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  1. #1
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    Help my girlfriend climb hills! What cassette?

    My girlfriend is a novice biker who does mostly road riding and maybe a little light trail here and there. We were up in vermont this past weekend and she really struggled on some of the hills. She walked a lot.

    Her bike is a 1997 trek ZX6000shx. I upgraded her drive train over the winter to a 3x8 (from the original 3x7) with parts from one of my other bikes. She currently has a 42-32-22 in the front and a 11-28t cassette in the rear. Her rear derailler is a sram X5.

    She basically lives on the middle chainring when riding. No matter how hard it was for her to pedal, she would downshift in the rear and then come to a stop without dropping to the granny chainring.

    To help her out, my first thought (besides yelling at her to shift the front) was to get her an 11-36 cassette to give her more range in the rear, but found that the 8 speed only come in a 11-34t. I then looked into sunrace who makes an 8-speed 11-40t.

    Would the X5 rear derailleur work with the 40t cog?

    Do you think the 8-speed 11-40t would have too large of jumps between gears?

    Just looking for some advice from others who may have dealt with something similar.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    l thought only guys rode that way (since many have a macho thing about avoiding the granny gear).

    You might try to get her to shift into the granny ring at the beginning of the climb. It's much easier to shift the front when it is not under load.

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  3. #3
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    Dont worry about the jumps between gears. When you're pushing your bike up hills, the gear range between two gears is completely irrelevant.

    Get a 28t front chainring to go with that 40t cassette (it'll work fine with the x5), and ditch the front shifter and big/little cog.

    ... you can get a good 10 speed 26er for shockingly cheap these days. If you keep an eye out, you can score some crazy stuff, like a high end hardtail for a couple hundred bucks. It would be easier and maybe cheaper to start off with a bike thats already 10 speed. But really, the 26er deals these days are nuts.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by andytiedye View Post
    l thought only guys rode that way (since many have a macho thing about avoiding the granny gear).

    You might try to get her to shift into the granny ring at the beginning of the climb. It's much easier to shift the front when it is not under load.

    Sent from my SM-P900 using Tapatalk
    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Dont worry about the jumps between gears. When you're pushing your bike up hills, the gear range between two gears is completely irrelevant.

    Get a 28t front chainring to go with that 40t cassette (it'll work fine with the x5), and ditch the front shifter and big/little cog.
    I put my wife on 1x drivetrains forever ago. She has always had intuitive problems with shifting chainrings. She'd always forget about them, especially when she was pegged...and so she'd be trying to power up a long, steep climb in her big ring (on a 2x) and would cross-chain horribly on a 3x. 1x with the same available low gear ratio she had (but never used) on her other drivetrains was a godsend for her.

    So yeah, I agree to put a little chainring on her existing crank, and install the widest range cassette you can find, jumps between gears be-damned.

  5. #5
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    I don't think you'll be able to get that derailleur to work without modifications...you could make her a 1x and put a 26 tooth upfront in the small position along with the 34t rear cog.
    https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gear-calc.html

  6. #6
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by andytiedye View Post
    l thought only guys rode that way (since many have a macho thing about avoiding the granny gear).

    You might try to get her to shift into the granny ring at the beginning of the climb. It's much easier to shift the front when it is not under load.

    Sent from my SM-P900 using Tapatalk
    Ha...yeah....sounds simple doesn't it? I've tried that route. She just doesn't like shifting in the front. I've tried to get her to go 1x but she's concerned she might want to use those gears someday. And she doesn't thinks its worth the $ since she doesn't ride that much.

    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Dont worry about the jumps between gears. When you're pushing your bike up hills, the gear range between two gears is completely irrelevant.

    Get a 28t front chainring to go with that 40t cassette (it'll work fine with the x5), and ditch the front shifter and big/little cog.
    See above. I've been trying to get her to go 1x but she thinks I spend too much $$ on her bike as it is. Trying to go cheap as possible. Sounds like I should just go with the 11-40, then she can just use the middle chainring and be happy. It will drive me nuts knowing she's carrying the extra weight for no reason, but she certainly doesnt care.

    Maybe I'll just by the parts and change it while she's out of the house some day. She probably wouldn't even notice.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I put my wife on 1x drivetrains forever ago. She has always had intuitive problems with shifting chainrings. She'd always forget about them, especially when she was pegged...and so she'd be trying to power up a long, steep climb in her big ring (on a 2x) and would cross-chain horribly on a 3x. 1x with the same available low gear ratio she had (but never used) on her other drivetrains was a godsend for her.

    So yeah, I agree to put a little chainring on her existing crank, and install the widest range cassette you can find, jumps between gears be-damned.
    Thanks for the insight. Thats been my thought all along to simplify the shifting as much as possible for her.

    Quote Originally Posted by ElwoodT View Post
    I don't think you'll be able to get that derailleur to work without modifications...you could make her a 1x and put a 26 tooth upfront in the small position along with the 34t rear cog.
    https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gear-calc.html
    Good thought. Unfortunately she has the old 5-bolt 94 bcd crank, so I would have to go with the wolftooth NW which is $60, and be limited to 28, 30 or 32. I'll probably try the 11-40t and see if it works. I can always get a longer b-screw if needed.

  8. #8
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    Make my bike work better for me, but don't spend much or change anything. Doesn't sound like it's the bike that's the problem. Someone isn't as into the sport as another someone would like. Sorry.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vball_MTNBKR View Post
    Good thought. Unfortunately she has the old 5-bolt 94 bcd crank, so I would have to go with the wolftooth NW which is $60, and be limited to 28, 30 or 32. I'll probably try the 11-40t and see if it works. I can always get a longer b-screw if needed.
    Go that route, get her a 28t paired to a 11-42. You'll need a #4 30 or 35 mm b screw to make the rear mech reach the big cog. She'll be happy.

  10. #10
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    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  11. #11
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Attachment 1203450Attachment 1203451Help my girlfriend climb hills!  What cassette?-8591e6c31473949a468f8173986e907a.jpg

    Sorry, I just couldn't resist :P

    With my 32 Tooth chain ring I changed my cassette from a 11-42 to the 11-46T

    I got a few killer climbs only 1 or 2 tenths of a mile up but 22 to 24% or about a 13 degree rise.

    That change got me 50 feet farther up,,, small steps.
    Last edited by Osco; 4 Days Ago at 05:47 AM.
    “I seek only the Flow”,
    Climbing Is Supposed To Be Hard,
    Shut Up Legs :P

  12. #12
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    Oh my God. I hope somewhere on YouTube there is a compilation of terrible, awful, very strange crashes involving this device.Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    My GF is running a 2x10 with a 36/24 and a 11-40. You can pretty much climb walls with that setup.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Make my bike work better for me, but don't spend much or change anything. Doesn't sound like it's the bike that's the problem. Someone isn't as into the sport as another someone would like. Sorry.
    That's a bit harsh, , but noapathy has a point - you're kind of stuck if all your options are being blocked. Seems to me that 1X is the ideal fix here - no front shifting, loss of about 1lb of weight (can only help climbing) and costs $50 for a NW ring.

    I doubt she'll miss any of the high speed gears. Or, consider the tradeoff: spinout a bit at top speed, or continue to walk up hills.

  15. #15
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    you can probably find a newer crankset that you can use the 104 bcd chain ring for cheap.
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  16. #16
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    Thats ridiculous....and hilarious. I will not tell her about that because she would order it immediately.

    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    My GF is running a 2x10 with a 36/24 and a 11-40. You can pretty much climb walls with that setup.
    Thanks for the input. I would probably get her a 30t or 32t to go with the 11-40 cassette.

