The 1998 model rocket is equipped with 21 gears. There are three chainrings up front and a seven sprocket cassette on the rear hub. Gear selection is accomplished with trigger shifters on the handlebars. These shifters operate by simply pressing levers with either the first finger or thumb.
The number of teeth on each of the two gears dictates the final gear ratio of the bike.
Stock Configuration (Days 1 to Day 19)
Rear cassette ("ac" configuration):
This yields a gear inch range from 25.7 to 105.5.
A little lower gearing...
In Carbondale, IL I bought a new Shimano rear cassette ("am" configuration) :
This yields a gear inch range from 24.0 to 105.5.
Finally... some relief!
In Canon City, CO I bought a new chainring so my new chainring configuration is:
My effective gear inch range from Day 33 to Day 70 was 20.0 to 83.6.
Conclusion... Never, ever do a fully loaded tour unless your lowest gear inch is 20 or lower!
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Lawrence J. Flint