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Gearing Modification Options for Loaded Touring?(3 posts)

Gearing Modification Options for Loaded Touring?Tarzan
Sep 17, 2001 3:16 PM
I'm looking at two bikes for loaded touring: the Cannondale T800 and the Trek 520. Both use standard road triples (30/42/52) with 11-34 or 32 cogs, respectively. I think this gearing will be too tall for humping 45 lbs around various countrysides. So, what are my options for modifying them? Can I put in an LX or XT drivetrain with 22/23/44 chainrings or would a smaller inner chain ring be good enough? One fellow has upgraded with an Ultegra crank (with ramped rings) and a 26 tooth granny. What are the cost and performance differences?

FYI, the Cannondale has an RSX BB, Tiagra front der. and XT rear der. The Trek has an unknown BB but uses a 105 crank and a 105 front der and LX rear der.
re: Gearing Modification Options for Loaded Touring?davet
Sep 17, 2001 5:15 PM
I have a Trek 540 (Aluminum) touring bike set up very similar to the 520. In my experience, the standard 105 set-up will serve you very well; reliable, very good quality at a reasonable price and (relatively) light. The only thing I would tell you to do on gearing IF you are going to do loaded touring would be to relace the 30 tooth small chainring with a 26 or 28 tooth and have an 11-34 in the back. That combo will ensure that you can maintain good speeds on the flats, be able to climb very steep hills and have gearing for everything in between.

I would not go to the extra expense of upgrading to Ultegra, the 105 is very close in quality and weight, so your money can be better spent elsewhere. Before you start to put some serious loaded miles on your bike I would recommend that you switch your tires to Continental Top Touring 2000 in 700x32. These tires offer phenominal mileage, excellent traction and I have NEVER had a puncture on mine. By the way, the group that bicycled around the world last year used primarily 105 hardware and Conti Top Touring 2000 tires.
My (older) Trek took a 24t ring w/no other changescory
Sep 18, 2001 12:32 PM
It's a singlespeed now, but when I was using it for touring, I swapped the 30 on my Trek 620 straight across for a 24t. Didn't cause any problems at all. Did the same with my triple-ring Allez a few years ago. Everything worked fine.