    Quote Originally Posted by phlegm View Post
    That's a bit harsh, , but noapathy has a point - you're kind of stuck if all your options are being blocked. Seems to me that 1X is the ideal fix here - no front shifting, loss of about 1lb of weight (can only help climbing) and costs $50 for a NW ring.

    I doubt she'll miss any of the high speed gears. Or, consider the tradeoff: spinout a bit at top speed, or continue to walk up hills.
    Noapathy is correct that she isnt into it as much as I am, but she does enjoy riding back roads and light trails. She would like to do more off road stuff, but her limitations on shifting range are holding her back on hills and uneven terrain. So a wider range cassette is where I'm starting and hopefully that will help her get going.

    She definitely won't miss the upper gears. I dont think she ever used the 3rd ring, and at the speeds she goes, she never will.

    Quote Originally Posted by blizzardpapa View Post
    you can probably find a newer crankset that you can use the 104 bcd chain ring for cheap.
    I've been keeping my eye out for that. But i'd either be spending $60 on the wolf tooth NW ring, or $30 on the crank and $30 on the 104 bcd chainring. So its about the same either way.

    New question......i noticed the wolf tooth rings for the 5 bolt 94 bcd say not to use with 8 or 9 speed chains:

    "For 1x9, 1x10, 1x11 and 1x12 drivetrains (including SRAM Eagle)
    Compatible with all 10, 11, and 12 speed chains (Including SRAM Eagle)
    If using a 9 speed drivetrain use a 10 speed chain (shifts and works well on a 9 speed drivetrain and fits the ring tighter for better chain retention)."


    I always thought the inside dimension of the different speed chains were the same, and just the outside dimension varied. Is that correct? If so, I dont see how the chain retention would be any different? Do you see any issues with using this ring with an 8-speed chain?

    Thanks for all the advice on this. I know i'm dealing with a pretty "unique" situation.

  17. #17
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    Just get an 11-34 . cassette and tell her to shift the front or walk! Honestly.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Just get an 11-34 . cassette and tell her to shift the front or walk! Honestly.
    Careful. Some will say you're being insensitive.

  19. #19
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    Put her chain on the little chainring up front. Then cut the shifter cable!

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    I saw a home made bicycle bungi that was just an old inner tube. A dad was helping his son climb and it worked well on the logging road but the system failed in twisty single track.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

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    pfft...minor conundrum. Wait till you have to replace an appliance after you're married, then you'll know what a real problem is

    I second the idea to putting the chain on the small ring and cutting the cable (just tell her it must have broke).

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Just get an 11-34 . cassette and tell her to shift the front or walk! Honestly.
    Ha!....That was going through my head, but I thought better and kept my mouth closed. I think that was a smart move on my part.

    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Careful. Some will say you're being insensitive.
    Hence why I kept my mouth shut. I know better We've talked about it since and she's determined to get out there more and get her legs strengthened up. That was her first time out this year, so she definitely wasnt conditioned for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Put her chain on the little chainring up front. Then cut the shifter cable!
    Quote Originally Posted by ASCTLC View Post
    pfft...minor conundrum. Wait till you have to replace an appliance after you're married, then you'll know what a real problem is

    I second the idea to putting the chain on the small ring and cutting the cable (just tell her it must have broke).
    Yeah, we've been together for a while and have been through appliance buying. She's not too picky with those things so its never really an issue.


    Back on topic though, I found a 104 bcd crank on ebay for $25 that will work perfectly with her current bottom bracket (i just replaced the BB a few weeks ago so I was hoping to reuse it). And I ordered a Deckas NW chainring for $17 which says it works with 8-speed chains. So for $42, she will be going 1x whether she likes it or not

    She knows the new cassette is coming, so when I install that I'll sneak on the crank and chainring, and remove the shifter and derailleur. We'll see how that goes over with her

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vball_MTNBKR View Post

    She knows the new cassette is coming, so when I install that I'll sneak on the crank and chainring, and remove the shifter and derailleur. We'll see how that goes over with her
    I like how you think

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vball_MTNBKR View Post
    ...

    Yeah, we've been together for a while and have been through appliance buying.

    ...
    In some cultures this is a marriage ceremony.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vball_MTNBKR View Post

    Yeah, we've been together for a while and have been through appliance buying. She's not too picky with those things so its never really an issue.
    The real test is that whether you guys can work as a team to put together a piece of IKEA furniture
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Just get an 11-34 . cassette and tell her to shift the front or walk! Honestly.
    Wot he said.
    Less isn't MOAR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Just get an 11-34 . cassette and tell her to shift the front or walk! Honestly.
    ^ This

    It's more ratio spread than the 1X ideas being tossed about.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Westy View Post
    ^ This

    It's more ratio spread than the 1X ideas being tossed about.
    OP's partner isn't shifting, so might as well move to 1X here.
    Last edited by phlegm; 4 Days Ago at 06:02 AM.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by phlegm View Post
    In some cultures this is a marriage ceremony.


    Quote Originally Posted by blizzardpapa View Post
    The real test is that whether you guys can work as a team to put together a piece of IKEA furniture
    We've done that too! We have 4 of the Malm dressers. Although it consisted of me putting it together, and her watching TV nearby in case I needed a 3rd or 4th hand momentarily. Worked pretty well!

    Quote Originally Posted by J_Westy View Post
    ^ This

    It's more ratio spread than the 1X ideas being tossed about.
    Quote Originally Posted by phlegm View Post
    OP mentions his partner not shifting.

    Suggests 1X an ideal scenario, not to mention weight and complexity improvements.

    11-34 cassette swap does not outweigh the range on a 28T plus choice of modern cassette, if indeed we're replacing the cassette now.

    Nothing tossed about.

    Yeah, its about both the gear ratios and the simplification of shifting. She typically used only the 3,4 and 5 rear cogs of her 11-28t 7 speeds previously (while on the 2nd chainring) because the chain would rub the front derailleur going outside of those gears. I recently switched her to a 8 speed with parts from my other bike but still only had a 11-28t cassette. For some reason she seemed to use more gears with the new setup, but still made comments about the noise from the chain hitting the derailleur.

    So I'm trying to make it as simple as possible and make her feel comfortable to use all of her gears. The 1x should accomplish that. I got all the parts for a 11-40t 1x for $63. Pretty light on the wallet for something that should help her a lot.

  30. #30
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    Yeah, what could possibly go wrong with that?
    One gear is all you need.

  31. #31
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    What 8 speed detailer shifts into a 40t cog? 10 speed only goes to 36 without aftermarket parts. ...that may be an ebike cassette. .

  32. #32
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    Just going to 34 from 28 in the rear will make a noticeable difference.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElwoodT View Post
    What 8 speed detailer shifts into a 40t cog? 10 speed only goes to 36 without aftermarket parts. ...that may be an ebike cassette. .
    I used a 10spd SRAM X9 with an 11-42 cassette with no extra parts. Shimano has a little less wiggle room.

    https://www.amazon.com/Sunrace-casse.../dp/B07257WK61

    This 11-40 8spd cassette mentions some sort of extender (I assume for the derailleur hanger) is included.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElwoodT View Post
    What 8 speed detailer shifts into a 40t cog? 10 speed only goes to 36 without aftermarket parts. ...that may be an ebike cassette. .
    The sram x5 on the bike is rated for a 36t cog. Im hoping that it will work with the 40t. I would think worst case i would need an extended b screw. If that doest work, ill look at an extender.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I used a 10spd SRAM X9 with an 11-42 cassette with no extra parts. Shimano has a little less wiggle room.

    https://www.amazon.com/Sunrace-casse.../dp/B07257WK61

    This 11-40 8spd cassette mentions some sort of extender (I assume for the derailleur hanger) is included.
    Good to know. I got it in the mail yesterday, but didnt look to see if it came with the extender. Would be nice if it did.

