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  1. #1
    Member hammockman's Avatar
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    Gearing question

    I'm an older guy setting up a Surly Troll for a one bike everything bike and I've got some gearing questions for the knowledgeable.

    I'll probably keep the Shimano HG-61, 12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36t that came with the complete build bike.

    I live on an extinct volcano in Costa Rica so know a granny will come in very handy, just don't really know what to couple it with, any suggestions? I've got a 22T granny as a low (for loaded touring in the mountains).

    My big questions are what would you guys run on the two larger rings (they come with 36t and 48t in the complete bike build) and why? Maybe reduce the 36t to a 34t or 32t or something to turn it into a more everything gear as I wouldn't be using the granny so much andy more? Maybe even reduce the 48t to a smaller gear also?

    Thanks,
    Mark
    It's mango time!

  2. #2
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    This is a difficult question to try to answer because it is so personal. You can't get any lower than 22 to 36, so as you say, the issue is the other two rings. Again, I assume that your front derailleur works well too and from the 22.....

    If I were you, I'd just ride the bike as is. If you find yourself spinning out often, like when you are going down your volcano, then you are good. If you never spin out, then you might consider tightening your range by going smaller in the big ring or both the big ring and middle ring. But frankly, I can't imagine that you'd discern much difference. I wouldn't bother.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    shimano cranks with 4 bolts , for MTB will take a 22t granny gear Product

    below that the 2 foot gear is probably better ..

  4. #4
    Donnie Jonhson
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    Hi Mark,

    When I toured New Zealand my front chain rings were 22 36 48 and the rear was 11 - 34. I had no problems climbing anything we encountered on the South Island fully loaded. I have since upgraded some of the components and now run a 26 36 48 with an 11 36 at the rear. I don't imagine I will have any real major problems with this combination either. I prefer the 26 36 48 because it allows me to ride comfortable is most conditions, e.g. low enough gears for the big hills and high enough gears to take advantage of a strong tail wind. One day in NZ the tail wind pushed us 104 km in about 4hs of cycling time. It was very windy though.

    Some derailleurs may have trouble shifting form the 22t to the 36t chain rings. I set this arrangement up on my girlfriends bike and when she loaded up the gears and shifted, the chain became caught on the side of the the big chain ring and bent the derailleur badly. It was a cheap shimano unit. I however have successfully used a 105 triple (5703) derailleur and have had minimal shifting problems.

    As cyclesafe said it is pretty personal and I think it largely depends on how hilly the environment is and how strong you are as a cyclist. I would stick to the gears you have at the moment and see how you go. I think you will be able to find comfortable gears to pedal in with a 26, 36, 48. If climbing hills are too hard, drop the 26 to the 22 (or just start with the 22) and if in general riding is a bit tough have a look at the options for mountains bikes, e.g. 22 32 44.

    Hope this helps,

    Donnie

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammockman View Post

    I live on an extinct volcano in Costa Rica so know a granny will come in very handy, just don't really know what to couple it with, any suggestions? I've got a 22T granny as a low (for loaded touring in the mountains).

    My big questions are what would you guys run on the two larger rings (they come with 36t and 48t in the complete bike build) and why? Maybe reduce the 36t to a 34t or 32t or something to turn it into a more everything gear as I wouldn't be using the granny so much andy more? Maybe even reduce the 48t to a smaller gear also?

    Thanks,
    Mark
    I am not fond of 32t middles for street utility riding on 26in wheels and 38T for four bag touring on 700c.

    14 T jumps can have more issues. For me is was 24 to 38 jump.

    Someone asked me once, " what is the smallest gear inch you find useful?"
    Off tar with gear anything more then 22x32 is not useful. On tar i could probably use a cassette with a 34 or 36.
    Last edited by escii_35; 04-03-14 at 05:19 PM.

  6. #6
    Member hammockman's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll run the 22T, 36T, 48T with the original Shimano HG-61, 12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36t and see how things go for a while. I'm a big guy who's just getting back into biking after a long absence so know I don't want to stress to old body out too much cranking up the hills around here in to high a gear. Some of the hills are so steep people can walk up them faster then I ride up them, but I do ride up. Riding my mountain bike with my computer it looks like some hills I'm going 2.7mph then if I slow down any more the computer goes to 0.00 but I'm still going just so slow the computer doesn't register it. Good case for a granny, yes? I love the downhills.
    It's mango time!

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Some derailleurs may have trouble shifting form the 22t to the 36t chain rings.
    but if you dont force it to shift Up while still climbing, and so pulling hard on the chain,

    waiting for the terrain , crest of the hill, started down the other side, then up shift the crank..

    Till then do rear shifts.. wait till you top the hill ..

    work with the terrain, as it is ..

  8. #8
    Member hammockman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    but if you dont force it to shift Up while still climbing, and so pulling hard on the chain,

    waiting for the terrain , crest of the hill, started down the other side, then up shift the crank..

    Till then do rear shifts.. wait till you top the hill ..

    work with the terrain, as it is ..
    Sounds about right. I'm sure I'll get use to it or start saving for the 22/32/44 Mr. Whirly crankset or something similar.
    It's mango time!

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    A 4 bolt Shimano and 2 non standard chainrings or the Trekking set and changing the inner most may work too..

  10. #10
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    You may want to use a gear-inch calculator to check your cassette with different chainring combinations. When I did this with an 11-32, 9 speed cassette, I found that with 22-32-44 tooth chainrings there were several cases where the gearing on the middle and larger chainring were the same or very similar. If I changed the middle ring to a 36 tooth I ended up with a more uniform distribution of gears and the shifting pattern was better. At the high end of the gearing the steps would shift between the larger and middle ring with a single or double shift on the cassette. The smaller chainring basically stood alone and gave me 4 or 5 low gears. Taking a quick look at your set up it looks like you have a similar situation. I would look at changing your 48 tooth ring for a 44 as well as getting a smaller inner ring and see what the gearing looks like.

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