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Hybrid with a road bike crankset?

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Hybrid with a road bike crankset?

Old 09-17-14, 06:41 AM
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BigDB67
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Hybrid with a road bike crankset?

Hello All! I am new to the forums here and I was looking for a little help.

I am using a 90s Trek 720 hybrid as a commuter and I am look to gain a little speed. I have already switched from the 700c x 38 tires to 700c x 28 tires. This helped A LOT , but I want to gain a little more of an edge with top speed. My ride is VERY flat, and I was considering "upgrading" to a road bike crankset. Any suggestions on a crankset that would fit this without much modification and would add a decent amount of speed?

Now before you tell me to "just go buy a road bike," I do already own a road bike. I use the hybrid because with the thinner tires because there are some parts of my commute where I ride on sidewalks and don't want to use my roadbike with 23mm tires on rougher terrain.

Here are the specs of the bike off of BikePedia:

Frame & Fork
Frame Construction TIG-welded
Frame Tubing Material Chromoly
Fork Brand & Model Trek
Fork Material Chromoly, unicrown crown
Rear Shock Not applicable

Components
Component Group Hybrid Mix
Brakeset Lee Chi ProMax MV-33 linear-pull brakes, Lee Chi LV78E levers
Shift Levers Grip Shift Centera
Front Derailleur Shimano Tourney TY-32, bottom-pull/clamp-on 31.8mm
Rear Derailleur Shimano Alivio
Crankset Shimano Tourney TY-30, 28/38/48 teeth
Pedals Platform
Bottom Bracket Shimano BB-TY30, 122.5mm spindle
BB Shell Width 68mm English
Rear Cogs 8-speed, 11 - 30 teeth
Chain KAZ LR900, 1/2 x 3/32"
Seatpost Polygon, suspension, 27.2mm diameter
Saddle Trek spring
Handlebar Steel, rise
Handlebar Extensions Not included
Handlebar Stem Aluminum, adjustable
Headset 1 1/8" Victor VP-H692W

Wheels
Hubs Front: Kung Ten 955F, Rear: Kung Ten W5ER
Rims Weinmann 519, 32-hole
Tires 700 x 38c Trek Invert II
Spoke Brand Stainless steel, 2.0mm straight gauge
Spoke Nipples Brass nipples
- See more at: 1999 Trek 720 - BikePedia
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Old 09-17-14, 06:59 AM
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You might run into cornering clearance issues. The bottom bracket sits lower on most hybrids compared to road bikes. At least that's what happened to me anyway.
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Old 09-17-14, 07:14 AM
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Sorry, I am not familiar with "Cornering Clearance Issues?"
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Old 09-17-14, 07:23 AM
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If you try to petal while in a tight corner your inside petal will hit the ground and you might follow it.
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Old 09-17-14, 07:38 AM
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Oh, ouch! Are there larger crank sets with smaller petal bars?
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Old 09-17-14, 07:39 AM
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The 48/11 on your hybrid offers a top gear that is almost identical to the top gear on my road bike which has a 52/12.



If I spin that up to 100 rpm I will be ticking along at 34 mph but that is not a sustainable speed with that high a gear, so what one has to do is spin a lower gear, faster... and even then a sustainable speed is going to be around 25 mph if you are really fit.

Higher gearing is not going to make you go faster, you need to rev up the engine if you want to sustain higher speeds.
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Old 09-17-14, 07:44 AM
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BigD - In comparing your Novara road bike to your Trek hybrid... do you wanna make a guess which bike has a higher top gear ?
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Old 09-17-14, 07:46 AM
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I am terrible at math... but I am assuming with your question the hybrid has the higher top gear?
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Old 09-17-14, 07:49 AM
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Why don't you put 28mm tires on your road bike and call it a day?
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Old 09-17-14, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by BigDB67 View Post
I am terrible at math... but I am assuming with your question the hybrid has the higher top gear?
Yep... but I bet the Novara goes a little faster.
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Old 09-17-14, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Bunyanderman View Post
Why don't you put 28mm tires on your road bike and call it a day?
A already did! When I did this it added about 2-3 mph faster and shortened my commute by about 5 minutes!
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Old 09-17-14, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
Yep... but I bet the Novara goes a little faster.
WAAAAAY faster! I guess a new crankset is not worth the trouble. Thanks for the input everyone!
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Old 09-17-14, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by BigDB67 View Post
Hello All! I am new to the forums here and I was looking for a little help.

