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Touring bikes with best gear ratios (new or vintage)

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Touring bikes with best gear ratios (new or vintage)

Old 07-23-23, 03:54 PM
  #26  
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As these forums skew heavily to older riders with legacy beliefs here is a more modern perspective. I tour with a 11- 42, 11 speed with a 48 - 31 GRX drivetrain, Wolftooth Roadlink. Enough range for me plus a current drivetrain. Replacement parts are everywhere, from wheels, cassettes, shifters and chains any sizeable town will have what is needed to keep you on the road. I replaced the cage with a XT GS cage however the system would work with standard mid length found on any shimano road system.
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Old 07-23-23, 07:24 PM
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Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
As these forums skew heavily to older riders with legacy beliefs here is a more modern perspective. I tour with a 11- 42, 11 speed with a 48 - 31 GRX drivetrain, Wolftooth Roadlink. Enough range for me plus a current drivetrain. Replacement parts are everywhere, from wheels, cassettes, shifters and chains any sizeable town will have what is needed to keep you on the road. I replaced the cage with a XT GS cage however the system would work with standard mid length found on any shimano road system.
If you were not using the two most cross chained gears for each chainring, you would have something like this if you were using 37mm 700c tires.
https://gear-calculator.com/?GR=DERS...N=MPH&DV=teeth
Oops, I corrected the above link, previously had an error.

My Lynskey with 37mm tires and that "legacy" half step plus granny 3X8 system where I do not use the two most cross chained gears for each chainring has this:
https://gear-calculator.com/?GR=DERS...N=MPH&DV=teeth

Comparing the two, total range is very similar, number of usable gears is the same at 18 when the cross chained gears are excluded. The two different drive trains are really quite similar, more so than I expected to find.

The main difference is that on my "legacy" system I have much wider gear spacing in the lowest hill climbing gears where I spend little time and much closer gear spacing in the higher range of gears from about 55 to 85 gear inches where I spend the vast majority of my time. I have six gears between 55 and 85 gear inches, you have four. Before I finalized my system specifications for chainring tooth counts, etc., that was my goal, close gears where I spend a lot of time, wider gear spacing where I spend little time.

Last time I bought a new chain and cassette from Amazon, the chain was about $11 and the cassette (Sram 11/32 eight speed) was $25 before state sales tax, that was in early 2020, so with inflation I am sure it would probably cost me more now, probably a bit over $40 to replace both chain and cassette.

Mine is below:



What does yours look like?

Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 07-23-23 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 07-23-23, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mams99
What this makes me realize is that I need to 1. find a really good bike mechanic who is willing to experiment the bike and 2. learn all of this myself. The latter is not going to happen most likely - The cost of that for one bike would be more than paying someone to do it.
There are a few incorrect assumptions here. Honestly if you want to learn find yourself a cheap bike. Heck somebody just gave away what looks to be an unmolested and original Nishiki sport for free. Messing with a bike like that would get you well started into bicycle mechanics.
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Old 07-25-23, 10:30 PM
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A little late to the game, but for touring, I still firmly hold on to the 3 x 9 drive train. Even though it's going the way of the dodo, for me to switch to a 2 x 10/11/12 will require a whole new drive train. BTW, I don't believe a 1 x is sufficient for touring
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Old 07-30-23, 02:56 PM
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If you're looking mainly at the gear inches, the Kona Dew has a 36\22 crankset and 11 to 34T cassette. Of course, that's the lowest-cost model which means you may want to change to a Sunrace SLM96 thumb shifter and change to a 9 speed cassette.
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