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Newbee question on gearing

Old 11-18-23, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
I've been riding 13 tooth freewheels since the days of dinosaurs. (Well, 1973 but they were well established earlier.) 7-speed 12 tooth FWs since 1995 and I was a latecomer there. The SunRace website shows both 13t and 12t FWs now.
If I had to guess, 12t cogs went along with the introduction of 7 speed, and 13t might have been the limit with 6 speed due to the way freewheels are assembled. But just because I haven't been able to find a 12t 6 speed freewheel doesn't mean it didn't happen.
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Old 11-18-23, 09:55 PM
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Easiest way to add speed is to put on a smaller, smoother tire.
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Old 11-19-23, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by frdfandc
Easiest way to add speed is to put on a smaller, smoother tire.
That's not the problem. It's that the OP runs out of gearing and thus has to spin the cranks too fast. Higher speed achieved with more-efficient tires without changing the gearing would just compound the problem.
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Old 11-20-23, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Bgdv1
Wow, thanks I guess for the help. I'll just keep riding my cheap Talon the way it is. Didn't realize when a new rider was looking for some suggestions this is how it was going to go.
The challenge is that there can be multitude of variables involved with swapping bike parts, mostly to do with how all the parts fit together, and the minor adjustments that make them work properly. Another added challenge is that many parts require specialty tools that tend only to be owned by shops or folks who have been doing the bike thing for a while, and are mechanically inclined. This stuff should be simple, but it's not always.

Larger chainring(s) is an easy solution, but this will require determination if the frame has suitable clearance, and the front derailleur can handle the range. Also the front derailleur will have to be moved, and the cable adjusted to provide proper shifting. A longer chain may also be required.

Another easy option would be a smaller cassette, but this will require a special tool for removal of the old cassette, and installation of the new one. A determination will have to be made on the correct configuration to make sure the new cassette will fit on the existing wheel. Adjustment of the rear derailleur will probably need to be made, and maybe the chain will need to be shortened.

These things aren't difficult for folks with experience and knowledge, but can become quite a can of worms for people just diving in for the first time. That said, diving in is how you get experience.

A now-banned user has made a habit of making a mess of things. HIs removal by the mods is welcomed (IMO).
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Old 11-20-23, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
The challenge is that there can be multitude of variables involved with swapping bike parts, mostly to do with how all the parts fit together, and the minor adjustments that make them work properly. Another added challenge is that many parts require specialty tools that tend only to be owned by shops or folks who have been doing the bike thing for a while, and are mechanically inclined. This stuff should be simple, but it's not always.

Larger chainring(s) is an easy solution, but this will require determination if the frame has suitable clearance, and the front derailleur can handle the range. Also the front derailleur will have to be moved, and the cable adjusted to provide proper shifting. A longer chain may also be required.

Another easy option would be a smaller cassette, but this will require a special tool for removal of the old cassette, and installation of the new one. A determination will have to be made on the correct configuration to make sure the new cassette will fit on the existing wheel. Adjustment of the rear derailleur will probably need to be made, and maybe the chain will need to be shortened.

These things aren't difficult for folks with experience and knowledge, but can become quite a can of worms for people just diving in for the first time. That said, diving in is how you get experience.

A now-banned user has made a habit of making a mess of things. HIs removal by the mods is welcomed (IMO).
The OP has a freewheel.
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Old 11-20-23, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
The OP has a freewheel.
There we go. This is an example of why knowing the correct configuration of the existing equipment is critical, and why swapping parts isn't as straight-forward as it might seem like it should be.
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Old 11-20-23, 04:04 PM
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.. the next post may be Bgdv1 wanting to know how to put his now disassembled Freewheel back together..... or someone finally recommending a three ring crankset with 42-32-22 gearing, a longer chain, a different shifter, and a different front derailleur... which most Giant Talons came with in past model years... and to take the bike to a shop since Bgdv1 is obviously not a Bike mechanic, and most likely doesn't own a freewheel remover, and possibly also not have a bench vice.or huge wrench long enough to manhandle the freewheel off of the existing rear wheel.........

