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MTB Cassette on Road Bike - What I found

Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
edited August 2012 in Workshop
I swapped my MTB cassette (11-32T) and the long cage rear mech and the chain all over to my road bike.

I was astonished to find that the chain off my MTB (42F/32R) fits perfectly on the road bike (50F/32R).

All I did was took the chain off the MTB, wrapped it around the 50F and 32R on the road bike and I had exactly 3 links left over, as it should be for a long cage rear mech.

What I thought would take all day took well under 15 minutes!

Even the mech was perfectly setup (because it came off a same speed bike I guess).

Who wants to know exactly how many links this is? 110 links.

Oh, but the MTB chain always was too long because I put it on when I didn't know about the big>big plus 2 links rule (or +3 for a long cage). Its just by the grace of god that it was long enough, I think on a 42F/32R MTB the amount of chain links would probably be about the same as a road setup with a short cage and 50F/25R - something like 106 links.

Anyway maybe it might help someone who reads this in future, to know it takes about 106 links for a standard 50F/25R road setup "as is" and if you were to add a 32T rear cassette and a long cage mech, you only need 4 more links than whatever is already on the road bike as standard. I thought it would be 6 links before I tried it but it turned out to be 4.

As long as you have the cassette lock-ring removal tool, chain whip and a few allen keys this is really easy.

Nice way to check the chain stretch with no tools as well if you have a brand new chain to hang it next to, or hang both from something so they are exactly lined up at the top, then at the bottom of the old chain you will see how the links are not quite lined up.

While I was doing this I got rid of that stupid "quick link" or whatever it is, power connector, I CANNOT EVER UNDO THESE BY HAND! Its faster to use a chain breaker, plus why would you want a weaker link in your chain, I know people would argue they run it without problems, I have myself, but still it is a weak link. One of my power connectors got really screwed up after fair usage and it was totally impossible to remove it then because it had kinda merged into the chain itself, became all sharp and worn.

Up to now since getting that road bike I have swapped over...

1. Pedals. It has plastic double sided ones now, no cleats or toe clips, always hated them although I know they are more efficient. :roll:

2. MTB seat. Its just wider and more comfortable.

3. Most of the drivetrain from a MTB (MTB cassette for lower gearing, its chain and its longer cage rear mech).

4. The MTB stem (100mm) was swapped to the road bike that originally had a 120mm on it. I was reaching too far to the hoods even with the seat right forward.

So really it has become a touring bike. :lol:

Posts

  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,276
    Chain length also depends on the length of the chainstay, don't forget.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    antfly wrote:
    Chain length also depends on the length of the chainstay, don't forget.

    Yeah my dad said this when I showed him before.

    Its just a random freak occurrence that the chain is not 1 link too short or 1 link too long.

    Just tested it and I can get every gear, even the notorious big > big.

    Only one small issue, on the biggest chainring the rear mech doesn't seem to want to change from the 12T to the 11T (loosened a bit it won't change up properly) but I think I can adjust that, unless there is a reason for this when you have a setup like this? It changed from 12T to 11T alright on the middle chainring, just not the biggest one. In fact I would say it doesn't have any effect, its not even trying to change down, but again only on the biggest chainring, by this time the wind resistance is such that I don't really care about 50F/11R and 12T is what was on it anyway.

    Maybe I have found why road bikes never have a 11T? :lol: I haven't found "why" I have just found this to happen. :oops:

    Just gone up "Gilbert Bank" (very short, but very steep, maybe 22%+) on it in the lowest gear and its far better, feels like just the perfect gear for when I am really fatigued and want to carry on.

    OK Snake Pass 3rd ride coming up soon and this time I will get to the top!

    1st time - was on a MTB with a road cassette, had a 22F/23R and did struggle a bit, but hell I was coming all the way back up the 9 mile side that time as well! Was still on the knobblies then @ 65psi. :roll:

    2nd time - Tried on my road bike with its 30F/25R lowest gear and had no chance of even getting up the 3.2 mile side. Ended up turning round and going home gutted, since the whole point was to see the views.

