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Cassettes - Need advice please

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Cassettes - Need advice please

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Old 01-11-18, 09:04 AM
  #51  
djb
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
The 4 bolt 74mm BCD isn't the problem, it is the asymmetric bolt pattern. I've poured for hours thumbing through Google and Amazon and come to the conclusion it doesn't exist. Over on the randonneuring forum, someone indicated this front triple is brand new from Shimano in 2017 and thus, as yet, no other rings are available. Sunrace makes an 11/36 cassette that I'm gonna try. At $20 bucks it's a cheap experiment and may be all I need.

My biggest issue when riding this touring bike was transitioning from a lightweight carbon road bike. I'm training myself to just slow down on climbs whereas on the road bike I just spun on up as quickly as possible. I've learned the heavier bike and with a load, and particularly when laying down significant miles, will "burn too many matches" if I try to power up a hill per usual. So I'm learning to literally ride differently than with a light road bike.

As it is, I HAVE undertaken a number of long climbs during 40-60 mile rides and while they went well enough, it became apparent that on a long tour carrying loaded panniers, I could use a little bit lower gearing. Realistically it is probably less than 5% of the ride, but during those climbs a little lower gear could mean the difference between multiple stops to rest, walking a bit, or the ability to gear low enough to slowly winch myself on up the hill.

So, apologies to the OP for the thread hijack (though we have stayed on topic in a sense). I intend to try the cassette first which may be just enough to cover that 5%. If not there is always the option of switching out for a 48/36/26 crankset.

Thanks all for the input!
you've pretty much hit the nail on the head, touring tends to be finding a power output that we are comfortable with going for long periods of time, and especially with climbs, gearing that is a bit too high forces us to overwork our knees a bit more. Of course like I mentioned, ones age, fitness and or knees come into play, but really, lower gearing doesnt change your average speed at all, and will help in not "burning a match" at times. Ive always liked that expression, and follow bike racing, and it sort of applies with touring also to an extent.

the other thing also is wanting to be within a certain comfort zone for day after day after day, and lower gearing will tend to help with that, even if we get stronger during a trip.

happy riding whatever you ride and whatever gearing you find works best
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Old 01-11-18, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
The 4 bolt 74mm BCD isn't the problem, it is the asymmetric bolt pattern. I've poured for hours thumbing through Google and Amazon and come to the conclusion it doesn't exist. Over on the randonneuring forum, someone indicated this front triple is brand new from Shimano in 2017 and thus, as yet, no other rings are available. Sunrace makes an 11/36 cassette that I'm gonna try. At $20 bucks it's a cheap experiment and may be all I need.
not a big surprise, about 5 years ago or more, shimano changed their groups, so 9 speed tiagra became 10 speed tiagra, and the new 10 speed triple tiagra crank changed the bolt pattern so that the bolts holding the granny gear were wider apart, therefore the smallest chainring that could physically fit on it was the 30, whereas before it was possible to put smaller ones because the bolt pattern was probably 74 or whatever (like my FSA triple crank)

which was a drag, because traditionally changing to a smaller granny has always been the easiest cheapest way to get your lows lower.

also, as an aside, having toured with my 50/39/30 changed to 50/39/26, I did find that the 39 mid ring is a bit tall for loaded touring, in the past on another old touring bike, its mid 40t was also too tall, and this is why the 48/36/26 crankset types have been put on and still are put on lots of touring bikes. Plus it easy to change their 26 to 24 or 22.

having a mid ring that covers a good part of "average" riding is nice, and the 39 often puts you more in the larger cogs, whereas a 36 means less in the big cogs, and also less of a jump to the 26 ring or smaller if you change it.

and as you have seen, its great now that cassettes and rear derailleurs can take larger cassettes, although total wrap and all htat still have to be taken into account.
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Old 01-11-18, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
The 4 bolt 74mm BCD isn't the problem, it is the asymmetric bolt pattern.
just checked the 2017 marin four corners....there's your problem! it's got a 5-arm crank.

https://www.marinbikes.com/bike-arch...7-four-corners

Shimano FC-3503 Sora Hollowtech II Crankset-50/39/30T 9 Speed
https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Sora-.../dp/B00THPZWG6

the "cycling about" review of the bike said:

