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  1. #1
    Interested Backpacker
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    Is there a production bike with proper touring gears?

    For the life of me, I cannot find a production bike already set up with hill climbing gears. I have checked Surly LHT, Trek 520, Raleigh Sojourn, Jamis Aurora, etc...

    Am I looking in the wrong spot?

  2. #2
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    Co-Motion Cycles

  3. #3
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    For the life of me, I cannot find a production bike already set up with hill climbing gears. I have checked Surly LHT, Trek 520, Raleigh Sojourn, Jamis Aurora, etc...

    Am I looking in the wrong spot?
    If you buy from an LBS they should swap out what you want with little to no charge. Just talk to them. I am looking at the Aurora too and gear change is on my list.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    What exactly are you looking for? 36 is the largest in the rear. How small are shooting for in the front?

    Ekh.

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    Novara Safari goes 22"-119". Still money left over to upgrade what you want.

    ....oops just checked....the lht goes 21" to 119"......
    Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    For the life of me, I cannot find a production bike already set up with hill climbing gears. I have checked Surly LHT, Trek 520, Raleigh Sojourn, Jamis Aurora, etc...

    Am I looking in the wrong spot?
    Heck yeah! You need a 42/52 crankset with a 14-28 5spd freewheel! I had a new fangled 44/48 with a 14-34 5spd, I could always get the right gear.

    You must have special needs if a 21"-112" gear range doesn't work. What Zactly do you mean by "proper"?

  7. #7
    Macro Geek
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    I concur. Ask the bike store to swap the stock gears for the cassette and/or chainrings you want. But watch out for non-touring staff. At two different bike stores, the salesperson or bike mechanic told me that the gearing I wanted was impractical or not useful. "Nobody needs gears that low... You won't be able to pedal fast enough to stay upright... Just stand on the pedals when you get to a hill, etc. etc."

    My lowest gear is 16 inches, and I use it regularly. I have also had 19 inches, which was OK, but not nearly as nice when climbing, fully loaded, on 15% grade hills!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    REI's Novara Randonee-- It comes the closest with a 44/32/22 crank and an 11-32 10 speed cassette. The 11-32 can easily be swapped for an 11-34, which will give you a 17 inch low.

  9. #9
    Junior Member toekneep's Avatar
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    Ridgeback Expedition comes with what I would call touring gears, 36 at the rear and 28 on the front triple. I think you might be making a compromise though. I would look for the right bike in terms of frame and wheels first and then fit the right gears to it.
    Around Britain by bike: www.gillandtony.co.uk

  10. #10
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    All dedicated touring bikes come with gears that work well for at least some tourists. If you need lower yet, it is easy enough to swap out either the cassette, chain rings, or the whole crank.

  11. #11
    Senior Member David Bierbaum's Avatar
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    And do lot's of hill climbing practice, of the "pedal till you puke!" variety, on the theory that, if you can't get the gears to match your motor, upgrade your motor to match your gears...

  12. #12
    Interested Backpacker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    REI's Novara Randonee-- It comes the closest with a 44/32/22 crank and an 11-32 10 speed cassette. The 11-32 can easily be swapped for an 11-34, which will give you a 17 inch low.
    Doug64....this is perfect. I was looking at the Safari because I like the trekking handlebar, but passed by the Randonee. The stock GI comes out to 18.56" on the low side and a 108" on the high end. Plenty of range. Sounds like the only mod I might want to do is the handlebar and shifter / brake set up.

    I appreciate the heads up.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    Doug64....this is perfect. I was looking at the Safari because I like the trekking handlebar, but passed by the Randonee. The stock GI comes out to 18.56" on the low side and a 108" on the high end. Plenty of range. Sounds like the only mod I might want to do is the handlebar and shifter / brake set up.

    I appreciate the heads up.
    Or drop the 26 on the LHT to a 24 or 22.

  14. #14
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    Or a 20 tooth gear......Supposedly only a 22 will work...Not true.

    It is not a direct bolt on but it is not hard to install if you can use a file or die grinder.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  15. #15
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    Kona Sutra.

    26/36/48 with a rear 11-32 9 spd., so 22 gear inches at the low, 117 at the high. That's close enough to the 20 - 100 ideal I've followed.

    Easily lowered a bit with a 24 in the front as well.

