Advice on replacing cassette so I can climb hills

John McM

New Member
Hi everyone,

I bought a bike not long ago from Decathlon, the Riverside 500. I kind of liked the look of it and it wasn't too expensive. It's fine on flat areas. But the other day I went up the nearby hills with a couple of friends. They more experienced than me with expensive bikes.

Anyway, I seemed OK for a while but the rocky, soil path got steeper and never seemed to end. I was breathing harder than I ever have before and eventually I kind of conked out. I'm not that unfit as I do a bit of wall climbing and I'm not overweight.

So my bike has the following specs, gears wise.

Microshift H092 9-speed cassette.
- Cogs: 11/ 36.
- Single chainwheel: 36 teeth.- KMC X9 chain with quick release.
- Rear derailleur: BTWIN RD M46-L.
- Anti-derailment ring.

It's got a 1:1 top gear and I was wondering if I can just buy a bigger cassette to replace the one I have but I don't know if it'll work. I'd also really like to keep the same size smallest cog. Don't know if it's possible on that bike and I don't really want to spend hundreds on a new bike, having just got this one.

Thanks for any advice. I used to cycle in London a lot but never got terribly technical with it.

John
 

OldShep

Senior Member
That’s quite a low gear. Maybe you aren’t as fit as you thought. Go out and keep riding hills might be better and cheaper than changing your cassette.
 

Eric Olthwaite

Well-Known Member
There's absolutely nothing wrong with walking up the really steep bits. Don't worry about it. As you get more used to cycling, you will find them easier.
 
You've got a relatively low gear as it is, I would persist. Although might be fit, you are not necessarily bike fit yet and will need to adapt. I couldn't jump in boat tomorrow and be a world class rower, my muscles don't work that way. Being fit will hopefully help that adaptation. Good Luck :okay:
 
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John McM

New Member
Thanks for the input. It's actually quite challenging and not just a bit of a hill. The local mountain biking groups all go up there and it's like an hour climb. And I think my cadence is wrong in my lowest gear. If you check out gear ratios on mountain bikes they might go as low as 0.5. Sure I can push my bike, but I can go for a walk as well.
I realise that I really bought the wrong bike but was thinking that I might as well just put on a new cassette if it wasn't too complicated.
 

Cerdic

Active Member
When I got back on a bike for the first time in 30 years, I really struggled on hills. Actually, I really struggled on any kind of incline!

So I changed my rear cassette for a thing called a megarange, or some such name. It had a big jump to the lowest gear. I found it helpful while I found my legs.

As others have said, the more you cycle the easier it gets. Or, if not easier, then less hard...
 
Thanks for the input. It's actually quite challenging and not just a bit of a hill. The local mountain biking groups all go up there and it's like an hour climb. And I think my cadence is wrong in my lowest gear. If you check out gear ratios on mountain bikes they might go as low as 0.5. Sure I can push my bike, but I can go for a walk as well.
I realise that I really bought the wrong bike but was thinking that I might as well just put on a new cassette if it wasn't too complicated.
You can probably find a 42 toothed cassette to go on it but you are not gaining as much as you simply will in physical adaptation and you will start to get the problem of your gears being too wide apart. The new cassette, a chain whip, a lockring tool and if it's not integrated to the tool is what you'll need to change the cassette.
 
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John McM

New Member
Thanks all. The megarange thing sounds like it would help. I realise I'm not hardened to it yet but kind of feel that my lowest gear was a bit stiff for the conditions. One of the guys I was cycling with was a bit more slow and steady. I was worried that there might be a bunch of technical reasons why I couldn't change it but if it's fairly straightforward then I'll got for it. Seems like it's £40 or so for a new one.

So that's my Christmas present sorted...
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
Which hill is it?

I'm assuming that you are in the UK. There aren't that many hills here that take an hour to cycle up.

(I'm sure that people will now jump in and tell me about all of their huge local hills which are 90 minute climbs! :laugh:)
 
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John McM

New Member
I'm actually in Spain in Murcia. It's a range of hills that aren't immensely high but they're kind of steep with quite a lot of rocks and the tracks go up and down. I used to cycle in London and was good for that but moved to Spain four years ago and only have only now bought another bike. I've gone on a UK forum as my cycling vocabulary in Spanish isn't so good.
 

slowmotion

Quite dreadful
Location
lost somewhere
You have quite a big cog on the back but your chainring is quite bit too. Try a smaller chainring. Spa Cycles do a wide variety but I can't promise they'll have something to suit your bike. Yes, getting fitter will help, but I've always taken the attitude that it's a good idea to let your gearing do some of the work. Getting up a hill without walking is good for morale, even if your gearing is laughable to the experts.

Anyway, have fun.:okay:
 
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John McM

New Member
Thanks. I'll have a look at that. Need to read around it and see which is the easiest thing to change. Smaller chainring would make it a bit soft on the flat I feel but then I'm not really racing anyone. :smile:
 

cougie uk

Über Member
An expensive bike will make it easier. Probably lighter with a wider range of gears.

I'd not worry too much about it unless you are happy to spend a lot more. You will improve with practice anyway.

Your bike isn't really designed for hour long climbs - it's fine for easy cycling but you can buy time reductions if you fancy.
 

MntnMan62

Über Member
Location
Northern NJ
Wall climbing and hill climbing on a bike are two very different things. You need to get in bike shape. You don't need to do a thing to your bike.
 
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