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The Sport is a 21 speed configuration. I purchased it used. It is impeccable in maintenance. I am just a bit disappointed in top speed on flat rails to trails. I usually ride about 30 miles. I reach top end 16 MPH. Are the upgrades worth it?

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  • Hi, welcome to bicycles. It might help if you provided a link to the specs for your model year or more details. Things that affect whether or not you can change the wheels include clearances at the forks and seat tube and the type of brakes; discussion of the drive train requires your current cassette, derailleur and chainrings.
    – DavidW
    Feb 27, 2023 at 19:12
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    Are you running out of gears? Is your position on the bike tweaked ? Have you explored varying the tyre's air pressure?
    – Criggie
    Feb 27, 2023 at 20:16
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    This is not a racer, it is promoted as a comfort bike, upright, relaxed pedal stance, cushy seat. 16MPH on this is probably hitting aerodynamic limits for most mortal riders. bikeroar.com/products/specialized/expedition-sport-2015/…
    – mattnz
    Feb 27, 2023 at 23:25
  • Indeed, the saddle is very low even from the first sight. The whole bike looks more like a city bike rather than a sporty bike or even a trekking or touring bike (I mean shorter trips around the countryside, not the touring many people on this site do). Even my old 26" mountain bike from 2010 has a saddle above the handlebars. And it can ride quite fast (compared to a road bike it is slower, but not that slower). And as Adam answered, do try to pedal faster. Try at least 90 rpm. Feb 28, 2023 at 10:12
  • If you want to go fast and still have an MTB, look for XC hardtail bikes. Feb 28, 2023 at 10:19

1 Answer 1

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When you say you "reach top end 16 mph," does that mean you could easily pedal harder but have run out of gears? Or that you run out of steam?

If you've got the strength to pedal harder, what you want is a higher top end, and the way to do that is with gears. You could put fatter tires on, but that would only affect your top speed by a few percentage points at most. And you can't put bigger wheels on; even if you could, going to 29" wheels would net you a 12% speed increase, all other things being equal.

You may be limited in the ways you can change gearing. You'll want a smaller small sprocket in back, and/or a bigger big chainring in front. A bigger big ring may interfere with your chainstays and may not shift well with your front derailleur. I'm guessing the smallest small sprocket you can fit is 11 teeth.

The other way to go faster is to pedal faster. I don't know exactly what your gearing looks like, but it's pretty close to this, and based on that, you're reaching 16 mph in top gear at a cadence of 69 rpm. If you raise your cadence to 90 rpm, you'll be going 21 mph with your current setup.

The alternative is to get a different bike. This is not a high-end bike and any upgrades you make to it will be expensive relative to its underlying value. If you're able to hold 16 mph for 30 miles on this bike, you're pretty strong. A road bike or gravel bike would let you go noticeably faster.

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    Just one point to add: 70rpm pedaling cadence is on the very low side, 90rpm is pretty normal and 110 to 120rpm would be on the high side. At 100rpm you’d reach 37km/h (23mph) in the hardest (fastest) gear.
    – Michael
    Feb 27, 2023 at 21:37
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    @Michael I think you're overestimating what a relatively casual cyclist on a "comfort" hybrid bicycle would consider a "normal" cadence. I know a good number of cyclists who think my 90-100 rpm average cadence is "crazy fast". Feb 28, 2023 at 0:31
  • You might be ale to do something at the back - the specs I've found says it's a 14-34T megarange cassette, and you could go to 12 or 11. They also say it's a freewheel hub not a freehub, which would limit the smallest cog but I think/hope that's an error given that they also say "cassette".
    – Chris H
    Feb 28, 2023 at 8:56
  • As for cadence, the large saddle setback isn't optimal for high cadences or high torque at any cadence
    – Chris H
    Feb 28, 2023 at 8:57
  • I am a strong senior. I bought this bike to supplement my 40 tear old Myiata road bike. When I moved adjacent a rails to trails I realized being on a road was no longer comfortable. Maybe I bought the wrong 200 dollar bike? Feb 28, 2023 at 16:11

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