"The drivetrain comes with a 9-speed road triple crankset (50-39-30) and 11-32t cassette, providing a gear range of 26-124 gear inches. .... It’d be great to see a 19-20″ low gear (which I personally use and recommend) on the 2018 model. That said, there’s a bunch of ways to achieve a lower gear, plus Shimano just released a low-cost 11-34t cassette that will yield a 24″ low gear on the Four Corners.

that link for lower gearing is here:
Low Gear Range: Road Shifters & Gears For Easier Hill Climbing - CyclingAbout

unless they changed to the 4-arm fc-r3030....
http://bike.shimano.com/content/sac-.../fc-r3030.html

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Old 01-11-18, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
just checked the 2017 marin four corners....there's your problem! it's got a 5-arm crank.

https://www.marinbikes.com/bike-arch...7-four-corners

Shimano FC-3503 Sora Hollowtech II Crankset-50/39/30T 9 Speed
https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Sora-.../dp/B00THPZWG6

the "cycling about" review of the bike said:

"The drivetrain comes with a 9-speed road triple crankset (50-39-30) and 11-32t cassette, providing a gear range of 26-124 gear inches. .... It’d be great to see a 19-20″ low gear (which I personally use and recommend) on the 2018 model. That said, there’s a bunch of ways to achieve a lower gear, plus Shimano just released a low-cost 11-34t cassette that will yield a 24″ low gear on the Four Corners.

that link for lower gearing is here:
Low Gear Range: Road Shifters & Gears For Easier Hill Climbing - CyclingAbout

unless they changed to the 4-arm fc-r3030....
FC-R3030
It doesn't have a 4 bolt. See photo above of inner ring, 4 bolt asymmetrical bolt pattern. (post #42, pg. 2)
IMG_3551.jpg I've been traveling down this road since early December. Yes, there are "a bunch of ways to achieve a lower gear".... True if you have a standard 5 bolt crankset, or even a standard 4 bolt. I don't, and therein lies the problem.

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Old 01-11-18, 04:30 PM
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Are you sure the shifters won't work with a mtb triple? The spacing for road and mtb triple have to at least be damn close, if not the same.
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Old 01-11-18, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Originally Posted by linus
[I]Why would you need that gearing? For rock climbing?

Originally Posted by linus
[I]I've never had a bike with 22GI and under so I wouldn't know what it's like. ....

Originally Posted by linus
...High cadence helps with muscle fatigue not low gearing.

Goater, these sort of comments are the type that you need to ignore, ...
I am not Goater, but I can say that the author of those comments was added to my ignore list of authors some time back. I thought he was asking a serious question on a different thread, after I tried to provide some advice and got some flippant remarks, I came to the conclusion that I was wasting my time.
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Old 01-11-18, 06:39 PM
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I unfortunately agree. One of the things that is good about this forum is sharing and discussing info that can be a help to folks.
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Old 01-11-18, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by linus View Post
No they don't. I only use front panniers and they just make them slow to maneuver. They help you with rear swing weight, but doesn't not stabilize to help twitchy steering.

High cadence helps with muscle fatigue not low gearing.
I did a 4-pannier loaded mountain tour & yes, the steering could still be twitchy on the steeper stretches. I still think front load helps stabilize a bit but OTOH when the steering does twitch there's more effort required to re-center. In sum I guess twitch can be hard to avoid--personally I think the problem is twitch happens when one is under highest effort--helps to relax & pedal smoothly. After all, even pros can wobble when they're doing tough climbs.
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Old 01-11-18, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
.... Yes, there are "a bunch of ways to achieve a lower gear".... True if you have a standard 5 bolt crankset, or even a standard 4 bolt. I don't, and therein lies the problem.
two things.....
1. this is a new crankset, and will take some time for non-standard toothcount rings to appear.
2. since it's marketed as a road crank, not likely to see low tooth touring rings.

if you want production rings, you're gonna need to buy a new crank.

but.....you should be able to customize something cheapfully, right?
inner rings are just flat alu or steel disks with teeth and holes.
no pins or ramps or anything special.
check out weird small rings in the lbs bargain bins.
there's all sorts of rings out there with more material at the bolts,
might could find something you could drill out.

like this here 24t bmx chainring on fleabay for 10 bucks!
grind out the center to fit your bb, drill 4 holes.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bicycle-Spr...AAAOSwImRYhOhY



no wait! expedition touring needs lower gears.
how about a 20T granny gear?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bosch-pigno...wAAOSwt5hYaUBV


