Sprocket Advice Please

okayamaPaul

Speeding Up
Jun 18, 2011
72
1
28
Okayama
#1
There is a little bit of information floating around about this on the forums, but I thought I would ask for your personal opinions if possible.

I am pretty sure my gears are standard, although I bought my bike second hand. The front is a 52/39 and I'm not sure what the rear is. The other day when I had a bit of a climb, the easiest gear wore out the legs and when I was coming down the other side, I still had torque (just) at 65/70km/h. The gears are fine normally, but this time I had a 10% climb for quite a few kilometers.

Any suggestions for buying a second sprocket? Are they hard to change? The one I have at the moment will be great for rides like the Shimanami Kaido where it is mainly flat, but I would like another one for when half the day is mountains. Your advice is much appreciated.

Also, is there any certification for bike fitters in Japan? If there is, is there a directory of these people? I think a fitting would help things along too.

Many thanks.
 

Lawrence

Speeding Up
Jul 23, 2011
124
2
36
Chiba City
#2
Here's from my limited knowledge:

Which sprocket are you thinkin about- Front or rear?
Sounds like you are talkin/thinkin about the rear.

What type of gears do you have now- Shimano, Campy or SRAM?
You want to stick with the same brand.

How many gears in the rear sprocket do you have now?
Any new one will have to have the same amount.

There's also a limit to what sizes your rear derailer can handle.
Chain length may have to be changed too.

I think the pros probably have different back rims/tires which they switch out (they just don't change the sprocket).

I don't think there is certification but the guys at a 'good' bike shop should be able to help you/do it.
Good means a shop that doesn't sell the usual JP commuter bikes.
 
May 22, 2007
3,617
1,454
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#3
There are many different types and configurations of gears. Without more information it's difficult to try to offer advice. If you tell us what words/numbers are written on the gear changing mechanisms that might help. Close-up photos of same would help more. Or if you think the components are original then at least the make/model/year of the bike.

One limiting factor is often the size of the rear derailleur cage. There's a number called 'total capacity' which limits the combinations of sprockets and chainwheels you can use with that derailleur.

Whether they're hard to change or not depends on your experience, sense of adventure, and the tools/equipment you have or are willing to get. You need a few special tools to swap cassettes (the collection of sprockets on your rear wheel) and others to swap the chainrings (the ones turned directly by your pedals).
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#4
If you count the number of teeth on your rear sprocket, we would know more. From your description of how you felt I suspect it's 12-25 and with a standard crank this would indeed make slightly steeper hills challenging, unless you like to push heavy gears.

Indeed special tools are needed to change sprockets and crank, and you may need to change your derailleur too. If you don't have much knowledge and experience in this area, I would recommend leaving it to an expert, and watching him/her. It's not difficult per se, but you need to know what you are doing. One day you might be able to take things into your own hands.
 

okayamaPaul

Speeding Up
Jun 18, 2011
72
1
28
Okayama
#5
Thanks for the replies. The rear cassette appears to be a 12/25. I searched around for the bike to see if I could find anything, but it appears that the frame was bought first with everything added on later.

It is a S-Works E5 World Champion Frameset, manufactured in 2003.
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCProduct.jsp?arc=2003&spid=21010

No wonder it is a light bugger, it has an aluminum frame and carbon forks.

I will put up some pictures of the sprockets and derailleurs and hopefully you recognise them.

I tackled a 250m climb nearby this afternoon I've done a few times; however I took some advice on board from this board and other places, kept the upper body relaxed, sat up with hands on the middle of the bar and only got out of the seat to stretch the legs, trying to keep as high a cadence as possible. Made a HUGE difference, it still wasn't a walk in the park, but it was actually close to enjoyable. I also made it up faster and had a higher average speed than before. I also tried to use the back of my legs rather than the front.

Anyway enough blabbing, here are the pictures Thanks for your help.
 

m o b

Speeding Up
Jun 22, 2008
341
23
38
Bremen
cyclitis.wordpress.com
#9
Alternatives

Situation
You now have a 52/39 in the front and a 12/25 with 10 gears in the rear. Your fastest gear is 52/12=1:4.33 and your mountain gear is 39/25=1:1.56.

You would like to keep the bike fast (4.33), but you need a slower gear for climbing: <1.56

Option 1: The cheapest
New rear casette from Campa, they offer 13/29 in europe for about 80€. You will end up with 52/13 = 4.0 in the front which seems to be still Ok for me, and the climbing gear will be 39/29 = 1.34 which is much better.

Not sure if you can use the same lockring at the cassette in case of Campa for the last 12 and 13 sprocket. Shimano would require a different one.

The Centaur rear derailleur can handle up to a 29 sprocket and total capacity 32: so 52-39=13 in the front and 29-13 in the back = 16, total 29 OK.

Front derailleur is OK anyway.
You might need a new chain though for the additional length of 29 against 25 tooth on the biggest sprocket.

Total investment including mounting in Japan, if you order spare parts in Europe: 15.000 Yen my guess.


Option 2: More Expensive
Compact crank 50/34 in the front with 12/25 cassette rear.

Fastest gear: 50/12: 4.17 looks fine
Climbing gear: 24/25: 1.36 as good as option 1.

