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Questions about derailleurs and shifters - and cassettes

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MadProphet Offline
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Post: #1
Questions about derailleurs and shifters - and cassettes
I recently purchased a Trek DS 8.3 and I've come to realize I prefer riding road more than trail. Since it's been two months, they aren't taking it back!

So I bought a set of Schwalbe Marathon Supremes (700cx32) to put on another set of wheels. I'm not interested in spending a ton on this bike as I'd rather save for a better overall bike, but I can get a stock wheelset for around $150, so that's a decent deal.

My question is: I have a 8sp cassette out back (11-32) and I'm wondering, first, could I swap a more road oriented range cassette on the new wheelset? A 12-24 perhaps?

Which brings me to the larger question: If I wanted to go to a 9 or 10 speed cassette, I know I'd need at least a rear-d and shifter. Would I need cables and housings and such as well? And the same thing as I asked in question 2? Could I have different range cassettes, so long as each was the same number of speeds provided by the shifter/derailleur? Would there be 'tuning' involved in the switch or could I ride trails one day and roads the next with just a switch of the wheels?

Trek DS 8.3 (Iso-Zone bars, Selle SMP Extra, Niterider lights, B-67's)

Climbing never gets easier - you just get to use higher gears.
Dec 31, 2012 11:49 AM
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painkiller Offline
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Peoria, IL. USA
Posts: 1,406
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Post: #2
RE: Questions about derailleurs and shifters - and cassettes
Your best bet would be to stick with the same speed if you want trail and street. With a radical change to the gearing as you suggest you would have chain length issues, to slack or to tight for certain gears
there may be a need for fine tuning between wheelsets of the same number of gears, but may get away with just using the barrel adjuster. nothing wrong with chain length as long as you accept the gearing range you have created. If you change speeds from different wheelsets would require different shifters for each swap, Not practical


There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
Dec 31, 2012 12:02 PM
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MadProphet Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Questions about derailleurs and shifters - and cassettes
Right - and I wasn't suggesting that.

More of, could I have a road cassette (of 8 speed to match the hybrid one I have now - and the shifters and rear-d) that has a different range than my hybrid cassette. Could I have a 12-25 on the new wheelset and a 11-32 on the existing one and just swap out one for the other depending on the day?

The other question was more of, if I upgrade and buy better components, could I do the same thing?

I get that, regardless of what I upgrade, the cassette will need to match shifter and rear-d for number of speeds.

Trek DS 8.3 (Iso-Zone bars, Selle SMP Extra, Niterider lights, B-67's)

Climbing never gets easier - you just get to use higher gears.
Dec 31, 2012 12:08 PM
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painkiller Offline
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Peoria, IL. USA
Posts: 1,406
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Post: #4
RE: Questions about derailleurs and shifters - and cassettes
tuning in, yes, your long cage rear derailluer, though not optimum would work with both cassettes. still expect the chain length issue and fine tuning between wheelsets
assuming that you have long cage derailluer. pics would help


There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
Dec 31, 2012 01:03 PM
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MadProphet Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Questions about derailleurs and shifters - and cassettes
i'd not considered chainlength. I figured if the bottom end of the range of the cassette (say 11 or 12t), then using the 11-25 would be like using the mid-range of the 11-36 - or am I mistaken? If the chain fit the 11-36 and you never used the big rings, wouldn't the chain be taken up by the rear-d?

I'm not questioning the responses as I simply don't know. I just 'figured'.

The simple thing is to add the second set of wheels and put the road tires on and just swap when I want road tires. My hope was that I could do a bit more - like making the gears available more tuned to the type of riding.

My second thought was that my components are pretty cheap. $10 rear-d and only 8 speed. So I thought, OK, if they are going to be working on my bike and I'm getting new wheels, why not change out a cheap, somewhat clunky rear-d for a $50-75 one (and shifter) that handles 9 or 10 gears?

I asked these questions of the shop I purchased the bike from. They stared at me like I was talking backwards. They had no answers. I asked about the wheels and got "gee, we're gonna have to research that" and all I wanted was the price for a like-stock wheelset! Once I got into asking about cassette changes and new derailleurs and shifters, you'd think I was asking for them to do quantum physics!

I have a long-cage derailleur now. And like I said, I was just thinking of perhaps a mid-range Shimano (I'm thinking Deore XT) rear-D and shifter. Should be unbolt and replace, right?

If I'm wrong, please set me straight!!!

Trek DS 8.3 (Iso-Zone bars, Selle SMP Extra, Niterider lights, B-67's)

