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  1. #1
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    (45-42-24) X (12,14,16,18,21,24,28,32,36) = :o)

    45-42-24 X 12,14,16,18,21,24,28,32,36

    In another gearing thread a few weeks ago (Touring with a double) I suggested I wanted to try an old school ďHalf step with GrannyĒ and do it with a modern 9 speed cassette and STI shifters. With some help from the folks over on the Bicycle Mechanics Forum I went ahead and bought a 45t Rocket (Chop Saw like) chainring off Amazon for $14. No ramps no pins 3/32 width. Some of the possible problems were lack of pins and ramps, tooth depth too deep as itís a single speed ring and FD designed for a 10 to 12 tooth lift and I only needed a 3 tooth jump. Happy to report none of these became an issue. I was able to drop my FD about 3/8 of an inch keeping the inner shift plate as close to the 42t ring as I could without rubbing when it shoves the chain over onto the 45t ring. There is still a gap between the outer shift plate and the new big ring, but the shift is as smooth as butter in both directions. Lowering the FD put it in a better place even with the granny ring and eliminated all the trims on all the rings with the GI listed below that are the only ones I ever use. I may still shorten the chain (donít know) it does go slack on the smallest cogs but I donít know if thatís a problem as the RD is nicely angled to use all the cassette with both larger rings even though I donít see cross chaining off the 45t.

    Doing the half step shift is really simple and in riding it I donít try and run up and down the half step pattern like the old 10 speed days, but use it as a simple one shift in the front or a double shift front and back to get an in-between gear. The double shift is simple to think about as its ether both silver levers or both black levers. The front shift feels every bit as smooth as a rear shift. The shift up from the 24t granny to the 42t was always a tough shift but lowering the FD seemed to make that smoother also.

    The unexpected result of this is benefit of the straighter chain line on the 3 smallest cogs. I didnít think too much about that ahead of time. But it was the first thing I noticed as I never had much use for those cogs off the old 52t. That straight chain line feels very smooth compared to getting close to the same GI coming off the center ring. It could be just a new smooth ring with little wear but others tell me itís the straighter line.

    I think this is a keeper for me and I donít see myself going back or dropping the outer ring altogether. I might try and fit something like a 48t chain protector to the chop saw ring, for looks and keeping my pant leg clean. Not sure yet.

    Well just wanted to post what I ended with and photos below in case anyone wants to try something similar.

    My Granny without cross chain will give me this GI range. (6 gears)
    17.7
    20.0
    22.8
    26.6
    30.4
    35.5

    And my main rings with half step will give me these without cross chaining. (15 gears)The ones shown with the minus sign are the new half steps off the 45t.
    31.4
    35.3
    40.4
    47.1
    - 50.5
    53.9
    - 57.7
    62.8
    - 67.3
    70.7
    - 75.7
    80.8
    - 86.6
    94.3
    - 101.0





    .
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  2. #2
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    I believe that half-step stuff comes from my youth when bikes had 4 or 5 spd freewheels and you wanted to maximize the spread and get as many useful gears out of the limited range that you could. I donít find this kind of nonsense necessary with 2 or 3 front and 8, 9 or 10 rear. I like your 12-36 cluster and use it myself, but I use 20-32-42 chainrings and now that I am using the 36 rear, I could probably easily get by with a 22 granny. But I am now an old geezer and need low gears for the times when I am tired at the end of a long day and am climbing a nice long steep climb.

  3. #3
    I don't know. RB1-luvr's Avatar
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    good stuff.

    How do you like your Windsor? I have one too.
    Rast ich so rost ich. (When I rest, I rust)

  4. #4
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
    45-42-24 X 12,14,16,18,21,24,28,32,36



    Doing the half step shift is really simple and in riding it I don’t try and run up and down the half step pattern like the old 10 speed days, but use it as a simple one shift in the front or a double shift front and back to get an in-between gear. The double shift is simple to think about as its ether both silver levers or both black levers. The front shift feels every bit as smooth as a rear shift. The shift up from the 24t granny to the 42t was always a tough shift but lowering the FD seemed to make that smoother also.

