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Old 05-07-07, 05:33 AM   #1
staehpj1 
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Gearing Again

Sorry to bring this up again since it has probably been beaten to death in the past, but I couldn't find what I was looking for with a search. I need to get this resolved before our upcoming transamerica trip, so I need to order something right away.

Our two bikes with TruVativ Touro Cold Forged Road 30/42/52T and SRAM 9-speed 11-32T leaves us without a low enough gear and the high gear is higher than probably makes sense. I seem to remember a few posts on this exact setup recently but could not find them.

I would like to keep the cost down and as a result would consider just replacing the 30T chain ring with a 24T or so. I guess it makes more sense to go with something like 48/36/24, but really the 42 works great for 90% all riding until real climbing starts. Is it a really bad idea to just change the small ring? I know it would be a pretty big jump.

Assuming I change all three rings what rings would you buy. I really don't want to break the bank here.

With the prices of chain rings am I better off swapping cranks? I have one Sugino XD600 26,36,46 around that I could use but wonder if the 26 is low enough. I also like the looks of the "Shimano Deore LX FC-M572 Trekking Crankset with Chain Guard" with 48/36/26. Would either of these be suitable?

I am open to other suggestions as well.

FWIW: These are two Windsor Tourists. If the makes you feel compelled to start up the whole Bikes Direct argument, pretend I said Fuji Touring
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Old 05-07-07, 05:50 AM   #2
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I replaced the 30t on my Fuji touring with a $10 26 ring, and rode across the US with it. Whilts it worked I would not do it again as the jump is just too big and I was constantly having to adjust my front derailer so it would shift up. I also had to be very careful and slow when shifting down as it would want to jump off the inner chainring and wedge in the bottom bracket. The range is also bigger than the recommended range for the derailer, so it tends to catch on the bottom

I wouldd strongly recommend biting the bullet and changing the whole crank.

To answer your other question, I never needed lower than 26/32.
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Old 05-07-07, 10:45 AM   #3
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I agree, 26/32 ought to be plenty. I live in drumlin country, so all of my touring is straight up-and-down. As long as I remember to relax and not worry about how slow I am, I have no problem toodling up a hill in 28/32, even fully loaded. We do that on a tandem pulling our son in a trailer, as well. We're slow, but that's all.

Both of those cranks ought to be suitable for what you want to do. The 46/11 is plenty high enough for a tour, and you'll be surprised at how much time you spend in the 36 when you're riding day after day. You will probably also want to swap out your FD to fit the new max chainring.

The 52-24 jump, though, is a 28T difference. I don't know of any derailleur that can handle that much in a triple, and when you need the granny, shifting problems are the last thing you want.
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Old 05-07-07, 11:37 AM   #4
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I run 24-36-48 (front) and 12-34 (rear). The lowest gear has been more than adequate for all but the most extreme climbs.

Yet I have experienced several extreme climbs, including all-day ascents in the Alps. I have often wished for an even lower bail-out gear for long, steep hills. I have used my biggest gear maybe six times in three years, so no significant problems at the high end. I have had zero gear change problems with this set up.

This year I am switching the crank from 24-36-48 to 22-36-48 to get an even smaller bail-out gear. Cost: $22.
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Old 05-07-07, 01:06 PM   #5
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It seems as though one can never have a small enough gear to retreat into. At some point as long as one is slowing down, every imaginable gear is still too small. I can't spin my way up every hill, I have to go on the attack. I'm not saying this from the perspective of a strong cyclist.

So you need a really low gear for sure, you need a big range, and you need good spacing so as not to give up too much momentum. Unfortunately you can't have all three. Of the three, as a hill intimidated cyclist, the best ballance is low, tightly spaced and less top end. So I wouldn't be comfortable with most of these lumpy mega-range offerings. Low gear by itself doesn't stop the bleeding.

Last edited by NoReg; 05-07-07 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 05-07-07, 02:52 PM   #6
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When touring, though, you shouldn't be worried about speed; the main concern is conserving energy. If you've got a long enough steep ascent, you don't want to be spinning up at 120 rpm, and you don't want to attack it. The best is to continue pedaling at your efficiency-maximizing cadence, and just let your speed be whatever it is.
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Old 05-07-07, 03:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staehpj1
Sorry to bring this up again since it has probably been beaten to death in the past, but I couldn't find what I was looking for with a search. I need to get this resolved before our upcoming transamerica trip, so I need to order something right away.

Our two bikes with TruVativ Touro Cold Forged Road 30/42/52T and SRAM 9-speed 11-32T leaves us without a low enough gear and the high gear is higher than probably makes sense. I seem to remember a few posts on this exact setup recently but could not find them.

I would like to keep the cost down and as a result would consider just replacing the 30T chain ring with a 24T or so. I guess it makes more sense to go with something like 48/36/24, but really the 42 works great for 90% all riding until real climbing starts. Is it a really bad idea to just change the small ring? I know it would be a pretty big jump.

Assuming I change all three rings what rings would you buy. I really don't want to break the bank here.

With the prices of chain rings am I better off swapping cranks? I have one Sugino XD600 26,36,46 around that I could use but wonder if the 26 is low enough. I also like the looks of the "Shimano Deore LX FC-M572 Trekking Crankset with Chain Guard" with 48/36/26. Would either of these be suitable?

I am open to other suggestions as well.

FWIW: These are two Windsor Tourists. If the makes you feel compelled to start up the whole Bikes Direct argument, pretend I said Fuji Touring
You might run into problems with front derailleur clearance if you simply replace the 30t with a 26t. I think you have 2 relatively cheap options

1) Go with a 48/36/26 or 24, adjust your front derailleur and remove a couple of links from your chain

2) Take the 50 off, keep the 42 and replace the 30 with a 26, again you'll have to shorten the chain and adjust the Front derailleur. You'll end up with a wide double and keep the 42 you like
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Old 05-07-07, 04:05 PM   #8
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Thanks guys. I decided to use the Sugino XD600 26,36,46 I think that will be a pretty good setup. With the 11-32 the 46 should be plenty high for touring and probably for general use later. I put the one I had on my bike and will order another for my daughter's bike.
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