    I mentioned to her this morning that i found some parts really cheap to switch her to a 1x, and she initially said "but i dont want to go 1x". I explained to her that i think it will help her by simplifying the shifting without sacrificing range and i think she came around a bit. Ill post back once i have a chance to do the work and she takes it out for a ride.

    Thanks again for all the help and advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vball_MTNBKR View Post
    The sram x5 on the bike is rated for a 36t cog. Im hoping that it will work with the 40t. I would think worst case i would need an extended b screw. If that doest work, ill look at an extender.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vball_MTNBKR View Post
    I mentioned to her this morning that i found some parts really cheap to switch her to a 1x, and she initially said "but i dont want to go 1x". I explained to her that i think it will help her by simplifying the shifting without sacrificing range and i think she came around a bit. Ill post back once i have a chance to do the work and she takes it out for a ride.

    Thanks again for all the help and advice.
    You said it wrong. You should have just said you found parts to give her better climbing gears and left it at that. If she really never shifts the front, I'd bet she wouldn't even notice.

    You COULD have responded with (and I definitely would have), "you basically ride your bike as a 1x right now, anyway" though depending on how she is, that may not have gone over terribly well.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Just get an 11-34 . cassette and tell her to shift the front or walk! Honestly.

    I'm glad someone else on here has some common sense. For that level of bike and age of bike, there is nothing wrong with keeping it 3x up front and doing 11-34t in back. Don't try to turn water into wine.

    Speaking of which, I got a 9-speed Alivio rear derailleur to see if it could shift to 11-40t for an 8-speed cassette, and so far it's been a complete failure. I'm taking it to the LBS today, see if they can tune it right. Something is catching on the chain, can't tell if it's the pulley wheels or some other area that's causing the problem. It's bad in basically every gear, tried everything. The 9-speed rear derailleurs are weird compared with 8-speed; I mounted it in few different positions and nothing helps. 8-speed is easy to mount and tune, 9-speed looks really weird, the shift cable, b-screw, etc. seems like it's in the wrong angle. I would take a picture but it's going to the LBS anyway. Supposedly that 9-speed long-cage derailleurs can do 11-40t, we'll see in a few days.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I'm glad someone else on here has some common sense. For that level of bike and age of bike, there is nothing wrong with keeping it 3x up front and doing 11-34t in back. Don't try to turn water into wine.

    Speaking of which, I got a 9-speed Alivio rear derailleur to see if it could shift to 11-40t for an 8-speed cassette, and so far it's been a complete failure. I'm taking it to the LBS today, see if they can tune it right. Something is catching on the chain, can't tell if it's the pulley wheels or some other area that's causing the problem. It's bad in basically every gear, tried everything. The 9-speed rear derailleurs are weird compared with 8-speed; I mounted it in few different positions and nothing helps. 8-speed is easy to mount and tune, 9-speed looks really weird, the shift cable, b-screw, etc. seems like it's in the wrong angle. I would take a picture but it's going to the LBS anyway. Supposedly that 9-speed long-cage derailleurs can do 11-40t, we'll see in a few days.
    Max sprocket is 36T, assuming you have the M4000. Sometimes that specification is pessimistic, but if you're struggling, could be something to check.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I'm glad someone else on here has some common sense. For that level of bike and age of bike, there is nothing wrong with keeping it 3x up front and doing 11-34t in back.
    A triple and 11/34 will climb anything. Dumping more money into it won't make it climb any better and is a waste of time. Word of warning, if you pander to every mad whim your girlfriend dreams up you'll be doing it forever.

  39. #39
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Op, I'm going, 'Off The Wall' on you, some things to ponder.

    To your Girlfriend, How bad do you want It? Are you willing to really work for it because by now you should know the answer Is most likely not In the gears you choose. It's your engines, Its you.

    Look at your diet, what you eat, how much and when, proper fuel will help.
    Revisit your hydration plan, again how much and when, The water you drink today will help you tomorrow.
    Get a urine color chart, take It Into the bathroom and check.
    Hydration Is very very Important.
    How Is your climbing technique ? might be time for a skills class.
    Climbing Is going to hurt, It's suppose to, It's an addictive pain trust me.

    Next time your pushing up a climb and cannot turn the pedals one more revolution, when you must stop, dismount and take It to the next level.

    Pick the bike up and get It on your shoulder and try your dead level best to run up that hill.

    Or Pick a mean one and spend everything you got on that one climb, I mean all you had In you for the entire ride !

    Own that hill or go home.
    If you go home come back the next time and go right back to that hill.
    Let It be your gate at the trail head, you simply ride that hill over and over and ride no farther, until the day you make the peak :P

    If you decide to work at this, get a roller, they help with the cramps
    End each ride with a cup of rice asap and re hydrate, rice is full of water.
    Eat pasta for breakfast, before the ride,
    Stretch only warmed up muscles and remember to stretch down at rides end.

    Do this three times a week and make It your number one priority to get Inside the hurt locker and learn to love it there :P
    Last edited by Osco; 2 Days Ago at 01:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I mounted it in few different positions and nothing helps.
    What the what does this even mean? There's only one correct RD "mounting position". If you're finding more than one place to put the RD, that could be your problem.

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    I wouldn't bother doing any upgrades to a 21 year old bike. You could probably pick up a secondhand bargain that's an all round better bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Make my bike work better for me, but don't spend much or change anything. Doesn't sound like it's the bike that's the problem. Someone isn't as into the sport as another someone would like. Sorry.
    Let’s not forget the sexist title either. That will help too.

    If the OP wants his girlfriend to climb better, maybe he shouldn’t give her a 21 year old POS to ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I'm glad someone else on here has some common sense. For that level of bike and age of bike, there is nothing wrong with keeping it 3x up front and doing 11-34t in back. Don't try to turn water into wine.

    Speaking of which, I got a 9-speed Alivio rear derailleur to see if it could shift to 11-40t for an 8-speed cassette, and so far it's been a complete failure. I'm taking it to the LBS today, see if they can tune it right. Something is catching on the chain, can't tell if it's the pulley wheels or some other area that's causing the problem. It's bad in basically every gear, tried everything. The 9-speed rear derailleurs are weird compared with 8-speed; I mounted it in few different positions and nothing helps. 8-speed is easy to mount and tune, 9-speed looks really weird, the shift cable, b-screw, etc. seems like it's in the wrong angle. I would take a picture but it's going to the LBS anyway. Supposedly that 9-speed long-cage derailleurs can do 11-40t, we'll see in a few days.
    There is no such thing as a "9 speed" or "8 speed" derailleur.
    Number of gears is determined by the shifter; derailleur doesn't care.

    If you like whatever you're calling an "8 speed" derailleur better, there's no reason you can't use it instead of the "9 speed" one (as long as you're not mixing and matching actuation ratios).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    You said it wrong. You should have just said you found parts to give her better climbing gears and left it at that. If she really never shifts the front, I'd bet she wouldn't even notice.

    You COULD have responded with (and I definitely would have), "you basically ride your bike as a 1x right now, anyway" though depending on how she is, that may not have gone over terribly well.
    Good points!

