How can I up my gearing???

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by screwball2, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. screwball2

    screwball2 New Member

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    I have a Viking Targa Mantra mountain bike. It is driving me crazy that on either the road or a slight incline my feet are peddling like a fiddlers elbow yet no real speed at all! my gearing is 42-14 with a 7 speed rear sprocket. It seems impossible to find an 11 small sprocket - anyone suggest?????
     
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  2. timkstl

    timkstl New Member

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    figure out if you have a freewheel or freehub design, then choose the proper cogset. if you have a freewheel, you'll probably have to settle for a 12 as your high gear. if you have a cassette, it's easy to get an 11.
     
  3. screwball2

    screwball2 New Member

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    Thanks for your time but I am very new to this, How do I tell which of the two options I have - freewheel or the other (I believe the correct terminology is cassette or block????). I need Speeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed >>>>>>>
     
  4. timkstl

    timkstl New Member

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    you probably need someone to show you or tell you the difference. you probably have a freewheel, but i can't be sure. ask a bike shop tech, tell him what you want. any worth their salt should be able to get you more gear either way.
     
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    It is very difficult to find a CASSETTE which has a 14t smallest cog, so your rear wheel probably has a FREEWHEEL.

    You have two easy (as in, economical) options ... you can probably fit a larger chainring on your crankarm ... 48t is the largest that is commonly available for a 4-arm 104BCD crank.

    OR, you can buy a SUNRACE Freewheel to replace the one you have ... a 7-speed SunRace Freewheel will have a 13t smallest cog -- going from a 14t cog to a 13t cog is a bigger difference than it probably sounds like.

    OR, you can do both (i.e., change the Freewheel AND chainring).

    BTW. If the cost of the single chainring seems high or your particular crank has chainrings which are rivete on, then you can buy a ROAD crank & fit it on your bike.
     
  6. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    If your bike is only a few years old then it's a freewheel for sure. I think they stopped making 7 speed cassette bikes before the turn of the millenium.

    If there is a lockring with two holes in it just inside the smallest sprocket, and if that lockring turns with the wheel not the sprockets, it's a freewheel.

    If there is a lockring just outside the last sprocket, holding it on, and if that lockring turns with the sprockets not the wheel, it's a cassette.

    Don't go too nuts on the gearing changes. The more you slow your crank, the more force you will need to go fast. Try finding a 13t freewheel first.
     
  7. guidosan

    guidosan New Member

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    It sounds like yu have an older wheel, which may have the freewheel. The cassettes are what you will find on bikes these days. With that in mind, the best thing for you to do is to take the bike to the LBS. They will tell you for sure if you have a free wheel or cassette. Then they can check their stock and what is available to order that will help you out. The reason to take the whole bike and not just the rear wheel is that they can advise you on your chainrings. They can tell you your options of just changing some of the chainrings, or if you will need to change the whole crankset.
    I do feel your frustration. When I got started riding the streets with my mtn bike, any slight downhill or tailwind on the flats made it difficult to pedal fast enough for any speed. I had a cassette and was able to put on an 11-21 (7-speed) and eventually changed the cranks to a 28-38-48. I just bought a 50 tooth chainring and then I should be set for a while. Unfortunately they do not make the 11-21 anymore.
     
  8. randochap

    randochap New Member

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    Hi. New here.

    There are plenty of seven speeds in production, especially in the lower end "hybrid" market and cassettes and freewheels are widely available.

    Sounds like the OP has a compact MTB drivetrain, which isn't really useful on the road. Larger chainrings would help in this case.

    As advised, a LBS would be the place to sort this out.
     
  9. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    I believe the seven speed equipped bicycles in production for the last decade have all been freewheel bikes.

    I concur that you can buy new service replacement 7 speed cassette parts, though.

    I concur with Alfeng that you can just change the chainrings (and resite your front derailleur) but sometimes the price of rings makes looking at a crankset pretty attractive. You can change to a hybrid crankset, which would give you higher chainrings. Hybrid cranks usually fit MTB bottom brackets if you get the right kind (there's a few types of spindles.) You could have a 28-38-48 crank. To do this you would need to do some research to get the right parts, a crank puller, the crankset itself, and the willingness to resite your front derailleur higher.

    I don't know if you would just be able to get just the big ring for speed and leave the other two, because the derailleur is limited in how big a range it can cover due to the size of the cage. I am not sure you can have a 22 and a 48 ring on the same crank.

    You may as well get to a shop and have them tell you what it is because unless you want to buy the socket to remove the freewheel, they'll have to do it for you. Of course, if the freewheel is old and you're going to pitch it out, it's possible to remove at home if you have basic tools and installing the new one requires no tools because it screws on by hand and tightens by you pedaling the bike.
     
  10. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Then there's the best solution of all. Save the MTB for the mountains and buy a decent quality 12 speed road bike from the 1980s!
     
  11. randochap

    randochap New Member

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    Good idea! Seriously.
     
  12. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    42-14 would have you spinning out at 20+MPH, which is a fairly decent speed for everyday riding, descents and dedicated road riding excluded.
    If you really find yourself spending considerable time in that realm, consider getting a road bike instead.

    If you're not hitting 20 MPH, consider working on your pedalling skill first. Far more riders have messed up their knees by pushing too high gears than the opposite.

    Otherwise, visit your lbs, have them source a source another crank for you. If your bb is square taper it shouldn't set you back that much to get one with bigger rings.
     
  13. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    I took a good look at a new low end mtb the other day. I didn't realize they wrer riveting the chainrings onto the crank. Usually they are held on with some allen bolts. I don't know if it's possible to remove the rivets and whether any standard fastener will fit in their place. When I talk of changing rings, I mean the riveted kind.

    90 rpm is considered a good cadence for high speed riding jftr. If you can't do that easily, I doubt your speed would increase much if you got a hybrid crankset with a 48 ring. The lower the crank speed, the higher the force.

    Incidentally, the new mtb had an 8 speed freewheel. The outer sprocket was offset about a half inch outboard of the lockring.
     
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