7 speed freewheel vs. 9/10 speed casette???

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Kupa, Jun 15, 2003.

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  1. Kupa

    Kupa New Member

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    Both my road bikes run 7 speed freewheels, 12-20 on each with a 39/53 up front. Current gears are 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20. I have a bunch of other freewheels and a variety of other gears so I can set-up a variety of rear blocks, but the 12-20 just feels so smooth.

    I can muscle up some steep (8-10%) and long (5-8 mile) local climbs just fine in the 39/18 or 20, but my cadence drops down as you'd expect.

    I've been thinking on some of the long climbs, that running a 23 or even a 25 would sure ease the pain and give me more spin, but the only way I could add in those teeth on a 7 speed freewheel would be to surrender my mid-high range smooth gearing, the more radical choice would be to switch to a 9/10 speed cassette set-up.

    To switch, I'll need to have a local frame guy stretch my steel frames' rear spacing from 126 to 130, and then I'd build up a couple of new rear cassette wheels. I'd plan on trying to stick with my friction shifting Shimano bar ends controlling the Mavic rear derailleur, and the old Campy Chorus rear- I prefer friction to index- less stress for me, quieter, and just what I'm used to... I guess it is tough to teach an old dog a new trick

    The meat of my question- those of you with 9/10 speed rears, riding hard in flats, rolling hills or small mountainous areas-

    1. Do you find yourself in your 39/23 or 25 that often?

    2. Did any of you switch from older 7 speed set-ups in the past, to a 9 or 10?

    3. What were your observations after the switch?

    4. And the weird question- anyone ever successfully control a 9/10 speed with friction shifters?

    Thanks for any and all advice.
     
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  2. Suzy Jackson

    Suzy Jackson Guest

    "Kupa" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > 1. Do you find yourself in your 39/23 or 25 that often?

    My lowest gear is a 39/23 (Campy 12-23 9 speed). I use it only occasionally. It's mainly useful for
    hard sloggs up hills on the way home from racing, where your legs are on the verge of cramping. But
    having said that, I live in a relatively flat area (Sydney), and am fairly fit.

    > 2. Did any of you switch from older 7 speed set-ups in the past, to a 9 or 10?

    Yes. I went from a bike with 7 speed Shimano gearing to 9 speed Campy Chorus.

    > 3. What were your observations after the switch?

    The Shimano gearing shifts almost silently, but feels a little mushy. Campy stuff feels much more
    positive, but is less tolerant of misadjustment. Whether this is the Shimano -> Campy change or the
    7 -> 9 speed change is up for debate.

    > 4. And the weird question- anyone ever successfully control a 9/10 speed with friction shifters?

    Yes. At first I simply put a 9 speed wheel into my bike, and swapped the rear derailleur and chain
    to Campy. There was no way the Shimano downtube levers were going to index this so I simply put them
    into friction mode. I lasted almost a fortnight before I gave in and bought a pair of Campy 9 speed
    downtube shifters. I found it difficult to shift just one gear at once, and also found I had to wrap
    the lever almost back on itself to get to the bottom of the cassette. FWIW Campys downtube shifters
    are very nice.

    > Thanks for any and all advice.

    NP.

    Regards,

    Suzy
     
  3. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Kupa wrote:
    > To switch, I'll need to have a local frame guy stretch my steel frames' rear spacing from
    > 126 to 130

    There is a chance that the frame could easily be sprung open enough by hand to insert a 130 wheel
    without having to cold set.

    > , and then I'd build up a couple of new rear cassette wheels. I'd plan on trying to stick with my
    > friction shifting Shimano bar ends controlling the Mavic rear derailleur, and the old Campy Chorus
    > rear- I prefer friction to index- less stress for me, quieter, and just what I'm used to... I
    > guess it is tough to teach an old dog a new trick

    Indexing is the opposite for me - requires less attention so therefore is less stressful. Fingers
    are on shifter for a fraction of a second and the system does the rest of work for you. Not
    noisy, either.

    > The meat of my question- those of you with 9/10 speed rears, riding hard in flats, rolling hills
    > or small mountainous areas-
    >
    > 1. Do you find yourself in your 39/23 or 25 that often?

    Yes, and lower. I like to spin up the hills.