    She seems ok with trying it out now (after she rolled her eyes, of course) so I think its all good. She knows i like tinkering with bikes so she's ok with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I'm glad someone else on here has some common sense. For that level of bike and age of bike, there is nothing wrong with keeping it 3x up front and doing 11-34t in back. Don't try to turn water into wine.

    Speaking of which, I got a 9-speed Alivio rear derailleur to see if it could shift to 11-40t for an 8-speed cassette, and so far it's been a complete failure. I'm taking it to the LBS today, see if they can tune it right. Something is catching on the chain, can't tell if it's the pulley wheels or some other area that's causing the problem. It's bad in basically every gear, tried everything. The 9-speed rear derailleurs are weird compared with 8-speed; I mounted it in few different positions and nothing helps. 8-speed is easy to mount and tune, 9-speed looks really weird, the shift cable, b-screw, etc. seems like it's in the wrong angle. I would take a picture but it's going to the LBS anyway. Supposedly that 9-speed long-cage derailleurs can do 11-40t, we'll see in a few days.
    I understand about the age of the bike. For an upgrade thats costing $60, i think it could make a big difference for her and I think its worth it. I doubt we could find a used bike in that price range that would get her a 1x drivetrain which seems right up her alley.

    Sorry to hear you're having problems with the alivio derailleur. Good luck getting it sorted out. I've read that shimano RD's are a little tighter with the max cog recommendations, so hopefully the X5 on her bike will work. I'll post back once I the parts and have time to install them and let you know how I made out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    A triple and 11/34 will climb anything. Dumping more money into it won't make it climb any better and is a waste of time. Word of warning, if you pander to every mad whim your girlfriend dreams up you'll be doing it forever.
    Agreed that if all 3 chainrings are used, it can climb anything. Unfortunately, she hates shifting in the front, so only 1 of the rings gets used. And this is really my whim....not hers. She's was fine with the bike as is because she doesnt know much about drivetrains or working on bikes. I'm the one trying to help her enjoy her rides more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Osco View Post
    Op, I'm going, 'Off The Wall' on you, some things to ponder.

    To your Girlfriend, How bad do you want It? Are you willing to really work for it because by now you should know the answer Is most likely not In the gears you choose. It's your engines, Its you.
    Thanks for the in depth post. A lot of good thoughts and info. To answer the question about how bad she wants it, unfortunately the answer is probably not too much. She mainly likes cruising around the local neighborhoods, and only really goes "off road" on smooth dirt trails along the river here. She really is a leisurely rider and doesn't have much desire to compare her urine color or go training on hills. The most she will probably do it try to get out more (once or twice a week) to get her legs in a little better shape.

    Based on your response, I realized omitted from my original post that the hills she had trouble with were paved roads in the campground we were staying at. They were steep and quite long, but I did just fine on my bike with a 44t ring and 34t cog in the rear (converted commuter bike).

    Quote Originally Posted by stripes View Post
    Let’s not forget the sexist title either. That will help too.

    If the OP wants his girlfriend to climb better, maybe he shouldn’t give her a 21 year old POS to ride.
    Whats sexist about the title? My girlfriend had trouble climbing hills and I'm trying to help her. Pretty much a factual title. If you found something sexist about it, or if I'm misunderstanding what you were referring to, please enlighten me.

    I didn't give her anything. Its her bike that she bought 21 years ago and she as zero interest in getting a new one (or new used one) at this point. Its more than adequate for what she does or what she wants to do on a bike right now. As I said, she normally just rides around on the local neighborhood streets or smooth dirt/gravel paths. If the 1x works out for her and she feels more comfortable with shifting, then I might take her to a place that has a lot of green trails for her to try out. She has expressed interest in that, so if we get that far and if she enjoys it, then we'll approach the conversation of getting a new bike.

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    Having a girlfriend IS sexist in itself these days, haven't you heard?

    Unless you're also a girl of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vball_MTNBKR View Post
    Agreed that if all 3 chainrings are used, it can climb anything. Unfortunately, she hates shifting in the front, so only 1 of the rings gets used.
    Well rebuilding the bike to accommodate her obstinance still isn't a good idea. Even if you do like messing with bikes, you're only encouraging her to think she doesn't have to change her habits, the world will change to suit her. Tell her to learn to use the perfectly good gears the bike already has or walk.

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    If you want to save your marriage, save your sanity, you need to go 1x. It's hard for some people to comprehend front derailleurs. Besides 1x is the in-thing, what everybody else is doing, it's affordable, it's beautiful, it's simple, it's awesome, blah blah.

    My wife is like your wife, I got her 1x. She rides now. She didn't before.

    Price it out, it’s worth the investment. Get a SRAM NX 11-42T cassette, a SRAM NX derailleur/shifter, and NX cranks. You’ll be under $200 if you buy new and it will make your rides so much lovelier. NX works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sissypants View Post
    If you want to save your marriage, save your sanity, you need to go 1x. It's hard for some people to comprehend front derailleurs. Besides 1x is the in-thing, what everybody else is doing, it's affordable, it's beautiful, it's simple, it's awesome, blah blah.

    My wife is like your wife, I got her 1x. She rides now. She didn't before.

    Price it out, it’s worth the investment. Get a SRAM NX 11-42T cassette, a SRAM NX derailleur/shifter, and NX cranks. You’ll be under $200 if you buy new and it will make your rides so much lovelier. NX works.
    Or have an honest, open conversation about why she insists on not changing her behavior when things aren't working? Now that might actually be hard if it's the first time.

    Side note, front shifting isn't hard unless you're just that lazy.

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    Front shifting can be hard, because to keep your cadence constant you need to shift front and several times in the rear simultaneously. Complicated stuff, I sympathize.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Well rebuilding the bike to accommodate her obstinance still isn't a good idea. Even if you do like messing with bikes, you're only encouraging her to think she doesn't have to change her habits, the world will change to suit her. Tell her to learn to use the perfectly good gears the bike already has or walk.
    This is a great way to ensure that the OP will never have his girlfriend as a biking partner. She's not a kid that needs to learn the ways of the world, she's an adult woman who wants an easier way to ride her bike. If my husband took this attitude with me I'd tell him where to stick it!

    Anyone claiming that she is lazy for not wanting to use the front derailleur has obviously never known someone who has trouble with mechanical coordination. This affects people young and old of both genders. It's easy to sit on your high horse (bike?) and preach when you can't comprehend what the other person is having trouble with, but it's exactly zthe same as trying to teach a someone who isn't tech savvy to use their smart phone. We've all been there... a little empathy goes a long way.

    Switch her to a 1x first, and if she likes it and wants to ride more for heaven's sake get her a bike that doesn't suck. Or maybe find some free demos somewhere so she can have a go on a really nice bike and see how much more enjoyable it is to ride current technology.

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    Yes, thank you. This is why I wound up switching my wife to 1x. No amount of telling her to shift her chainrings was going to get her to actually shift her chainrings. She was thinking about enough as it was, with body position, pedal position, pedaling effort, where to look, plus her own anxiety over the terrain. I wanted her to enjoy riding, and enjoy riding with me most importantly. being "right" is not worth her refusing to ride anymore.

    I eliminated 1 thing for her to think about, and it definitely made a difference. She actually wound up using more of her gear range because it was finally intuitive for her. My wife is no dummy. She is a doctor. But she lacks a level of mechanical intuition, so I deal with most mechanical things around the house. She ALWAYS appreciates when I make mechanical or electronic things simpler to use. And I will gladly do that if it means she will use something she wouldn't before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vball_MTNBKR View Post
    Whats sexist about the title? My girlfriend had trouble climbing hills and I'm trying to help her. Pretty much a factual title. If you found something sexist about it, or if I'm misunderstanding what you were referring to, please enlighten me.