    .
    Nice set up. I'd be a bit concerned with the 42 to 24 gap, it's not a capacity issue for a triple derailleur, but watch out for dropping the chain. This sort of arrangement needs you to fiddle with the derailleur height, but once that's done they are great and it's nice to be different from the crowd and know that you are riding something of your own design. Did you consider a 45t TA ring, that would be nice......but they are hellishly expensive.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClemY View Post
    I believe that half-step stuff comes from my youth when bikes had 4 or 5 spd freewheels and you wanted to maximize the spread and get as many useful gears out of the limited range that you could. I don’t find this kind of nonsense necessary with 2 or 3 front and 8, 9 or 10 rear. I like your 12-36 cluster and use it myself, but I use 20-32-42 chainrings and now that I am using the 36 rear, I could probably easily get by with a 22 granny. But I am now an old geezer and need low gears for the times when I am tired at the end of a long day and am climbing a nice long steep climb.

    ClemY

    Let me try and explain my thought process with this and I also consider myself well into the “old geezer” category. I tried a mountain crank just like you suggested 22,32,42 early on with both my 11-32 and my 12-36 cassettes. What I found early on was with 9 cogs in the back that covered a wide range such as these mtn cassettes do, with the correct center ring based on my strength and cadence, I could mainly stay on my center ring. Cascading up and down the cassette I had range for every type riding I do on the bike both loaded and unloaded. The bike came with a 42 center ring that was just a little high until I tried the 12-36. At that point with a 42t crank I had GI between 31 to 94. With the 32t center ring I got GI 24 to 71. Maybe if I was more of a spinner a lower center would be my sweet spot but after a lot of thought about where I wanted my cadence and speeds to be I found 42t to give me the widest possible usable span without doing a front shift. So your point and mine are the same you don’t need half step in today’s age. I could throw away my big ring and never look back, with a 1 x 9 with a granny.

    When I had the mtn crank on I couldn’t say that because my starting point (average gear) wasn’t in the center of my center ring. It was split between my two rings. And many times forcing cross chaining. The shifting seems complicated because people remember half stepping as the way they had to shift in the old days and with doing double shifts with downtube shifters. For me the mountain crank was much more complicated shifting because when I would be riding near the transition point I had to think ok shift up to the big ring FD then drop down 3 or 4 on the RD.

    I wanted this so I didn’t have to shift the front. And the only reason to do a front shift is to give me one higher gear, give me a straight chain line on the high gears like the mtn crank also does. But a much straighter line on the common gears in the center. And because it’s a wide spaced cassette the ability to have the in between gears when I want them with a simple shift pattern easy to remember.

    I don’t want anyone to think I’m suggesting this for them. I just wanted to put the idea out there and why I like it.
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  6. #6
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
    ClemY

    Let me try and explain my thought process with this and I also consider myself well into the ďold geezerĒ category. I tried a mountain crank just like you suggested 22,32,42 early on with both my 11-32 and my 12-36 cassettes. What I found early on was with 9 cogs in the back that covered a wide range such as these mtn cassettes do, with the correct center ring based on my strength and cadence, I could mainly stay on my center ring. Cascading up and down the cassette I had range for every type riding I do on the bike both loaded and unloaded. The bike came with a 42 center ring that was just a little high until I tried the 12-36. At that point with a 42t crank I had GI between 31 to 94. With the 32t center ring I got GI 24 to 71. Maybe if I was more of a spinner a lower center would be my sweet spot but after a lot of thought about where I wanted my cadence and speeds to be I found 42t to give me the widest possible usable span without doing a front shift. So your point and mine are the same you donít need half step in todayís age. I could throw away my big ring and never look back, with a 1 x 9 with a granny.
    I've found 42t combined with an 11/34 cassette to be an excellent "do it almost all" set up. I have a 26t bail out granny, but that 42t chainring is great for touring with a wide range MTB cassette.