i guess it's somehow better to argue amongst ourselves as the person in need of sound advice gets bad advice that may or may not be a good thing for him or her, and then feels insulted for buying a decent and capable entry level trail bike .
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Old 11-20-23, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34
.. the next post may be Bgdv1 wanting to know how to put his now disassembled Freewheel back together..... or someone finally recommending a three ring crankset with 42-32-22 gearing, a longer chain, a different shifter, and a different front derailleur... which most Giant Talons came with in past model years... and to take the bike to a shop since Bgdv1 is obviously not a Bike mechanic, and most likely doesn't own a freewheel remover, and possibly also not have a bench vice.or huge wrench long enough to manhandle the freewheel off of the existing rear wheel.........

i guess it's somehow better to argue amongst ourselves as the person in need of sound advice gets bad advice that may or may not be a good thing for him or her, and then feels insulted for buying a decent and capable entry level trail bike .
Well the next post is me : ) but ive decided to ride the crap out of my Talon 4 the way it is and enjoy it. Maybe along the way I'll stumble across a used bike to upgrade to.
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Old 11-20-23, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Bgdv1
Well the next post is me : ) but ive decided to ride the crap out of my Talon 4 the way it is and enjoy it. Maybe along the way I'll stumble across a used bike to upgrade to.
This is the way to go! Ride the bike you've got into the ground, and while doing that you'll accomplish 3 things:
1. You'll (probably) have a great time riding and getting more fit
2. You'll find out just how committed you want to be to cycling
3. You'll figure out exactly what you want in a bike.

I started out a few years ago with a Talon 3, now I'm riding a road/ gravel bike I've pieced together out of a couple of different bikes, and I'm saving my pennies for a really nice gravel bike ($1/ mile, $2/ mile once I lose another 10 lbs. Adding up all the pieces I want it may be a couple more years before I get to the $5-7k I want to spend).
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Old 11-20-23, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Bgdv1
Well the next post is me : ) but ive decided to ride the crap out of my Talon 4 the way it is and enjoy it. Maybe along the way I'll stumble across a used bike to upgrade to.
from your use description, you'd probably be happier on a CX/ Gravel bike... with taller front gearing and no suspension fork.. those lower end forks that your Giant was fitted with are HEAVY and eat up pedaling force.
this time of year can be a good time to shop for a bike... whether you buy now or not..
prices drop as the weather gets gray and cold...

take some time to learn basic maintinence on the Giant... you'll need some bike-specific tools like 13mm and 15mm Axle Cone Wrenches, a Freewheel remover tool, and some decent 8" side cutters for cables/housings... a set of nice allen wrenches(i use the longer Craftsman ones with the ball end on the long side) and some metal bicycle tire irons will also come oin handy(I find that the plastic ones are a cruel joke and break easily)... a good chain pin remover too.. the smaller Park Tool model suits me, but others like the bigger ones because of the larger handles... and a Good Tire Pump with a built-in gauge.. Topeak and Silca come to mind.. i use a twice-rebuilt Topeak Joe Blow pump... it's seen two decades of frequent use.

if it seems that we give too much info on here, it's mostly because many more folks will read this thread after it's completed... they may not possess the same levels of info....

and i apologise for the inter-responder bickering that goes on... there's an overabundance of type-a personalities amongst competitive folks... i ran the start line at a very famous National MX Track for several years... EVERY PERSON on that starting line was a Type-A... ALL of them... including me. and the older i get, the faster i was. my best tool was to get them Really spun up, ...then turn and walk away... and sometimes i'd act like i'd seen something Terribly wrong on their bike, then walk away...." oh duuuude! that looks bad! oh well.....".. staring at nothing in particular..

your new bike should have a Cassette instead of a Freewheel.. and a crankset with Replaceable Chainrings, and preferably a Hollowtech II crankset... they're lighter and stronger.

