Cycling

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
It is no coincidence that some of the best marathon runners are from Eritrea or Ethiopia.
It could also be due to the height they live at, the air is rarified so they have larger lungs and hearts. This is the reason athletes from other countries train at altitude. Also there is a tradition from the past when the counties concerned people were very poor and could not afford even a bike so ran.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Bikes -- new and secondhand -- are like rocking horse shit over here now.
Due to the virus and the fact that we have so many trails, everywhere is sold out and secondhand ones are going for the same or more than new ones.

Cannondale are quoting March 2021 for delivery of a basic road bike.

I don't really want to have two bikes but I would like something more suited to longer rides, so I figured I'd look into converting the transmission on my hybrid to mimic that of a road bike.

Currently it has 44/32 chainrings and a 10 cog 11-40 cassette.
The biggest problem with the cassette is I mainly used the higher gears and the step between them is 3 teeth - which is too much for climbs.

I was thinking of switching to 50/34 front chainrings, and a new close ratio cassette, perhaps an 11-32.

Yes, it will still be slower than a road bike, but it should be a good bit faster than my current hybrid and longer rides and climbs should be easier.

Has anyone ever heard of or done anything like this?
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Brogan. From a good mate of mine who has done a bike technician course and even re spokes his own wheels:

Yeah of course he can do that - lots of people adapt and adjust their bikes to suit their own needs 👍
I have a road bike with a single 17T sprocket on the rear and a 34/52 chainring set on the front with a derailleur to shift across - no one else I know rides a bike like that because it's "bonkers" but it suits me! 🤣🤣🤣
At the end of the day as long as you can get the system to work you can do anything you like! 👍😉👌
And I admire people who do! 💕💕💕

Hope that helps.
 

The Pits

Harumph. Again.
Valued Member
If you are keeping the same number of gears, you will usually be ok, you will need to make sure the chain length is ok, and the gears adjusted at the rear, but the current derailleur should work.

gethinceri is the expert on mechanics.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I should be okay on the chain as the current chain ring is smaller but the largest gear on the back is bigger.
If anything I may be able to get away with a slightly smaller chain.

Now to start sourcing some new parts and make sure I get the correct fittings, etc.
 

gethinceri

Daniil Kvyat Fan. Alfa Romeo Fan.
Contributor
Your current gears give you a ratio of 4.00 as hardest gear and 0.80 easiest.
Moving to 50/34 - 11/32 will give you 4.55 hardest and 1.06 easiest.
The change will mean your lowest gear will NOT be easier than your current setup but your hardest gear will be HARDER than your current.
Ratio meaning one turn of pedals vs # of wheel revolutions.
 

gethinceri

Daniil Kvyat Fan. Alfa Romeo Fan.
Contributor
You will also need to consider wether your derailleurs will be able to cope and if not wether you'll need to change them AND your shifters.
Don't spend any money until you've thought it through.
 

gethinceri

Daniil Kvyat Fan. Alfa Romeo Fan.
Contributor
BTW, imagine riding up Hafodyrynys hill...
Very doable on a 34 front and 28 rear.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
The change will mean your lowest gear will NOT be easier than your current setup but your hardest gear will be HARDER than your current.
I don't use the small chainring, ever, and only use the top 5 or 6 gears on the rear.
I'm looking for a closer ratio because changing from 18 teeth to 15 is too much of a jump on the climbs.
I'm constantly changing gear and getting out of the saddle to maintain cadence.

So basically I'm using 6 gears of a 20 gear bike.

BTW, imagine riding up Hafodyrynys hill...
Very doable on a 34 front and 28 rear.
With your legs, maybe 😀

I'll do some research before I make any changes though.
Maybe I should just wait until winter when there will be a load of second hand bikes for sale ...
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
These are the gears I use - 11-13-15-18-21-24-28, coupled with the large 44 chainring.
13-21 are probably the ones I use most.

Even something like 11-13-15-17-19-21-24-28-32-36 would be better as there are 2 cogs between 15 and 21, rather than 1.
Even better would be single teeth jumps for the first half of the cassette, then double - maybe even starting from a 12.

There really aren't any major hills around here so there's no need for such a wide range cassette as I have now.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Finally took the plunge and bought some cleat shoes and pedals.

Very different from standard platform pedals and trainers.

Even the entry level stuff set me back $200.

Let's see if it makes a difference.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Let's see if it makes a difference
I absolutely know if I was ever to use that set up I would come to a stop, not be able to get my feet out and fall sideways on to the ground.

Gravel rash and embarrassment all round.
 
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