I have recently bought Giant Escape 3 hybrid bike that came with:
- Shimano FC-TY501 28/38/48 chainset 8/7/6-speed compatible
- Shimano Tourney RD-TY500 7/6-speed rear derailleur
- Shimano MF-TZ31 14-34T "cassette"
I find the gears are too low for my needs. I don't use the smallest chainwheel and I don't use the biggest sprocket either.
I thought I could quickly solve the problem low-cost by upgrading to CS-HG41 11-28T cassette but once I got round to removing the block it turned out that the "cassette" on the bike was in fact a freewheel. Bugger!
Apparently Shimano used to make FW726 11-28T freewheel but they are nowhere to be found.
How to solve this pickle? I'm thinking my options are:
Replace the wheels with a set that comes with a 10 speed freehub, since replacing the hub alone would probably be close to the price a new wheelset if you consider the fitting cost and I wouldn't do it myself. Get a spacer and fit my CS-HG41 onto it.
I'm perfectly fine with having 7 gears at the back and this would give me an opportunity for a further upgrade in the future should I ever needed it. It also seems the least fuss option.
Replace the existing triple chainset with a double 34-50T compact or 36-52T semi-compact crankset (e.g. Shimano FC-A070 or maybe even FC-2300 both matching the existing chain and bottom bracket)
The frame seems to have enough clearance for such upgrade but I guess I would have to replace the front shifter and possibly (?) the front derailleur too.
Does it sound like the right approach? Can you think of any other options?