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  1. #1
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    700C Chainring Advice (Bianchi Roger)

    I just bought a Bianchi Roger SS and it came with a 48x17 setup. I swapped that out to a 48x18 right away. I'm coming off knee surgery but that is coming along well so I don't think that will present any special circumstances for me and this bike. My question is should I buy a smaller front chainring if I am looking to ride some of the MTB trails, use it for some road/commuting type things (slow fun stuff), and race a little bit of cross with it? I am thinking maybe a 44 or 42.

    On my 26" singlespeed I run 32x18 all the time, all season, any conditions (off road, ski resorts, snow, whatever) and I'm fine with that. I live in Minnesota so we don't have the long sustained climbs. More the short and steep kind.

    Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I ran a 38 x 16 for a while as a road commuter on a 26 inch wheeled bike. It didn't work well on the local trails. Many areas were fine with that gear, but a few of the climbs were just too steep or long, where the momentum couln't carry me up the hill. That is on my trails. I put on a 20 with much better results. I think you will need different setups for different conditions - maybe a road gear, a cross gear and a trail gear. The San Jose comes 42x17 and that seems a more versatile gear than the Roger. I might try to err on the side of too small a gear after surgery. A 38 or 39 might be the smallest gear you can run on the stock crank, and cogs greater than 20 or 22 are harder to come by. I don't know what type of cog your wheel will run, but if it is a shimano splined freehub with spacers, I would get some inexpensive Dimension cogs and some SRAM quick links for the chain and experiment a bit. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    I'm in a similar boat. I've recently decided to attempt to make my SS cyclocross trail-worthy in *addition* to it's usual fireroad/commuter duties. There are obvious problems with this and major compromises. I originally had it geared at 40x16 which was good for the types of hills I encounter on the ~32 mile r/t commute, while comfortably maintaining a speed of ~19 MPH on the concrete flats. My 29er trail bike is geared at 32x20 and I like that for the local trails (I could do 32x18 comfortably enough as well). So, I figured to keep the bike simple (not dinglespeed/etc) I would have to compromise to have a trail/commuter bike that was more difficult on the trails and a bit slower on the road, and am going to start with 34x16 to see how that rolls on the tarmac. I'll be pushing the bike up some sections of trail but I'm okay with that. The reasoning for all of this is that I'm able to link trails, gravel and road together to get to and from work and makes for an adventurous and great commute, what a way to start and end a day at the office!

    Anyway, I'll be installing the 34T and doing a test run on both trail and road this weekend and will let you know how it works out.
    pete

  4. #4
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    48:17 is pointlessly huge. For CX racing I have gone as low as 39:17. My commuter is set at 42:17, and I cruise at about 17MPH. I would look at something in the 38-42 range for use with a 17T on a CX bike.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your help everyone! If anyone else knows anything or after experimenting please post up. It is appreciated!!!

  6. #6
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    depends. on the hilly roads around here, for road rides, 46/15. cross and mtb (LandShark cross bike or Salsa mamacita 29er) 34/16.

  7. #7
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    Update:

    I got a chance to test out my new chainring sooner than I thought. We had "holiday happy hour" today at work and got to sample a bunch of great microbrew bombers and some nice tequila into the late afternoon, so when I got home this evening I was in the perfect mood to mess around in the garage (and my wife was occupied with xmas stuff). I put the 34T on the 16t cog cyclocross (along with a new set of Midge bars) around 10:00p, grabbed the lights and took the bike down the trails for a spin. Man was that fun! The 34x16 on the 700c was about as expected and had to walk up a few of the sections I knew I'd had to, but I had a great time considering what I was riding. I pulled off the trail after about 1.5 miles to head back home on some gravel to see how the gearing fared on flat fireroad/whatever: ...and it was bearable. Tomorrow I'm going to bike commute to work hitting trails, gravel and road and will have a better feel of things after 30-some miles r/t, but from what I cant tell right now this is close to what I want. I may want 36x16 after tomorrow (definitely running a bit slow on the flat gravel) but we'll see (If you're going to walk trail sections, you're going to walk -- right?). We'll see how that goes....

    PS: I think I like my new Midges, at least in theory. Still have to get the stem dialed-in, but if I can get them feeling more like the h-bars (on my main trail bike) and not so stretched-out with the current stem on my CX, I'll be happy. Nice road/trail transition. New stem should be coming in the mail tomorrow (today?) so we'll see what I can do with this frame...

    -p
    pete

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