upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

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foxyrider
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upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

Post by foxyrider »

So i'm now over a month into the custodianship of the Focus Bold 2i Ltd, I've got a fair idea of battery range and general performance so i've started top look at potential changes to improve my enjoyment. Narrower bars will be first up, my arms are killing at the end of 120km, but its the gearing which i feel is holding me back more, i'll be in the 15 or 17 sprocket just to keep above the assist limit.

The original spec had an 11 speed 1 x drivetrain, 34 x 11-40, the original owner changed the front to 42 as he was over revving all the time. The thing is, he was riding in the Peak District, i'm riding in much flatter terrain for the most part and i'm having a similar issue, i'll be in the small sprockets nearly all the time. With everything working, i've never gone bigger than the 21 sprocket!

It's a 29er currently on 2.6 (700x65) hard pack tyres (ie smaller knobbles). My plan is to put some less treaded tyres of @ 700x50 on to reduce the drag a bit (and save @ 1kg at the same time) but that will compound the gearing issue.

Clearly the only option is to increase the chainwheel size again but what to? A 44T would give an extra couple of gear inches with the smaller tyres, literally 2". Could i go to 46 which looks about optimal for my needs? is that even possible? how might the change affect the Steps motor?

I'm pretty sure i'm not the only one who has these issues.
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!
Brucey
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Re: upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

Post by Brucey »

do you know which version of 'steps' it is?
Also, which crankset do you have?
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foxyrider
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Re: upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

Post by foxyrider »

Brucey wrote: 11 Feb 2024, 2:03pm do you know which version of 'steps' it is?
Also, which crankset do you have?
M7000 i believe with Deore crankset of similar ilk.
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!
Brucey
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Re: upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

Post by Brucey »

If you have E-7000 steps shimano appear to offer a 47t chainring.
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531colin
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Re: upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

Post by 531colin »

Doesn’t the motor look at how hard you are pedalling and add some proportion of that?
If that’s what it’s doing, why does chainwheel size matter? *
If the rider was 20 stone there would be more strain on the motor?
Or am I looking at it all wrong?
* I dimly recollect talk of one of the bolt-on motors having a plastic gear that you could strip the teeth off by using too big a chainwheel. …but I might have mis-remembered!
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foxyrider
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Re: upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

Post by foxyrider »

531colin wrote: 11 Feb 2024, 11:21pm Doesn’t the motor look at how hard you are pedalling and add some proportion of that?
If that’s what it’s doing, why does chainwheel size matter? *
If the rider was 20 stone there would be more strain on the motor?
Or am I looking at it all wrong?
* I dimly recollect talk of one of the bolt-on motors having a plastic gear that you could strip the teeth off by using too big a chainwheel. …but I might have mis-remembered!
I have no idea hence the questions

As i'm not using half the cassette due to the gearing set up, i was hoping that upping the gearing will distribute sprocket wear a bit better. I know it won't make any difference to speed but surely if the motor isn't shifting as much weight it won't suffer the same strain so improving motor / drivetrain life?

Shimano Steps is an integrated centre drive
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!
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foxyrider
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Re: upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

Post by foxyrider »

Brucey wrote: 11 Feb 2024, 8:17pm If you have E-7000 steps shimano appear to offer a 47t chainring.
sorry, yes its the E-7000 of course

having looked at the bike again after posting this, the chainstay clearance might be the fly
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!
rareposter
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Re: upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

Post by rareposter »

foxyrider wrote: 10 Feb 2024, 7:35pm Clearly the only option is to increase the chainwheel size again but what to? A 44T would give an extra couple of gear inches with the smaller tyres, literally 2". Could i go to 46 which looks about optimal for my needs? is that even possible? how might the change affect the Steps motor?
It's not the only option - you could put a much closer range cassette on there, something like 11-28. It'll need a new (and much shorter!) chain and you will almost certainly need to adjust the mech as well - in fact a long cage mech may not work reliably on that set up and it would be better with a shorter cage mech, others on here may be able to confirm/deny that.