Unfortunately you can not just exchange the chain rings in this case, as the fixation diamter (BOD) is 135mm for standard 52/39 and 110mm for compact 50/34 cranks. So you will need a complete new crank set (without bottom bracket) for about 140 Euro.
The front derailleur should be OK.
The rear derailleur will handle the 25 sprocket and capacity is now (50-34)+(25-12)=29 which is also OK.

You can shorten your existing chain to match.

Total investment about 22.000 Yen with parts from Europe.

Option 3: Even more expensive
As above, but you buy an additional 11/25 or a 13/26 or a 13/29 cassette to have either a slower climbing gear or a faster descending gear.
Both options will have no impact on you riding in the flats. 80 Euro more but not so much gained.

I also read somewhere that there are compact chain rings for standard cranks available? But only for Shimano? Not sure.

Option 4: Most Expensive
http://www.canyon.com/rennraeder/series/ultimate-cf-slx.html

Option 5: Cheapest
HTFU: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EY7lYRneHc
More training, less eating and soon you can make the downpayment for option 4
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#10
Rule of the cassette.... if you by a new cassette you should by a new chain.

And why would you want to buy a Canyon???? So many more nicer bikes out there.
 

Lawrence

Speeding Up
Jul 23, 2011
124
2
36
Chiba City
#11
Too true.

I put on a new chain on my old mountain bike and ended up gettin a new cassette (luckily they found one, a 7 speed).

The new chain skipped on the old cogs, so ya they match and should be replaced at the same time.
 
Dec 31, 2009
906
87
48
Matsumoto
#13
Nice One

MOB just gave you the absolute best answer anyone could think of, what a nice guy to spend the time to wright that up! covered all the bases there.
Just want to mention your brake levers look as though the quick release is out on them. The quick realease is the Small silver button in a cut out in the hood at the top of the lever. Push it inboard to outboard to release and the reverse to close. In your situation, with the lever out, you will have to squeeze the brake lever and push the silver button from outside to inside. This will bring your pads closer to the rim braking surface and if you have a wheel that is not true it may rub on the pad after you set them to the correct position. The quick release is inteded to be used for when you are removing your wheel to give more clearance. Campagnolo put the quick release on the lever so that when a person is in a race and needs a wheel change on the fly they can release the button while riding giving clearance so that when the mechanic changes the wheel the tire doesnt get hung up on the brake pad.
 
Jun 18, 2011
72
1
28
Okayama
#15
MOB your information is amazing, thank you very much. If you ever are in Okayama I will have to shout you a few beers.

I think getting the new crank set is probably the best option for me, I'm not concerned about paying a little extra and it gives me a little more range which is good too. I could always put on another cassette to get an even lower gear in the mountains later on right? I think 1.36 will be ok, it would allow a good cadence at around 13 km/h right?

What are you recommendations for sourcing parts from overseas? I found this http://www.wiggle.co.uk/campagnolo-centaur-10-speed-power-torque-alloy-chainset/ what do you think of that crank set?

Chopper skits make me very homesick BTW.

ProRaceMechanic: Thank you for the tip, I would have never known. Here I was thinking that I must have short hands compared to other bike riders.
 
Dec 31, 2009
906
87
48
Matsumoto
#16
Right on

Glad I could help:)

Make sure your brake pads touch the rim surface at the same time by depressing your brake lever. If one touches before the other just grab the brake caliper and shift it in the right direction. Also check your brake pads to make sure there is there isnt anything other than brake pad on them to make sure you dont wear out your braking surface on the rim. This should be done about 3 times throughout your pads life. You can use a pin or a knife to remove pieces of aluminum from the pad, and if you want your brakes to work really well rub some sandpaper or emery cloth over the surface of the pad. Campy brakes have exceptional stopping quality so enjoy:D
Also your front derailleur should shift to the big ring by the 3rd click and if it doesnt you may want to get it adjusted. Nothing like like feeling of a well adjusted Campy front derailleur:cool:
And remember before the bike shop come ask your friends at TCC homeslice
 
Dec 31, 2009
906
87
48
Matsumoto
#17
lets trade

I have a campy veloce compact crank and want to trade for your standard crank. I will adjust and install it for you.
let me know
It is absolutely in pristine condition and has less than 1000km on it.
Not a penny spent and doesnt weigh any more than your crank.
I can also adjust your cleats so your shoe doesnt rub on your crankset, and If you come to nagano I will give you a fit and show you around, but I may want to make the trip to Toky to hang with the TCC lads....
Also my crank bolts arent rusty ;)
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#19
Because not everyone wants to fork out their last pennies for expensive brands that don't actually offer better performance. :p The successes of pro riders on Canyons speak volumes.:D
I think thats has more to do with the engine than the bike.... because I could argue that these riders were so unimpressed with the Canyon brand that he switched teams and bikes for the 2011 season ;)
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#20
I think thats has more to do with the engine than the bike.... because I could argue that these riders were so unimpressed with the Canyon brand that he switched teams and bikes for the 2011 season ;)
Maybe you should open up a new thread to bitch about others' bike brands, preferably without evidence and certainly without having ever ridden them yourself.

Incidentally, I still remember seeing some remarkable performance on Canyons in this TdF.