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Thread: touring gears

  1. #1
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    touring gears

    Hey folks: I am about to swap out my 6 speed freewheel off of my Miyata 1000, friction shifting. It's a 12-28. The front gears are 50-44-28(yes 28 tiny, tiny, tiny). It's easy to climb in the 28-28 tho' Ive never climbed with a lot of touring gear. All of my tours have been on flat roads. I do a lot of climbing with this bike but only for commuting purposes. I plan to tour more hilly terrain in the near future.
    So: Should I go 7 speed with a 12-34(mega range) or drop to an 11-28. Does the Mega range work with friction. I see that Sheldon brown states the 12-34 to be Alpine gearing. Does the fact I run a 28 front chain ring negate the need for a mega gear? I was gonna put this in the bike mech forum but figured I preferred tourers input on gearing.
    Another Q Do tourers run 2 sets of freewheels on their bikes, one for non tour duty(11-28) and then a (12-34) for the tour?? I assume you use different chains if you swap out your freewheels.
    Thanks Charlie

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    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    My LHT has a 48/38/28 up front and a 11-34 mega range in the back. That is a decent low gear for a touring bike with gear and a steep hill.

    Personally I'd go for the lowest practical gear I could get on a touring bike.
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    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Go for it. However, I would go for the 13-34 freewheel that Shimano makes instead of the 11-34. I have/had a Miyata 210, which I suspect had similar gearing to the 1000 (it's bottom end of the line, the 1000 was the top). The stock gearing on the big ring was 50. On a touring bike, I don't think there's any need to have a high gear of over 100 inches, and going with the 13-34 lets you have gears that are spaced slightly closer together, with the balance toward the bigger cogs. I like that in a touring bike, but of course your mileage may vary.

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    Senior Member xilios's Avatar
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    42-32-22 with 11/32 is the way to go, you can carry everything and climb anything with that set up.
    Only setback is with 42 and 11 you will only do about 40kph, but than again any faster and your not touring your racing

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balto charlie
    Hey folks: I am about to swap out my 6 speed freewheel off of my Miyata 1000, friction shifting. It's a 12-28. The front gears are 50-44-28(yes 28 tiny, tiny, tiny). It's easy to climb in the 28-28 tho' Ive never climbed with a lot of touring gear. All of my tours have been on flat roads. I do a lot of climbing with this bike but only for commuting purposes. I plan to tour more hilly terrain in the near future.
    So: Should I go 7 speed with a 12-34(mega range) or drop to an 11-28. Does the Mega range work with friction. I see that Sheldon brown states the 12-34 to be Alpine gearing. Does the fact I run a 28 front chain ring negate the need for a mega gear? I was gonna put this in the bike mech forum but figured I preferred tourers input on gearing.
    Another Q Do tourers run 2 sets of freewheels on their bikes, one for non tour duty(11-28) and then a (12-34) for the tour?? I assume you use different chains if you swap out your freewheels.
    Thanks Charlie
    Living where I do, I run an 11-34 rear on everything. For touring I use a mountain bike crank and run a 46/34/22. If I'm going to do Trail Ridge Road (I have in the past), I might put a 20 on in the place of the 22. This gives me a nice high gear, a really sweet low and the smaller chainwheel size makes for better shifts.
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    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    I guess the friction shifter and Shim Stag(long cage) RD can handle the mega gear? Thanks for the answers AND the speed of the answers. I'm going to the LBS today. Charlie

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    If you decide to get a 12-34 freewheel (a good idea for touring) you MAY have to get a long cage derailleur that can move that much chain. You MAY also find you need a longer chain. Your friction shifters will be fine, though.

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    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    The front gears are 50-44-28(yes 28 tiny, tiny, tiny).
    Not so tiny for loaded touring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xilios
    42-32-22 with 11/32 is the way to go, you can carry everything and climb anything with that set up.
    Only setback is with 42 and 11 you will only do about 40kph, but than again any faster and your not touring your racing
    I think your right. I changed out the stock rings on my Specialized Crossraods Elite to a 22-32-44 (had this on a MTB) but I do miss the extra advantage of a 11-34 vs my 11-32. Doesn't seem like much but with a BOB and full touring gear it could make a difference on a C2C.

