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What's the lowest Grannie gear for FC-6503 or FC-6603?

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What's the lowest Grannie gear for FC-6503 or FC-6603?

Old 02-10-15, 12:59 AM
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What's the lowest Grannie gear for FC-6503 or FC-6603?

OK I'm going to give this forum a shot. I didn't get one reply on my last post in Bicycle Mechanic!

It's OK, I'm a big boy n can take it!

So I looked Shimano's site and they state that for the 6603, it's 30 tooth. I assume I would find the same story for the 6503. Can I go lower than 30? What would be ideal for my rings would be 50/40/>30. Any feedback on this? I do have room for lower gears in the back, but I'm currently upgrading the front.

Holding out hope!
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Old 02-10-15, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by User1 View Post
OK I'm going to give this forum a shot. I didn't get one reply on my last post in Bicycle Mechanic!

It's OK, I'm a big boy n can take it!

So I looked Shimano's site and they state that for the 6603, it's 30 tooth. I assume I would find the same story for the 6503. Can I go lower than 30? What would be ideal for my rings would be 50/40/>30. Any feedback on this? I do have room for lower gears in the back, but I'm currently upgrading the front.

Holding out hope!
I have Ultegra/6000-series triples on several bikes prior to the current triple (well, if an Ultegra triple is still available -- the tandem forum has a good thread discussion on late-model Ultegra triples).

Yes, you can go lower on the smallest ring, but Shimano doesn't make the chainring. You will have to source a 28T or even a 26T ring from a third-party supplier. TA might be an option. I can't remember which ones I have used because I sourced them from a shop in Australia off the shelf.

Ensure you get the correct BCD and bolt number (five).
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Old 02-10-15, 05:46 AM
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On the 74mm BCD you can go down to a 24t ring. Make sure you don't exceed the range of your derailleurs in your quest for a lower gear

As Rowan says TA will have a ring for you, but it will cost......for a cheaper option look at Sugino.
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Old 02-10-15, 08:10 AM
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don't know how mechanically inclined you are, but a small heads up re the profile of a replacement ring. When I changed out the 30t granny on my FSA triple crank to a 26t whoknowswhatbrand I bought at a store, I found that the original 30t had a shape to it that had the inner part of the chainring slightly shaped "inwards" , so the actual cog area was out a bit from the "bolt area".

When I put the 'flat" new one, the whole chain ring was a bit too close to the middle chainring and therefore in the larger 3 or 4 cogs at the back, the chain rubbed against the mid chainring---solution--I added some regular household washers that just happened to be the right thickness (about 1mm I reckon) between the crank bolt holes and the new 26t chainring--solution solved easily.

You dont see the washers unless you look for them and it works perfectly fine.

just a heads up that you dont necessarily need the perfectly shaped chainring that could cost twice or three times a generic one

*caveat, perhaps this issue was just with the FSA chainrings and crank.
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Old 02-10-15, 04:36 PM
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@djb, yeah I'm fairly skilled mechanically speaking. I've put my current bike together myself and I'm pleased so far with results. What you described sounds doable.

Sounds like I really don't need to work at getting a high priced granny gear? If I could get some names or models of a fairly good quality gears, that would be most helpful.
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Old 02-10-15, 06:21 PM
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To be honest, when I've bought chain rings I've bought the ones that were the less expensive ones, so can't help you with brands. Granny gears tend to last longer if they are steel, not ALU, and as they are small, the diff in weight between an alu one that costs much much more than a steel one isn't much for a tourer, plus it lasts longer. Just visit a few stores and get your bolt pattern figured out, if not sure read up on googly eyes and you'll see what you need to know, also about removing your crank if you dont know. Cheers
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Old 02-10-15, 07:00 PM
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I run a 24 on my ultegra setup. No problem shifting between 24 and 39.
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Old 02-11-15, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by User1 View Post
@djb, yeah I'm fairly skilled mechanically speaking. I've put my current bike together myself and I'm pleased so far with results. What you described sounds doable.

Sounds like I really don't need to work at getting a high priced granny gear? If I could get some names or models of a fairly good quality gears, that would be most helpful.
As nun suggested, Sugino is probably the best bet. I think that's what mine was come to think of it.

Don't forget also that you might consider using a 36-11 cassette on the back if the 28, 26 or 24T ring options don't work out.

