Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
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Originally Posted by LarDasse74
It used to be very common to use "half step" gearing on touring bikes - have a decently small small chainring, then a relatively large middle and a relatively small large... If I recall correctly, something like 28-42-46 might work for you. This gives you lots of room to fine-tune your cadence with your two 'large' rings, and you still have the granny when you need it. Also makes shifting between the middle and the large very smooth.
I had just about that exact half-step w/granny combination on an '85 Bridgestone. My rings were 46/42/26 with a 13x28 6-speed freewheel. There were nearly no duplicate gears in the entire range.
What has made half step gearing obsolete these days is two factors:
1. In the days of 5 or 6-speeds wide range freewheels had huge gaps between gears. The half-step chainrings split these gaps and gave many more gear choices. Now with 8, 9 or 10 cogs the gaps are quite narrow so the need for half steps is minimized.
2. Older front derailleurs had rather shallow inner plates and would clear a middle ring almost the same size as the outer ring. Modern indexing front derailleurs have much deeper inner cage plates and would have to be set excessively high to clear the inner ring if it had less than a 10 tooth difference.