  16. #16
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Bierbaum View Post
    And do lot's of hill climbing practice, of the "pedal till you puke!" variety, on the theory that, if you can't get the gears to match your motor, upgrade your motor to match your gears...
    Unless there's a physical disability involved, or an extreme load, this is my approach as well. I live near some decent climbs this is pretty easy for me. The optimal gearing should match the rider and the load, is usually easy enough to change, and is different for everyone.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
    Unless there's a physical disability involved, or an extreme load, this is my approach as well. I live near some decent climbs this is pretty easy for me. The optimal gearing should match the rider and the load, is usually easy enough to change, and is different for everyone.
    I'm running 44/33/22 up front and 13-32 teeth in back with 700c wheels. By my calculation that gives me 18 to 90 gear inches. If I can do it I'll go to 34 teeth in back.

    Just for grins last night on the way home, hauling the usual 50-60 pounds in the four panniers, I really got up on the cranks in top gear on a long downslope....... WOW!!

    ...I can live with a 90" top end.

    Mike

  18. #18
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
    Novara Safari goes 22"-119". Still money left over to upgrade what you want.

    ....oops just checked....the lht goes 21" to 119"......
    My girlfriend has a Safari, damn thing weighs a ton. She hates it. They must have changed the gearing, because before she stopped riding it, I was going to change out the smallest chainring for a 22T. I believe it came with a 26T, but this would be three years ago's model. The one she got still had the bigger rack for disc brakes and all the brazeons and hubs for disc brakes, but came with V-brakes. Part of the reason it's so heavy, but only part. Hopefully they've changed that in the newer versions. A year or two before hers they were coming with discs. Hopefully they changed the color from turd brown too!
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Parts is Parts , dont like the stock, out of the shipping carton gearing? change it.
    The triple cranks that the assembly factories fit, are what the component factory ships.

    often the 3rd ring is a (X), the dealer is always capable of removing the crank
    and replacing that 1 piece with a smaller sized lower tooth count chainring ..

    you just have to ask .


    the big multi brand factory gets a contract for the components gets what is best price from the supplier.
    as specified by the product manager at the Brand Jamis importing distributor.

    then you just change the chainrings and perhaps the rear gear cluster (a cassette, I expect)




    maybe zero Just needs to get a lighter bike for the GF, and carry a larger % of the gear on his bike .
    heavy frame material choices is part of handling the load on the touring bike, by design..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-27-14 at 11:25 AM.

  20. #20
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
    Or a 20 tooth gear......Supposedly only a 22 will work...Not true.

    It is not a direct bolt on but it is not hard to install if you can use a file or die grinder.
    This one is a direct bolt on. I know because I have a couple of them.
    Stuart Black
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  21. #21
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    If you like the chain sideplates riding on the crank post and chainring bolts,it's a direct bolt-on.Same with ANY 20 tooth.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  22. #22
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
    If you like the chain sideplates riding on the crank post and chainring bolts,it's a direct bolt-on.Same with ANY 20 tooth.
    Nope. Chain doesn't ride on the chainring bolts. It's close but they don't touch. I have one mounted on a couple of bikes.
    Stuart Black
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  23. #23
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    IME, 21GI-80GI is more than adequate for just about any terrain and any performance level.

    save some money and simplify matters... get a double up front.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    My girlfriend has a Safari, damn thing weighs a ton. She hates it. They must have changed the gearing, because before she stopped riding it, I was going to change out the smallest chainring for a 22T. I believe it came with a 26T, but this would be three years ago's model. The one she got still had the bigger rack for disc brakes and all the brazeons and hubs for disc brakes, but came with V-brakes. Part of the reason it's so heavy, but only part. Hopefully they've changed that in the newer versions. A year or two before hers they were coming with discs. Hopefully they changed the color from turd brown too!
    after years of touring, i bought a new bike.

    biggest cycling mistake of my life. so heavy it took all the enjoyment out of touring. i left it in my mother's garage and, god love her, she had the good sense to toss it out after a couple of years.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    For the life of me, I cannot find a production bike already set up with hill climbing gears. I have checked Surly LHT, Trek 520, Raleigh Sojourn, Jamis Aurora, etc...
    I've had my Surly LHTD for a short period of time but I've found the lowest gear with the chain on the middle sprocket up front is so low I can't maintain enough speed to keep the bike upright! Geeze Louise! If it ever accidently gets shifted over to the small sprocket whatt'm I gonna do?! (Yeah, I'm a rank amateur and it shows!)
    Last edited by Louis Le Tour; 03-27-14 at 07:25 PM.

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