    I didn't give her anything. Its her bike that she bought 21 years ago and she as zero interest in getting a new one (or new used one) at this point. Its more than adequate for what she does or what she wants to do on a bike right now. As I said, she normally just rides around on the local neighborhood streets or smooth dirt/gravel paths. If the 1x works out for her and she feels more comfortable with shifting, then I might take her to a place that has a lot of green trails for her to try out. She has expressed interest in that, so if we get that far and if she enjoys it, then we'll approach the conversation of getting a new bike.
    Ok, reverse the title:
    "Help my boyfriend climb hills.."

    It still doesn't sound very complimentary. It doesn't matter whether it's a male or female, it makes the person you asking about sound weak, and that rubs people wrong. It's not clear if this is a technical issue or a relationship thing.

    So if she doesn't want to ride, why force her?

    If you want her to enjoy riding, take some time to get her over to an LBS and get her a decent bike to demo. Then if she enjoys it, that would a good time to see what to do.

    Over the years, I've seen a lot of guys on really nice bikes with their female counterparts on crap. That would make anyone climb like crap if you're riding something that hasn't been touched in years compared to the new hotness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stripes View Post
    Ok, reverse the title:
    "Help my boyfriend climb hills.."
    I see absolutely nothing wrong there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I see absolutely nothing wrong there.
    Ok then. Carry on
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    Quote Originally Posted by sito40 View Post
    You guys should chill out. Take some weeds!

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    Quote Originally Posted by stripes View Post
    Ok then. Carry on
    Thanks, will do.

    Actually hoping I see a thread started by my wife someday entitled "What bike can I buy for my slow-ass husband to make him faster".
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Thanks, will do.

    Actually hoping I see a thread started by my wife someday entitled "What bike can I buy for my slow-ass husband to make him faster".
    LOL that would be awesome. Maybe I was having a sensitive moment when I read the thread initially.

    I wish I could get my husband on his bike more. Oddly enough, it’s easier to get him on the DH bike than a trail bike lately, and that works well for me this time of year
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    Quote Originally Posted by stripes View Post
    LOL that would be awesome. Maybe I was having a sensitive moment when I read the thread initially.

    I wish I could get my husband on his bike more. Oddly enough, it’s easier to get him on the DH bike than a trail bike lately, and that works well for me this time of year
    I think the OP's question was fine.
    Some of the responses...meh...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mahgnillig View Post
    This is a great way to ensure that the OP will never have a girlfriend.
    fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Well rebuilding the bike to accommodate her obstinance still isn't a good idea. Even if you do like messing with bikes, you're only encouraging her to think she doesn't have to change her habits, the world will change to suit her. Tell her to learn to use the perfectly good gears the bike already has or walk.
    Help my girlfriend climb hills!  What cassette?-mansplain.jpg
    "just sit right there, little lady, while Mr. Pig asplains front derailleurs to you."
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    Quote Originally Posted by sissypants View Post
    If you want to save your marriage, save your sanity, you need to go 1x. It's hard for some people to comprehend front derailleurs. Besides 1x is the in-thing, what everybody else is doing, it's affordable, it's beautiful, it's simple, it's awesome, blah blah.

    My wife is like your wife, I got her 1x. She rides now. She didn't before.

    Price it out, it’s worth the investment. Get a SRAM NX 11-42T cassette, a SRAM NX derailleur/shifter, and NX cranks. You’ll be under $200 if you buy new and it will make your rides so much lovelier. NX works.
    Thanks for the input! I got the parts to go 1x for ~$60. I'll post back once I get them installed and she get a little riding in.

    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Or have an honest, open conversation about why she insists on not changing her behavior when things aren't working? Now that might actually be hard if it's the first time.

    Side note, front shifting isn't hard unless you're just that lazy.
    I know this....i've ridden 3x8 or 3x9 for many, many years. I didnt have a problem with it, although I did switch mine to 1x11 recently. Still havent taken it out for a ride yet, but cant wait to try it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by stripes View Post
    Ok, reverse the title:
    "Help my boyfriend climb hills.."

    It still doesn't sound very complimentary. It doesn't matter whether it's a male or female, it makes the person you asking about sound weak, and that rubs people wrong. It's not clear if this is a technical issue or a relationship thing.

    So if she doesn't want to ride, why force her?

    If you want her to enjoy riding, take some time to get her over to an LBS and get her a decent bike to demo. Then if she enjoys it, that would a good time to see what to do.

    Over the years, I've seen a lot of guys on really nice bikes with their female counterparts on crap. That would make anyone climb like crap if you're riding something that hasn't been touched in years compared to the new hotness.
    I have no problem with reversing the title. If my gf posted that about me having trouble climbing hills, i would be happy she is trying to help me out and putting in the effort to spend a few bucks and make some changes to my bike. Perhaps I'm a little biased in my thinking here, but thats really how I think I would feel.

    I'm not forcing anything. She likes going for rides which is why we brought our bikes to VT initially. She hit some hilly roads that she wasnt used to, and had trouble making it up. She didnt complain, she just walked and was out of breath. I'm trying to make a small, inexpensive change to her bike to help her in those situations. The more hills she climbs, the more accomplished she'll feel, and the more she'll want to go. As I said before, if we get to the point where we are starting to do some easy mountain biking trails, I'll approach her with the idea of a new bike. But until then, SHE is the one against spending the $$ on something newer.

    Her bike performs flawlessly for what she uses it for. I've replaced/upgraded a lot of parts and keep up on the maintenance so everything works exactly as it should.

    I do think you misunderstood my purpose here. I am genuinely trying to help her out by simplify things so she can enjoy riding more and focus on other things. See mahgnillig's and Harold's posts, they do a better job of explaining what I meant to say originally. Being an engineer, writing is not my forte

    Quote Originally Posted by mahgnillig View Post
    This is a great way to ensure that the OP will never have his girlfriend as a biking partner. She's not a kid that needs to learn the ways of the world, she's an adult woman who wants an easier way to ride her bike. If my husband took this attitude with me I'd tell him where to stick it!

    Anyone claiming that she is lazy for not wanting to use the front derailleur has obviously never known someone who has trouble with mechanical coordination. This affects people young and old of both genders. It's easy to sit on your high horse (bike?) and preach when you can't comprehend what the other person is having trouble with, but it's exactly zthe same as trying to teach a someone who isn't tech savvy to use their smart phone. We've all been there... a little empathy goes a long way.

    Switch her to a 1x first, and if she likes it and wants to ride more for heaven's sake get her a bike that doesn't suck. Or maybe find some free demos somewhere so she can have a go on a really nice bike and see how much more enjoyable it is to ride current technology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Yes, thank you. This is why I wound up switching my wife to 1x. No amount of telling her to shift her chainrings was going to get her to actually shift her chainrings. She was thinking about enough as it was, with body position, pedal position, pedaling effort, where to look, plus her own anxiety over the terrain. I wanted her to enjoy riding, and enjoy riding with me most importantly. being "right" is not worth her refusing to ride anymore.

