Has opinion, will express
Join Date: Jun 2003
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
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Gee Craig, you didn't get much response on this thread, eh? Maybe everyone like me has sent you PMs and got a big black hole as a response for their trouble.
Anyway, it depends on what cogset (cassette) you are running. What is it? A 9sp? A 32-11? A 34-11? A 28-11? Or are you running an 8sp?
What sort of touring do you intend to do? More Gippsland where you get lots of those niggling hills that suddenly can find you out (like over Cape Liptrap?)? Or flatland stuff? Or constant climbing along the Great Dividing Range northward, starting with the Dandenongs and Yarra Ranges?
I've been running a 22-32-44 front chainring set on 175mm cranks and a 32-11 cassette in 9sp with 700C wheels for a while now, but that was for Tasmanian conditions. I've just come back from 8 days wandering about south Gippsland and Wilsons Prom, etc, and never got out of the middle chainring. I have a 26-36-48 chainset on 170mm cranks to go on the bike and the old chainset will be retired to my MTB because I am reasonably confident of my knees and ability to handle most hills with that combination.
As to reliability, you need to check that your front derailleur will handle it all OK (which it should). If it's Shimano for the crankset, you shouldn't have any particular problems with relability.
However, you also could achieve a lower front gear set by shopping around for rings that fit the FSA cranks you already have. Check Peter at Abbotsford Cycles or Jaison at St Kilda Cycles to see what they might be able to do for you. Or, research the chainreactioncycles.com site a bit more on chainring possibilities.