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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have asked this question before but I now have more info and am trying to ask a more informed question.

To begin with, I have a Trek 1200 with a 30-39-50 triple up front and a 12-25 in the rear.....and want lower gearing. Since I am older (55) and have two bad knees and other health issues I'm probably not going to get much stronger but do have a desire to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway and other terrain with similar hills.

Not that I dispute the gospel of Sheldon Brown/Harris Cyclery,but has anyone ever installed their '13-30 Century Special', which they claim can be used with any Shimano derailleur, and if so, how did it work out? Never having changed a cassette before, is this something I can do and/or does it take special tools?

Also, if that doesn't work, will I get much help from a 12-27?

Thanks,
Strider
 

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smaller granny

Strider said:
I have asked this question before but I now have more info and am trying to ask a more informed question.

To begin with, I have a Trek 1200 with a 30-39-50 triple up front and a 12-25 in the rear.....and want lower gearing. Since I am older (55) and have two bad knees and other health issues I'm probably not going to get much stronger but do have a desire to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway and other terrain with similar hills.

Thanks,
Strider

Going to a smaller granny would be more cost and mechanically effective. You could go as low as 24t I believe. I dropped the 30t on my triple and went with a 26t. I really noticed the difference.:)
 

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I think you'll get better and stronger as you ride more. I'm a 62 year old heart patient (bypass-all that stuff) and I've improved tremendously over the years. I take some hills in the large chain ring now that I couldn't climb at all years ago. The same will happen to you with hours and miles.

The chain ring swap is easy and inexpensive. That is the way I would go. Keep the 30. You will probably want it as your riding progresses.

I used a 13/29 cassette in the past and it helped when I needed it but cassettes are pricey compared to chain rings.
 

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If you get a 13-30 cassette you will most likely need to lenghten your chain and adjust the B screw on the RD. The smallest granny ring is a 24t (74mm bolt circle diameter). The chain may drop off the ring more frequently because there is so much difference between a 24 and 39 chainring. But it is the least expensive option, only about $10. This will also allow you use a close ratio cassette and avoid big steps between gears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Cassette Crisis...........

fmw,
I'm a bit confused. Are you suggesting changing the chainring, but keeping the 30 tooth ring on the assumption that I will get stronger?

tlite48,
Initially I wasn't thinking of altering the rings and the cassette, just one or the other.

Thanks for the help, and the encouragement.

Strider
 

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Strider said:
fmw,
I'm a bit confused. Are you suggesting changing the chainring, but keeping the 30 tooth ring on the assumption that I will get stronger?

tlite48,
Initially I wasn't thinking of altering the rings and the cassette, just one or the other.

Thanks for the help, and the encouragement.

Strider
Yes. If the 30 tooth chain ring is too large for you then replace it with a smaller one but keep the 30 because you will likely want to put it back on as you gain experience. I suggested you do that instead of changing the cassette since the cassette is much more expensive. There is no reason to do both.

At some point you will need to replace the cassette and chain and that will happen before you wear out chain rings. At that point you can reassess and see if 12/27 or 13/29 or whatever is available in your brand might be a good option. You'll have more experience then and be better able to judge.

I just got back from my daily ride. I took the Basso today which has a 52/42/30 triple on it. It has a 13/26 cassette. I used all three chain rings during my 24 mile ride. I hit 28 mph on a downwind flat leg in 52/13 and used 30/23 to climb the steep hill near my home at the end of the ride. I was spinning up the hill at just 9 mph. I think my cadence was about the same at both points in the ride. On my double I have to use a slower cadence on that hill. It's nice to have a wide range of gears available.
 
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