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Trying to figure out a new bike - What do I want?

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Trying to figure out a new bike - What do I want?

Old 01-06-22, 05:19 AM
  #26  
smasha
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
You can get the range you want out of a 2x11, but not all in one group. Specifically you need a Shimano 2x11 speed MTB RD, which is big enough for 11-42 and has wrap for a double front, and is different from the way more common 1x and is now last-generation or middle-group. At the front you need a gravel crankset (46-30), which might need you to get a road FD and flat bar shifter instead of the MTB hardware. You will be over the chain wrap rating but the rating is for suspension bikes and has some leeway.
15% more gearing range, with a double crankset…

9-speed, 26x36x48 cranks with 11-34 cassette, gear range:
Code:
( 48 / 11 ) / ( 26 / 34 ) * 100 = 570.629%
11-speed 30x46 cranks with 11-42 cassette, gear range:
Code:
( 46 / 11 ) / ( 30 / 42 ) * 100 = 585.45%
Now we're talking. If my maths are right, that gives me about 7% more range on the low end, where I need it, and takes about 4% of range from my high end, where I want it. That might be a reasonable compromise, compared to worse compromises.

I suppose one concern with fewer gears giving more gearing range, is not being able to find the "sweet spot" where I've got an ideal cadence to maintain an ideal speed… But in practice, I'm not sure how that would really feel, moving from a triple crankset to a double crankset, and how many "usable gears" I'd have.

IIUC, as long as I avoid absurd cross-chaining, it should be fine… If the frame can accommodate it.

My last two bikes, which were both used as daily commuters… I bought them set up mostly how I wanted them, made a few initial upgrades (eg pedals, saddles), and then just upgraded drive-train components after the OEM stuff wore out. A typical example would be upgrading from a Deore or SRAM PG950 cassette to an XTR or XT cassette; like I said earlier, that's within my comfort zone. This is worlds apart from speccing parts and building a bike, or even buying a new bike only to rip out most/all of the drive-train and rebuild it into something quite different.

Last edited by smasha; 01-06-22 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 01-06-22, 05:58 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
I sorta sympathize with the OP but he doesn't seem to want to do the work to get the things he wants.
Right now, I'm not even sure what I want.

I know want a high range of gearing, but I'm not sure how I want to get that.

Nothing off-the-shelf locally is what I want, anything pre-built to my preferences (whether local or imported, custom or not) will cost more than a good used car (which honestly, would be more practical for most of the food shopping I do), and while I'm comfortable doing basic repair work, and even building a bike out of a box, speccing and building a bike from parts is not something that I have any experience with.
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Old 01-06-22, 06:05 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Don't know what serves as the equivalent of Craigslist in Wellington (Facebook, perhaps), but I'd suggest looking for a used hybrid to source the parts to set up an appropriate drivetrain. Very few hybrids ever see much use, and they generally seem to sell for pretty low prices. The OP might even find an appropriate hybrid that fits and would work for trailer-hauling duties, preferably one with a rigid fork.
There are a few options for used bikes and parts, but they all suck. It's extremely rare that any online listing mentions anything about model, year, frame size, tire size, gearing, or any other information that might be useful. Most pictures look like they were shot with a potato. Half of the pictures are sideways, and most of them are too blurry to figure out what they're actually trying to sell.

