Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    My Bikes
    Surly Crosscheck
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Gearing too low?

    Hi all,

    As some of you know I am having a Surly Cross-check built up (I'll do my own next time, but I'm a little too experienced for this round.) Anyway, I've bought a 11-34 cassette and planned on getting a 26-36-48 for the front. Today I was in a bike shop and found a really good deal on a Shimano XT in 22-32-44.

    Will the combination be too low? I am mostly commuting, riding around easy trails/fireroads, and some light touring. I doubt I will ever do loaded touring. I also don't overly care about going 45 downhill.

    What should I do? What options might there be? Get a different cassette, return the oh-so-inexpensive XT crankset? Or is this combination fine for a not very agressive commuter and all-around bike?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    fitter, happier Ronin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Lawrence
    My Bikes
    I have more bikes than fingers. So I can't count em
    Posts
    200
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A 3x1 works well on road and a 2x1 workes well off road.Wait multi gear? Well when I ride commute on multi gear I use a 11/22.Really you may not have a close ratio but.you still have the eleven tooth rear for rollin fast.Is it too late to swtich to a steam roller?Kidding ok. Nice bike!

  3. #3
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Queanbeyan, Australia.
    Posts
    3,521
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The combination will have plenty of low gears that you probably won't use unless you do some loaded touring but the top gear will be fine. 44 to 11 is a 4 times gain ratio which is plenty. I'm not sure of your wheel size but even if it was 26" you would still have a top gear of about 100 gear inches which is more than enough.

    Regards, Anthony

  4. #4
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    My Bikes
    Surly Crosscheck
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The wheels are 700c. Crank arm 170 (5'11"-ish, but with short legs)

    I thought I wasn't supposed to use the biggest-smallest and vice-versa combination? Is that not really a problem?

  5. #5
    fitter, happier Ronin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Lawrence
    My Bikes
    I have more bikes than fingers. So I can't count em
    Posts
    200
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    [QUOTE=Emerson]The wheels are 700c. Crank arm 170 (5'11"-ish, but with short legs)

    I thought I wasn't supposed to use the biggest-smallest and vice-versa combination? Is that not really a problem?[/QUOT ]
    Lowest and biggest and biggest and lowest,basically you don't want / and \.

  6. #6
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    My Bikes
    Surly Crosscheck
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yep, wasn't thinking. Sorry. No smallest to smallest and biggest to biggest. Long day.

  7. #7
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    4,092
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Where are you ever going to want a 22/34 gear, is the question? Honestly, with the crank that you have - and a high gear of 44/11 sounds like it'll be high enough for you - I'd recommend returning the 11-34 cassette and buying an 11-23. You'd still have a low gear lower than 1x1. Or, if you like a cassette with that wide of a range, just get a double crankset.

  8. #8
    biked well well biked's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,780
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have two bikes currently, one a mountain bike with an XT crank in 44-32-22 with an 11-34 cassette, and the other is an old road bike I've built up as a commuter/tourer with 48-38-28 chainrings and an 11x 32 cassette. The cassettes on both bikes are nine speed. The mtb has 26" wheels, the road bike 700c. I've ridden the mountain bike as a commuter quite a bit, before I built up the road bike, so I can compare them directly in regard to commuting. And I live in a hilly area. What I can tell you is that with the XT crankset, at least with 26" wheels, not only do I not need the 22 front x 34 rear combination, it would be VERY rare that I would use the small chainring at all for any type of road use. I love technical climbing off road, and that's what the 22 tooth ring is for. It's just too low for road use. My other bike's gearing is very practical even for long, grinding climbs where I'm not in a hurry at all, just wanting to go slow and steady. The only time I'd want lower gears for road riding would be if I were carrying a heavy load, and then I might consider either a cassette with a 34 tooth cog or maybe the 11 x 32 cassette with a 26 tooth chainring up front...........Hope this input helps-

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    898
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a 53/39/24 with a 12-34 cassette on a bike with 700 x 32c wtb cross wolf tires. I ride fire trails so the low 24 is perfect for me and the cassette alouds me to tackle any steep climbs that I might run into; pending on the trail of course. Then the 53/39 is great on the road, but as for you your set up will depend on where and how you ride most of the time. Your gearing is quite low for the road but quite adequate on fire roads and touring.

  10. #10
    fitter, happier Ronin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Lawrence
    My Bikes
    I have more bikes than fingers. So I can't count em
    Posts
    200
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    True enough. I roll at 22 mph on the flats with a 44/11
    wich I cant remember the last time I rolled a multi gear:**

  11. #11
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    My Bikes
    Surly Crosscheck
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I know I am probably trying to do too much with one bike, but I wanted the gearing to be as versatile as possible with a bias toward the low end (I do use the small chainring around town on hills). I'd rather coast downhill having been able to ride pretty easily up the other side. Will the top end be enough to keep up with most folks around town (not the racers) or on a supported bike tour?

