Road Bike Gears
Groupsets by Shimano, Campagnolo and SRAM Groupset is the name given to the collective group of components on a bike covering transmission, gearing and braking where all parts are a similar level and colour grouped together under a matching range name. Each groupset is aimed to suit a certain level of riding with innovations, weight and cost to match. Components include; front and rear derailleurs (mechs), brake/gear levers, chainset, bottom bracket, cassette, chain, brake calipers and cables. Merlin Cycles stock a range of road bike groupsets to suit all budgets from SRAM, Campagnolo and Shimano.
Road Bike Gear Levers (Gear, STI & Ergo Levers) Gear levers on most modern road bikes are mounted on the handlebars within the brake lever unit allowing for more control. Each gear is indexed meaning a shift of the lever one click causes one gear change. Shimano calls their system STI, SRAM is Double Tap and Campagnolo is Ergo. For triathlon and time trial bikes there are bar end levers and separate aero brake levers. Merlin Cycles stocks road bike gear and brake levers from BBB, Campagnolo, Shimano and SRAM.
Road Bike Rear Derailleurs The rear derailleur, or rear mech, changes the rear gears on the bike and is available in many different variations. There are three cage lengths: short, medium or long with traditional hanger or Direct Mount attachment. More importantly is the gearing capacity; 9, 10 or 11 speed which can only be used with corresponding levers, cassette and chain. There are also electronic options for Shimano and Campagnolo groupsets. Merlin Cycles stocks road bike rear derailleurs from SRAM, Campagnolo and Shimano.
Road Bike Bottom Brackets Road bike bottom brackets (BB) have changed considerably in the last few years. External cup types sit outside of the BB shell making servicing and replacement much easier. Press fit are even simpler as they are simply pushed into the frame. Please check type, size (traditional, BB30, GXP), thread (Italian or British) and compatibility with current system before purchase. Ceramic upgrades are also available as well as BB30 reducers. Merlin Cycles stock road bike bottom brackets from Campagnolo, SRAM, Shimano and Hope.
Road Bike Cassettes Road bike cassettes are supplied with a set amount of sprockets, ie 9, 10 or 11 otherwise known as speeds, with differing amounts of teeth which determine how easy or difficult it is to pedal. More teeth per cog make it easier to pedal and vice versa. The number of sprockets must correspond with current gear levers as different amounts cannot be mixed. Merlin Cycles stock road bike cassettes from SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo.
Road Bike Chainsets Road bike chainsets, or cranksets, are available in single, double or triple formats. The number of teeth per chainring determines how easy or difficult it is to pedal with lower numbers being easier and higher numbers more effort but greater speed. Crank length is either 170, 172.5, or 175mm which is determined by leg length with longer legs using longer cranks and vice versa. Merlin Cycles stock road bike chainsets from SRAM, Truvativ, Shimano, Campagnolo, Fulcrum, and Rotor.
Road Bike Front Derailleur Road bike front derailleurs (mechs) are available in two types; band on which clamps around the seat tube and braze on which bolts directly on to an attachment on the frame. Front mech clamps convert braze on types to band on if your frame doesn’t have the attachment. Chain catchers help prevent the chain falling off when changing from large to small chainrings. Merlin Cycles stock front mechs and accessories from brands including BBB, K-Edge, SRAM, Campagnolo and Shimano.
Road Bike Chains Road bike chains may all look the same but are in fact quite different. Chains become narrower with increasing amounts of gears so care must be taken to ensure compatibility with current transmission brand and amount of gears, eg 9, 10 or 11 speed, All chains are supplied a set standard length which is then shortened to suit current set up. Merlin Cycles stock road bike chains and power links from manufacturers YBN, SRAM, Shimano and KMC.
Road Bike Pedals Clipless road pedals need a cycling shoe which clips in to the pedal via a cleat on the sole, similar to ski bindings, and is released by twisting the foot. The release tension can be adjusted and most pedals offer a certain amount of movement (float) to ease knee pressure. Cleats and cleat covers are also available separately as they tend to wear much quicker than pedals. Merlin Cycles stock a wide range of road bike pedals from Exustar, Wellgo, Time, Shimano, Look and Speedplay.
(Shimano) Jockey Wheels Jockey wheels are the two small plastic wheels on the bottom of the rear mech which control the tension of the chain and ensure that it doesn’t rub on the frame. They are easily replaced if damaged or for marginal gains you can get titanium or carbon jockey wheels with ceramic bearings which will probably outlast your mech. Merlin Cycles stock jockey wheels from major brands including BBB, Hope, Shimano and Tacx.
Road Bike Chainrings The chainring is the toothed ring on the chainset with the number of teeth determining how much effort is needed to pedal. Chainrings are attached to the crank arms by 4 or 5 bolts and are designed as either inner (small) or outer (large), or middle if triple, depending on their position on the chainset. Dedicated single chainrings for track and time trial use are also available. Merlin Cycles stock road bike chainrings and spares from Shimano.
Shimano Di2 Spares Electronic shifting may be expensive but is a joy to use and relatively simple to set up. Thankfully there are a range of spares available so if you do have to replace a part it is cheaper than an entire new system. Merlin Cycles stock Shimano Di2 spares for Dura Ace and Ultegra including cables, junction boxes, cable cover sheaths, batteries (standard external and internal seatpost versions) as well as long and short battery mounts.