Advice please: Touring on Kona ***** Tonk - gearring....
I'm planning a tour round Northern Europe this summer (route not precise just yet, but hoping to hit north denmark, southwest sweden and possibly south norway), am currently riding Kona ***** Tonk 2009 (full spec at bottom of post, only difference is now using 700x25c conti gatorskins), but just wondering whether it'll get me round alright or whether i'll struggle with the lack of low gearing once loaded with gear.
The lowest gearing is 34-25, the furthest i've gone so far with a loaded rack is 15 miles across london, and with about max. climb of 30m twice, was fine then, but am worried that if i go for a longer time and distance and up a steeper hill, that i'll spend a lot of time pushing my bike around!
What do you think? And if people recommend highly that i go with a different gear ratio, is it easy to change the chainrings? Or is it not worth the trouble? i'm also going to swap in 700x28c schwalbe marathon tyres i think, and perhaps get a more comfy saddle, so is it actually just worth me looking for a different bike to do this trip?
Any advice would be great! (also any recommendations on riding in that part of europe also very welcome!!!)
Frame:Kona Cromoly Butted
Fork:Kona Retro Road
Front Derailleur:Shimano Tiagra
Rear Derailleur:Shimano 105
Shifters:Shimano Dura-Ace Downtube
Chainrings:34/50 tooth chainrings
Bottom Bracket:RPM 7420
Cassette:Shimano Deore (11-25 tooth range, 9 speed)
Front Brake:Tektro R538
Rear Brake:Tektro R538
Brake Levers:Tektro R200A
Grips:Kona Cork Tape
Rear Hub:Shimano Tiagra
Spokes:Sandvik Stainless 15g fr/14g rr
Front Tyre:Continental Ultrasport 700x28C
Rear Tyre:Continental Ultrasport 700x28C
Seat Binder:Kona Clamp
so, how was your trip? i have a ***** tonk now as well and am wondering how its touring qualities are.