Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Considering changing my rear cassette for climbing

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Considering changing my rear cassette for climbing

Old 06-01-12, 10:07 AM
  #1  
Pougnet
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Considering changing my rear cassette for climbing

Right now I have a 44:22 lowest gear. It is quite difficult to climb with that. So, I am wondering if it is the gearing or me that is the problem. If it is the gearing, what would you suggest changing the rear cassette to? I currently have a 6 speed rear with friction shifters. So, compatibility is not much of a problem.
Pougnet is offline  
Old 06-01-12, 10:18 AM
  #2  
Rogue Leader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Merrick, NY
Posts: 822

Bikes: 2009 Mercier Galaxy (custom build), 2008 Argon 18 Mercury

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
No expert here, but I'd consider a smaller crankset (you have a double I guess?), and then maybe a better geared rear cassette to give you a better range.
Rogue Leader is offline  
Old 06-01-12, 10:28 AM
  #3  
Altamont
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 217
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
sounds to me like you need a bike made in this century. maybe a 10 speed 12-28 cassette, with a 50-34 up front
Altamont is offline  
Old 06-01-12, 10:38 AM
  #4  
ThermionicScott 
7-speed cultist
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 20,010

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2769 Post(s)
Liked 680 Times in 474 Posts
6-speed rear sounds like a freewheel to me. Ignore the "advice" that you need to chuck the bike and buy a new one, just because people here don't know how to work on them.

My advice would be to get a 14-28T freewheel and have that installed -- they're about $20 new.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 06-01-12, 11:51 AM
  #5  
StanSeven
Administrator
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Delaware shore
Posts: 13,315

Bikes: Cervelo C5, Guru Photon, Waterford, Specialized CX

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 741 Post(s)
Liked 292 Times in 232 Posts
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Ignore the "advice" that you need to chuck the bike and buy a new one, just because people here don't know how to work on them.
My, my - free with the insults today!

Pougnet - find a good local bike shop and take your bike in. Tell them what it's like climbing with your existing gears and they can offer a new range.
StanSeven is offline  
Old 06-01-12, 12:06 PM
  #6  
Homebrew01
Super Moderator
 
Homebrew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Posts: 21,493

Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 990 Post(s)
Liked 277 Times in 207 Posts
Originally Posted by Rogue Leader View Post
No expert here, but I'd consider a smaller crankset (you have a double I guess?), and then maybe a better geared rear freewheel to give you a better range.
^^ There you go ... shouldn't cost too much, but you need a crankset that can handle a wider chain. Maybe run an 8 speed chain, then get a compact crank.
__________________
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike.

FYI: https://www.bikeforums.net/forum-sugg...ad-please.html
Homebrew01 is offline  
Old 06-01-12, 12:18 PM
  #7  
StanSeven
Administrator
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Delaware shore
Posts: 13,315

Bikes: Cervelo C5, Guru Photon, Waterford, Specialized CX

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 741 Post(s)
Liked 292 Times in 232 Posts
^ I'm not disagreeing and 8 speed is a big improvement, but a cheaper fix is just replacing the freewheel with another 6 speed one with a wider range and perhaps a new chain
StanSeven is offline  
Old 06-01-12, 12:28 PM
  #8  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 12,495

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 323 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1927 Post(s)
Liked 345 Times in 185 Posts
Wow, 44-22! I'm used to feeling weak, but that really stings. I've got a triple on my road bike with a 30-25 low gear. This weekend I'm doing a ride with a long climb, so I swapped out my 12-25 cassette for a 12-30. Feel free to point and laugh.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 06-01-12, 12:42 PM
  #9  
banerjek
Portland Fred
 
banerjek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 11,545

Bikes: Custom Winter, Challenge Seiran SL, Fuji Team Pro, Cattrike Road/Velokit, РOS hybrid

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 228 Post(s)
Liked 47 Times in 30 Posts
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
My advice would be to get a 14-28T freewheel and have that installed -- they're about $20 new.
44-28 ain't really a granny gear even if it's noticeably better than what he has.

If he's rocking a 55/44 crankset, it's almost certainly too big for him. We don't know what kind of bike he has (or what he considers a climb), but it's very possible that anything yielding decent climbing combos will cost more than his bike is worth.
banerjek is offline  
Old 06-01-12, 12:47 PM
  #10  
Homebrew01
Super Moderator
 
Homebrew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Posts: 21,493

Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 990 Post(s)
Liked 277 Times in 207 Posts
Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
^ I'm not disagreeing and 8 speed is a big improvement, but a cheaper fix is just replacing the freewheel with another 6 speed one with a wider range and perhaps a new chain
I agree with a new 6 speed freewheel, but meant use an 8 speed chain with it, to allow using a newer compact crank.
__________________
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike.