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Old 01-12-18, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
two things.....
1. this is a new crankset, and will take some time for non-standard toothcount rings to appear.
2. since it's marketed as a road crank, not likely to see low tooth touring rings.

if you want production rings, you're gonna need to buy a new crank.

but.....you should be able to customize something cheapfully, right?
inner rings are just flat alu or steel disks with teeth and holes.
no pins or ramps or anything special.
check out weird small rings in the lbs bargain bins.
there's all sorts of rings out there with more material at the bolts,
might could find something you could drill out.

like this here 24t bmx chainring on fleabay for 10 bucks!
grind out the center to fit your bb, drill 4 holes.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bicycle-Spr...AAAOSwImRYhOhY



That top ring just may work. I have the tools to do the drilling, etc. You DID give me an idea (briefly) which is to switch out to a 50/39/30 standard 5 bolt crankset. But then, I may as well try the 48/36/26 mtn crankset and see if that will work with my current derailleurs and shifters. If I had to change the FD no biggie.

In the meantime, I'm going to try the 11/36 cassette which will get me down to about 22.8 gear in. and see if that is sufficient. As I said somewhere on up in this thread, probably less than 5% of my climbing do I feel I could really benefit from a bit lower gearing. That's with my current gearing(30/32). Maybe this new cassette will be just enough. I just bought this bike a few months back. I've bought two other sets of tires, extra tubes, rear rack, panniers... I'm hesitant to sink a lot of more money into monkeying around with the gearing until and unless I determine if the simpler solutions aren't sufficient.
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Old 01-12-18, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
That top ring just may work. I have the tools to do the drilling, etc. You DID give me an idea (briefly) which is to switch out to a 50/39/30 standard 5 bolt crankset. But then, I may as well try the 48/36/26 mtn crankset and see if that will work with my current derailleurs and shifters. If I had to change the FD no biggie.

In the meantime, I'm going to try the 11/36 cassette which will get me down to about 22.8 gear in. and see if that is sufficient. As I said somewhere on up in this thread, probably less than 5% of my climbing do I feel I could really benefit from a bit lower gearing. That's with my current gearing(30/32). Maybe this new cassette will be just enough. I just bought this bike a few months back. I've bought two other sets of tires, extra tubes, rear rack, panniers... I'm hesitant to sink a lot of more money into monkeying around with the gearing until and unless I determine if the simpler solutions aren't sufficient.
you've bought the cassette havent you already right?
As you say at the end, if we all had bags of money, thinking of details of money spent vs ideal wouldnt be an issue, but they usually are factors for regular people and how much we want to spend on given things.

in the future, for this sort of thing, or even as an exercise in looking at option, would be to sell the stock nearly new crankset for X, subtract X from cost of a touring crankset like the deore one which can be found for less than 100 american shipped (which comes with bb always, nearly certain the deore ones come with it)

but you've have to buy the $15-20 tool to remove the bb and install, and myabe pay a bike shop to double check your torques/work....

but then, you already bought a new cassette maybe , and a longer chain....so like all in life, the details add up.

also, going to a 36 might be beyond what that derailleur can handle, 34 would be fine , but 36?? You need to find out and understand about the "b" screw on a rd, and see if at its max "in" position, the jockey wheels will not hit the 36 cog (what the b screw does, is move the derailleur away from the cassette , more or less)

so if you were able to sell your crank for less than the 75 or so it can be bought new, lets say 40, subtract that from a touring crank, you could use the same chain....and on and on.

thoughts only by me, good luck. And as you say, you can just use the bike as is or with a cassette change , and if you have to walk up a hill or two, well, its not the end of the world....or you realize you really like touring and would like lower gearing and do other changes.
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Old 01-12-18, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
you've bought the cassette havent you already right?

It's on the way


but you've have to buy the $15-20 tool to remove the bb and install, and myabe pay a bike shop to double check your torques/work....

I usually do my own work & have some tools, BB tool, torque wrench...been a few years since I actually paid the LBS to do anything. Ride often enough and long enough and as you know, by necessity you learn to deal with the constant tweaking, minor repairs and parts replacements yourself.

but then, you already bought a new cassette maybe , and a longer chain....so like all in life, the details add up. also, going to a 36 might be beyond what that derailleur can handle, 34 would be fine , but 36??

