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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 05-12-05, 02:42 PM   #1
Bolo Grubb
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Gearing for a do all + touring bike

I cannot afford to have several bikes, but want one that can travel so I have decided to get one equiped with S&S couplers.

Most likely I will order one from Bilenky cycle works

Now I have to choose what to do for gearing.

I will use this bike for club rides, century rides lite touring and maybe some commuting. So what rear cassette and chainring set up would you reccomend?

I am thinking a Triple with a 12-25 cassette (shimano). Mainly because that is what I ride now on my current bike, but I have not done any touring. Several day long rides, centurys, club rides etc.

this will be a road bike, no off road riding. No idea how much extra weight I might have but planning on rear panniers/rack. Touring will be just a small percentage of the riding I will be doing with this bike.



your thoughts?
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Old 05-12-05, 03:34 PM   #2
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I built a new touring bike this spring and put 12-25 gearing on it and a 48-38-26 crank. I didn't build the bike really for touring but I have been up some pretty tough climbs with it so far and I would say it is doable for self contained touring if you stay off the big climbs, On the other hand you could also buy a spare cassette with a 30-32 tooth low cog along with a chain whip and a cassette wrench for less than $75 and just change cassettes when you want to tour. It takes about 10 minutes to change a cassette if you are slow.

Last edited by velonomad; 05-12-05 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 05-12-05, 08:40 PM   #3
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For touring with moderate to heavy loads in the mountains, I would want a granny gear of about 20 gear inches. That translates to a 24/32 combination.

Okay, I am lazy lots of people cycle up hills with bigger gears.
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Old 05-12-05, 09:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skookum
For touring with moderate to heavy loads in the mountains, I would want a granny gear of about 20 gear inches. That translates to a 24/32 combination.

Okay, I am lazy lots of people cycle up hills with bigger gears.
Yeah, but they also spend a lot of time complaining at the overnight stops about how painful their knees are, and pop Vit I like it's candy.

I like velonomad's idea of swapping the cassettes around, although that may bring into play chain and cog wear issues.

Bolo, I suppose it depends on the sort of terrain you intend to commute and cycle over. I have an MTB crankset with 22-32-44 and a 32-11 set-up on my Fuji Touring and it does me very, very well for all my riding (commuting, utility and touring). I have lots of hills to contend with, and I am not a particularly strong rider. The granny is around 18gi.
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Old 05-13-05, 07:36 AM   #5
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Quote:

For touring with moderate to heavy loads in the mountains, I would want a granny gear of about 20 gear inches. That translates to a 24/32 combination.
Agreed. On long, steep climbs, even a light load feels heavy. Most of the weight you are pulling against gravity is your body weight. Granny gears make life so much easier. My current set-up is 24/32. If I were doing it all again, I would want 22/32.

Quote:

Okay, I am lazy lots of people cycle up hills with bigger gears.
I don't think it's a matter of laziness. A granny gear is just the best tool to get the job done!
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Old 05-13-05, 04:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan
Yeah, but they also spend a lot of time complaining at the overnight stops about how painful their knees are, and pop Vit I like it's candy.
This stumped me (not too hard to do) -- What's Vitamin I --
then I thought maybe Ibuprofin?
Never heard this before, very very funny.

On my trail touring bike, front is 24/36/46, rear is 13 to 34, lowest is 18 gear inches.
On my road touring bike, front is 24/42/52, rear is 13 to 34, lowest is 19 gear inches.

As a big guy (230 lbs) who hates hills and tends to carry a lot of gear,
I really appreciate having that low gear in the toolbox.

Ed
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Old 05-13-05, 05:30 PM   #7
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I have 22-34 as my lowest gear, for just under 16 gear inches with my narrow 26" tyres.
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Old 05-14-05, 03:13 AM   #8
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I prefer a 53/39 road crankset with a 9 speed 32-11 MTB cassette. It gives an excellent range of gearing for flat ground and the 39x30 makes almost any climb managable, unless touring with a heavy load.
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Old 05-14-05, 04:35 AM   #9
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Just to pop in here with an explanation of what gear-inches actually means...

The number represents the number of inches the diameter of a penny farthing's front wheel would measure. It's an old-fashioned English measurement that is as esoteric as bicycle dimension can get.

Sheldon Brown came up with gain ratios as a more accurate representation of this mysterious intangible, but doesn't seem to have cracked common usage. His measurement may be more useful because it accounts for factors other than number of gear teeth and driven-wheel diameter.

And no, CdCf, we're not going to debate big wheels versus little wheels .
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