Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Bikes: 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 1972 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed of unknown age. Also a 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer for indoor exercise.
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Road versus mountain gearing - that is an ongoing debate.
The crankset is where there may be a bit of controversy. I think most will suggest a mountain crankset with a minority recommending a road triple. (I personally prefer a road triple with a tiny granny gear, I use a 52/42/24.) I think you will find almost nobody suggests a road double. A lot of hybrids use gearing that is in between road and mountain, that is another option.
But I think almost everyone will agree that a mountain cassette of 11-32 or 11-34 is desired to give you wide range capability and the gearing necessary for steep hills.
This assumes you will tour where there are hills, but if all of your touring is in flat and level country, a different cassette could be used.