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Need help knowing what can be done with a 21 speed.

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Need help knowing what can be done with a 21 speed.

Old 07-16-09, 01:48 PM
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Need help knowing what can be done with a 21 speed.

After years off the bike I have just started back riding about 4 months ago. It has not taken long for my legs to get stronger than my present set up is geared for. I plan to invest in a better bike but not for another year. So I wonder if I can do more to this one to make my ride better. I have a 21 speed bike that was sold to me as an entry level road bike. I now know that it is really a cruse type bike with a road bike look. I am changing the 13-28t freewheel for a 12-21t and I would like to change the crankset which is now a 28/38/48 to something like a 32/42/52. The problem is that I can’t find a crankset like this for a bike running a 7 speed freewheel. I find a lot for a 9 speed but it is my understanding that the chains are different and thus it will not work. Can a crankset like this be found or is there another option that I might not be thinking of? Thanks.
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Old 07-16-09, 02:08 PM
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It is not only the chain that is different- you are talking about the whole drive train if you want to convert to 9sp, and possibly coldsetting the rear triangle of the bike, too. That means a new rear wheel, derailleurs, shifters- the whole business. (I am assuming that your current bike has a freewheel rather than cassette and friction shifting- is that correct?) And if you just put the 9sp crankset on with your current setup there may be problems with the wide chain on narrow chainrings.

If you just want to narrow the gaps between gears while getting a higher top end your best bet is either finding compatible chainrings of the sizes you want (easiest way to go if you can find them) or an older 7sp crankset that will fit your BB. I think that the most likely route of success is posting this in the C&V forum here- people over there have all kinds of stuff for sale, trade or sometimes even give-away. You should also browse ebay for something compatible- you may get lucky and find something really cheap.
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Old 07-16-09, 02:18 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Yes the bike has a freewheel rather than cassette and friction shifting. I have searched ebay and other places on the web with no luck. I like the thoughts on the C&V forum and will check it out.
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Old 07-16-09, 05:05 PM
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You may consider upgrading to newer 7-speed parts (early Shimano cassette, etc). But you'd then have to buy at least a new rear hub and cassette. They're out there on ebay, but some things fetch a premium. I gave up on NOS 105 hubs - auctions were ending at over $100.

Maybe you can find a newer used bike on craigslist.
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