Monday, 9 September 2013

turning the hybrid bike into a 20 speed hill climber

Bike Project
No, the picture is not a ninja shuriken, I'm just starting a bike modification that I've been idly considering for a few months.

In truth, another cyclist's exploits on hills finally spurred me on.

I should explain.

I have an aluminium hybrid whose gears were a bit mashed. I'd already transferred an old 10 speed cartridge onto the back wheel as a replacement, but as the rest of the bike was 9 speed it was only interim.
Bike Project
The 9 speed changer with a 10 speed cartridge

Despite the hurried changeover, the full range of gear changes worked, even with a 9 speed handlebar selector. Just keep shifting, the clicker didn't seem to mind. All 18 gears worked although the 9 speed chain ran a bit lumpily around the smallest cogs. Now's the time to turn this slightly sad bicycle into one with some happy personality.

So here's my combination project:
  1. To take off the mis-matched 11-24 rear gears and put on a hill climbing 11-32 set. A wider range of gears, for the entertainment value. At the same time, to change over the current 9 speed mountain bike style rear deraillier for a normal 10 speed road changer. Eagle-eyed would spot that currently the cable goes direct instead of 'around' at the back.
  2. Standardise on one make of components. It's 2/3 SRAM and 1/3 Shimano at the moment. Pragmatically SRAM therefore wins.
  3. To exchange the front gear selector for a 10 speed so that there are the right number of clicks. The SRAM decision gives me an excuse to use Doubletap.
  4. To use 'indexed' selectors so that I can read the gear selected as a little number on the handlebar. I wouldn't normally worry about this, but I'm thinking of also using the bike with with the turbo trainer in winter. A visible gear selection could therefore be quite handy.
  5. To add an ANT+ sensor, so that it can commune with the other bike equipment and sensors. It will probably be WiFi, ANT+, bluetooth and -er- Wifli enabled (!)
Bike Project
Prior 9 speed selector, hanging around

Excluding the climber gear cassette, I already had most of the bits and pieces lying around, making this an inexpensive project.

Although, I must admit, when the new gear cassette arrived I started to wonder what I'd done. It's like a saucer compared with the beer mat sized one on there at the moment.

I'll try to swap it over outdoors on a dry day when I can take a few photos. It shouldn't take too long and should make quite an interesting contraption. A flexibly geared hybrid that also suits turbo use. I've also liberated a Brooks saddle and some fancy bar ends, so this neglected bike could be quite fun by the time it is finished.
Bike Project


RFM said...

I wish I could do this kind of thing. Haven't got the tools, or the ability to lose the tools. Also, my summer holiday was expensive (three sets of garden furniture, for the enormous garden, for e.g.), so the credit card is in emergency decompression mode

rashbre said...

RFM : Around here I refer to the tools as 'investments' but I am usually forbidden from using them on the inside of the house.