Question About Second Wheelset for Commuting- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Question About Second Wheelset for Commuting

    Okay, so I got a second wheelset for my mtb that will be used specifically for commuting. The wheels will have a good set of Continental slicks mounted. I also got an 8-speed 12-25t cassette for these wheels since they'll be strictly for road use. Considering the smaller cogs on this particular cassette, will I need to put on a tighter chain whenever I swap the wheelsets? I have zero experience and know absolutely nothing.

  2. #2
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    Generally, you want to use the same gearing on both sets of wheels. Otherwise you get into chain length and derailluer issues.
    And, As I recall, you had a mountain setup originally. Which means your high gear was 11 teeth. Going to 12 as your top gear will reduce your top speed. leave the 12-25 type sets for true road bikes and get youself a twin of your other cogs.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by citybiker
    Generally, you want to use the same gearing on both sets of wheels. Otherwise you get into chain length and derailluer issues.
    And, As I recall, you had a mountain setup originally. Which means your high gear was 11 teeth. Going to 12 as your top gear will reduce your top speed. leave the 12-25 type sets for true road bikes and get youself a twin of your other cogs.
    I understand and will comply. Thank you!

  4. #4
    weirdo
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    I agree with part of that. The 12t small sprocket will give a little lower high gear, but likely still high enough, and with 12-25, the spacing from one gear to another will be very tight- better than will be found on an mtb cassette. If your RD has enough take up for an 11-32, it ought to be fine for 12-25. What I`m not too sure about: if 8sp Shimano for road is compatible with 8sp mtb. I know it is for 9sp and I THINK it`s the same for 8 to 8. Blu Falcon, if you already have the stuff, give it a shot. I think it`s going to work for you. Note that you MIGHT need to adjust your RD going from one wheel to the other. If that`s the case, it`s possible to shim one so they`re the same. Just make sure its going to work out before you waste time on shims.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    I agree with part of that. The 12t small sprocket will give a little lower high gear, but likely still high enough, and with 12-25, the spacing from one gear to another will be very tight- better than will be found on an mtb cassette. If your RD has enough take up for an 11-32, it ought to be fine for 12-25. What I`m not too sure about: if 8sp Shimano for road is compatible with 8sp mtb. I know it is for 9sp and I THINK it`s the same for 8 to 8. Blu Falcon, if you already have the stuff, give it a shot. I think it`s going to work for you. Note that you MIGHT need to adjust your RD going from one wheel to the other. If that`s the case, it`s possible to shim one so they`re the same. Just make sure its going to work out before you waste time on shims.
    I do have the cassette, but I'm still waiting for the wheels to get here. I'm not sure exactly what you mean by adjusting the RD, but I'll give it check and see. I will try the cassette to see if it works, but I do want the bike to be as quick as possible for the road. In addition to shedding excess weight, I'd want to have larger front cogs and smaller rear cogs no?

    So far I've found it pretty easy to make minor adjustments and changes to my bike strictly from reading this forum and google research. Thanks for all your help, guys. I'll post pics of my rig once I'm done with all of this trial and error.

  6. #6
    weirdo
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    Adjusting the RD:
    Imagine the roller on your RD holding the chain over a certain sprocket on your cassette. When you shift, the RD moves to another position and holds the chain there. The derailer moves to 8 (in the case of an 8s system) different spots in relation to the derailer hanger. If you change the wheel or cassette and the individual sprockets aren`t quite the same place in relation to the derailer hanger as they used to be (shifted a little to one side or the other), you need to compensate in some way so the chain falls squarely on the sprockets. There`s a good chance that everything works out close enough without any messing around, but keep it in mind. That`s what`s going on if you try your new wheelset and hear the chain making a bunch of racket or your shifting isn`t right any more.
    Larger front chainrings/smaller sprockets in back:
    Yes, that will give you higher gearing. Depending on your crank arms, derailers, and clearance (shouldn`t be any clearance problems on your bike `cause there`s nothing to hit), you may be able to swap out one or more chainrings for bigger rings without blowing a fortune. Or you might find that you already have plenty of top end.

  7. #7
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    RD = Rear Dérailleur

    Got it! I thought you were using terminology I was unfamiliar with. Sadly, I'm still not very well versed on the lingo, abbreviations or acronyms associated with biking. In fact, I'm a rather poor excuse for a biker. Mr. rodar y rodar, rest assured your sound advice is greatly appreciated and has not fallen on deaf ears.

    Of course! That makes perfect sense. I shall consider making those adjustments upon assembly of my new rear wheel. The shifting I'm currently experiencing is not so smooth at the moment. When I first got the bike all seemed fine and well. However, I found that the chain won't jump to third gear in the front, so I made some adjustments. Now it seems to go to the third just fine, but has trouble going back down to second. Strangely enough, if I put the bike in first, it goes to second just fine (but the shifter indicates first gear)! And there seems to be an excessive amount of ruckus when shifting through the gears in the rear. I'm convinced that I might need professional help in making these adjustment so that I will experience smooth and problem free shifting.