Now before you tell me to "just go buy a road bike," I do already own a road bike. I use the hybrid because with the thinner tires because there are some parts of my commute where I ride on sidewalks and don't want to use my roadbike with 23mm tires on rougher terrain.
Road Bike, just put 28's on the road bike. This will save you money and a lot of problems.
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Old 09-17-14, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Bunyanderman View Post
Road Bike, just put 28's on the road bike. This will save you money and a lot of problems.
Sorry I misread your message. Switching between the 28's and 23's seems like way too much of a hassle to me!
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Old 09-17-14, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by EvilWeasel View Post
If you try to petal while in a tight corner your inside petal will hit the ground and you might follow it.
i did this the other day on my 2014 7.7fx which is a madone hybrid. tight corner laying it on a rail and shaved the peddle but thankfully didn't eat chit.
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Old 09-17-14, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by BigDB67 View Post
Sorry I misread your message. Switching between the 28's and 23's seems like way too much of a hassle to me!
What!? I would switch tires over a crankset any day. 1000x easier to just switch tires, and it's free.
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Old 09-17-14, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by BigDB67 View Post
I am terrible at math... but I am assuming with your question the hybrid has the higher top gear?
There are a number of systems for determining gearing ratios but I still prefer the old fashioned gear inch calculation, and gear math is fun.

Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

Comparing your Novara to the Trek the respective gear ranges are 30-110 and 25-117 gear inches.

For reference, a mountain bike or touring bike will usually have a range between 16 (very low) and 110 gear inches as they need very low gears more than they need really high ones.
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Old 09-17-14, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
There are a number of systems for determining gearing ratios but I still prefer the old fashioned gear inch calculation, and gear math is fun.

Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

Comparing your Novara to the Trek the respective gear ranges are 30-110 and 25-117 gear inches.

For reference, a mountain bike or touring bike will usually have a range between 16 (very low) and 110 gear inches as they need very low gears more than they need really high ones.
Thanks for the help! I am trying to become as knowledgeable as possible before wasting any money!
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Old 09-17-14, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by BigDB67 View Post
Thanks for the help! I am trying to become as knowledgeable as possible before wasting any money!
I often have people come into my shop or the co-op where I teach and they say they want to go faster, many think that an increase in their top gear will do this not realizing that getting faster is usually a function of learning how to spin faster and more efficiently rather than mashing a taller gear at a lower rpm.

Most modern bicycles have gearing ranges that exceed the capabilities of their riders at the top end.
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Old 09-17-14, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by BigDB67 View Post
Thanks for the help! I am trying to become as knowledgeable as possible before wasting any money!
Putting wider tires on your road bike is the best approach. Reason being, you probably would need both a new crank and front derailleur to have a larger big ring on the hybrid (you could just buy the ring, but it's often cheaper to just buy a crank). I wouldn't personally use the front derailleur you have with a larger ring. If you are already happy with the road bike's gearing, then it's best to just modify it for your commute. Modifying your hybrid will also hurt its resell value, as most people who ride hybrids don't want that sort of gearing.

Assuming that a 28mm tire will fit your road bike, my advice would be to sell the hybrid and buy a second set of wheels and keep one set with the 23mm tires and another with 28mm tires seeing as every second counts for you. For me, I'm more than happy to commute with a 48t or even a 46t as the largest ring; it's not a race for me while commuting (and you can always pedal faster).

I totally get the move from 38mm to 28mm tires on the hybrid. Anything over 28mm is overkill for pavement and the difference in rolling resistance is nice. I don't think a couple of additional gear teeth will be nearly as big of a difference in your speed. If you do end up changing cranks, do you even need a triple? Do you want a higher gear and range, or just a higher gear?

ps. the above post nails it in my opinion... it's more an issue of technique than gearing (most likely).
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Old 09-17-14, 10:17 AM
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I was looking for just a higher gear...
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Old 09-17-14, 10:39 AM
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IMHO going from 48/11 to 50/11 or 52/11 is a waste of time and money. I have a 1996 Trek 730 and I did change the crank, but my stock crank was 22-32-42 and I changed to a 28-38-48, which you have already. Plenty of speed in that gearing. Just ride more and get stronger.
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Old 09-17-14, 11:22 AM
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Just one more reason why not to do it:
When I did the exact same thing (MTB triple to Road Double), I had to change the bottom bracket as well (JIS square taper BB), and I also had to change the front derailleur. Most MTB FD's are designed for a biggest ring of 48, and most Road FD's are designed for a 50 smallest ring. I had issues with the MTB FD on a 50 tooth ring, and eventually found a Shimano FD440, which is road curvature, MTB cable pull, and then it all worked beautifully.

And ultimately, it was a largely worthless change, as gear ratio is related to top end speed about as much as shoe size is related to IQ.
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Old 09-17-14, 11:52 AM
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Most road square taper cranksets call for 113mm wide BB but good thin something like the Shimano UN55 is pretty cheap. I'd get a compact double too and that will give you plenty of range unless you have some real hills to climb. I would first see if you FD can do a compact 50/34 before you swap it out. If it doesn't, you very often can just buy left or right shifters on ebay or even online--will save you some dough not buying the set. Switching over to road crankset was the best thing I did for my Trek hybrid--although I went with a single chainring for simplicity and helped with cost. The new crankset was also much, much lighter than the stock one and a joy to peddle.
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Old 09-17-14, 01:04 PM
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Most people want lower gearing. It makes more sense to change from a double to a triple crankset AND get a mega-range cassette.
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