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Are there any SWB production bikes with low gear inches?

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Are there any SWB production bikes with low gear inches?

Old 12-07-19, 10:05 PM
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Are there any SWB production bikes with low gear inches?

I have a Bachetta Giro and the gearing may not be the best for climbing. Looked around some, and I am not seeing anything with a low granny gear. Not interested in a trike due to the low profile ( I would feel nervous in traffic on a trike). Anyone have a place to look or will I need to get something custom built? Or is it that it is too difficult to spin at a low speed and stay upright on a recumbent two wheeler?
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Old 12-07-19, 11:33 PM
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If the Giro has a triple crankset you replace the smallest ring (granny) with a smaller one. 30T is common on new road triples. 26T or 24T will result in lower lowest gears. If you have a double crank you may need a larger cassette. It is possible to change individual cogs on a cassette but few bother. In any case, buying a new bike to solve a gearing issue is probably a bridge too far. I have a 24T (front) x 38T (rear) low gear and can stay upright at hill climbing speeds.
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Old 12-07-19, 11:36 PM
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Which style Giro do you have, the 20 or the 26? Because the former is not only the better climber of the two, but actually one of the best climbers in the entire Ďbent world. I swapped out the original road gearing on my Giro 20 and put in a new 10-speed Deore 40-32-22 crankset and 11T-40T 9-speed cassette, which works fine on the new 10-speed chain. Added an extender to the RD to handle the larger inner cog.

Crankset ran me less than $50 from Merlin Cycles, new Deore FD around $25. SunRace cassette maybe around $30 or less, derailleur extender ~$6. Okay the three new 10-speed chains I needed werenít exactly cheap but didnít break the bank either. Anyway a lot less expensive over all than purchasing a whole new Ďbent and got the exact gearing I needed to scale walls. Have carried loads over a hundred pounds with that thing.

Beauty part was since Iíd been running 9-speed triple microSHIFTers, didnít have to modify that [expensive!] component of the drive chain to work with the new 10-speed FD; simply retained 9-speed gearing on the new cassette to maintain compatibility with the extant right hand shifter. (Itís okay to run a 10-speed chain over 9-speed gears because the inside spacing is the same, just the outer plates are thinner. OTOH you shouldnít try to run a 9-speed chain on 10-speed gears, there isnít really enough clearance.)

Bacchetta Giro 20 New Shimano Deore 10-Speed Crankset + FD, KMC 10-Speed Black/Silver Chain by andyXchrist, on Flickr

Bacchetta Giro 20 New SunRace 11T-40T Black Cassette New Shimano Deore 9-Speed RD New Black Derailleur Extender by andyXchrist, on Flickr

Newly Refurbished Bacchetta Giro 20 by andyXchrist, on Flickr

Last edited by andychrist; 12-08-19 at 07:00 AM.
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Old 12-08-19, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
Which style Giro do you have, the 20 or the 26? Because the former is not only the better climber of the two, but actually one of the best climbers in the entire ‘bent world. I swapped out the original road gearing on my Giro 20 and put in a new 10-speed Deore 40-32-22 crankset and 11T-40T 9-speed cassette, which works fine on the new 10-speed chain. Added an extender to the RD to handle the larger inner cog.

Crankset ran me less than $50 from Merlin Cycles, new Deore FD around $25. SunRace cassette maybe around $30 or less, derailleur extender ~$6. Okay the three new 10-speed chains I needed weren’t exactly cheap but didn’t break the bank either. Anyway a lot less expensive over all than purchasing a whole new ‘bent and got the exact gearing I needed to scale walls. Have carried loads over a hundred pounds with that thing.

Beauty part was since I’d been running 9-speed triple microSHIFTers, didn’t have to modify that [expensive!] component of the drive chain to work with the new 10-speed FD; simply retained 9-speed gearing on the new cassette to maintain compatibility with the extant right hand shifter. (It’s okay to run a 10-speed chain over 9-speed gears because the inside spacing is the same, just the outer plates are thinner. OTOH you shouldn’t try to run a 9-speed chain on 10-speed gears, there isn’t really enough clearance.)

Bacchetta Giro 20 New Shimano Deore 10-Speed Crankset + FD, KMC 10-Speed Black/Silver Chain by andyXchrist, on Flickr

Bacchetta Giro 20 New SunRace 11T-40T Black Cassette New Shimano Deore 9-Speed RD New Black Derailleur Extender by andyXchrist, on Flickr

Newly Refurbished Bacchetta Giro 20 by andyXchrist, on Flickr
I do have the Giro 20. I presently have the 30-52 front crank and the 110-032 cassette, that gives me a 22.9 low gear. Not too bad, but just thinking if I were ascending a long hill. I will look into your suggested modification. That new low gear is a crazy 14.3 GI. Thanks.

Last edited by Fullcount; 12-08-19 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 12-16-19, 07:49 PM
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Hmm... I usually have to mod my gearing in the other direction.
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Old 12-16-19, 10:53 PM
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My LWB recumbents have had 24 tooth chainrings and 34 tooth cogs on 700C wheels, which is about 17 gears inches. That's about the limit for pedaling up a hill- it's hard to balance at that speed. I've cranked up 18 percent slopes with a 45 pound touring load (and I'm 240+ pounds myself).
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Old 12-17-19, 06:05 AM
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Yeah Jeff, a lot of LWB bents are unstable at low speeds, my Stratus XP comes to mind. Came with a Deore XT 44-32-22 crankset, and I replaced its worn 11-34 cassette with an 11-36 just because that was the widest range possible the way the rest of the drive train was set up. And jeepers is that bike unsteady on the lowest gears, though I’m slowly (ha ha) getting the hang of it.

OTOH the OP has a Giro 20 SWB which is a lot more steady at low speeds. I have no problem climbing in the lowest combo of 22 x 40 on mine and quite frankly need it when hauling loads over a hundred pounds — which I could not pull off at all on the XP. Understand the LE is not a bad climber but wanted the 26” front wheel to get up my deck stairs when the side path becomes inaccessible from snow.
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Old 12-17-19, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
Yeah Jeff, a lot of LWB bents are unstable at low speeds, my Stratus XP comes to mind. Came with a Deore XT 44-32-22 crankset, and I replaced its worn 11-34 cassette with an 11-36 just because that was the widest range possible the way the rest of the drive train was set up. And jeepers is that bike unsteady on the lowest gears, though Iím slowly (ha ha) getting the hang of it.

OTOH the OP has a Giro 20 SWB which is a lot more steady at low speeds. I have no problem climbing in the lowest combo of 22 x 40 on mine and quite frankly need it when hauling loads over a hundred pounds ó which I could not pull off at all on the XP. Understand the LE is not a bad climber but wanted the 26Ē front wheel to get up my deck stairs when the side path becomes inaccessible from snow.
It's geometry-related. My Gold Rush was super-steady at a walking pace and below. I'm still getting used to my Phoenix but it's nearly as good. I don't have many miles on an XP, but my test rides left me with a poor impression of its slow-speed handling.
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Old 12-20-19, 07:58 AM
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I think most production bikes (bent) aim for around a 25" low gear. Re-gearing seems to be a pretty common modification, either adding a smaller granny ring or swapping a 'road' triple for a mountain triple.At one point I had a 17" low gear on my V-Rex but found although I could crawl up a 20% grade, I was doing wheelies with each pedal stroke. I could still climb with a more standard 30/32 combination, so that's what's on it now..
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