1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Swapping a chainring/cassette

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics' started by SurlyCyclist, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. SurlyCyclist

    SurlyCyclist Speeding Up

    Trophy Points:
    38
    After a couple thousand miles on my Surly Cross-Check, I've decided I don't have enough gears for touring. First, I want to swap out the small chainring from a 36t to a 34t. If I still think I need more options, I'm thinking about switching the 12-25 cassette with something with a wider range, like an 11-32.

    I have two questions about the process:
    1. Swapping a chainring looks super easy. Is it, or am I fooling myself? I think I can remove the bolts and just slip it over the crank arm, but I'm worried about removing a bunch of bolts... then find out that there's more involved in the process than I am equipped to handle.

    2. If I change the cassette, will I need to swap out the derailleur also? If not, I assume there is some adjustment to be made to the existing derailleur... possibly to the limiter screws??? (now I'm just saying words I've heard that sound appropriate)

    Any help is appreciated. I would rather do the work myself, and learn about it in the process, but if I have to I'll just take it to a shop to get it done. For reference, I've attached the stock picture of my bike.

    Thanks!

    Daniel
  2. GSAstuto

    GSAstuto Maximum Pace

    Trophy Points:
    103
    Chainring is no issue on your CC - its prolly just a standard 110BCD or 130BCD and you can find used and new rings many places or online. Check Sheldon if you have any question about the BCD (Bolt Circle Diameter)

    Cassette depends on whether you are riding a 7,8,9,10 speed - its probably the easiest overall to keep the same number of cogs and then just build up according to your particular tastes. Again good idea to refer to Sheldon -- http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/k7.html Shimano will be widely available around Japan and I'm guessing your CC has a Shimano group?

    11-32 is a pretty big spread - depending on the derailer capacity of your current one, you may need to change this. Most road type derailers are not so happy with above 27 or 28 tooth rear cog - but your CC may have a larger capacity derailer - the CC std came with a 'mid cage' Tiagra which should support up to 37teeth. If you have that combo - you are fine -- both front and rear derailer will support the capacity you are looking at.

    Good luck!
  3. SurlyCyclist

    SurlyCyclist Speeding Up

    Trophy Points:
    38
    Thanks for the advice. As of now, the drivetrain is stock, so it's a nine-speed Tiagra cassette with the Tiagra mid-cage derailleur.
  4. GSAstuto

    GSAstuto Maximum Pace

    Trophy Points:
    103
    Looks like the 4500 can handle 16T capacity - so you could go to 34 / 50 on the front (widest selection) and 11 /32 on the rear. Not sure if that's the kind of gear range you are looking for - but according to the specs it should run ok. IMO Shimano rates themself fairly conservatively in terms of capacity - so you could squeak either end and just perhaps give up a ring either way which you wouldn't like be using anyway. I'd consider a chain catcher while you're at it. The big spreads shifted quickly tend to increase chance of the chain overrunning the chain wheel.
  5. SurlyCyclist

    SurlyCyclist Speeding Up

    Trophy Points:
    38
    Thanks GS. After your recommendation in another thread I swung by Nicole yesterday on my way home from work both to check out the shop and to have a look for a 34t ring. I always like to have a look around new (to me) bike shops, and it's kind of along my commute. I checked the website, found them on google maps, figured out how to get there... The one thing I didn't check was the schedule. Closed on Tuesdays, naturally. I might head there after work today, depending on the weather and if I want to add a few minutes to my ride in this rain. Anyway, thanks for the advice, I'll let you know how it turns out.
  6. GSAstuto

    GSAstuto Maximum Pace

    Trophy Points:
    103
    Cool - I'm not sure how well they are stocked for loose parts like chainring - I generally go to the Cycli Used shop in Yoyogi or the Y's Shinjuku 'pro shop'. They both have quite a large selection of loose rings in a variety of sizes - and sometimes at really great price.
  7. Gunjira

    Gunjira Maximum Pace

    Trophy Points:
    63
    I would conclude that switching a chainring gives you instant results easily.
    With Nicole although it is a great shop, I'm not so sure about variety of options for a competitive price. If you are in the area, check out Nalsima's friend.
    Apart from that, Y's road Ueno/Akasaka/Shinjuku always have a big stock, with some good discounts a couple of weeks back.

    Probably the best deal you could get is online anyways, but as said Cycly Yoyogi can be good for a cheap find as well.

    One tip would be to change chainring, cassete and chain in one go. If you make any changes to the drivetrain, a new chain is recommended as it kind of transform itself to your setup:confused:
  8. SurlyCyclist

    SurlyCyclist Speeding Up

    Trophy Points:
    38
    Chainring swap happened tonight. Piece of cake. I just took the bike for a spin around the block, but based on that small sample size the shifting seems to be fine. I'm thinking about heading out to Okutamako tomorrow for a one-night camping trip, so might take the Surly to see how the new 34t changes the climbing experience. Thanks for the advice.

Share This Page