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Understanding new trike

Old 04-10-22, 11:45 AM
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linberl
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Understanding new trike

So I have my new trike and there's something I'm not clear about. It's a 24 speed, microshift twist shifter. The right shifter has 8 gear indicators in the optical window. The left shifter has an "L" and a bunch of lines....I haven't shifted it all the way to see if there are other markings, but I've never seen a shifter without gear numbers. Can someone explain to me how this works? I'm used to 1x systems with no front derailleur on my 2 wheel bikes.

The other question I have is whether it's okay to swap out the rear derailleur. The trike has an Altus installed, and I have a brand new Claris. It seems Altus is mountain and Claris is road, but I don't know whether that means they are not compatible. Any idea?

Thanks.
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Old 04-10-22, 12:22 PM
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Just took a look at the SRAM front shifters on my 3 bikes. They have an L at one end and an H at the other. They are not indexed in that there is not a single setting for small, middle and large rings but instead there are, I think, three settings for each of the three rings. Use whichever works best for the gears you are shifting to. Won't take long to figure out what works best. All the way to L or to H usually works best for me for big or small rings, assuming things are adjusted as they should be.

Don't know about your RD question.
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Old 04-10-22, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Just took a look at the SRAM front shifters on my 3 bikes. They have an L at one end and an H at the other. They are not indexed in that there is not a single setting for small, middle and large rings but instead there are, I think, three settings for each of the three rings. Use whichever works best for the gears you are shifting to. Won't take long to figure out what works best. All the way to L or to H usually works best for me for big or small rings, assuming things are adjusted as they should be.
'Cool. I've never seen that before so wasn't sure how to use it. After I adjust the chain length today I'll go practice. Thanks.
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Old 04-10-22, 01:25 PM
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What mostly determines rear derailleur compatibility is pull ratio on the derailleur cable, number of speeds on the cassette, and the maximum difference (number of teeth) between the high and low gear on the cassette. Since both are Shimano, most likely pull ratio will be the same. This is not always the case as Shimano makes two different types for RD's with 9 speeds or more. If you know the actual model number for each RD, you can go to the Shimano website and look up the specifications or look up a chart for "pull ratio". Both are roughly equal entry level components so if your current system is working well, I would leave well enough alone. If the difference was between Altus and Deore or better it might be worth the trouble. There are other posts here at this site about derailleur compatibility in the Bike Mechanics section. Lots of stuff there to confuse you.
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Old 04-10-22, 02:18 PM
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I just wasn't sure about mountain to road compatibility. It is the same pull ratio. I guess I'll ride it a.bit with the altus and see how it works; can always swap later
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Old 04-10-22, 07:21 PM
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Is the Claris meant to use with a triple? A road derailleur might not have enough range for a triple since everything is doubles these days.
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Old 04-11-22, 08:13 AM
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The question is about switching the rear derailleur. No mention of changing the FD. In this case the only two factors I can see make a difference is the distance the RD will move from right to left and the span of gearing it was designed for. When I changed the RD on my Catrike 700 from SRAM to Shimano there was only one RD recommended by Sheldon Brown that would move across the 10 speed cassette and 11/36 gear range for the cassette. It was a good suggestion as it worked just fine. Also needed to change the bar end shifter though.
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Old 04-11-22, 09:02 AM
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From what I've read it should work just fine. But, I will wait until I get used to the trike, never having ridden one before, so I know what it is supposed to feel like when shifting. I'm already going to need to adapt to the left shifter being different from what I'm used to and also to just having a front derailleur. I'm a big fan of 1x setups and my 2 wheelers are like that. But I wanted more gear inch range on the trike to cover days when my muscles aren't responding as well as when/if I add an assist motor and need more top end.
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Old 04-11-22, 11:53 AM
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This is a shifter question, not a trike question. Compatibility questions can be complicated - FD and Road chainrings have different diameters, *most* rear derailleurs can accommodate 8/9/10 speeds if the shifters are correct; 11-speed compatibility may be iffy, SRAM is a world unto itself, etc. Total teeth take-up, largest cassette cog, teeth difference between chainrings... the list goes on. I say try it and if it doesn't work change it back.
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Old 04-11-22, 02:21 PM
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You don't need a gear indicator for the FD as the chainrings are right in front of you in clear view on a trike. You can just look to see which one the chain is on and if it is centered on the chainring. Lots of trikes these days come with bar end shifters. While they are indexed for the RD, there is no window to look at. You are either in a gear that gives you a comfortable cadence or not. If not, change gears to make it easier or harder. I never bother to look at that window on my Cannondale MTB front shifter when I'm riding it either. The only time I might look at the gear number on my Balance AL450 MTB is to see what gear it is in before starting out if it has been sitting unused (which is much of the time) in storage. You soon get used to ignoring that function as being almost automatic when it comes to selecting the right gear.
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