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Changing crank gear size

Old 01-26-20, 08:36 AM
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CoffeedrinkerNC
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Changing crank gear size

I'm a new rider, over 50, about 265lbs. I have Trek Verve 2, crank gears are 48/38/28. On the hills I'm running out of power to keep going. I'm wondering if I can get mountain bike crank with 42/34/24 gears to swap out. What all would be i need to get? Will any crank work? I would think I need a new crank and a chain, but what else?

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Old 01-26-20, 10:28 AM
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I am not very familiar with triple ring cranks but your small ring is 28t and that seems pretty small/normal... maybe another solution would be to get a wider range rear cassette. I know SunRace makes 8 speed 11-40t cassettes, I use one on my do it all touring/town/trial bike and just needed a little extender for the rear mech mount.

I am 90% sure this would be a direct replacement for your current cranks but with the lower gearing your after
https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-Ac...iABEgJE4_D_BwE

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Old 01-26-20, 10:45 AM
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Switching from a 28 to 24 will be (about) like adding 1 tooth to each cog your rear cassette. IOW not that big a change.

Since you say you are a new rider, just keep plugging away the best you can. You will start seeing gains and I'm sure you will soon be able to make hills you can't now.

Congrats on getting started!
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Old 01-26-20, 01:37 PM
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If you are a NEW rider, you have plenty of gear. Keep riding, working on developing your cycling abilities. Later you find you have enough gear as your legs get stronger.

When I started, a one mile 5% hill was killer on the same gears. After I got a few miles under my belt, developed my legs a bit, I was riding up much easier in bigger gears.

I see the Verve has an 11/32 in the rear, I believe you have enough gears to climb a wall. I'm guessing it's about developing the legs as most NEW riders will.
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Old 01-26-20, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by CoffeedrinkerNC View Post
I'm a new rider, over 50, about 265lbs. I have Trek Verve 2, crank gears are 48/38/28. On the hills I'm running out of power to keep going. I'm wondering if I can get mountain bike crank with 42/34/24 gears to swap out. What all would be i need to get? Will any crank work? I would think I need a new crank and a chain, but what else?
There are literally tons of cranksets out there that you can use. Your Verve likely has a square taper crankset so thereís about 40 years of old cranks you can find. Look on the back of the crank you have and see if there is a number like 170mm or 175mm and get a crank with the same length. The mountain bike ďstandardĒ for a long time was a 44/34/22. You should be able to find something on Fleabay. If you have a bike co-op near you, you can likely get one for a song.

Originally Posted by TheDudeIsHere View Post
If you are a NEW rider, you have plenty of gear. Keep riding, working on developing your cycling abilities. Later you find you have enough gear as your legs get stronger.

When I started, a one mile 5% hill was killer on the same gears. After I got a few miles under my belt, developed my legs a bit, I was riding up much easier in bigger gears.

I see the Verve has an 11/32 in the rear, I believe you have enough gears to climb a wall. I'm guessing it's about developing the legs as most NEW riders will.
Telling someone that they have ďenough gearsĒ isnít a call that you can make about anyone but yourself. There is nothing wrong...nor weak...with having low gears. Iíve been riding bikes for 40 years and everyone has had as low a gear as I can possibly get. Iím not weak, Iím not new, and Iím not ashamed of having low gears. In fact, Iím kind of proud of the gears I have on my current bike. A couple of them had 20/36...yes, thatís 20 teeth...which is lower than Shimano says you can have. And I use them, frequently.
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Old 01-26-20, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Telling someone that they have “enough gears” isn’t a call that you can make about anyone but yourself.
Oh gawd!

OK CoffeDrinkerNC, go drop a couple hundred bucks of your and cyccommute's money on equipment you won't need after you get a few hundred miles under your belt. Your a new rider, develop your legs some before you go waste money on something you don't need. Your gears are fine, some people have more money than brains.

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Old 01-26-20, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
Switching from a 28 to 24 will be (about) like adding 1 tooth to each cog your rear cassette.
No it isn't. A 28T chainring is nearly 17% larger than a 24T chainring, so it's like adding nearly 17% to the number of teeth to each cog in your cassette. Even for an 11-tooth cog, it's equivalent to nearly a 2-tooth addition. For a 24-tooth cog, it's like becoming a 28-tooth cog. For the 32-tooth cog that comes on a Trek Verve 2, it's like gaining about 5 teeth and becoming a ~37T cog.
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Old 01-27-20, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by TheDudeIsHere View Post
Oh gawd!

