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Thread: Can I change cassette?
8th March 2010 #1
Can someone advise me on my cassette?I really don't know about all the terminology etc, but I was toying with the idea of changing my cassette. I'm finding the lowest gear isn't quite enough (living in a very hilly place is my excuse) and I'm sure I read on here that it's possible to change the cassette to make it easier to climb hills. I'll also be doing a short tour soon so will be even harder with a loaded bike.So I have a Carrera Virtuoso (don't laugh) which apparently has a Shimano HG50 cassette. No mention on the ratio's, but the largest cog has 26 teeth so I think it might be 13-26 if the numbers correspond to the number of teeth? Can anyone tell me if I can change, which cassette I might need and if I can do it myself?Thanks guys and girls.
8th March 2010 #2
Of course you can. There are cassettes available from Shimano and others which will give you lower gears for climbing and they will have more teeth. It's probably best to fit a new chain as well. Try Parker's or Wiggle for offers on both?A potential problem may be your rear derailleur, which might not have the movement to accommodate your new cassette. If you currently run a short version you may need a long, and this will not be cheap. If in doubt, see the oldest, oiliest assistant in your LBS who will be able to advise. Or you could look at the Shimano Service and Repair website, which carries details of compatibility and how to calculate a suitable number of teeth etc:Best of luck.
8th March 2010 #3
The specs say that the Carrera Virtuoso has 50/36 chain-rings and 13/26 8speed cassette. Your rear mech is only rated for 26 so you can not go bigger. Bigger ones other than MTB type are like hens teeth anyway. Your best and cheapest option (other than get fitter before anyone suggests it) is to fit a 34 inner chain ring. Beyond that you need a triple which would need a new chain-set, front mech and probably LH shifter.
8th March 2010 #4
Right - I don't even want to consider a triple, as I think it would be overkill, especially once I go back to my day to day commute after my short tour.So if a smaller chainring is the way to go, is it a case of bolt off- bolt on?Had a quick look on wiggle, there are 30,000 just under shimano alone. Will I need a certain type/ size? They all mention PCD too - will that come into it?Sorry to ask so many questions - just don't want to buy the wrong thing though!
9th March 2010 #5
If you're not happy messing about with cassettes Stu, then a smaller chainring will certainly be easier. But it will only reduce your current gearing by about 6%. Not a huge difference.BCD is short for Bolt Centre Diameter ( I think ) and it's the measurement between the centres of opposing holes. You will need to order the same as you've currently got, but with only 34 teeth.You may be able to remove and refit both rings without removing the cranks, although it's sometimes a bit of a fiddle. You can buy a special tool for the bolts but I've always managed without.Wiggle are fairly cheap and deliver quickly, everyone I know uses them. Except my mother, who makes all her own components in the shed.
9th March 2010 #6
Stu. You can fit an MTB cassette which would go up to 34 teeth on the large sprocket and that will give you a much lower gear than just changing the small chainring but the gaps between gears on an 8 speed will be huge and you will need to change the rear derailleur for a medium or long cage if you want to use the large sprockets with the big chainring. I have a mate who does just this, keeps the road cassette on most of the time then puts on an MTB cassette for touring but doesn't change the rear mech. he just loses the use of the biggest 2 rear sprockets when on the big chainring. You will need a cassette tool and preferably also a chainwhip to make it easier but changing the cassette is a 5 minute job.It's not your destination that counts, it is the glory of the ride. (apologies to Edward Monkton)
9th March 2010 #7
There you go Stu. That's two of us who would definitely play around with the cassette. But you take your choice, it's your money.
9th March 2010 #8
The 2200 rear mech is only rated to 26teeth. I know the dearer road ones are rated to 27 and can be pushed to 28 and with luck 30 but how far will this one go. To be safe it needs an MTB mech and cassette but the gaps on 8 speed MTB cassettes are horrible. You could cobble a better one up using cogs from your curent one and an MTB one. First lose the 11.
10th March 2010 #9
Ah Gee. I've no idea what to do now.It's never as simple as you hope eh?Well as I have a strict budget, changing the mech to a MTB one is out of the question - it'll just add expense I guess.So it's either a smaller chainring or a MTB cassette and loose the biggest two gears when on the big ring (have I got that right?)So if I go down this road would I need something like these 3?http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/LifeLine_Shimano_Cassette_Removal_Tool/5360031493/http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/LifeLine_10_Speed_Chain_Whip/5360031488/and http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Shimano_HG50-I_8_Speed_Cassette/5300002265/In 11-30?Sorry to need spoon feeding And thanks guys
10th March 2010 #10
MTB cassette and loose the biggest two gears when on the big ring (have I got that right?)No. Your current rear mech will not safely take a sprocket bigger than 26 teeth (Shimano specs). The top jockey wheel will not clear anything much larger hence you would need to use an MTB mech which is designed to use much larger sprockets. To use the cassette you show would require an MTB mech and a longer chain as well. Pushing mechs beyond their design limits is asking for a broken mech and rear wheel, and a long walk home. Something like this is your only cheap safe option. TA 33 tooth inner ring.