Bike mods – seeking advice

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by heavypic, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. heavypic

    heavypic New Member

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    Hi All –

    I am seeking advice from experienced riders for a few modifications to my 2010 Trek 2.1 road bike. I am 6’ tall / 190-200lbs. I ride for fitness, hence my primary objective is not shaving grams from the bike’s weight. I ride mostly in the foothills of eastern, PA. We have some long, gradual uphill climbs in my area.

    My cycle currently has stock components (specs below) with the exception of a saddle change.

    Frame: Madone-style aluminum – 58 cm
    Fork: Bontrager Race, Carbon; SpeedTrap Compatible
    Wheels: Bontrager SSR (43cm, alloy hubs w/650C Alex Rims)
    Tires: 700x23c (switching to 25mm tires soon)
    Shifters: Shimano 105 STI, 10 speed
    Front and Rear Derailleur: Shimano 105
    Crank: Shimano R-600 50/34 Compact (5 bolt, 110mm BCD)
    Cassette: Shimano 105 12-27, 10 speed
    Brakeset: Shimano Tiagra w/ Shimano 105 STI levers
    Freehub: Bontrager SSR Aero Road Wheel rear hub and Shimano free hub (part no. 268886?)

    I am currently servicing the bike including:
    · New bottom bracket (Shimano BB-RS500, Hollowtech II, 68mm)
    · New SS brake/shift cables and housing
    · Inspecting / repacking all bearings (wheel hubs, free hub, headset, etc.)
    · Lube and adjust derailleurs
    · Wheels are true
    · Chain, chain rings and cassettes are within spec; replacement not urgently needed at this time.

    I don’t find myself using the 34T chain ring much. I am considering changing both chain rings to 52/39 (Shimano 5700-series) or perhaps keep the stock 50T and swap the 34T for a 39T for closer gearing. I am also considering changing the stock 10-speed cassette from 12-27 to an 11-28.

    Will the gearing range be too close or too difficult for the grades/terrain? I’ve read some articles recently about the importance of spinning cadence over power…makes good sense to me considering my age (second half) and objectives. I don’t want to have any regrets making these changes in the middle of long hill climbs.

    Any suggestions/thoughts on these chain ring / cassette changes?

    Lastly, any suggestions for an inexpensive, decent quality device to track mileage/time during rides?

    I look forward to your replies. Thanks!

    Regards
     
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  2. Germanrazor

    Germanrazor Active Member

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    I run a 50-34 with a 11-32 cassette. I need to go to a traditional double as my strength is back up to my pre-injury from some years ago. But I found a nice SRAM Force 50-34 on this upgrade so I will stick it a while.

    You can’t go wrong with a compact if you are a bit weak in climbing. Maybe even a 12-28 rear may help on that coupled with it???

    As to a cheap cyclometer.......Cateye is one of the best for the money. You could even use your phone if you have a smart phone with a service like Strava.
     
  3. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    What is a Madone style- alum frame Trek 2.1 ?

    It's either a Trek Madone or a Trek 2.1 road bike.

    I have a Madone and it is not 2.1 style. :rolleyes:

    I'd prefer a 12 cassette over a 11 unless I had a compact. I have a 53/39 and I rarely use the 12 unless I'm descending a mountain road. In this case, I'd prefer a 53 chain ring over a 52.

    Crank and cassette depends on your ability to climb. At 225 pounds I was doing 12,000 ft of climbing in 72 miles with a 53/39 - 12/26 cassette.

    So really, the only one who can answer your gearing is you after evaluating your own climbing abilities.
     
  4. heavypic

    heavypic New Member

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    Hi All - thanks for your replies.

    Mr. Beanz - My bike is a 2010 Trek 2.1 Series road bike with aluminum frame. Trek describes this series as having a frame with Madone geometry...sorry for any confusion.

    I will use my current 50/34 crank for now while I get back into shape/riding again. As I noted earlier, I didn't use the 34 ring much with my 12-27 cassette in the past with the exception of difficult climbs. While I cant translate hills in my area to % grades at this time, I do not recall extreme difficulty climbing some of the more difficult hills in my area with the 34 ring when I am in good condition.

