I come seeking wisdom again

Discussion in 'Cycling Archive' started by Ed, May 24, 2015.

  1. Ed

    Ed Guest


    I've a Halfords TDF Carrera (2013?) that I bought second hand. Little
    did I know how puny my legs are for a 52/39T gear ring, something like
    12/26T at the back. Very often I feel left behind from the pack on
    club social rides. The bike is fitted with Shimano claris. I've read
    from a biking blog[1] that the wheels add around 4KG to the overall

    [1] http://philsroadbikingblog.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/halfords-carrera-tdf-review.html

    Another issue I'm finding is just how hard it is to get the tyres to bed
    properly, lots of brute force and swear words required. Not something
    that I'd fancy doing at the roadside just from the amount of time it
    took to get the bead symmetrical.

    So, it's time to throw money at these problems.

    I've found the following on wiggle, can anyone suggest if I'm about to
    buy something that's not going to be compatible please, or make matters
    worse perhaps?

    - Shimano WH-R501 Clincher Wheelset [2]
    - Shimano HG80 9 Speed Cassette, 11-34T [3]
    - Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Folding Clincher (700 23) [4]
    - Shimano HG71 6/7/8 Speed Chain [5]

    [2] http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-wh-r501-clincher-wheelset-1/
    [3] http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-hg80-9-speed-cassette/
    [4] http://www.wiggle.co.uk/vittoria-zaffiro-pro-folding-clincher-road-tyre/
    [5] http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-hg71-678-speed-chain/

    Thanks in advance
    Ed, May 24, 2015
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  2. Ed

    Mike Causer Guest

    That much? Anyway 11kg is not stupidly heavy. It's actually fairly
    light for a tourer (as discussed here recently).
    You could try a different brand of tyre on your current wheels. Or
    something less puncture prone.

    Is your Claris dérailleur already 9-speed? If not you may need to
    replace it and the lever. A decent bike shop will help you with this
    if you buy the kit from them. And keeping them in business is a Good
    Thing in my view.

    I would look for a more appropriate chainset, possibly even going to
    three rings if they can be made to fit.

    Mike Causer, May 24, 2015
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  3. And weight isn't an important issue, anyway. For the same power,
    on the flat, for an 18 MPH ride and 80 Kg all-up weight, an extra
    kilogramme will add something like 4 seconds an hour! Uphill,
    about 45 seconds an hour.

    I suggest looking for other reasons.

    Nick Maclaren.
    Nick Maclaren, May 24, 2015
  4. Ed

    Ed Guest

    This, too. I appreciate that my fitness/skill are poor, which is why I'm
    thinking that tweaking my setup may help, if I'm not already on one of
    the heaviest bikes in the group, there may be some chance of reducing
    the gap.
    Ed, May 24, 2015
  5. you need a 8 speed cassette, not 9 speed
    if your finding the hills hard work, then a cassette with 30 or there
    abouts should help.

    weight even rotated mass is overstated, gains are there but to use team
    sky its marginal

    roger merriman
    Roger Merriman, May 24, 2015
  6. Ed

    Rob Morley Guest

    Heavy wheels will take the edge of your sprinting ability, but if the
    bunch is sprinting away from you on a club run I don't think that's your
    problem. :)
    Often this can be caused by a rim tape that's misplaced or too wide. If
    it's a question of undersize tyre or oversize rim then you might find
    that lubricating it with soapy water will allow it to slip into place
    more easily. Some tyre/rim combinations just don't work well - I
    bought some extra long metal levers for the tyres on my road bike ...
    actually those are Zaffiros too. :-\ I used to like Michelin folding
    slicks on my race bike, I have no idea what they're like these days,
    but they used to feel really good and they were always easy to fit.
    Ah, they cost twice as much as the Vittorias. But still ...
    That probably won't work with your hub, gear lever, or derailleur.
    How about something like this instead?
    This (and possibly performance inner tubes too) could make your
    bike feel noticeably quicker, depending on how bad the original
    equipment rubber is. I wouldn't run 23mm except on a race bike, but
    I'm probably a bit heavier than you. Have you got a decent high
    pressure pump?
    I don't think that will work with a 9 speed cassette. I've found
    the cheaper Shimano chains are pretty poor, I tend to use SRAM, or just
    about anything other than Shimano.
    Rob Morley, May 24, 2015
  7. I very, VERY strongly advise against falling for the common myth
    that the weight of the bicycle is a significant factor. All you
    will get from concentrating on it will be a lighter purse and,
    quite possibly, a slower ride.