    http://wheelsofchance.org/2009/08/28...-the-question/

  7. #7
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    RB!-Luvr
    I got it off CL as the frame was correct size I wanted, little on the French fit side. I was building up an old KHS mid 80’s mountain bike into a touring bike at the time and around here a used touring bike is rare. I loved some of what the Windsor offered and hated that road triple. It took a while to get the fit right and a bit longer to fine tune the gearing. If I bought it as an around town bike I think I would have changed little. I have suggested them to bigger guys looking for road bike feel but a little more relaxed. Adding the fenders and racks with the wider tires and 36 spoke wheels it’s a pretty bullet proof commuting / touring bike up here in the rust belt. Rough roads and pot holes.
    If there was one complaint I have about the Windsor was the spokes / wheel build of an mail order bike. I went thru a year of spoke popping before I had them rebuilt with DT spokes hand built. I don’t think the spokes that came with it were the problem and I recommend people have the wheels checked first thing.

    Nun
    Thanks for posting. I know you like a 42t ring as well, and there is really a difference in feel on the smallest cogs from the outside position.
    I did look at the more expensive 45t rings and with not knowing if I would like this I went the cheap way first. I was quite impressed with the ring I did buy for the price and comparing the tooth form I can’t see any difference. Tiny bit more weight maybe. And like I said 3 teeth jump is really smooth without pins.
    The 24 to 42 jump has always been big and I do run a chain catcher and it’s never missed so they work and are highly recommended. Climbing up onto the 42 is always a soft shift for me. I have found the 42, 45 shift works ok under power both ways. But I think my brain automatically has me back off a tad.
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    http://wheelsofchance.org/2009/08/28...-the-question/

    What he said.

    Nun thanks for the link.
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  9. #9
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    I have been using one and a half step gearing for about 8 years on my LHT. When I built up another touring bike 2 years ago, I decided that I liked it so much that I used the same exact gearing on that bike too. I use a 52/42/24 front with 11/12/14/16/18/21/26/32 eight speed rear.

    IMG_4890.jpg

    I do not use the 2 most cross chained gears with each chainring, thus I only use 18 of the possible 24 gears. This gives me this kind of gearing shown in the chart, lowest gear plotted on the left and highest gear plotted on the right. The Y axis is gear inches with a tire that has a diameter of a 26X1.5 Schwalbe Marathon tire, the color coding is for which chainring is used for that gear and the key to color coding is on the right of the graph.

    gearing.JPG

    I used half step on one bike the I rode from the late 1970s until about 12 years ago. It took a while to get used to one and a half step after using half step for all of those years, but I eventually got used to it. I tried substituting a 46t chainring for the 52 to get half step gearing, but I bought an uncompilable ring and gave up on that experiment, the problem was thickness of the ring and not the toothcount.

    Bottom line - I concur that it is GREAT to have a wide selection of gears in the range where you want them. Unladen, I am in the range of 60 to 90 gear inches over 90 percent of the time. With a camping gear load, I spend 90 percent of my time in the 50 to 80 gear inch range. So this setup results in almost half of my gears being evenly spaced throughout those ranges where I spend almost all of my time. Thus, if there is a slight change of grade or change in windage, it is very easy for me to compensate for that minor change by making a slight gear shift. The 24t gives me the bail out gears that I need for the steeper hills. And, I occasionally use the highest two gears when I have a long shallow downhill which is not that uncommon on some of the rail to trail routes.

    Quote Originally Posted by ClemY View Post
    ... ... I don’t find this kind of nonsense necessary with 2 or 3 front and 8, 9 or 10 rear. ... ...
    Please be nice. Nobody is telling you that you have to buy it.

    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    Nice set up. I'd be a bit concerned with the 42 to 24 gap, it's not a capacity issue for a triple derailleur, but watch out for dropping the chain. This sort of arrangement needs you to fiddle with the derailleur height, but once that's done they are great and ... ...
    I use a chain catcher to help keep from dropping the chain when I shift from teh 42t to the 24t. I agree that the shift from the 24t up to the 42t is not a smooth shift, but I am only on the 24t chainring for the worst hills. Thus, I do not make this upshift very often. I almost always can make this shift over a distance of less than 30 feet. A friction front shifter is needed for this.

