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If it were me, I would invest in a mountain bike compact triple crank set and the tools to do the job. It sounds like the crank would be more that you want to budget, but the tools could be cheaper than what the dealer would charge you to do things.
Why are you advising the author to throw money in the toilet? Your advice is very expensive compared to changing the chain rings. The mountain bike triple you recommend can get down to a 22 tooth inner ring. He currently has a road triple crankset with 130mm bcd for the outer and middle positions and 74mm bcd for the inner ring. He can put a 24 tooth ring on his current crankset. There is so little difference between a 22 and 24 inner ring that its not worth talking about.
On a compact triple, aluminum generally is not strong enough for the small chain ring.
The TA chainrings are nice, but you won't need anything that fancy, as the bar end shifter will shift anything. I have the Sugino cranks and they are perfect for touring. If you go that route, just watch which model crank you get, the lower end one has heavy steel chainrings.
I would still like to know if anyone actually rode up after 4. Thanks all.Yes.
Post back if you still have stability problems on a calm wind day. If so, then something else is going on and we should discuss further.
On my other bikes, I use Selle Italia Max Flight saddles; the Sojourn came with a B-17. I followed the directions on using Proofide to the T.
Lo and behold, when I wear my Aerotech bibs, I get a nasty abrasion in the perineal area. I know the the Brooks takes time to break in and this doesn't happen on the Max Flight saddles which has a huge relief cut-out. I wasn't sure if this was a need for the leather to soften around the 3 holes in the center of the B-17 or what.
Is this the result of the B-17 not being broken in yet or is it due to the seam running down the center of the shorts, under the chamois? I do not have an sit bone pain from, thigh rubbing etc. I have half a mind to swap saddles since I know the Selle Italia works for me and started to experiment with shorts could get expensive...
Trek has produced the 520 for years. Comments have been weak rear rack and not low enough gearing.
Not low enough gearing on the Trek 520? Bizarre. It comes from the factory with 26x32 low gear. Fairly low.
I agree the stock gears are "fairly low", but criticizing the reporting that the gearing is not low enough is "bizarre" is overly strong. See below,
"The one upgrade I have always thought about is lower crank gears. The stock gear ratio of 48/36/26 is a little high if you are using the bike to carry heavier loads on longer trips with mountains."
I especially agree for a small woman.