Author Topic: Gear Chainring  (Read 5658 times)

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Offline Blackbear

Gear Chainring
« on: April 27, 2011, 09:32:45 am »
I will be leaving Murphysboro, Il for Greensboro, NC via a portion of the TA. Bike and gear weigh 61lbs. How will 28 cog small chainring fare in KY hills and VA cllimbs?  Blackbear

Offline John Nelson

Re: Gear Chainring
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2011, 09:52:56 am »
Depends somewhat on your age and fitness level and cassette. At 61 pounds total weight, you are traveling lighter than average.

Your use of the term "28 cog small chainring" is, in my experience, a bit confusing. I assume you're talking about a 28-tooth small chainring (i.e., in the front), rather than talking about a "cog" (which generally refers to the gears in the back). The 28-tooth chainring should be fine if paired with a 32 or 34 tooth cog in the back. What cassette do you have?

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Gear Chainring
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2011, 11:28:45 am »
If you've got a 28x34 (front x rear), you shouldn't have to walk much.  That's assuming you're in decent shape, and you mentioned a 60 pound bike+load.

Of course, Berea, Kentucky into Haysi, VA has most of the steepest climbs on the TransAm (exceptions may be a couple of Missouri hills).  Those ridges might make you wish for a 22 front ring, but a 28 up front sounds like you've got a road crank.  I'd see if an LBS could switch out that 28 for a 26.  Sheldon said 24 was borderline for most road crank / derailer combinations, but a 26 should be achievable.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Gear Chainring
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2011, 11:49:48 am »
If you can run a 24, I would, but a 28 might get you by.  I am assuming that you have a 32 or 34 on the rear cluster.  I did that section with a 26T chain ring and a 32T cog and found it barely adequate.  At times I would have liked a lower gear.

All that said you could walk here and there and it wouldn't be the end of the world.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Gear Chainring
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 12:04:54 pm »
I don't think anyone on this forumn can really answer that question for you, be cause everyone's needs are different.

As a young rider, I was fast, strong, and generally indestructable.   That all held true until my 40's, and none of those things are much true anymore.

How do you do on hilly terraine?  Are there any 10% grades where you live?  What is the steepest hill you can climb?  Do you feel like you have adequate gearing now?

If you are happy with your current gearing, then leave well enough alone.  If you want more gearing, then the easiest thing to do will be to max out the gear cassette.  If you have a long cage rear derailleur, then you can go to 32 or 34 tooth rear cluster (32 or 34 being the number of teeth on the biggest sprocket).  If that is not enough, then you can try putting a smaller granny gear in the crank.  I have not had impressive changes from that.  Your next change (in order of ascending expense) is to put in a mountain bike crank set, but that often means putting in a mountain bike front derrailleur as well.
Danno

Offline Susan

Re: Gear Chainring
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 02:34:05 pm »
The road bike I tour with had a 26T chainring, with a 32 rear cog - OK for the flatlands where I live. 
But on last year's very mountainous SC tour I wished I would have had one or two smaller gears.  My bike shop installed a 22T chainring and it's great - wish I would have had this from the beginning!
I'm preparing to ride most of the NT this year, and my loaded bike weighs about the same as yours, Blackbear,  I'm 62 and never had much chance to train uphill. 
Like Pete says, it doesn't hurt to walk a stretch now and then, but I personally think it's still good to have a couple small gears in reserve.  My knees are so happy!
Good luck!

Offline cotterg3

Re: Gear Chainring
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2011, 03:24:20 pm »
I rode in that area last year with a 30t chainring and 27t cog. My bike and gear was also around 60 lbs, I weigh 155 lbs, and I was 27 years old. I consider myself in good shape but necessarily a very strong cyclist.

It wasn't totally painful, but I really wished I had a lower gearing. I had to stand on nearly every climb. Honestly, I would have been very happy with mtb gearing (something like 24 in front 32 in back). In my opinion, swapping to a lower gearing would have been worth the money, and I generally recommend it.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Gear Chainring
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2011, 04:02:04 am »
Since you mention a 28 tooth chainring, I'm guessing you have a road bike triple crankset.  With the inner chainring using a 74mm bolt circle diameter.  You can easily put a 24 tooth chainring on such a crankset.  No matter how big your outer chainrings are, the 24 inner will work perfectly.  Having a 24 instead of a 28 may mean you only have to use your 24x28 gear instead of your 28x32 gear.  So you have one extra low gear in reserve.  No harm done having too low of a gear.  I've ridden in the Rockies and only used a 24x23 low gear.  Never needed the 24x28 lowest gear.  It did not hurt me.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Gear Chainring
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2011, 06:40:48 am »
I've ridden in the Rockies and only used a 24x23 low gear.  Never needed the 24x28 lowest gear.  It did not hurt me.
Not sure where you rode in the Rockies, but I will say that the route that the OP is talking about has much steeper climbs than anything I saw in the Rockies on the Trans America. 

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Gear Chainring
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2011, 01:33:23 pm »
I've ridden in the Rockies and only used a 24x23 low gear.  Never needed the 24x28 lowest gear.  It did not hurt me.
Not sure where you rode in the Rockies, but I will say that the route that the OP is talking about has much steeper climbs than anything I saw in the Rockies on the Trans America. 

Slumgullion, Wolf Creek, Red Mountain, Rocky Mountain Park, Rabbit Ears, Molas, Coal Bank, Monarch, Squaw, Berthoud, Vail, Loveland, Mt. Evans.  The point of my comment was to point out that a 24 inner ring gets you a lower gear than a 28 ring.  So with the same cassette, you will have one lower gear with the 24.  Maybe you won't need to use it.  You will be able to get by with the 24 ring and your next to biggest cog.  Nothing is harmed if you carry your biggest cog and don't need it.

Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: Gear Chainring
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2011, 01:36:58 pm »
I had my 28 tooth chainring, swapped for a 24. I love the gearing, but I found that I occasionally drop the chain off the inside of the chainring when downshifting. My second chain-stop fixed the problem. The first one was too cheap -- it would rotate over time and stop working.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Gear Chainring
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2011, 12:11:05 pm »
My advise, "you can never go too low." 19 inch gear is nice. 22t crank 32t in the rear cassette or 24t crank 34t in the rear cassette. (I assume your bike has 700c rims) Worth the investment. As you ride, you will get, in better shape, but at the end of the day, when you are tired and climbing, it is nice not to have to walk or hurt your knees. Why struggle when you don't have to.

Offline whittierider

Re: Gear Chainring
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2011, 03:15:55 pm »
Quote
but at the end of the day, when you are tired and climbing
and in a much higher elevation than you're conditioned to (which is a very significant factor!)

Offline Tourista829

Re: Gear Chainring
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2011, 03:52:47 pm »
Touche, Whittierider, well said.

Offline PedalOn

Why not full mountain gears?
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2011, 05:12:35 pm »
I'm a huge fan of 22-32-44 front and 11-34 rear. Makes life so much easier.

With a highest gear of 44 front x 11 rear, you can pedal downhill up to about 27 mph. That's actually faster than I want to go on a loaded bike. After about 22-25 mph I just coast happily.

22 front x 34 rear is delightful for climbing hills.

With this gear setup you can ride at about 12 mph with the middle ring and the middle cog. That gives you plenty of room to shift up or down.

I have no idea why these gears aren't available as stock on at least a few bikes in the U.S. They would meet the needs of most ordinary people riding between 4 and 27 mph.