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  1. #1
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    Light touring on a mini velo & gearing range

    Hello, folks, I am getting back to cycling and touring again. My rig now is a Dahon Dash P18 with SRAM Dual Drive and 10-speed cogset. This gives a me a range of about 20-119 gear-inches. I am hoping to do light, multi-day touring where I end up at hostels each night, and eat at road-side stalls here in Bali. This means that I will be carrying no more than 10 kg (22 lbs) of gear, supplies and racks/luggage. Also, the roads will be paved and the tires are Schwalbe Kojak 1.35" slicks.

    In order to simplify and lighten the rig, I am contemplating swapping the current drivetrain for a 1 x 11 set-up consisting of a 58T chainring and a 11-42T cogset. This will give me an effective range of about 26-97 gear-inches. The trade-off is losing about one kilogram of weight and the range of the Dual Drive setup. Any thoughts on the proposed, new gearing range (26-97)? By the way, where I live (Bali) is hilly, volcano country.

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    I am not familiar with the new Sram wide range gearing, but if I was using a small diameter wheel I would try to find out if that gearing would have the ground clearance necessary for the derailleur. Has this been verified yet?

    The best way to find out if that gearing would work for you is to do a bit of test riding. If your 2nd or 3rd gear with your existing setup would be equivalent to youir new 1st gear, you could try some hills and see what you think.

    I use a Dual Drive on my foldup with an 11/32 eight speed cassette in the back. If I was going to do any touring in hill country I would keep the gearing that I have. Yes the Dual Drive is not a lightweight, but it certainly offers a nice range of gearing.

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    I tour with a 1x10 set up road bike and light load. The gear range you indicate, 26-97 is ok, but I think a smaller chainring would be better with the top being around 85 and the lower range. However I think you may have a problem with the small wheels, 42 t cassette and derailleur scraping the road surface.
    ride long & prosper

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
    I am not familiar with the new Sram wide range gearing, but if I was using a small diameter wheel I would try to find out if that gearing would have the ground clearance necessary for the derailleur. Has this been verified yet?

    The best way to find out if that gearing would work for you is to do a bit of test riding. If your 2nd or 3rd gear with your existing setup would be equivalent to youir new 1st gear, you could try some hills and see what you think.

    I use a Dual Drive on my foldup with an 11/32 eight speed cassette in the back. If I was going to do any touring in hill country I would keep the gearing that I have. Yes the Dual Drive is not a lightweight, but it certainly offers a nice range of gearing.
    Agree on the nice range of gearing afforded by DD. The thing is, though, I wonder whether the 100-119 gear-inches range is real-world useful on a touring bike.

  5. #5
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
    Agree on the nice range of gearing afforded by DD. The thing is, though, I wonder whether the 100-119 gear-inches range is real-world useful on a touring bike.
    Not IMHO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by martianone View Post
    I tour with a 1x10 set up road bike and light load. The gear range you indicate, 26-97 is ok, but I think a smaller chainring would be better with the top being around 85 and the lower range. However I think you may have a problem with the small wheels, 42 t cassette and derailleur scraping the road surface.
    Got it. Another incremental option is to keep the current 11-36T cogset and 52T chainring system, verified to have sufficient derailleur ground clearance, and simply swap out the wheel, leaving me with a simpliefied, 27-87 gear-inches 1x10 setup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
    Got it. Another incremental option is to keep the current 11-36T cogset and 52T chainring system, verified to have sufficient derailleur ground clearance, and simply swap out the wheel, leaving me with a simpliefied, 27-87 gear-inches 1x10 setup.
    27-87 is similar to the range of my 1x10 setup - over 2500 km last year, hilly where I live - didn't walk any.
    ride long & prosper

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
    Got it. Another incremental option is to keep the current 11-36T cogset and 52T chainring system, verified to have sufficient derailleur ground clearance, and simply swap out the wheel, leaving me with a simpliefied, 27-87 gear-inches 1x10 setup.
    ...or go with a 56T ring (which I already have) and the 11-42T cogset (whose derailleur I already have), giving me 25-94 gear-in.

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    Abu Mehendra, I have three bikes that I can use for light (~9 kg) touring. The difference in bicycle weight spans ~2.5 kg and there is really no functional difference when riding just to cover ground. Yes the lighter bike can accelerate more quickly than the heavier bikes when using the same gear inches, but lower gearing on the heavier bikes make them more ascent friendly.

    I'd leave the bike as is and concentrate on what you're packing.

    Brad

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    Thanks, Brad. I may play it that way in the short term. As for what to pack when your lodging and board are taken care of, that's easy: toothbrush, pump & spare tube, money and cell-phone. Cheers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
    Agree on the nice range of gearing afforded by DD. The thing is, though, I wonder whether the 100-119 gear-inches range is real-world useful on a touring bike.
    My foldup bike as 24 inch wheels (507mm), with a 39 tooth chainring, Dual Drive, eight speed 11/32 cassette, my gearing ranges from 20.7 to 112.1 gear inches.