I differ just a little in opinion with djb on the aluminium small ring. To me, it is used so little that it it OK to go with alloy on that one, but definitely get a steel one on the middle. Again, the big one doesn't matter, but alloy certainly is OK. The middle ring is the one that get's the most use because if properly set up, it will cover all cassette cogs.
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Old 02-11-15, 06:41 AM
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Here's a bunch of options in 74mm BCD chainrings:

Universal Cycles -- Chainrings > Road Chainrings > All 74mm Chainrings
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Old 02-11-15, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
I differ just a little in opinion with djb on the aluminium small ring. To me, it is used so little that it it OK to go with alloy on that one, but definitely get a steel one on the middle. Again, the big one doesn't matter, but alloy certainly is OK. The middle ring is the one that get's the most use because if properly set up, it will cover all cassette cogs.
you know, I betcha you are right on this. I'd always read that the smaller one gets more force put on it or whatever, but as you say, in the big scheme of the life of a crankset, the middle chainring is the one that gets used probably 75% of the time.

In any case, because I don't ride in muddy wet conditions that much, or at least not day after day, and I like to keep my drivetrain clean, my chainrings last and last a long time. So I really can't personally attest to what I wrote, simply because whatever I have had lasts so long its not like I have kept track of how many kilometers on X ring.

I strongly suspect that chainring life is affected waaaaay more by how you maintain your drivetrain. I have friends who hardly ever clean and lube their chains, despite my proddings over the years--they just arent interested in taking the time. They'll use the same chain forever and ever, so chainring wear is in my opinion completely subjective to a bunch of factors.
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Old 02-11-15, 11:32 AM
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IDK FC numbers But the 64x4 Bolt MTB cranks seem to take a smaller 22t

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-11-15 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 02-11-15, 11:47 AM
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Both the 6503 and 6603 have 74mm small ring BCDs, so a 24T will bolt on either one.

I could go either way on the aluminum vs steel call. Depends on how much rain and/or gravel riding will be done.
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Old 02-11-15, 12:33 PM
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Still use the M730 110-74 I got in the 80's and got some Newer Campag 135-74 all 3 50-40-24
got 2 stainless steel 24t , that Stronglight Made .

the Old Shimano 74-24t has ears to be right down to the fixed Cup so chain wont get wrapped around the axle.
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Old 02-11-15, 05:06 PM
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I use a 24t Sugino as my granny ring (74mm), works great.
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Old 02-11-15, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Or you could spend more than 3x as much and get something French and shinny; the value for money is very debatable, but TA rings are very pretty and made from 7075 Aluminum rather than 2014 of the cheaper Sugino rings.

T.A. Specialites TA 74mm BCD Chainrings - Harris Cyclery bicycle shop - West Newton, Massachusetts

Or you could get ridiculous and go with a 74mm BCD 24t titanium ring for $60

https://www.actiontec.us/ti&steel.htm

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Old 02-11-15, 10:28 PM
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user1--you havent said what kind of riding you'll be doing, ie always unloaded or sometimes with more weight on the bike? How much does your bike weigh if its mostly ridden unloaded?
I ask because when I changed my granny to a 26 from the 30, it works great with a 12-27 on the rear if my bike is unloaded or lightly loaded. If more weight is going on the bike, I change it to a 11-32 and that covers it well with 30-40lbs on the bike.
I mention this because if you ride primarily unloaded, I wouldnt put the 24t on, a 26t would be better (imo) because the shift down to the 26 from the 40 won't be quite as big a drop as a 24. If you've ridden with a 30t granny before, you know the downshift from mid chainring (40 or 39) to the 30 granny is quite smooth, often just needing a one gear upshift at the rear (or none at all) but with the 26t, I tend to have to go up two gears.
I rode a bike with a 50/40/24 for years, and the 16tooth diff means you really do have to shift up 3 gears often at the back when you go into the granny--sure you get lower gears, and for touring thats ok, but I'd say the 26 might be nicer to live with for you.

do a gearing chart of a 30t vs a 26t vs a 24t and at least you'll see some gear inch numbers that will give you an idea of where they line up and what you'd expect going into the granny.

Oh, no mention of what fd you have, my Tiagra fd handled the drop from 30t to 26t with no issues, no adjustments required and works perfectly, but might not be the case of your fd.
and a chain catcher doohickey would be good too, they are cheap insurance from dropping a chain going to the granny with a now larger jump than before.
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Old 02-12-15, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
don't know how mechanically inclined you are, but a small heads up re the profile of a replacement ring. When I changed out the 30t granny on my FSA triple crank to a 26t whoknowswhatbrand I bought at a store, I found that the original 30t had a shape to it that had the inner part of the chainring slightly shaped "inwards" , so the actual cog area was out a bit from the "bolt area".

When I put the 'flat" new one, the whole chain ring was a bit too close to the middle chainring and therefore in the larger 3 or 4 cogs at the back, the chain rubbed against the mid chainring---solution--I added some regular household washers that just happened to be the right thickness (about 1mm I reckon) between the crank bolt holes and the new 26t chainring--solution solved easily.