Typical descriptions are little more than "mountain bike" :/

The exceptions, which provide good pictures and good descriptions, are most often people who are running a side-hustle selling bikes and parts, usually asking higher prices than the sticker-price in local shops.
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Old 01-06-22, 12:27 PM
  #29  
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I think you're going about this the wrong way. First, set out what you think you need. Then set a budget and find what you can get for said budget to fit your needs. Otherwise people are just going to throw out ideas or even question your methodology.
The reason why I suggest incremental upgrades before you buy a new bike is to know which gears you're riding in most the time as a riding style on your commute. Even with 3x11 drive trains, the overlaps are so close you essentially still only have 14 distinctive gear ratios (spaced more than 10%). So first map the ratios you use most to maintain cadence, then work toward those numbers.
A Pinion C/P1.12 has 606% range. If you modify the front and rear sprockets to your needs, there is no way any conventional derailleur system can match that range. If you know you need more gears, then the P1.18 can fit even a wider 636% range. The 18 distinct gears, spaced at 11.5% apart, works excellently on a touring/commuter. My wife is very happy with her Priority 600 C1.12 gear range. But she wants a lighter and better feeling bike, and she likes the Ti feel, so we are now sizing up a custom Ti as her fitness/touring/commuter this year.
The Andel 48/34/24 crank I suggested gives you 0.7 on the bottom end with your 34t. If you add a 10 speed 11-34t, it should give the range most anyone would ever need as a heavy tourer. And you wouldn't be messing with mismatched chainlines, Q-factors etc etc. Once the ratios work for you, then transfer your gear to a new frame.

Originally Posted by smasha View Post
Short of something kind of crazy, like adding a double or triple crankset to an IGH, I don't think anything is going to give me the gearing range I really want. Of course, if it's stupid but it works, then it isn't stupid. A double or triple crankset with an Alfine IGH hub (or a Rohloff? Or a Kindernay?) may be the best compromise, to get the range I want.

Just thinking out loud… Going up and down the same hills, I'd spend more time going up than down. It might make sense to put the low gear of a double crankset "perfectly inline" with the cog on an IGH. Then, when I need a higher range of gears, the chain would only be slightly crossed; no more crossed than most gears in a derailleur system.

Maybe this isn't so crazy, if the range of gearing is a priority?


If I were trying to upgrade my current bike, an 11-36 cassette would be a reasonable place to start. But since I'm looking for a new bike, I'm just trying to think of the cheapest, easiest, most reliable way to get the gearing range I want, starting with a blank slate.


I'm using racks with built-in "disc brake extenders", as overall this is the rack I like best. One of the problems with this frame is that the racks that extend backwards still don't give enough clearance for bags, and the bolts/rack-arms are still in the way of any trailer attachment.
Originally Posted by smasha View Post
15% more gearing range, with a double crankset…

9-speed, 26x36x48 cranks with 11-34 cassette, gear range:
Code:
( 48 / 11 ) / ( 26 / 34 ) * 100 = 570.629%
11-speed 30x46 cranks with 11-42 cassette, gear range:
Code:
( 46 / 11 ) / ( 30 / 42 ) * 100 = 585.45%
Now we're talking. If my maths are right, that gives me about 7% more range on the low end, where I need it, and takes about 4% of range from my high end, where I want it. That might be a reasonable compromise, compared to worse compromises.

I suppose one concern with fewer gears giving more gearing range, is not being able to find the "sweet spot" where I've got an ideal cadence to maintain an ideal speed… But in practice, I'm not sure how that would really feel, moving from a triple crankset to a double crankset, and how many "usable gears" I'd have.

IIUC, as long as I avoid absurd cross-chaining, it should be fine… If the frame can accommodate it.

My last two bikes, which were both used as daily commuters… I bought them set up mostly how I wanted them, made a few initial upgrades (eg pedals, saddles), and then just upgraded drive-train components after the OEM stuff wore out. A typical example would be upgrading from a Deore or SRAM PG950 cassette to an XTR or XT cassette; like I said earlier, that's within my comfort zone. This is worlds apart from speccing parts and building a bike, or even buying a new bike only to rip out most/all of the drive-train and rebuild it into something quite different.
Originally Posted by smasha View Post
Right now, I'm not even sure what I want.

I know want a high range of gearing, but I'm not sure how I want to get that.

