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Old 05-01-06, 09:13 AM   #1
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Playing with ratios

Firstly apologies for being a complete newbie!

I came about a lovely old Merlin road bike about half a year ago and have enjoyed every second of riding it, and am planning on taking it with me on a tour across Europe this summer. My only worry is that my ratios aren't all that great for climbs, especially when carrying weight.

Not being an expert, i can't give you the model of any of the components but my best insight is:
-6 speed cassette 13-?
-2 rings on front 42-52
both derailleurs are campagnolo.

After reading several other posts on here i'm pretty confident that the front derailleur has plenty of space for changing the inner ring to a smaller size... although i'm not sure quite how to match the chainrings to the crank, other than the knowledge that it is 5 arm...?

If i were to replace the cassette would i need to stick to the 6 speeds or would the derailleur accomodate a larger range?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for my ignorance!

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Old 05-02-06, 05:15 AM   #2
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At the rear you have an obscelete pattern but you can still get compatable rings. Is it Shimano or some other hub. Is it a screw-on freewheel or a splined freehub design with a locknut (engraved with "Lock->")
Marchisio allow you to select each ring so build up the cassette with a wide range. A 12-28 is good for a light load or unladen mountain climbing.

Your crank will limit the smallest cog you can use because of the diamter of the bolt circle.
Compact cranks have a circle of 110mm and can take rings down to 34 t. A 34/48 will carry you up most mountains but you will probably freewheel down the fastest descents.
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