Question about pedaling speed



Escape88

New Member
Feb 23, 2013
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Hi everyone, I have a question regarding pedaling speed. I don't know all that much about bicycle mechanics and whatnot, so forgive my ignorance.

Last year I bought a new 2012 Specialized Hardrock mountain bike to replace my old Hardrock which I'd had for over 10 years and which I had grown out of. I tested it out in the parking lot of the shop and everything felt perfect. Perfect size, perfect fit, etc etc. So I get home and take it for a ride, only to find out that something felt wrong. I discovered that with this new bike, I am unable to pedal at the same speed I could with the old one. What I mean by this is that when I have the gears on the highest setting, my speed will max out, I will have no pedaling resistance, and I will end up having to coast at a much lower speed than with my old bike, even while on flat ground. This is rather frustrating to me as, well, I can't go very fast, so I am wondering if there is a simple way to increase this maximum speed. I imagine the key would be to put a larger chainwheel on the front; is this correct/possible/a good idea?
[SIZE= 13px]If this is what I need to do, does anyone have any suggestions on specific parts I would need to purchase?[/SIZE]

[SIZE= 13px]Thanks for the help[/SIZE]
 

dhk2

Active Member
Aug 8, 2006
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Surprised you didn't take the bike back to the shop as soon as you noticed the issue. At any rate, that's what I'd recommend doing now. Maybe just the rear cassette can be changed, maybe the chainrings, or maybe both. Rather than buying parts on your own and hoping you got the right stuff and can install it correctly, rely on their expertise and let them select the new gears and do the work. They should be able to give you the options and prices before the work is done. If they've got the parts in stock, they might even do it while you wait so you could watch and learn.
 

Volnix

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2011
2,883
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This is a good book about cycling physics:

http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/bicycling-science



The problem is probably because of the different gearing. You might want to change the rear cassete to something starting with a very small gear.
 

daveryanwyoming

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2006
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That is a good book, but a better book in this case would probably be a history of mountain bike design and changes that have occurred over the years with gearing going from more traditional road style triple chainrings to the compact MTB gearing (which proceeded the move towards compact cranks on the road) to the current trend towards 2x10 style MTB drivetrains and the micro-compact cranks associated.

IOW, MTB gearing has changed over the years and it sounds like your older bike and new bike are set up differently with a lot of newer bikes optimized for mostly off road use and not carrying as much top end gearing for speed on the road. But it's also possible they built up the bike with something like a 12-32 cassette instead of an 11-32 or something along those lines. With the modern compact and 2x10 drive trains that 11 tooth cog can be really useful.

Hard to say without seeing what you're running for gearing now vs before but as others have said, talk to the shop and see what can be done.

-Dave
 

Escape88

New Member
Feb 23, 2013
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Thanks for the replies.
I think I've discovered what the problem is - the rear cassette is 14-34 as opposed to an 11-28. I've posted a question on the Specialized support page about replacing the stock one.