Touring Chainring

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by The Hunter, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. The Hunter

    The Hunter New Member

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    I am presently using a 50/34 chainring but I'm looking at changed it to a triple for touring. What is a good triple combination for touring.
     
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  2. nun

    nun New Member

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    I use a Sugio XD600 46-36-26. I used to use a Shimano Tiagra 52-42-30, but
    found myself using the 52 ring very infrequently. The Sugio is better suited to my ability level when carrying some load, and even unloaded the 46 gives me a good
    work out on the flats, i enjoy my cycling a lot more with it. The 26 is useful when you have a load and a steep grade comes up, it can be a life saver for long climbs when you are tired and loose all the pretence of trying to push a macho gear.

     
  3. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    I agree with the commets above, My Felt Trevisa, 700c trekking bike, has 25/32/42 and 11-30 8 speed. These gears have been quite adequate for all situations so far.
     
  4. nun

    nun New Member

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    My cassette is 11-13-15-18-21-24-28. When thinking about your gearing obviously you have to consider both the crank and the rear sprokets. If you wanted a real "granny gear" you could install a 9 speed cassette like a
    CS925 Cyclotouriste 14 see the link below

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/k7.html#10

    This has a 34 tooth sprocket. Its probably best in combination with a 54-42-30. There is a great calculator at

    http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/

    I generally look at the speed the combinations will give pedaling at 80 rpm as that seems to be a middling rate.
     
  5. endcat

    endcat New Member

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    You would be much better off changing out the rear cassette to 11-34 and installing a mountain rear derailleur (Shimano XT recommended - a road rear derailleur will not work). Changing to a triple in the front would be much more expensive. However, if you plan on climbing any big hills or crossing any mountain ranges fully loaded, a really low granny gear is nice to have and the only way to get it is to change both the cassette and crankset (which also means changing out the rear derailleur, front derailleur, bottom bracket, and possibly the front shifter). My touring bike has a Shimano XT rear cassette, 11-32, combined with a 24/39/48. I think Sugino has a 24/36/48 crankset or you can go the expensive route like I did, which is to buy a regular triple road crankset and replace the granny and big rings. If you do replace the crankset, it is best to go with either old-school square taper bottom bracket design or with new school outboard bearings - isis and octalink seem to have a pretty limited lifespan.
     
  6. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    We use a 54-39-26 with a 11-34 on our 26" wheel tandem which gives us a gear range of 19" to 122". We were only doing 9kmh up some of the hills but after climbing 40kms with gradients up to 10% but at least our knees were still fine.
    Tandems descend at bit quicker than singles do so although we need the high gear on a single a 50 or a 52 would be fine. All depends on wether you like to pedal downhill or not

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  7. nun

    nun New Member

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    Wow that sems like a big gap between gear ratios, I'm not familiar with the requirements of tandems is the 54 to 26 spread something to do with that?

    Sorry just read your post more carfull, its the descending speed that needs the 54, still your gears havd a big spread. Does that cause any problems?
     
  8. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    The Santana Sovereign has a 54-44-26 which works most of the time but occasionally drops off. The standard tandem ratio for a road tandem is 54-44-30. The Co-Motion Mocha came standard with a this but we cahanged it to the 54-39-26 on the recommendation of Tandems East where we bought it from. Both tandems have Dura-ace STI, XTR rear deraileur and Ultegra triple front deraileur which handles a larger range than the Dura-ace.
    The shifts on the Mocha are perfect.
    On our Sunday morning jaunt we were overtaking cars going down the hill for Spit Bridge. Tandems are fast downhill if you don't use the brakes.

    cheers

    Geoff
     
  9. endcat

    endcat New Member

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    For awhile I had a 53/39/24 setup with the 11-32 cassette (also using an Ultegra front derailleur) . At first there was a random tendency for the chain to drop off to the inside when downshifting (maybe once every 10 times). I eventually got it to work but there was one other problem - a stock 114 link chain was too short to work in the big/big combo. I didn't think that would be a problem since I already knew that crosschaining was BAD. Unfortunately, I once forgot that I was in the big chainring up front and tried to downshift, and... Well, the drivetrain siezed and the rear tire skidded to a stop. The rear derailleur was toast. Still, if you want maximum gear range, this setup WILL work if your bike is smaller than mine (or has shorter chainstays) or if you splice in a few more links. (I have a 60cm Surly Long Haul Trucker). Since I rarely used the 53 I decided it made more sense to replace it with a 48 instead.
     
