I've recently converted my MB into my commute bike. It's a early 1990's GT Outpost. It's got all Shimano in the drivetrain. I've recently replaced the cogset with a 12-28, plus put on a SRAM chain. About two years ago I had to replace the front derailleur. I think they put a Deore XT on it. The Crankset is all originial though. I believe it is Shimino Acera (sp?). I counted the teeth last night and it's a 24/34/42 combo. It's not enough. I need higher gearing. I'm spinning out on the flats when I'm in the 42/12 gear. And I'm almost NEVER use the small chainring (24). I have one monster hill on the way to work (10-11% grade, 0.4 mi long). But I usually go up that in the 34/28 gear.
I've looked at the big bike shops on the web (Nashbar, Performance) but all the ATB Cranksets I see are 24/34/44 or 22/32/42 combos. I think the XT is 24/34/46.... but it's like $450. That's too much for me.
Also, after looking at what is on there, it appear to be all one piece. I don't think I can just replace the largest chainring or the middle chainring.
So, I was hoping someone could point me to a place that has different gearing options. And is still compatible with what I have. I don't mind buying a new Bottom Bracket and Front Derailluer as long as I'm not spending $500 or whatever. I guess, I'm willing to go up to $100 or $150. I just want this bike to last me thru til next summer. I'm planning on buying a new MB and building it from scratch.
I've also checked Sheldon Brown's website but have only found his section on cogsets. I can't seem to find anything about cranksets.
I'm kinda looking for one of the following combos (or a mixture thereof):
I don't want to go higher than 28 on the small chainring and I don't want to go higher than 48 or 49 on the large chainring. I think a 34 or 36 would be perfect for the middle.
Thanks for any help you can provide.