    I've done further reading of forums since my last post. After some time in the saddle again with the 50/34 chainring, I may consider a modest step up to a 52/36 set paired with my current 12/27 cassette. I was hoping to stay with Shimano 105 series chainrings but I don't believe they make a 36 CR in 110 BCD for my stock crank per their website...they have a 52/39 option but not a 36. I may consider Praxis or other options for a 110 BCD, 52/36 set.

    Suggestions for other 110 BCD, 52/36 chainrings for my stock crank are welcome. Black rings would be preferred. Thanks all!

    Regards
     
  5. Germanrazor

    Germanrazor Active Member

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    I have the one I took off my bike and replaced with a 11-32 and it is a 13-36. Certainly for a bit easier climbing.
     
  6. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Ah OK, thanks for the clarification. I was wondering what you meant by the comment. :cool:
     
  7. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    gearing thing is tricky to give advice without knowing your riding style, your strength, and weaknesses, or the terrain you ride on. So my GUESS would be to try a 52/38 chainring, and that's all it is, a guess. But if you're not using the 34 then I would try going with the 38 to make the gearing differences less.

    As far as your rear cassette range goes, again it's a guess, but if you want some sort of climbing gear than an 11-28 would be fine.

    Climbing must not be all that tough for you or you would be utilizing your current 34 chainring, so you don't need much of a change, so I think the combination of the 52/38 with an 11-28 would be the best and enable to still climb a bit easier since the likely hood of you using a 38 would probably be greater than using a 34...as far as guess goes! LOL!!

    Cheap computers, go with a basic Sigma, they are extremely reliable and easy to operate, the only decision to make is if you want wireless or wired! Sigma makes one called the Pure 1, cost about $36 for wireless, and $27 for wired, it has a large display with bold print making it very easy to see. I bought this computer for my wife's bike and it's been great, I got the wired job so to eliminate one possible trouble spot. The sending units on any wireless computer is a weak spot, sometimes lasting just as little as a couple of years; I have a VDO wireless computer and it so far has outlasted any wireless computer brand I've ever had, it's now 7 years old, all my others failed within 5 years; the last wired job I had lasted 23 years. So it's your decision, the clean install look of wireless, or the long term reliability of wired.

    If you decide on wired you do need to make sure that you leave enough slack in the wire so that the handlebar can be turned to either extreme direction without making the wire tight and pulling on it. Once you have that figured it out it will last seemingly forever...till the battery dies, then you have to replace the battery of course. You can watch Youtube videos on how to install a wired job.
     
  8. heavypic

    heavypic New Member

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    Hi All - Thanks again for your replies/suggestions.

    My 2010 Trek 2.1 has the Shimano 105, FC-R600 crank/chainring (Compact 50/34). Apparently, this crank will accept 110 BCD, 5-bolt chainrings. I am considering 36T or 38T inner, and 52T outer chainring replacements. It doesn't appear that Shimano manufactures corresponding 36, 38 or 52T chainrings for this specific crank. It appears that replacement chainrings are available from Praxix, Absolute Black and Rotor. I want at least to match Shimano quality. I may initially replace the inner chainring with a 36T (or 38T) and then decide if I will replace the outer ring with a corresponding 52T if desired. If I replace both, I will install a matched set (same manufacturer/model).

    Any opinions/preferences for Praxix (Buzz Sport model), Absolute Black, or Rotor? Any other brand chainrings I should consider for my cycle?

    It appears the stock front Shimano 105 derailleur will work with minor height adjustment. While my current chain is in good shape, I may need to add a link or two or replace the chain accordingly.

    Hoping to buy once/cry once...LOL!! I look forward to your replies/recommendations. Thanks again!
     
  9. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Shimano Ultegra makes the FC6800 for a11 speed setup double in a 36 and 52; and last I checked so does 105, called the FC5700 for a setup10 speed.

    I personally would stay with Shimano, then there is no doubt about it all meshing smoothly.
     
