Adding gears - update July 2005

OK so I whimped out, but the hills are too big here for me to do more than one col on the single speed. Here are some notes on how I added gears to my Il Pompino:


I decided to go for bar end shifters because:
  1. Reasons for not having STI/ergo levers (brake/shifters combined)
    1. STI/ergo levers won't pull enough cable for V-brakes and I didn't want to put in "travel agents"
    2. They are very expensive
  2. Reasons for not having down-tube shifters
    1. There are no braze-on mounts for down tube shifters
    2. The only clamp one ones I could find were non-indexed, and the band was too small in any case
    3. The cabling would have been more complex and required more cable stops (I think)
    4. The cable housings normally run down the down-tube leaving the open ends pointing up allowing water in easily
On-One Il Pompino with 3x9 gearing
the bike with gears fitted, decided to go for mountain bike parts as all our other bikes are MTBs and the parts might end up as spares at some point. In retrospect I could possibly do with bigger rings, but then I was happy with 39x16 so I should be more than happy with 44x11 and 29x32 will be good for touring.

Shimano indexed 9-speed bar-end shifters
Cables from the shifters are also run under the bar tape. Some people prefer not to do this to reduce friction, but I prefer the cleaner look and also less likely to catch anything when going off-road.

Dura-Ace hifter in detail
Unfortunately it seems that bar-end shifters are available in the top-of the range, these are Dura-Ace, fortunately way cheaper than STI.

Front and read mechs

MTB ISIS crank-set
I'm running (standard) Truvativ MTB cranks with 44, 32, 22 rings, though if I need to replace these, Ill try to get closer to 52, 39, and whatever the biggest granny ring you can get. These are ISIS and the ISIS or Shimano Octalink is ideal if you are switching cranks often (i.e. if I decide to make its 1x1 again)

Top-pull, high-pivot front mech
I used a top-pull, high-pivot front mech. These seem to last longer in my experience and the top-pull only needed a cable stop at the top of the seat-tube rather than stuffing about trying to run the cable under the bottom bracket.

Home-made cable stop for front mech
A cable stop for the front mech was made using the clamp from an old front mech. Not that pretty but it works. Cable ties couldn't hold the cable tight enough. I think you can buy a specially made clamp on cable stop but they are rather hard to find, so I made my own (plenty of worn out old mechs to choose from, especially low pivot ones :-)

Rear mech using On-Ones mech hanger Rear mech using On-Ones mech hanger Spacer on non-drive side
The On-One rear mech hanger is used, this is held in place by the quick release. The hanger is made to fit the Gimp frame which must have pretty wide dropouts as you need to file this down so that the wheel clamps against the frame rather than the mech hanger.

The hanger comes with chain tugs -- the threaded parts where they go one are still left in the hanger, but I found that the chain often fouled the tugs when changing down from the 11t sprocket so I've left them off. The rear tyre just clears the frame with the wheel as far forward as it will go, but its pretty marginal -- OK on dry roads. I'm going to see if I can make some sort of spacer to go in the front part of the cable hanger so that I can move the wheel back a little.

The older stuff

Just got my On-One Il Pompino road bike, and to christen it I thought I'd take it up the Col d'Aspen. The gearing on the bike is 42x16 but I managed, though I did have a few doubts at the bottom. Fortunately there were enough spots where the gradient was flat enough to pedal sitting and I didn't have to stand for the whole 12km ascent. The col de Tourmalet could be another story...

Bike felt as nice as the Inbred -- nice and stable on the descent, and the stopping power of the v-brakes are definitely worth the extra weight.

Summit of the col d'Aspen
Summit of the col d'Aspen

Pic de Midi de Bigorre from the col d'Aspen
Pic de Midi de Bigorre from the col d'Aspen

La Mongie, finish of stage 12 of 2004 Tour de France
Finish of the 12th stage of the 2004 Tour de France: Castelsarrasin to La Mongie

Finish line at about 1800m
Finish line of the La Mongie stage of the Tour de France at about 1800m elevation. Took me 1h10m for the 12.8km ascent from Ste-Marie-de-Campan on my Il Pompino (42x16 single speed). Average grade is 6.5% but it kicks up at the end and the last 4km are around 9.5%. It took Ivan Basso about 30mins! More information from the TDF web site