You dont see the washers unless you look for them and it works perfectly fine.

just a heads up that you dont necessarily need the perfectly shaped chainring that could cost twice or three times a generic one

*caveat, perhaps this issue was just with the FSA chainrings and crank.
I had the same issue with my campy 9 speed crank. I solved it the same way you did.
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Old 02-12-15, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by dave42 View Post
I had the same issue with my campy 9 speed crank. I solved it the same way you did.
At the bike shop where I bought the chainring, I pulled the crank right there so saw the problem while still at the store, they fished around and found some really thin shim washers but they were rather expensive per unit, so told them I'd try what I had at home first.
Sure enough, right there in a household washer kit with varying sizes were ones that fit perfectly. There were enough for spares but used them on a friends bike to change her granny as the exact same clearance issue was there on her FSA crank too.

Its a good trick to know, cuz its such an easy change to get lower gearing, with the plus of options of cassettes for diff situations, rd depending of course.
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Old 02-12-15, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
At the bike shop where I bought the chainring, I pulled the crank right there so saw the problem while still at the store, they fished around and found some really thin shim washers but they were rather expensive per unit, so told them I'd try what I had at home first.
Sure enough, right there in a household washer kit with varying sizes were ones that fit perfectly. There were enough for spares but used them on a friends bike to change her granny as the exact same clearance issue was there on her FSA crank too.

Its a good trick to know, cuz its such an easy change to get lower gearing, with the plus of options of cassettes for diff situations, rd depending of course.
It is a good trick. The washers i used are the same as the one i keep for my drive side rear axle. It's spaced at 126, roughly(i spaced it), and a suntour 7sp freewheel fits. Shimano is iffy. Sachs-maillard requires that washer. Washers are great.

Thinking back, i'm almost certain that the new shimano freewheels require it for my axle. My thinking is if i'm out on the road and have to replace the freewheel, shimano, sunrace, or dnp will be the only new options. Probably shimano. The only fw i bought new, locally, was a shimano 7sp in recent years.

Most new freewheel hubs i've seen have come from the factory spaced at 130mm and labeled 5-6-7 speed.

I respaced and redished my current set.
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Old 02-12-15, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
user1--you havent said what kind of riding you'll be doing, ie always unloaded or sometimes with more weight on the bike? How much does your bike weigh if its mostly ridden unloaded?

Oh, no mention of what fd you have,
With me and the bike it is ~280# The bike is fit, me on the other hand, could use some help! I could see having over 300# loaded. This is a CX/lite camping bike. It's a Kona Jake the Snake frame and fork.

My fd is a triple Ultegra. I don't the model # offhand but could get it if needed.
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Old 02-12-15, 04:55 PM
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Re your ultegra FD , on this forum there is a fellow named barretsv and it from him that I saw it worked well to go to a 26t granny. His bikes have ultegra I'm fairly certain, and it worked fine for him. Can't vouch for a 24t but the diff that the top tooth is lower than a 26t must be very little.

Re your bike and you. The Jake the snake is a nice bike , and probably weighs under 30lbs, so that means you must weigh over 100lbs more than me--so in other words, go with the granny and cassette that works for you, and not what anyone else says.

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Old 02-12-15, 05:17 PM
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Double post
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Old 02-14-15, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Re your ultegra FD , on this forum there is a fellow named barretsv and it from him that I saw it worked well to go to a 26t granny. His bikes have ultegra I'm fairly certain, and it worked fine for him. Can't vouch for a 24t but the diff that the top tooth is lower than a 26t must be very little.

Re your bike and you. The Jake the snake is a nice bike , and probably weighs under 30lbs, so that means you must weigh over 100lbs more than me--so in other words, go with the granny and cassette that works for you, and not what anyone else says.
Hey djb,

Just eyeballing my clearance, looks like there's plenty of space to go down to even 24t. This clearance is eyeballed on a 30t right now. Not sure what I'll end up with, really just needed to know what my options are.

In regards to the Kona, I'm really happy with the handling and feel of the bike. I haven't done any camping with it yet, but I like that to be shooting for a light and minimal setup. The poor thing will be handling me all time! And at ~260#, I feel for her! BTW, the bike weight is 21.5# which aint bad! That's without any additional paraphernalia and with pedals.
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Old 02-14-15, 07:12 PM
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have you ridden with your wheels for a while? Spoke breakages? This is where you may likely have issues with added baggage weight on the bike. Something to think of beforehand because being a big guy, puts a hell of a lot more weight on the rear wheel especially compared to me.
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Old 02-14-15, 07:34 PM
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Another brand of small inner (74 bcd) chainrings is Salsa. I've used Salsas with Shimano Ultegra triples because they have been available at stores and work quite well. (Every one I have bought has been black, which I like.) You could put either Salsa or Sugino on one of my bikes and I wouldn't care. (I think all the Salsas I have are 28 teeth, but I bet they go down to 24.)

Ben
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