  10. #10
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    That's a cool setup. I like it. Our tandem has a 12-34 in back and 52-39-26 in front. I run mostly from the 52. I hardly ever use the 39. Our 39 sees use mostly as a transition ring between the 52 and the 26. The only thing I don't like about our gearing is the 10 beat cadence difference when shifting in the back. PITA. You've solved that and good on you.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
    I have been using one and a half step gearing for about 8 years on my LHT. When I built up another touring bike 2 years ago, I decided that I liked it so much that I used the same exact gearing on that bike too. I use a 52/42/24 front with 11/12/14/16/18/21/26/32 eight speed rear.

    IMG_4890.jpg

    I do not use the 2 most cross chained gears with each chainring, thus I only use 18 of the possible 24 gears. This gives me this kind of gearing shown in the chart, lowest gear plotted on the left and highest gear plotted on the right. The Y axis is gear inches with a tire that has a diameter of a 26X1.5 Schwalbe Marathon tire, the color coding is for which chainring is used for that gear and the key to color coding is on the right of the graph.

    gearing.JPG

    I used half step on one bike the I rode from the late 1970s until about 12 years ago. It took a while to get used to one and a half step after using half step for all of those years, but I eventually got used to it. I tried substituting a 46t chainring for the 52 to get half step gearing, but I bought an uncompilable ring and gave up on that experiment, the problem was thickness of the ring and not the toothcount.

    Bottom line - I concur that it is GREAT to have a wide selection of gears in the range where you want them. Unladen, I am in the range of 60 to 90 gear inches over 90 percent of the time. With a camping gear load, I spend 90 percent of my time in the 50 to 80 gear inch range. So this setup results in almost half of my gears being evenly spaced throughout those ranges where I spend almost all of my time. Thus, if there is a slight change of grade or change in windage, it is very easy for me to compensate for that minor change by making a slight gear shift. The 24t gives me the bail out gears that I need for the steeper hills. And, I occasionally use the highest two gears when I have a long shallow downhill which is not that uncommon on some of the rail to trail routes.



    Please be nice. Nobody is telling you that you have to buy it.



    I use a chain catcher to help keep from dropping the chain when I shift from teh 42t to the 24t. I agree that the shift from the 24t up to the 42t is not a smooth shift, but I am only on the 24t chainring for the worst hills. Thus, I do not make this upshift very often. I almost always can make this shift over a distance of less than 30 feet. A friction front shifter is needed for this.
    I was only speaking for myself. You can do what ever feels right to you.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
    I have been using one and a half step gearing for about 8 years on my LHT. When I built up another touring bike 2 years ago, I decided that I liked it so much that I used the same exact gearing on that bike too. I use a 52/42/24 front with 11/12/14/16/18/21/26/32 eight speed rear.



    I do not use the 2 most cross chained gears with each chainring, thus I only use 18 of the possible 24 gears. This gives me this kind of gearing shown in the chart, lowest gear plotted on the left and highest gear plotted on the right. The Y axis is gear inches with a tire that has a diameter of a 26X1.5 Schwalbe Marathon tire, the color coding is for which chainring is used for that gear and the key to color coding is on the right of the graph.



    I used half step on one bike the I rode from the late 1970s until about 12 years ago. It took a while to get used to one and a half step after using half step for all of those years, but I eventually got used to it. I tried substituting a 46t chainring for the 52 to get half step gearing, but I bought an uncompilable ring and gave up on that experiment, the problem was thickness of the ring and not the toothcount.

    Bottom line - I concur that it is GREAT to have a wide selection of gears in the range where you want them. Unladen, I am in the range of 60 to 90 gear inches over 90 percent of the time. With a camping gear load, I spend 90 percent of my time in the 50 to 80 gear inch range. So this setup results in almost half of my gears being evenly spaced throughout those ranges where I spend almost all of my time. Thus, if there is a slight change of grade or change in windage, it is very easy for me to compensate for that minor change by making a slight gear shift. The 24t gives me the bail out gears that I need for the steeper hills. And, I occasionally use the highest two gears when I have a long shallow downhill which is not that uncommon on some of the rail to trail routes.



    Please be nice. Nobody is telling you that you have to buy it.



