My first-ever post on the BikeForums!
My standard route up into the Berkeley Hills from the flats is to climb straight up Marin Avenue (from the Marin Circle to Grizzly Peak).
My bike is a 13-year-old Specialized Rockhopper MTB. To climb Marin, I stay in my middle chain ring (32 teeth) but move to the largest sprocket in back (30 teeth). I think my cranks are standard MTB length. Standard MTB rims too (though my tires are 1-inch-wide Tom Slick tires instead of knobbies, so the total diameter of the wheel is a tad smaller).
I've been toying for years with the idea of getting a road bike. But I've been postponing because I worry that a road bike won't give me gears low enough for tackling Marin. I've never seen a road bike go up it. (And I refuse to give that ride up!)
So I'm hoping somebody might be able to help me out. If I were to get a road bike, with its larger-diameter wheels, what size chain ring and back sprocket would I need to get the equivalent of 32-30 on my MTB? Do they even make gears this low?
Thanks in advance. I'm embarassed to say I know almost nothing about road bikes, or the math required to do this. <blushes>