Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Please help with gearing options

Notices
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.

Please help with gearing options

Old 03-19-09, 11:35 AM
  #1  
Beer and nachos today!
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Treaty Seven
Posts: 222

Bikes: Schwinn Peloton, Schwinn Prelude SS, Specialized Sequoia

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Please help with gearing options

I have an old Specialized Sequoia with too-high gearing for what I want to do. It has a 14-30t, 6-speed freewheel, and 30-46-50 chainrings. I'm thinking of replacing the freewheel with a 7-sp, 14-34 unit, but I'm not sure what to do up front. Some options I've come up with so far:

-swap the cranks for a set with 26-36-46 rings (Sugino XD600 from Velo Orange)

-keep my 46 tooth ring as the big ring on my present cranks, and pick up a 38t middle and 24t granny (this option is less expensive, but looks slightly goony when I plug it into Sheldon Brown's gearing calculator... is that just me?)

-swap the current cranks for a mountain crankset with 22-32-42 rings (the ugliest and cheapest option, since I have an unused set laying around... but I love low gears!).

If I go with the either of the first two options, I'm fairly sure I can stick with my current front derailleur (Suntour Cyclone MII), but I'm not so sure about the last option.

If anyone could straighten me out, I'd really appreciate it

P.S.- I'm not sure if it matters, but I'm using friction shifters.
illdoittomorrow is offline  
Old 03-19-09, 12:40 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: SW Washington, USA
Posts: 373
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I wouldn't worry about gearing steps (half-step, equally spaced, whatever...). For loaded touring, I'd just make sure I had a sufficiently low "lowest gear", an adequate high one to get a headstart on a screaming downhill, and a few in the middle to pedal comfortably in the 10-14mph range.

In other words, I do believe Sugino's 46/36/26 is about the best combination (and the XD600/300 are the best things going for touring cranks, if you have a square-taper bottom bracket). Even so, I swapped in a 24T granny gear to handle lots of mountains.

I'd go with either of your first two options. For me, the mtn bike crank is a bit too low. But that's just me -- if your knees are in bad shape, or if you're cycling the Blue Ridge Parkway all summer, then it might be a good choice.

Your second choice (keeping your crank, using the 46T, getting new middle and small chainrings) should be just fine, and save some coin. If it were me, I'd get a 36T middle ring. Choose a 26T or a 24T granny depending on what terrain you're headed for; but with a 34T in back a 26T granny gear might be sufficient.

With friction shifters, going to a 7-speed freewheel shouldn't be a problem.

-- Mark
EmmCeeBee is offline  
Old 03-19-09, 12:49 PM
  #3  
ah.... sure.
 
kayakdiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Whidbey Island WA
Posts: 4,107

Bikes: Specialized.... schwinn..... enough to fill my needs..

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
go with the lowest up front for most benefit.... going from a 30 to a 26 will help more... better yet.... 22 or so. I have a 26 up front and 32 in back for low gear. I wish I'd went with a 22 or 24 small ring. I'm sure I wouldn't use it very often but it sure would be nice when I'm plowing up some 14-16 grade hill. I've seen Deore LX mountain crank with the gearing mentioned with bottom bracket for around $100 or so(the bay). Great crankset for the money. my 2 cents.

Last edited by kayakdiver; 03-19-09 at 12:50 PM. Reason: can't spell for chip
kayakdiver is offline  
Old 03-19-09, 06:14 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Taos, NM
Posts: 552

Bikes: 2009 Custom TI Frame Road Bike, all 2007 Campy Record, Campy Euros Wheelset

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
i vote for a 22-34 low. works for me. any lower and it would be too wobbly. any higher, and... well there have been many times in mountains (especially on dirt) that I was REALLY glad I had a LOW granny. on my TI rig, I swapped out 2 rings and ended up with a 44-36-22 - - with an 11-34 on the rear this is a setup I really like.
__________________
2009 Custom TI Frame Road Bike, all 2007 Campy Record, Campy Euros Wheelset
2009 Custom TI Frame touring Bike. S&S couplers, XTR Drivetrain. LOW granny.
2009 Performance Bicycles TI (by Lynsky) road frame, 7900 DA, 7950 DA Compact Crank, Light Niobium Rim Wheels
jbpence is offline  
Old 03-20-09, 01:45 AM
  #5  
Likes to Ride Far
 
Chris_W's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2,345

Bikes: road+, gravel, commuter/tourer, tandem, e-cargo, folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 11 Posts
Remember that you don't have to use three chainrings. My ideal touring set-up is now to have a 26 tooth in the inner position and a 42 tooth in the middle position, and either nothing or a chain guard in the outer position. I can then stay on the "big" ring almost all of the time and just drop to the little one for the real climbs. This setup works great with a cheap and light down-tube shifter for the front (but I still use an STI brifter to control the RD).
Chris_W is offline  
Old 03-20-09, 06:18 AM
  #6  
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Posts: 19,808

Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...

Mentioned: 584 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1908 Post(s)
Liked 574 Times in 339 Posts
Originally Posted by illdoittomorrow
I have an old Specialized Sequoia with too-high gearing for what I want to do. It has a 14-30t, 6-speed freewheel, and 30-46-50 chainrings. I'm thinking of replacing the freewheel with a 7-sp, 14-34 unit, but I'm not sure what to do up front. ...
Changing the freewheel so you have a 32 or 34 largest cog is good; going from 6 to 7 speeds is okay but won't make that much difference.

If you can replace your 30 granny gear with a 24, or a 22, go for it. You can just leave the 46 and 50. If you do switch the 46 to outer position, then I'd get a 42 or 43 for middle position, that way you still have all the half steps you need in the range where you do most of your riding.
rhm is offline  
Old 03-20-09, 06:42 AM
  #7  
nun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,670

Bikes: Rivendell Quickbeam, Rivendell Rambouillet, Rivendell Atlantis, Circle A town bike, De Rosa Neo Primato, Cervelo RS, Specialized Diverge

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 180 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 40 Posts
Originally Posted by Chris_W
Remember that you don't have to use three chainrings. My ideal touring set-up is now to have a 26 tooth in the inner position and a 42 tooth in the middle position, and either nothing or a chain guard in the outer position. I can then stay on the "big" ring almost all of the time and just drop to the little one for the real climbs. This setup works great with a cheap and light down-tube shifter for the front (but I still use an STI brifter to control the RD).
That's my set up too, I combine it with an 11/34 cassette and it works realy well.

To the OP are you sure your existing crank will take a 24t granny, is it a 110/74 triple. If it is you can just buy the rings that you want and install them. TA do rings in any tooth number and are to notch quality too.
nun is offline  
Old 03-20-09, 08:21 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
BigBlueToe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I have the Sugino crankset, but I swapped the granny for a 24-tooth. I have a 9 speed cassette in back, a Cyclotouriste 13 from Harris Cyclery (13-34). On a tour in the Cascades and Rockies last summer I never felt like I needed a lower gear, but I did use my lowest choice from time to time. I would have liked a higher top gear for flats and slight downhills, but I'd much rather have a low low than a high high.
BigBlueToe is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.