FYI: https://www.bikeforums.net/forum-sugg...ad-please.html
Homebrew01 is offline  
Old 06-01-12, 01:00 PM
  #11  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,998
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1524 Post(s)
Liked 414 Times in 297 Posts
Both of my road bikes are 1972 (ancient) models with 5 speed freewheels. The "tourer" has a 52/40/32 triple and the "racer" has a 52/42 double. Both have 14-24 freewheels on the back for everyday riding. If something different is needed, then I have some other freewheels to put on. Big climbing day, then a 14-28 or 14-30 goes on. Day of hammering in the flats, 13-21 goes on. Just pop the rear wheel off, and switch out the freewheel. It takes about a minute. The key is having the same brand of freewheels or a removal tool for each freewheel brand.

Try to find yourself a smaller inner chainring and then get a lowered geared freewheel. Find out the BCD of your crankset. Then head to eBay. Unless it is a vintage Campy crankset, you should be able to pick up some replacements for under $50 for both the freewheel and the chainring.

Last edited by seypat; 06-01-12 at 01:17 PM.
seypat is online now  
Old 06-01-12, 01:08 PM
  #12  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,998
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1524 Post(s)
Liked 414 Times in 297 Posts
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Wow, 44-22! I'm used to feeling weak, but that really stings. I've got a triple on my road bike with a 30-25 low gear. This weekend I'm doing a ride with a long climb, so I swapped out my 12-25 cassette for a 12-30. Feel free to point and laugh.
I did this ride a couple of weeks ago. https://www.stormingofthunderridge.com/

Every bike I saw had some large cogs on the back so don't feel bad. I also did not hear a single one of those annoying loud rear hubs. I guess when you know you will be coasting nobody wants to hear that racket.
seypat is online now  
Old 06-01-12, 01:23 PM
  #13  
LesterOfPuppets
cowboy, steel horse, etc
 
LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Valley of the Sun.
Posts: 34,326

Bikes: everywhere

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5345 Post(s)
Liked 1,040 Times in 561 Posts
If you're running friction or have friction option I'd probably go for a 7-speed 14-26 or the like. Some rear derailers have difficulty with 28T cogs, if you know yours can take it go for the 28.

Probably a bit more expensive to change things up front but a 52/39 might work just as well.
LesterOfPuppets is offline  
Old 06-01-12, 01:42 PM
  #14  
wphamilton
Senior Member
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 15,007

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2795 Post(s)
Liked 175 Times in 123 Posts
Originally Posted by Pougnet View Post
... I currently have a 6 speed rear with friction shifters. So, compatibility is not much of a problem.
Very cheap to change to 7 speed or 8 speed with the friction shifters. You could probably use a new wheel also, so get one with a freehub and upgrade to an 8 speed cassette (instead of freewheel). Just changing the freewheel is cheap but why not take the opportunity to upgrade?
wphamilton is offline  
Old 06-01-12, 06:22 PM
  #15  
mtalinm
Senior Member
 
mtalinm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Westwood MA (just south of Boston)
Posts: 2,215

Bikes: 2009 Trek Soho

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Wow, 44-22! I'm used to feeling weak, but that really stings. I've got a triple on my road bike with a 30-25 low gear. This weekend I'm doing a ride with a long climb, so I swapped out my 12-25 cassette for a 12-30. Feel free to point and laugh.
Only if you laugh at me to. I have a 24/28 setup and am going to move it to my20" folder for even more leverage!
mtalinm is offline  
Old 06-01-12, 06:59 PM
  #16  
dissident
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Brookings, SD
Posts: 283

Bikes: Felt Z85

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
maybe someone could like him to a good online starter bike with a tiagra groupset that would be worth and upgrade for him. Something like this

https://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400282__400282

Or a bit more money for a nice jump in components

https://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400282__400282
dissident is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 04:36 PM
  #17  
Pougnet
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
44-28 ain't really a granny gear even if it's noticeably better than what he has.

If he's rocking a 55/44 crankset, it's almost certainly too big for him. We don't know what kind of bike he has (or what he considers a climb), but it's very possible that anything yielding decent climbing combos will cost more than his bike is worth.
Yes, I am running a 55/44 crankset. It is an old bike but still has very high quality components, so I would rather upgrade the cassette than get a new bike. For the record, it has all Campy SR components.

Also, the climbs that I mainly do are around 10% grade for 2km. I make it up but with extremely low cadence.
Pougnet is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 06:18 PM
  #18  
banerjek
Portland Fred
 
banerjek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 11,545

Bikes: Custom Winter, Challenge Seiran SL, Fuji Team Pro, Cattrike Road/Velokit, РOS hybrid

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 228 Post(s)
Liked 47 Times in 30 Posts
Originally Posted by Pougnet View Post
Yes, I am running a 55/44 crankset. It is an old bike but still has very high quality components, so I would rather upgrade the cassette than get a new bike. For the record, it has all Campy SR components.

