Campag Athena groupset changing the rear cassette and rear derailleur to a wider block

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martinn
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Joined: 1 Dec 2012, 8:20pm

Campag Athena groupset changing the rear cassette and rear derailleur to a wider block

Postby martinn » 21 May 2018, 8:27pm

Hi all,

I am going on an alpine holiday mid June this year. The largest climbs I have done before would be the gospel path the Tumble and the llanberris pass.
I currently have two choices.
Steel with campag Athena 11 speed with a 52/36 and a 11-29 on the rear.
My alternate is a carbon Orro terra c with a Shimano 52/36 and a 11-32 on the rear.
So in slight fear, I am looking into downgearing, I normally climb in the big ring and it's not uncommon for me not to use the small ring.
The Orro I can only make the small ring at the front to a 34, probably having to change the big ring to a 50.
The steel bike, I could change the front ring, but I'm still going to have a higher gear than the Orro.
I was thinking about changing the rear cassette to 11-32 and changing the rear derailleur as well. I am slightly confused as to if this is possible. The Athena is 2014/15. I think I could use a potenza cassette with a centaur rear derailleur.
Any help greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Martin

Jezrant
Posts: 701
Joined: 14 Dec 2007, 8:11pm

Re: Campag Athena groupset changing the rear cassette and rear derailleur to a wider block

Postby Jezrant » 22 May 2018, 9:40am

How much extra baggage will you be carrying? If not a lot, you may be worrying too much. The passes in the Alps are long but less steep than you may be imagining.

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Campag Athena groupset changing the rear cassette and rear derailleur to a wider block

Postby Brucey » 22 May 2018, 10:18am

where are you going exactly? The roads vary a bit but in some areas there are virtually none with steep gradients, just long like Jezrant says.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

martinn
Posts: 274
Joined: 1 Dec 2012, 8:20pm

Re: Campag Athena groupset changing the rear cassette and rear derailleur to a wider block

Postby martinn » 22 May 2018, 1:45pm

My route is a 8 day circular route starting at Geneva.
Roughly 100-120km per day
Roughly a col a day including alpe d'huez.
It's self supported staying in hotels over night.
I have not seen the route, but one of the riders has ridden it before. Two of us have decided to do it at touring pace as opposed to race pace!

Thanks
Martin

Jezrant
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Joined: 14 Dec 2007, 8:11pm

Re: Campag Athena groupset changing the rear cassette and rear derailleur to a wider block

Postby Jezrant » 22 May 2018, 3:19pm

Are you crossing the Aravis and maybe tackling Galibier?

A couple of extra teeth on the biggest cog isn't going to make that much of a difference. Pack as little as you can get away with and enjoy those long exhilarating descents without the wobble. :D Or get a proper touring bike. :wink:

martinn
Posts: 274
Joined: 1 Dec 2012, 8:20pm

Re: Campag Athena groupset changing the rear cassette and rear derailleur to a wider block

Postby martinn » 22 May 2018, 9:14pm

Galibier is on the route.
Going as light as I can for week. Do have a habit of over packing.
I have a 14l saddle pack, and a small "fuel pod" for snacking while riding.
Both bikes descend well, me on the other hand I have a cautious streak.

Martin

ANTONISH
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Joined: 26 Mar 2009, 9:49am

Re: Campag Athena groupset changing the rear cassette and rear derailleur to a wider block

Postby ANTONISH » 23 May 2018, 8:03am

A lot depends on your age, strength and fitness - if you can climb the hills you describe in the big ring I would think you would be ok with the gears you have - although IME you always wish you had a gear just a bit lower than what you have available :(
( currently grovelling on 24 x 34 )

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foxyrider
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Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 10:25am
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Campag Athena groupset changing the rear cassette and rear derailleur to a wider block

Postby foxyrider » 23 May 2018, 8:48am

Okay, don't panic!

A couple of years ago I took my CF bike touring in the alps. When I say touring I mean that, 2 panniers and bar bag for best bit of 3 weeks. Big passes including Gross Gloeckner and days up to 150km.

The bike is kitted out with Campag SR and i'm not known for my climbing prowess! What gearing did I use? Well the rear cassette is the SR 11-27 and up front it's 52/34 ( I swapped out the 36 following advice by the organisers of the Otztal marathon which I rode, 5500m in one days 250km ride!)

I used the full range of gears, ramps of up to 20% were conquered and the 11 was pressed into service on the downhills. With climbs of maybe 40km and sometimes several passes in a day I took my time, stopped for coffee, to get my breath, to enjoy the view, selfie at the top then enjoy the descent.

Just remember though, whilst it's nice to ride everything which might earn you 'brownie' points down the pub, if you run out of gears/puff/want to take a picture or two you can stop, maybe walk for a bit.

One thing I would suggest, having saved a bob or two not changing cassettes etc is to upgrade to Swisstop brake blocks. On the face of it expensive but they've improved my already impressive SR calipers and last better than standard Campag or similar pads under hard alpine braking.

Have fun
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

martinn
Posts: 274
Joined: 1 Dec 2012, 8:20pm

Re: Campag Athena groupset changing the rear cassette and rear derailleur to a wider block

Postby martinn » 24 May 2018, 10:44am

Would that be don't panic in pink neon :D

Thanks for the thoughts. I think I will just go with the gearing I have and hope for the best.

As an aside I am curious about the interchangeability of Athena and the newer group sets for when mine need replacing.

