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Old 01-03-07, 04:02 PM   #1
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Road bikes with Mountain Bike Gearing

Are there such beasts? I'm not talking modifications, but stock bikes that are road bikes, but with mountain bike gearing? Seems these might be better climbing hills, although slower on the flats, which would be okay with a recreational rider like myself.
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Old 01-03-07, 04:08 PM   #2
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This bike is a fast competitive racing machine while still having the low gears you need to flatten most any hill or mountain pass and headwind.
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/lt2100.htm
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Old 01-03-07, 04:26 PM   #3
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Most of the bikes with Triple cranksets are OK. I rarely get out of the middle 42 ring on the front- unless it is to go down to the 30 inner ring on the hills. So climbing gear on the road bike is a 30/26 but on the MTB is 22/30 or 32 on the same hill. Road bikes do not not require as low a gear as an MTB- And the road bike is faster.(Even up the hills).

Many moons ago I did our steep road hill- the High and Over, on a road bike with just a double- 42 /23 was the lowest gear and I had to rest just after the steep bit. On my triple with 30/26 I can ride the hill with ease. On the MTB I can ride the hill but a lot slower.

That Dawes- as posted by Joe- Is not a bike I know- but Dawes is one of the OLD established UK manufacturers and have a good reputation for a solid bike. Perhaps not the lightest around but Dawes do make good bikes. Where the Dawes USA bit comes in I do not know but for the price- this is a well specced bike.
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Old 01-03-07, 04:26 PM   #4
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BD bike has road bike triple with a 30 small front and ? largest rear cog. To get mountain bike gearing you have to pretty much go the custom touring bike route. I bought a 26-38-48 Sugino front and a 12-32 deore rear. TO get these gears to work properly I had to go with a MT rear derailleur too.

Also, Stepfam, the Dawes reference is by Dawes USA, which is a house brand of Bikes Direct. They license the name from Dawes, so that bike is not related to the old Dawes of England.
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Old 01-03-07, 04:44 PM   #5
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BD bike has road bike triple with a 30 small front and ? largest rear cog. To get mountain bike gearing you have to pretty much go the custom touring bike route. I bought a 26-38-48 Sugino front and a 12-32 deore rear. TO get these gears to work properly I had to go with a MT rear derailleur too.

Also, Stepfam, the Dawes reference is by Dawes USA, which is a house brand of Bikes Direst. They lisence the name from Dawes, so that bike is not related to the old Dawes of England.

Thanks for clearing the Dawes USA name bit for me.

On the road I rarely get out of my 42 Middle ring on the road bike but that is mainly so I don't crosschain on our hilly rides. I may use the 52 with the wind behind me but not often

Our Tandem has 48/36/24 and 11/32 as our gearing and 24/32 is quite a low gear for the road and is not as low, obviously, as the 30/26 on the road bike. I know the Tandem is heavy- but the main thing is we have lower gearing on it so use it. On a recent ride we could not use the granny and had to use the 36/32 up a couple of steep hills. I know the cadence dropped well down- but we did manage to ride well- mainly because we did not have a lower gear. It was either pedal up the hill or push- and you do not push the Tandem- it is too heavy. Whatever gearing you have on a bike you will use. But on a road bike- I am not ashamed to use my granny up our hills.
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Old 01-03-07, 05:02 PM   #6
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I haven't seen any up to now. That Dawes is the closest thing yet.

Kinda of an odd question coming from a person who owns one of the few hybrids that has road bike gearing instead of mountain bike gearing.

You want to own a hybrid with road bike gearing and a road bike with mountain bike gearing???
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Old 01-03-07, 05:16 PM   #7
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Did some quick checking. Here you go.

http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_strada.html

But no drop bars. The gearing and drop bars seem to go hand in hand.

This one has in-between gearing and drop bars:

http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_eros.html

As does the Trek Portland commuter:

http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike...id=1437000&f=7
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Old 01-03-07, 05:28 PM   #8
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Here's a few more with "in-between" gearing - 30/39/50.

http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2...s_argenta.html

http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2...s_treviso.html

http://www.fujibikes.com/2007/bikes.asp?id=276&subcat=
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Old 01-03-07, 05:34 PM   #9
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Just replace the usual 52-39-30 road triple with a mtb XT or XTR 46-36-24 or 44-34-22. With a narrow range freewheel, you'd have a lot of closely spaced gears to choose from and an e.g., 46x12 gear combination still is a pretty steep gear for most riding situations.

