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Brewerpaul

Lower gears for my Step?

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I've been loving my Step since I got it in August. I ride mainly on pavement,occasionally a dirt path. Nothing mountain-bikey. So far, only one long steep hill has made me get off and walk it up, which I'm pretty happy with since at nearly 70 I'm no young'n.
Still, I'd like to conquer those occasional tough hills a bit easier so I'd like to change my gearing. I thought of adding a smaller chainwheel, but that would be too complicated if I tried to add a front derailleur. Someone suggested a new cassette/freewheel which seems a more practical solution. I wouldn't want to lose my highest gears, but if I could switch to a cassette with a lower "granny" gear (or in my case, grandpa gear) that would be terrific. This brings up some questions;

1) what is the tooth count of my stock cassette? They're not listed on the website, and I'd rather not get all dirty counting them manually if I don't have to .

2) how much larger of a low gear could the derailleur handle without having to modify or replace the chain?

3) What would be involved with making the change once I had the rear wheel off the bike?

I'd love answers to these, plus any other hints and tips y'all might have.

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Paul, what do you brew?

I like the road cycling ethic, of the groups I see riding in your area.  I had friends that lived in Lovettesville, and I’d fly my Grumman light aircraft into Leesburg airport to visit https://airnav.com/airport/KJYO.   and later, when the moved to Lake Holiday, I’d fly into Winchester.    https://airnav.com/airport/KOKV 

Always freaked out in my friend’s Jag, on these locally hilly 2 lane, winding  blacktops, that cresting any hill you might encounter a Lance Legstrong Peloton cycling towards infamy (been there done that).

I'm guessing that you could go to a 34Tooth low rear cog on the freewheel, thats about as low as you can go and that will work fine with your long cage derailleur. I have no exact tooth count of your existing freewheel.. I don’t own one.  Finding a 11-34T would give you the best of both worlds and I use that exact cogset in the Cassette  in my 750w  Fat, with a short cage, Tourney Shimano  derailleur.   You will get dirty, while making the exchange, unless you paraffin wax your chains and use White Lightning Clean Ride in between Hot Waxing.  You will have to add links to your chain to maintain proper indexing and shifting if your spacing is like my Fat, but your Local Bike Shop might donate the necessary links for a small fee or could could buy an extra chain, to use links every time you buy a new chain to add the necessary length.  I recommend KMC 8 speed X8.99  chains; they are hard wearing, nickel plated and easier to keep clean.   https://www.ebay.com/itm/KMC-X8-99-Silver-5-6-7-8-Speed-Nickel-Plated-Bike-Chain-fits-Shimano-SRAM-Campy/321974783654
The best tip I can give you is go to your LBS.  If you plan the exchange yourself, you’ll need a chain break tool and a cassette removal tool.  You can review YouTube videos on replacing shimano cassettes.  It will be well worth the few dollars you’ll pay a bike shop for labor for installing the extended chain, your new Cassette and adjusting the rear derailleur, plus you’ll be developing a relationship with guys who can professionally wrench on your Smart Step, in the future. 

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          REDDY

 

 

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Shimano TZ500 7-Speed 14-28t Freewheel Tooth count for your stock Step 7 speed Freewheel: Cogs: 14-16-18-20-22-24-28T

I have owned my Sondors Step since August 2019. I am pretty sure you will need a FREEWHEEL gear cluster (it screws on) and not a cassette. Some Sondors owners have  recommended the  Drift Maniac E-Bike FREEWHEEL 7 Speeds 11-34T Epoch (found some on Amazon) to replace your Shimano 14-28 OEM FREEWHEEL. Your new 11-34 Freewheel will give you greater climbing ability and increased top speed as well.  The chain on my Step at 120 links is almost on the brink of too long as it comes from the factory. So it might pay off to try the chain you have before you break it and/or replace it. I decided to JUST change the chainring on my Step to 47T from the original 52T. Smaller chainrings are available, but I only like to make small changes at a time. A 47T chainring and pedaling much harder worked for me.  I use my Step for cruising on the flat and the "bunny hills". For the more serious hills, I solved my problem by adding an MXS to my Sondors stable. Changing YOUR Freewheel to an 11-34T (Shimano has a 14-34T) could be an interesting project and you could share your experiences and successes with the group. Photos and details please. 😉

 

Edited by Warehouse-guy
To list Step freewheel gear tooth count.

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