    Do you think it would be cost effective to just completely swap out the drive train and make her a 9-speed?

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    Go 9 speed if you want, or do like I am and wait until you wear out your cassettes or manage to break a shifter.

  9. #9
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    Making basic adjustments isn`t very complicated and I`m sure you`ll figure it out if you keep at it. Have you checked the Gospel According to Sheldon or Park Tools yet? In my opinion, it`s worth learning for almost anybody. In your case, since you`re going to be moving around and won`t have the benefit of getting to know which shops you can trust in new areas, it seems even more important to know how to do it yourself. I`d give it another try from the begining- make sure the cassette isn`t wobbling loose, make sure your wheel is in the dropouts right, cable housing is in all the cable stops like its supposed to be, cable clamp bolt is nice and tight, then start checking adjustments. If you still can`t get it, try a shop on a slow day and see if they`ll let you watch and explain what they`re doing.

    Nine speed? Eight is plenty for me, others were happy with five, some feel that ten is the only way to go. If ou want to change, yeah- you may as well do it now rather than wasting time getting everythng adjusted then doing it all over again. You already bought all you were going to buy for keeping it eight, didn`t you? Or do like the guy above said and replace with 9s when your original stuff starts breaking or wearing out. One thing to be said for nine speed is that there`s a bigger variety of cassettes and shifters now than there is for eight.

  10. #10
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    Are you running disk or rim brakes?
    When I was swapping wheelsets, I found that the rims were different widths, and every time I swapped I had to adjust the brakes. This could also hold true for disks if the hubs have slightly different specs. The caliper may just need to be moved slightly. Your best bet would be to get an identical wheelset to what you have already.

    Like rodar mentions, yo umay have to adjust the RD when swapping as well.

    As for gearing, stick with the 12-25. I was running a 11-34 and always felt I needed a gear right in between two that I had. I have since put in a 12-25 and always have the right gear for cruzing along. You'll only run into problems when the drivetrain starts to wear our. Most likely your chain, chain rings, and mtb cassette will all wear together. Over time the road cassette won't work as smoothly with the chain.

    HTH

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan51
    Are you running disk or rim brakes?
    When I was swapping wheelsets, I found that the rims were different widths, and every time I swapped I had to adjust the brakes. This could also hold true for disks if the hubs have slightly different specs. The caliper may just need to be moved slightly. Your best bet would be to get an identical wheelset to what you have already.

    Like rodar mentions, yo umay have to adjust the RD when swapping as well.

    As for gearing, stick with the 12-25. I was running a 11-34 and always felt I needed a gear right in between two that I had. I have since put in a 12-25 and always have the right gear for cruzing along. You'll only run into problems when the drivetrain starts to wear our. Most likely your chain, chain rings, and mtb cassette will all wear together. Over time the road cassette won't work as smoothly with the chain.

    HTH
    Do you really look like Squidward Tentacles? When it comes to bikes, I'm like Patrick Star.

    Disc brakes up front, rim brakes in the back. Thanks for you insight on the 12-25t. The seller has offered to take back the 12-25t and exchange it for a 11-34t, so I'm not sure what I should do at this point. The new wheels aren't here yet, so I can't really try anything unless I take my current rear wheel apart and experiment. Tally-ho!
    Last edited by Blu Falcon; 05-13-2008 at 11:45 AM.

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    Falcon,

    When I started wrenching myself, I bought a copy of Zinn & The Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance by Lennard Zinn. Great reference book for getting into maintaining, adjusting, or building a bike yourself. It helped a lot. 9 speed conversion is easy, but can be expensive. I have 9 spd on the new bike I built, but I'm not convinced I like it as much as the 8 spd on my old bike.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by citybiker
    Falcon,

    When I started wrenching myself, I bought a copy of Zinn & The Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance by Lennard Zinn. Great reference book for getting into maintaining, adjusting, or building a bike yourself. It helped a lot. 9 speed conversion is easy, but can be expensive. I have 9 spd on the new bike I built, but I'm not convinced I like it as much as the 8 spd on my old bike.
    I'll go to Amazon and have a look. I saw some bike maintenance books at my nearest Performance Bike store, so maybe that title was among them. Thanks for the tip.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blu Falcon
    Do you really look like Squidward Tentacles? When it comes to bikes, I'm like Patrick Star.

