NickJP wrote:Back in the days of 5-speed freewheels, three chainrings made sense as the only way to get a good gear range on a touring bike. Now, with 11- and 12-speed cassettes that have both smaller cogs at the high end and larger cogs at the low end, plus smaller gaps between adjacent gears on the cassette, two chainrings are more than adequate.
My gearing used to be this (46-42-26 chainrings and 14-34 freewheel):
Now it's this (38-26 chainrings and 11-40 cassette):
I have both a higher high and a lower low with the two chainring setup.
Although I didn't know it at the time, being a nipper and all that, during the 5 and 6 speed era you could get sprockets up to 36T, Suntour made the full range range for the 5 and 6 speed freewheel bodies. I've seen a few of the 'hi-lo' freewheels that had a distinct jump between the 3rd and 4th sprocket, certainly there was the range available but nt necessarily easily available or for everyone's pockets.
I've run a Stronglight 99 (86mm BCD) with 50/28 and latterly 48/28 (as I didn't need the 50 for the ambling on the particular bike), mated that to a 14-36 that I put together, it's better as a 6 speed but doable with a 5 speed, still, the jumps are bloody enormous, 14-32 is easier to deal with but it's a bike I don't use often but still like to be able to get up the steep stuff with. I think we've gone soft since the advent of 8 speed