Well, I'm still in the process of tweaking my Jamis Aurora. I've already upgraded the mediocre shifters it came with to a nice set of bar ends, but as I ride around, I'm starting to slightly rethink my uses for the bike.
First of all, I'll be clear that I DO plan on touring. However, I can't see myself having time for more than weekend to four day tours in the near future--like the next year or so. I do quite a bit of weekend riding, and I also commute. The majority of my mile son the bike, it's turning out, are going to be non-touring, or light touring.
So my question is whether two rings are adequate for purposes (I'm leaning towards yes, but I'd like all of your opinions)?
And then, if I do take off the granny, what kind of gearing should I use? Are the 42 and 52 left over just going to be too intense even for light touring?
I'm thinking about taking it off for the same reason I'm thinking about taking off that silly extra set of brake levers on the flat part of the bars--of course those also get in the way of my handlebar bag, so that's a "good reason."
OK, so I knew this was a slightly stupid question to begin with, but hey, no harm in throwing it out there, right?
Rivendell Quickbeam, Rivendell Rambouillet, Rivendell Atlantis, Circle A town bike, De Rosa Neo Primato, Cervelo RS
Originally Posted by derath
Plenty of useful places to tinker. That just isn't one of them.
I tend to agree with this as if you take off the 30t ring you'll have to fiddle with the FD to reduce its range so you don't over shift, not difficult but just another thing to do. Also by removing the granny you'll probably start using the 42t ring on the largest cassette cogs so your chainline will be poor, so I'd leave the gearing alone unless you want to do some more radical changes. Personally I feel that the 52/42/30 combo is all wrong, its way to high for touring or anyone who rides recreationally. If you want to make your gearing more useful go to 48/36/26 or even 24, that would be a good change. I approach things a bit differently and use a 42/26 combo with an 11/34 cassette. I sacrifice a bit of chainline, but same as the OP I like to tinker.
When I ride for 4 days I carry the same gear I do when riding for weeks. The differene would be only apparent if I was going to carry more gear between re-stocking, or had some kind of weird circumstance that required way more odd changes of clothing. So with my load in place I find I mostly use the lower two chain rings for riding, say 95% of the time. When the bike is unloaded I rarely use the granny and use the higher two chain rings. So to me your dilemna sounds like exactly what I would expect if I was riding my touring bike unloaded. On top of which your gearing sounds already a little high. You will some day curse yourself if you remove the granny gear
Now that you're front shifting is friction, you might wish to *limit out* your small ring using the inner limit screw on your FD. This allows you to commute and shift between the 2 outer rings and not worry about dropping to the small ring. Of course you can turn out the limit screw anytime you need to use lower gearing (like climbing a mountian pass)
Surly LHT, Surly Big Dummy, Surly 1x1, Surly Pugsley, Bike Friday Tikit x 3, Bike Friday NWT, Bow Cycle 24, Santa Cruz Nomad
I travel light when touring and didn't use my 28T granny last tour at all even in the mtns. The 38T x 34T was low enough, but there isn't much point in getting rid of the granny. You might need it some day and it doesn't cost you anything as far as performance goes.
I currently use my Soma Double Cross for touring and I've never needed lower than 38T x 34T to get up an 8 or 10% grade with 40 lbs. or gear. I have cyclocross to justify going without the granny though. Doubles are less likely to drop chains when you're jumping barriers. I'm also a backpacker and have quite the assortment of lightweight gear. 40 lbs. is enough for 2 nights between stops for restocking and washing both myself and my clothes.
However, I'm currently looking for a used 49cm Fuji Touring for self supported tours lasting longer than a few days or when I have companion who needs me to carry more. It will first be repainted in a color scheme I can stand (Bronze and White? Hell No!) and then equipped with a 26/38/48 triple crankset.