  10. heavypic

    heavypic New Member

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    Hey Froze - Thanks for your reply. I checked Shimano's site online - https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/service-upgradeparts/road/category/chainring.html . Regrettably, the FC6800 rings are for 4-bolt cranks. I have a stock Shimano 105 drive: 10-speed cassette and 110 BCD, 5-bolt crank. Also, there are no 5-bolt, 36T rings in the Shimano 105 series. I may have to go with TA Specialties or other brand. Thanks again.
     
  11. Jorg Schlagheck

    Jorg Schlagheck New Member

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    Hi,
    I’m probably not qualified to advise you on gearing, as I ride a vintage chromoly bike from the 80’s with a 54/48 and a six speed freewheel. I love this set up and it gets me sweating and breathing heavy, which I think is awesome. For the tracking device, you can’t go wrong with this thing:

    View: https://youtu.be/K89D-a-5l84
     
  12. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Jorg, so you recommend a product that you know is a hassle? An item with a feature that is going to send someone out of their way trying to figure out how to make it work. A $15 product that is more than likely not worth the effort to make it work when one can find an equally pain in the arse product at the dollar store?

    Wow, you'd go on a cycling forum and shaft your friends to make an extra buck seeing that the link is on your channel and you benefit from people buying this lousy product.

    Wow! You have nothing to offer on the gearing but you're here to sell a product. Wow, just wow! Too many lousy people on youtube pushing lousy product to make a buck even though they know it sucks. Great friend and contributor you are. :(
     
  13. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Either you're really strong or you don't do much climbing. 39's use to bring people's cadence down so far that you would get sore knees. The 52-39 system works fine if you ride mostly on the flats and are still under 40 or so. Spinning out a 50 is about 30 mph or so. Riding at that speed for any distance is pro level speed. So the only thing that the 52 does is leaves you in a smaller cog in the back. If your problem is that you don't spin very fast that can be from a crank arm length that is too long.

    One of the great things with the Look 795 with the Look cranks is that they are adjustable got 170, 172.5 and 175 (possibly also 177.5) so that no matter how long your legs are you can experiment with crank arm length. I've been riding 175's forever but got a super deal on a Campy record crank with 172.5 arms. I can't tell the difference except it spins a little easier. So I may have become a convert.

    Remember that 105 stuff is basically unrepairable while you can get repair parts for DuraAce and Ultegra. (I would imagine that these parts would also work in a 105 but the price would probably make it cheaper to buy new stuff.

    You will immediately note a softer ride with the 25's if you fill them to the correct pressure for your weight. I think that EVERYONE pumped 23's up to 120 psi to decrease rolling resistance. The 25's will probably (depending on brand and model) roll just as fast at 80 psi because the bike isn't being thrown up and down by road bumps and irregularities. At 6'4" and 185 lbs I have used 28's (70lbs psi) and they worked well for me. Better than the 25's if they would fit the bike.

    I had a Time Edge that was unrideable with 23's and was one of the nicest rides ever with 28's. I just got a Look 585 that is a climbing bike that rides like a dream with 25's but doesn't have a lot of directional stability so you have to watch it closely. This might disappear with more experience on the bike.

    I upgraded to Di2 (both DuraAce and Ultegra depending on the bike.) While this has a lot of advantages - they shift a hell of a lot better than any manual but my Campy Record 10 speed, but is it worth it? Like Tubeless tires that I tried for three years before returning to clinchers this will probably take time to decide. I don't like having to plug your bicycle in but then the batteries last just short of forever. So it you have any charge on them you won't run out of shifting.

    I did outfit a Cyclocross bike with 105 that I thought worked extremely well and it is so cheap that you could probably stick with that and replace anything that broke for a song. Carbon rims are NOT going to brake as well as aluminum unless you use Campagnolo carbon rim pads. But I don't know how fast that would wear the rims. This is why everything is going to hydraulic disks. A good set or wheels would only need the bearings replaced now and again and the Shimano actuators only take 5 minutes to replace the pads on and 4 of those minutes are finding where you put the new pads. I prefer the 5 bolt disks but some people prefer the splined Shimano though I couldn't tell you why. That much pressure on spines will ALWAYS wear them.

    If you replace the chain every 500 miles of so you probably wouldn't wear out a cassette. You can't buy too good a chain.
     
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