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  1. #1
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    Question Someone said that I can't change my 16 speed road bike to a 20 speed...

    Hello. I'm new here and not very knowledgeable about all of the components lingo.

    I have a Serotta Colorado CR that I bought back in 1994 and I love it. I didn't ride it for about a decade for reasons I won't go into now, but I'm riding it again and it's smooth and fast! I went to a local bike shop recently and mentioned to the owner that I was thinking about going to a carbon fiber road bike next year. He said that if he were me, because of the bike that I have, he said that he would just make some major upgrades to my Serotta and not even think about going to carbon fiber. He said that he would help me pick out and install some really good components on it to greatly better the performance. I don't mind spending a couple grand on the right components if I could see a significant increase in performance.

    One of the things i want to do is change wheels and go from and 8 cog cassette to a 10 cog. I understand that I would need to replace my STI shifters because they only shift up to 8, but I thought that if I bought a new rim and cassette and shifters that it wouldn't be a problem, but the store owner said that still would not be possible and he gave me some reason that didn't quite make sense to me., something about there wouldn't be enough room back there... I don't know. I was running late for work and didn't get a chance to go into detail. He'll be on vacation for a week and I was wondering would any of you guys would know what he was talking about.

    Does anyone know why this would not be possible and also, what are some must-do upgrades that i can do to make the performance better and faster?

    Again, I'm kinda new to all this... so be gentle. : )

  2. #2
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    Re: Someone said that I can't change my 16 speed road bike to a 20 speed...

    The rear end dropouts are not spaced for 10 speed.
    You will need to do some searches for 'spacing' I believe, and check the Sheldon Brown website for more.
    See, the dropouts are spaced 120? mm apart while 10 spd is 130. By the book, you need to enter the world of 'cold setting' and that debate. Or, just shove the wheel in there.
    On my 1989 Centurion, I bought wheels and a chain, shifted in friction mode after adjusting hi and lo. No issues.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by davez26 View Post
    the dropouts are spaced 120? mm apart while 10 spd is 130.
    You sure they're 120? There's a very good chance they are 126 and if so, a cold set, or even no set, will be ok. My early '90s Masi was 126 and now it's sporting a 130mm hub.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by davez26 View Post
    The rear end dropouts are not spaced for 10 speed.
    You will need to do some searches for 'spacing' I believe, and check the Sheldon Brown website for more.
    See, the dropouts are spaced 120? mm apart while 10 spd is 130. By the book, you need to enter the world of 'cold setting' and that debate. Or, just shove the wheel in there.
    On my 1989 Centurion, I bought wheels and a chain, shifted in friction mode after adjusting hi and lo. No issues.
    what are you talking about? if the OP's bike has 8spd w/ sti shifters, if the bike came like that, it's certainly 130mm. even if the bike was upgraded at some point and it's older than '94, it's 126mm and has a 130mm hub in it now. it should be absolutely no problem to upgrade this frame to 10speed.
    rear end spacing on geared bikes hasn't been 120mm for ages. track bikes, yes. road bikes? not even close.
    your '89 centurion isn't 120mm, i'd bet money on it.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
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    oh, those belong in another forum

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Rotta View Post
    Does anyone know why this would not be possible and also, what are some must-do upgrades that i can do to make the performance better and faster?

    Again, I'm kinda new to all this... so be gentle. : )
    Ride your bike more. That'll make your performance better and faster.

    But no, I see no reason why you can't upgrade your bike to 10 speed.

    BTW, I have a '90 Colorado ll with 126mm rear spacing, so odds are excellent your Colorado is at least that, if not 130mm.

    Maybe if you posted some specifics about your bikes current components (make/ model) and wheelset, someone can give you more specific info on upgrade options.

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    Re: Someone said that I can't change my 16 speed road bike to a 20 speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    what are you talking about?
    rear end spacing on geared bikes hasn't been 120mm for ages. track bikes, yes. road bikes? not even close.
    your '89 centurion isn't 120mm, i'd bet money on it.
    Sorry, I intended 120?, to indicate '120something, as I didn't have the figure at hand. It's probably 126 as you indicate. I was trying to get the thought across that many threads hotly debate the 'need' for cold setting if the shop had indicated the rear to be too narrow.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by davez26 View Post
    Sorry, I intended 120?, to indicate '120something, as I didn't have the figure at hand. It's probably 126 as you indicate. I was trying to get the thought across that many threads hotly debate the 'need' for cold setting if the shop had indicated the rear to be too narrow.
    gotcha. if it's a 4mm difference on a steel frame there is absolutely no need to cold set. but as i said, if the bike came new w/ 8speed it's already 130mm.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
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    oh, those belong in another forum

  8. #8
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    Someone said that I can't change my 16 speed road bike to a 20 speed...