OK CoffeDrinkerNC, go drop a couple hundred bucks of your and cyccommute's money on equipment you won't need after you get a few hundred miles under your belt. Your a new rider, develop your legs some before you go waste money on something you don't need. Your gears are fine, some people have more money than brains.
“Oh gawd!” yourself. So your legs are telling CoffeeDrinkerNC that his legs are just weak? I suppose he could just suffer and that would make your legs feel better. And I’m not talking about a “couple of hundred bucks”. A square taper crank that would have the gearing he wants can be had for roughly $10 to $30 used on EBay for an even better crank. Raylee has linked to a new crank that is $40. A bike shop can get the same crank for about $60 and they can install it for $20 to $30. That’s a lot less than $200.

As for brains, is it smarter to suffer or to ride smarter? CoffeeDrinkerNC could just push higher gears and risk injury or he could ride smarter and healthier. I assure you that I’m not stupid nor is CoffeeDrinkerNC.
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Old 01-27-20, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
No it isn't. A 28T chainring is nearly 17% larger than a 24T chainring, so it's like adding nearly 17% to the number of teeth to each cog in your cassette. Even for an 11-tooth cog, it's equivalent to nearly a 2-tooth addition. For a 24-tooth cog, it's like becoming a 28-tooth cog. For the 32-tooth cog that comes on a Trek Verve 2, it's like gaining about 5 teeth and becoming a ~37T cog.
I understand what you are saying, but when you look at gear inches the ratios just aren't that big. Even changing to a 40t cassette is only 4.8gear inches. That might be worth it, but a new cassette, chain and possible extender will also be in the $50-$100 range. If the guy said he had a 80's road bike with a 53/39 and a 13-21 cassette it would be a different story
IMO getting 3-4 gear inches isn't enough to spend $50 - $100 when his fitness will most likely increase to make it a moot point in a couple of weeks.

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Old 01-27-20, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
ďOh gawd!Ē yourself. So your legs are telling CoffeeDrinkerNC that his legs are just weak? I suppose he could just suffer and that would make your legs feel better. And Iím not talking about a ďcouple of hundred bucksĒ. A square taper crank that would have the gearing he wants can be had for roughly $10 to $30 used on EBay for an even better crank. Raylee has linked to a new crank that is $40. A bike shop can get the same crank for about $60 and they can install it for $20 to $30. Thatís a lot less than $200.

As for brains, is it smarter to suffer or to ride smarter? CoffeeDrinkerNC could just push higher gears and risk injury or he could ride smarter and healthier. I assure you that Iím not stupid nor is CoffeeDrinkerNC.
You are so unaware. A rider's legs are going to develop far more than when he is starting and new. He has great gears now and with a little natural strength building , he will be fine.

As far as being stupid, I am not so sure. Who is going to go out and push higher gears than what they can and injure themselves? Have you never heard of building up to the level? What idiot is going to go ride a big hill without having built up to it? I guess I am much smarter than you because if I can't do a hill, I would find a lesser one, conquer it, then gradually advance. Only and idiot would do that and that seems exactly what you are doing.

Coffeedrinker, your gears are fine. Keep riding, build your strength, advance gradually. (not sure why a not so smart person would think you are going to attack a hill without preparation). YOur gears are fine, develop your legs, that hill will be a breeze.

Or take the stupid know it all way and waste your money, it's your choice. But imo, not everybody needs to spend money on new equipment they don't need. Sure, it sounds good on paper, but go buy the parts, then go to your shop and ask them to put them on, I bet it comes close to $200. The people who claim to not be stupid are always more than happy to waste your money.

Think about it, How many people buy a hybrid the later realize they should have gotten a road bike once they develop a little fitness?

You have to be stupid to invest money on something you will outgrow and you will outgrow super high gears since you are a NEW rider.
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Old 01-27-20, 03:13 PM
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So let me ask this.. how about changing the cassette first? It looks like it's got an 11-32 on it right now. I would look at an 11-40 or something similar. That's an easier swap to me.

But I don't know about the bike and the components on it and what they can handle. Take it to your local bike shop and tell them what you want and they can suggest the best way to do it.
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Old 01-27-20, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by chadtrent View Post
So let me ask this.. how about changing the cassette first? It looks like it's got an 11-32 on it right now. I would look at an 11-40 or something similar. That's an easier swap to me.

But I don't know about the bike and the components on it and what they can handle. Take it to your local bike shop and tell them what you want and they can suggest the best way to do it.
The derailer on the Verve likely wonít take a 40 tooth cassette. The Altus M310 rear derailer will only take a 34 tooth cog maximum.
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Old 01-27-20, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The derailer on the Verve likely wonít take a 40 tooth cassette. The Altus M310 rear derailer will only take a 34 tooth cog maximum.
Ahh. I'm not familiar with the Altus.
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Old 01-27-20, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDudeIsHere View Post
You are so unaware. A rider's legs are going to develop far more than when he is starting and new. He has great gears now and with a little natural strength building , he will be fine.
Sure, he may develop some strength but how long will that take? And what is he supposed to ride until such time as he gets to the point where he has developed those muscles? Should he just ride up and down a flat road until such time as he meets your expectations.