    I use a chain catcher to help keep from dropping the chain when I shift from teh 42t to the 24t. I agree that the shift from the 24t up to the 42t is not a smooth shift, but I am only on the 24t chainring for the worst hills. Thus, I do not make this upshift very often. I almost always can make this shift over a distance of less than 30 feet. A friction front shifter is needed for this.


    Tourist in MSN

    You are just about exactly where I was other than tire size. And I was quite happy with the one and a half step as well. I started with a 30t as granny and wanted to go to 24t but the reviews were sketchy with anything less than 26t so I did that and it left me just a little shy of the lowest gear I wished for after trying the mountain crank with a 22t granny on my 11-32 cassette. That’s when I found the 12-36 and thought that 36 will make up for the 26t. I was at the bike shop one night and saw a bunch of rings hanging on a hook and asked to look thru them and there was my 24t marked with a 30 year old price tag. I told the guy want to sell this or hang it 30 more years. I was pretty sure after using the 26 with index I could make it work. I’m really glad it did now because the index works so well on the half step pair.
    When I had the mountain crank on I experimented a lot with the super low granny gears it gave me and my cadence on some really steep hills around here. I forget now but at one point I was at 15.5 GI or something like that and I could climb the north face of El Capitan, but I was spinning my brains out just keeping from tipping over. I figured out for me my get off and push GI was 18. The beauty of the wide cassette is I get 6 granny gears to pick from going as hi as 36 GI. And now that I can shorten my chain I can get one more taking me to 40 GI. That might be the reason I will shorten it in fact. With the 24 being a bit of a shift it’s nice on a rolling climb to have a range of granny gears to pick from. One of the reasons a mega range cassette never appealed to me.

    When I went to the 26t I added the chain minder (plastic tooth type) I never knew if it was doing much but after a time I took a close look and there is wear and tear on the catcher so those would have been thrown chains I’m sure. With it I have never had one.

    Like you I had that super high 120 or something GI and I also would use it on long downhill’s keeping moving. The 101 GI I have now will be more than enough I feel. And if my legs get cold I can soft pedal and coast as it will take me up to about 30 MPH on a grade at 100 RPM before I run out.

    Sounds like you could be tempted to go back to half step. ;o)
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  13. #13
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    Awesome. Glad to see some folks still remember the half step dance with granny. I still have a Motobecane tandem stored away with that gear design built up from the TA Cyclotourist cranks it came over with. I had another one that I experimented with (circa 1974-75) to make it with 4 chain rings on the front (something like 22-40-50-56) and 5 cogs on the rear (a mod'd 14-34 freewheel). I did the build work in prep for a trip across the plains and then up the Rockies and I got it working well enough, but the trip never happened due to life problems elsewhere. I do remember trying a run of a big spring from the RD arm up to the underside of the bottom bracket and lengthening the RD arm about an inch, all to help wind up all the old heavy chain. I eventually concluding that all the fuss wasn't really worth it and went back to the earlier 3x5 setup before someone stole that bike. I think the extra, extra long French bottom bracket is still in one of my boxes somewhere.

  14. #14
    Member Teamdarb's Avatar
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    This is a good read. As I had started on a 420 with a half step and rarely found use of the granny, too. I do not spin when riding and like a good gear transition. This has me rethinking my current 520 with its 48 36 22 and 12-36 to swap that 36 to a 42. I wonder what that will do?

  15. #15
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teamdarb View Post
    This is a good read. As I had started on a 420 with a half step and rarely found use of the granny, too. I do not spin when riding and like a good gear transition. This has me rethinking my current 520 with its 48 36 22 and 12-36 to swap that 36 to a 42. I wonder what that will do?

    22, 42, 48 wouldn’t be a good half step plus granny. That would be more of a “one step” meaning each time you dropped down one and one you would be in nearly the exact same gear you were in.
    If you feel 42t would be a more correct center ring for you then the outer at 45t as I did would give you the half’s and not lower your top gear a great amount.

    As a side note I was riding some over the weekend and a couple times I flipped the front up 42 to 45 and started to hit the brifter again as I didn’t hear it shift, only to look down and see it shifted fine. I never thought I would be saying a front shift was so smooth and quite that I would have to look. I don’t think that will be a problem that will be hard to get used to.
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

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