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40/26 + 11-34T or 46/30 + 11-36T

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40/26 + 11-34T or 46/30 + 11-36T

Old 07-23-23, 04:15 PM
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40/26 + 11-34T or 46/30 + 11-36T

Which one would you pick. (gear calculator shows with 27.5x2.00 with 170mm cranks it would be 21 to 100 gear inches for the first combo or 23 to 116 for the 2nd combo)

Also, as a side question, do you find the black paint on parts like cranksets, bars and seatposts rub off with wear? Would you prefer silver parts?
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Old 07-23-23, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr
Which one would you pick. (gear calculator shows with 27.5x2.00 with 170mm cranks it would be 21 to 100 gear inches for the first combo or 23 to 116 for the 2nd combo)

Also, as a side question, do you find the black paint on parts like cranksets, bars and seatposts rub off with wear? Would you prefer silver parts?
My light touring bike has a range of 20.7 to 115.5 gear inches. That works well enough for medium to lighter loads.

My other touring bikes have lower gearing that that. Of the two options you cite, I would suggest the 21 to 100. You might spin out on some shallow longer downhills but 100 is a high enough gear that you do not really need to pedal on those downhills. My two highest gears are only used for those downhills.
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Old 07-23-23, 10:26 PM
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For me, whichever of those option provides the lowest gear. 40X11 would be plenty of high gear for me, tho I might spin out on descents. But I dont really care about that. I need to get up long steeps with old knees.

Black wears fine in my experience. All silver looks a little classier, but thats pure personal preference. I use a Shock-stop stem which I think is only black, and that might affect other choices if I were to build again from scratch.
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Old 07-26-23, 06:35 AM
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Why not 40/26 11-36?
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Old 07-26-23, 12:42 PM
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Oops, forgot to comment on black vs silver. I do not have any problem with black paint wearing off cranks or seatposts.

For cranksets, I often wear off any printing, but black seems to stay quite well. Black seatposts, no problem at all and because the paint will help isolate the aluminum post from the frame metal, if it is a steel frame you are less likely to have dissimilar metal corrosion that can occcur with silver aluminum seatposts. That said, grease on a seatpost is also supposed to help limit water intrusion into a frame if it is in the rain often. Handlebars, I use drop bars so most of the bar is covered with tape.

You did not mention racks, when I get black scrapped off of a rack I use black fingernail polish to paint over it.
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Old 07-27-23, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr
Which one would you pick. (gear calculator shows with 27.5x2.00 with 170mm cranks it would be 21 to 100 gear inches for the first combo or 23 to 116 for the 2nd combo)

Also, as a side question, do you find the black paint on parts like cranksets, bars and seatposts rub off with wear? Would you prefer silver parts?
I would pick 40/26 + 11-36, or even better, 40/24 +11-36, if you can find a 24T option for the front. Probably doubtful with a double though.
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Old 07-28-23, 02:09 AM
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I love math, and I can see the difference between 21 to 100 gear inches vs 23 to 116, but I have no idea how to "feel" the difference. I'm talking now about the 21 vs 23. Is this difference like the difference between "any two" (I know it's tricky, 'cause especially at this end there are usually bigger steps) neighbouring gears?
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Old 07-29-23, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by flocsy
I love math, and I can see the difference between 21 to 100 gear inches vs 23 to 116, but I have no idea how to "feel" the difference. I'm talking now about the 21 vs 23. Is this difference like the difference between "any two" (I know it's tricky, 'cause especially at this end there are usually bigger steps) neighbouring gears?
OK, I meant there are other implications such as which chainring would you spend most of your time on. With 46, maybe most people would just want to ditch the crankset. However, 40T might be way easier.
Since some of you sound like you'd want 18 gear inches, how low would you go really? Like 16 or 17? (At some point I'm assuming you'd break a rear hub.)
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Old 07-29-23, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr
...
Since some of you sound like you'd want 18 gear inches, how low would you go really? Like 16 or 17? (At some point I'm assuming you'd break a rear hub.)
I mentioned above:
My light touring bike has a range of 20.7 to 115.5 gear inches. That works well enough for medium to lighter loads.

My medium touring bike, gear range is 19.2 to 106.8 gear inches. It has the same sprockets and chainrings as my light touring bike, but slightly smaller wheels (26 inch wheels instead of 700c).

My heavy touring bike for heavy loads, range is 16.2 to 85.1 gear inches. It has an internally geared rear hub (Rohloff).

No two people have the same legs, same metabolism, etc. I know people that pedal at a much higher cadence than I do, they need lower gears.

The gears you need are highly dependent on how much weight you carry. And your willingness to get off the bike and walk it up a hill.

Only you will know what you need.