Nothing off-the-shelf locally is what I want, anything pre-built to my preferences (whether local or imported, custom or not) will cost more than a good used car (which honestly, would be more practical for most of the food shopping I do), and while I'm comfortable doing basic repair work, and even building a bike out of a box, speccing and building a bike from parts is not something that I have any experience with.
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Old 01-06-22, 04:53 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Sardines View Post
I think you're going about this the wrong way. First, set out what you think you need. Then set a budget and find what you can get for said budget to fit your needs. Otherwise people are just going to throw out ideas or even question your methodology.
I sincerely hope that more people do throw ideas and question my methodologies.

First priority is a high range of gearing, next priority is a frame that solves the problems of my current frame.

Budget: What I can afford to spend is more than what I'm comfortable spending. If I "needed" to spend $10k on a bike, I could make it happen… But spending more than $2-3k on a bike just seems excessive. We're talking about a commuter and grocery-getter that will spend time locked to sign-posts, unattended, not a world-class racing bike.

Originally Posted by Sardines View Post
The reason why I suggest incremental upgrades before you buy a new bike is to know which gears you're riding in most the time as a riding style on your commute. Even with 3x11 drive trains, the overlaps are so close you essentially still only have 14 distinctive gear ratios (spaced more than 10%). So first map the ratios you use most to maintain cadence, then work toward those numbers.
OK, that makes sense.

Originally Posted by Sardines View Post
A Pinion C/P1.12 has 606% range. If you modify the front and rear sprockets to your needs, there is no way any conventional derailleur system can match that range. If you know you need more gears, then the P1.18 can fit even a wider 636% range. The 18 distinct gears, spaced at 11.5% apart, works excellently on a touring/commuter. My wife is very happy with her Priority 600 C1.12 gear range. But she wants a lighter and better feeling bike, and she likes the Ti feel, so we are now sizing up a custom Ti as her fitness/touring/commuter this year.
A Pinion gearbox certainly has its appeal, but the cost is a barrier, weight is a factor, and I have concerns about shifting under load, especially when I'll be hill-climbing with heavy loads.

Ti sounds amazing, but again, it seems kind of silly to spend more on a bike than I'd spend on a used car, when a used car is arguably more practical for grocery shopping. nb, I like shopping in bulk. A typical small shop for me might be 10-15kg (22-33lbs) of dry beans, or rice.

Originally Posted by Sardines View Post
The Andel 48/34/24 crank I suggested gives you 0.7 on the bottom end with your 34t. If you add a 10 speed 11-34t, it should give the range most anyone would ever need as a heavy tourer. And you wouldn't be messing with mismatched chainlines, Q-factors etc etc. Once the ratios work for you, then transfer your gear to a new frame.
Now I get what you're saying… Use the current frame to experiment with a new drive-train, then spec out a frame that I like. There's a logic to that.
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Old 01-06-22, 05:47 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by smasha View Post
Ti sounds amazing, but again, it seems kind of silly to spend more on a bike than I'd spend on a used car, when a used car is arguably more practical for grocery shopping. nb, I like shopping in bulk. A typical small shop for me might be 10-15kg (22-33lbs) of dry beans, or rice.
FYI my Pinion touring bike has carried over 43kg of luggage on the racks and could've done more on a few of my bike tours. Most touring bikes easily carry 30kg. Seems to me you want everything without understanding what is needed for them. Good luck with your build. I don't think I can help anymore without a budget and a more precise idea of the gear ratios/inches you want. I appreciate this is a lot of info, but you seem to gloss over much of what people have been posting. The trailer can be hooked up from the axle with the axle change I mentioned. The rack mounts right on that axle too.
Anyhow, I think I've given you enough to find out what you need to build your bike. Good luck.
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Old 01-06-22, 07:13 PM
  #32  
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Would it make life easier to knock off the top end of your desired gearing? Go with a 36/26 up front and not worry about going fast? I have lots of hills too, and I spend 99.9% of my time riding my vintage mtb. in the middle and small rings; I've been toying with the idea of adjusting my front derailleur, grinding the teeth off the big ring, and making it a chain guard. Talking out of my backside, as my gearing knowledge runs towards "make it go!"