    Is is realistic to think that as I get stronger or want to go faster I can replace the relatively inexpensive cassette and change things that way rather than giving up the bargain XT crankset?

    I'm worrying about the top and low end, but spend most of my time around town in the middle. Do I need to think much about the middle or does that tend to take care of itself?

    Thanks again for the help. I've learned so much here. A month ago I wouldn't have had a clue what any of this meant.
    Last edited by Emerson; 02-17-06 at 10:57 PM.

  12. #12
    fitter, happier Ronin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Lawrence
    My Bikes
    I have more bikes than fingers. So I can't count em
    Posts
    200
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Dude seriosly.........single speed will give you power,fix will give you cadence,and commuting will give you endurance.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    My Bikes
    Cinelli Supercoursa 69, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Mondonico Diamond Extra 05, Coors Light Greg Lemond (built by Scapin) 88, Scapin MTB, Stumpjumper 83, Specialized Stumpjumper M4, Lemond Poprad 2001
    Posts
    1,366
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cassettes are relatively cheap and easy to change out. This would give you a variety of options. Try the one you are contemplating and buy a second with a different cog set...say 11/27

  14. #14
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    2,013
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It doesn't sound too bad to me! Sounds like a nice commuting/touring bike. When my bike was built up as a 24 speed, I ran my 48/38/28 cranks and a 13/32 8 speed cassette. It worked great. I *rarely* used the top end gears, usually only down hill anyway. So no, don't worry about it. If you find yourself spinning out more often, get a 46 or 48 chainring. I doubt you'll have a problem, though.

    GO FOR IT

  15. #15
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    My Bikes
    Surly Crosscheck
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    How do you know how large a chainring you can run? I assume there must be a certain progression between the rings so the derailleur can work properly, isn't there?

    It sounds like the gearing is low, but not stupid low, and I can buy a new cassette if I want higher gearing. Thanks.

  16. #16
    Videre non videri
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    My Bikes
    1 road bike (simple, light), 1 TT bike (could be more aero, could be lighter), 1 all-weather commuter and winter bike, 1 Monark 828E ergometer indoor bike
    Posts
    3,202
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I run a 22-34 lowest gear, and there have been situations when I have wished for an even lower gear. As long as I can spin (80+ cadence) and still move faster than walking with the bike, the gear is low enough. I've encountered hills where that was no longer possible with the low gear of 15.8 gear inches on my bike.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    My Bikes
    Vintage Jim Merz
    Posts
    132
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    if you decide you don't want that 22x32x44, i'll take it off your hands! that's exactly the crankset i've been looking for for loaded touring, but the ones i find are all too expensive

  18. #18
    biked well well biked's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,780
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Emerson
    How do you know how large a chainring you can run? I assume there must be a certain progression between the rings so the derailleur can work properly, isn't there?

    It sounds like the gearing is low, but not stupid low, and I can buy a new cassette if I want higher gearing. Thanks.
    Yep, I think if you want to run the XT cranks you should consider a different cassette than the 11 x 34, for what you say you'll use the bike for, as others have suggested. You'll need a "mountain" front derailleur (Deore, LX, XT, etc.) to go with the XT crankset.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    seattle
    My Bikes
    several!
    Posts
    142
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My 2 cents:
    I have a touring bike with a road triple in front (52 tooth large ring) and an 11-32 rear
    cassette. Its mainly a commuter bike. The huge gear range can tackle anything and I do not feel that the extra metal slows me down. I really like a big chainring and 11 tooth rear cog- otherwise I'm spun out on even gentle downhills. Its hilly in Seattle though.

  20. #20
    Year-round cyclist
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Montréal (Québec)
    Posts
    3,023
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't know what kind of gearing you have on your current bike and I think you should look there to see what gears you normally use.
    My touring bike has 44-34-22 and a custom 12-34 cassette. I think it works fine, whether I commute, ride solo or tour. The only times where it could be low is if I were riding in a peloton with a group of strong riders pulling me. I don't often use my 22/34, but I find it nice to have when I climb a steep hill at the end of a long day. And I don't use my 44/12 often either. In fact, even my 44/14 is rarely used, because spinning it at 90 rpm means I'm riding at 37 km/h (700c wheels).

