Advice on gearing change- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Beetlejuice!
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    Advice on gearing change

    I've been thinking about upgrading my crankset, bb, etc lately and in the process have been wanting to drop some gears. I currently have a 21 speed which I just have no need for that many gears and have been trying to decide between dropping down to a 10 speed or just going for the Soma 3 speed internal hub setup. Primary use is commuting, with the occasional fun ride around town on weekends. Biggest concern is I have a friend who is trying to talk me into bike touring so there is a small glimmer of that possibility in the future. I have no idea if that will happen, so my main goal here is to stay fast and light for the daily commute. Not interested in going to SS or fixed...too many hills around my house for that!

    So opinions...should I just keep what I have and deal, or would it be worth dropping down and to what? 10 or 3?
    "too weird to live, too rare to die" - HST
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  2. #2
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    It would help to know something about your bike, since either of your options would have far-reaching ramifications on your rear wheel and control setup. For example, if you want to go 10-speed, you'll need a rear wheel that can accept a 10-speed cassette, and 10-speed rear shifter, which might be built into a brake lever, and then what do you do for the other one, etc etc.

    Pics? Specs?

  3. #3
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Do a 1x5. Just pull off the cassette, pull out gears until you have your comfortable flat ratio, two under and two over. Pull the other chainrings and front derailer. When you go bike touring, break out the two other chainrings, front derailer and you are good to go.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by weezerbot
    I've been thinking about upgrading my crankset, bb, etc lately and in the process have been wanting to drop some gears. I currently have a 21 speed which I just have no need for that many gears and have been trying to decide between dropping down to a 10 speed or just going for the Soma 3 speed internal hub setup. Primary use is commuting, with the occasional fun ride around town on weekends. Biggest concern is I have a friend who is trying to talk me into bike touring so there is a small glimmer of that possibility in the future. I have no idea if that will happen, so my main goal here is to stay fast and light for the daily commute. Not interested in going to SS or fixed...too many hills around my house for that!

    So opinions...should I just keep what I have and deal, or would it be worth dropping down and to what? 10 or 3?

    Since u mention many hills around yr house and wanted to go fast. I am wondering why u want to drop gears? Keep yr 21 speed. It will give u the speed u need and the ability to tackle upslope.

    I am not sure of yr 21 speed drive train. Usually 7speed rear hub is those cheap freewheel hub which the smallest cog they can go is 13T. In that case, a upgrade can be painful.

    Maybe yr front crank is too small that it can't gives u the speed u need. I have seen a number of mtb front crank going at 42-44T. Maybe u can go on road/touring (48T-53T crank if commuting and touring is yr concern.

    Last time I manange to outrun my 21 speed drivetrain and need to opt for a 27 speed drive train But if u are strong and want to go fast , can listen to my advise go road crank.

  5. #5
    weirdo
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    By 10 speed , are you thinking 1 x 10 or 2 x 5? Flat bars or drops? Do you have friction shifting capabilities? And even if you don`t need as much gear as you have, what are you hoping to do by going with fewer- cut weight, simplify?
    Recalculating....

  6. #6
    Bedwards Of The West
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    My commuter is currently 1x8...No front D, but I have a double chainring up front, so I can manually drop it down onto the smaller sprocket up front if I want to tackle a monster grade on a weekend ride. With this set-up all I'd have to add for a touring-friendly ride would be a front derailleur.

    My front big ring is a 50, it's a road double set-up. It's pretty ideal with a MTB 8 speed rear cassette for my commute... a few moderate hills, nothing really steep.
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  7. #7
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    No front D, but I have a double chainring up front, so I can manually drop it down onto the smaller sprocket up front if I want to tackle a monster grade on a weekend ride.
    Good idea. I should have done that with my Nexus.
    Recalculating....

  8. #8
    Bedwards Of The West
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    ^^ It's the biking equivilant of getting out to lock the hubs on an older 4x4
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  9. #9
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    ^^ It's the biking equivilant of getting out to lock the hubs on an older 4x4
    I think you talked about going SS before? With that set-up up front you could probably get one of those Surly Dinglespeed cogs and do Dingle-Dingle speed, that would be awesome!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  10. #10
    Beetlejuice!
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    Hey folks sorry for the delay in getting back to you..its been one hell of a week and I haven't had much chance to think about my bike let alone be on it more often!

    So to answer some questions:

    My bike is a 2009 Scott Sportster P6
    Crankset: Shimano FC-M191 48x38x28 w CG
    BB-Set: Shimano BB-UN 26 / 68-113mm

    Really the only reason all of this popped into my head was because I was looking to upgrade the crankset and BB and figured if I was going to do that maybe I should change out the gearing as well. I was indeed hoping to cut weight and simplify.

    However, as of this moment I don't really have any extra cash to invest in new parts so this project is on hold.
    "too weird to live, too rare to die" - HST
    "Oh Gravity, thou art a heartless bitch" - Sheldon

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