It really sounds like you want a different bike. Have you looked at a Kona Sutra? They're geared low and built to carry heavy loads. Good luck figuring out what you want and finding it.
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Old 01-06-22, 08:25 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
Would it make life easier to knock off the top end of your desired gearing? Go with a 36/26 up front and not worry about going fast? I have lots of hills too, and I spend 99.9% of my time riding my vintage mtb. in the middle and small rings; I've been toying with the idea of adjusting my front derailleur, grinding the teeth off the big ring, and making it a chain guard. Talking out of my backside, as my gearing knowledge runs towards "make it go!"
I need lower gearing, and I want higher gearing, too. Damn hills.

Originally Posted by Korina View Post
It really sounds like you want a different bike. Have you looked at a Kona Sutra? They're geared low and built to carry heavy loads. Good luck figuring out what you want and finding it.
Kona Sutra, IIRC, is steel-frame w/ drop-bars. Swapping out bars may be an option, but I absolutely do not want a steel-frame.
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Old 01-07-22, 08:27 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
Would it make life easier to knock off the top end of your desired gearing? Go with a 36/26 up front and not worry about going fast? I have lots of hills too, and I spend 99.9% of my time riding my vintage mtb. in the middle and small rings; I've been toying with the idea of adjusting my front derailleur, grinding the teeth off the big ring, and making it a chain guard. Talking out of my backside, as my gearing knowledge runs towards "make it go!"

It really sounds like you want a different bike. Have you looked at a Kona Sutra? They're geared low and built to carry heavy loads. Good luck figuring out what you want and finding it.
I started to suggest the sutra a couple days ago. but the no steel thing kinda knocks off one of the few bikes that would check all the other boxes. the new sutra is more MTB that tourer now and the SE might be hard to find...
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Old 01-07-22, 04:09 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by smasha View Post
I need lower gearing, and I want higher gearing, too. Damn hills.


Kona Sutra, IIRC, is steel-frame w/ drop-bars. Swapping out bars may be an option, but I absolutely do not want a steel-frame.
Fair enough. Good luck, you'll need it.
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Old 01-09-22, 10:14 PM
  #36  
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Local shop has these bikes, which look mostly good on paper:
  • GIANT 2021 TOUGHROAD SLR 1 (2x10, 32-44T, 11-42T)
  • GIANT 2022 TOUGHROAD SLR 1 (2x10, 32-44T, 11x42)
  • GIANT 2021 TOUGHROAD SLR 2 (2x9, 28-44T, 11-36T)
  • GIANT 2022 TOUGHROAD SLR 2 (2x9, 28-44T, 11x36)

I'm thinking maybe grab one, then buy or build a triple crankset, and fit a suitable shifter and derailleur.

Out of the box the 10-speeds (SL1), 32/42 give the same low-end as my current 26/34. If I could fit a 26-36-48 10-speed crankset on that, it would drop my lowest gear by about 20% (compared to current setup), and my highest gear would be the same as it is now. That seems like it may be just what I'm looking for. And if the 42T cog never gets used, or if it gets in the way of a triple crankset, then an 11-40 cassette would still likely be good.

On the 9-speeds (SLR2)… Out of the box, 28/36 would give nearly the same low-end as my current 26/34. A 26-36-48 crankset would drop my lowest gear very slightly lower than what I have now, and top gear would be the same.

Coming up a big hill yesterday, I was spending some time with cadence as low as 50-60. 80 is a comfortably low cadence for me. I guess this would push me towards a 10-speed TOUGHROAD SLR 1, if it would make sense to plan on modding it with a triple-crankset.

If this works, it would seem like it might fit my needs for a loaded commuter, grocery-getter, and maybe some touring/bike-packing.

What expert opinions (at least more expert than mine) should I consider?
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