Shimano Mega-Range confusion
As some of you will perhaps recall, I am going to be purchasing the Rockhopper 29 from my LBS within the next 30 days.
One thing I noticed while cleaning the drivetrain and chain on my current cycle (Schwinn), was the presence of a Mega-Range gear on the cassette. This is, by far and away, much larger than the rest of the gearing on the existing cassette (which appears very much like this here: Amazon.com: Shimano 7 Speed Freewheel, 14-34, MegaRange: Sports & Outdoors). I do depend upon this gear and am wondering if the Shimano HG20-9, 9-speed cassette, 11-34 which is present on the Rockhopper 29 will be sufficient for my current needs.
I'd imagine it will be, since both the Shimano on Amazon and the Specialized cassette listed on the Rockhopper specs are similar (14-34 on one, and 11-34 on the other).
I know two things... First, this may seem like a stupid question. And, second, I do hope to avoid the use of this Mega-Range as much as possible, but our terrain is pretty brutal here and I am currently pretty pleased with climbing hills instead of getting off to push. I do not doubt my improvement over time will make the lowest of gearing to be rarely used.
Thanks for your direction here folks, have a great day...
The Shimano 11-34 will have more gear range for you to work with.
It will also have more gears so the steps between gears are not so large and easier to pick the right gear for the terrain.
Tho if you are going from a 26 inch wheel to a 29 inch wheel, it will be a bit tougher. That said, that is about max gearing (22 front x 34 back is slower than walking speed), so just a bit more strength will carry you through.
Since the cassette on your Schiwnn and the rockhopper both have 34 teeth on the largest cog, you should see the same resistance to pedaling, but like the guy above said, 29" wheels do take a bit more umph to get moving....
Originally Posted by capecove
Another thing to look at is the number of teeth on the crank chainrings, if they have the same number of teeth as the current ride you should be in good shape.
Worst case scenario...do more squats!!!
Good luck with the new ride, I got a new one about two months ago so I know where you are at....tough decision....
Shimano Mega-Range confusion
MegaRange is basically a marketing term for the 34 tooth rear sprocket that's tacked onto that 7 speed freewheel.
The 11-34 9 speed cassette on your new bike has the same size 34 tooth sprocket available so you're not losing out there.
Gearing is calculated from a combination of wheel size, the number of teeth on the front chainring and the number of teeth on the rear sprockets. On your new bike with its 29x2.1” tyres, 22 tooth smallest front chainring and 34 tooth rear chainring you should be able to get up hills at around 4.5mph in bottom gear (according to the Sheldon Brown gear calculator).
I do truly appreciate all the help and input on this folks. I am really excited to get going and move away from the Schwinn Skyline. I have enjoyed the Skyline up to this point but am really ready for a big step up.
Thanks again, the Rockhopper 29 seem to be the way to go. I'll look forward to future discussions.
Have a great day!
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