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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    IL
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    314

    Add gears to Trek Pure Lowstep

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    I have a Trek Pure Lowstep that I love, except for the gearing. It is a 7 speed and I am not happy with the first and second gears. So, I want more gears. I asked my LBS and he said it couldn't be done and suggested instead that i should try the Trek Shift 1. Uh....no - my Pure is a crank forward bike and that is just what I want.

    but not being able to add any gears? Is that really the case? Trek used to sell a sport version of my bike - same body eith 21 speeds. It doesn't make sense to me that the bike is not upgradeable. Some ideas that I have been given on the Bentrider Forum was to try putting a 9 tooth back dérailleur to get a couple of more gears, or to try putting on a Patterson Metropolis drive. Would love any of your thoughts on this. Also plan to call some area LBS and see what they say too.

    I also looked into the Electra Townie 21d and of course the RANS. However, there are no dealers of either within 3 hours and I really would be interested in modifying my current bike to make it work if possible. Sucks that my LBS won't help. The nearest bike shop is a good hour away.
    200x Electra Townie 24D/Brooks B67

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    No idea on the gears, but if you do decide to get a new bike, the Felt Cafe is also crank forward, and is supposed to be good for climbing.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    IL
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    314
    The Felt looks good, but it doesn't really look crank forward?
    200x Electra Townie 24D/Brooks B67

  4. #4
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    Jun 2010
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    6,479
    I looked when I posted, and didn't see anything written, but I did read that a couple of weeks ago; may be worth checking into?

    Edit: can't find any evidence to support the Felt forward crank, but I did just read it. Weird. If you google forward crank, Wikipedia will list the FC brands.

    But it would certainly be better just to upgrade.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 05-28-2013 at 05:44 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    A 9-speed freehub is wider than a 7-speed. You can spread the dropouts on a steel frame, but I've never heard of anyone doing that to aluminum - I would think it would be too brittle. Unlikely.

    Swapping out the crank and adding a front derailleur and shifter *might* or might not be possible (I'm pretty vague on the intricacies of bottom brackets and chainlines), but it would cost you more than a whole new bike. If you *really* want to explore that, what I'd do is go to your local bike co-op and talk to the most experienced mechanic they have about both the technicalities of doing it, and the availability of used parts, with the understanding that you will have to learn to do the work yourself under the co-op mechanic's supervision.

    A LBS mechanic isn't going to be too excited about teaching you how to jerry-rig stuff. It would be very major work. Think of swapping your car's engine out with an engine designed for a different vehicle. Neither cheap nor simple, right? Same exact thing here.

    What don't you like about the current gearing? If your low gear is too low and too big a jump, it looks like there's a cassette available with a 28T low gear in place of the 34 you have.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 05-28-2013 at 05:01 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    2,738
    On a "crank-forward" frame, I'd be surprised if there's a way to mount a front derailleur.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    She's right though, they used to sell a 21-speed. Unfortunately the photo doesn't show how the FD was mounted. But that would be an additional complication/expense ... either find the correct bracket from a junk frame, or have a machinist fabricate one. WAY more trouble and cost than that bike is worth.



    ETA ... since there was a '12 model of the 21-speed, it's entirely possible some LBS somewhere has one lying around in your size. I don't know what Trek's dealer network is like in terms of being able to search for stuff like that, but if that's the bike you really want, it's probably well worth some digging. And failing that, eBay or Craigslist for a used one.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 05-28-2013 at 05:18 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    She's right though, they used to sell a 21-speed. Unfortunately the photo doesn't show how the FD was mounted. But that would be an additional complication/expense ... either find the correct bracket from a junk frame, or have a machinist fabricate one. WAY more trouble and cost than that bike is worth.
    Thanks for the link. After looking at the picture, it jogged my memory. I've built up some bikes like that one, and there was a stub that was used as a place to clamp the front derailleur, almost like a false seat tube. I agree....tons of hassle and cost to retrofit this bike.

    FWIW, I was able to dig up a 2 year old Fuji road bike, new in box in a warehouse, just by asking my shop to check Fuji's online inventory. I expect that Trek's system is very similar. Oak is right....try to find the 2012!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    Yeah, it looks like there's a post or something in front of the seatpost that holds the front derailleur.

    I'm with the rest--it might be easier to find a 21-speed than to upgrade your current bike.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

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    Saving for the next one...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    314
    Actually, I just found a 24 speed Electra on eBay that I might have in hand within a week! The seller and I have been working out shipping, as I could not afford his original shipping estimate. He is willing to work with me so that I pay exact shipping up to $150. If it is less, he will refund me and if more he will eat the cost. Bike comes with racks and fender, too. Alls I would switch out is the seat (must have my Brooks B67) and pedals (I love my MKS Lambda - aka Grip King pedals). I am really excited!
    200x Electra Townie 24D/Brooks B67

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    Very nice!

    Are you going to sell the Trek, then?

    I've heard some people felt the Electra was a little lighter and a bit more responsive than the Trek, but who knows?

    You should get a very pretty bell to put on the Electra, one of those hand-painted numbers. My lbs has two I've been swooning over. A Day of the Dead scheme, and a midnight blue owl. (Love owls).
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    314
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Very nice!

    Are you going to sell the Trek, then?

    I've heard some people felt the Electra was a little lighter and a bit more responsive than the Trek, but who knows?

    You should get a very pretty bell to put on the Electra, one of those hand-painted numbers. My lbs has two I've been swooning over. A Day of the Dead scheme, and a midnight blue owl. (Love owls).
    Yes, will sell the Trek. Gotta find the original seat though, or buy a replacement. I moved and can't find the original seat. The Brooks on it will come with me. I also definitely want a cute and working bell. Actually, you reminded me I have to start looking for some!

    MTA: I see that cool owl bell. It is really awesome!
    Last edited by Kerry1976; 05-28-2013 at 04:31 PM.
    200x Electra Townie 24D/Brooks B67

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    314
    The smart a$$ in me wants to get a customized bell on Etsy with grumpy cat...specifically the pic that says, "they see me rolling, I hate them." That makes me laugh out loud when I see it.
    200x Electra Townie 24D/Brooks B67

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry1976 View Post
    The smart a$$ in me wants to get a customized bell on Etsy with grumpy cat...specifically the pic that says, "they see me rolling, I hate them." That makes me laugh out loud when I see it.
    Do it!
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    314
    I contacted a seller on Etsy that does custom bike bells and will see what he can do. He will probably think I am nuts.

    MTA: ordered and done. Promise to post photos of the bike and the wacky bell when I have them!

    MTAx2: A second LBS I had emailed just responded and also said my Pure was not able to be upgrade with a front derailler. He also said the Shift that my local LBS recommended is not a CF design - just very upright/relaxed. He said Electra makes nice CF bikes but they didn't have any. Given I didn't mention Electra in my original email to him asking about adding gears to the Pure, and given he doesn't even sell Electras, I figure that is good karma for me.
    Last edited by Kerry1976; 05-29-2013 at 11:59 AM.
    200x Electra Townie 24D/Brooks B67

 

 

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