    > 2. Did any of you switch from older 7 speed set-ups in the past, to a 9 or 10?

    I switched from a double 6 to triple 8, then triple 9.

    > 3. What were your observations after the switch?

    Closer ratios mean I can now pedal at virtually the exact the cadence that suits me instead of too
    slow or too fast half the time, plus hill climbing is easier due the wider range. Cassettes are also
    so much easier to remove and customize than freewheels, and freehub axles are stronger.

    > 4. And the weird question- anyone ever successfully control a 9/10 speed with friction shifters?

    I've not tried it with 9, but did with 8 - which was possible but more fiddly than 6. Not worth it,
    IMO, not when indexing is so convenient and quick-shifting.

    I suggest trying indexed down tube or bar end shifters if you don't fancy STI. Many old dogs like
    index shifters :) Could always easily go back to friction.

    ~PB
     
  4. Kupa

    Kupa New Member

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    Suzy/Pete,

    Thanks for the quick, detailed and insightful replies. I think I need to borrow a co-rider's 9 speed rear wheel and give it a try.

    Cheers,

    Steve "Kupa" Cooper

     
  5. Tom Paterson

    Tom Paterson Guest

    >From: Kupa

    >To switch, I'll need to have a local frame guy stretch my steel frames' rear spacing from
    >126 to 130,

    Easy, (should be) cheap, no hassle getting wheels in/out, some say saves dropout breakage.>I'd plan
    on trying to stick with my friction shifting
    >Shimano bar ends controlling the Mavic rear derailleur, and the old Campy Chorus rear- I prefer
    >friction to index- less stress for me, quieter, and just what I'm used to... I guess it is tough to
    >teach an old dog a new trick.

    Woof woof, I changed to handlebar shifting and I'm not going back. Woof.

    >The meat of my question- those of you with 9/10 speed rears, riding hard in flats, rolling hills or
    >small mountainous areas-
    >
    >1. Do you find yourself in your 39/23 or 25 that often?

    Love the 39/23.

    >2. Did any of you switch from older 7 speed set-ups in the past, to a 9 or 10?

    Woof (yes).

    >3. What were your observations after the switch?

    All positives, no negatives. At all.

    >4. And the weird question- anyone ever successfully control a 9/10 speed with friction shifters?

    To each their own, I used 8 speed Record brifters for several years, just went to 9sp, Records
    again. I rode this Saturday with a group that's faster than me, using everything to keep up at
    times, shifting a lot, using all the gears, having fun.There was a guy on the ride with downtube
    friction levers, watching him was a good reminder of the progress that's been made in bicycle land.
    Arf. Arf. --Tom Paterson
     
  6. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Kupa" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Both my road bikes run 7 speed freewheels, 12-20 on each with a 39/53 up front. Current gears are
    > 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20. I have a bunch of other freewheels and a variety of other gears so I
    > can set-up a variety of rear blocks, but the 12-20 just feels so smooth.
    >
    > I can muscle up some steep (8-10%) and long (5-8 mile) local climbs just fine in the 39/18 or 20,
    > but my cadence drops down as you'd expect.
    >
    > I've been thinking on some of the long climbs, that running a 23 or even a 25 would sure ease the
    > pain and give me more spin, but the only way I could add in those teeth on a 7 speed freewheel
    > would be to surrender my mid-high range smooth gearing, the more radical choice would be to switch
    > to a 9/10 speed cassette set-up.
    >
    > To switch, I'll need to have a local frame guy stretch my steel frames' rear spacing from 126 to
    > 130, and then I'd build up a couple of new rear cassette wheels. I'd plan on trying to stick with
    > my friction shifting Shimano bar ends controlling the Mavic rear derailleur, and the old Campy
    > Chorus rear- I prefer friction to index- less stress for me, quieter, and just what I'm used to...
    > I guess it is tough to teach an old dog a new trick
    >
    > The meat of my question- those of you with 9/10 speed rears, riding hard in flats, rolling hills
    > or small mountainous areas-
    >
    > 1. Do you find yourself in your 39/23 or 25 that often?
    >
    > 2. Did any of you switch from older 7 speed set-ups in the past, to a 9 or 10?
    >
    > 3. What were your observations after the switch?
    >
    > 4. And the weird question- anyone ever successfully control a 9/10 speed with friction shifters?
    >
    > Thanks for any and all advice.

