Putting gears on my road bike

World\'s Dump
World\'s Dump Posts: 107
edited June 2013 in Road beginners

Some of you might have seen me on here before and I apologize for bothering you with annoying questions that I should know the answers to.

I have decided that I am going to give up running long distances and to start road cycle. I bought a road frame a year or so ago and have made it into a single speed when really I should have put gears on it. Though not a young whipper snapper (38), I'm more used to the older type bikes.

My question is (if I show you pictures of my current ride) how easy would it be to put gears on this, would it be worth the trouble and how easy would it be to put older gear components on a newer frame?

Many thanks



  • lotus49
    lotus49 Posts: 763
    It's going to be a fair bit of effort and expense to do this and I can't imagine you would really save much money once you had bought the numerous parts you will need.

    If you like older bikes and don't mind spending a bit of time fettling your bike, why not buy an old steel racer? There are some lovely older bikes around in roadworthy condition at a decent price. You will probably save a lot of money and if your main objective in taking up cycling is keeping fit, the slight extra weight of a steel bike compared to a newer bike will be a positive benefit :) .
  • t4tomo
    t4tomo Posts: 2,643
    your easiest route to gears might be to pop a used rear wheel of same size with a Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub on it. Should be plenty on ebay. Attach a cable and shifter and Bob's your dad's brother.
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,527
    Not wanting to sound rude but do you find that saddle position comfortable? It seems to be angled down quite steeply and also set a long way forward. The main reason for asking being that if you do decide to spend time and money getting gears onto that frame then you want to make sure you are certain that the frame fits you properly.

    As for the work involved off the top of my head some sort of hanger for a rear mech, the mech itself, you can get away with a band on front mech and some old band on gear levers (otherwise you are looking at brazing for downtube shifters or cable guides for STI shifters plus the shifters themselves) and some form of cable routing on the top tube, bottom bracket and chainstays. You will need a new chain plus all the cabling. I'm not sure if you can braze easily onto aluminium frames (which I assume that is). So all in all a lot of work whereas you can probably get an old 531 framed bike in reasonable condition for less than you are likely to spend on a conversion.
  • World\'s Dump
    World\'s Dump Posts: 107
    Thanks for your replies.

    Haven't decided what to do just yet. Re: the saddle, I keep the bike in the office and don't ride that far as my visits are only a mile or so up the road so I don't feel too uncomfortable. But if you think it might need adjusting, maybe I should adjust it.
  • lotus49
    lotus49 Posts: 763
    Men usually have their saddles level or pointing slightly upwards. Women often have their saddles pointing slightly downwards.

    I assume that you are a man since you signed yourself as Nick so you would almost certainly be more comfortable with your saddle level.
  • World\'s Dump
    World\'s Dump Posts: 107
    ok.... so if i wanted to upgrade with all the latest groupset, how much am I looking at shelling out?

  • Druidor
    Druidor Posts: 230
    Shimano Tiagra 4600 Groupset £300
    Shimano 105 5700 Groupset £400
    Sensa Trentino SL Custom 2013 - 105 Compact - Aksium Race
  • lotus49
    lotus49 Posts: 763
    You could buy a second hand Sora groupset for about £100 but you'd need other bits as well. A new Sora groupset would be just over double that.

    If you want a detailed description of what else you'd need, you would probably be better off asking in the workshop section but as I said in my first reply, this is not going to be a trivial undertaking so, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and are on a tight budget, I think you would be better off buying a second hand bike.
  • Thanks.... How easy would it be to keep the single chain ring at the front and have 5 or 6 speed at the rear but I suppose I would still need all the index shifters. Hard trying to fin a second hand bike on a budget :-(
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I'd just ride that bike and see how you go. I ride fixed gear in winter and its only slightly harder than with gears.

    You say you only ride short distances now. You might not like cycling. The bike might not fit you. Why spend £100s before you know ?