I am currently building up a LWB and am trying to choose the best crankset. The frame is based on Easy Racers' Tour Easy, it is called a Mach 2 and I had it built for me by this guy who recycles vintage rides. I have available both a traditional, square tapered, 48-36-26T Sugino and 44-32-22T Shimano LX that uses the external Hollowtech II system. They are both quite spiffy looking and I am torn between the two.
Now there are some killer hills up here where I will be riding this puppy. So far, my vintage Fuji touring/commuter with the same crank rings as the Sugino gets me by pretty well save but on one super tough grade, a road that goes up to Olana (the local attraction). With just a small load in my trailer, this ascent has left me totally winded, it really takes all my might to make it to the summit. So the 22T granny gear on the Shimano kinda cries out to me.
While the controversy about how well/poorly bents climb has been addressed ad nauseam here and elsewhere, I am still curious about how they compare with road bikes in certain circumstances.
For instance, when I am on my road bike, going up a steep hill where the gradient varies, I find it impossible to stand and mash, both because I can't shift gears as needed, and because it's just too exhausting. So I sit and spin.
On a bent, I would imagine that one would still have an advantage while turning over the lowest gears, compared to doing the same while in a seated position on a roadster. In which case, I might be able to get away with the same gearing on the Mach as on my commutouring bike. Then I'd still have the 48T ring for a little bit more speed on the downhills (there are no flats here.)
The other thing I wonder about, is whether one can pull on the handles of a Tour Easy-like bent for extra oomph, like on some of the RANS bikes. Or is the steering too twitchy or the general design just not conducive to that kind of maneuver?
Thanks for any insight you could provide me, fellow riders!