I think having changed the tyres on the carbon Shimano equipped bike, that's is what I will be taking, having hydraulic disc brakes as well. Any recommendations for pads? Currently has standard Shimano pads

Thanks
Martin

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fausto99
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Re: Campag Athena groupset changing the rear cassette and rear derailleur to a wider block

Postby fausto99 » 24 May 2018, 1:30pm

It all depends on how heavy you are, how fit you are and how you pedal. You are the best person to decide.

Some years ago, doing a LEJOG with minimal luggage I used a triple setup with lowest 28 x 28. When I did l'Alpe d'Huez (no luggage) I had the same triple setup with a 28 x 23. In both cases I would have used a lower gear if I'd had one! I would opt for a 24 front x 34 rear these days. YMMV.

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foxyrider
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Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 10:25am
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Campag Athena groupset changing the rear cassette and rear derailleur to a wider block

Postby foxyrider » 24 May 2018, 6:40pm

martinn wrote:Would that be don't panic in pink neon :D

Thanks for the thoughts. I think I will just go with the gearing I have and hope for the best.

As an aside I am curious about the interchangeability of Athena and the newer group sets for when mine need replacing.

I think having changed the tyres on the carbon Shimano equipped bike, that's is what I will be taking, having hydraulic disc brakes as well. Any recommendations for pads? Currently has standard Shimano pads

Thanks
Martin


Discs? Seriously? Hope you've got good life insurance!

You will really need to change the way you brake and take plenty of spare pads. I can get through a set of pads in a day in Derbyshire (that's running oversize discs too not the poxy 140's on road bikes) and i've seen the results of using discs in the alps - warped discs, burnt out brakes and more and that's not even on sports bikes.

Do not drag the brakes at all, you'll need to do ABS braking or you'll soon have stuff very hot. A warped disc could be very nasty indeed.

Good luck with that and take care.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

Jezrant
Posts: 701
Joined: 14 Dec 2007, 8:11pm

Re: Campag Athena groupset changing the rear cassette and rear derailleur to a wider block

Postby Jezrant » 24 May 2018, 8:49pm

foxyrider wrote:
martinn wrote:Would that be don't panic in pink neon :D

Thanks for the thoughts. I think I will just go with the gearing I have and hope for the best.

As an aside I am curious about the interchangeability of Athena and the newer group sets for when mine need replacing.

I think having changed the tyres on the carbon Shimano equipped bike, that's is what I will be taking, having hydraulic disc brakes as well. Any recommendations for pads? Currently has standard Shimano pads

Thanks
Martin


Discs? Seriously? Hope you've got good life insurance!

You will really need to change the way you brake and take plenty of spare pads. I can get through a set of pads in a day in Derbyshire (that's running oversize discs too not the poxy 140's on road bikes) and i've seen the results of using discs in the alps - warped discs, burnt out brakes and more and that's not even on sports bikes.

Do not drag the brakes at all, you'll need to do ABS braking or you'll soon have stuff very hot. A warped disc could be very nasty indeed.

Good luck with that and take care.


Haven't the Trek-Segafredo team been using discs in this year's Giro d'Italia?

Thinking about this a bit more, as others have suggested, the choices of what to use on any tour are largely personal, subjective and thus endlessly debatable on forums like this. FWIW, when I was living in Geneva, I happily used a Campag Racing T setup with the lowest gear of 30 x 26, but I was younger and fitter back then. If I were to go back today, I'd be looking at a super compact double chainset and big cassette, something like a 28 x 32. I wouldn't tour with hydros, but not for the reasons cited above. Less subjectively, you're simply more likely to run into annoying technical problems with hydros on a tour than with mechanical rim brakes. Rest assured, however, there are lots of bike shops between Geneva and Alpe d'Huez if there's something you can't sort out on your own.

Brucey
Posts: 31165
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Campag Athena groupset changing the rear cassette and rear derailleur to a wider block

Postby Brucey » 25 May 2018, 2:02pm

Jezrant wrote: ....Haven't the Trek-Segafredo team been using discs in this year's Giro d'Italia?....


yes, but

a) the idea of racing is that you brake as little as possible... :wink: and
b) the riders are not very heavy
c) at speed the brakes are cooled most efficiently
d) the brakes are presumably very well maintained
e) at the first sign of trouble, they get a spare bike out....

Note that they are probably, effectively, getting paid to run these disc brakes.

Thinking about this a bit more, as others have suggested, the choices of what to use on any tour are largely personal, subjective and thus endlessly debatable on forums like this...


of course. Arguably it may matter less what exact equipment you use than that you understand its limitations and ride accordingly.

Having said this, there is a wealth of experience with rim brakes whereas disc brakes will vary appreciably with every different setup/riding style/loading, possibly in ways that no-one understands.

IME it is very simple indeed to detect and prevent further overheating in rim brakes; as soon as you hear/feel a certain sound (which varies with brake block type) you know that the brake blocks and rim on that wheel are getting a bit hot and it is best not to use that brake again until you have given it a chance to cool down. If you alternate between brakes you would have to be very unlucky to overheat both brakes at the same time.

Obviously if the noise has just started to come from both brakes and the road is getting steeper/twistier (such that you cannot safely let the bike run and cool the rims down) you can just stop and there should be enough margin in the brakes such that the tyres won't blow off whilst you are still at speed. I have thought it prudent to stop a few times ever, to allow the brakes to cool off; it takes a long, steep and twisty descent to do it.

Another good reason for avoiding running in the 'noisy range' is that the brake blocks are normally wearing about x10 faster than normal.

Nervous descenders are arguably more likely to overheat brakes on a descent; they put more net heat into the brakes and because they are going slowly derive less net benefit from aero drag, and air cooling of the brake parts.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~