You're right about the larger chainring; at some point around the 44, maybe 46T area, you'll run into problems with it clearing the chainstays. Not sure what effect it'll have on the torque sensor in the motor too, some motors are quite sensitive to working within a particular range of chainring sizes. I really wouldn't be looking to change it too much.
Brucey
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Re: upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

Post by Brucey »

would 44t fit? Would that be worthwhile?
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Chris Jeggo
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Re: upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

Post by Chris Jeggo »

Up to the age of 54 my bottom gear was 40", then
up to the age of 60 my bottom gear was 25", then
up to the age of 64 my bottom gear was 21",
and since then my bottom gear has been 17".
So my question is:
What effective age will buying an e-bike (can't put it off much longer) take me back to?
That will determine the cassette I need on it.
rareposter
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Re: upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

Post by rareposter »

Chris Jeggo wrote: 12 Feb 2024, 12:28pm So my question is:
What effective age will buying an e-bike (can't put it off much longer) take me back to?
21 again. ;-)
Brucey
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Re: upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

Post by Brucey »

IME e-bike chains wear out quickly anyway but if you change the rear hub for one that will take a 10t sprocket this would at least raise the gearing slightly, even if it doesn't 'even out the wear' per se.
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Chris Jeggo
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Re: upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

Post by Chris Jeggo »

rareposter wrote: 12 Feb 2024, 12:35pm
Chris Jeggo wrote: 12 Feb 2024, 12:28pm So my question is:
What effective age will buying an e-bike (can't put it off much longer) take me back to?
21 again. ;-)
Wow!
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Chris Jeggo
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Re: upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

Post by Chris Jeggo »

rareposter wrote: 12 Feb 2024, 11:34am
foxyrider wrote: 10 Feb 2024, 7:35pm Clearly the only option is to increase the chainwheel size again but what to? A 44T would give an extra couple of gear inches with the smaller tyres, literally 2". Could i go to 46 which looks about optimal for my needs? is that even possible? how might the change affect the Steps motor?
It's not the only option - you could put a much closer range cassette on there, something like 11-28. It'll need a new (and much shorter!) chain and you will almost certainly need to adjust the mech as well - in fact a long cage mech may not work reliably on that set up and it would be better with a shorter cage mech, others on here may be able to confirm/deny that.
....
An 11-28t cassette sounds a good idea to me. Chain alignment would be better, too. Why not just try one? What could be simpler? Make further changes if necessary/desired.
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531colin
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Re: upgrading my Bold2 gearing and performance

Post by 531colin »

I found that the cassette sprocket which showed the most wear wasn't one I would expect to be "in" for the biggest proportion of my total "riding time" , but a bigger one which I guess I was using when trying to "make progress" against the wind or on a rising road. (I guess riding with more force on the pedals.) Just for once, this actually helps us because a sprocket with more teeth wears slower than a similar sprocket with fewer teeth....I think!
From this thread viewtopic.php?t=116834&hilit=reverse+we ... e&start=45 heres a picture of the 21T sprocket which had been on my "winter" bike for (at least) 10 years, compared with a new one.

ImageIMG_5501 by 531colin, on Flickr

Note that is the "right" sort of wear, such that a new chain didn't skip on the worn sprocket.....the wear is at the base of the teeth. On a worn chain the rollers are further apart, so that the chain rides up the teeth in order to "fit" where the teeth are further apart, and the worn chain wears the teeth higher up, so that the teeth appear "hooked" and at that stage a new chain will skip on the worn teeth.

To achieve the "right" sort of wear, its only necessary to change the chain before the chain is so worn that it rides up the teeth and wears them into a hooked shape. (I use a chain wear gauge)

I don't think its necessary (or even possible) to "share out" the wear evenly between sprockets. The only downside I have found to wearing the base of the teeth is that (eventually) you get chainsuck where the chain won't disengage from the bottom of the chainwheel when you change chainrings, this can be fixed with a bit of judicious filing.
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