Spectrum Gets a Granny

In this post, I mentioned that my new-to-me Spectrum could use some lower gearing.  Despite getting quite a good arm workout trying to climb at 25 rpm on the local steeps, I have concluded that I would be well served to get moving on that goal.  With a low gear of 42-24, doing certain ridge climbs around here is pretty impractical.   At least for me… now.  I could have lived with that gearing when I weighed 140lbs, but I am 165 these days and in poorer shape, so it’s a no-go.

I decided to leave the freewheel alone (13-24) for the foreseeable future and do something with the crank.  Two options presented themselves:

1 – keep the (lovely nuovo record) crank, put on this triplizer (http://www.redclovercomponents.com/1…triplizer.html), buy a new
BB with a longer spindle, too, of course.  I would be running a 53-42-30, or  32. (I have both a 30 and 32 in the parts bin).

2 – put the crank in the parts bin and buy a new BB to run one of these: http://store.interlocracing.com/irdd.html

When looking at the two options  from a gear inch point of view,  I  determined that the 50T is going to be annoyingly high still, and the 34T is going to be too small for anything other than climbing or very casual riding.

Really, the 42T is a good size for a lot of riding.  46T is even better, actually.  I was half tempted to go with a 46-30T double, but the 46-13 is not much of a high gear. I am certain I would have cursed it.  Perhaps a 46-12 or 46-11 would be ok, but with only room for 7 speeds in the back, and a desire to go no smaller than 24T as my large cog, I would have to live with big jumps.

Ho hum.   I decided that The 53-42-32/30 would provide me the best overall gearing.   And really, parts-binning a classic Campag crank in favor of a more modern crank (even if it’s retro styled) is some kind of terrible cycling sin. Velocio is rolling in his grave for me just thinking about it.

The install of the Red Clover Triplizer was easy, and I am now running a 53-42-32.  I was worried that the crank  or BB might be hard to remove, as it had been installed on this bike
since literally the early 80’s, but they musta used enough grease at  the time as nothing was frozen.  Fixed cup was a little tight, but I  got it done.

The only trouble has been an unexpected one, which is that the front  changer has to swing out pretty far now, and I get a little slipping  of the left shift lever when I pedal hard in the big ring, whereas I  didn’t used to.  The bike has some Shimano 105 levers on it, and I may
need to put on the set of Simplex retrofriction levers I have in the  parts box.  I have already tried the obvious fixes- tightening the  fixing bolt on the shift lever and making sure the cable doesn’t have  too much friction at the BB cable guide.  They helped but didn’t totally solve the problem either.

The 32-24 low gear is still a little high, but I think at some point, when I get a 13-28T freewheel or freehub, I’ll be good for most routes around here. (I am still overgeared a bit but it’s manageable now).

I am in love with a Granny.

I love this bike.


About rothrockcyrcle

I am an endurance cyclist always looking for new ways to maximize fun and minimize BS.
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