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Advice re: climbing gears
Last Post 02/23/2014 04:53 PM by Kenny Gonzales. 11 Replies.
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Funk

Posts:22

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02/08/2014 11:36 AM
Hi Guys - Tech question here. I'm trying to outfit a bike to ride in the mountains of Tennessee this summer. I'm from Michigan, and the bike in question currently has a standard setup: 39/53 up front, and 11-23 in the back. Plenty for this part of the country. This is a 10-speed Dura-Ace group with a FSA carbon crank - circa 2007 or 2008. I've ridden these parts before, and I was able to get by with a 39/29 as my lowest gear, but that was with a Campy setup. I'm not familiar with Shimano (this isn't my bike), but know from messing around with it that the current setup's limit is a 26 tooth cog in the back. This bike has a short cage derailleur presently. My question (finally), is: does Shimano make a medium cage der.? -- and if so, wouldn't it conceivably solve my problems if I could mate it to a 29-30 tooth cassette? Note: Not doing a compact crankset. This is a handful of days riding in the mountains. 99% of the time we are riding on the flats here in Michigan. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
bobswire

Posts:303

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02/08/2014 11:50 AM
If it is a DA 7700 or 7800 r. derailleur it will handle a 11/28 cassette fine. I'm running that on one of my bikes now. In fact I'd wager you could run a 30 tooth.

Master50

Posts:246

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02/08/2014 11:50 AM
I too have a 39/29 but can't shimano go 38/28? Maybe you do need a mid cage rear but I was under the impression Shimano could go to a 28 with a DA or Ultegra RD
Oldfart

Posts:489

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02/08/2014 12:05 PM
I've used 28 tooth cogs with DA regular cage on my cross bike with no issues.
6ix

Posts:133

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02/08/2014 04:56 PM
Agreed, Dura-Ace can handle a 28t. A compact 50/34 crankset will do wonders though. When I first moved to Asheville, I was not able to get over many of the hills (keep in mind, these things are insanely steep) because I was running a 53/39 and 12/25 cassette. Great for rolling terrain but not good for this stuff. I quickly slapped a 28t on there and that helped a lot. Once I had the compact crankset installed, I could go anywhere. It's still hard but at least your kneecaps won't blow apart.
Oh, just saw that you aren't going to splurge for a compact. I can understand that. Kinda expensive for just one trip. You'll be fine with a 28t.
Funk

Posts:22

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02/08/2014 05:23 PM
The mechanic at my LBS put a 27-tooth cluster on it a couple of years ago, adjusted the limit screw or whatever, and said it would work but wouldn't be smooth in the 27. He was right on both accounts. That's why I mentioned in my original post that 26 was the theoretical limit. You guys are saying a 28, or even 30 will work. Hmmm . . .

Also, I think it is a 7800 series Dura-Ace der. based on pictures I've seen.

Any thoughts as to the discrepancy -- besides the mechanic not doing something correctly?
Funk

Posts:22

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02/08/2014 05:26 PM
6ix - you're spot on re: the few extra teeth. I've ridden down there a couple of times, once with a 39/26 as my lowest, and once with a 39/29. It's amazing what those 3 extra teeth can accomplish.
bobswire

Posts:303

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02/08/2014 06:48 PM
Posted By Jeffrey G on 02/08/2014 05:23 PM
The mechanic at my LBS put a 27-tooth cluster on it a couple of years ago, adjusted the limit screw or whatever, and said it would work but wouldn't be smooth in the 27. He was right on both accounts. That's why I mentioned in my original post that 26 was the theoretical limit. You guys are saying a 28, or even 30 will work. Hmmm . . .

Also, I think it is a 7800 series Dura-Ace der. based on pictures I've seen.

Any thoughts as to the discrepancy -- besides the mechanic not doing something correctly?

Any thoughts as to the discrepancy -- besides the mechanic not doing something correctly?

Yeah, he was not a very good wrench.

Also, I think it is a 7800 series Dura-Ace der. based on pictures I've seen.

Doesn't matter if it's a 7700 or 7800 derailleur, both can handle 28th SMOOTHLY.

Proper chain length and fine tuning the cable pull is very important to a smooth operating drive train.
Funk

Posts:22

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02/08/2014 10:33 PM
Thanks for the info, guys.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1172

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02/09/2014 10:59 AM
FWIW, Ultegra comes in a mid-cage RD.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
GJanney

Posts:76

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02/18/2014 02:51 PM
I've switched my cassette to 28t and run 53/39 on the front. Never had any problems with the rear derailleur on the 28t cog whatsoever, and didn't need to make any adjustments at all.
Gonzo Cyclist

Posts:225

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02/23/2014 04:53 PM
yup, CK is correct, you can use the Med-Cage Rear "D", and then you can get a MTB rear cassette in the 11/32 range, works great, I did this on my Ciocc CX bike
28 is the max on the short cage rear "D"
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