Struggling up hills.....Can I change gearing ratio etc. to make it easier ??

Dave7

Legendary Member
Location
Cheshire
Funny but when I was 17 I could go up mountains :smile:...........now I'm 68 I struggle up hills :sad:

I know this has recently been discussed on here but ............
a) I cant find the thread &
b) this is specific to my bike (and me).......................

My bike is a Giant Defy and the gearing is.........
20 speed Shimano
cassette 11-28
crankset 34-50
So several questions..................
1) Is it possible to change the crankset so as to make it easier ?
2) If so what is recommended ?
3) If so I can't do it myself..........any ideas what the likely cost would be ? (so I know I'm not being ripped off)
 

sidevalve

Über Member
1 - yes but 34 / 28 is pretty low anyway. I'm only a few years younger [and I am NOT superfit] and I run 39 / 28 and County Durham is not flat.
2 - pretty much the above - might be better to raise the rear to 30 if you have to [if it will fit].
3 - you CAN do it yourself - four [pos five] bolts undone, chain ring off same bolts redone new chain ring back on - simples.
 

TheDoctor

Resistance is futile!
Moderator
Location
Stevenage
Sadly, a 34 ring is as low as you can go on a compact chainset. There isnt another chainset you could usefully fit, as a Triple means changing so much other stuff it gets very costly, very quickly. A cassette with 30T will fit, or 32, 34 or even 36T might fit, and that's the way I'd go.
 
OP
Dave7

Dave7

Legendary Member
Location
Cheshire
1 - yes but 34 / 28 is pretty low anyway. I'm only a few years younger [and I am NOT superfit] and I run 39 / 28 and County Durham is not flat.
.
Which is a puzzle as I like to think I am reasonably fit as I enjoy walking, golf and I am cycling every week......either 2 x 25/30 milers or 1 x 50 miler.
TBH it was only yesterday that I had to get off and walk.........and I did have an "iffy" stomache.
I will see how I go on with my next ride before deciding.
Thanks
 
OP
Dave7

Dave7

Legendary Member
Location
Cheshire
Sadly, a 34 ring is as low as you can go on a compact chainset. There isnt another chainset you could usefully fit, as a Triple means changing so much other stuff it gets very costly, very quickly. A cassette with 30T will fit, or 32, 34 or even 36T might fit, and that's the way I'd go.
Many thanks..........I will look into that.
Now I know that the BIGGER cog on the cassette makes it "easier" to pedal..................does that mean 36 teeth is the way to go ???
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
As @TheDoctor says, a new cassette is the way to go. Check out the specs of your rear derailleur. These should tell you the max sprocket that it can deal with and its capacity (amount of slack it can deal with). Hopefully you can fit an 11-32 cassette which will require a capacity of 37 Teeth (50+32) - (34+11) and a max sprocket of 32.

If your RD can't cope with it, then a new long cage RD won't break the bank. (£25 ish?)

You will need a new chain too as your existing chain won't be long enough.

Without checking I'd guess that you'd be spending about £30 on parts ... plus LBS labour, plus another few quid if you need a new mech

Gearing is very personal, but IMO there's a big difference between 30/28 (~32") gear and a 30/32 (~28") gear. My personal gear-ometer says that "low" doesn't start until below 30". 30"-40" and above is "medium-low". But that's just me.

I'd go for it.
 
Last edited:

TheDoctor

Resistance is futile!
Moderator
Location
Stevenage
Well, that 36T *might* fit. More than 30T may be going outside of what the rear mech is rated for, and it's hard to say what will or won't work. My 105 rear mech sort-of worked with a 32T, but was a bit noisy..
 

gavroche

Getting old but not past it
Location
North Wales
Funny but when I was 17 I could go up mountains :smile:...........now I'm 68 I struggle up hills :sad:


51 years is quite a big gap!! :blush:Don't worry too much about it, just go at your own speed but a bigger cassette will definitively help. :okay: I always struggle up the hills ( I am 64) but I just put my head down, don't look up and keep pushing those pedals.
Eventually I get to the top.
 

SpokeyDokey

Into my 64th
Moderator
Which is a puzzle as I like to think I am reasonably fit as I enjoy walking, golf and I am cycling every week......either 2 x 25/30 milers or 1 x 50 miler.
TBH it was only yesterday that I had to get off and walk.........and I did have an "iffy" stomache.
I will see how I go on with my next ride before deciding.
Thanks
I don't think 34x28 is particularly low.

As already said it's very much a personal thing as to what works for each individual.

I run 34x30 as my lowest and I wish I had lower at times. In fact there are a large number of climbs where I live I would not even attempt with my current lowest gearing, I'd only have a stab with MTB twiddly gearing!

105 RD5701 (which I have) will go up to 32T cassette btw.

NB: I'm exactly 10 years behind you in age and am pretty fit (I do a lot of mountain walking/scrambling up to 15 hour days on occasion) and still find cycling hard work!
 
Last edited:

MikeW-71

Veteran
Location
Carlisle
There's a few options.

Tiagra 12-30 cassette should work with your current derailleur, you can get away with the same chain length, but ideally add a link. It doesn't sound a lot, but it's a significant difference.

Changing to a medium cage derailleur and you can go to 11-32

Change to a long cage derailleur (Shimano R350, as fitted to my Revolt) and you can fit 11-34
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
Which model/year of Defy
Which model of rear mech.
Current 105 has RD-4600 SS (short cage 34t capacity) and RD-4600GS (long cage 39t capacity)

I used to use Stronglight which can be setup any which way from 28 upwards. single,double or triple. Not 10-spd compatible.
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
Big sprockets aren't a badge of shame. They were showing Fabio Aru's bike at the end of today's stage of the Giro and he had a 30T big sprocket. (Juan Antonio Flecha's guess, he thought it was 30 or 32).
 
OP
Dave7

Dave7

Legendary Member
Location
Cheshire
Which model/year of Defy
Which model of rear mech.
Current 105 has RD-4600 SS (short cage 34t capacity) and RD-4600GS (long cage 39t capacity)

I used to use Stronglight which can be setup any which way from 28 upwards. single,double or triple. Not 10-spd compatible.
Now that is WAAYY to technical for me.
I can tell you it is 2014 model bike.......................link is below but I can't see ref' to rear mech ??

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-gb/bikes/model/2014.giant.defy.advanced.2/14975/66538/#specifications
 
OP
Dave7

Dave7

Legendary Member
Location
Cheshire
Which model/year of Defy
Which model of rear mech.
Current 105 has RD-4600 SS (short cage 34t capacity) and RD-4600GS (long cage 39t capacity)

I used to use Stronglight which can be setup any which way from 28 upwards. single,double or triple. Not 10-spd compatible.
Now that is WAAYY to technical for me.
I can tell you it is 2014 model bike.......................link is below but I can't see ref' to rear mech ??

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-gb/bikes/model/2014.giant.defy.advanced.2/14975/66538/#specifications
 
Top Bottom