    I eliminated 1 thing for her to think about, and it definitely made a difference. She actually wound up using more of her gear range because it was finally intuitive for her. My wife is no dummy. She is a doctor. But she lacks a level of mechanical intuition, so I deal with most mechanical things around the house. She ALWAYS appreciates when I make mechanical or electronic things simpler to use. And I will gladly do that if it means she will use something she wouldn't before.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
    Thank you mahgnillig and Harold for helping put into words what I am trying to do. You two hit it right on the head!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mahgnillig View Post
    This is a great way to ensure that the OP will never have his girlfriend as a biking partner. She's not a kid that needs to learn the ways of the world, she's an adult woman who wants an easier way to ride her bike. If my husband took this attitude with me I'd tell him where to stick it!

    Anyone claiming that she is lazy for not wanting to use the front derailleur has obviously never known someone who has trouble with mechanical coordination. This affects people young and old of both genders. It's easy to sit on your high horse (bike?) and preach when you can't comprehend what the other person is having trouble with, but it's exactly zthe same as trying to teach a someone who isn't tech savvy to use their smart phone. We've all been there... a little empathy goes a long way.

    Switch her to a 1x first, and if she likes it and wants to ride more for heaven's sake get her a bike that doesn't suck. Or maybe find some free demos somewhere so she can have a go on a really nice bike and see how much more enjoyable it is to ride current technology.
    She'll never ride? A bit dramatic, no?

    OK, for illustration purposes:

    I drive a manual transmission vehicle. It took me a while to learn including the obligatory bucking and killing the engine more than once and ensuing embarrassment.

    The thing is, once I got the hang of it it BECAME easy. Was it instant gratification? Nope. Was the short time and effort required to learn worth it? Absolutely! Did I think it was easy? In the beginning, no. Now that I've been at it a while...it's really no big deal. So, yes. I do think sometimes people shouldn't have every whim catered to, especially when finances are considered. Sometimes starting something new and learning takes time and effort (and a few mistakes), but putting that work in always pays dividends.

    If she can't handle riding the trail and shifting at the same time, do what every teenager does when learning how to drive. Head to an empty parking lot and practice. Who knows? It might even be fun.

    And OP, yeah...a 20 year old bike? C'mon!

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    Maybe the OP Is ashamed that he cannot climb that hill.
    Maybe he made up the Girlfriend story to save face :P
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    Shut Up Legs :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Osco View Post
    Maybe the OP Is ashamed that he cannot climb that hill.
    Maybe he made up the Girlfriend story to save face :P
    Now that would be sexist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    She'll never ride? A bit dramatic, no?

    OK, for illustration purposes:

    I drive a manual transmission vehicle. It took me a while to learn including the obligatory bucking and killing the engine more than once and ensuing embarrassment.

    The thing is, once I got the hang of it it BECAME easy. Was it instant gratification? Nope. Was the short time and effort required to learn worth it? Absolutely! Did I think it was easy? In the beginning, no. Now that I've been at it a while...it's really no big deal. So, yes. I do think sometimes people shouldn't have every whim catered to, especially when finances are considered. Sometimes starting something new and learning takes time and effort (and a few mistakes), but putting that work in always pays dividends.

    If she can't handle riding the trail and shifting at the same time, do what every teenager does when learning how to drive. Head to an empty parking lot and practice. Who knows? It might even be fun.

    And OP, yeah...a 20 year old bike? C'mon!
    I understand that. But if you have no desire to learn to drive a stick, you would just drive an automatic. To turn the tables, most kids learning to drive learn on an automatic so they can focus on the gas, brake, staying in their lane, changing lanes, etc. without having to worry about the clutch and shifting. Once they learn the basics of driving, then they might try a manual.

    Quote Originally Posted by Osco View Post
    Maybe the OP Is ashamed that he cannot climb that hill.
    Maybe he made up the Girlfriend story to save face :P
    Ha....no. Just no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vball_MTNBKR View Post
    I understand that. But if you have no desire to learn to drive a stick, you would just drive an automatic. To turn the tables, most kids learning to drive learn on an automatic so they can focus on the gas, brake, staying in their lane, changing lanes, etc. without having to worry about the clutch and shifting. Once they learn the basics of driving, then they might try a manual.
    *sigh*

    I'll await your e-bike thread...

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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    *sigh*

    I'll await your e-bike thread...
    Last edited by Vball_MTNBKR; 12 Hours Ago at 05:57 AM.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vball_MTNBKR View Post
    To turn the tables, most kids learning to drive learn on an automatic so they can focus on the gas, brake, staying in their lane, changing lanes, etc. without having to worry about the clutch and shifting. Once they learn the basics of driving, then they might try a manual.
    Not in the UK they don't. Virtually everyone learns to drive a manual. I don't think it's due to stupidity on the part of Americans, just laziness.

    Our driving environment is more demanding than the typical American one. The roads are narrower and have more bends and hills. Signage is smaller. A lot of Americans struggle to drive here, even with an automatic, yet we learn on a 'stick' just fine. The idea that it's too difficult for a young person to learn how to use a manual gearbox at the same time as learning the driving environment is pathetic. It's just laziness, which is exactly why your girlfriend can't use the gears on her bike properly. There is nothing wrong with the bike, she's just spoiled and can't be bothered putting any effort in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Not in the UK they don't. Virtually everyone learns to drive a manual. I don't think it's due to stupidity on the part of Americans, just laziness.

    Our driving environment is more demanding than the typical American one. The roads are narrower and have more bends and hills. Signage is smaller. A lot of Americans struggle to drive here, even with an automatic, yet we learn on a 'stick' just fine. The idea that it's too difficult for a young person to learn how to use a manual gearbox at the same time as learning the driving environment is pathetic. It's just laziness, which is exactly why your girlfriend can't use the gears on her bike properly. There is nothing wrong with the bike, she's just spoiled and can't be bothered putting any effort in.
    Not laziness. Driver's ed courses have been teaching on autos for a very long time. Mine did. Only reason I learned a manual was because my father taught me. I drive one now, but if I had never learned early, I would just drive autos. Though I still wouldn't be able to get away with not knowing how to drive one doing what I do for a living.

    Other people don't have that pressure, and so many US cars aren't even available in MT versions anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Not in the UK they don't. Virtually everyone learns to drive a manual. I don't think it's due to stupidity on the part of Americans, just laziness.

    Our driving environment is more demanding than the typical American one. The roads are narrower and have more bends and hills. Signage is smaller. A lot of Americans struggle to drive here, even with an automatic, yet we learn on a 'stick' just fine. The idea that it's too difficult for a young person to learn how to use a manual gearbox at the same time as learning the driving environment is pathetic. It's just laziness, which is exactly why your girlfriend can't use the gears on her bike properly. There is nothing wrong with the bike, she's just spoiled and can't be bothered putting any effort in.
    Not laziness.....availability. Only ~3% of cars sold in the US are manuals now. Personally I hate that because i really like driving manuals (and yes, I learned on a manual...an '87 dodge caravan manual )

    Unfortunately the manual transmission is becoming obsolete since the newer automatics and CVTs are just as efficient and reliable as manuals. Similar to the 3x drivetrain; the newer 1x "techology" creates a simpler, lighter system with a similar range. If a 1x system is available, why bother learn to shift front gears? Especially since its only costing me what most here would spend on a single tire.