Last edited by maddog34; 11-20-23 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 11-20-23, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34
from your use description, you'd probably be happier on a CX/ Gravel bike... with taller front gearing and no suspension fork.. those lower end forks that your Giant was fitted with are HEAVY and eat up pedaling force.
this time of year can be a good time to shop for a bike... whether you buy now or not..
prices drop as the weather gets gray and cold...

take some time to learn basic maintinence on the Giant... you'll need some bike-specific tools like 13mm and 15mm Axle Cone Wrenches, a Freewheel remover tool, and some decent 8" side cutters for cables/housings... a set of nice allen wrenches(i use the longer Craftsman ones with the ball end on the long side) and some metal bicycle tire irons will also come oin handy(I find that the plastic ones are a cruel joke and break easily)... a good chain pin remover too.. the smaller Park Tool model suits me, but others like the bigger ones because of the larger handles... and a Good Tire Pump with a built-in gauge.. Topeak and Silca come to mind.. i use a twice-rebuilt Topeak Joe Blow pump... it's seen two decades of frequent use.

if it seems that we give too much info on here, it's mostly because many more folks will read this thread after it's completed... they may not possess the same levels of info....

and i apologise for the inter-responder bickering that goes on... there's an overabundance of type-a personalities amongst competitive folks... i ran the start line at a very famous National MX Track for several years... EVERY PERSON on that starting line was a Type-A... ALL of them... including me. and the older i get, the faster i was. my best tool was to get them Really spun up, ...then turn and walk away... and sometimes i'd act like i'd seen something Terribly wrong on their bike, then walk away...." oh duuuude! that looks bad! oh well.....".. staring at nothing in particular..
There is nothing "Type A" about posting facts in the face of pure nonsense. This thread is full of nonsense.
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Old 11-20-23, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34
...you'll need some bike-specific tools like 13mm and 15mm Axle Cone Wrenches.
Side-track...I can't remember the last time I used my cone wrenches for their originally-intended purpose. Most recently, I used one to push back the pistons on my MTB brake calipers. It worked pretty well.
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Old 11-20-23, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34
from your use description, you'd probably be happier on a CX/ Gravel bike... with taller front gearing and no suspension fork.. those lower end forks that your Giant was fitted with are HEAVY and eat up pedaling force.
this time of year can be a good time to shop for a bike... whether you buy now or not..
prices drop as the weather gets gray and cold...

take some time to learn basic maintinence on the Giant... you'll need some bike-specific tools like 13mm and 15mm Axle Cone Wrenches, a Freewheel remover tool, and some decent 8" side cutters for cables/housings... a set of nice allen wrenches(i use the longer Craftsman ones with the ball end on the long side) and some metal bicycle tire irons will also come oin handy(I find that the plastic ones are a cruel joke and break easily)... a good chain pin remover too.. the smaller Park Tool model suits me, but others like the bigger ones because of the larger handles... and a Good Tire Pump with a built-in gauge.. Topeak and Silca come to mind.. i use a twice-rebuilt Topeak Joe Blow pump... it's seen two decades of frequent use.

if it seems that we give too much info on here, it's mostly because many more folks will read this thread after it's completed... they may not possess the same levels of info....

and i apologise for the inter-responder bickering that goes on... there's an overabundance of type-a personalities amongst competitive folks... i ran the start line at a very famous National MX Track for several years... EVERY PERSON on that starting line was a Type-A... ALL of them... including me. and the older i get, the faster i was. my best tool was to get them Really spun up, ...then turn and walk away... and sometimes i'd act like i'd seen something Terribly wrong on their bike, then walk away...." oh duuuude! that looks bad! oh well.....".. staring at nothing in particular..
Basic maintenance is no problem. Been working on my own vehicles, motorcycles and atv for 0ver 40 years and bmx and 10 speeds back in the day. I'll stick with my MTB as that is what I want to ride not a CX/gravel bike or street bike. No offence but you sound like a car salesman that tells you what you need to drive when looking for something specific. I appreciate the helpful responses and ignore the BS babble.
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Old 11-20-23, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
There is nothing "Type A" about posting facts in the face of pure nonsense. This thread is full of nonsense.
strangely., you have posted the most times........
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Old 11-20-23, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Bgdv1
Basic maintenance is no problem. Been working on my own vehicles, motorcycles and atv for 0ver 40 years and bmx and 10 speeds back in the day. I'll stick with my MTB as that is what I want to ride not a CX/gravel bike or street bike. No offence but you sound like a car salesman that tells you what you need to drive when looking for something specific. I appreciate the helpful responses and ignore the BS babble.
and yet, here you are... asking how to get more speed out of a slow bike.... and competing.
don't knock a CX bike until you've tried one. they come in flat bar and drop bar versions.
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Old 11-20-23, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Side-track...I can't remember the last time I used my cone wrenches for their originally-intended purpose. Most recently, I used one to push back the pistons on my MTB brake calipers. It worked pretty well.
i use my large flat blade screwdriver for that task... it rarely gets used as a screwdriver, and is heavily worn.

