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Upgrade Advice

commuterlegscommuterlegs Posts: 92
edited May 2017 in The workshop
Hi all,

I have had my Giant road bike for 10 years and never changed any components with the exception of the front derailleur which got damaged when the bike was blown over at a pub in Anglesey. The bike is now my commuter bike and therefore takes a fair bit of abuse (mostly down a canal path all year-round).

The chain, cassette and chainrings all look worse for wear so I am considering replacing but not sure whether to just keep going until it falls apart (the commute is flat so only use 3-4 gears probably) so the fact it doesn't shift very well is not a problem. It is currently a triple with Sora shifters.

I got carried away and bought new cables and a chain in the sales but am now thinking I should probably replace all or nothing? As it's my commuter bike I don't really want to spend much on it but would like it to be relatively nice to ride throughout the year.

Any advice welcome.

Thanks

Posts

  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,503
    I'd certainly replace the cassette and probably the chainrings at the same time - The chain and cassette will have worn together, so putting a new chain on such an old cassette is likely to cause problems. 10 year old Sora is likely to be 8 speed I'd imagine, so parts will be cheap, but maybe slightly harder to find.

    If the shifting's not too bad, then I wouldn't bother changing the shifters or derailleurs.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    If you are in the flat, consider a narrow wide CX chainring and going 1x gearing, long term it will reduce costs.
  • Yes, I made the mistake of leaving it too long on my commuting bike and shipped the chain because of lack of maintenance. Broken elbow.

    Cables, Chain and cassette sound like they need to go after 10 years, for chainrings there are YouTube videos showing what shape the teeth should be and what shape you should replace.
  • Thanks for the replies.

    Hopefully you can see the images below:

    169s0fs.jpg

    2e5nuy9.jpg

    As you can see, the bike got some winter abuse before christmas and I did not get chance to clean it down so it looks particularly bad now. It has been in similar condition before though and rides okay after a good scrub and lube.

    Quite like the idea of a single chain set up front, I only use the big ring on my commute so it's a waste really. How much/ how difficult would this be to do. Do you retain the existing shifters and just not connect/use the front derailleur?

    Cheers
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    You're cross chaining too. Not great for the chain. You should be using the smaller ring.

    The damage has been done now. You could run the chain and transmission into the ground or youll have to swap everything. A new chain and worn sprockets and rings wont work.

    If its a commuter bike why not get full mudguards and itll keep things a bit cleaner?
  • Yeah, not great form but I don't put much pressure through the lowest gear, it's just for spinning legs on the last road as a warm down and then setting off the next day. Spends most of the ride in the middle four gears.

    I have tried various mudguards without much success, they either rub or cannot put up with the rigour of canal path cobbles and come loose. I just have a seat post mounted one to protect my back.
  • If I replace the cassette (SRAM PG850 8spd), it's currently a 12-26, should i do like for like or change it for 11-28 so it has a higher top-end or is it better to have them closer together?
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Neither is better, one may be better for you! Unless you are spinning out (on the flat with that gearing you aren't) a smaller cog won't mean higher top speed just a gear you never use!
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,968
    How have you managed to capture an image of the chain in the position shown? i.e. with the chain appearing to run high of the front mech, have you put the chain over the front roller of the mech? if so then it's not supposed to and you're in danger of breaking the front mech
  • gbsahne wrote:
    How have you managed to capture an image of the chain in the position shown? i.e. with the chain appearing to run high of the front mech, have you put the chain over the front roller of the mech? if so then it's not supposed to and you're in danger of breaking the front mech

    Yes, that front mech looks very wrong.

    I'd get it serviced at a bike shop.
  • Ha, no, the chainlink behind the mech was seized at an upwards angle. It is now freed and running relatively smoothly (or was on the commute this morning anyway).

    Cleaned her up yesterday, re-lubed the chain and fitted some new brake pads which were desperately required, however, new problem, the wheels are not running true. If it is only slightly out (probs 3mm deviation) can this generally be fixed or will it just get worse until the wheel needs replacing?
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    1x gearing

    Having coinverted one of my bikes I want to do the rest now ... well with exception of the fast road bike as having close ratio gears is just plain nicer for that type of riding.

    but for commuting, trail riding ..... a 1x setup is easier, lighter has a massive range, I just love it 38t on the fron 11-42 on the back ... easily enough for the road and the 42t will get you up anything
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Seconded, 3 of my 4 bikes are 1x, the only one that isn't is my retro MTB as it would just be wrong (Exage and Biopace instead!).