    3rd time - Gonna do it again soon (next few days) on the new "touring" gear setup, should be a breeze. :mrgreen:

    The maths... on the MTB up Snake Pass with a 22F/23R it works out to be about 0.96 turns of the wheel, this new setup gives me a 30F/32R which equates to a slightly lower gear of 0.95. So, I already know I can get up Snake Pass (even the 9 mile side) because I did it 2 years ago (when I wasn't as fit) on a MTB with 0.96 and now I have a road bike with skinny tyres etc and a lowest gear that is almost identical to that - so it will be easier whichever way you look at it, far less drag because its a road bike, I am fitter, bike is only 23lbs not 32lbs.

    The good thing is my MTB will actually have better gearing on it with the road cassette as well. The gears on that MTB have always been far too low. The road bike simply has a bigger range of gears now and all the gears it used to have in the middle. Even just going from the 3rd to 4th sprockets I do prefer bigger jumps now to a close ratio even on this road bike. Nice to change down only 1 or 2 sprockets and power forward as opposed to it needing to be 3, 4 or even 5 sprockets on a close ratio. People say you can always find a perfect gear on close ratio and thats true, but that issue to me is a non-issue compared to not being able to make it up the mountain, sorry I mean hill. :lol:
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    "Maybe I have found why road bikes never have a 11T? :lol:"

    Oh yes they do!
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Oh, but the MTB chain always was too long because I put it on when I didn't know about the big>big plus 2 links rule (or +3 for a long cage).
    cage length has nothing to do with chain length.

    and count yourself lucky that is was the correct size. the chances were slim.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Manc33 wrote:
    While I was doing this I got rid of that stupid "quick link" or whatever it is, power connector, I CANNOT EVER UNDO THESE BY HAND! Its faster to use a chain breaker, plus why would you want a weaker link in your chain, I know people would argue they run it without problems, I have myself, but still it is a weak link. One of my power connectors got really screwed up after fair usage and it was totally impossible to remove it then because it had kinda merged into the chain itself, became all sharp and worn.

    If its the SRAM 10 speed connector then it's not designed to be undone. If its the SRAM 9 speed connector then my experience has been that they're very easy to undo provided you know how. KMC missing links are dead easy to undo on 10 speed.

    As for the weak link comment - I don't believe they are in any way weaker than a regular link. What makes you think they are a weak link?
    More problems but still living....
  • Mike03776Mike03776 Posts: 40
    amaferanga wrote:

    As for the weak link comment - I don't believe they are in any way weaker than a regular link. What makes you think they are a weak link?

    They do wear faster than normal links.
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Mike03776 wrote:
    amaferanga wrote:

    As for the weak link comment - I don't believe they are in any way weaker than a regular link. What makes you think they are a weak link?

    They do wear faster than normal links.

    Really? Any evidence of this that's not anecdotal? They should still be fine for the lifetime of a chain though, which is what they're designed for.
    More problems but still living....
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Well I've had 2 missing links and each has outlasted 2 chains, so I'm sticking with KMC
  • Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    The wear is on the outer plate, from changing gear.

    Mine ended up not looking like a power connector. It was sort of fused/gnarled into the pin and thus, impossible to remove (by hand at least).

    I remember the old Shimano ones and they were easy to undo years ago, before I had ever heard of SRAM. :P

    Can't fault SRAM cassettes though, those PG850 for example are way lighter than Shimano for the same kind of cost.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Never had a problem with on a master link before. I never use pins now even with campy chains. Just fit the appropriate KMC link.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,175
    Don't forget that you have bigger diameter wheels on your road bike, so even though the gear ratio on your lowest gear is lower than your old MTB, the larger wheel raises it again (which is why you often see gear ratios quoted as 'gear inches').
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
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