    Me personally.......I learned on a manual and grew up riding 3x's until recently because 1) its what was available when I learned to drive an ride and 2) I was interesting and wanted to learn those things at that time. But I realize not everyone is like that. Some people (like my girlfriend) just want to ride leisurely and don't have the time or desire these days to learn shifting a front derailleur (she does own and drive a manual though ). This is something some people here need to understand. Not everyone wants to be the next Sam Hill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vball_MTNBKR View Post
    Not laziness.....availability. Only ~3% of cars sold in the US are manuals now. Personally I hate that because i really like driving manuals (and yes, I learned on a manual...an '87 dodge caravan manual )

    Unfortunately the manual transmission is becoming obsolete since the newer automatics and CVTs are just as efficient and reliable as manuals. Similar to the 3x drivetrain; the newer 1x "techology" creates a simpler, lighter system with a similar range. If a 1x system is available, why bother learn to shift front gears? Especially since its only costing me what most here would spend on a single tire.
    Exactly. There really is no reason to drive a manual other than you happen to prefer to drive a manual. And even then, a lot depends on what your daily driving consists of. If someone spends a fair amount of time in stop and go highway driving, it's more of a PIA than anything else IME/O.

    And FWIW, I own a couple 6 speed MT cars and everyone in my house knows how to drive them (my son has been able to drive a stick since he was 12 and my wife is no stranger to dropping the clutch and lighting them up once in awhile either.)

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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vball_MTNBKR View Post
    Not everyone wants to be the next Sam Hill.
    Nope, but they sure do like to pretend to be him on the internet.
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  72. #72
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    Jeez, you should make her learn to ride on a rigid mountain bike with rat trap pedals and a Sugino triple crank with friction shifters, by god that's how I had to do it. Also install 1.9" tires so she can learn better lines and technique. If the girlfriend can't hack it then I guess she just wasn't cut out for the sport




    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Our driving environment is more demanding than the typical American one.

    I learned to drive in New Jersey with a manual transmission, I doubt there's anywhere in the UK that would give me any trouble.
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vball_MTNBKR View Post
    Not laziness.....availability. Only ~3% of cars sold in the US are manuals now.
    You've got that backwards. The reason all the cars are auto is that's what buyers want. If everyone wanted manual cars the manufacturers would supply them. They have no difficulty in building manual cars for the UK and European markets.

    The fact that autos are fairly efficient these days is also irrelevant. Americans wanted autos when they were crap! They've always wanted them, because they want to just sit there with one hand on the wheel and a beer in the other. They don't care about how efficient the car is and never have.

    I'm sorry but not wanting to learn how to use a front derailleur is laziness, it just is. Fair enough if she was buying a new bike and could choose a X1 but for decades every mountain bike sold had a front derailleur and no one complained. I would say that if she is that disinterested that she can't learn to use the two levers required then mountain biking probably isn't for her. It'll just be one insurmountable problem after the other, from rocks on the trail to dust in her eyes and bugs in her clothes. It's just going to be a miserable time for both of you. Personally, if you want to enjoy an outdoor life, I'd be thinking about a new girlfriend!

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    Let's see some pics of your bike Pig.

    I'm sure we'll all have no problem pointing out a number of things that prove you're too lazy and uncoordinated to be an actual mountain biker.

    Maybe some examples of all the great Welsh car companies while your at it.

    Frigging internet wannabe-experts suck.
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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Not in the UK they don't. Virtually everyone learns to drive a manual. I don't think it's due to stupidity on the part of Amer
    Dont you dare question my ability to be stupid or lazy! Ill do what I want!

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    Also, this is one of those things that dont add up about the people always complaining about standards changing.

    You can upgrade your 21 year old bike to 11 speed. If you went out right after and bought a brand new 2018 bike, you could transfer all those parts to the new bike, because standards havent actually changed in 21 years. Its all directly compatible. The shifters fit on the bars, the derailleurs bolt on the same place, its all the same. Its worth doing because you can keep those parts and transfer them to whatever comes next.

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    Singlespeeders must be the laziest of all riders - they don't even have any derailleurs!

    Derrrrr.....
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  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    The fact that autos are fairly efficient these days is also irrelevant. Americans wanted autos when they were crap! They've always wanted them, because they want to just sit there with one hand on the wheel and a beer in the other. They don't care about how efficient the car is and never have.
    Those are some huge generalizations, and quite inaccurate at that. The reason my parents drove manuals was because of the better gas mileage. Same for most people that I know that drove manuals back back then. Now its the people who want a sportier driving experience. So the reduction in availability is partially due to the progress of automatic technology, not because we want a beer in our other hand. Please leave derogatory comments out of this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I'm sorry but not wanting to learn how to use a front derailleur is laziness, it just is. Fair enough if she was buying a new bike and could choose a X1 but for decades every mountain bike sold had a front derailleur and no one complained. I would say that if she is that disinterested that she can't learn to use the two levers required then mountain biking probably isn't for her. It'll just be one insurmountable problem after the other, from rocks on the trail to dust in her eyes and bugs in her clothes. It's just going to be a miserable time for both of you. Personally, if you want to enjoy an outdoor life, I'd be thinking about a new girlfriend!
    Do you even read my posts? Its already been established that she has no interest in becoming a serious mountain biker. I've said or eluded to that about 10x in this thread. Spending time to master the front shifter (no matter how simple you think it is) is not on her priority list. We are busy people and she would rather spend that time and effort on other things.

    Do you have a 1x on your bike? If so, why? You are saying that shifting in the front is no big deal, so why dont you still ride a 3x?

    Of all the comments here saying to stick with a 3x, not one person has given a technical reason except that its already on the bike and the cost. Like I said above, its cost me what most here would spend on a single tire.

  79. #79
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    this argument is dumb. 1x on mountain bikes is better than 2x or 3x for a vast majority of riders in most situations, period. there's no reason to make a bike more complicated than the level of complication required to have fun. if removing complication makes riding more enjoyable, do it. if adding complication makes a bike less fun, that's just masochism.

    however, adding simpler or wider a range of gears is not going to automatically make any hill easier. there's technique, strength, and endurance to consider as well. planting your butt on the saddle and spinning a 900% gear is not going to make it possible to climb walls like a spider. you need to stand up, center your weight, maintain momentum and traction.
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    Can't say I read all of this. But I will still throw in my .02.

    Like the OPs wife, I never got on well with 3x fronts on the trail (on the road it was tolerable). And I did try. I might be dumb or lazy. However I did daily drive + race manual transmission cars for 20 years or so, and it was as natural as breathing.

    Don't push your wife to 3x if she doesn't like it. It's all about having fun. Your wife likes to ride. Don't screw it up.

    I'd just throw on an 11-34 cassette with whatever chainring works best for her. 11-40 might be ok too, but it could degrade shift quality.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Let's see some pics of your bike Pig.

    I'm sure we'll all have no problem pointing out a number of things that prove you're too lazy and uncoordinated to be an actual mountain biker.

    Maybe some examples of all the great Welsh car companies while your at it.

    Frigging internet wannabe-experts suck.
    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Singlespeeders must be the laziest of all riders - they don't even have any derailleurs!

    Derrrrr.....
    Thank you slapheadmofo!

    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Also, this is one of those things that dont add up about the people always complaining about standards changing.

    You can upgrade your 21 year old bike to 11 speed. If you went out right after and bought a brand new 2018 bike, you could transfer all those parts to the new bike, because standards havent actually changed in 21 years. Its all directly compatible. The shifters fit on the bars, the derailleurs bolt on the same place, its all the same. Its worth doing because you can keep those parts and transfer them to whatever comes next.
    I do agree with some of them that this bike wouldn't be worth spending the $200-300 to upgrade to a 1x10 or a 1x11. There are a lot of standards that have changed so a new bike may or may not be compatible with the parts.

    But I'm spending a measly $60 for a 1x8 with good range.


