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Larger chainring advice


Old 03-23-15, 07:57 PM
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Larger chainring advice


I currently ride this bike size 23' with slick tires.

I am really satisfied with it, however i recently feel that the highest gear is not enough for me while riding on road (thats where most of my riding occurs). I am considering changing the crankset/chainring to a larger size (48?). Please correct me if I am wrong but i think i read that my front deraileur only handles upto 44 "teeth".
what would you suggest doing to give me that extra speed on the road? Is an increase to 44 over the current 40 going to make a real difference or should i maybe change the front deraileur and the crankset?

My biking knowlege is rather basic so please take it easy on me
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Old 03-23-15, 09:52 PM
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Your link doesn't work.

Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator is a good tool for working out differences in gearing. Assuming that you have 26" wheels with 1.5" tires, a 11 tooth small cog, and a cadence of 90rpm(about the average cadence of an experienced cyclist, but faster than the average cyclist) 40t will get you 24.2 MPH, 44 will get you 26.6, and 48 will get you 29.1. Those numbers go to 26.6, 29.3 , and 31.9 with a 29" wheel with 2.0" tires.

First of all try learning to increase your cadence to at least an 80RPM average under normal conditions, regardless of whether you decide you want to increase the gearing of your bike (which could still be understandable). This will give you plenty of speed for flats and tailwinds, but you may have to accept that you either have to spin really fast on downhills or just coast much above about 25MPH.

If you want to increase your gearing, it could be sort of a pain and either cost a lot or not work super well. Modern chainrings are designed to work in sets because the ramps, pins, tooth profiles, etc are designed to help the chain shift. If you change things out, they'll usually work, but will generally slow down front shifts to some degree. There is also the issue of the maximum chainring size.

Probably the best solution would be to use a front derailleur from Shimano's trekking line--designed for city bikes and the like, mostly for the European market. They're usually designed for a 48T big ring, but have compatible cable pull with MTB shifters. Something like this: New Shimano LX FD T660 9 Speed 34 9mm Trekking Front Derailleur Sliver 31 8mm | eBay . I'm not sure that will work on your bike because your link didn't work! You have to match the speeds (9s and 10sp are incompatible), cable pull direction (top pull or bottom pull--some will work either way), and clamp size. You could try and see how a 48T chainring shifts on your current crank, but be prepared for it to potentially be poorly. Or you can just get a new trekking crank with a 48T big ring.

Or you can decide that spending upwards of $100 (and that's assuming you're doing the work yourself)about 5MPH of top end speed isn't really worth it, learn to spin a little faster (going from 60RPM to 90RPM gets you from 17MPH to 25MPH on a 26" wheel), and enjoy your bike as it is.
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Old 03-23-15, 11:33 PM
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according to the website that bike comes with a high of 40t x 11t with what looks like, according to the specs a 29er tire. that is about 102 gear inches.

just as a comparison, Fabian Cancellera, the best time-trialing cyclist over the past decade, just recently won the last time trial stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico on his time-trial bike. his average speed over the very flat 6.2 mile course was 32.8 MPH.

at 100RPM with a 40tx11t gear that bike will be doing over 30MPH. and would have beaten Peter Sagan, the 2006 World Junior X-country MTB champion, in that time-trial by more than 1/2 mile in that 6.2 mile race.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 03-23-15 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 03-25-15, 09:51 AM
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I mostly agree with hueyhoolihan. The question is - what and where are you riding that you would need more than 40x11 gearing? Coast downhill above 25 mph. Otherwise, if you can pedal on flat ground beyond 25, you should look into racing.

If you want to pedal fast downhill on pavement beyond 25 mph, I suggest getting a road bike.
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Old 03-25-15, 02:56 PM
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Too funny you guys,,,

OP You will notice a real difference if you go to the 44 tooth, Don't go for any more.

I can mash my top gear on my 27.5 Inch tire bike,, That's a 42 up front and 11 on the cassette.
Mines a 27.5" bike remember ?...
I am faster on the next larger (13) tooth cassette cog when on the big ring and THIS gear I can sustain for a quarter mile or so.

My old 29er Hard Tail Scott had a 42 tooth chain ring. I used it but never used the smallest two cogs on the cassette...The 29er wheels,, well....
I'm not that strong.
Mashing like that can destroy your knee's over time,,,
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