Climbing never gets easier - you just get to use higher gears.
Dec 31, 2012 03:15 PM
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painkiller Offline
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Peoria, IL. USA
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Post: #6
RE: Questions about derailleurs and shifters - and cassettes
your thinking about the the chain is not totally wrong, but if you were to fit a chain to your new cluster it would be a link or two shorter. I would recommend not using a newer model Deore xt for a replacement or at least not one for a 10spd drivetrain, back up a generation to be sure the high low adjustments are there.
It would seem to me that you really kind of want two bikes at once but when you are talking wheelsets, tires, shifters, derailluers, cassettes and so on. you should consider adding another bike to the stable.
The thing today that differs from years ago is that in the beginning you had different levels of quality in components and could do the upgrades like this because the amount of speeds were the same, the chains were the same width and such. but now what you call the lower end because of the way it is made is the good end of the 8speed stuff today. So if you want the high quality 8 speed you need to get the high quality 8 speed components of yesterday. because today as the supposed higher up the food chain components also equate to higher speed drivetrains such as 10speeds verses 7 or 8.
what you say is clunky is mainly due to the bigger ratio not so much the derailluer, the tighter the cluster the more seemless the shift feels and the shorter the cage the better the shift feels generally speaking.
Thats why the shop might be giving you the looks with no answers
They could be young and unaware of the options. But if you wanted to go with the higher end stuff of yesterday that could be costly merely because it may be considered 'Vintage" and hard to come by if you want new. what it boils down to is it is harder to do all the things you ask today than it was years ago. you really need to decide where your give and take is going to be
you can also get by for awhile if you just swap out tires for the day until you save for the road style bike you want, and use it the way it is


There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
Dec 31, 2012 04:25 PM
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nfmisso Offline
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San Jose, CA
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Post: #7
RE: Questions about derailleurs and shifters - and cassettes
PK - your confusing the poor newbie Smile

MadProphet, you can do what you want to do. Make sure that you do not shorten the chain, then put on the large tooth count cassette. The results will be disastrous.

One of my bike was originally set up for a 13-34T freewheel; and no runs a 13-25T with no other changes.

On switching back and forth; as PK noted, at most a slight tweak of the barrel adjuster will be required.

Unlike PK, I feel that long cage derailleurs provide smoother shifts than short cage.

Nigel
Jan 1, 2013 04:50 PM
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MadProphet Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Questions about derailleurs and shifters - and cassettes
I'll be finding out what I can get done tomorrow. I have an appointment to get the tuneup in the am, so I'm going to try to get wheels and all then, too. Hopefully, I walk/ride out with two sets of wheels and a smile. Why do I think that's asking too much?

Trek DS 8.3 (Iso-Zone bars, Selle SMP Extra, Niterider lights, B-67's)

Climbing never gets easier - you just get to use higher gears.
Jan 1, 2013 08:32 PM
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painkiller Offline
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Peoria, IL. USA
Posts: 1,406
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Post: #9
RE: Questions about derailleurs and shifters - and cassettes
(Jan 1, 2013 08:32 PM)MadProphet Wrote:  I'll be finding out what I can get done tomorrow. I have an appointment to get the tuneup in the am, so I'm going to try to get wheels and all then, too. Hopefully, I walk/ride out with two sets of wheels and a smile. Why do I think that's asking too much?

good luck at the shop, I wish Nigel had told you where to get this high quality 8 speed road cassette that you seek that is not vintage.
or will you be getting an overall lower quality 8 speed cassette and just be satisfied with that. oops , now I am getting confused Smile


There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
Jan 1, 2013 09:45 PM
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nfmisso Offline
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San Jose, CA
Posts: 2,316
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Post: #10
RE: Questions about derailleurs and shifters - and cassettes
(Jan 1, 2013 09:45 PM)painkiller Wrote:  good luck at the shop, I wish Nigel had told you where to get this high quality 8 speed road cassette that you seek that is not vintage.
or will you be getting an overall lower quality 8 speed cassette and just be satisfied with that. oops , now I am getting confused Smile

Amazon of course Smile SRAM

Nigel
Jan 2, 2013 07:54 AM
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MadProphet Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Questions about derailleurs and shifters - and cassettes
PK, I'm going to try to make things simple for them. I'm going to ask, first, to just get a set of the exact wheels I have and install the tires. Then I'll ask what it will take to move up to ....ah, never mind. I'll just get the same wheels, hubs, brakes and cassette. I'll worry about the rest later.

Unless I can get them to install a 10sp derailleur and shifter! Then I can get new cassettes and chain and I can learn to fly and...see? I'm asking too much. Perhaps it's the caffeine....

Trek DS 8.3 (Iso-Zone bars, Selle SMP Extra, Niterider lights, B-67's)

Climbing never gets easier - you just get to use higher gears.
Jan 2, 2013 09:49 AM
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nfmisso Offline
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San Jose, CA
Posts: 2,316
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Post: #12
RE: Questions about derailleurs and shifters - and cassettes
http://www.amazon.com/SRAM-PG850-11-32T-Speed-Cassette/dp/B000NNX2P4/

The PG850 are pretty decent cassettes; they offer the PG820 and PG830 series below the PG850.

Nigel
Jan 2, 2013 11:54 AM
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MadProphet Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Questions about derailleurs and shifters - and cassettes
No matter how simple I made it, it just got complex. I did get them to swap my tires onto my existing wheels.

I do get it. To upgrade to Deore level gear, without brakes, would be around $400 in parts alone. On a $600 bike, might be excessive. Might be I can afford $400 plus labor but not $2200 for a new bike they would consider worthy of upgrading.

I'm looking for a decent used road bike. Hopefully a 105 level and then go from there. This is still a great bike for dirt and paved trails, even just the way it is.

Trek DS 8.3 (Iso-Zone bars, Selle SMP Extra, Niterider lights, B-67's)

Climbing never gets easier - you just get to use higher gears.
Jan 3, 2013 11:07 AM
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