Touring on a 42 single chain set (if thats the correct terminology...)

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Ricd11, 19 May 2010.

  1. Ricd11

    Ricd11 New Member

    The chap who is doing a tour with me this summer (leaving very soon in fact, 6th June) has a bike with only a 42 chainset. Now he built this bike himself when he was younger and services it himself so he seems like a dab hand at it all. However, he hasn't done much cycling of late and definitely not with panniers etc.

    Just wondering if this is a wise choice, as I have a triple with a 28 (which even up hills less would be nice) and this may lead to difficulties on the trip. We'll be following the Rhine to switzerland and then across to south france, so i'm presuming there's going to be some hills! I think my biggest is 42, and don't think I'd manage to well even unloaded, specially when it is all being done for enjoyment!

    If its common then that's fine, but if you have any recommendations I can let him know and by the sounds of it it wouldn't be too much of a trouble for him to sort something out.

    Thanks folks,

  2. willem

    willem Über Member

    It does depend a bit on what he has at the rear. If that is one of the new 11-36 cassettes, things do not look too bleak. Even so, a smaller front chainwheel will make life easier, as will ultralight luggage.
  3. jags

    jags Veteran

    probably only a 39 will fit up front .what's his rear gearing 7 speed 9 speed if it's a 9 speed cassette he has than he could probably fit a 36 sprocket which would be fine i reckon ,but to be honest he would be far better off changing to shimano xt triple up front and rear make the tour so much easer.
  4. willem

    willem Über Member

    A front triple might be nice but is costly. It involves a new crankset (but avoid the awful new Shimano XT with crappy external bearings - go for something reliable like the Sugino XD). He also needs a FD and shifter of one kind or another. On a triple he might also need to get a new long cage RD, for extra chain wrap. Here an ultracompact front double like the new Velo Orange Grandcru has the edge, as it will work with medium cage derailleurs such as I would expect to find on this bike.
    I would not write off a single, however. With a 33t or 34t chainwheel at the front (if he has a 110 mm bcd crankset), and a 11-36 at the rear, your friend should be ready for quite a lot, especially if he manages to leave home all unnecessary junk.
  5. OP

    Ricd11 New Member

    Sorry I can't be more specific at the moment in terms of the rest of the bike setup. It's just my concern really, wouldn't want it to get in the way of the trip as he is not particularly cycle fit now (which is true for me but the triple gives me some comfort)
  6. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry Here for rides.

    good way to ruin a group tour is to let the guy who hasn't done any riding for a while come along. Unless he is uber fit from other activities by day 3, day 5 max, he will be dead on his feet if you are doing 50+ mile days, regardless of what gears he hasn't got.

    and please tell me it isn't a singlespeed or a fixed, with luggage....
  7. palinurus

    palinurus Legendary Member

    I've toured with a single 41T* chainring up front, although this was on an Airnimal folder with 24" (520) wheels. Hilly North Wales, panniers but not camping (so a spare set of cycling clothes, lightweight clothes for the evening, jacket and tools etc.).

    It was fine. Can't remember what cassette I used, but probably a something to 27.

    *I've no idea where I got the idea for that many teeth from either!
  8. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    He'd be better of getting a secondhand decent hardtail or a Subway if you're doing some Alps.
  9. OP

    Ricd11 New Member

    no it's not a single speed, by the sounds of it the gears are quite comfortable for road cycling, but as I said thats not with tent and panniers. I will be equally not very fit and there is only the two of us so not a big group. Also I finish uni exams in a few days, so will have a week or two to get some miles in to get back used to cycling as its been a couple of months now!

    I think i'll drop him a text and see if the bikes be tried out with loaded panniers etc.

    Thanks for the responses
  10. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry Here for rides.

    Aha. You're students. In which case ignore everything I said. You're young enough to get away with touring on a pair of unicycles if you want.:laugh:
  11. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Resistance is futile! Moderator

    A 40T single chainwheel will get me up most hills around here. *smug*
    I've got a 12-32T cassette though, and I live in Norfolk Hertfordshire.
    *substantially less smug*
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