Image One: OEM 38t Front Chainring, Surly 36t, Surly 35t. Used but not abused… This month a Surly [Brand Name] 34t has merged with The Bicycle A.K.A. Diesel Dark, and its mutated Cyborg Navigator.
The latest Chainring, 34t, provides a 12% gearing reduction compared to the stock Hybrid Bicycle which was purchased less than a year ago.
Mechanic: Mike Conlon; Trek Portsmouth NH.
Image Two: A Sheldon Brown Gear Ratio Chart; measured in Gear Inches, using a very basic Sunrace 13-28t Freewheel Rear Cogset. Sunrace is a real value; pure functionality, little marketing, no hype. Strong.
What It Says: The OEM Gearing in the back works for a Non-Racer Eccentric Old Guy enjoying local commuting year-round. Alongside the Atlantic Sea. It handles headwinds, steamrolls rolling hills [especially in Sixth and Seventh] and is quick enough to mesh town traffic threading town traffic lights.
Sounds Good, But… But; there are some hills with much more altitude & attitude in the State Of NH… On the way to Derry NH for example; going the backroads [Rockingham Rd]. Then there’s a hill called Monadnock… Another one known as Mt Washington.
Image Three: Another Sheldon Brown Gear Chart; this one for a 13-32 Freewheel. The IRD Brand apparently was off to a rough start [bad pun] as an OEM Replacement. Speculation is the latest iterations, MK III and MK IV have been improved. They cost about double the Sunrace. Any user comments out there?
Observe: The 17t & 19t Cogs are swapped out for a single 18t. ‘Pretending’ with the current 13-28 suggests it may be a fair tradeoff [for Non-Racing]; leaving a slot for the 32t Low Gear. Makes a 1.06 Ratio. Enough? For a twenty-pound Aluminum Rat-Bike with 47-MM Rubber and a 63- Year Old Madman to charge those tall hills?
Why. There are tall hills. Gravity exists. Technology & Math are fun. Downsized Old Tech Geeks do not wish to wither and die living in a decimated land. Insanity is a Gift. There are tall hills.