    You are correct that the high end is less important to most cycle tourists, I am one of the few cycle tourists that continues to use a road crankset on a full size derailleur touring bike. My Thorn Sherpa touring bike has a 52/42/24 triple and eight speed 11/32 cassette, range is 19.2 to 120.7 gear inches, but my top two gears are only used for shallow long downhills or strong tailwinds on the flats. Most cycle tourists do not have the higher gears that I have.

    I was more focused on your lowest gear, switching from a 20 to 26 (gear inch) low gear is something I would not want to do. I want a lowest gear in the 20 inch range or lower.

    I use two different chainrings on my expedition bike with Rohloff. For around home use and on most road riding I use a range of 20.1 to 105.8 gear inches, but for off road where I never go very fast I switch to a different chainring which gives me a range of 16.5 to 85.5 gear inches.

    But only you know how steep your hills are and what your capabilities are. So, I think you should go out with your existing setup and climb some hills in your 2nd, 3rd and maybe 4th gears and decide what you really think you need for your lowest gear. If you can climb all the hills you want in 3rd gear, then go ahead and get rid of the Dual Drive.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
    Thanks, Brad. I may play it that way in the short term. As for what to pack when your lodging and board are taken care of, that's easy: toothbrush, pump & spare tube, money and cell-phone. Cheers.
    I agree with Brad.

    BTW, I am a little confused about what you will be carrying. On one hand you say "10 kg (22 lbs)", then you say "toothbrush, pump & spare tube, money and cell-phone" (2 pounds?). If you want to go light and are not camping it should be easy to get down to 10 pounds or less if you are worried about weight. Some of us who like to go light and are naturally minimalists get by on quite a bit less than 22 pounds for a camping and cooking trip.

    Cutting gear weight is cheaper and easier than cutting bike weight and makes a bigger difference in how the bike rides. There is a lot more fat in a 22 pound payload without camping gear than there is on your bike itself, so I'd definitely cut gear weight before I worried about losing two pounds on the bike itself.

    BTW, I have been intrigued by the mini velos since I first saw them. It almost looks like it would fit in a case that is within the airline limit (62" L+W+H) for regular baggage if the wheels, pedals, rear derailleur, and maybe bars were removed. Do you know if that is the case?

    If I did decide to lose the dual drive I think that I'd just use the chain ring that gave me the low gear I want and live with the limited high gear. I have done some touring with a similar gear range to what that would be and found the setup quite pleasant. I was surprised that I didn't miss the higher top gear.

    Personally I'd want drop bars or possibly bull horns if they made packing and stowing much easier, but that is a personal preference.

  13. #13
    djb
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    I also don't see the need to change things, let's say you eat some bad food and are feeling rotten, having your lower gears might be nice when you are feeling queasy, it's hot and you have a steep hill appear in front of you.
    It's your time and money, but unless your bike presently has shifting problems, why change it?
    As others said, I don't see a downside to your gearing and if you don't use the lowest gears, that's OK.
    I guess if you feel it is really really too low of gearing, switch your cassette to a closer spaced cassette with a smaller large cog, you will like the closer shifts.

    Have fun doing whatever you chose, but it comes down to you evaluating if you want to spend the time and money....

  14. #14
    canis lupus familiaris rex615's Avatar
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    Not often you hear Minivelo and Touring used in the same sentence. (Folding bikes, sure).
    So i will cash in on this opportunity to post a pic of mine.
    As for gearing I will only add this, in my experience gearing requirements don't change because you are on a mini velo. So the tried and true guidelines still apply; a granny low enough to get you and your load up the hill and a big gear to keep you from spinning out on the flats with that rare tailwind.
    Citta Touring s.jpg

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    I was curious so I did a few google searches. If the link below describes the system you are considering, it looks like maybe the derailleur will be high enough on a 20 inch wheel to avoid having a ground clearance problem. I assumed it would have a huge cage length to take up that much chain slack, but it looks like they did a good job trying to keep it up off the ground.

    First Look: SRAM GX - The 11-Speed Wide Range Drivetrain for the People - Pinkbike

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    Quote Originally Posted by rex615 View Post
    Not often you hear Minivelo and Touring used in the same sentence. (Folding bikes, sure).
    So i will cash in on this opportunity to post a pic of mine.
    As for gearing I will only add this, in my experience gearing requirements don't change because you are on a mini velo. So the tried and true guidelines still apply; a granny low enough to get you and your load up the hill and a big gear to keep you from spinning out on the flats with that rare tailwind.
    Citta Touring s.jpg
    Nice. In my case, I hopeto bring less stuff, and to carry it in the forward part of the bike. Most Dahons have a luggage mount supporting 7kg on the headtube. Great thing is that it is independent of the steering. I've bought the truss and rack already (Tern Luggage Truss and Kanga Rack), and it looks like this:


    I hope to add a dual side toptube bag, and that will be it for racks/luggage.

