Finding compatible parts

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
Posts: 2
Joined: 25 Jun 2020, 7:53am

Finding compatible parts

Postby jackrmee » 25 Jun 2020, 8:34am

Hi guys,
I'm new around here and need some advice on bicycle maintenance, as I'm just starting out on my learning.
I bought Zinn's maintenance book and a few basic tools.

So I bought a cheap Boardman Comp hybrid. All seemed fine, but when I took it home and tried to adjust the gearing (it was making clicking noises), I noticed that certain parts need changing, but have already been changed at some point with cheap bits, compared to what I can find in the bike spec online.

A couple of question if you'd be so kind?
1) Hpw do I find the year and exact model of my bike, as I want to check the original specs are correct? I have found the bike online and I'm using the specs from that, but I'm not 100% sure it's the correct one.
2) How do I find out if the part I find on ebay/Amazon is the correct part to fit my bike if it's not the original spec part?

Quick list of parts I want to fix/change:
Front derailleur:
This has been changed before and doesn't seem to be the right part.
Original bike spec: SRAM X5 2 speed.
Currently: microSHIFT FD-R62 9/10 Speed double capacity 10-16t

Front crankset:
A couple of the teeth are damaged.
Original bike spec: FSA Velo Compact 50/34t
Currently: FSA Velo Compact 50/34t

Rear cassette:
Seems to be the wrong part again, as the shifter and spec say it should be 9 speed, but only has 8 cogs.
Original bike spec: SRAM PG950 11-32t
Currently: Shimano CS-HG41-8 aw, with freehub protector.

The shifters are the original SRAM X5, but strangely the original bike has a 3x trigger for front and only a 2 speed front derailleur and crank. I've seen this mentioned around the place.
So I'll add another question...
3) If I'm changing the crank, I may as well get a 3 speed, with a 3 speed derailleur right? Or will that be more hassle?

Thanks in advance and apologies for the lengthy first post.

Posts: 17
Joined: 29 Feb 2020, 3:03pm

Re: Finding compatible parts

Postby Jupestar » 25 Jun 2020, 10:52am


1) Google is your friend, if you want to go deeper you can contact the manufacture, although they prefer you supply the model and year. Sometime you can find the original booklets on line, LBS can nornally help particularly if they are a 'dealer' for boardman i understand that is basically Halfords as CycleRepublic is no more, Tredz may be able to help, put none of these are really LBS, so i think your best bet is Google. If you can find some brouchure pictures you can often see the original parts.

2) You can't basically, you just need to research and understand the parameters of what would fit and what won't. Posts with accurate descriptions help, but only if you know what you are buying. If your not sure your local bike shop is your friend to help you source the right parts, you'll pay more, but you'll only pay once and if they get it wrong they will generally take it back. Appreciate you want to do this yourself, but when starting out it is best to ask the experts as well, and although forums are useful there is no substitute for actually seeing the bike.

Honestly unless you dive into detailed research your more than likely get mis-matching parts, and no amount of fettling will make it work cleanly. Even your friendly local bike mechanic with 20+ years will sometimes get it wrong.

In terms of the parts you mention,
FD - absolute minefield. Clamp size, braze on, up or down pull, compact or 3 speed, what shifter do you have/want, cable route. you even find that some are designed for specific size rear cassettes/chains, and don't work as clean or at all when you deviate. In my experince this is the hardest part to spec. Personally if you have a SRAM X5 shifter, and teh original was a SRAM X5 derailluer, i'd start from that, (unless you have some reason not to), but even then you need to make sure you have the right fittings, year type, and possible there are different variations of the X5 for different mountings.

Crankset, sounds like this is original, and you should just need to change the chainrings if the rest is ok. Is it the Vero? its pretty common, just double check the BCD and the number of bolts and it should fit. If you deviate to an ebay part not original to the Vero, you'll need to check the ramping and the speed for the chain width, could be problem.

Rear Cassette - if it 8 cogs its 8 speed. but should check the RD and the shifter to see if they are 8 or 9 speed. If they are both 9 speed. easiest is to swap the cassette to 9 speed. if they are both 8 speed, and you want 9 speed, you'd best to swap them all out, just check the spacings. you should check compatability issues with the FD set up for the correct chain width, and cassette too. when buying a cassette if tempted to buy one with a bigger range its worth checking the range of gears the current or front RD (and FD can cover) to make sure they can reach all the gears.

One tip if your redoing the gearing, get new cables. inners and outers, ferrules and decent ones. you;ll be amazed how much improvement they can make to the gear changes. If you don't know if yours are any good. change them anyway.. .

3) If your changing the crank, its always an expensive modification, and you need to go through the whole compatability process again. potentially some new chainrings would do the job. unless its falling off the BB.

On compatability, you can get away with quite alot, particuarly between the FD and RD, shifters as well. and if your going down this route there is plenty of blogs talking about compatability for shifters and derailluers and what works, its another level of research and cost (when you get it wrong the first 3 times).

But my view is if you can line up a matching groupset, suitable for the bike it
a) is easier to fit and adjust.
b) requires less fettling to keep going.
c) lasts longer.

Good luck, it great fun tinkering around with bikes, but you need to think of it as a hobby and hobbies do cost money..

Posts: 3114
Joined: 18 Aug 2015, 7:05pm

Re: Finding compatible parts

Postby roubaixtuesday » 25 Jun 2020, 11:12am

Lots of questions there.

A few remarks:

1. Damaged front teeth. Are you sure these are damaged? Some front teeth have deliberately different profiles to aid shifting. My guess is that the teeth are as designed.

2. If they are damaged, you don't need to replace the whole chainset, you can just replace the chain ring.

3. Does the FD work? If yes, why replace it?

4. 3 speed front shifter. It's not unusual to use a three speed shifter for a two speed FD, with the third shift redundant, and it's not a problem. I have this on a good quality Whyte MTB from new.

5. Rear cassette. It does sound like someone may have put an 8 speed cassette on a nine speed set up. Find the rear derailleur model number and check what it is compatible with before proceeding. Also check derailleur is compatible with the front shifter. It's always a good idea to change the chain at same time as changing the cassette. Cassettes (and chains) from SRAM and Shimano are interchangeable for the same speeds.

6. Before doing anything, it's worth going through a proper set up of the current components. "Park tool" have an excellent resource including videos and I'd recommend that.

7. I'd avoid Ebay and Amazon like the plague for parts, unless you're absolutely certain of both who you're dealing with and precisely what you need. A reputable local bike shop who can advise is best, a reputable online shop such as SJS next best.

8. A workstand helps enormously when doing these jobs.


Posts: 2
Joined: 25 Jun 2020, 7:53am

Re: Finding compatible parts

Postby jackrmee » 27 Jun 2020, 8:44am

Wow! Thanks for your fantastic replies. So much help already.
I’d like to answer both separately, so bear with me...

I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my wobbly bog brush using hovercraft full of eels