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Derailleur replacement
#1
My Raleigh International had a 1971 era racing configuration and living in a very hilly area it was eating my up legs. So I had the front Campi 44-52 swapped out for a Sram 34-50 at the suggestion of a local shop for more climbing fun.

Turns out that they had to put on a shorter chain which in turn maxes out the old Record derailleur at about the fourth gear and would positively tear it off at the fifth. Their solution to barely avoid this was to move the rear wheel forward for more chain and call it good(resulting in a pretty limp chain in my low gear).

Though I know that one would never really ride in this chain straining big-big gear combination, it seems perilously close to a disaster waiting to happen. Being a newbie here and to the world of bike mechanicals, it has been suggested by a friend that I replace my rear derailleur with a Shimano Tiagra long cage, replace the chain, and the free wheel for additional climbing gears.

It is all starting to make sense but is this good advice considering the components and is it realistic to tackle this as first time bike project? I really think your tutorials are the cat's pajamas and would feel comfortable following your advice.
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#2
I think you need to replace your rear derailleur with a Shimano Tiagra long cage as well and you will need to add a new chain as well I hope you know how to re set you FD on you bike it easy to do.This forum can help you all the way until you are done.Good luck to you too.
My dad always told me a Sledge a matic can fix any thing.
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#3
Should work. As you have friction shifters it does not even matter how many gears you have in the rear, so you can swap out the rear wheel for a new one, e.g. with a 9 speed MTB cassette (or the new SRAM road group, forgot the name)
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#4
(06-28-2010, 06:58 AM)Joe_W Wrote:  Should work. As you have friction shifters it does not even matter how many gears you have in the rear, so you can swap out the rear wheel for a new one, e.g. with a 9 speed MTB cassette (or the new SRAM road group, forgot the name)

Hmmm...more homework no doubt and thank you for the insight about the option of changing the whole wheel out. Understandably this would give me the most options. This is a case where I was going to spend as little as possible so I was hoping to stop at changing out the RD, chain, and freewheel.
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#5
It is true that with friction shifters you can use nearly any gear range. However, modern wheels will probably have a wider axle than your frame which means cold setting the frame. Totally doable, but another process.

If what you're after is a wider range of gears and are willing to accept bigger jumps between each gear, you may just be able to swap the freewheel for one with the same number of gears but with a wider range. (Note that depending on what you have now, you might be able to go from 5 speed to 6 or 6 to 7 without an issue using your existing wheel.)

I think the new derailleur, chain and freewheel plan should work well and is not too much to tackle as a new mechanic. The hardest part might be removing the old freewheel, but that's something your shop should be able to do for you in 2 minutes. I'm not too impressed that they would hand you back a bike that can't be shifted into large-large, kind of sloppy work. But sometimes retro-fitting to old bikes gets funky so they may have been doing their best in the situation.
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#6
(06-28-2010, 11:42 PM)DaveM Wrote:  It is true that with friction shifters you can use nearly any gear range. However, modern wheels will probably have a wider axle than your frame which means cold setting the frame. Totally doable, but another process.

If what you're after is a wider range of gears and are willing to accept bigger jumps between each gear, you may just be able to swap the freewheel for one with the same number of gears but with a wider range. (Note that depending on what you have now, you might be able to go from 5 speed to 6 or 6 to 7 without an issue using your existing wheel.)

I think the new derailleur, chain and freewheel plan should work well and is not too much to tackle as a new mechanic. The hardest part might be removing the old freewheel, but that's something your shop should be able to do for you in 2 minutes. I'm not too impressed that they would hand you back a bike that can't be shifted into large-large, kind of sloppy work. But sometimes retro-fitting to old bikes gets funky so they may have been doing their best in the situation.

Funny that you would mention the difficulty of removing the freewheel. What started the whole wheel upgrade was that I broke a spoke and the shop eventually got the freewheel off but not before stripping the old style, two key axle nut. It was suggested that I replace the freewheel as I might never get it off again if it were ever as tight. Good point on the cold setting of the frame but if I get too many climbing gears I'll never get any exercise. Thanks.
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#7
Actually you get more exercise from a high cadence. It is also much better for your knees...

Cold setting a steel frame, yeah, forgot to mention that, skipped my mind. It is no problem at all (ok, I only did it once, but it worked like a charm). Follow what http://www.sheldonbrown.com has to say on that topic. The new rear wheel will set you back some bucks, though. Thus it kind of not fits your problem setting...

What I would do: get either long cage road dérailleur or MTB dérailleur, both will work, and new chain and maybe replace that freewheel.
What I did: replaced RD by an old MTB one, replaced chain, cold set the frame, replaced new hub into rear wheel (well, I had to, the rim was new... misjudged replacement by myself, could have saved some money), got new 9 speed SRAM MTB cassette. Now the bike lost the front dérailleur and I cannot be arsed to replace it: The gear spread is good on the small (45 teeth) chain ring. I spent about 80€ on parts, I think, got the dérailleur for free.
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