it fits

or better still the whole crankset with a triple

I toured Europe on a bike (Carrying camping gear) with a 13-34t freewheel
and a 24 40 50 triple chainset/crank..

Pre Answering expected cost question, yes it probably will exceed,
what you paid for the used bike itself.






...
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Old 07-29-18, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldmanrider View Post
Current numbers 52,40 front 13-28 rear
I put a 46/30T on my front, and 11-34 (or 11-36) on my rear.
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Old 07-29-18, 01:50 PM
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The Peugeot "Carbolite" models were not high-end, and IIRC the cranks were swaged with only the inner ring replaceable. Going to a triple would likely require a new crank and bottom bracket, and possible metric thread bottom bracket cups (Peugeot went from French metric to Swiss metric to English thread during the period when Carbolite bikes were made, so it's hard to predict exactly what you might find there).

A wider cluster in the back would likely be easier, but even then there are potential pitfalls. Carbolites were produced when Helicomatic rear hubs were aggressively marketed to French manufacturers, and if your rear wheel has a Helicomatic hub, different gearing might be hard to source as the Helicomatic has been out of production for several decades. You may find it necessary to get a different rear wheel, with a modern freehub system.

In short, it can be done, but not necessarily easily or inexpensively.
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Old 07-30-18, 09:45 AM
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I was able to get the bike out yesterday for a ride. Went about 15 miles. Bike handled well for it's age. Will take some getting used to the gearing hearing and shifting as I am used to the thumb index shifters I had on my moutain bike. The old school levelers are a bit temperamental and easy to go too far in either direction on the rear cassette. Switching from the 40 up to the 52 took a lot of effort. It was really tight going up. The more I ride the more familiar I will get with what gearing combinations work the best. I've seen the index shifters that are built into the brakes. Do they make a set up that works with what I have now? I some tell me they didn't think the made one compatible with a 2 and 6. I needed a 3 and 7-8 or more.
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Old 07-30-18, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldmanrider View Post
I was able to get the bike out yesterday for a ride. Went about 15 miles. Bike handled well for it's age. Will take some getting used to the gearing hearing and shifting as I am used to the thumb index shifters I had on my moutain bike. The old school levelers are a bit temperamental and easy to go too far in either direction on the rear cassette. Switching from the 40 up to the 52 took a lot of effort. It was really tight going up. The more I ride the more familiar I will get with what gearing combinations work the best. I've seen the index shifters that are built into the brakes. Do they make a set up that works with what I have now? I some tell me they didn't think the made one compatible with a 2 and 6. I needed a 3 and 7-8 or more.
Integrated brake shift levers would involve replacing almost everything in your drivetrain including cranks, derailleurs, and possibly your rear wheel, and quite likely cold setting your frame to a wider rear spacing. It is insanely cost prohibitive on your bike unless you know what you're doing and have the ability to source used parts cheaply. This might make sense if the bike were a higher end vintage bike, but it's not. At the price you'd be better served buying a new bike.
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