    Where did you buy your Cittą?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
    I was curious so I did a few google searches. If the link below describes the system you are considering, it looks like maybe the derailleur will be high enough on a 20 inch wheel to avoid having a ground clearance problem. I assumed it would have a huge cage length to take up that much chain slack, but it looks like they did a good job trying to keep it up off the ground.

    First Look: SRAM GX - The 11-Speed Wide Range Drivetrain for the People - Pinkbike
    Thanks for that. The chain slack would correspond only to the difference between the 11T and 42T cogs, since it would be a single ring in the front. No dramas with slack chain or ground clearence with my present 11-36T setup.

    Where I live SRAM prices are way too high compared to Shimano, plus Shimano already offers an 11-42T 11-speed cogset with matching derailleur (which I already purchased, for this bike or another project) for normal prices. That leaves you to source your own single chainring crankset, which is not too difficult.
    Last edited by Abu Mahendra; 01-23-16 at 06:39 PM.

  18. #18
    canis lupus familiaris rex615's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
    Nice. In my case, I hopeto bring less stuff, and to carry it in the forward part of the bike. Most Dahons have a luggage mount supporting 7kg on the headtube. Great thing is that it is independent of the steering. I've bought the truss and rack already (Tern Luggage Truss and Kanga Rack), and it looks like this:


    I hope to add a dual side toptube bag, and that will be it for racks/luggage.

    Where did you buy your Cittą?
    Very nice set up. I like the front rack. Kojaks are fast tires .
    The front wheel looks a bit "racy" for touring, but 20" wheels are very strong.

    I bought my Citta from a vendor on the internet that had a couple of them on closeout.

    Best of luck on your adventure.

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    Yes, the racy front wheel has only 14 spokes which worries me for touring. I've got another one with 20 spokes on the side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
    Thanks for that. The chain slack would correspond only to the difference between the 11T and 42T cogs, since it would be a single ring in the front. No dramas with slack chain or ground clearence with my present 11-36T setup.

    Where I live SRAM prices are way too high compared to Shimano, plus Shimano already offers an 11-42T 11-speed cogset with matching derailleur (which I already purchased, for this bike or another project) for normal prices. That leaves you to source your own single chainring crankset, which is not too difficult.
    If that cassette will fit on your Dual Drive, you can leave the dual drive in the middle gear and test the cassette and derailleur to see how it works while you are shopping for a new rear wheel without the IGH. And that would give a a chance to think about the chainring size you want while you are testing those new parts.

    For my foldup bike I often use a rack that clamps onto the seatpost and then a rack top bag on top of that rack. I use the quick release on that rack to allow me to take the rack indoors when I leave the bike outside at a bike rack.

    But if I was going to try to do credit card touring on my foldup, I would be more inclined to use my Carradice Nelson Long Flap saddle bag that would hold almost all my gear. If not familiar with Carradice saddle bags, google it.

    Have a great trip.

  21. #21
    djb
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    Hi, if I understand it, you've already bought the parts, but what specifically don't you like about riding the bike as is? Is it more of the weight savings of is it partly just to have fun with a change--which if you have the parts, why not.

    Įs your present cassette is a 11-36 ten speed, my suggestion stands to consider an inexpensive tighter cassette like a 12-30 or 12-27 which have a really nice useable part of the cassette with 1 and 2 tooth jumps, which if you have only ridden wide spread cassettes, is a real joy to ride with and combined with a light load, very much enhances the "fast riding" experience of close shifts that allow you to keep a nice cadence. I personally get a lot of pleasure riding with tighter cassettes, and as you seem to be leaning towards fast, this will very much feel more fun riding light with still larger jumps between shifts with a 11-42.
    Here in Canada, a tiagra level 12-30 cassette is maybe 40 bucks tops.
    Take a look at the jumps between various cassettes and compare....
    Last edited by djb; 01-24-16 at 07:55 AM.

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    Yes, my understanding is that SRAM DD2 does not work only up to 10-speed cogsets. 11 speeds, no go. I've already got an 11-speed hub wheel waiting on the side, for this or another project. Essentially I already have all the parts for this 1x11 conversion except for the ShXT 11-42 cogset, which I have on special order from my LBS.
    Last edited by Abu Mahendra; 01-24-16 at 06:40 PM.

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    Hi, this proposed initiative to switch to 1x11 is driven by a desire to i.) lighten the bike and ii.) simplify the transmission.

    For now, I think I'm just gonna stick with what I have and keep it stock. I am just gonna add bar-ends for more hand positions, and swap the crank arm and spider for a black one for purely aesthetic reasons (and beacause I need a silver crank arm and spiderfor another build). Cheers.

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    djb
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    Bar ends are a really good idea. There are fancy ergo ones made by ergon but regular bar ends will make a difference for being able to change up your hand positions.

    Again, whatever you do, have fun.

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    Dual drive is quite simple: 10 cog cassette driver with a 3 speed internal gear hub combined..

    leave the hub shifter in 1 gear and you have a 1 by 10..


    Complicated was my 3 by 3 by 3 .. 3 cubed, 27 speed; a 3 speed hub, 3 cog cluster and triple crank ..

    that was circa 1958.

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