I have a 2004 Giant Cypress I use for commuting, and the entire drivetrain is very worn out (shark teeth and chipped teeth, front and back). I need to replace the Shimano MF-TZ20 7-speed (14-34t) freewheel, chain (I know to enough to always replace the chain when replacing the freewheel!), and Shimano M131 (48/38/28t) crankset (not just the chain rings, unfortunately, because they're riveted on this cheap crankset)-:
I have a very flat commute and would like a taller top gear, so I'm thinking of using an MF-HG37 (13-28t) freewheel in back (since I never need the 34 rear gear on my ride anyway), and that seems like a straightforward substitution.
What I'm really wondering about is whether I can increase my top gear further by using a crankset such as the FC-2303 (52/40/30). Shimano says it is "8 speed compatible", and I know 8 speed chains are the same width as 7 speed chains, so it seems like it should be OK. Can anybody set me straight for sure?