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Old 04-02-12, 04:11 PM   #1
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44 or 46 Tooth Chainring?


My wife and I are both high-cadence riders by nature so we prefer small gaps between gears. Current front chainrings are 50, 39, 26. Unless we are going 20 mph or over we are in the 39.

I'm thinking I would like to lower the gearing to a 46 (or 44), 34, 26. I'm hopingthis would let us use the large chainring more often and provide more us with more useful gears in a range where we can use them. My question is this: I have read that Shimano (we have a Tiagra triple) is made for a 12 tooth gap between chainrings. I'd really like to order a 44, but I'm afraid it won't shift as well because of the 10 tooth difference. Going with a smaller gap between chainrings doesn't seem like a problem to me. (I can see how a larger gap could be a problem for upshifts).

The other problem is I'm not sure if the Tiagra would work well with a 46 in which case I may need a Mtb. derailleur of some sort? (Deore?)

Any advice would be much appreciated,


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Old 04-02-12, 04:48 PM   #2
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How high is high cadence? A 44-11 at 110 rpm only gives you about 34mph. I don't know where you live, but unless it's dead flat there will probably be many times when you would spin out that gear. If you were running a a 12-27 cassette with your current chainrings you could stay in the middle of the cassette where the jumps are quite small.
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Old 04-02-12, 05:59 PM   #3
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question is the BCD of the 2 outer rings. (bolt circle diameter) It may well be that the 2 outer rings are 130mm, in which case 38 teeth is as low as it goes.
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Old 04-02-12, 06:28 PM   #4
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Merlin, the Bolt Circle Diameter is 110 and I've found some Vuelta rings online that should work, so I think we're good there.

RD, you make a good point about 34 mph being top end. I'd say we generally ride 95 to 105. My wife has had to switch to 130mm cranks due to a knee problem, so that's another reason I'm thinking I want lower gears. I think in most cases I'm good with coasting if we're going over 32 or so, but it's hard to say never having had that gear as a limiter. I think I generally shut it down when we hit 35 or so most of the time anyway. We also have an 8 speed, so the jumps between teeth aren't as close between as they could be. Your post does make me think I want to go with the 46 though.
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Old 04-02-12, 07:57 PM   #5
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Having just gone thru this ordeal, I would stay with the 12 tooth difference (46 -34 rings) . I was ready to ready to make a change sort of like you are thinking of ( 54 to 53) but Peter White talked me out out of it... smart man
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