My heavy touring bike, I selected the gearing based on wanting a lowest gear that would give me 3.5 miles per hour with a cadence (crankset rotation speed) of 72 rpm. If I can't climb a hill at 3.5 mph with that cadence at a heart rate that is reasonable, I get off the bike and walk it up the hill.
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Old 07-29-23, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr
Which one would you pick. (gear calculator shows with 27.5x2.00 with 170mm cranks it would be 21 to 100 gear inches for the first combo or 23 to 116 for the 2nd combo)

Also, as a side question, do you find the black paint on parts like cranksets, bars and seatposts rub off with wear? Would you prefer silver parts?
Your only benefit to 116” gear is to pedal at a slower rpm without effort than a 100” gear while going downhill as those gears are only useful at speeds and hp that the aerodynamics of a touring rig will limit anyway. On the other end there may be times when your motor is totally tired out and the lower gear enables you to keep moving with less of a grimace. Anyway it’s a question you can best answer yourself according to your preferences and terrain. It just may be that the 46/30 combo gives you a nicer midrange. I wouldn’t bother seeking any high gear over 100” unless the other gear combos utilized the drivetrain better for the few gears used most of the time.
I wish there were more cassettes with 12 tooth cogs.

Last edited by LeeG; 07-29-23 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 07-29-23, 02:25 PM
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The lowest gear possible for me. So that would mean a 40/26 + 11-36 combo, out of those offered as a choice.
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Old 07-29-23, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr
OK, I meant there are other implications such as which chainring would you spend most of your time on. With 46, maybe most people would just want to ditch the crankset. However, 40T might be way easier.
Since some of you sound like you'd want 18 gear inches, how low would you go really? Like 16 or 17? (At some point I'm assuming you'd break a rear hub.)
I swapped out a 26 up front to a 24 so I would have 17.3 gear inches. I like it much better for where I was riding, and for hills fully loaded.
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Old 07-29-23, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by tpuglisi
The lowest gear possible for me. So that would mean a 40/26 + 11-36 combo, out of those offered as a choice.
If that is your lowest option, that is what I would choose. If you could go lower somehow, I would. 21 gear inches isn't low enough for my liking on the hills when loaded. Shoot, I like lower than that when not fully loaded on the hills I was commuting in the Ozarks. Lower gears just make it easier. I can sit and spin up the hill, rather than pushing hard. What hub and derailleur are you using? can it take a cassette with a 42?
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Old 07-30-23, 06:42 AM
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OK then how about 36/22 and 11-34T? That would mean 17.9 to 90.6.
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Old 07-30-23, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr
OK, I meant there are other implications such as which chainring would you spend most of your time on. With 46, maybe most people would just want to ditch the crankset. However, 40T might be way easier.
Since some of you sound like you'd want 18 gear inches, how low would you go really? Like 16 or 17? (At some point I'm assuming you'd break a rear hub.)
when you use really low gearing, it means you are generally putting less force into your knees and your drivetrain, so you dont have to worry about the hub, or chain, or whatever with low gearing.

but hybrid, what do you want to use this bike for?
As Touristmsn stated very clearly, it all depends on you, how much load you have on your bike, the terrain.
Impossible for us to know your details, but here's a simple question-- if this question is about for touring , have you toured before, how much did you carry (load weight, and lets say, total bike weight) what was the gearing range of the bike you used, and how did you find it?

having something to compare to is really the only way for you to know what you need, pretty hard for strangers to answer this.
I only figured out what gearing worked better for me after touring with a bike with not enough low gearing, so I then had a reference, and made changes that made touring more enjoyable.

Same with preference for black or silver parts, thats up to you. (my black cranksets have gotten a bit of paint rubbed off over the years, but not a big deal for me)

oh, and I personally would find a 46 large ring on a double too big for touring, so would prefer the 40/26 and then choose the cassette size that is appropriate for my needs.
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Old 07-30-23, 09:36 AM
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I feel like the calls for more information are appropriate. Does the OP have parts on hand? What parts are they? Friction shift? Index? There are many ways to skin a cat.

For some cases a Sturmey-Archer CS-RK3 with an 11-46 cassette and 46 tooth narrow-wide chainring would be the right answer. The 46:46 is still in keeping with the hubs 1:1 input ratio yielding 20.9 gear inches but the 46:11 offers 156 gear inches.

For other uses an old-school mountain triple would be the right answer.

For conventional derailleur on road, I'd pick whatever option placed me in the big ring and the middle cassette cog on flat land steady state cruise, whatever speed that happens to be. Living in the the 2 or 3 smallest cogs is a great way to wear things out.

On the other end 15 gear inches is about the lowest that is practical. Traction & enough speed to stay upright start becoming very serious competitors.

When it comes to small chainrings, they put the chain under higher tension. An aluminum ring 24,26,28 will not have a long life. Steel would be your friend here. At least for the smallest chainring.

Aluminum freehub bodies also tend to get cut by individual cogs. Even more so under high chain tension. Monoblock cassettes or cassettes where every cog is pinned or riveted together is the better choice. SRAM XD drivers are superior in design. Edco cassettes are fantastic if you are committed to 11 or 12 speed HG Shimano freehubs.

There is more to drivetrain choice than a gear inch calculator. What is your use case? What are your resources? Figure that out and we can offer appropriate, detailed help.

Last edited by base2; 07-30-23 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 07-30-23, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr
OK then how about 36/22 and 11-34T? That would mean 17.9 to 90.6.
That sounds better to me.
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