Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Lower gearing options?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Lower gearing options?

Old 03-13-20, 08:42 AM
  #1  
chadtrent
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
chadtrent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 129

Bikes: 2020 Canyon Endurace CF SL

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked 56 Times in 30 Posts
Lower gearing options?

I have a 2014 Specialized Tricross. It has Sora 9 speed components on it. I've been using it as my gravel bike and it has worked well. But the gearing is too high for me. It has a 50/34 crank and 11/32 9 speed cassette.

What are my options for going with lower gearing? Mainly wanting to go up to something like a 11-42 in the back. I'm not opposed to changing the crank as well. I had looked at switching the whole thing over to GRX or something but with what I'd spend I'd be better off just buying a new bike. I don't mind spending a little money. I just don't want to go crazy.
chadtrent is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 09:04 AM
  #2  
Wilfred Laurier
Señor Member
 
Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,027
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 627 Post(s)
Liked 257 Times in 189 Posts
Your Sora rear derailleur will probably not work with a 42 tooth cassette, so you will at least have to change your rear derailleur.

There are also derailleur hanger extensions that adapt derailleurs to work with larger cogs.

https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/...ducts/roadlink
Says it allows up to 40 tooth cassette.
Wilfred Laurier is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 09:37 AM
  #3  
ThermionicScott 
7-speed cultist
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 20,034

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2768 Post(s)
Liked 676 Times in 471 Posts
Switching the crankset gets my vote. Smaller rings would drop your gearing across the board, and you wouldn't need to change the cassette or rear derailleur. Only concern would be if the front derailleur can move low enough to shift it.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 09:53 AM
  #4  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 5,782

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1155 Post(s)
Liked 212 Times in 150 Posts
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Switching the crankset gets my vote. Smaller rings would drop your gearing across the board, and you wouldn't need to change the cassette or rear derailleur. Only concern would be if the front derailleur can move low enough to shift it.
Concur. I think Sheldon Brown said something like brazed on front derailers are an invention of the devil, because you can't lower the derailer to make it work with smaller rings. Curvature may be wrong, but it'll still often work (just not quite as well) with the smaller rings. Not sure what's on OP's bike, though.
pdlamb is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 10:03 AM
  #5  
2old
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: socal
Posts: 2,058
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 337 Post(s)
Liked 105 Times in 80 Posts
Agree with above about chainrings. I used to have a "30" that worked with my five bolt (AIR) crank. Perhaps there's something that will fit yours, whatever it is.
2old is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 10:05 AM
  #6  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 7,961

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 98 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2092 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 461 Times in 338 Posts
If you are thinking about changing cranksets, seriously consider a triple. You may need a new front derailleur and shifters but what you get in return are great gear choices. With (say) a 50-38-24 you can run a 12-25 9-speed, have lower than 1:1 and gear choices all the time including on long climbs.

Ben
79pmooney is offline  
Likes For 79pmooney:
Old 03-13-20, 10:19 AM
  #7  
Leebo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 5,652

Bikes: Kona Dawg, Surly 1x1, Karate Monkey, Rockhopper, Crosscheck , Burley Runabout,

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 832 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 50 Posts
What is the BCD on your crank? Something like a 30-46 up front and say a 34 or 36 rear would work.
Leebo is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 11:21 AM
  #8  
chadtrent
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
chadtrent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 129

Bikes: 2020 Canyon Endurace CF SL

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked 56 Times in 30 Posts
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Concur. I think Sheldon Brown said something like brazed on front derailers are an invention of the devil, because you can't lower the derailer to make it work with smaller rings. Curvature may be wrong, but it'll still often work (just not quite as well) with the smaller rings. Not sure what's on OP's bike, though.
Thanks. I think it will go low enough. I don't have the bike in front of me, but just from what I recall I think there is plenty of room to move it down.

Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
What is the BCD on your crank? Something like a 30-46 up front and say a 34 or 36 rear would work.
I believe it's 110. Here is the link to the bike if that helps - https://www.specialized.com/us/en/tr...t-disc/p/49858
chadtrent is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 11:26 AM
  #9  
tyrion
Senior Member
 
tyrion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 2,800

Bikes: Breezer Radar

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1506 Post(s)
Liked 509 Times in 264 Posts
New crank - smaller double or triple. 46-30 "gravel" crank or if you need lower a 44-32-22 mountain crank. If you get a triple you can get a Sora triple front shifter.
tyrion is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 11:58 AM
  #10  
chadtrent
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
chadtrent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 129

Bikes: 2020 Canyon Endurace CF SL

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked 56 Times in 30 Posts
What do I need to look for to make sure a crank will fit? I was looking at something like this but not sure if it will work. https://shop.fullspeedahead.com/en/omega-crankset-4659
chadtrent is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 12:06 PM
  #11  
Miele Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,471

Bikes: Miele Latina, Miele Suprema, Miele Uno SL, Miele MTB, Bianchi Model Unknown, Fiori Venezia, VeloSport Adamas AX

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 877 Post(s)
Liked 454 Times in 313 Posts
Originally Posted by chadtrent View Post
Thanks. I think it will go low enough. I don't have the bike in front of me, but just from what I recall I think there is plenty of room to move it down.


