8 speed up grade

I need some advice on a 8 speed Tour 2 I found. The price is right on the trike. I want to up grade this trike from a 8 speed to a 27 speed. The question I have is, will I have to change out the rear wheel. Their is a rear derailleur on the rear wheel and a two speed derailleur on the front chain rings. Can this be done without breaking the bank? 


  • edited April 2017
    The cassettes on the rear wheels are replaceable, as are the front cranksets. Could you clarify what the current gearing setup is? The only way you can have an 8 speed setup with a double up front is if there are only 4 cogs in the rear.

    It would also help to know what your end goal is. Do you want to add higher gearing, lower gearing, both, or just want smaller steps between gears?

    - PaulNM
  • edited April 2017
    For posterity (and those who might be searching the forums in the future):

    Tour II's have come in a few different varieties over the years, all externally geared 8/24/27 speed setups. Some came with 8 speed components, others 9-speed. (This is different from the number of speeds available.)

    It doesn't look like the Tour II ever came stock with a double up front, only single or triple. I'm making (educated) assumptions here, but I suspect the Tour II recumbentgerry has originated as an 8 or 24 speed model with 8-speed components. At some point someone changed the front to a double to modify the gearing on the trike, so now it's a 16 speed trike.

    Simply converting to a 27 speed setup is probably the most expensive way to achieve your goals. As jamesr pointed out, it might not even achieve them.  To get 27 speeds: you'd need to get a triple up front, new front shifter, likely a new front derailleur, a 9-speed cassette in back, a new rear shifter, maybe a new rear derailleur, and all new 9-speed chain. That's easily in the area of $200 or more, not counting labor or tools. The other options below are more like $20-$75 ish depending on what your replacing, also prior to labor or tools. 

    All of the stock Tour II's with 8-speed components had an 11-30 tooth cassette, while the 9-speeds were 11-32. All models used a 30-40-52 tooth triple up front, except the Tour II 8 which had a single 38 tooth crankring. Therefore the 27 speed setup had the same high gear as the 24, and a slightly lower low gear.

    If your goal is to add lower gearing, then the simplest option is to get a new rear 8-speed cassette with larger cogs than 30 teeth. If it's smallest cog is 11, you won't lose any high gearing. 

    If your goal is to add higher gearing, or add both higher and lower, replacing the front crankset is your cheapest option. If you get a double with a larger large crankring, and the same size small crankring, you'll add higher gearing. If you get one with a larger large and smaller small, you'll add both higher and lower gearing. If you switch to a triple you'll also need a new front shifter, and likely a new front derailleur as well. 

    All of those are if you keep the existing rear wheel. If you get a larger rear wheel and move your current cassette to it, you'll shift your entire gearing range up. You'll gain higher gearing, but lose lower gearing. Wheels are more expensive than cranksets, so I'd suggest the crankset replacement method in that scenario. (Also, the Tour II needs a $69.95 dropout extension to use a larger wheel, greatly increasing the cost.)

    - PaulNM
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