I have an old rigid framed mountain bike that I'm in the process of converting to a drop bar commuter/utility bike. Just about the last thing I'm less than happy with is the gearing.
I'm not spinning out or anything, but in the hardest 1-2 gears I'm pretty comfortable going 70-80 rpm on the flats. Sure I could work on spinning faster, but I'd like to know I have a couple of harder gears to go to if I wanted.
It's got a 14-28 6 speed freewheel in back and a mountain triple up front (biopace 24-36-46, I think). I'd thought about switching to a 7 speed freewheel but that doesn't appear as if it'd give much extra on the low end.
Then I was thinking about what if I changed the chainrings to a road triple? Would that give me that harder gearing I'm looking for? I don't spend much time in the granny ring, so I doubt going from 24T to 30T would cause me much problems, but maybe the bigger outer ring would give me the illusion of extra speed being possible?
I don't know how much work this would be to do (or if it'd really give me a few extra gears for when I get in better shape), so I thought I'd ask and see how feasible it would be. I don't want to sink a ton of money into this, but I say that every time and now have well over $500 into a bike I dropped $100 on on craigslist.
Is it as simple as buying some new rings and swapping them out? Or would I have to replace the whole crankset as well (necessitating knowing what kind of cranks to get, I assume). And a new FD? I think I've read that there are two types. Mine has the derailleur cable going under the bottom bracket if that makes a difference.
Oh and feel free to treat me like the complete idiot I am. If this is a stupid idea or won't really give me any extra gearing, feel free to say so.