Options for lowering gearing on gravel bike

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  • Hi there, I wonder if you may be able to help...

    My gravel bike doubles up as my winter road bike/trainer and as such I'd like to be able to continue to use my 4iiii left sided power meter on it when used for these duties.

    It currently has 50/34 105 chainset and 11/32 cassettes across two wheelsets (winter road, and grav).
    Mechs are r8000 with fd being the gs (medium cage) version

    I'd really like to lower my gearing, quite significantly if possible, but maintain the instant interchangeability of my two wheelsets.

    I'm thinking my options are:

    1. GRX 46/30 chainset - downside: costly, requires grx fd as well, probably not easily available

    2. 2 x 11-34 cassettes + longer chain - downside: also costly, not huge change in gearing (1:1 lowest ratio with current 11/32 cassettes, rather than the 0.94 ratio afforded by going 30t chainring per option 1 - is this a significant difference? )

    Am I missing anything here? I have searched and there doesnt seem to be much in terms of shimano hollowtech 2 compatible 46/30 chainrings on the market.

    I Could however be overlooking something very obvious!

    Reason I'm asking btw is that I notice that on very steep off-road climbs I often can't pedal with low enough power to both a) keep moving while b) keeping my front wheel from lifting off the ground, it's rather frustrating!

    Many thanks in advance for any help and wishing you a fab Easter weekend ahead :)

  • Wolftooth roadlink might let you use a rear cassette up to 40 teeth? I'd guess that's the cheapest approach so would be the first thing I'd try. (I've not used one myself so can't comment on how well they work)

  • Grx chsinsets are not lasting though so maybe something like praxis white industries etc 34/36 is pretty low and you would not need the roadlink . This is @hippy

  • I use a Di2 R8050? RD (shadow cage) on the Kinesis and that works with 42T cassette and my custom Compact chainset (46/34). I've since installed a 46/30 gravel Power2Max with the same back end. What's the question?

  • Two wheelsets? Just sell the road wheels and use gravel wheels. Cost effective.

    You should be able to get a GS RD to cope with 40T or even 42T cassette (I've run 40 and 40T with the same Ultegra Di2 RD on the Mason) without needing Wolftooth. It does depend on the bike and chainrings though.

  • If you look in the gravel thread there's my chatter about different options, including chainring combos that might bolt up to your cranks - giving you subcompact rings on 110bcd cranks.


  • There's also this great work: https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/3245­82/

  • Thanks so much everyone. Plenty to look in to here! Will get on it and see what I come up with :)

  • Thanks again, is this a gs /medium cage Rd you have?

    EDIT : Oop scrap that, I see you've already answered this in the following post. Thanks again

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Options for lowering gearing on gravel bike

Posted by Avatar for SimonE1 @SimonE1