As far as being stupid, I am not so sure. Who is going to go out and push higher gears than what they can and injure themselves? Have you never heard of building up to the level? What idiot is going to go ride a big hill without having built up to it? I guess I am much smarter than you because if I can't do a hill, I would find a lesser one, conquer it, then gradually advance. Only and idiot would do that and that seems exactly what you are doing.
First, great job with violating forum standards. Nothing like being insulting.

But who would go out and push higher gears and injure themselves? Lots of people who are told that ďyou donít need a lower gear, you just need to develop strengthĒ. I donít have to find a lesser hill to ride up endlessly until such time as Iím strong enough because I use my brains and get gears low enough to ride up any hill. I tour by bicycle and often donít have an option of avoiding a hill until such time as I can ride up it in the gears my bicycles have. Lots of people have bikes that are too highly geared and, thus, end up injuring themselves.

Coffeedrinker, your gears are fine. Keep riding, build your strength, advance gradually. (not sure why a not so smart person would think you are going to attack a hill without preparation). YOur gears are fine, develop your legs, that hill will be a breeze.
Sure. Keep riding and building your strength. Just avoid any hill that you canít ride up. The world is full of hills and you might find yourself rather limited in places you can ride.

Or take the stupid know it all way and waste your money, it's your choice. But imo, not everybody needs to spend money on new equipment they don't need. Sure, it sounds good on paper, but go buy the parts, then go to your shop and ask them to put them on, I bet it comes close to $200. The people who claim to not be stupid are always more than happy to waste your money.
You are way, way, way off on your estimate. The bike wonít need a new bottom bracket. All that will need to be changed is the crankset. Thatís a $60 crank...I checked the price on QBP...and about a half hour of mechanicís time or about $30. Total price will be less than $100.

Think about it, How many people buy a hybrid the later realize they should have gotten a road bike once they develop a little fitness?
Not as many as you think.
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Old 01-27-20, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by chadtrent View Post
Ahh. I'm not familiar with the Altus.
Most of the derailers with the capacity for a 40 tooth cog are going to be 10 and 11 speed derailers that wonít work with the 8 speed system on the Verve 2. It would require a change of shifters, cassette, chain and likely the crank. That would be far too expensive.
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Old 01-27-20, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDudeIsHere View Post
You are so unaware. A rider's legs are going to develop far more than when he is starting and new. He has great gears now and with a little natural strength building , he will be fine.
Without knowing what terrain the OP intends on riding, and their level of talent and intended amount of dedication to the sport, you don't know if the gears that are on their bicycle right now are adequate for what they want to ride.

I'm in my 20s, have been cycling for 5 years, and won a cat4 race once while dabbling at the regional velodrome. I'm far from elite, but definitely stronger than most cyclists.
My ride yesterday included one climb that averaged 11% for a mile-long stretch. My bicycle's lowest gear was 24-32 to produce 19 gear inches, a good step lower than what the OP has. I used that bottom-end ratio quite a bit.

As far as being stupid, I am not so sure. Who is going to go out and push higher gears than what they can and injure themselves? Have you never heard of building up to the level? What idiot is going to go ride a big hill without having built up to it? I guess I am much smarter than you because if I can't do a hill, I would find a lesser one, conquer it, then gradually advance. Only and idiot would do that and that seems exactly what you are doing.
You're basically saying that cyclists should let minor configuration choices with a bicycle dictate what routes they ride. You're also picking a completely arbitrary bar for what everyone should accept as a suitably-low bottom gear. In other words, you think that if someone is at a level of fitness significantly lower than myself, the ride I did yesterday ought to be off-limits to them. Even though it's fairly easy to solve that problem by modifying the bicycle. That's horrible, especially as it's an absolutely amazing ride with spectacular views.

"Building up to the level" means that you shouldn't try big efforts outside of your ability. A hill is not an effort, it is a hill. Aside from technicality, a big hill is not - and has little reason to be - inherently difficult to ascend.
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Old 01-27-20, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Sure, he may develop some strength but how long will that take? And what is he supposed to ride until such time as he gets to the point where he has developed those muscles? Should he just ride up and down a flat road until such time as he meets your expectations.
Wow, you really are lost on this one. My guess is you have never trained for any kind of ride that is challenging or have no idea of training or developing cycling skills and strength. Or even grasp the concept that a NEW riders is going to develop quickly if he WANTS to and does ride his bike.

I've seen a ton of riders go from snail to rabbit on the bikes being new riders. And many who regret taking the advice of those who sway them to waste money on sissy gears because someone told them they were going to injure themselves.
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Old 01-27-20, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Without knowing what terrain the OP intends on riding, and their level of talent and intended amount of dedication to the sport, you don't know if the gears that are on their bicycle right now are adequate for what they want to ride.
Exactly! So you think telling somebody to waste money and time is a better idea than getting them to ride their bike, while as you said, not knowing what terrain they are riding?