    That's interesting. My '92 Colorado II rear dropouts are 130 (purchased new from a Serotta dealer) and I am using 11s Campy Chorus. Can you check your spacing again with a caliper?

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    Re: Someone said that I can't change my 16 speed road bike to a 20 speed...

    Touche! CX, I missed the obvious, 8 SPD=130mm. :thumbup:
    So...I can't see why this rig can't be 2x10, should be good.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronf100 View Post
    That's interesting. My '92 Colorado II rear dropouts are 130 (purchased new from a Serotta dealer) and I am using 11s Campy Chorus. Can you check your spacing again with a caliper?
    Rather than looking at the paperwork (which says 126mm), I physically checked this time. Spacing is 130mm's.

    Due to crashes/ rust, the bike sits on my trainer, so doesn't get a lot of maintenance. Through the years, I simply forgot what the spacing was.

  11. #11
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    If you're running 8 speed shimano now the only limitation I can think of regarding the rear wheel/spacing is that the cassette body is intended for 12t or larger for the first sprocket. That said, with a thin spacer behind the cassette, an 11t cassette will work provided there's enough clearance to the right of the sprocket. Other than that it is just STI, mech, cassette & chain.

    Good luck.

  12. #12
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    I don't mind spending a couple grand on the right components if I could see a significant increase in performance.
    Er, STI 8-sp ?????

    $2,000 would buy a lot of components other than STI 8-sp No ??

    NO necessario increase in performance.
    Only the dead shall know the end of war.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultimobici View Post
    If you're running 8 speed shimano now the only limitation I can think of regarding the rear wheel/spacing is that the cassette body is intended for 12t or larger for the first sprocket. That said, with a thin spacer behind the cassette, an 11t cassette will work provided there's enough clearance to the right of the sprocket. Other than that it is just STI, mech, cassette & chain.


    Good luck.
    what? ALL Shimano freehubs are the same diameter/spline pattern. an 11 would fit the same as a 12 or any other size cog.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
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    oh, those belong in another forum

  14. #14
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    Not quite. 8 speed freehub splines run to the very end of the body, whereas 9 speed & later followed the same pattern as the mountain bike ones. So to make the 11t work the cassette needs to have a thin washer behind them.

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    I'll chime in along with the others who recommend that OP double check with what the shop meant when they said there wasn't enough room. I exchange 8, 19 and 10 speed cassettes on the same wheels all the time - just did it yesterday in fact. 8 speed axles are the same width (130mm) as 9 or 10 speed.

    Maybe he thought you were interested in 11 speed?

    If everything is working perfectly with the old 8 speed shifters, I cant think of any performance reason to switch to 10. Currently I ride a 10 speed cassette on one bike and a similar range 8 speed cassette on another and I really, truly don't notice any functional difference. Yes, the jumps between the gears is a little bigger with the 8 speed (less sprockets for the same low-high range), but it really doesn't cause me to actually notice it.

    On the other hand, some upgrades are worth it, if not for actual speed, for comfort, lighter weight, "quicker" feeling bike, etc. I put seatpost, saddle, stem and handlebars into the comfort category if you can't get perfect fit or comfort with what you currently have. I put good, lightweight wheels in the "quickness" and "fun" category. All can fit into the "lighter" category if you're interested in shedding weight for whatever reason floats your boat. All can also go into the "aesthetics" category - another valid value in my opinion.

    I'm not saying there's anything wrong with 10 speed, and if you like the ergonomics of the 10 speed shifters better than your current ones (which can indeed be a factor,, I have always had a love-hate relationship with my Shimano 9 speed shifters, but like 10 speed shifters a lot better), go for it.
    Last edited by Camilo; 05-27-2013 at 02:13 PM.

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    thanks for all of the replies guys.

    i don't have callipers to measure it but i'm hoping that you guys are right that i should be able to switch from 8 to 10. I've been looking at the Mavic Ksyrium Elites and the SLs. I want the SLs but besides the slight weight decrease, I don't see any reason to spend an extra $300.00 to be 56 grams lighter between both wheels, so it looks like I'll go for the Ksyrium Elites.

    Someone asked why go from 8 to 10 and I would say that I'm a big shifter. I go thru a lot of gears while riding, so I was hoping the more gears I have, the easier it would be for me. I like to keep a cadence of about 75, 80 and I shift a lot more than most riders.