    I would suggest that if you get the XT crankset and find the low end gearing totally useless, replace your cassette by a tighter one such as 11-25 or 11-28; that way, you'll get the same top end, a decent low end and closer, more comfortable ratios in between.

    There is one single problem I see with that setup: according to Shimano, you "need" a mountain derailleur, and mountain derailleurs don't work with road-bar STI, just with flat bar shifters à la Rapidfire. However, you may use either a mountain or road front derailleur and shift it with a bar-end or downtube shifter (their front end work in friction) or with Campagnolo Ergo. I know also that some people are using "somewhat successfully" a road front derailleur with a STI shifter.

    P.S. My touring bike has 44-34-22 with a 105 derailleur and bar-end shifters. Works great.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  21. #21
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Queanbeyan, Australia.
    Posts
    3,521
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Emerson
    How do you know how large a chainring you can run? I assume there must be a certain progression between the rings so the derailleur can work properly, isn't there?

    It sounds like the gearing is low, but not stupid low, and I can buy a new cassette if I want higher gearing. Thanks.
    Honestly your top gear is big enough. Its as big as top gears used to be 15-20 years ago and its only fashionable these days to have stupidly high gears. Changing the cassette WONT give you higher gears. What it will do is take some of the very low gears and move them into the midrange. You currently have a range from very low to a reasonable top gear but there may be some big jumps in gears in that range. By changing the cassette for a closer range one you will reduce the gaps in the midrange but thats only realy useful if YOU feel that the gaps are too big.

    Regards, Anthony

  22. #22
    Videre non videri
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    My Bikes
    1 road bike (simple, light), 1 TT bike (could be more aero, could be lighter), 1 all-weather commuter and winter bike, 1 Monark 828E ergometer indoor bike
    Posts
    3,202
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    With an 11-34 cassette and a 22-32-4X crankset there are no significant gaps. You get a fairly even progression through the gears. All jumps are big, though. 14% average.

  23. #23
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    My Bikes
    Surly Crosscheck
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well. for better or worse the decision is made. No one really seemed to think the gearing was insanely dumb. Hopefully the jumps won't be so big as to be problematic. I drove up to Denver to the shop I'm working with and dropped off all the parts I've collected--including the cassette and crankset. The guy in the shop didn't think the gearing would be too bad for what I want to do. Worse case is something gets changed down the road a bit--and isn't that part of the fun.

    Thanks for all the advice. I'd already picked up XT front and rear derailleurs, and I'd decided on bar-end shifters a while ago so shifting and compatibility issues shouldn't be a problem. Though I didn't intend it, the drive train is all XT. As I cobbled stuff together, finding lightly used or discounted stuff, the XT is what I found and was lighter (and in the end a little cheaper) than the LX stuff the shop was going to go with.

    The bike should be all set end of this week, beginning of the following. I'll post some pics.

    Thanks again.

  24. #24
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    4,092
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon
    There is one single problem I see with that setup: according to Shimano, you "need" a mountain derailleur, and mountain derailleurs don't work with road-bar STI, just with flat bar shifters à la Rapidfire. However, you may use either a mountain or road front derailleur and shift it with a bar-end or downtube shifter (their front end work in friction) or with Campagnolo Ergo. I know also that some people are using "somewhat successfully" a road front derailleur with a STI shifter.
    Honestly, a front derailler designed for road triple cranks (with 52/42/30 chainrings, usually) will work fine on a 44/32/22 crank. The only issue you have is whether your STI lever for the front derailler was designed for 2 or 3 chainrings.

  25. #25
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    My Bikes
    Custom Winter, Challenge Seiran SL, Fuji Team Pro, Cattrike Road/Velokit, РOS hybrid
    Posts
    10,429
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Emerson
    H Anyway, I've bought a 11-34 cassette and planned on getting a 26-36-48 for the front. Today I was in a bike shop and found a really good deal on a Shimano XT in 22-32-44.

    Will the combination be too low? I am mostly commuting, riding around easy trails/fireroads, and some light touring. I doubt I will ever do loaded touring. I also don't overly care about going 45 downhill.]
    Unless you weigh a quarter ton or are over 70 years old and not in very good shape, those gear ratios sound ridiculous for the purposes you describe.

    Since you already have the gears, I'd say just ride with them for a few months and see what you actually use. Once you ride in a hard wind up an incline, you'll know the smallest gear you need. I'm going to guess it's nowhere near 22/34. You could practically tow a car with those ratios.

    Since you have a triple, my guess is a tight cassette (11-23 or 12-25) might be the trick. Use the middle ring for normal rides, the big ring for tailwinds and when you're feeling great, and the granny for killer headwinds and hills.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •