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  1. #1
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    Lower Gearing... Sweet!

    I had a commute over the summer that was a little under five miles, with 200' of descending and then 340' of climbing, give-or-take. The bike I use is an older 12-speed, previously with a 40/52 crankset and 14-28t freewheel. I promised myself after doing that stupid climb five days a week that I'd get some lower gears if I had to do it again.

    Anyway, I'm back at that school from now through mid-March, so I got a 34t and 48t ring installed. It's so much easier! I didn't even miss the little bit of top-end I gave up, although I see the 14t cog being in much more regular use from now on.

    I highly encourage anyone who's contemplating a similar change to do it. It's one thing to be macho about gears for unladen, spandex-clad riding (although I'm still not) but I know I'm happy to take all the help I can get when I've got a bag of books.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  2. #2
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    Reputation: ScottNova's Avatar
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    In the end other people are not the ones turning the gears. You are. That's all you need to know. Sounds like a Fun climb.

  3. #3
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    I always like to ride in a lower gear. I have a 12 speed road bike I ride to my town and other towns (usually 30,40 mile rides). When I get on a flat straightaway, I usually like to go fast, but anywhere there are hills (down or up) I get in 4th or 5th gear.
    =[--
    Haha, I made a bike! Do you see it?

  4. #4
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    My run-around-town bike has a 36/22 up front and 11-30 in back. Works great all over the place: pavement, trails, pathways, etc.

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    This one's somewhat restricted by the existing equipment on it, and me being a cheapskate. Between the derailleur capacity, shifter, and my desires in cog spacing, I wasn't going to get a freewheel with lower gearing on there; 34t is the smallest common ring that the existing 110 BCD crank will accept.

    If I do one from the ground up, though, it's going to have an even lower granny.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    This one's somewhat restricted by the existing equipment on it, and me being a cheapskate. Between the derailleur capacity, shifter, and my desires in cog spacing, I wasn't going to get a freewheel with lower gearing on there; 34t is the smallest common ring that the existing 110 BCD crank will accept.

    If I do one from the ground up, though, it's going to have an even lower granny.
    I have a 1X8 set-up on my CX bike, 34 X 11-34. Works KILLER!

    So, do you have a 6-speed cassette in the back?

  7. #7
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    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottNova
    In the end other people are not the ones turning the gears. You are. That's all you need to know. Sounds like a Fun climb.
    +1 I dropped the 53-42-30 for 48-36-26. The 5 added lower ratios the Granny brings to the party don't get a lot of play except in truly hilly terrain, but after riding into 20+ winds for 20 miles and finding a long hard climb, it is nice to have it in reserve.

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion
    So, do you have a 6-speed cassette in the back?
    Sort of. It's a freewheel.

    The bike is an old Raleigh Technium - some kind of bonded aluminum construction. It's spaced for a 126mm hub and I'm afraid to mess with that because of the construction.

    I'll see how I feel going forward, but today it felt like I have my available ratios in just about the right range. I still have to get out of the saddle on some parts of the long climb in one direction, and a couple short steep ones, but I generally had my choice on anything long. I think that in order to get any more low ratios, I'd need to throw a lot more money at the project than I really want to.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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