    My commuter runs a 44T and an 12:28 as the hills on my commute obviously predictable I optimised it for them.

    Even my 1997 steel MTB hack bike is 1x.
  • Godders1Godders1 Posts: 750
    Cleaned her up yesterday, re-lubed the chain and fitted some new brake pads which were desperately required, however, new problem, the wheels are not running true. If it is only slightly out (probs 3mm deviation) can this generally be fixed or will it just get worse until the wheel needs replacing?
    Wheels being out of true usually just means one or more spokes losing a bit of tension. LBS will charge around £10 a wheel to true (or as with most jobs you could try doing it yourself).
  • How would I go about converting to 1x then. Is it just changing the chainset and removing the front shifter?

    Will I see much benefit considering I never change out of the big ring anyway?

    The last few days I have been testing using a single gear, big ring and fourth biggest at back (8spd 12-26 - so 20?). Would it be worth just converting to single speed instead? Seemed to be sufficient to get up the few hills (only 150ft ascent over 9 miles) and keep me moving at a good speed on the flat.
  • Godders1 wrote:
    Cleaned her up yesterday, re-lubed the chain and fitted some new brake pads which were desperately required, however, new problem, the wheels are not running true. If it is only slightly out (probs 3mm deviation) can this generally be fixed or will it just get worse until the wheel needs replacing?
    Wheels being out of true usually just means one or more spokes losing a bit of tension. LBS will charge around £10 a wheel to true (or as with most jobs you could try doing it yourself).

    Great thanks. Got a spoke wrench coming on my next Wiggle order so will have a crack next weekend. Will get a tutorial from Youtube (how I do most of my maintenance).
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    How would I go about converting to 1x then. Is it just changing the chainset and removing the front shifter?

    Will I see much benefit considering I never change out of the big ring anyway?
    A Narrow wide chainring on your crankset (may need new bolts, may not), bin the front mech and cabling.

    Less weight, less to go wrong, looks 'cleaner', a tiny amount less aero drag as well (and when I say tiny, I really do mean tiny!).
  • I appear to have finally run the crankset into the ground, significant creaking seems to be coming from it when i apply any pressure. Is it as simple as buying a chainring and fitting it to the existing crankset (removing all others)?

    The crankset i think is this one?

    https://www.bikeparts.com/BPC123186/tru ... -52t-175mm

    Should i change the BB at the same time? Are all cartridge BB's the same for Shimano groupsets? Also, do you need a special rear derailleur if running 1x gearing? I have seen references to 'clutch' derailleurs?

    If it's going to get expensive, ie having to replace the rear derailleur too, is there a new alternative to the existing crankset, it appears to be out of stock everywhere!? I have recently replaced the cassette and chain and it has been running quite nicely so quite happy to retain as is.

    Thanks
  • I see that you don't want to spend a lot of money but this all looks and sounds old and needing replaced,

    Single chainring is a great idea but even then it's going to cost up to £100 for cassette, chainring, bolts and what sounds like a new BB. The new crankset will be £50+ and it doesn't sound like you need a triple.

    And you'll still then have a weird set up with redundant LH shifter and a bunch of old kit. I suspect your brakes and shifters will be pretty worn.

    You could bodge it and it might be fine for years but something else is definitely going to wear out, possibly break en route and end up costing you more. Cycling can be cheap but the components do not last forever.

    If you can afford it then for £250 you could get a full Tiagra groupset which would last another 10 years, ie 50p/week. Tjis would give you perfect shifting and reliability. Or you could pay out in drips and drabs as above and try to make it work but complete replacement would transform your bike.

    Just to cheer you up I suspect your wheels may be worn out too. are the braking surfaces concave?

    Regards

    Alan
  • essex-commuteressex-commuter Posts: 2,188
    Will get a tutorial from Youtube (how I do most of my maintenance).

    Don't go on Youtube very often then huh? :wink:
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