I believe it's 110. Here is the link to the bike if that helps - https://www.specialized.com/us/en/tr...t-disc/p/49858
I see that it has a braze-on front derailleur mount. That might limit the size of your smallest or even larges chainring if you change the chainring or crankset.

If it's possible to fit it with your existing front derailleur mount, I think a smaller crankset will work better for you and be the most economical fix for you.

Good luck and cheers
Miele Man is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 12:19 PM
  #12  
Miele Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,471

Bikes: Miele Latina, Miele Suprema, Miele Uno SL, Miele MTB, Bianchi Model Unknown, Fiori Venezia, VeloSport Adamas AX

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 877 Post(s)
Liked 454 Times in 313 Posts
Originally Posted by chadtrent View Post
What do I need to look for to make sure a crank will fit? I was looking at something like this but not sure if it will work. https://shop.fullspeedahead.com/en/omega-crankset-4659
I see it's available with 46-30 rings. You realize it's a 10 or 11 speed compatible crankset? I'm not sure but you might need to get a 10 speed chain if the 9-speed one doesn't work well with it. However it should be compatible with you existing front derailleur mount.

Cheers
Miele Man is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 12:57 PM
  #13  
berner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bristol, R. I.
Posts: 4,056

Bikes: Specialized Secteur, old Peugeot

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 530 Post(s)
Liked 306 Times in 194 Posts
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Concur. I think Sheldon Brown said something like brazed on front derailers are an invention of the devil, because you can't lower the derailer to make it work with smaller rings. Curvature may be wrong, but it'll still often work (just not quite as well) with the smaller rings. Not sure what's on OP's bike, though.
My bike originally came with a standard triple. Wanting lower gearing, I had a local shop install a compact triple. And yep, the curvature of the derailleur in front was off resulting in poor shifting. I'm not averse to modifying equipment so I marked the front cage with a sharpy and ground away with a Dremel tool, maybe 1/16 inch, until the curve more closely matched the 50 T chain ring and could then be lowered closer to the recommended thickness of a dime, maybe 1 mm. Shifting was improved somewhat but improved much better when I closed up the cage slightly with visegrips.
berner is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 01:06 PM
  #14  
xroadcharlie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Windsor Ontario, Canada
Posts: 257

Bikes: 2018 Giant Sedona

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 35 Posts
Many rear derailleurs are designed to accommodate a max of 34T on the cassette. That won't help much.

I'd take it to a bike shop and ask them what you need to replace the stock chainring or crankset with a 46/30 unit if that is practical. Sometimes it's worth paying them to do it. While I'm happy with my 48/38/28 triple, It came with the bike. Converting yours over might create more problems then its worth.

This would provide a low gear down to about 25 gear inches. This should be fine for most situations one would use a gravel bike.
xroadcharlie is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 03:10 PM
  #15  
dsbrantjr
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 7,121

Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1004 Post(s)
Liked 354 Times in 267 Posts
Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
I see that it has a braze-on front derailleur mount. That might limit the size of your smallest or even larges chainring if you change the chainring or crankset.

If it's possible to fit it with your existing front derailleur mount, I think a smaller crankset will work better for you and be the most economical fix for you.

Good luck and cheers
There are made adapters to lower a braze-on FD: https://wickwerks.com/products/fit-link-adapter/
You might also be able to install a band-mount derailleur below the braze-on mount.
dsbrantjr is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 03:40 PM
  #16  
Miele Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,471

Bikes: Miele Latina, Miele Suprema, Miele Uno SL, Miele MTB, Bianchi Model Unknown, Fiori Venezia, VeloSport Adamas AX

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 877 Post(s)
Liked 454 Times in 313 Posts
Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
There are made adapters to lower a braze-on FD: https://wickwerks.com/products/fit-link-adapter/
You might also be able to install a band-mount derailleur below the braze-on mount.
Thanks. That's a nice idea but wow! $44.50 USD? I'd be very tempted to just cut off the braze-on mount and then use a clamp-on derailleur.

