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Adding more gears......is it possible?

Discussion in 'ROAD & TOURING BIKES' started by Chips_Mahoy, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. Chips_Mahoy

    Chips_Mahoy

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    I've got a 1989 Cannondale SR400 that I'd like to upgrade from the 12 speed it is now to twice as many gears if possible.
    Is this something that can be done, and if so, is it easy or difficult? Expensive or reasonable. I really like the bike but I'd like to make it more a friendlier distance rider, if that makes sense.
    I'm getting ready to rebuild it and am hoping to improve it. Any help is appreciated!!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. cman

    cman Moderator

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    You will need to measure the frame spacing at the rear dropouts. It will be probably 126mm and you need 130mm for modern roadbike drivetrain. Your only option is to "spring" the frame when inserting the newer wheel. Since it is aluminum, you cannot cold-set the frame permanetly. Read Sheldon Brown's article for much more. http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html
     
  3. Bicycle808

    Bicycle808

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    I agree, don't cold set the frame. What I would do, though, is convert to a triple crank, and get a cassette hub with a 7speed-sized freehub body ( easily found in 126mm, or very easy to convert to 126mm) and try a 8-of-9-on-7 or 9-of-10-on-7 set up. Getting a 24, 27, or 30 speed on that is very possible, although I think it's a functional and decent set up as it sits now. If you need more range, change the freewheel! (PS- if that bike already has a Shimano cassette hub, then it's probably uniglide, but you can swap out the UG freehub body for a hyperglide 7 speed (usually sold as an Acera-X freehb body) for about 20bucks. With that FHB, you can take most modern cassettes of most sizes, ditch 1 cog, and run the rest.... you may need some spacers. But, you'll also need a different rear derailer for anything bigger than 28 or 30t max cogs.

    Cheap or expensive? Depends on how you wource parts, or what ypou decide to do, exactly. Hard or easy? Easy enough if you're used to working on bikes, and understand derailer systems well. (Helps if you're fluent in Shimano-ese.) Worthwhile? I dunno; i look at your Crack-n-Fail, and I think it's already a good roadbike for most day rides of any distance, and it'll never be a good multi-day tour bike, so.......
     
  4. Chips_Mahoy

    Chips_Mahoy

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    Thanks to both of you for the quick response. They both helped.

    I'm definitely not looking to make a multi-day roadie out of it. I live fairly rural so rides that last a couple hours are my goal.

    According to a size chart I looked at, this frame is way to big for me. I've never been fitted for a bike. This one measures 62.5 cm. I'm in the range of 5'8"-5'9" tall. I definitely have my legs stretched out when riding it. If this thing is too tall for me for comfort on long rides, maybe I should look at improving my Trek. It's a 1988 330 with a 53.5 cm measurement. According to the same chart, that's on the lower end of an appropriate frame size. I just liked the Cannondale frame better.
     
  5. cman

    cman Moderator

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    That Cannondale will be a pretty harsh ride with the short chainstays and steep brakestays. It sounds like you need something in between. Maybe sell them both and find the right size bike with a more modern drivetrain?
     
  6. jonathan creason

    jonathan creason

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    This is probably your best bet. If you're wanting to ride for a couple of hours fit is going to be very important and I don't think either of those are going to be very comfortable for you. You'd probably do better with something in the 56-57cm range.
     
  7. Chips_Mahoy

    Chips_Mahoy

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    The thought did cross my mind of redoing the 2 and then selling them to buy something a little newer. I'm still just exploring into the roadie bike world so I'm thankful for the help you've given me. I don't know what's out there yet. Especially on my tight budget!! :eek:
     
  8. Bicycle808

    Bicycle808

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    Whatcha want is a decent-quality steel road bike from the 80s or 90s. I'd shoot for a 55 to 56 cm frame. If you're riding but not racing, it probably makes more sense to go for more range without going for more gears; wider spread to the cogs in the freewheel, and making sure the smaller ring on the crank is small enough for your fitness level and terrain. These things can be had cheap if you're patient and not too picky. I like 50/39 or 50/34 cranks with a 12-28 out back. 12-28 is nice, whether it's on a 7 speed block or an 11-speed.... but, your needs and preferences will likely vary from mine....
     