  10. knerml

    knerml New Member

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    You will need to make sure that you buy a front derailleur that will work with a triple. Shimano mountain bike parts will not work, 44 teeth maximum. Suggest a 105.
     
  11. nun

    nun New Member

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    After looking at the specs for a number of good touring bikes and with a good number of miles ridden with my 46-36-26 and 7 speed 11-28 cassette I think my ultimate gearing set up would be

    46-36-24 with a 9 speed cassette 11-34
     
  12. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    just for fun I entered in the ratios for a 50 34 front with a 12-34 casette into Sheldons gear calculator and got a range of 27 to 112 gear inches but there is a lot of duplication. If a 11-34 is used the range is wider (122) but on a single thats most probably a bit high unless you have legs like Sean Eadie.
    Try loading the bike up for touring, find a few hill and see what workd for you. By using Sheldon's online gear calc you can try out different combinations so you get the best gear range foryour load and level of fitness.
    We helped an English guy carry his incredibly overloaded trike down the steps side of the harbour bridge a while ago. The two of us could only just lift the bike with the panniers attached.

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  13. nun

    nun New Member

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    With the 46/36/24 and an 11-34 the range is 113 down to 19. But as you point out the gearing is only one aspect of getting over a hill. I've seen many postings where they say "a pound here and a pound there won't make much difference". Its generally in discussions about frames, but I think it leads people to the conclusion that weight isn't a factor is comfortable touring. From my limited experience I think it is a big factor in enjopying a ride. Cycling is exhilerating when you feel "on to of the gear" you know when you are zipping along keeping up good rpms and you don't even feel it, but it can suck when the thighs are burning pushing a loaded bike up a steep hill. So my attitude is to save weight at every opportunity, I carn't imagine why someone would load a bike down to the extent that two people couldn't lift it up. here are my strategies:

    1) Yourself, I'm 30lbs over weight, so loosing that will reduce my load a great deal and improve my power to weight ratio (none of it is muscle).

    2) Equipment, don't bring along stuff you won't use.

    3) What you do bring should be light weight. For this I'm taking the approach of ultralight backpackers towards equipment

    http://www.monmouth.com/~mconnick/chklist.htm

    here's an example of one ultralight backpackers equipment list. Total weight of it is 25lbs including the rucksack.

    4) If you do need something the bike gives you the flexiblity to ride to a store and then you can use a credit card to buy it.

    5) Electronics, I think its important to carry something for emergencies like a cell phone, but, I've seen lits with mp3 players cameras laptops etc. Now you can get these amazing PDA cell phone combos. They even have MP3 players and cameras incorported. So get all of your electronic items in one and access to the internet. An example is the Palm Treo

    http://www.palm.com/us/products/smartphones/treo650/details.epl

    it weights less than half a pound. Amazing.

    The one area where I thin k I'd compromise on weight is the bike itself. It needs to be strong and suitable for touring. Of course if your kit only weighs 25 lbs, its not such an issue, but there are things like fenders and racks that are essentials. I'm not sure about the frame material you'd save weight with Ti, but maybe cost becomes the biggest limiting factor there.
     
  14. rsheard

    rsheard New Member

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    I agree with you on almost everything, but it depends on what your goals are regarding electronics. Photography is one of my big hobbies, and I can't imagine doing a big tour and settling for the crap cam built into a PDA.

    I certainly wouldn't want to lug around my laptop or my bulky DSLR--ugh--but I can see myself taking a cell phone, a GPS device (mounted on the bike), a PocketMail composer to send e-mails and update my journal from the road, and some kind of small, but advanced digital camera. I'm still on the fence about whether I'd take my iPod, maybe the Shuffle. (That's a safety concern more than a weight issue. I want to hear the cars coming from behind me.) The problem, of course, is also the battery rechargers.

    I still think the entire electronics ensemble will be no more than 2 or 3 pounds. But for someone who wants to journal the tour while in route, there aren't too many ways around carrying a few devices.

