Author Topic: Getting lower gearing  (Read 8108 times)

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Offline lippy

Getting lower gearing
« on: May 21, 2008, 01:25:54 pm »
 I have a KHS Hybrid (see link) that has a 28/38/48 crankset and a 11-32 cog. My question is, can I replace the 28T with a 24T or 22T and not have to make any other changes? I plan to have my LBS (small shop) do the work but should I purchase the needed parts? I would like to do a tour (Pittsburg to Wash. DC trail) late this summer with my son. I plan to pull a Nashbar trailer and install front panniers. I hope to stay under 55 lbs of gear. Any advice you might give will be greatly appreciated.

Offline whittierider

Getting lower gearing
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2008, 03:35:44 pm »
You shouldn't have any problem.  You can also change the cassette from 11-32 to 11-34 (or 13-34).  Taking your low gear from 28/32 to 22/34 will make towing your load that super-steep hill about 35% easier.  If you're really lacking lower gears for climbing, you need to make bigger changes than people usually think.  A change of 10% in the gear ratio is very significant when you're cruising at 20mph, but it may not be enough to even feel it when you're struggling up a long, steep hill in high altitude with a heavy load and a long day behind you!

Offline RussellSeaton

Getting lower gearing
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2008, 06:46:48 pm »

It appears the Truvativ IsoFlow crankset has a 4 arm 64/104mm bcd.  The 104 outer and middle will accept as small as 32 teeth.  The inner 64 will accept as small as 22 teeth.  Unsure what the cost will be but you should be able to find them easily since Shimano uses this 104/64 4 arm spider on many of its cranksets.

Offline lippy

Getting lower gearing
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2008, 10:11:51 pm »
Thanks for the advice. At 63 and new to touring I'm not sure what I'll need. I haven't started to train with the trailer and panniers. I've just been concerned with putting in the miles. Have 33 rides and 693 miles this year. All but three in April & May. My hope is to do 55-65 a day for 5 days then a rest day on tour. The prudent thing to do is wait until July to see where I'm at. Again thanks for the info.

Offline crawdadslim

Getting lower gearing
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2008, 01:02:05 am »
thoughts on your trailer choice.  

I have one, and I would not do a long tour on it.  I might do an overnight, but not with over twenty five pounds.  its just not stable enough even for its stated capacity of forty pounds, which is not enough to have on a tour.

I had some problems with it, and talked to a nashbar rep, he told me my best bet was to get a bob trailer.
he went on to say that they have had a lot of problems with it and were just selling off what they had made.

Only reason I got it was for grocerys, not touring, I'm a pannier guy, but I just don't think I would feel confident with the mounting system over several days of touring.  I have broken two skewers and the retaining pins lost the bearings that recess into the shaft.  so did the replacements I ordered, but before I even opened the bag they came in.  

maby a two wheeled kiddy trailer would work on the trail, but a Bob has really good resale value.  I think that you would be safer with a better trailer.  
if you do take it, be sure to have a regular skewer just in case.  I do that.

whatever you decide, be safe and have a good ride.

Offline tgpelz

Getting lower gearing
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2008, 11:38:24 pm »
Regarding daily touring distances.

My goal is the trip.  For example, I will ride any distance and if I find something interesting, I will spend a long time exploring the location.   One time I only rode 10 miles in one day.

Well, there was another time I only rode 5.4 miles, but that was a long uphill climb out of an 8000 foot MSL elevation Colorado town.  The climb ended at 10,500 feet.   Not a good day for a low lander from Wisconsin.

On the other hand, if I don't find something interesting, I will keep riding until it approached dusk, then, I find a place to pitch my tent.

The I have both Arkel Panniers and a Bob trailer.   I put my camera equipment in the trailer, or attach it to my wife's bike, and make her haul some of the stuff we carry (we each take roll up chair  and I carry a roll up table)


Offline bogiesan

Getting lower gearing
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2008, 12:26:22 am »
> My hope is to do 55-65 a day for 5 days then a rest day on tour. The
prudent thing to do is wait until July to see where I'm at.

I'd suggest you find a supported tour for July or August and enjoy
yourself, see if you like touring. Then see about going it alone and self-

david boise ID

go, ristretto, FCP/AE
"Read the manual."
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline tgpelz

Getting lower gearing
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2008, 09:38:59 am »
I am not sure how many others got started with bike touring.

I did not begin with a long trip.  I began with multiple short trips of two or three days biking (plus the time to get to and from the trip starting point).

As I rode, I also began to determine what stuff I needed to carry along to meet my needs.

Now, before any trip, I open up one of my panniers, remove the moth balls, placed there to keep the mice out, remove the check list I have and then  gather the stuff I need and set off.

After a trip, I clean and repack my panniers.  

I also keep a log of most of my trips.   The log included things I think I should add to the stuff I carry, but might need on another trip.  

For example, I carry a small container of LokTite.  That stuff helps prevent screws from coming undone.  It  is a very small bottle and fits in one of the  pockets of my Arkels.  The times I have used it have been worth time trouble to carry it.

Same goes for my water filter system, my 10L MSR water bag, my roll of black electrical tape, etc.

Back to the point.  Begin with short trips, of a couple of days and then grow into the fun and pleasure of bike touring.

Another point.  Having my wife (or daughter) with me has been an asset.  People are more willing to talk / help a couple than they are a single male.    

Still, people are very friendly to most of us on bikes and will often let us camp in their front or back yards.



Offline WesternFlyer

Getting lower gearing
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2008, 03:18:21 am »
I have had less than good luck adding different size chain rings to my existing set.  Over-shifting, under-shifting, stuck chains between rings, etc have been the unfortunate pattern for me.  I bit the bullet and bought a new set of Race Face 24-34-46 rings to replace the OME Sugino 28-36-48, which I had doctored with a Salsa 24 inner ring and a chain keeper.  I have never had a triple chain set shift so well as the Race Face.  And the 46 tooth outer marries well with the 11/34 cassette so I dont need to hunt down or splice two cassettes together for a 13 or 14/34 setup.  Other than a slight adjustment in height of the front derailleur there were no other adjustment required.

In the four-bolt patter Race Face has a 22-32-44 set, which should let you climb tree trunks.  There are probably other manufacturers sets available.  I had never used Race Face before and I am really impressed with their design and precision workmanship.

Western Flyer

A wheel spins in a circle.
The still point at the center
gives it direction.
Be still.

   "The Parents' Tao Te Ching"
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline paddleboy17

Getting lower gearing
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2008, 01:56:42 pm »
A Shimano LX crank and front derailleur are ~$200.  Would you consider that?  Its not hard to install, and would give you extremely favorable gearing.