The details on the cassette CLAIMS it should work fine with a standard long cage derailleur. I have a lot of RD travel and slack chain available...it should work but won't know for sure until I put it on & try it.
...
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Old 01-12-18, 07:55 PM
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dont forget to do the chain length check--chain not through jockey wheels, large-large, chain plus 2 links or whatever---look this up on the park tools werbsite, re chian length check, its easy and quick and sure.

you have to make sure that if you ever by mistake did a large large shift, you wont frack your derailleur and put it in your spokes, ruining your wheel also.

read up on b screw, so you know what it does. apparently you can install a longer one to put the derailleur far enough away from the large cog if need be.

re putting on your own smaller chainring. When i changed my 30 to a 26, (did it also to a friends bike) the 26t that I bought at bike shops ended up being just a bit too close to the mid ring. The originally 30t had a slight diff shape that put the teeth further away form the 39 chainring. I solved the problem with simple washers that moved it out , or shimmed it, out by a mm or whatever. I had a household kit of diff washers, and one size worked perfectly, put in between the ring and the bolt holes.

anyway, you might have to improvise, and in my case, it worked great on both my bike and my friends. I you look realllll close, you can see a bit of the washers, but really, they dont show at all and it just plain worked.
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Old 01-12-18, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
...The details on the cassette CLAIMS it should work fine with a standard long cage derailleur. I have a lot of RD travel and slack chain available...it should work but won't know for sure until I put it on & try it....
forget the claims on the cassette, what about the RD? gooble the part number for
specs.....what's max cog, and total capacity? (of course those are lawyer numbers,
so you should be able to overshoot by a couple of teeth)
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Old 01-12-18, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by linus View Post
I've never had a bike with 22GI and under so I wouldn't know what it's like. Wouldn't it make the bike so twitch that you lose your balance? Especially with front panniers, It will be a nightmare to keep the bike straight.
No it wouldn't

Sheldons gear calculator - http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gear-calc.html

suggests my bike has a gear inch range in the vicinity of 15.3 to 80.2.

In all honesty, my low range gets plenty of use and my high range gets virtually none.

There are a variety of touring styles, and everyones preference is valid.

At 49 my knees are well worn and I wish I'd learnt the lessons of low gears and high cadence much earlier.

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Old 01-12-18, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by linus View Post
No they don't. I only use front panniers and they just make them slow to maneuver. They help you with rear swing weight, but doesn't not stabilize to help twitchy steering.

High cadence helps with muscle fatigue not low gearing.
Are you suggesting low gearing doesn't help with high cadence?
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Old 01-13-18, 12:30 AM
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I swapped out the front crank on my atb touring bike for a 42,32,22 with 165mm arms. I'm not sure if it's the 22 or the 165 but it is quite the climbing machine. I do wish it had a 44 high gear instead of a 42 as I max out pretty easy on the flats but seeing as I now have a dedicated road touring bike I think of that one as more of a back road bike and don't mind so much. Don't find it particularly twitchy but it has wider trekking bars and I am also used to it.

Shimano makes a mega range rear freewheel that has a big a$$ granny gear, 48 IIRC. Some people poo poo them but it sure helped on my old Raleigh 3x6. Yes the last gear was a big jump but I just thought of it as my bailout granny for when I knew I was in for some good old spinning. I'm supposed to be smarter but now pay a gym fee for spinning
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Old 01-13-18, 01:06 PM
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Looks like a lot of people have too much time on their hands. It's funny how grown middle aged old people trying to bully others by gang up on them. As you can see it doesn't bother me.

Anyhow, OP, I stand by my comment. You can ignore if you wish. I have experimented many ways and there is no correct way of doing it. You figure it out by matching your physical to your gear weight and you'll find out soon.

I weight 190lbs. 5'11". My touring bike weighs 22lbs. with a front rack(Don't use rear rack). My expedition gear weighs around 30lbs. Raced when I was in my 20's. Now, I just ride(MTB, Road and Touring). I'm a roadie so I tend to do regular training and ride everyday to work.

My gearing is 46/30 x 11-28 or 11-34 for touring.

Good luck.


