Monday, March 17, 2014

Triple Threat

surly cross check triple fenders

Carrying loads on a bicycle tends to upend your gearing strategy. Under normal circumstances, I am perfectly happy with a double crankset on my Surly Cross Check. However, the occasional loaded tour got me thinking about lower gearing. On my last tour, I went with a 34-tooth inner ring which did help with the climbs, but it was still not low enough for loaded touring. So, I finally decided to make the conversion to a triple. Fortunately, the process was relatively painless. My crankset was already drilled for a granny ring, so adding one was easy. My Dura Ace bar end shifter is compatible with double or triple setups, so that was a non-issue. I had to install a new bottom bracket with a longer spindle to accommodate the third ring, and a new front derailleur was necessary, but that was it. I do miss the simplicity of the double setup, but loaded touring is tremendously easier now. It's nice to be ready for anything.

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