    Disc brakes up front, rim brakes in the back. Thanks for you insight on the 12-25t. The seller has offered to take back the 12-25t and exchange it for a 11-34t, so I'm not sure what I should do at this point. The new wheels aren't here yet, so I can't really try anything unless I take my current rear wheel apart and experiment. Tally-ho!
    When sh!t goes wrong, yeah I look like Squidward.

    Keep the 12-25. I'm way happier with mine than the 11-34 when riding road.

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    I agree the 12-25 cassette should be fine. Like was said, closer gearing on the commuter is a good thing.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc
    I agree the 12-25 cassette should be fine. Like was said, closer gearing on the commuter is a good thing.
    Very well then. I shall keep the 12-25t and give it a go.

    Off topic, but can I put these Easton Bullhorns with MOD bars on my mtb for commuting purposes, or are they exclusively for road bikes? Or does considering these as an option put me squarely in the league of gentlemen such as Brick Tamlin? Please don't hurt me too bad.
    Last edited by Blu Falcon; 05-13-2008 at 01:34 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blu Falcon
    Off topic, but can I put these Easton Bullhorns with MOD bars on my mtb for commuting purposes, or are they exclusively for road bikes?
    To get those to work, you'd want to change the stem, shifters, and brake levers. It looks like that bar uses a 26.0 clamp diameter, which isn't the best idea to use with your 25.4 mtb stem. Also, you'd probably want a shorter stem anyway...

    So yeah, but after you buy all that stuff, plus new cables and housing, and the wheelset/cassette, you are starting to look like you could just buy a second hand budget road bike, which seems to be what you are trying to make, anyway...

  18. #18
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    Yeah, if you're looking at those bars you might as well just get a roadie.

    My current roadie/commuter is a total frankenbike. It's an old hard tail MTB, but I found a set of road wheels with XT disk hubs. Going to the larger diameter and lighter wheels made such a huge difference. The 26" 1.5 slicks I had were nice, but slow compared to the 23x700c wheels/tires I have now. All I need now is a rigid fork and I'm set. The current TALAS is a little overkill for the road .

  19. #19
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    What is TALAS?

    Well, after my commute to work today I decided that I don't need fancy bars or anything else. I kept up with two other dudes with road bikes for several miles before they split off in a different direction. These guys were clearly more experienced riders and they were riding pretty hard from what I could tell. I was smoked by the time I got to work, but I think it was my fastest commute yet.

    FWIW, I guess I was getting carried away with making my bike faster and more road/commute friendly, and forgetting that it's a mountain bike first and foremost. All I really needed was a second set of wheels for commuting and that's it. It still has to maintain its dual purpose status and be a trail bike on the weekends, so enough with all of this nonsense from me.

    I'm excited. My dreams are coming true.

  20. #20
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    TALAS is a higher end Fox fork range ($600+)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by comptiger5000
    TALAS is a higher end Fox fork range ($600+)
    Thanks. I suppose I could've Googled that myself.

    The new wheels are put together and it was easy as pie. However, I'm running into an issue with my shifter, RD and cassette not being synchronized. For example, the shifter indicates 7th gear, but it's actually in 8th. Another way to look at it is If the shifter indicates 6th gear then the chain is actually on the 7th cog, etc. I put the shifter on 1st gear and manually moved the chain to the 1st gear cog, but as soon as it starts to roll, the chain jumps to the second cog. I can ride this way with no problem, but obviously the synchronization between those components are off. How can I adjust this?

    BTW, I had this same synchronization problem with the other wheelset that has the 11-34t cassette on it, but I never really worried about it and figured I'll make the necessary adjustments when I put together the second wheelset. In other words, this issue had nothing to do with putting a different cassette on my second wheelset.

    EDIT: Nevermind. I found this and will do my homework.

    EDIT: Although it took a bit of tial and error, and patience, I finally got it indexing adjusted just right and both are now in sync with the front and rear dérailleur.
    Last edited by Blu Falcon; 05-18-2008 at 11:28 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan51
    Are you running disk or rim brakes?
    When I was swapping wheelsets, I found that the rims were different widths, and every time I swapped I had to adjust the brakes. This could also hold true for disks if the hubs have slightly different specs. The caliper may just need to be moved slightly. Your best bet would be to get an identical wheelset to what you have already.



    HTH
    Dan, I did in fact have to make a small adjustment on the rear rim brakes, but it was easy.

    I'd like to add disc brakes to the rear to match the front, but it will take some expert machining and professional installation since the disc will rotate within 1mm of the frame. A met a guy on-line who has the same bike and managed to pull this off successfully, so I've been corresponding with him exclusively.
    Last edited by Blu Falcon; 05-18-2008 at 11:32 AM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Making basic adjustments isn`t very complicated and I`m sure you`ll figure it out if you keep at it. Have you checked the Gospel According to Sheldon or Park Tools yet?
    I have, and thanks for the recommendation! All of you have been a great help.

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