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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.


Old 04-23-15, 07:33 AM
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What is the minimum gearing I would need to ride across the country self supported
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Old 04-23-15, 08:08 AM
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Gear inches? Low maybe 20 -25 gi. Rider + bike weight? Fitness? A very personal question. Or low enough so you can still spin and not mash.
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Old 04-23-15, 09:58 AM
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You? Your weight carried on bike and rider strength unknown .. Here, Ive boxed and shipped up bikes of people who have already crossed the country ,
back home for them ..

with a Compact double, 50~34t chainring , so 1:1 worked for them .. Road triples for others , 30t 3rd sprocket.

I toured other countries and west coast here. 24:32t low and getting off and pushing when It got really steep.
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Old 04-23-15, 10:39 AM
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What gearing you could get by with may be quite different from what gearing you would find ideal. My "touring" bike came with 30/42/52 and 11-28, which I could get by with but did some walking/pushing in the mountains. I now have 22/32/42 with 11-32... much better, but after living with the mountain crankset for a while, I think 26/36/46 or 24/36/48 and 34 or 36 in the back would be better... less shifting while in the flats and still low gears for the hills.

You didn't provide much information.... much depends upon how much weight you intend to carry, how strong a rider you are, and how you intend to tour.
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Old 04-23-15, 11:52 AM
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This is really an impossible question to answer. So to find out for yourself load up your bike, find a 10% gradient that goes on for at least half a mile and if you have a gear that let's you get up that without collapsing at the top them you should be ok
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Old 04-23-15, 02:49 PM
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Got to agree, it all depends on the shape you are in. I tour all the time, last year on a singlespeed 53x19 with 40 pounds of gear. I rode through the Appalachians with no trouble whatsoever doing 100+mile days. This year I'll be riding fixed gear, probably 53 or 52x17 doing even bigger days. I ride 20K miles a year so I'm in shape. You provided no information on anything like the guys above indicated.
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Old 04-23-15, 08:33 PM
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I agree with the others that it varies from one person to another, but I suspect you wanted something more specific. Consider my numbers to be generic.

Uphill, you want a low gear that is no greater than about 20 gear inches. (I have toured with 20.7 as my lowest, I call that close enough to 20.) For flats with strong tailwind or shallow downhills, something over 100 gear inches is nice. But the big gear for downhills is not that critical.

My smallest chainring is 24, many on this forum use a 22 or 24 tooth granny gear. Rear, I am running an 11-32 cassette which is not an uncommon range for touring.
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Old 04-23-15, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MUDDY88YJ
What is the minimum gearing I would need to ride across the country self supported
The most suggested range of gearing is 20-100 gear inches. This has been a good starting point for me.

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