Cheers
Miele Man is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 05:13 PM
  #17  
kcblair
Old Legs
 
kcblair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Mass.
Posts: 1,174

Bikes: '80 Strayvaigin, '84 Ciocc Aelle-Shimano 105, '90 Concorde Astore /Campy Triple ,85 Bridgestone 500/Suntour, 2005 Jamis Quest, 2017 Raleigh Merit 1, Raleigh Carbon Clubman

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 292 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 11 Posts
Hello All, Good subject. I'm using Sora 3500 drive train on my climbing bike. The RD is a 3500 GS, Shimano specs say 32T is the largest , but I installed a 11x36 and only turned in the "B" screw a few turns and worked perfectly. My 73 year old legs are looking to the future . I was considering a GRX 30/46 (10 speed), but couldn't justify the cost , till last night , while looking through Biketiresdirect, and they have the GRX 30/46 (10 speed) on sale for $90, plus I have a $10 credit, and I jumped on it, free shipping. It's in the mail. Total capacity for the Sora 3500 is 41T and that's exactly what I'll have, with this setup .

This will take me from a 25 GI to a 22 GI. which will serve my legs well. If the 10 speed crank set chain rings are to closely spaced, I have some 0.6mm chainring spacers to solve the problem. I'm assuming the OP has Hollowtech II BB. KB.

OMG: I't now $119. I got it on a "Gold Member" 1 day sale, but still a good price at $119. KB
kcblair is offline  
Old 03-13-20, 06:31 PM
  #18  
dwmckee
Senior Member
 
dwmckee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 1,809

Bikes: Co-Motion Cappuccino Tandem,'88 Bob Jackson Touring, Co-Motion Cascadia Touring, Open U.P., Ritchie Titanium Breakaway, Frances Cycles SmallHaul cargo bike. Those are the permanent ones; others wander in and out of the stable occasionally as well.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 163 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 52 Times in 34 Posts
Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
What is the BCD on your crank? Something like a 30-46 up front and say a 34 or 36 rear would work.
I would do the same. Actually I already have! even a 30 front 34 rear is pretty low and I would do that first then consider a cassette change after that if not low enough. The "Sub Compact" cranks are available from Easton, FSA, and a few others... 9-speed is a good drivetrain to work with as road & mountain components are cross compatible.
dwmckee is offline  
Old 03-19-20, 03:32 PM
  #19  
kcblair
Old Legs
 
kcblair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Mass.
Posts: 1,174

Bikes: '80 Strayvaigin, '84 Ciocc Aelle-Shimano 105, '90 Concorde Astore /Campy Triple ,85 Bridgestone 500/Suntour, 2005 Jamis Quest, 2017 Raleigh Merit 1, Raleigh Carbon Clubman

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 292 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 11 Posts
OK, just got the GRX 30/46 , 10 spd. Crank set. Works perfectly with my Sora RD/FD , with 11x36 cassette. Nine spd chain works great with the 10 spd crank set, too. Now if the weather will warmup a bite, I can't wait to try out some local hills . KB
kcblair is offline  
Old 03-20-20, 03:00 PM
  #20  
xroadcharlie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Windsor Ontario, Canada
Posts: 257

Bikes: 2018 Giant Sedona

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by kcblair View Post
OK, just got the GRX 30/46 , 10 spd. Crank set. Works perfectly with my Sora RD/FD , with 11x36 cassette. Nine spd chain works great with the 10 spd crank set, too. Now if the weather will warmup a bite, I can't wait to try out some local hills . KB
Bringing your gear inches down to about 22.5 from 28.7 ought to make a big difference on tough hills. A low gear of 21.4 gear inches on my Giant Sedona is enough to climb a rather steep hill nearby of soft gravel and loose stone. Pavement or packed gravel would be noticeably easier.

Happy climbing!

Last edited by xroadcharlie; 03-20-20 at 03:39 PM.
xroadcharlie is offline  
Old 03-20-20, 04:30 PM
  #21  
kcblair
Old Legs
 
kcblair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Mass.
Posts: 1,174

Bikes: '80 Strayvaigin, '84 Ciocc Aelle-Shimano 105, '90 Concorde Astore /Campy Triple ,85 Bridgestone 500/Suntour, 2005 Jamis Quest, 2017 Raleigh Merit 1, Raleigh Carbon Clubman

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 292 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
Bringing your gear inches down to about 22.5 from 28.7 ought to make a big difference on tough hills. A low gear of 21.4 gear inches on my Giant Sedona is enough to climb a rather steep hill nearby of soft gravel and loose stone. Pavement or packed gravel would be noticeably easier.

Happy climbing!
Thanks, I knew GRX came in 11 speed, but when I saw it also came in 10 speed, I started shopping. Now I need a break in the weather , to try it out. This should keep my legs happy for a few more years.

Next upgrade , will be a Wolf Tooth Road Link and install a 40 or 42 cassette.
kcblair is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.