Basic Gear Question Or Two...

Jun 17, 2015
I've got about 100 miles on my new Sirrus Elite, and I love the bike. Love it! I ride mostly MUPs and suburban side streets with a few hills but mostly flat. Lots of wind, however, to make up for the lack of hills!

The bike came with a 9 speed cassette: 11-32, and the crankset is 48/36/26.

I find myself riding in the large ring almost all the time, just occasionally dropping to the middle ring (particularly when fighting a head wind). Now, I'm not a speedster - I average about 13-15 mph on these rides (there are few other riders or pedestrians on the path). I also use the small ring once in a while on streets if I encounter hills. If not for that, I'd never use the small ring.

Is that a good use of these gear ratios or would I benefit from a different crankset? My road bike, which I'm not riding at the moment, is a compact double 36/52 and I rode it mostly in the smaller ring, if memory serves. But now, my 36 ring makes me feel like I'm spinning too much.
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Reactions: haleylx4
May 9, 2015
It seems like youre getting good use out of your gears. However, you do have a few options

1) Keep the triple crank and get a close ratio cassette. This will allow for smaller jumps between shifts and allow you to keep your cadence. A 26t granny with a 28t large cog is plenty low

2) Go for a double crank with a slightly narrower range cassette. Doubles are less problematic than triples and have a lower Q factor. A 110BCD crankset is very flexible, allowing a 34t inner. With a 30t large cog you have a pretty low gear for hilly roads. If you want to drop some weight, this is your best option. A hollowtech II crankset will drop about a pound from your setup.

Or just leave it as is.


New Member
May 9, 2015
My old 2002 Jamis Tangier is 3 x 8. My brand new Giant Fastroad is 2 x 10. Even though I almost always run both bikes on the top front ring, I prefer the 2 x 10 more...


New Member
Feb 22, 2015
I'm facing the same problem with my Giant Escape 3 and considering an upgrade to the drivetrain. I'm maxing out on some runs I do. Not saying I need a lot more but I sometimes find myself reaching for the shifter and finding nothing more there.

The Escape 3 has a Shimano TZ31 14x34, 7-speed freewheel cassette and Shimano M131, 28/38/48 crankset (note I pasted this from their specs, I don't know much about the drivetrain side of things yet!).


New Member
Jun 10, 2015
You should be getting over 20 mph at 80 rpm pedal cadence (which is a completely reasonable cadence for most riders). If you are riding faster than that regularly, gearing might help. otherwise I would work on spinning instead.

If I am on a descent and hit my max (I am running a 44 tooth large ring, and an 11 tooth sprocket in the rear, which gives me a high gear that I rarely use) I enjoy the coasting... I actually spend 90% of my time on my 34 tooth middle ring, and only use the large if I have a good tail wind, or I am going down hill.

With a freewheel, you probably aren't going to get a smaller cog to get any higher there. And depending on the specific front derailleur, simply replacing the crank or chain ring could get you a higher gear. Going with a cassette would mean a rear wheel replacement, and searching for an evasive 7 speed cassette...

But, if you aren't regularly topping out at 20-25 mph, the best upgrade is your cadence.