    I guarantee I'll lose more weight before I start the trip than my electronics will weigh altogether.:D
     
  15. nun

    nun New Member

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    I'll conceed that photographers among us will want a good digital camera, but I think most folks basically want to send e-postcards back to people and the majority of pictures are of cyclists with bikes at the top of a pass or on a bridge so the cameras in phones are fine for this. The GPS is another device that you'd have to take separately, but I think the cell phone/PDA combo is far better than the cell phone and separate pocket mail.
     
  16. rsheard

    rsheard New Member

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    I've considered the Blackberry (or similar unit) to replace the cellphone/pocketmail combo, but two issues make me pause. First, the Blackberry unit and whatever plan you have to sign up for is considerably more expensive. I already have a cellphone (prepaid, inexpensive plan) and the Pocketmail unit is $50 or $100, depending upon the model. And the monthly plan for Pocketmail is much cheaper and can be canceled after the 3 months of the trip.

    The second concern I have with the Blackberry/cellphone is coverage. I haven't toured across country before so I don't know how well the cell network extends. The Pocketmail can be used to transmit using any phone, cell or land, so even a pay phone would suffice when I didn't have cell coverage.

    A couple of touring groups I followed online have used the pocketmail successfully (some cyclists and one Appalachian Trail hiker). Have you journaled any of your trips with a PDA? Just wondering what your experiences have been. (I have almost a year to figure the logistics out.)

    Of course, it may all be moot for me because a friend today asked to come along and drive a support vehicle. If that's the case, EVERYTHING goes;)
     
  17. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    Hi Nun

    There are some great ideas on that list. A sleeping bag that weighed only 450grams would be great. I thought ours were good at 800grams!
    We have to be extremly careful about what we carry as we have the same storage as a single but there are 2 of us so light and compact are the way to go.
    Wasn't to keen on the stove though as cleaning pots after they have been used over a wood fire is a pain. We use an MSR Firefly and run it on unleaded petrol.
    After the 2200kms we did in France and Austria and another 600kms since then I've managed to lose over 9kgs (20lbs) and my jowls! We are now commuting about 250kms a week plus some long rides on the weekends to keep fit. My wife is pissed as she has put on weight! (its muscle though).

    I have seen a few aluminium bikes dented from transit accidents so If I was going to get a single touring bike, I would still stick with steel such as 853 or something similar. 36h wheels with good hubs such as Hugi or Chris King, Velocity Dyad rims with 14/15 spokes would be reliable.

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  18. spartanstorkbir

    spartanstorkbir New Member

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    Hi,

    I use a 20, 34, 53 and have a megarange freewhell which is approximately 14-32. I would prefer a 12-32. The 20 is great for going up hills at 2-3 mph. I have rear panniers almost always, fronts sometimes, and a trailer too occassionally. Best Wishes. Let me know if this is helpful. [email protected]
     
  19. athoma00

    athoma00 New Member

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    My bike has an 11 - 34 with a 28,38,48 Front. I found that the 48,11 ratio is only very rarely used and on tour am mostly 38 to 23,20 or 17 (15 at the most). When commuting its mostly 38 to 17 or 15, occasionally 48 to 17.
    I have just ordered a Sora 52,42,30 for my bike and will probably buy a 13 - 23 to suit for normal commuting use. I will split this up and combine with some of the old cassette's ratios on tour to maybe give a 15 - 34 mix of some sort on tour. I'm happy to sacrifice some top speed ratio to get more choice where most needed. When the bike is loaded I'm not going to see how fast I can go down some hill anyhow. While the new chainring sizes may seem a little high this is the only model I could find which A. are steel, and B. replacement chainrings are available, and cheap. In fact I also ordered 2 extra 42's and a 52 for not much more. Sugino also make a steel toothed crankset in 46,36,26 that I know of but I could not find replacement chainrings so that made the decision for me.

    When on tour I keep it fairly light, which is easy as I haven't gone too far from home (i.e. not overseas or anything) and usually only for 3 or 4 weeks. All my stuff can fit over the front wheel which is good. I found the 28,34 ratio probably even too low against some fairly good hills, maybe the 30,34 will be just right.
     
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