    I also want to at least upgrade the cranks and bottom bracket, front and rear derailleurs. He mentioned that some upgrade their fork 1" carbon, headset, stem, and carbon handlebars but he said these are questionable upgrades to some. What do you guys think?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Rotta View Post
    I also want to at least upgrade the cranks and bottom bracket, front and rear derailleurs. He mentioned that some upgrade their fork 1" carbon, headset, stem, and carbon handlebars but he said these are questionable upgrades to some. What do you guys think?
    I think all of those "upgrades" are questionable, if you're expecting some big difference in performance. If the parts aren't worn out and are still working, I wouldn't replace any of that stuff.

    Personally.
    Eppur si muove.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Rotta View Post
    He mentioned that some upgrade their fork 1" carbon, headset, stem, and carbon handlebars but he said these are questionable upgrades to some. What do you guys think?
    If you're still running the OE (Serotta steel) fork and it's in decent shape, I suggest keeping it. IME the ride quality is very good, and some earlier models had a fair amount of rake (mine was 47mm's), so it might be tough to find a match. But, no reason to, IMO.

    Re: CF stems and bars, save your money. Some weigh as much as alloy and (JMO) aren't as durable.

    Headsets either function or they don't. Can't see a reason to 'upgrade' there, either. Unless he means convert from threaded to threadless, but before doing so, question the need/ payoff.

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    these are some excellent replies. I'm learning more and more!

    Thanks!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Rotta View Post
    I have a Serotta Colorado CR that I bought back in 1994 and I love it.
    you admit you 'love' the bike, so that tells me that there's really nothing that needs changing...you're just buying into some marketing bs that wants you believe that 10 spd will be 'faster' than 8 spd. it won't...

    I have two bikes...one with DA 8 and another with Ultegra 10...multiple laps over the same course with each bike shows no appreciable difference in elapsed times.

    if you MUST spend money, buy a nice lightweight wheelset, maybe a saddle if you have any comfort issues...pimp the ride with bar tape, cable housings, and saddle colors.

    then just ride the crap out of it.
    eff all y'all...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
    If everything is working perfectly with the old 8 speed shifters, I cant think of any performance reason to switch to 10. Currently I ride a 10 speed cassette on one bike and a similar range 8 speed cassette on another and I really, truly don't notice any functional difference. Yes, the jumps between the gears is a little bigger with the 8 speed (less sprockets for the same low-high range), but it really doesn't cause me to actually notice it.
    I was hoping that the tenth cog is a higher speed cog (smaller) than my eighth cog on my existing cassette, which would make the bike a bit faster in that gear.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Rotta View Post
    I was hoping that the tenth cog is a higher speed cog (smaller) than my eighth cog on my existing cassette, which would make the bike a bit faster in that gear.
    It won't make it any faster unless you have the additional power to push it that fast. Speed doesn't come from gears, it comes from muscles. You have all the high gear you need right now, most likely.

    You didn't say what your small cog is now - it might already be 11, which is the smallest you can get with any cassette, but let's assume it's 12 -- oh, heck, let's say it's 13. Your big chainring is probably 52. In that 52x13 high gear, at 90 rpm pedal cadence you're going 28 mph. Can you produce the power to ride faster than 28 mph on level ground for more than a few seconds? Not many recreational riders can.

    Maybe you will say you go faster pedaling down hills. True. But even there, you probably have plenty of gearing now. At 110 rpm (which most roadies can do, at least for a while) you're going 34 mph in that 52x13. Faster than that, you'll go faster coasting in a tuck.

    The advantage of 10 vs 8 is having 2 more cogs, so you can better spacing in the middle of the cassette while still having the high and low you need.

    You haven't talked at all about what kind of riding you do, what your terrain is like, whether you need higher and/or lower gears. Or for that matter, what your current specs are. What cassette do you have now?
    Eppur si muove.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Rotta View Post
    thanks for all of the replies guys.

    i don't have callipers to measure it but i'm hoping that you guys are right that i should be able to switch from 8 to 10. I've been looking at the Mavic Ksyrium Elites and the SLs. I want the SLs but besides the slight weight decrease, I don't see any reason to spend an extra $300.00 to be 56 grams lighter between both wheels, so it looks like I'll go for the Ksyrium Elites.
    First, you don't need a caliper to measure rear dropout spacing. Take the wheel out and just measure with a tape between the insides of the dropouts. Measure to the nearest 1/16 inch or 1 mm. 130mm = about 5 1/8" 126mm = about 4 15/16" ... in other words, if it's a little more than 5", it's 130. If it's a tiny bit less than 5" it's 126.

