Author Topic: Best gearing for touring?  (Read 6137 times)

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Offline giantrider

Best gearing for touring?
« on: January 24, 2006, 12:28:35 am »
My Jamis Aurora does not seem to have low enough climbing gears for loaded touring. It has a 32-11 cassette, and the Crank has 52-42-32. It has 700 wheels. I would like to hear your opinions on what gear ratios are the best and what combinations of sprockets to use. Would it be practical to just replace the small chainring with a smaller one?  

Offline wanderingwheel

Best gearing for touring?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2006, 01:02:24 am »
That's the first thing that I would try.  Be careful, though, if you go much below 30 because the jump between the middle and small rings may cause shifting problems.  In that case, consider reducing your middle chainring to a 39.  You could also try an even larger cassette.  Personally I do just fine with a 30 chainring and a mountain bike cassette such as yours, or a 26 chainring and a road cassette.


Offline biker_james

Best gearing for touring?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2006, 08:12:06 am »
Lots of things sold as touring bikes don't have low enough gears for normal riders. My Cannondale came with an 11-32 cassette and 30/42/52 chainrings-which I toured on for about 3 years. Then I swapped the in chainrings to get to 24/39/48. That is what my wife has on her bike- I changed the cranks on mine and ended up with 22/38/48. I don' think you will regret have a gear or two that you almost never use, because when you do need them, or even think you might, you'll be glad that they are there. And nobody on a loaded touring bike needs a 52-11 gear ratio. If its downhill enough to use a gear that high, you will be flying down anyway. The smaller middle ring means that you can ride in it most of the time, only going to the small ring for bigger hills.

Offline RussellSeaton

Best gearing for touring?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2006, 06:52:15 pm »
As others have mentioned, get a smaller inner chainring.  For loaded touring, get the smallest your crankset will handle.  24 tooth in your case.  However, STI shifters do not seem to like huge jumps between gears.  STI just throws the chain down when you click it.  No easing to STI downshifts.  If you have STI, then consider changing the other rings to smaller.  Expensive though.  And getting a chain watcher device.  Get one no matter what.  If using bar end shifters, then you can sort of ease the chain down to the small innner ring.  Still get a chain watcher.  With the 52-42-24 setup, you would have with a new inner ring, your rear derailleur will not wrap up enough chain to keep the chain from drooping in the inner ring and the smallest 2-3-4 or so cogs.  Not really a problem since you don't use these.  But something to keep in mind.  Going to a bigger cog in back, 12-34 or 11-34, will not get you much lower of a gear.