    You probably don't have my physical handicaps - and certainly not
    as severely - but I was over 5% slower on a lighter bicycle. Not
    the 1% slower that I would have got by riding one a whole 10 Kg
    heavier, but 5%!

    You are right that the setup could well help, and it might well
    be in the CONVERSE direction from the one you are expecting. For
    example, would you breathe more effectively in a more upright
    position? Would you waste less energy controlling jitters on a
    more stable (and probably heavier) bicycle? Would you waste less
    energy over typical surfaces with wider tyres? Many people do.
    But most racers go in the OTHER direction!

    A wider gear range is obviously a benefit, provided that it does
    not introduce other problems, but no other factor is so clear cut
    as to which direction the benefit lies. Sorry, but ....

    Nick Maclaren.
    Nick Maclaren, May 25, 2015
  8. Ed

    Owen Dunn Guest

    If only because the SRAM quick link is some kind of special magic
    compared to Shimano's effort at the same thing.

    Owen Dunn, May 25, 2015
  9. 8 and 9 speed hubs are the same, and I'd be surprised if the derailleur
    couldn't cope. But Claris shifters are 8 speed.

    Or, if the existing crankset is Claris, or at least Octalink, you could
    get a Claris 50-34 compact double to match the rest of the existing kit:

    On the other hand if the existing bottom bracket is a square taper one,
    not Claris, which Google says is true of at least some years Carrera TDFs,
    then the square taper crankset Rob suggests would be more sensible.

    (The review the OP linked to says levers are ST-2300, not Claris, but
    presumably that's a change from the 2011 model reviewed to "2013?",
    so the crankset might also be different.)

    But as noted above, he doesn't actually want a 9 speed cassette.
    Unless he's going to upgrade his shifters as well....

    I find SRAM quick links worthwhile, and buying an SRAM chain that comes with
    one is easier than buying a Shimano chain and separate SRAM link.
    Alan Braggins, May 27, 2015
  10. I should weigh them yourself before believing that. 4kg seems really
    pretty high, and the blog attributes the weight to having 36 spokes. With
    even heavy-duty spokes weighing in at 7g each, the difference between 72
    total and a lean 40 would make a princely 224g difference. 4kg sounds more
    like my wheels, and I'm the sort of person with a tandem with 48-spoke
    wheels because they don't make 52-spoke wheels.

    Conversely, 11kg is not a heavy bike at all, even if it's not a
    super-light racing machine, and it's not that a few kg makes a big
    difference overall (except in the wallet), it's just that actual racers
    will take even a small difference.

    However, if you're undergeared for hills, that will murder you - with
    tired legs, you'll soon be slow on the flat. Some riders (fixed, mainly)
    have huge leg muscles and can grind up anything in a higher gear, but that
    might not be you. I'd change the gears before anything else, if that's not
    too expensive. I suppose you have one of those annoying 130BCD cranks that
    won't fit a 34T chainring. :-/
    David Damerell, May 28, 2015
  11. Ed

    Rob Morley Guest

    I think that would be "over geared".
    Fixie riders (proper ones, not the hipsters that ride to the coffee
    shop) tend to clip in tight - I wonder if the OP might benefit from an
    improved foot-to-pedal interface.
    Rob Morley, May 29, 2015
  12. No, "under geared" - i.e. too few gears. With your meaning, it would
    be "geared too high".
    It is pretty unlikely to help much, if at all. Curiously, it might
    help me, but I can't use it for several reasons!

    Nick Maclaren.
    Nick Maclaren, May 29, 2015
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