Age old question
Well I am in the middle of a new bike build - unlike my other bikes this has 26 inch wheels. I am having issues with my cranks. Orginally 8 speed and I put nine speed chain rings on, and the spacing is just not there. So in my part box I have another crankset, some NOS Racing T Campy (8/9 speed) cranks 52/42/30, which normally I would not consider for a touring bike because of not enough bottom end, but because this is for a 26 inch bike wheel bike doesn't it actual have a lower end than the same chain ring combination on a 700c bike. This is a question for you gear head guys who count chain length. by the way I also going to be running Dura Ace barends and NOS xt 8 speed for the front and rear der.. Thanks Mike
Using the same size chain ring and the same size rear sprocket, the gearing with a 26" rear wheel is (approximately; the exact factor depends on the exact tire sizes) 650/700 = 0.93 times the gearing with a 700c rear wheel (i.e., it's about 7 per cent lower). While this difference is big enough to be discernible, it is not really large enough to make your roadbike crankset appropriate for loaded touring.
Originally Posted by vosyer
The (only?) good thing about the emergence of mountain bikes was that they made sensible gearing easily available for loaded touring bikes.