Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Bike cranks

Reply

Old 06-30-13, 05:41 AM
  #1  
jim p
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Bike cranks

I have been riding for 6 or more years and my strength and endurance have improved but probably will only improve very slightly from this point if any.

I put a triple on my bike so that I could have the granny ring for climbing if needed. Well now I hardly ever use the big ring and I hardly ever use the small ring. I do 99% of my riding in the middle ring and the middle of the back cogs.

So I am wondering if anyone makes a crank with fairly tight spaced gears. I have this idea that the ideal front rings for me would be 36 30 and 24 in a tripple or just 36 24 in a double.

I am using down tube friction on the chain rings so a double would make it very easy to do full movement shifting.

Have any of you considered such a gear setup?
jim p is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-13, 06:30 AM
  #2  
BlazingPedals
Senior Member
 
BlazingPedals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Posts: 10,591

Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 753 Post(s)
Originally Posted by jim p View Post
So I am wondering if anyone makes a crank with fairly tight spaced gears. I have this idea that the ideal front rings for me would be 36 30 and 24 in a tripple or just 36 24 in a double.
I don't know of a way to create gearing quite that low, at least if you're using a road-style crankset. To get a 24-36 double, the BCD would have to be 58mm, and I've never seen a crankset with a 58 without having the 110 BCD to go with it. How about getting a mountain bike crankset, 22-32-44?
BlazingPedals is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-13, 06:59 AM
  #3  
Garfield Cat
Senior Member
 
Garfield Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 6,726

Bikes: Cervelo Prodigy

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 286 Post(s)
Try Rotor Chain Rings.
Garfield Cat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-13, 10:24 AM
  #4  
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Posts: 19,914

Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I had a similar problem a few years ago when I wanted to convert the TCR into a bike more suited to mountains. It had a compact double and the MTB range of cassettes- 11/34 were not being made in 10 speed at this time. If they had I would have gone for cassette change which would also have involved a long reach rear derailleur instead. I wanted low gearing to give me about 1 to 1 as the lowest gear. I looked at a Shimano MTB crank that had 48/36/24 chainrings- Same as I have on the Tandem- as I could fit a 26 granny to this to give me 1 to 1 with a 12/27 cassette but finished up getting a 50/39/30 105 crank. 30/27 would get me up all the hills round here- be fine for the lower range of gears and I would still have top end. Luckily a 12/30 cassette has become available in 10 speed and that 30/30 is low enough for me.

I would look at a cassette change to 11/34 as many have done on this forum. It will involve the R.D. change aswell but that will give you far lower gears than you have at present.

But this problem came up several years ago and another option was to change to an MTB triple crankset that would give you 44/32/22 on the crank. The person that had done this lived in Vail if I remember correctly and had coupled it to an 11/25 cassette and could climb all the mountains in his area.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-13, 10:58 AM
  #5  
Bill Kapaun
Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Posts: 10,493

Bikes: 86 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 554 Post(s)
In search of inexpensive cranks with 165mm arms, I ended up with a pair of FSA Alpha's with 22-32-44 rings.
With my emphysema, the 44T was pretty much useless.
I swapped the large ring to a 36T on my hybrid and a 38T on my "grocery getter" MB (26x1.25 tires) equipped with rack, baskets & fenders. Both bikes have 12-23 9 speed cassettes.
When I did the initial math, I came up with 37T, so I got 1 ea.
I never use the 38T on the grocery getter because of short trips w lots of stops.
I only use it on the hybrid when I don't have a lot of stops or am blessed with the semi annual tailwind.
It only gives me about 1.5 additional higher gears than the middle ring, but I simply don't need more than that.
It probably does more to improve my chain line when out "cruising" in the more rural areas, instead of using middle 8/9.
Bill Kapaun is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-13, 12:41 PM
  #6  
jim p
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Thanks for the great replies. It is good to know that others have and are also considering lowering their gears. I have a mountain bike crank on my road bike now with 48,38.28 rings. The 48 ring is used as a guard to keep from dropping the chain off the 38 ring and the 28 ring is mostly used as a dog tooth so that if the chain drops to the inside it will not fall off all the rings.

My days of pushing a 53/11 never materialized. My hat is off to anyone that can use those gears. I will never need anything bigger than a 38 tooth on the front. A 36 would probably do great for me. Maybe one day I will run across such a crank set.

Like others have mentioned I would benefit by having a triple just so that I could have a better chain line.
jim p is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-13, 03:04 PM
  #7  
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Posts: 19,914

Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
First road bike I got after 16 years of MTB's had a triple with 52/42/30 and a 12/26 cassette. Used all the gears on the cassette but mainly used the 42 middle ring and only used the 52 when on a downslope. Next bike had a compact crank of 50/34 and the 2 teeth difference on the big ring made a difference. Often use the 50 and it is surprising how often I am using the 12 of the 12/27 cassette aswell.

Today I was out on a compact 50/34 and 12/25 cassette. Pretty flat ride and only got out of the 50 to improve chain line as 50/25 was causing derailleur rub. Cross chaining causes more than just noise so use the gears to save wear.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan

Last edited by stapfam; 06-30-13 at 03:11 PM.
stapfam is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-13, 03:21 PM
  #8  
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 4,930
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 564 Post(s)
Originally Posted by jim p View Post
I have been riding for 6 or more years and my strength and endurance have improved but probably will only improve very slightly from this point if any.

I put a triple on my bike so that I could have the granny ring for climbing if needed. Well now I hardly ever use the big ring and I hardly ever use the small ring. I do 99% of my riding in the middle ring and the middle of the back cogs.

So I am wondering if anyone makes a crank with fairly tight spaced gears. I have this idea that the ideal front rings for me would be 36 30 and 24 in a tripple or just 36 24 in a double.

I am using down tube friction on the chain rings so a double would make it very easy to do full movement shifting.

Have any of you considered such a gear setup?
Is it quite flat where you ride?

36-30-24 and 12-25 in the back has a lot of overlap between the 30 and 36.
Here's that setup in Mike Sherman's gear calculator (Just click OK at the popup, it's only telling you that you can bookmark the settings for later loading.)

Since you have a downtube shifter, you don't have 10 gears in the back. But the rear cogs will cover about the same range.

Look at the Speed over RPM Range chart. The 36 chainring is blue, the 30 is black, and the 24 is red. You can see the speeds for each combination at a typical 80-100 rpm pedaling speed.

Go to the top and make changes in the gears, front or back. The tables and charts update on the fly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Some touring bikes that carry heavy loads up hills on tours use smaller chainrings. For instance, 46-36-24

Last edited by rm -rf; 06-30-13 at 03:32 PM.
rm -rf is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-13, 07:25 PM
  #9  
jim p
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Thanks for the gear chart. I do most of my riding in the 10 to 15 mph range so I could just ride the middle ring and only shift on rare occasions when I needed to try to keep a good chain line.

If I am going faster than 23 mph, I am satisfied to just coast.
jim p is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service