Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    www.ttfc.org
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    My Bikes
    1989 Daccordi/1987 Raleigh/ 1993 Schwinn Unicycle/ 2003 Burley Tandem/2004 Jamis Quest
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    gearing concerns on Pacific Coast trip (hills)

    My daughter, who will be 14 at the time, and I plan to ride our tandem bike (fully loaded), possibly with trailer from Canada to Mexico (see www.ttfc.org), via the Pacific Coast in summer ’05. I have some concerns that our bike is geared properly. It has a stock triple 30/42/52 and a 9 speed rear 11-32.

    Any thoughts and/or experience with this gearing… good or bad?

    I am considering making some changes, if practical. Any comments would be appreciated.

    Thx,

    Steve

  2. #2
    Year-round cyclist
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Montréal (Québec)
    Posts
    3,023
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Use whatever you are comfortable with -- a few loaded practice runs would help you decide.

    However, my preference is always for lower gears. You have three options:

    1. The least expensive, if you are fairly comfortable with what you have: Change the small ring for a 26... which probably would work with the 52-42 pair. However, the transition will be a bit much and you'll still have quite a few ultra-high gears you won't use.

    2. Change all 3 rings for 48-38-24. The largest 2 exist as a ramped and pinned set (from FSA amongst others), so they would work with STI. I know such a combo works fine with bar-end shifters and I heard quite a few who say it works with STI, though you might prefer to add something like the N-Gear jump stop to prevent the chain from falling inside.

    3. New compact cranskset? $$$


    BTW, if you stay on the coast, hills are not that steep, but there are quite a few long ones. It's if you veer off that road that you'll see the steepest hills. But then, as a person from Seattle, you should have some experience with real hills.

    Regards,
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  3. #3
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,155
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    A couple of thoughts.

    1. Load up the tandem with enough dunnage to replicate what you think you'll be carrying on your tandem and/or pulling behind it in the trailer and search out some 11% - 12% grades near your home.

    2. Take on the hills with your existing gearing and see how it goes.

    3. If it's barely do-able, beg - borrow - steal an 11x34t cassette and see if that makes much of a difference. In reality, it's only a minor reduction in gear inches but sometimes a little is all it takes.

    4. If it's still a bit goey, consider packing a little bit less. Folks who take on trans-whatever rides for the first time often times find they have packed more than they need or want to load and unload each day and search out a UPS / Mailboxes Etc. store to ship home the excess baggage.

    5. If after putting on the 34t cassette and optimizing your total tandem weight those hills are still a bit too challenging give a 28t or 26t granny ring a try if your Tamb. will take a timing ring that small. I don't recall what the spacing is on the TruVative cranks that Burley uses for your particular tandem which is why I'm being tentative here.

    We did a portion of this ride in '02 -- San Francisco to San Diego -- and while there were some steep grades they were usually short and steep with few exceptions. I believe some of the terrain along the Oregon Coast may actually be a bit more challenging that PCH was so my suggestion to use 12% grade may or may not be the worst you'll encounter. I seem to recall that it was about the worst that we saw on the planned route. We took a side trip that may have been a bit more daunting that that but the heat had a lot to do with it.

    FWIW: We used a 54/44/30t x 11/32t cassette on our West Coast trip and I only recall using the 30x32 gear once, just south of Pismo Beach. However, we were fully sag'd and had only our middle-aged bodies to drag up the hills and we waited until Sept. when the weather was a bit cooler further down the Calif. coast.

    Good Luck. It sounds like a great adventure.

  4. #4
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    My Bikes
    ariZona carbon fiber tandem & single
    Posts
    10,064
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Howdy from Tucson!
    Lighten your load as much as possible. You can wash out cycling clothes daily in camp/motel/laundromat.
    Skip the heavy electric razor and carry some cheapo plastic disposable safety razors. Pack some multi-use clothing, good for on/off bike. If you do need anything 'extra' you can usually buy it along the route.
    Do some practice runs/climbs with gear a bit heavier than you anticipate to carry. We used to practice climbing with loads of books/encylopedias in panniers!
    On gearing, it depends on the individuals; but better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it! Err on the side of grannier gearing.
    You are planning well ahead; enjoy the adventure!
    Rudy & Kay/Zona tandem

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •