Author Topic: Gearing for TransAm  (Read 3305 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline steveoh

Gearing for TransAm
« on: January 07, 2010, 08:45:17 pm »
I am getting ready to ride the Trans Am route this summer and am looking for some help in determining if I need to change my current bike set up.  I am riding a Cannondale road bike that is currently set up with a compact crank, so I will have a 34/25 combination for climbs.  My family is riding sag, so I will not have a load....just me and my bike.  I live in the flat midwest, so I have no idea what I am in for in the mountains.  Thanks in advance for anyone's help.


Offline John Nelson

Re: Gearing for TransAm
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2010, 09:00:21 pm »
It depends on your age, fitness level and weight, and how many miles you hope to do in a day. 34/25*27 figures out to be almost 37 gear inches. That's higher than is usually recommended for touring.

My guess is that you can make it with the gearing you have, but you'll often wish you had something lower.

Offline steveoh

Re: Gearing for TransAm
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2010, 10:45:42 pm »
Thanks for the reponse, John.  I guess I should have included a little background.  I am 43 years old, 160 pounds, and about 3 years removed from doing an ironman bike (112 miles) in just under 6 hours.  It was in Lake Placid, New York, so it wasn't flat.  Also, I am planning on 500 miles a week.  Thanks again for the help.


Offline Cyclesafe

Re: Gearing for TransAm
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2010, 10:37:54 pm »
When very tired you will appreciate being able to spin rather than mash up grades.  If I were you and I had a 9 speed setup, I'd get a $100 MTB rear deraileur and a 11-32, 11-34, or even Shimano's new 12-36 Shimano cassette.  The last would give you about 25 gear inches which would be nice to have during the viciously steep (but short) climbs in the Appalachians.  Why kill yourself?


  • Guest
Re: Gearing for TransAm
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2010, 08:33:42 am »
I will second Cyclesafe. In 33 years of touring, I have never heard anyone complain about gears too low. Plenty of groans on the other end of the range, though!