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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Giant touring gearing

    I have the Giant 2003 touring bike and would like to know what the best way to lower the gearing would be. I have been out riding without lots of gear and on steep climbs it gets pretty tough. Would it be better to change the some front rings, back rings, cranks ect? Also would any of this effect the shifting? Would I have to replace derailleurs possibly? The drivetrain is Shimano 105. Any comments would be great.

  2. #2
    opinionated SOB cycletourist's Avatar
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    My suggestion is to replace the chainrings with 48/38/26. You can get them from Rivendell Bicycles, Peter White and a few other places. Don't order chainrings from your local bike shop - it will cost a fortune. You can keep the same front derailleur- just move it down a few millimeters.

    Also look at your cogset. If it has something stupid like 11-23, you can replace it with 11-32 (this might require a new rear derailleur).

    Those two alterations will help immensely.
    Last edited by cycletourist; 03-19-03 at 06:35 PM.

  3. #3
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    iannn

    How do you like the bike so far? I am waiting for my LBS to get mine in. The guy that handles Giant sales in Florida said there hasnt been one sold here yet. I COULD CHANGE THAT IF HE WOULD GET MINE TO THE DEALER!!!!!!!

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    I like the bike a lot. I am planning a road trip from Oregon to Mexico City sometime in the next year or so and wanted something that could be toured and also just road around on smaller trips. I am 6 foot 3 inches tall so I went with the X-large. They did not have one in stock so the bike store took a little gamble getting the bigger one and seeing if I liked it. It fit great and I find it very comfortable on 3 and 4 hour rides. I love the shimano integrated shifter/brake setup. I have been a mountain biker so road stuff has not been on the radar long. The jury is still out on the seat. I put Time Atac pedals on to match my mountain bike so I have no idea about the SPD's (I gave them to a friend). The fatter Mavic rims are great. I'm pretty rough on rims so I hope they hold up. I even did some mild off roading on them to avoid a fallen tree over the bike path. The one thing I do not like is the gearing. Its fine for most regular riding but when weighted down and climbing something steep it would be trouble. I just talked to the bike shop and he called Shimano and they said to put on a 34 tooth XT or LX mountain cassette and and XT/LX rear derailleur. I think it comes with a 25 in the rear and changing to a 34 would make a lot of difference. However I guess you have to keep good track of the gearing so not to be in the outer front ring and inner rear rings. I still havent decided what to do. Good luck. The bike should be great for many miles.

  5. #5
    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    Watch that the 34 tooth rear involves a huge jump to bottom. Much better to lower front gears and swap to a 11-30 which gives a much more even spread, as cycletourist says.
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

    1985 Custom built 531c Audax/fast tourer.
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    (YES I LIKE STEEL)
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  6. #6
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    A modern bike for loaded touring should really have an MTB style of chainset, one which can take smaller rings. I switched from a Campy road triple to a Shimano LX, and its so much easier to tackle steep hills, mountain trails etc.
    Switching chainsets is best done at the time of purchase.

  7. #7
    opinionated SOB cycletourist's Avatar
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    As Michael says, installing an MTB crankset is the quickest way to get really low gears. But if you do that, pay close attention to q-factor- MTB cranks place your feet farther apart and can really stress your knees when road riding (at least, that's what happens to me). Sometimes you can solve this with a shorter bottom bracket spindle.

    I would suggest keeping your road crankset for it's low q-factor and swapping rings and cassette as mentioned before. And like Chewa said, avoid the Shimano 11-34 cassette, it has a big jump to that last cog. A mountain bike cassette with 11-30 or 11-32 will work better.

  8. #8
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    4 thoughts

    1. If your current large chainring is a 52, then you may want a cassette starting at 14 (approx. 100 gi). This may give you more options at the low end of the cassette.

    2. Asuuming you have 700C wheels and 30 t small chainring, a 30 rear gives 27 gi and a 34 gives 24 gi. Harris sells a Shimano 9 spd 14-34 with 30 and 34 for the last 2 cogs.

    However you may need the long cag RD to accomodate the bigger cogs.

    3. Using a Deore type RD, may affect the shifting of your STI. Check with your LBS.

    4. Try putting more weight on the front than the rear. The French suggest putting the maximum weight in the front to lessen the effect going up hill. The rear should be used for bulky, low weight items (jackets, etc.) according to the French.

    John Hawrylak
    Woodtown NJ
    John Hawrylak
    Woodstown NJ
    hawrylak@delanet.com

  9. #9
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jhawrylak

    3. Using a Deore type RD, may affect the shifting of your STI. Check with your LBS.
    Works fine. I use an XTR RD with Ultegra 9-speed levers on one bike, and an LX RD with Sora 8-speed levers on another. This is a common type of configuration, and indeed a number of manufacturers of touring bikes set them up just this way. A 12-34 cassette can cure a lot of ills.

    RichC

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    I have ordered an XT 11-32 cassette and an XT rear derailleur. Now I am looking into getting the TA 48 38 24 chainrings. I found them on a cite xxcyle.com for a fairly good price however I do not know how to find the right rings for the 105 cranks. I know I need the Alize 130mm for the first two and then a 74mm for the small but they have these numbers after the rings that you choose that go 1, 2, and 3 followed by little thing that looks like a degree sign. What do they mean. They have the same chainrings but with the different numbers and degree thing after? I wrote them a couple of times but have not had much luck yet. Please help.

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