Low car diet
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Corvallis, OR, USA
Bikes: 2006 Windsor Dover w/105, 2007 GT Avalanche w/XT, 1995 Trek 820 setup for touring, 201? Yeah single-speed folder, 199? Huffy tandem.
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You should avoid the largest chainring/largest (and even second largest) cog combo(s). This is especially true with a triple chainring crank. The chain is put at an unnecessarily excessive angle, likely resulting in the unintentional derailing.
You can get an equivalent--or close to equiv.--gear using the middle (or inner) chainring and a smaller/higher cog.
Before I knew better, I used to always keep my all-around mountain bike in the largest chainring, since the big/big combo was low enough to start up with. I've since learned to use the middle ring most of the time and the inner/smallest ring with the largest/lowest cogs and the outer/largest ring with the smallest/highest cogs.