    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    this argument is dumb. 1x on mountain bikes is better than 2x or 3x for a vast majority of riders in most situations, period. there's no reason to make a bike more complicated than the level of complication required to have fun. if removing complication makes riding more enjoyable, do it. if adding complication makes a bike less fun, that's just masochism.

    however, adding simpler or wider a range of gears is not going to automatically make any hill easier. there's technique, strength, and endurance to consider as well. planting your butt on the saddle and spinning a 900% gear is not going to make it possible to climb walls like a spider. you need to stand up, center your weight, maintain momentum and traction.
    Thank you mack_turtle. Agreed on all counts. The point of the upgrade is to allow her to easily use all of her gears. She was limiting herself to a lowest gear of 34t ring and 24t or 21t cog because of the deraileur getting in the way. Now going to a 32t ring with 40 cog will give her a more reasonable gear to "climb" in and work on all those other things you mentioned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JACKL View Post
    Can't say I read all of this. But I will still throw in my .02.

    Like the OPs wife, I never got on well with 3x fronts on the trail (on the road it was tolerable). And I did try. I might be dumb or lazy. However I did daily drive + race manual transmission cars for 20 years or so, and it was as natural as breathing.

    Don't push your wife to 3x if she doesn't like it. It's all about having fun. Your wife likes to ride. Don't screw it up.

    I'd just throw on an 11-34 cassette with whatever chainring works best for her. 11-40 might be ok too, but it could degrade shift quality.
    Thanks for the input. I already bought the 11-40 cassette. I got it for $20 including shipping so its worth a try. If the shifting isnt good because of the larger steps, I'll grab a 11-34 and use that. Even a 32t ring/34 cog is way better than she was using before.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vball_MTNBKR View Post
    Do you have a 1x on your bike?
    No, I don't. I have four bikes and all still use the gear configurations they came with. Two are 3X and two are 2X. I see no need to change them to 1X as they all work perfectly well.

    Look, you and your girlfriend can do what you like. This is the internet. If you don't want other people's opinions on your choices, don't ask for them on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Let's see some pics of your bike Pig.
    Who gave you a badge and a gun? And what the heck do welsh cars have to do with anything?

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I'm sorry but not wanting to learn how to use a front derailleur is laziness, it just is.
    It just isn't. It's personal preference.

    The front derailleur is fast becoming antiquated and unnecessary for mountain bikes. There are a few valid reasons for still using one but for the vast majority of riders 1x is simpler and better, and anything that makes riding more enjoyable is a good thing.
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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    No, I don't. I have four bikes and all still use the gear configurations they came with. Two are 3X and two are 2X. I see no need to change them to 1X as they all work perfectly well.

    Look, you and your girlfriend can do what you like. This is the internet. If you don't want other people's opinions on your choices, don't ask for them on it.
    I'm glad your 2x's and 3x's work perfectly well.....for you. Like I said, I rode 3x's for 25 years and they worked great. But there are a buttload of people who have switched to 1x's and would never go back. Opinions are like lollipops.....i like grape.

    I am 100% cool with opinions regarding the bikes and parts. When you start calling my girl lazy because she's has no interest in learning to front-shift and making derogatory generalizations about Americans, those are the opinions I don't appreciate.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    No, I don't. I have four bikes and all still use the gear configurations they came with. Two are 3X and two are 2X. I see no need to change them to 1X as they all work perfectly well.

    Look, you and your girlfriend can do what you like. This is the internet. If you don't want other people's opinions on your choices, don't ask for them on it.



    Who gave you a badge and a gun? And what the heck do welsh cars have to do with anything?
    To be fair, he asked for opinions about his girlfriend's bike, not his girlfriend. You just took it upon yourself to insult her character.

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    After a lot of great thoughts and discussion here, I have my direction. Going to try a 1x8 with a 32t NW ring and an 11-40t cassette. They all arrived yesterday (it was like Christmas!). Hopefully the install goes smoothly.

    Thanks to everyone for their constructive thoughts and opinions! I'll post back here once I've had a chance to install it and she get a couple rides in. It might be a little while though since she normally doesnt ride too much

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vball_MTNBKR View Post
    After a lot of great thoughts and discussion here, I have my direction. Going to try a 1x8 with a 32t NW ring and an 11-40t cassette. They all arrived yesterday (it was like Christmas!). Hopefully the install goes smoothly.

    Thanks to everyone for their constructive thoughts and opinions! I'll post back here once I've had a chance to install it and she get a couple rides in. It might be a little while though since she normally doesnt ride too much

    I didn't read the whole thread but you might want to think about putting a new chain on too, I saw that the bike is pretty old and if the chain has many miles it can skip or at best run pretty rough on a new cassette and chainring.
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    The chain is pretty new so it shouldnt be an issue. I do have a couple extras so I'll check it when I install the parts and replace if needed.

    Thanks.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Who gave you a badge and a gun? And what the heck do welsh cars have to do with anything?
    Same person that told you you needed to jump into a thread and start picking apart folks you know nothing about, obviously.

    As far as your critique of riding, bikes, and US automakers, we Yanks have a saying: Put up or shut up.
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  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    The fact that autos are fairly efficient these days is also irrelevant. Americans wanted autos when they were crap! They've always wanted them
    because gas was CHEAP here, like 30 cents a gallon.

    I drove a stick until we got hybrids. Those are all automatic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I'm sorry but not wanting to learn how to use a front derailleur is laziness, it just is. Fair enough if she was buying a new bike and could choose a X1 but for decades every mountain bike sold had a front derailleur and no one complained. I would say that if she is that disinterested that she can't learn to use the two levers required then mountain biking probably isn't for her. It'll just be one insurmountable problem after the other, from rocks on the trail to dust in her eyes and bugs in her clothes. It's just going to be a miserable time for both of you. Personally, if you want to enjoy an outdoor life, I'd be thinking about a new girlfriend!
    Wrong. People have been modifying their drivetrains to suit them for decades. Going singlespeed, removing a chainring or two, even customizing cassettes with individual cogs to change range and gear spacing. You are just being an ass about this topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Wrong. People have been modifying their drivetrains to suit them for decades. Going singlespeed, removing a chainring or two, even customizing cassettes with individual cogs to change range and gear spacing. You are just being an ass about this topic.
    Too lazy to upgrade.
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  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Same person that told you you needed to jump into a thread and start picking apart folks you know nothing about, obviously.

    As far as your critique of riding, bikes, and US automakers, we Yanks have a saying: Put up or shut up.
    Sounds like a few of us could use a time out. I'll be in my room.

    OP, I hope the new bits work out well for you...ahem, your girlfriend...well, both really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Sounds like a few of us could use a time out. I'll be in my room.
    Yeah. I was trying to end the tension and the off topic banter with my post about having my direction and thanking everyone for their input....but it appears it didnt work.

    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    OP, I hope the new bits work out well for you...ahem, your girlfriend...well, both really.
    Ha...thanks...me too! I'll definitely post back and let you all know how it goes with the install and the "test rides".

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    People have been modifying their drivetrains to suit them for decades. Going singlespeed, removing a chainring or two, even customizing cassettes with individual cogs to change range and gear spacing.
    Most people don't do that. The vast majority of people just buy a bike and ride it as is.

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    And that is an argument against OP tweaking his girlfriend's drivetrain to better suit how she rides?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Most people don't do that. The vast majority of people just buy a bike and ride it as is.
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    Besides lowering the gearing, does she have knobby, grippy tires? Handlebars that are wide enough? Sometimes people overlook those things.

    But the obvious answer is: Get her an e-bike.

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