A NEW rider should ride his bike and develop before wasting money on unnecessary equipment.
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Old 01-27-20, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
You're basically saying that cyclists should let minor configuration choices with a bicycle dictate what routes they ride. You're also picking a completely arbitrary bar for what everyone should accept as a suitably-low bottom gear. In other words, you think that if someone is at a level of fitness significantly lower than myself, the ride I did yesterday ought to be off-limits to them. Even though it's fairly easy to solve that problem by modifying the bicycle. That's horrible, especially as it's an absolutely amazing ride with spectacular views.
You really should read the OP's post. He said he struggles on hills. Where do you get that I am dictating what rides he can do? Pay attention. I am saying that as a NEW rider, pay attention, he should give it a chance to develop his legs before wasting money on equipment that he will soon not need.

Not sure where you get the idea he is trying to ride up mountains with spectacular views or where I said that he couldn't or that it was off limits. Please pay attention! I said he will develop and soon will not need those easier gears to make it up the hills or whatever. I did not say he shouldn't enjoy them, I said he will soon enjoy them without the waste of money as i did. Please pay attention.

I did not alter my bike as a new rider. I struggled up hills. But I gave myself a chance to get used to the bike AS A NEW RIDER. I didn't waste my money, I rode my bike. I got better, I made it up the mountains on my bike without changing equipment. Give the guy a chance to ride his bike first.

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Old 01-27-20, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Sure. Keep riding and building your strength. Just avoid any hill that you canít ride up. The world is full of hills and you might find yourself rather limited in places you can ride.
Wow, you really are lacking in reading comprehension.
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Old 01-27-20, 05:30 PM
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CoffeeDrinkerNC,

Don't waste your money. Ride your bike! Do what you can do, ride some distance, increase by small increments if you must. Don't over do it. Don't bite off too much at one time. Ride whatever gets in your way, flat terrain, over freeway overpasses, over short hills, turn back and do that short hill again if you can. If not, no biggie, just keep riding and doing better efforts when you can. You will develop quickly if you ride your bike. Seen it so many times.

Don't pay attention to the people who can't comprehend my comments about developing. You can ride hills, mountains, flats, whatever you like with your gears once you develop some. You know your limits, you know how much to tackle, you know your body. Give it a chance to develop before wasting your money.

If your goal was to do a ride with 12,000 ft of elevation gain, they I would say yes, spend the money and hassle.

But if you are NEW and trying to make it up a local hill, give yourself time to develop and save your money.

DBATE OVER: These guys lack reading comprehension and toss in irrelevant statements. Me limiting your spectacular views, what a joke!
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Old 01-27-20, 05:51 PM
  #22  
HTupolev
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Originally Posted by TheDudeIsHere View Post
Where do you get that I am dictating what rides he can do?
You're insisting that riders shouldn't switch to gears lower than 28-32, and you're also saying that you shouldn't do hills that your current fitness and gearing aren't adequate for. It follows from this that, if you never get to the fitness lever where a 28-32 gear works well for you on a given hill, you should never ride that hill.

Originally Posted by TheDudeIsHere View Post
Exactly! So you think telling somebody to waste money and time is a better idea than getting them to ride their bike, while as you said, not knowing what terrain they are riding?
I didn't say that the OP should definitely make the change that they're contemplating. I said that you can't be sure that they shouldn't.
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Old 01-27-20, 06:04 PM
  #23  
Oso Polar
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
ďOh gawd!Ē yourself. So your legs are telling CoffeeDrinkerNC that his legs are just weak?
I believe he is right - CoffeeDrinkerNC told that he is a new rider. I know that once I started actively riding myself at first I was predominantly using middle and small chainrings (on a 48/38/28 triple), pretty much never a big ring. In a few months - big and middle. After about a year I was often spinning out on the big ring and rarely using other two. Buying a new crankset would have been a waste.
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Old 01-27-20, 06:07 PM
  #24  
stevel610 
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We spend WAY too much time trying to get "the perfect" piece of gear. When I got back into riding in 2007 I had a steel single speed Raleigh beach cruiser with steel wheels and a coaster brake. IIRC it had somewhere around 60 gear inches. I rode the crap out of that thing for 6 months until I figured I'd stick with it. If I couldn't make a hill I walked it. Get on your bike and ride!
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Last edited by stevel610; 01-27-20 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 01-27-20, 07:16 PM
  #25  
CoffeedrinkerNC
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I've been riding as much as I can. I rode 8 miles Saturday, and 10 miles on Sunday. I have been trying to keep to routes that are mostly flat, if I get to a hill that I can't climb, I just walk the bike up and them get back on.
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