Also, the climbs that I mainly do are around 10% grade for 2km. I make it up but with extremely low cadence.
10% is a real grade. A compact crank will serve you better than what you have, but I'd keep the rear cogs that you have as 34/28 is a good ratio for that sort of climb.
banerjek is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 06:44 PM
  #19  
RollCNY
Speechless
 
RollCNY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Central NY
Posts: 8,805

Bikes: Felt Brougham, Lotus Prestige, Cinelli Xperience,

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
OP~
If you're looking for another freewheel vote, here it is. I just did work on my brother's 1981 Puch, and installed a compact crank, and it was a royal pain. Ended up needing a new, shorter BB, a new FD as the original did not like the smaller diameter rings and larger jump between rings. Also had to futz with replacement chain to get it to be happy on the crank. I wished afterward that I had just swapped freewheels (and please stop calling it a cassette).
RollCNY is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 08:16 PM
  #20  
Flatballer
No matches
 
Flatballer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 11,406

Bikes: two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1161 Post(s)
Liked 118 Times in 76 Posts
Jesus. 10% on a 44/22. That's crazy. I think I'd be walking, if it's actually 10%.
Flatballer is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 08:24 PM
  #21  
Pougnet
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
Jesus. 10% on a 44/22. That's crazy. I think I'd be walking, if it's actually 10%.
Well, it is really an average of 10% and it is rolling terrain.
Pougnet is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 08:37 PM
  #22  
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,268

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by Pougnet View Post
Right now I have a 44:22 lowest gear. It is quite difficult to climb with that. So, I am wondering if it is the gearing or me that is the problem. If it is the gearing, what would you suggest changing the rear cassette to? I currently have a 6 speed rear with friction shifters. So, compatibility is not much of a problem.
44/22 is 53 gear inches... a low gear reserved for extremely fit and strong road cyclists.

Your bike is set up for some very flat riding... 44/55 with what is probably a 14-22 or perhaps a 13-22 is a gear for manly men with a high threshold for pain. Your low is the same as a 42/21 which is more common on older road bikes that are set up for flatter riding.

My climbing bike has a 40/52 with an 11-28 8 speed cassette as we have many smaller climbs here where the grade exceeds 10% and I have to climb with one bad leg... for flat riding I have a 42/52 with a 13-21 7 speed block with the same 53 gear inch low.

Closest set up to what you have is probably my Garlatti road bike which has a 14-30 5 speed block and a 48/52 half step which gives me a 43 gear inch low and the bike climbs exceptionally well if you know how to shift the half step.

You can expand the range on your bike by changing the 5 speed narrow block to one that has a wider range and if you went with an x-28 freewheel I would look at upgrading to a 6 speed to add an extra step in the middle as the gaps will be rather large.

If you ever decide decide you don't want that crank I would love one of these as I like riding small wheeled bikes and they often run chain rings in excess of 55 teeth to give them the same gearing as their larger wheeled cousins.

My Moulden road bike has 17 inch wheels and will be running a 60 tooth chainwheel.
Sixty Fiver is offline  
Old 06-02-12, 08:55 PM
  #23  
Jseis 
Other Worldly Member
 
Jseis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: SW Washington state on the ocean!
Posts: 1,539

Bikes: 1973 Motobecane Grand Jubilee, 1981 Centurion Super LeMans, 2010 Gary Fisher Wahoo, 2003 Colnago Dream Lux, 2014 Giant Defy 1, 2015 Framed Bikes Minnesota 3.0, several older family Treks

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 189 Post(s)
Liked 75 Times in 31 Posts
Low on my Motebecane is 42-28 and the Colagno is at 39-26. On a 6% I try not to drop below a 60 rpm cadence, otherwise I am grinding at 50 rpm and that hurts my left knee and is really to slow a cadence. I figure by the middle of summer I'll be able to take a 6% at 70 rpm (8.2 mph) For miles with a higher goal of 85 rpm at 10 mph and over 300 watts). Doesn't sound like much but I'm 57 and 195 lbs...

This site is cool. https://www.machars.net/bikecalc.htm
__________________
Make Amerika Grate Cheese Again
Jseis is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
etsisk
Classic & Vintage
6
09-03-14 03:55 PM
aaronmichael
Road Cycling
14
07-25-13 06:55 PM
Mithrandir
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
23
07-07-11 11:28 AM
BLD25
Bicycle Mechanics
3
07-05-10 07:05 PM
Equinox
Bicycle Mechanics
5
03-14-10 03:02 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.