    What exactly is it about having shifters right at your fingertips don't you like? Have you ridden
    any for an extended length of time? I'm betting that the answer's no, otherwise you'd be running
    STI or Ergo (brifters) by now. I had a roommate in college that was the same way till he HAD to
    replace things...

    Observations from my years of riding (going on 16 now), indexing is a blessing: no more fiddling
    around with finding the shift spot for your gears.

    Brifters are better by far than DTs and BarCons, see above. I've ridden both. I used to take my Ergo
    levers off in the winter and replaced them with barcons. Ugh. Why bother!

    Clipless pedals are actually a lot easier to use than clips and straps ever were. Yes, when I first
    started riding that's all that there was! My first pair of clipless was the first gen D/A
    Look-style pedals.

    More gears means closer spacing between gears. This is a GOOD thing when you're trying like hell to
    keep up with your hammer friends. Alternatively, it means bigger cassettes with the same spacing you
    have now. Either way, more gears are good. I thought I was golden when 6sp went to 7! Wow, one more
    gear! Cool! Then there were 8, then 9, now 10...

    I like the feel of Campy levers, but the "slickness" of the D/A component group.

    YMMV, these are the opinions of one man. All I can say, is if you're going to go 9sp, might as well
    go all the way! If you don't like it after a few months of riding, you can always try and go back.

    Mike
     
  7. On Mon, 16 Jun 2003 04:30:15 +0950, Kupa wrote:

    > To switch, I'll need to have a local frame guy stretch my steel frames' rear spacing from
    > 126 to 130,

    No big deal. $25-$50.
    >
    > The meat of my question- those of you with 9/10 speed rears, riding hard in flats, rolling hills
    > or small mountainous areas-
    >
    > 1. Do you find yourself in your 39/23 or 25 that often?

    Depends. Me, I'm in my 30/21 far too much...
    >
    > 2. Did any of you switch from older 7 speed set-ups in the past, to a 9 or 10?

    How about from 5-speed?
    >
    > 3. What were your observations after the switch?

    A whole new world.
    >
    > 4. And the weird question- anyone ever successfully control a 9/10 speed with friction shifters?

    No problem there. Ignore those who say you need new chainrings.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics, I can _`\(,_ | assure you that mine
    are all greater. -- A. Einstein (_)/ (_) |
     
  8. Kupa,

    I'm actually building up my new bike with some old but cool derailleurs that don't index and won't
    accept more than 7 cogs -- so I'm moving up from 6 on my old bike to 7 on the new one. It'll be
    friction, obviously, but I'll use a modern 8 or 9-sp rear hub and spacers.

    Everyone says I should donate those old der's to a museum and get with the program, but I dunno -- I
    kinda like them, and they were expensive when I bought 'em years ago.

    Can't answer your specific questions as your gearing needs are more racer-ly and mine are
    touring-ly.

    But I guess, like you, I'm a stubborn old dog with my friction shifting. Maybe I need to ride the
    new stuff to see what's so great about it.

    Joe
     
  9. On Mon, 16 Jun 2003 12:37:30 -0700, "Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Observations from my years of riding (going on 16 now), indexing is a blessing: no more fiddling
    >around with finding the shift spot for your gears.
    >
    >Brifters are better by far than DTs and BarCons, see above. I've ridden both. I used to take my
    >Ergo levers off in the winter and replaced them with barcons. Ugh. Why bother!

    There are plenty of barcons available with indexing, you know.

    Jasper
     
  10. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Jasper Janssen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Mon, 16 Jun 2003 12:37:30 -0700, "Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Observations from my years of riding (going on 16 now), indexing is a blessing: no more fiddling
    > >around with finding the shift spot for your gears.
    > >
    > >Brifters are better by far than DTs and BarCons, see above. I've ridden both. I used to take my
    > >Ergo levers off in the winter and replaced them with barcons. Ugh. Why bother!
    >
    > There are plenty of barcons available with indexing, you know.
    >
    >
    > Jasper
    >

    And these were. It is/was still a PITA to actually have to move my hands to shift. Don't miss those
    days at all.

    Mike
     
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