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Old 01-13-18, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rifraf View Post
Are you suggesting low gearing doesn't help with high cadence?
Gearing only is relevant when you need to use them. If you don't need super low gearing, your ideal cadence will stay the same. So that's what I meant by gearing is not relevant.
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Old 01-13-18, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rifraf View Post
No it wouldn't

Sheldons gear calculator - Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

suggests my bike has a gear inch range in the vicinity of 15.3 to 80.2.

In all honesty, my low range gets plenty of use and my high range gets virtually none.

There are a variety of touring styles, and everyones preference is valid.

At 49 my knees are well worn and I wish I'd learnt the lessons of low gears and high cadence much earlier.
FYI, I only use front panniers, but I've never needed that low range gear. My cadence is pretty high though. I set my target at 105 and when I go for a ride my cadence is usually at round 95.
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Old 01-13-18, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by linus View Post
FYI, I only use front panniers, but I've never needed that low range gear. My cadence is pretty high though. I set my target at 105 and when I go for a ride my cadence is usually at round 95.
Nice looking ride.

I've been watching the evolution of bike packing gear with interest, though currently still hauling a more traditional setup of four panniers, bar bag and rack bag sitting atop the rear panniers.


I too like a similar cadence but obviously at a much slower speed/lower gear inch, than your journeying

Happy Spinning
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Old 01-14-18, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by linus View Post
Looks like a lot of people have too much time on their hands. It's funny how grown middle aged old people trying to bully others by gang up on them. As you can see it doesn't bother me.

Anyhow, OP, I stand by my comment. You can ignore if you wish. I have experimented many ways and there is no correct way of doing it. You figure it out by matching your physical to your gear weight and you'll find out soon.

I weight 190lbs. 5'11". My touring bike weighs 22lbs. with a front rack(Don't use rear rack). My expedition gear weighs around 30lbs. Raced when I was in my 20's. Now, I just ride(MTB, Road and Touring). I'm a roadie so I tend to do regular training and ride everyday to work.

My gearing is 46/30 x 11-28 or 11-34 for touring.

Good luck.

all of us are not the athlete that you apparently are. kudos to you. my setup gives me 19" low gear which i rarely use but when i do its lovely and i have no problem going straight ahead with 4 loaded bags. i too spin. if i had to guess i would say i am typically in a 85-100 rpm cadence. i completely agree with your idea of cadence, i just do it at a lower road speed. btw my gearing is 12-34 8 speed and 24-39-42. great for an old man and i can even pull a 100 lb trailer up the steepest hills in town when needed.
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Old 01-14-18, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by linus View Post
Looks like a lot of people have too much time on their hands. It's funny how grown middle aged old people trying to bully others by gang up on them. As you can see it doesn't bother me.

Anyhow, OP, I stand by my comment. You can ignore if you wish. I have experimented many ways and there is no correct way of doing it. You figure it out by matching your physical to your gear weight and you'll find out soon.

I weight 190lbs. 5'11". My touring bike weighs 22lbs. with a front rack(Don't use rear rack). My expedition gear weighs around 30lbs. Raced when I was in my 20's. Now, I just ride(MTB, Road and Touring). I'm a roadie so I tend to do regular training and ride everyday to work.

My gearing is 46/30 x 11-28 or 11-34 for touring.

Good luck.

p.s. do you ride in the rain? seems you lack fenders.
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Old 01-14-18, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
p.s. do you ride in the rain? seems you lack fenders.
I only use fenders on my commuter bike. Previously, I had some issues with my bike caked up with mud so I stopped putting them on my touring bike. Also, I don't mind getting wet and dirty when I tour. I don't think it's a bad idea though.
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Old 01-14-18, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
all of us are not the athlete that you apparently are. kudos to you. my setup gives me 19" low gear which i rarely use but when i do its lovely and i have no problem going straight ahead with 4 loaded bags. i too spin. if i had to guess i would say i am typically in a 85-100 rpm cadence. i completely agree with your idea of cadence, i just do it at a lower road speed. btw my gearing is 12-34 8 speed and 24-39-42. great for an old man and i can even pull a 100 lb trailer up the steepest hills in town when needed.
Fair enough. I don't expect everybody to use similar setup. Isn't that why we are here discussing different ideas?

And trust me, I'm not racing anymore because I suck at racing.
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