I'm thinking of lowering my gear ratio for a couple reasons-
1) Moved boroughs, daily commute now involves a bridge.
2) Preparing for winter cycling, which i haven't really done before because
3) I'm a huge wuss (working on it).
4) My knees are telling me to.
I rode on the stock setup (42/17) for a year, which was fine but i found myself spinning out a bit going downhill and also when trying to pick up speed. I later upgraded to Eighthinch cranks and enjoyed 46/17 until now. Starting to think that the combination of change in commute and huge jump from 66 G/I to 72.4 G/I has something to do with the pain i'm feeling in my knees after an 8-mile commute.
A little more info about my riding habits:
-Bike is a 2009 Dawes MTA with minor upgrades. I am aware of how heavy/cheap it is, but i like it, ride the hell out of it, and will keep it as a winter beater once i get a new bike.
-Like i said before, Eighthinch cranks, 46t with 17t cog.
-Front brake, not really interested in skidzzzzz (bike's a little on the heavy side, as am I)
-Commute is Queens to Chelsea via Williamsburg bridge (not much of a climb, but then again, I'm not much of a cyclist)
So here's my question:
When it comes to lowering the gear ratio, what are the main differences between changing the cog or the chainring? Wear issues, dialing in an exact number of gear/inches, what should I look out for? Thinking of either 18t cog, or 44t chainring.
Or am I overlooking the obvious 'HTFU' option?