At the risk of beating a long-dead horse, how about one more spring tuneup post?
My old cassette: eight speeds, 11-28. My new cassette: eight speeds, 11-30.
No big deal, right? Just a slightly lower stump-puller. Nothing wrong with that.
But look closer. Old cassette: 11-12-14-16-18-21-24-28. New cassette: 11-13-15-17-20-23-26-30.
But again, no big deal, right? Just a one-tooth difference per cog across the meat of the order. Odds instead of evens. Who cares?
Um, me. Over the last couple days, it's seemed like every gear was just in the wrong place. I was either spinning like a maniac or grinding my kneecaps -- and with my mom recovering from double knee replacement this week (hi, Mom! get well soon!) I do not want to put any undue strain on my hinges.
So, being compulsive, I went to the gear chart (my favorite was created by the late, great Sheldon Brown) and found that a 44-tooth ring would shift those odds back to almost-perfection... but that ring would be uncomfortably close to my chainstay (even the 42 is pushing it).
Grinding the gears in my head, it dawned on me... the tandem has an 11-32 eight on it. That's 11-12-14-16-18-21-26-32. Evens instead of odds. The lower six an exact match for my old 11-28. And lookee there, an even lower 32-tooth stump-puller. Cool! The test fitting in the stand was a success: my mid-cage rear derailleur handles the 32, and my chain is just barely long enough (I don't mind pushing that, since a short chain helps prevent dropsies on a one-ring setup). I'm taking it on a test ride as soon as I hit "publish" to see how it performs in reality.
(Before anyone accuses me of robbing the tandem to pay the single, the 11-30 immediately went on the two-seater. I always feel like I'm in the wrong gear on that bike anyway, so maybe this will help. And losing a 32-tooth low to a 30 isn't such a big deal when you can bail to a tiny little granny ring.)
Test ride time. Wish me luck!