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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 11-03-09, 10:43 AM   #1
big50_1
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Clyde and touring bike gearing

Had an "a ha" moment a while back. I'm a clyde and until that magic moment that I get myself down to 180 lbs. or so, I still love biking and need to get on the bike daily if not numerous times per week. The best advice I got was to do more hills/climbing (really exercises the appropriate muscles for endurance biking, etc.) BUT hills were killing me re my road bike gearing. My main bike is a Schwinn aluminum frame with 30/42/52 front and 11/26 in the back. The "a ha" moment was with the extra weight I was carrying on myself I should be thinking in terms of the gearing of a touring bike setup with their 50 to 100 lbs. of gear that they carry. I changed to a 26/36/48 front and 11-34 9 spd. back and riding is way more fun. The next go-around (when the front rings wear too much) I may get 22/32/42 (MTB) triple front to go along with the 11-34 rear. The rule of thumb I saw re gearing for touring bikes was a low of 20 gear-inches to a high of about 100 gear-inches. My current setup is 20.6 to 117.8 gear-inches and I really never go above about 80-85 gear-inches on a flat, only on down-hill runs. I really enjoy biking now. Any thoughts/comments about this?
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Old 11-03-09, 10:49 AM   #2
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Just change the 26 to a 24.
Try to see how slow you can ride up a hill.
Don't look at the top until your there.
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Old 11-03-09, 11:01 AM   #3
big50_1
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By the way, Sheldon Brown's Gear Calculator is an awesome tool.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/
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Old 11-03-09, 12:48 PM   #4
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I've got a 26/36/48 trekking crank on my touring bike, combined with a 12-27 cassette. I ride/tour where there are hills and find that it's not too difficult to spin out of the 48-12 combo on descents. I, personally, wouldn't go to a 22/32/44 MTB crankset unless I had a ton of gear to haul or some really long, steep hills to climb.
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Old 11-03-09, 01:08 PM   #5
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How are you climbing now with your current gearing? As you continue to loose weight and get stronger you may not need to go to lower gears, you may need/want to go higher again.
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Old 11-03-09, 03:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
I've got a 26/36/48 trekking crank on my touring bike, combined with a 12-27 cassette. I ride/tour where there are hills and find that it's not too difficult to spin out of the 48-12 combo on descents. I, personally, wouldn't go to a 22/32/44 MTB crankset unless I had a ton of gear to haul or some really long, steep hills to climb.
The prevailing wisdom with tourers is to coast down hills as much as possible. Use this time to rest and recover. Also, pedaling may be dangerous depending on balance issues with all the weight.

It's much better to spin-out on the downhill than it is to have to drag a 100 lb. bike up a hill after 40 miles on your 6th day of a tour.

Touring is fun, soak in the scenery. The faster you go, the faster the tour is over.
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Old 11-03-09, 04:42 PM   #7
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I had the same "ah ha" moment about a year ago. So I went and bought a touring bike. Between the low gearing, and the beefy 36 spoke wheels allready included, I thought it would be the perfect bike for my large self. No complaints so far.
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