I recently got an old (1984-ish) Fuji road bike that I like a lot. Only problem is, I want to change the gearing to make it better for climbing very steep hills. I want to do it myself, since I like tinkering and learning about bike mechanics.
I've done as much research as I could on bikeforums and sheldonbrown.com, but I still have some questions. Here's what's on the bike:
6-gear cassette (13-26)
42, 52 chainrings (5-bolt, 110mm BCD)
Sugino RT crankset (170mm)
1) I've seen a 39T chainring that I think might fit. Does anything smaller than 39T exist? Can anyone suggest an online store with a good selection of chainrings?
2) Is it a problem for the derailleur to have two chainrings of very different sizes (say, a 52T and a 30T, if the latter exists)?
3) Sheldon Brown says derailleurs are designed for the larger chainring, so that means I can't change out the 52T. Uh... right?
4) Would I need to do anything with the front derailleur? or the chain length (shorten or lengthen it)?
Thanks for any advice or pointers to additional info!