Saturday, March 18, 2017

New Low Gear

After a year of cycling on the Central Coast it has become clear that I need at least one more low gear for some of the steeper roads of the Central Coast. I replaced my small 28t ring with a 26t small ring. This required a change in the large chainring from a 52t to a 50t and taking two links off the chain to maintain good chain tension. Even with that done and using a 36/11 cassette the rear derailleur is maxed out. Going small (small chainring)/small (small cassette cog) leaves the chain sagging a bit. But since there is no reason to go small/small it's not a concern.

I added a inner chainring guard to keep the chain in line when dropping down from the 39t to the 26t. Under normal riding conditions with a well tuned derailleur dropping the chain from the 39t to the 26t works fine. However experience has taught me that when rattling around on rough roads the chain can drop off the small chainring while shifting. Therefore the addition of the inner chainring guard. The extra weight is minimal.

The outer guard is to protect me from poking myself and Carrie when the boom and chainring is between the front seats when the trike is loaded in the car. It also serves a second purpose-it shuts down the roadies who like to complain about the dangers of getting impaled on the exposed chainring.

The sacrifice I make on the high end will be made up on the low end with happier legs on the climbs.

Inner chain guard (Volae Granny Guard), 26t, 39t, 50t and Outer chain guard (Driveline)

The small Salsa (on left) and Blackspire (in middle) chainrings have an asymmetrical offset of the teeth. It's just enough to cause the chain to drop or get wedged between chainrings depending on the way you install them. The Vuelta (on right) chainring teeth are centered on the chainring and allow for smooth shifting on the FSA crank.



Crank mounted, two chain links removed, derailleur lowered, cable adjusted and chain lubed. Ready to ride.


Using a 35/622  rear tire (for rougher roads)


Using a 28/622  rear tire





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