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Gear Considerations

Old 10-18-06, 09:23 AM
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Gear Considerations

I have a question that I haven't been able to find a searched answer for. I currently have a 50/36 compact front gearing with a 11-23 cassette. As an out-of-shape newbie(5-11, 200lbs) I find that I get dropped on the hills with my local riding group. I have contemplated at least changing my cassette to a 12-27, which may not require any other changes, or either going with a MTN cassette (like a 12-36 or something like that) which would at least require a different rear derailleur (and possibly a new brifter?) or going to a triple. My question is, would I need to change my current 105 10spd brifter if I go to 9 spd rear derailleur? If so, what type of brifter would I need to get? I just want to be able to spin up the hills with a lower gear than I have right now. My goal to lose some weight and gain some leg strength will help, but in the mean time, I is hard getting my butt kicked every weekend! Please help me, Mr. Wizzard! Thanks.
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Old 10-18-06, 09:50 AM
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There are some "large" 10s cassettes available ($$$ but still cheaper than a new 9s shifter). You'll need a MTB rear derailleur for a cassette larger than ~30T. I think the largest cassette you'll find is 34, I have never heard of a 36 (though someone will surely turn up a link to one!).

You may want to try the 12-27 first, that's the cheapest/fastest route. You would not need to make any other changes (save for some minor adjustments to the RD). 27 is not a whole lot lower than 23, but it may be the difference for you. And it's not going to help with getting dropped, 'cause you're going to go slower. Ultimately leg strength and conditioning will get you there. In the meantime though, lower gearing will help you to keep spinning and making forward progress with less stress on your body, which is a good thing.
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Old 10-18-06, 10:43 AM
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I agree with 'nother, slap a 10-speed 12-27 on there and give it a try. You probably won't need to make any other change but just to be sure check the chain length. See if you can shift into the 50 - 27 combination without causing the derailleur to travel to its forward limit. This is not a combination (cross-chaining) that you should use but you need to make sure that it can be done without "bottoming out" the derailleur, that could cause serious damage.

It would also be possible to chainge the inner chainring to a 34 for lower gearing but I would recommend that you not do that unless necessary, the 50/36 crankset should shift better and with less of a ratio jump.

Try the 10-speed 12-27 cassette.

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