    Second - there's nothing inherently wrong with those Mavic wheels. Except you can get better wheels (by whatever criteria you like) for quite a bit less money. Go on the wheels and tires forum and find many excellent alternatives.

    Someone asked why go from 8 to 10 and I would say that I'm a big shifter. I go thru a lot of gears while riding, so I was hoping the more gears I have, the easier it would be for me. I like to keep a cadence of about 75, 80 and I shift a lot more than most riders.
    This is just not correct. It's the range of the cassette - i.e. 11-26, 12-28, what have you, that gives you the gears you're looking for. You can find the same ranges in 8 and 10 speed cassettes. The jumps between the gears will be slightly greater with the 8 speed cassette, but being a person who currently rides both, it's not meaningful, imho - at least not worth spending 100's of dollars replacing functional stuff. Now when it wears out and you need to replace it, why not, go ahead.

    FWIW, off topic, 75-80 is pretty slow cadence, but that's personal. I feel like I'm grinding if I'm less than 80, and seem to prefer 90 give or take, say 85-100. But others like slower.

    I also want to at least upgrade the cranks and bottom bracket, front and rear derailleurs. He mentioned that some upgrade their fork 1" carbon, headset, stem, and carbon handlebars but he said these are questionable upgrades to some. What do you guys think?
    I'm with the guys below... I wouldn't do any of that, unless any of it just isn't comfortable or is broken or too beat up or ugly for your sense of aesthetics.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    I think all of those "upgrades" are questionable, if you're expecting some big difference in performance. If the parts aren't worn out and are still working, I wouldn't replace any of that stuff.

    Personally.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtox View Post
    you admit you 'love' the bike, so that tells me that there's really nothing that needs changing...you're just buying into some marketing bs that wants you believe that 10 spd will be 'faster' than 8 spd. it won't......just ride the crap out of it.
    That's what I'd do - leave it as is, it's a great bike and has some worth beyond function just as it is. But functionally, none of the stuff will give you any better of a bike.
    Last edited by Camilo; 05-29-2013 at 11:14 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    It won't make it any faster unless you have the additional power to push it that fast. Speed doesn't come from gears, it comes from muscles. You have all the high gear you need right now, most likely.

    You didn't say what your small cog is now - it might already be 11, which is the smallest you can get with any cassette, but let's assume it's 12 -- oh, heck, let's say it's 13. Your big chainring is probably 52. In that 52x13 high gear, at 90 rpm pedal cadence you're going 28 mph. Can you produce the power to ride faster than 28 mph on level ground for more than a few seconds? Not many recreational riders can.

    Maybe you will say you go faster pedaling down hills. True. But even there, you probably have plenty of gearing now. At 110 rpm (which most roadies can do, at least for a while) you're going 34 mph in that 52x13. Faster than that, you'll go faster coasting in a tuck.

    The advantage of 10 vs 8 is having 2 more cogs, so you can better spacing in the middle of the cassette while still having the high and low you need.

    You haven't talked at all about what kind of riding you do, what your terrain is like, whether you need higher and/or lower gears. Or for that matter, what your current specs are. What cassette do you have now?
    with all due respect, in some cases, this is wrong. i will routinely pedal my bike to speeds faster than i can coast on downhills. on one of our local hills, which varies between 6 and 10%, i can coast at 38-40. if i'm trying to stay ahead of car traffic (which makes sense, as we're usually as fast if not faster, and it's only a 1 mile hill) i can easily pedal up to 46-48.
    for the casual recreational rider, coasting past 34-35 is probably the preferred method, but there are plenty of riders that can and will pedal a bike much faster than that.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    with all due respect, in some cases, this is wrong. i will routinely pedal my bike to speeds faster than i can coast on downhills. on one of our local hills, which varies between 6 and 10%, i can coast at 38-40. if i'm trying to stay ahead of car traffic (which makes sense, as we're usually as fast if not faster, and it's only a 1 mile hill) i can easily pedal up to 46-48.
    for the casual recreational rider, coasting past 34-35 is probably the preferred method, but there are plenty of riders that can and will pedal a bike much faster than that.
    Fair point, but I'd say you're somewhat unusual. I think my general point that 52x13 or 50x11 is tall enough for most riders (it its for me)still stands. The OP can tell us which category he falls in.

    48 mph in a 53x11 is about 125 rpm.
    Eppur si muove.

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