P.S., a 46x12 gear at 80 rpm for a 700x25c tire calculates to just little more than 24 mph. A 44x12 at 80 rpm calculates to 23 mph which is plenty fast for me. If you need faster, practice peddling at 100 rpm and you can go over 30 mph in a 46x12 gear.

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Old 01-03-07, 05:59 PM   #10
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The cheapest option is just pushing on the pedals a little harder!!! Sorry-couldn't resist. My LBS gave me that line when I complained about my cadence dropping into the low 60's with my 34/27. I feel you pain.

By the way, changing the gearing on the bike you really like is not that big of a deal.....Another option is looking for a triple with a 50/39/30 front chainring and replacing the rear derailleur with an XT or equivalent mountain bike RD. You can then put on a Mtn bike rear cassette and you have the best of all worlds. You would need to make sure the gearing is set up for 9 speeds and not 10 speed though-I don't think there are 10 speed set-ups in mtn bikes yet but I could be mistaken. LBS would probably make the changes on a new bike for just the labor cost which is nothing-should be less than 30 mins time.
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Old 01-03-07, 06:17 PM   #11
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I just changed my cassette today before my ride. I'm running a 50/34 compact combined with an 11-32 cassette. I'm also just a recreational rider. Still mashing platform pedals. Keeping up some cadence is not on my mind. Getting up a hill while still sitting is. I'm also driven by keep it simple stupid. I accomplished what I wanted today with just the 8 speeds. Front stayed in the big ring. I know of no road bike with the mountain cassette on rear. A cassette change is simple enough; however as mentioned here before you would have to change the rear deraileur as well. The road RD cannot feed the chain onto the larger 32 cog. In most cases not larger then 26/27 cog. Good news is the shifting indexs are the same, you can still use your shifters.

I would like to go further and run only one gear in front, but I know there are some hills out there I'm gonna want that 34 gear.
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Old 01-03-07, 06:26 PM   #12
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That Dawes looks like it has a pretty tall granny gear to me. Unless I'm reading something wrong, it has a 30/39/50 crankset with an 11/25 Shimano 105 cassette.

That puts the Dawes granny gear way up at 25.3 gi ( 27 in wheel x 30 T chain ring / 25 T cassette)

Compare that with the lowest gear on Gary's present bikes:

The Cypress SX is 23.7 gi based on (27 in wheel x 28 T chain ring / 32 T cassette)

The Trek 3900 is 19.5 gi based on (26 in wheel x 24 T chain ring / 32 T cassette)

It might be easier to get the bike of your dreams, then install smaller chain rings. But you have to check with the LBS to ensure that the smaller rings will work with the original cassette, derailleurs and shifters.

I was having a heck of a time climbing hills with a load, so I swapped the 28/38/48 rings on my Cypress for a 22/34/44 set. That dropped the granny down to 18.5 gi (27 in wheel x 22 T chain ring / 32 T cassetts). No other changes were required.

I haven't had to walk many hills since the change ... and my knees love the low gearing
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Old 01-03-07, 06:31 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jppe
The cheapest option is just pushing on the pedals a little harder!!! Sorry-couldn't resist. My LBS gave me that line when I complained about my cadence dropping into the low 60's with my 34/27. I feel you pain.

By the way, changing the gearing on the bike you really like is not that big of a deal.....Another option is looking for a triple with a 50/39/30 front chainring and replacing the rear derailleur with an XT or equivalent mountain bike RD. You can then put on a Mtn bike rear cassette and you have the best of all worlds. You would need to make sure the gearing is set up for 9 speeds and not 10 speed though-I don't think there are 10 speed set-ups in mtn bikes yet but I could be mistaken. LBS would probably make the changes on a new bike for just the labor cost which is nothing-should be less than 30 mins time.
XT or XTR triple cranks definitely work with Shimano's new 10-speed cog cassettes--that's one of the reasons you might want to go in that direction as the 10-spd cog cassettes only go 27T max (instead of e.g., 32T) so there's no way to have a 1-to-1 gear ratio with the standard 30T small chainring.
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Old 01-03-07, 06:47 PM   #14
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I fit my old bike with an 11-34 SRAM rear cassette. With its 30-42-52 triple, I had (still have, actually) a real wall climber.
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Old 01-03-07, 07:02 PM   #15
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The Cannondale Street has some mighty toothsome low gears.
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Old 01-03-07, 07:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee
Are there such beasts? I'm not talking modifications, but stock bikes that are road bikes, but with mountain bike gearing? Seems these might be better climbing hills, although slower on the flats, which would be okay with a recreational rider like myself.
Check out some touring and xcross bikes Gary. For example, my Fuji World has a 48-36-26 crank and an 11-32 cassette.
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Old 01-03-07, 08:40 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Recycle
I was having a heck of a time climbing hills with a load, so I swapped the 28/38/48 rings on my Cypress for a 22/34/44 set. That dropped the granny down to 18.5 gi (27 in wheel x 22 T chain ring / 32 T cassetts). No other changes were required.
Gary has a Cypress SX. The SX uses a road bike's gearing with a front crank of 30/42/52 and a rear cassette of 12-26. Very few hybrids use this gearing.