    I'll stick with the 11-32 and train better and be realistic on loaded ascents. The 44 as a big front ring is plenty.

    Seen here and elswhere, sustainable average daily speeds are approx. 10 mph, 12 would be nice for a 5 hr. day making 60 mi.

    Like youy say it's a tour, not a race. I like the term 'mosey.'

    Cheers,

    Tim

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    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    I switched to the 11-34 and put a 44-34-24 on the front. I love it. It has made me far more confident that I can handle anything, despite being loaded. That is a tremendous advantage over my previous gearing.

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    Friction works really well with the MegaRange set up. The jump to the granny gear is so great that indexed shifting doesn't always work so well. I doubt you could have index shifting with your 50-44-28 chainrings either-- the jump from 44 to 28 is 16 teeth.

    Just try not to double shift into granny, and you'll be fine.

  12. #12
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Hey folks: Got the 14-34 after your advice and the LBS lack of many other sizes. I tested out the 34-28 combo on our local climbs(The Hills of Catonsville, my hood) and 'twas easy. Almost too easy. We have a couple of 18% climbs. I see what you mean by not having enough low gearing on tour. While I was able to climb the hills I don't know how easy it would have been on a loaded tourer. We'll have to wait and see. Thanks again folks. Charlie

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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby
    Go for it. However, I would go for the 13-34 freewheel that Shimano makes instead of the 11-34. .
    I use the 13-34 megarange with 48-38-28 on my 7 speed Schwinn. I've never had to walk a hill, even fully loaded. As long as you can spin 60 rpm you'll keep moving, even as slow as 4 mph sometimes.

    On the other hand, I refer to the 34/28 combo as my "give up" gear. And, you need to shift to it before you need it because its a heck of a jump to the 34 tooth. I was clipped in and crashed one time when I overshifted because the bike stopped so quickly as we were going uphill.

    Overall, I very much like having the 34 tooth gear.

  14. #14
    Rvl
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    I put together a 14-16-18-20-24-28-30-32 out of loose gears with a 22/32/42

    I tried it out yesterday with 20kg(44 lbs) and really liked the 28-30-32
    Before I used 30-26-23 and found it was too much of a jump shifting gears when going up long steep hills

    Thanks

    Robert VanLane
    Aomori Japan

  15. #15
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacomee
    Friction works really well with the MegaRange set up. The jump to the granny gear is so great that indexed shifting doesn't always work so well. I doubt you could have index shifting with your 50-44-28 chainrings either-- the jump from 44 to 28 is 16 teeth.

    Just try not to double shift into granny, and you'll be fine.
    Indexing has always worked perfectly for me and my MegaRange freewheel. Also, the jump from the small to middle chainring is seldom an issue with a triple derailer. Indexing will work fine, here.

    I also strongly (STRONGLY) recommend swapping that 44 tooth middle ring for something more like a 36. I had that exact same set up when I bought my Miyata 210 (same line of touring bikes as your 1000). I changed my middle ring to a 36 and 50 outer ring to a 48. It made a huge difference in my comfort and joint health. I have crummy knees. Combine that with a way-too-big middle ring and a loaded bike, and you've got a perfect recipe for pain and injury. 44 is simply far too large for a middle ring on ANY crankset, let alone a touring crank! The 36 lets me spin, spin, spin to my heart's content. For commuting, with a (relatively) light bike, I hardly ever need to shift to my granny. The 36/34 combination will let me climb just about anything! The front derailer does choke on the 12-tooth gap between the middle and big ring if I try to shift it under load, but that's no problem, since I hardly ever make that shift anyhow. And yes, you can make speeds of over 20 MPH with a 36 tooth chainring and a 13 tooth high gear. Speed is really a non-issue with this kind of setup, in my opinion.

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