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Easier gears on Fuji Altamira 2.3 2015 - cassette, cogs or crank change needed?

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Easier gears on Fuji Altamira 2.3 2015 - cassette, cogs or crank change needed?

Old 11-27-23, 04:51 PM
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Easier gears on Fuji Altamira 2.3 2015 - cassette, cogs or crank change needed?

Hey,

I am driving a used 2015 Fuji Altamira 2.3 road bike with (for my current fitness level and surrounding hill climbs) rather hard gear ratio. The ratio for flats is very good and I would like to keep it if possible.

I would like to change the gear ratio only to be able to climb steeper road climbs a bit easier (and at all in some cases).

The bike has:

In front:
  • 52/36T crank set (Oval Concepts 720, hollow forged 6066 arms)
    • and Shimano Ultegra, braze-on mount, front derailleur.
  • 11-28T, 11-speed, Shimano 105 cassette
    • and Shimano Ultegra, 11-speed, rear derailleur.

The bike also has Shimano Ultegra, STI, 11-speed shifters.

Full bike specs here at ---- archive fujibikes com / 2015 / fuji / altamira-232 (I am not allowed to post links)

Current calculated chain capacity (as in crank teeth difference + cassette teeth max/min difference) is 33T (16+17). I do not know the rear or front derailleur limits in regards to making changes, so I am asking you guys and gals here for a bit of help.

To get a bit easier gears is it necessary only to (cheaper is better):
  1. change cassette from current 11-28T to 11-30T or 11-32T? or a different one.
  2. change cassette and rear derailleur (for a bigger cage)
  3. change both cassette and crankset or only crank cogs?
  4. other?
If anybody did something similar please share your experience, also if there are any Fuji Altamira 2.3 2015 owners with and “Upgrade” experiences to share, I’d love to hear from you. 😊

Best regards!

Jufka
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Old 11-27-23, 05:01 PM
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Get a standard 50-34 Compact crank that would be probably the most practical as that is what most people are running these days. If you have a large enough derailleur capacity but I have a feeling it probably is a shorter cage maybe GS but it might not clear a 11-34.
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Old 11-27-23, 07:13 PM
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I would suggest that you try a bike with different gearing to see how low you need to go to be comfortable.
11/28 to 11/30 is a significant change, but not order of magnitude.
Likewise, going from a 36 to a 34 tooth ring is not likely to be a game changer.
If your rear derailleur will shift a 32 or 34 tooth cog, that might be a place to start.

The other question is about the high end.
Do you use the 52-11 or 52-12 much? If not, getting a compact (or smaller) crankset might be reasonable.

A few years ago I went from 50/34 and 12/27 to 50/39/30 and 12/30 and have never looked back (10 speed 105 with Ultegra cassette). I rarely use the granny ring, but it is nice to have every now and then.
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Old 11-28-23, 07:51 AM
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Go to 50/34 chain rings, and/or, 11-32 cassette
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Old 11-28-23, 11:15 AM
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Everything comes down to how much you use the 52/11 gear. If your 11t cog is basically new, or only used a few times on a steep downhill, you can probably go with a 48/32 or even a 46/30 "chainrings".

If you know the BCD of the crank, you can see what rings will fit and not replace the crankset.

You do need to identify the exact RD you have for max cog and capacity. You can find the PN on the back or bottom of the RD body.

Most people over estimate the change that a few number of teeth make. When you talk about not riding up some steep climbs at all, going to a 34t chainring or 30t cog, might not be enough.

John
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Old 11-28-23, 12:55 PM
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Compact 50/34 crank and a 11-32 cassette. Will need a medium cage GS rear derailleur. This was the setup on my last bike. Never ran into an issue where I needed lower gears.
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Old 11-28-23, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by frdfandc
Compact 50/34 crank and a 11-32 cassette. Will need a medium cage GS rear derailleur. This was the setup on my last bike. Never ran into an issue where I needed lower gears.
Not everyone is as strong as you probably are, and there are plenty of people who like lower gears than that.
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Old 11-28-23, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeWMass
Not everyone is as strong as you probably are, and there are plenty of people who like lower gears than that.
+1
From a 75 year old with severe COPD.
Lots of closely spaced, lower gears for me.
If you can actually spin an 11T cog with a good cadence, you're probably going too fast for your brakes.
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Old 11-29-23, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeWMass
Not everyone is as strong as you probably are, and there are plenty of people who like lower gears than that.
I'm not saying I'm a strong rider, in fact I'm more along the lines as an average rider. Sure some people need lower gears, depending on where they live and how strong of a rider is. I've ridden quite a bit in MD/DE/PA. There are some really steep hills around me. I've been able to make it up those hills using the 30-32 combo. It was slow going, but I've never needed a lower ratio. The only time I wanted lower gearing is when my one road bike had a 53/39 and a 11-25 cassette. Those were switched out for a compact crank and a 11-28 cassette. Even with that combo, I still wanted something a little lower, and that was before the lower range cassettes were available and popular.
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Old 11-29-23, 09:32 AM
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Are you really shifting into the small front and large rear cog to make it up the hills around you? Or are you staying in the high ratio gears too long and letting your cadence dwindle to nothing before shifting to those lower gear ratios after you have exhausted all the energy in your legs?

You should be shifting to lower gears before your cadence starts to drop.
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Old 11-29-23, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by frdfandc
I'm not saying I'm a strong rider, in fact I'm more along the lines as an average rider. Sure some people need lower gears, depending on where they live and how strong of a rider is. I've ridden quite a bit in MD/DE/PA. There are some really steep hills around me. I've been able to make it up those hills using the 30-32 combo. It was slow going, but I've never needed a lower ratio. The only time I wanted lower gearing is when my one road bike had a 53/39 and a 11-25 cassette. Those were switched out for a compact crank and a 11-28 cassette. Even with that combo, I still wanted something a little lower, and that was before the lower range cassettes were available and popular.
Is that supposed to make everybody as strong as you now?

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Old 11-29-23, 02:44 PM
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Nobody recommits a 30/46 crank ?. I have that on my gravel bike, I live in the big ring on the flats. Only issue is can the derailer be lowered to accommodate that size.
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