I'm considering making a minor change to the gearing on my bike.
I'm quite happy keeping the standard chain rings that I have however, I do spit chips a little every time I'm on a hill >7% when everyone around me drops into granny gear on compacts and blithely spins past me using a 34:26 gear while my granny gear is 39:26. (yes, yes, kudos to all of you who don't need granny gear to get up hills).
To resolve this, I'm looking at changing my rear cassette from the 13-26 I currently have (Campag) to a 13:29.
My question then is, how much benefit do you think I might get from changing to the 13-29 cassette? I don't know the configuration of the gears and I'm too tired to look it up right now, but the small one is a 13 and the big one is a 29... I've no idea what's in between. If I have the option to fiddle with the 'in between' gears, what size gears might you recommend?
Bearing in mind that my decision not to change from standards to compacts is founded largely on my being unable to afford a new crankset, so despite that being a potentially good option, it's not going to happen. Not to mention, I like the standards and, given my smallest rear gear is a 13, I want to keep my 53 up front!
I would have suggested compact cranks as a better option, but if that's not possible then a dinner plate rear cassette is the go. I run compacts and had a 12-25 which was suitable for everything but Checkers. I've just had a long layoff and decided to make my comeback this year with 11-28. Fabulous because injury precludes me from standing when riding at the moment and I can get up all sorts of hills while sitting in 28. The only drawback is some loss of smoothness of gear changing at the big end (3-4 tooth jumps from 21-24-28 with Shimano). It would pay to check out what the range changes are with Campy. Speak to Gary at my new LBS!
You'll be surprised to find how much extra climbing you'll get from that small change to the rear cassette - sure, it'll still feel like hell but you'll also find yourself getting further up the hill.
Pity you're running Campy not Shimano because SRAM make cassettes that work with Shimano that go all the way up to 11-32.
For me, I'd try the wider cassettes before fiddling at the front end, but as you may have noted, I'm not a roadie.
One thing I forgot to mention is the rear dérailleur capability.
Not sure what Campy stuff is like, but think the biggest cog you can run on the back of a standard Shimano RD is 28 teeth. So going to 29T on your Campy "may" cause an issue. Best to check with a bike shop on that one.
Be warned that the manufacturers specs are conservative in this respect. For example, for years I ran a 26 tooth granny on my Shimano triple (stock rings 50-40-30) - I shouldn't have been able to do it but a standard 105 front dr handled it without fuss. On the back, I did have an mtb long reach dr, but with a 26 front and a 32 rear, that was needed.
To be honest, I'd just bung on the larger cassette and see how it goes. If it doesn't work, then source a longer arm dr and after that, look at going to a triple chainring set (or compact), in that order because you'll need the longer rear dr to handle an increased range at the front.
How about a triple front crank ? then you can keep the tight spread on the rear cluster and have a bail out front gear. A 30 front cog to a 26 rear is almost the same as a 34 front to a 28 rear and much easy on the legs than a 39 : 26
get the 29 at the same time as you need a new chain as your old chain will be a bit short.
The 29 will give you 1 low gear past what you already have.
You can just buy the cassette without a new chain but if you select 53 / 29 the derailleur will jam up and you will have to dismount to free it. ( I am running a chain 2 links too short and have been most of this year).
The cassette spacing is exactly the same on Campy and Shimano so if you have a friend with a 28 geared wheel they can loan/swap you for a ride just drop it in and ride it. You can draw your own conclusions on it's value.
The cassette spacing is exactly the same on Campy and Shimano
Are you sure about the spacing? I didn't think it was.
Good point about the chain length, one I would have been caught by.
it's not the same.
well it sure doesn't worry me. I just sling in a wheel with the gearing i want and go.
Some peeps tell me i cant run Shimano and SRAM chains as well and i can't put a Sram derailleur with a campy trigger.
Chains are a standard width (depending on the number of gears) so they aren't much of an issue.
Drs are just dumb devices that do with the shifter tells them, the indexing is in the shifter, not the dr.
Try a SRAM cassette with your Campy trigger and see how you go - now the question is, is the difference large enough to produce horrible shifting or just enough to be irritating?
some peeps ride around with their bikes sounding like a pepper grinder too.