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  1. #1
    LevenBravo
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    How to get more from my 8spd

    I moved within bicycle commuter distance for the first time since '07. I picked up an older rigid cannondale for next to nothing, and should be fine for my commute. My only issue is that I easily top out the gears even on flat sections. Never an problem on the older steel roadie, but that thing is long gone. So my questions are:

    Would it be better to get a different cassette, mine is 11-30t? Or would larger chainrings up front be more beneficial? Or both? Not sure what is available for 8spd's anymore. Doesn't look like much. Thanks!

    I already have some slim tires, lights, fenders etc and have given the drivetrail a good service...replaced all shifting and break cables/housings since I had enough lying around since way back to do so. Also cleaned up the drivetrain...previous owener just gunked grease on the chain and deraileur's! Nice! It's an old black/green "sobe" cannondale, I'm guessing early 90's? Fits perfect though and traded a 6 gal carboy for it...so its a $35 dollar bike so far.

  2. #2
    Ovaries on the Outside
    Reputation: umarth's Avatar
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    I am a little surprised it is so easy to spin out, but a larger chainring(s) would work. You might need a longer chain. If you don't have a long cage r. derailer, you might have issues with tooth difference, but there are ways of calculating that ****, and deore r. derailers are inexpensive as ****.

  3. #3
    Fat!Drunk!Slow!
    Reputation: JordyB's Avatar
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    A bigger front ring will help more.

  4. #4
    Hi.
    Reputation: jtmartino's Avatar
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    It doesn't get much better than 11t on a cassette. Bigger chainrings (or a road-specific crankset) are your only options.

  5. #5
    LevenBravo
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    Jensonusa has a 12-32t for short money is that getting me a little bigger or not? It's been a while, my mtb's as of late have been set it and forget it from day one. I will look into bigger chainrings in sequence to not mess up shifting. I will be getting a new chain at the same time if I find a setup worth changing to.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    Bigger chainring and a chain and you'll be good to go. Changing the cassette won't help as much, because if you're spinning out an 11t cog already, you can't go smaller (faster). If you change the chainring you'll get 8 new gears, all of which will be faster than what you have now.

  7. #7
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Greased the chain and derailler

    Like they said above, 11t is already as small as they get except a special purpose setup for small wheeled folders. Bigger rings is your cure- unless you already have the rings hanging around, or can get them used from a local Co-op or something, it`s probably cheaper and easier to get a new crankset that already comes with the rings you want. You should be able to do that for under 100 USD.

  8. #8
    LevenBravo
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    Yes, thick gunky silver grease caked all over. What a mess that was, looks good abd runs buttery smooth now.

  9. #9
    Hi.
    Reputation: jtmartino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zillah
    Jensonusa has a 12-32t for short money is that getting me a little bigger or not? It's been a while, my mtb's as of late have been set it and forget it from day one. I will look into bigger chainrings in sequence to not mess up shifting. I will be getting a new chain at the same time if I find a setup worth changing to.

    Increasing the ratio of gearing from the chainrings to the cassette is what you are going for. Therefore, you want a lower gear on a cassette and a higher gear on the chainring. An 11t cassette gear will be a taller gear (harder to pedal) than a 12t cassette gear. Conversely, the higher the number of teeth on the chainring, the taller the gear.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    You should be looking for bigger chainrings. As some have mentioned, you could get a new crankset with bigger chainrings. However, if this is a mountain bike you bought, a road crankset may pose a number of challenges (such as not clearing the chainstays, and not working well with your front derailleur.

    I would probably go to a local shop and see if they have any 'take-offs' laying around that would work. Maybe a mountain crankset with touring/hybrid rings or something. Otherwise you are probably looking at changing the chainrings and getting a new chain (well, a new chain either way really).

  11. #11
    LevenBravo
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    I've looked at some chainrings online to get an idea and some are listed for 8/9/10 speed. I thought there was a spacing difference with the teeth on the chainrings. Can anyone confirm if these chainrings would work? I will get a new chain no matter what happens.

  12. #12
    Hi.
    Reputation: jtmartino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zillah
    I've looked at some chainrings online to get an idea and some are listed for 8/9/10 speed. I thought there was a spacing difference with the teeth on the chainrings. Can anyone confirm if these chainrings would work? I will get a new chain no matter what happens.

    As far as I know, 10 speed is different, but 8 and 9 are interchangeable. Pick up some 9 speed and you'll have good versatility. And they're probably cheaper than 10.

  13. #13
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Sheldon Brown on <8,8,9 speed chainrings
    About 3/4 of the way down, labeled "Chainrings/cranks":

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/speeds.html

    Good point by SSSasky about clearance for very large rings- you PROBABLY won`t have any trouble, but it could happen- best to check first

  14. #14
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Sounds like by older rigid Cannondale, you mean MTB?

    You can get some pretty big chain rings for a MTB crankset. There are some advantages to sticking with 8-speed rings if there's no price difference or it saves you money - they're a bit thicker, so you should get a little longer wear life. It's not a big difference, but every little bit helps.

    12t to 11t is a surprisingly big jump in ratio. So if you don't mind spending a little extra money while you're doing this, go for it. It's a $20-$40 item, and starting with all new chain rings, chain and cassette can also improve your wear life a little. I'd probably get an 11-28, or maybe even an 11-25 if I was setting up a 26"-wheeled bike for pavement-only use with slicks, especially if you keep the triple crank. If the front derailleur cage is long enough, a smaller-range cassette might also let you get away with a bigger jump between middle and large chain rings without replacing the rear derailleur.

    My commuter has a 48/14 top gear; with a 700x28mm rear tire, that's 91.7 gear inches. I do use that gear, but if I'm getting fast enough to spin it out, usually I'm more concerned with keeping the bike rubber-side down. So it's enough, but I'm glad I didn't get a smaller big ring. You'd need a larger chainring or smaller big cog to get the same ratio with 26" slicks. 48t rings are easy to find for MTB cranksets and relatively likely to fit; with an 11t small cog, it's probably the same.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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