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Help and advice

St50vecSt50vec Posts: 57
edited April 2016 in Road beginners
Hi everyone I'm pretty new to road cycling and have only just restarted cycling after a 15 gap. The question I have is I have an apollo evade mountain bike which I got for Xmas I have no intention of ever going off road with it so kind of turning it into a hybrid. So far I've changed the tyres to road ones which has helped the issue I have is I run out of gears to easy how easy is it to fit better gears to it. I know it's only a budget bike but at the moment I can't afford anything better so trying to make good a bad situation. Sorry if in wrong section. Andy

Posts

  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,928
    I think you need to be clearer in "run out of gears". If you mean there are not enough lower gears to get you up a hill then that would surprise me but then some folks do seem to need very low gears. If you mean that you 'spin out' then there are simple options (like a new cassette, although which one would need a little more info) but most beginners rarely actually spin out, more a case of finding 80+ to be unsustainable. In fact, most beginners average cadence is very low by normal road standards but find that this increases as their experience grows.

    Can you clarify a few items, not least the actual gearing, e.g., 24/30/44 at the front, 14-36 at the rear, etc. I know some folks will say that you are trying to stick lipstick on a pig but I appreciate the lack of budget...but anything you do to that bike will always be a bit of a stopgap.
  • St50vecSt50vec Posts: 57
    Hi thank you for the reply. Sorry I'm new to all this the numbers do they represent the number of teeth on each gear? Basically I can get up hills ok but I find that going along straights and flats I get to a point where there is no resistance and probably only doing 15mph. It also doesn't free wheel very well could this be hubs or just a budget bike. My plan is to build up fitness with this bike then hopefully buy new and join a club.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    So are you saying that on the flat around 15mph, you're in the largest chainring (front) and smallest sprocket (rear) and you can't go any faster? It would be helpful to know the number of teeth on your front chainring(s).
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  • St50vecSt50vec Posts: 57
    Yep resistance goes I shall count up the number of teeth when I get home. It's worse downhill tbh when I used to ride years ago I was told to sprint downhills to make going up hill easier that is almost impossible really as you are already maxed out really except for gravity
  • SMESME Posts: 389
    Bobbinogs wrote:
    I think you need to be clearer in "run out of gears". If you mean there are not enough lower gears to get you up a hill then that would surprise me but then some folks do seem to need very low gears. If you mean that you 'spin out' then there are simple options (like a new cassette, although which one would need a little more info) but most beginners rarely actually spin out, more a case of finding 80+ to be unsustainable. In fact, most beginners average cadence is very low by normal road standards but find that this increases as their experience grows.

    Can you clarify a few items, not least the actual gearing, e.g., 24/30/44 at the front, 14-36 at the rear, etc. I know some folks will say that you are trying to stick lipstick on a pig but I appreciate the lack of budget...but anything you do to that bike will always be a bit of a stopgap.

    To add to this also...
    The Halfords spec for your bike list it as 21 speed, I'll assume this is a 3x7.

    In my experience of Apollo/Carerra (Halford own brands) their 7 speed hubs tend to be freewheels and not cassettes, which MAY make your choice of rear sprockets limited.
  • St50vecSt50vec Posts: 57
    Hi I've just checked and I've got 41 on the front and 14 on the rear if I was to look for a new set I'm guessing I need more teeth front an less rear.
  • St50vec wrote:
    Hi I've just checked and I've got 41 on the front and 14 on the rear if I was to look for a new set I'm guessing I need more teeth front an less rear.


    Yes to get a harder (I.e faster at any given cadence [rate of pedalling]) gear you need more teeth on front (the chainring) and less on the back (smallest sprocket on the cassette). As others have said though with a Halfords triple front and seven sprocket rear you may be limited. Best contact Halfords and ask them what they can offer or take it to a local lbs if your not confident in the mechanics of changing gears. It's not overly complicated but both front chainrings and the rear cassette do need to match up with other aspects of the bike mechanically or they won't work.
  • St50vecSt50vec Posts: 57
    Ahh ok so I can't just order the shimano megarange on eBay then. I phoned halfords earlier and they said it wasn't possible to do but they can upgrade what is on there.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    I'd probably save the money and save up for the new bike.
  • SMESME Posts: 389
    fenix wrote:
    I'd probably save the money and save up for the new bike.

    2nd'ed.

    A 41 up front and 14 rear is pretty low gearing. You could change up just the chainring or cassette, or both. But by the time you've bought a new crankset, rear cassette or freewheel, possibly shifters, chain, and either bought tools or paid labour costs.....

    And as has been said it will always be a bit of a stopgap.

    Save up and maybe look for a decent 2nd hand roadbike, if that's what you're after. And there's plenty on these forums to help you with your choice.

    Good luck,
    Steve
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,139
    Not worth spending any money trying to change other than swoping the 42T big ring for a 44T, IF the chainset is bolted together, sometimes on cheap bike they are spot welded together. As others have said start saving for a road bike.
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,928
    St50vec wrote:
    Hi I've just checked and I've got 41 on the front and 14 on the rear if I was to look for a new set I'm guessing I need more teeth front an less rear.

    See my earlier comment about cadence as this is probably your biggest factor in 'spinning out'. I have punched the numbers and I reckon a 41/14 top gear combo is 77 inches, which is the normal road equivalent of 50/17. Spinning your legs on the flat at 90 rpm (which is a reasonable average on the flat for most roadies) will give you a speed of 20mph. If you can do that on the bike you have, then you are doing pretty well!

    So, yes you do need a road bike (so start saving) but you can easily suffice for now by learning to spin your legs which is also a good thing to learn as well as getting you fit. If you are going down hill then tuck in when you spin out but this, for a lot of roadies, is spinning north of 110-120. I followed a fixie down a hill a couple of years ago on a club ride and we calculated his legs were going 150 before he started bouncing in the saddle!

    Use the Strava phone app for measuring distance/speed and do a flattish loop. If you get home after the ride and noted that you did indeed spin out and then find that your top speed was under 20mph...learn to spin those little legs faster!
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    Just had a look at the bike online. As well as MTB gearing, it has a suspension fork, MTB size wheels and it is a very heavy bike at over 16kg, so unlikely to go fast on the road. It would be difficult to make the bike into a fast hybrid. You could get a reasonably good fast hybrid for £400/£500 (cheaper than a good road bike) with which you be a lot faster and not run out of gears.
  • St50vecSt50vec Posts: 57
    Thank you for all the advice I've ordered a Candace monitor so I can see what I'm doing and will see about increasing my fitness etc on this bike before I move to a new bike. Am speaking to a bike mechanic tomorrow about just making the bike a bit more comfy and fun. Anyone recommend a decent saddle are the spoon ones any good?
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    St50vec wrote:
    Thank you for all the advice I've ordered a Candace monitor so I can see what I'm doing and will see about increasing my fitness etc on this bike before I move to a new bike. Am speaking to a bike mechanic tomorrow about just making the bike a bit more comfy and fun. Anyone recommend a decent saddle are the spoon ones any good?
    Now that's a whole new discussion - saddles are very personal to individuals. I'm still trying to find a really comfortable one and have been cycling for years. One important point is getting the saddle height right - I've just realised my saddle has been too low and I think that has been causing me discomfort. Also be aware that the saddle is in the right fore and aft position in relation to the pedal cranks. If your reach isn't right it is more important changing or adjusting the stem rather than the saddle position.
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