On 09/15/2016 11:45 PM, Clayton.sf wrote:
40t cogs are the domain of 1x gearing IMO, unless it is an academic exercise or 
you are schlepping too much much gear. 22x40 - you would likely be able to walk 
as fast. And... why not use at triple at that point. Personally I like short 
cage derailers for dirt or none at all and don't go beyond 36 in a cassette.


In the carbon frame 11 speed era, increasingly 40T sprockets are the only way to get gears in the low 20s. Triples aren't an option because 1) there aren't many, if any, made for the type of bottom brackets used on carbon road bikes; 2) integrated brake/shift levers don't do triples (either at all, in the case of the higher group levels, or very successfully); 3) even if you could change crank sets you are still stuck with a 50T large chain ring on most of these bikes because the front derailleur is mounted on a "braze-on" bracket whose adjustment slot is made such that you can't lower the front derailleur at all. Along with that 50T big ring comes a 34T small ring.

So where does this leave you? 34 x 32 is now the "standard" low gear, and the lowest "road" groups offer. With the 23mm tires these bikes have, that's a 28" gear. If you need lower than that, you've got to go to larger sprockets, and the next larger sizes are 36 and 40 which give you 25" and 22", respectively, and you've got to use one of the two Wolftooth devices: Roadlink (which will let that 32T capable road rear derailleur accommodate a 36T sprocket) or Tanpan, which will let you use a Dynasys rear derailleur, which can handle 40T.

None of this is ideal, in that along with those 36 or 40T large sprockets you get an 11T 1st position, and 50x11 gives you a 120" top gear - and what anybody who needs a 25 or 22 inch low is going to do with a 120" big gear I cannot imagine. The next gear down with these cassettes is a 50x13 which isn't so bad - 101" - so I imagine basically you treat the 1st position sprocket as a spacer and forget you have 11 back there.

But basically, with those bikes that is all you can do.

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