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  1. #1
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    Go from 48-38-28T crankset to something smaller for easier uphill?

    Hi,

    I'm a beginner rider. I was riding with a friend of mine, and I had trouble keeping up with her going uphill. It was about 300m steady elevation gain over 4 km.

    Now I have practiced this same ride alone a few times, and I am getting better (i'm not sure what my exact time is, less than an hour anyway), although I have to do it all the way up int he lowest gear. I'm in pretty decent shape (I run), so i'm not sure if I should just practice more to get better at going uphill or replace my current crankset with another one.

    My current crankset is 48-38-28T and I understand 24/32/42 or 22 are more common than mine on mountain bikes, and with the smaller gear ratio they should make it easier to pedal up hill.

    Advice - get a new 24/32/42 or 22/32/42 crankset

    (
    Shimano Deore Crankset - Calgary, Alberta - Specialized, Rocky Mountain, Electra, Opus, BMC or Amazon.com: Shimano 7/8 Speed Alivio Mountain Bicycle Crankset - Square Taper - FC-M410: Sports & Outdoors)?

    If I get a new crankset do I need to get anything else to go along with it to make sure it works.


    I currently have a trek 3500 with a Shimano Alivio M411 crankset (bent the teeth on the original crankset). I also upgraded the tires on it. See links below for specs.

    TrekBikes.com Bike Archive | 2010 3500

    Shimano Alivio M411 4-Bolt 7/8 Speed Crankset - Mountain Equipment Co-op. Free Shipping Available

  2. #2
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    I'd go 22/32/42 ... See if you can just get the sprockets, as it might save you a few dollars.

    Also, (I know you didn't mention it) forget trying to keep the 48T for top end ... Your FD has a 20 tooth limit, so if you go 22T your maximum front sprocket needs to be 42T.

  3. #3
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    Ive run 44/22 on most of my bikes with no issues.

    Trying to picture a 48 big. Not a lot of places i could open it all the way up, but damn that would be fun when i could!
    "Bigring, that's deep. ...Well, I suspect it is. I didn't read it."

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeabuser View Post
    I'd go 22/32/42 ... See if you can just get the sprockets, as it might save you a few dollars.

    Also, (I know you didn't mention it) forget trying to keep the 48T for top end ... Your FD has a 20 tooth limit, so if you go 22T your maximum front sprocket needs to be 42T.

    IFI just replaced the chain rings would I have to replace all of them or could I just replace the 28 with a 22?

  5. #5
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    If you can make it up the hill with the current setup then you should probably just stick with it. Why is it that you are struggling with the hill? Do your legs burn and barely have enough power to turn the cranks or are you out of breath and your heart rate is maxed out? If it's the first case then a lower gear (smaller ring) might help. If it's the second case (cardio) then a smaller ring probably won't help. If it's both then you are doing a perfectly balanced workout -- good!

    You have to produce the same amount of energy to do the climb in a certain time independent of gearing. A smaller gear can help when you run out of strength but really nothing mechanical helps you when you run out of energy. If you do this climb over and over again you will build both your strength and your cardio -- it's the guaranteed way to make the hill easier.

    You might be in excellent shape from another sport but all the benefits of that conditioning don't translate immediately to mountain biking because it's a different workout. In the long run the cross-training effect will help you a lot just not immediately.

    The key wisdom to climbing long hills can be found on most shampoo bottles: "Rinse and repeat." Ride that hill at least three times a week for the next 4-6 weeks and then reconsider.
    Good luck!

    P.S. If you do decide to get a new crankset you shouldn't need anything else but probably would need to shorten your chain by 6 links.

  6. #6
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    Older bike came with that gearing ,measure the chain ring bolt spacing .On some of those cranks the smallest ring you could put on it was a 26. If it is an older bike then the bottom bracket might not work with new cranks. You might be able to put a different cassette on it and get the same gearing. You could run it to problems with doing that also. The chain may need replacing along with the chain ring(s).If you are new to mountain biking and your friend has been riding ,then that would make a big difference in climbing.

  7. #7
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    Ok,

    So i bought a new crankset, crank puller tool, I have an allen key, and a chain repair tool.

    I plan on replacing the following crankset (Shimano Alivio M411 4-Bolt 7/8 Speed Crankset - Mountain Equipment Co-op. Free Shipping Available) with the one I bought (Shimano Alivio 4-Bolt 175mm 8 Speed Crankset - Mountain Equipment Co-op. Free Shipping Available) any reason I shouldn't be able to do it with some youtube videos and the tools I have on the bike below? I would've gotten a bike shop to do it, but the earliest slot they have available is two weeks from now.

    Thnx
    TrekBikes.com Bike Archive | 2010 3500

  8. #8
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    It's an easy home mechanic job. You shouldn't have any trouble. Just a few pointers:

    * Put the chain on the big ring before you try to take the crank off. That way you won't get hurt if the wrench slips.

    * Grease the threads on the crank puller.

    * Unless you have a well-calibrated arm, it's best to use a torque wrench to tighten the crankbolt.

  9. #9
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    how necessary is a torque wrench when installing the new crank? What happens if you over tighten or under tighten?

    thnx

  10. #10
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    Re: Go from 48-38-28T crankset to something smaller for easier uphill?

    Overtightened = possible stripped threads as you go to far, or to tight, and the puller strips the arm threads next time
    Under tightened, the arm gets loose, rocks on the axle, and ruins the arm.
    If you have a good feel, you could be fine.



    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

  11. #11
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    OP - here is your solution. Climb ANY hill with this 20t granny ring! Buy the new Alivio crankset, and replace the 22t granny with this 20t "wall climber.":

    Chain Ring Sprocket Mountain 20T Tooth 64 BCD Stainless Action Tec Mountain Goat | eBay
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

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