I hear ya' Steve. I can handle a 42 small ring in my new locale, but the biggest climb is about 50 feet. In my old stomping grounds of Montana, I ran a 46/29 double (TA cyclotourist) with a off-topic 13-29 10 speed Campy cluster on my KOF "go fast" bike. For period correct, wide range drivetrains though, my personal favorite is a half-step with granny (46/42/26) paired with a 13-30 6 speed freewheel. This gives me the same number of distinct gears as your standard modern triple with a 9 or 10 speed cassette. If it were me, I'd leave the Colnago and Trek the way they are, and build up that Fuji with SunTour Cyclone GT derailleurs, SunTour 13-30 freewheel, and to keep the Japanese theme, a Sugino AT or similar crank set up in half-step plus granny configuration. I'd also throw on a pair of SunTour BarCon's just cause I really like 'em. Good luck!
-- John Wood Washington Island, Wisconsin, USA
On Wed, May 14, 2008 at 11:58 AM, <email@example.com> wrote:
> Last week I received my entry confirmation for the CR class for the 508
> race this October. I've read the archived posts about the new CR class and I
> appreciate the comments about being true to the intent and not simply
> removing a few cogs and brifters from a new bike. As much as possible I want
> to be period correct pre '83 for the race. Earlier this year I purchased an
> early '80's Trek 959 and a Colnago (maybe a Super?) that both meet the specs
> of the class. I thought it would be good to start training with friction
> shifting and all and so far they have both been very sweet rides.
> Both the Trek and Colnago are my first Campy bikes and both have NR double
> cranks. My concern is attempting 500+ miles with 35K climbing with a 42t
> chainring and reasonably small (26) freewheel in the back. The last time I
> did this race I had a dedicated climbing bike with (don't laugh) a 24t
> chainring and an 11-34 cassette. I know that sounds excessive, but my knees
> are not what they were in the '80's and at mile 400 I was happy to sit and
> spin the last few 20+ miles climbs. My question is; would anybody have any
> advice as to how to lower my gearing and still be more or less properly
> vintage? I've seen a few add-on chainrings for Campy cranks to do a triple
> conversion, but I wonder about their performance. Also, I've seen older
> freewheels with big gears, but not anything Campy that will shift it.
> I would appreciate any suggestions or if someone has an early '80's steel
> lugged bike already set-up for long distance or brevets I would be
> interested in swapping or purchasing outright something that is already
> configured with lower gearing. I'm not opposed to sucking it up and just
> riding the 42, but I'm sure I'll be kicking myself for that call 40 hours
> into the race. I do have a NOS Fuji America that I could build as I would
> think in the day that would have had a fairly low gear touring set-up and
> might be a good candidate. However, with the longer wheelbase it might be a
> little slower uphill, but at the speed I ride that's maybe not a big deal.
> Comments and/or advice are more than welcome. Thanks!
> Steve Gray
> Las Vegas, Nevada