last time i used a cone wrench was yesterday,,, on a too-tight front axle reset.
now...if i can just get the customer to come get his freshly tuned pair of GT MTBs and pay me...fingers crossed.
he snapped the second der. hanger off the gray one, and both had flats to patch.

Last edited by maddog34; 11-20-23 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 11-20-23, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34
strangely., you have posted the most times........
Yup. One person that has the facts and multiple clueless people that want to argue about it.
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Old 11-20-23, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
The OEM cassette is a 14-28t, which you could've googled easily, like I did. Not at all difficult to imagine a cyclist spinning out 36-14.
Except it's not a cassette it's a freewheel - that's a pretty significant difference.
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Old 11-20-23, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by grumpus
Except it's not a cassette it's a freewheel - that's a pretty significant difference.
Not with respect to the gearing, no it is not. Much like there's no difference in the function between a 6-bolt and centerlock rotor -- one just needs to replace like-for-like, or make other changes.
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Old 11-20-23, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
Not with respect to the gearing, no it is not. Much like there's no difference in the function between a 6-bolt and centerlock rotor -- one just needs to replace like-for-like, or make other changes.
Perhaps grumpus is making the point that if you are going to denigrate someone for failing to look something up, you ought to have what you looked up correct.
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Old 11-20-23, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Perhaps grumpus is making the point that if you are going to denigrate someone for failing to look something up, you ought to have what you looked up correct.
Again, with respect to the gearing -- which was the point -- it does not matter. Unless you are claiming that a 14-28t freewheel offers more, or less, speed than a 14-28t cassette would.

Is that what you are claiming?
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Old 11-20-23, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34
i use my large flat blade screwdriver for that task... it rarely gets used as a screwdriver, and is heavily worn.

last time i used a cone wrench was yesterday,,, on a too-tight front axle reset.
now...if i can just get the customer to come get his freshly tuned pair of GT MTBs and pay me...fingers crossed.
he snapped the second der. hanger off the gray one, and both had flats to patch.
If you’re wrenching customer’s bikes, I can easily see why you might need cone wrenches on a regular basis. Since I only work on my own bikes, and there aren’t many ball and cone bearings in my stable, my frequency is getting ever closer to zero.
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Old 11-20-23, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Bgdv1
Basic maintenance is no problem. Been working on my own vehicles, motorcycles and atv for 0ver 40 years and bmx and 10 speeds back in the day. I'll stick with my MTB as that is what I want to ride not a CX/gravel bike or street bike. No offence but you sound like a car salesman that tells you what you need to drive when looking for something specific. I appreciate the helpful responses and ignore the BS babble.
Just like with cars, motorcycles, and ATVs, it’s not just about knowing the basics of how to use tools, but having knowledge about what you’re working on, and how the parts go together. With your other experience, you can probably learn about wrenching bikes pretty quickly…if you are motivated to.

Your bike can be made to go faster, but the cost of making those changes on that bike might not make sense. If that’s truly the goal, sometimes upgrading to a new machine, that fits your needs better, is a more practical choice.
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Old 11-20-23, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
Again, with respect to the gearing -- which was the point -- it does not matter. Unless you are claiming that a 14-28t freewheel offers more, or less, speed than a 14-28t cassette would.

Is that what you are claiming?
No. I'm claiming that you were rude about looking something up, then called the freewheel you looked up a cassette. And then essentially recommended a replacement cassette to for a bike that can't use one.

Point being: People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
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Old 11-20-23, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
Not with respect to the gearing, no it is not. Much like there's no difference in the function between a 6-bolt and centerlock rotor -- one just needs to replace like-for-like, or make other changes.
ITYF there's a distinct lack of choice when looking for 11-up or even 12-up 7 speed freewheels, and that is rather pertinent to the quest for a higher gear.
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