    Chips_Mahoy likes this.
  9. Chips_Mahoy

    Chips_Mahoy

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    Great info but numbers and I don't get along very well. :eek::eek:

    I think I may have found a good beginner roadie for me. It's an aluminum frame bike for not too much money and I'm not buying it at Walmart :rockout:.

     
  10. jonathan creason

    jonathan creason

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    Aluminum frames are nice and light, but can be tooth jarring. No biggie, though. Ride it like you stole it, and if you really like being a roadie you can upgrade in the future. Enjoy!
     
    Chips_Mahoy likes this.
  11. ifitsfreeitsforme

    ifitsfreeitsforme

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    You're a 54-55cm rider. You could probably make the Trek work. And if it's steel, it'll take all new components. Put a EBay carbon fork on it. It'll be slick.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Chips_Mahoy and LukeTheJoker like this.
  12. Chips_Mahoy

    Chips_Mahoy

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    The TREK is steel. I never thought about there being a ride quality difference between an aluminum and steel bike. I just figured they all rode rough due to the tiny tires. A lot of my riding will be paved, rural county roads. This is what it looks like. This isn't my bike. I'm having trouble loading pics from my files:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Bendix

    Bendix

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    Please tell us it DOESN'T have a Maillard 'Helicomatic' rear hub before folks give any more suggestions on the best way to proceed....
     
  14. Chips_Mahoy

    Chips_Mahoy

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    No it doesn't. Never heard of it either.
     
  15. Bendix

    Bendix

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    Cool. Trek had a way of sneaking those in for a few years- it used a unique splined cassette. ;-)
     
  16. Chips_Mahoy

    Chips_Mahoy

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    Oh....I'll have to check on that. Not sure if it does or doesn't.
     
  17. ifitsfreeitsforme

    ifitsfreeitsforme

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    That Trek will make a fine road bike. Lighten it up a bit with a cf fork and some upgraded bits, and it'll ride nice and haul. I rode/raced a similar bike ages ago. I have fond memories of it.
     
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  18. Bicycle808

    Bicycle808

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    If your 330 is an '88 and it's still got the original wheelset, you won't have the Helicomatic hub on it. Those were commonly found on earlier Treks, and a lot of French bikes. They were actually a pretty good design, but finding parts for them is a nightmare and they aren't compatible with other freewheels or cassettes.

    If I were you, I'd air up the tires, give it a quick tune, and ride it for a decently long ride before I sank any real effort or $ into it, just to make sure you like the fit. Cruiser folks tend to be really open-minded when it comes to frame size, and I'm basically in agreement, but roadbikes are the type of things where fit is really critical. Further, I tend to be into frames on the larger side, personally. Others prefer'm on the small side. Until you get the saddle time in, it's tough to say where your preferences lie.
     
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  19. Chips_Mahoy

    Chips_Mahoy

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    Thanks again for all your help.

    The rear hub isn't the Helio. It said LoveJoy or something like that. I should've taken a pic but forgot to. My youngest son has kinda laid claim to the Trek now. He enjoys riding it and it fits him well and will for just a bit. I think my brother is wanting the Cannondale since he's 6'1" and it'll fit him nicely. So I may not have to worry about it at all! I'm just going to go ahead and look for something else for me.
     
    Bicycle808 likes this.
  20. Chips_Mahoy

    Chips_Mahoy

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    The Trek 330 is "officially" going to be my son's after a repaint and service. I picked up a 2010 Specialized at the HACBC Winter Show/Swap and absolutely love it! It's got Dura-Ace shifters, brake set and rear derailleur, 105 front derailleur, Origin 8 compact crankset, LeMond saddle, Carbon fork. Kenda 700 x 23c tires. I'll invest in some new pedals soon but these will work for now It's only a 51cm frame but the seat height made up for it. Very comfortable to ride for ME.
    [​IMG]

    Then......Yesterday, I went up to one of my LBS to pick up some tires for the Trek 330. I ended up walking out with a frame as well unexpectedly.......2010 Jamis Comet. It has Tektro Quartz brakes on it still but what you see in the pic is what I got, I felt at a good price. I don't know anything about those particular brakes, but I've got time to read up on them before its built.
    [​IMG]

    When it's done, it should look something like this:
    [​IMG]
     

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