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Old 01-09-13, 12:24 PM   #1
Clipped_in
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Chainring Sizing?

I'm a 49 year old avid roadie toying with the idea of building up a touring bike to do some light-medium road touring. I am 6'-3" and weigh 190#, live in Utah (mountains), ride ~7k miles per year and would be considered a fairly strong recreational rider. I want to go with 10x2 drivetrain gearing with an 12x36 cassette, and I anticipate mostly weekend tours with an occasional 7-14 day biggie trip. I'll primarily be riding on pavement, but with potential for some gravel road / light offroad (ya never know if you decide to wander and explore).

What size chainrings would you suggest?
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Old 01-09-13, 04:27 PM   #2
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Clipped_in, I suppose a 50-34 compact and see how it goes from there.

Brad
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Old 01-09-13, 05:48 PM   #3
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Clipped_in, I suppose a 50-34 compact and see how it goes from there.

Brad
50/34 will get you plenty of range and low gears. I'd probably replace the 50 with a 46 so that you're better setup for cruising in the big ring. You don't really need super big gears. I'm currently touring on 46/34 with a 12/25 cassette and it works fine for a light load. I may go to a new derailleur and a 12/36 sometime, but don't feel the need yet.
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Old 01-09-13, 06:18 PM   #4
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50/34 will get you plenty of range and low gears. I'd probably replace the 50 with a 46 so that you're better setup for cruising in the big ring. You don't really need super big gears. I'm currently touring on 46/34 with a 12/25 cassette and it works fine for a light load. I may go to a new derailleur and a 12/36 sometime, but don't feel the need yet.
Did your crankset come with the 46? I thought there was a trekking double, but was unable to find it. I thought the Truvativ X9 w/28-42 chainrings could be a good choice, but perhaps not quite geared for a strong rider.

Brad
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Old 01-09-13, 06:37 PM   #5
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Did your crankset come with the 46? I thought there was a trekking double, but was unable to find it. I thought the Truvativ X9 w/28-42 chainrings could be a good choice, but perhaps not quite geared for a strong rider.

Brad
It came with a 50/34 and an 12/25. I replaced the 50 with a 46 to better suit the big ring gearing to all day riding. But the OPs use of the 12/36 will give him plenty of range
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Old 01-09-13, 07:07 PM   #6
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There are different physical demands on the body when riding a road bike vs. a touring bike. In general, a touring bike is heavier, and is optimized for all-day comfort rather than speed and acceleration.

A bike tourist typically carries a load. You might get by with 2 or 3 kg (five pounds) if you are heading out for a few hours, but if you are planning a multi-day trip, you could be hauling 10 kg (18 lbs) for a credit-card tour, and significantly more for a self-supporting tour.

If you are used to riding, say, a 9 kg (20 lb) racing bicycle, touring is a little like trading a sports car for an 18 kg (40 lb) station wagon... or suddenly exchanging one's 190 pound body for another that weighs 210 or 220.

You will likely notice huge differences between road racing and touring when you are doing hours of climbing in the mountains. Many tourists opt for extremely low gearing, much lower than you are proposing, for ascending hills. Low gears are also handy when riding against headwinds, or to make it easier to ride at the end of a long day.

Your (enviable!) fitness level might mean that you will be fine with your proposed gearing. But know that when bicycle tourists grumble, a frequent complaints is that their gearing is biased to much toward the high end.
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Old 01-09-13, 08:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Clipped_in View Post
I'm a 49 year old avid roadie toying with the idea of building up a touring bike to do some light-medium road touring. I am 6'-3" and weigh 190#, live in Utah (mountains), ride ~7k miles per year and would be considered a fairly strong recreational rider. I want to go with 10x2 drivetrain gearing with an 12x36 cassette, and I anticipate mostly weekend tours with an occasional 7-14 day biggie trip. I'll primarily be riding on pavement, but with potential for some gravel road / light offroad (ya never know if you decide to wander and explore).

What size chainrings would you suggest?
If you're going off-road or gravel road, then you will need to make an emphasis on lower gears because unlike riding on smooth pavement, gravel and rough roads provide more resistance. You will go slower for the same effort.

For a 2x10 drive train and if you are staying with Shimano, I would highly recommend using a Sugino triple crankset and make it a double crankset. 110/74 BCD is more versatile than a pure 110BCD compact crankset and the lowest 34T on a 50/34T compact crank on a 36 gives you a low 25". Low enough for light road touring, but not low enough on off-road touring especially dealing with loose gravel road until you hit an incline where you WISH you need lower gear. That's where a 110/74BCD Sugino crank comes in. You can mount a 26 or 24T and with a 36 on the rear, your lowest gear will be around 19 or 18" respectively. Low enough to climb a wall. For the middle chain ring, you can get by with a 42T or a 40T and to shift with that, you will need a Tiagra double front derailleur as this baby can shift with a wide throw more than 10 tooth difference no problem. By the way, I do have this setup currently on my touring bike with superb shifting and low gears to climb any steep hills we have here in the Rockies no problem.

As someone had said earlier. Road bike riding and loaded touring with off-roading intentions are 2 different things. Which is why I have a carbon road bike for hotel/motel/B&B road touring with a 30" low gear which is considerably higher than my all purpose touring bike. But I go heck a lot faster on it because it's heck a lot lighter and have bigger gears.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-09-13, 10:08 PM   #8
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46:12 ought to be high enough 16t drop shifts well enough.. its the lower 3rd of a triple.. thats a 30t.

.. just can't go between them in the middle of a hill ..

White industries VBC, Made by them, can supply that set, or the ones Velo Orange Imports..

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Old 01-10-13, 05:32 AM   #9
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I’m running the 12-36 with a 45,42,24 triple if I had to do a double I would as posted above stick with the triple crank and drop the 45t ring. I personally like the lineup of the center ring (chain line)on the triple keeping the main ring in the center on the most used cogs. I would miss the 45 though as it gives me that nice line on the small cogs.
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Old 01-10-13, 11:44 AM   #10
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bear in mind cassettes with 10 cogs, and premium priced components will be rare,
in mom & pop small Bike shops, if stuff messes up, and you need more parts..
might be a bit of a layover for orders and shipping,if that happens.
get to make a few friends in the town, in the meantime.

If only 2, the above , 2nd and 3rd of a triple is a good set-up.. Cyclocross uses 42t chainrings,
so you have nicely polished and anodized and even Carbon fiber chainguard discs ,
to replace the absent outer chainring.

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Old 01-10-13, 06:27 PM   #11
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44/30
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Old 01-10-13, 07:18 PM   #12
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Concur with the rest suggesting triple. My current main bike is multi-purpose with emphasis on long rides: touring, randonneuring and some gravel grinding. I dislike having to switch cranksets for special events: loaded touring or very hilly terrain. So, I'm running a triple simply because of the wide range such crankset gives on any kind of terrain, gradient or carrying load. The issue I've found with doubles is that they run either too high or too low. I'm using a Shimano MTB crankset 22/36/48 and 11-34 cassette and never feel the need to have any higher or lower gear ratio. Works well on non-competitive Sunday group rides or loaded touring anywhere. BTW, the Sugino crankset mentioned above is an excellent recommendation.

If this is a new build for you (N+1) for touring (non-competitive purposes) in mind and based on your geographical location, my advice is "do not compromise." Build it appropriately geared from the get-go.
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