Gary, if you are used to this gearing, then you should do fine with a standard road bike. And with the more aerodynamic riding position and thinner tires, it should be easier to pedal than your SX.
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Old 01-03-07, 08:50 PM   #18
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Most of Rivendell's bikes are geared lower than the standard 53-39 or 53-39-30. My Atlantis has a 46-36-26 triple, and it's perfect for most of the riding I do. I have more usable gears, and since I almost never used the 53 with the smaller four or five cogs, I haven't lost anything I need.
I know you said no modifications, but lower the gear ratios on an existing bike is an easy, not-very-expsnsive project. Rivendell sells my Sugino XD triple crankset for around $100. With a 13-28 to 13-32 cassette, you can get pretty low.
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Old 01-03-07, 09:16 PM   #19
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The Fuji Touring uses a road's crank 30/42/52, but a mountain's cassette 11-32.

http://www.fujibikes.com/2007/bikes.asp?id=290&subcat=2
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Old 01-03-07, 09:39 PM   #20
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Also that Specialized Sequoia Elite you looked at before uses the in-between gearing, using a 30/39/50 crank and 12-26 cassette.

But the less expensive standard Sequoia uses more traditional road gearing.
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Old 01-03-07, 09:47 PM   #21
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Small chain ring sizes require shorter radius front derailleurs to work properly. This shorter radius means shorter arc which means they have to be mounted farther down near the bottom of the seat tube. If the FD hits the chain stay when it shifts to the smallest cog, then small cogs won't work with that frame.

This is one of the main design delimiters, so to speak. If the cogs fit and the chain clears everything can probably be made to work.
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Old 01-04-07, 01:05 AM   #22
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Jumping over the numbers here, keep in mind a wide-spaced cassette (11x32) can mean bigger jumps from gear to gear. If you live in constantly hilly terrain, OK. But if you do lots of flatland/rolling hills, it can be more comfortable with a closer cogset...easier to find the "right" gear to match your tempo and strength. Unless you don't mind lots of double shifting and knowing your ratios really well to search out that gear-that-feels-right.

As for top-end gears, while most of us don't cruise in upper 90's or above, it's always nice to not spin out on long descents because of a too short top gear. Or, when being chased by that accelerating Rottweiller, and with fear pumping adrenaline strength into the quads, it's nice to have one more killer gear to reach for.

On my hill bike, I have a 27 inch low gear (triple crank) which I seldom use, but there are occasions where I could lean down and kiss it. Ultimately, there are roads out there where no gear will be low enough.

Gear choices should be made for how you spend MOST of your time riding...not that one day when you decide to climb Mt. Doom.

Maybe another reason why people have multiple road bikes. I have a 39\52 with 12-23 for quick after work rides, a reasonable triple for weekend hillies, and gonzo triple for dirt roads and weird stuff.

[Gearing!! These threads can go on forever.]
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Old 01-04-07, 01:26 AM   #23
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Or, when being chased by that accelerating Rottweiller, and with fear pumping adrenaline strength into the quads, it's nice to have one more killer gear to reach for.
You should try riding around Rottweillers when your legs don't have a high gear!

Outrunning a dog isn't an option that I have.

Nice doggy, nice doggy.
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Old 01-04-07, 02:33 AM   #24
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Has anyone mentioned lately that you guys are amazing? I am grateful for all who responded; you've continued my education immensely!

On a whim, I may try out a 2003 Giant TCR2 I've come across since posting this thread. Four years old but, the owner claims, barely ridden (by his father!). It may be too roadie (i.e. 'racing' bike) for me, however. I haven't figured out what all the specs are (like gearing) yet because I haven't yet found that info on the web.
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Old 01-04-07, 02:48 AM   #25
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It may be too roadie (i.e. 'racing' bike) for me, however.
50 bucks says he loves it...
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