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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Gear range for 1st hilly weekend tour

    I am trying a 110 mile weekend tour in early June. The terrain will be hillier than I am used to. I am wondering if my 12 speed Fuji (c.1980) will have a good range for it.
    I have 42t and 50t up front, and 14-30 in back.
    I currently have the bike set up as a single speed with 42t & 16t. I like the gearing for my mostly flat commute and easy hills.

    If I just add the rear cassette back in, could I enjoy the tour with just the six gears in back? It would be a simpler conversion. I doubt I'd be pedalling hard downhill too much.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Use Sheldon Brown's gear calculator. Depends a lot on how much weight you're carrying, how strong you are, and how fast you're planning to power up these hills. To me, 42x30 sounds far too high for carrying *any* load up *any* hill, but maybe you're in great condition. My lowest gear is 30x34 (yes, bigger at the rear than the front), and I'm considering going even lower for hilly touring. If you haven't toured before, you're in for a surprise - the extra weight makes even mild hills a lot harder.

    42x14 highest gear would be about middle range for me. IMHO that would be tedious for 110 miles.

    Steve

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Thanks for the reply!
    It's a supported ride, so maybe not really considered a tour. I'll just be carrying my 150 lb. self. It sounds like it might be okay for hills, but not so great for going fast, or going downhill fast. Is that accurate? I'm in decent shape from bike commuting, but the average day for me is less than 20 miles.

  4. #4
    ...into the blue...
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    Quote Originally Posted by nshack View Post
    Thanks for the reply!
    It's a supported ride, so maybe not really considered a tour. I'll just be carrying my 150 lb. self. It sounds like it might be okay for hills, but not so great for going fast, or going downhill fast. Is that accurate? I'm in decent shape from bike commuting, but the average day for me is less than 20 miles.
    It's still a tour.

    My low is 26x34, high 48x11. I'm a big guy, however, and wouldn't mind going even lower.

  5. #5
    Macro Geek
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    I have never heard anyone complain about too low gearing on a hilly tour. Each time I replace my gears, I end up with lower gears than I had before. My bail-out gear is now 22 (front) and 34 (rear). I use it frequently. Next time I hope to have a 20 in front!

  6. #6
    bicycle tourer Johnrs2117's Avatar
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    Check out this link for touring bike gearing.

    http://www.bicycle-touring-guide.com...e-gearing.html

  7. #7
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    If it's a fully supported tour, just go with what you would ride normally. Especially at your weight, I would think you would be fine with something like a 42x25. Maybe just get a 11-25 cassette. Won't have the highest gears, but you should be fine for just about anything and coast the larger downhills.

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