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I am going on cycling tour on the Himalayas through Tibet, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan on my Araya FED touring bike. Now I am thinking in changing my gear, crank which is SR-SUNTOUR XCT 48-38-28T×170mm w/Guard and my Cassette is SHIMANO CS-HG31-8 11-30T 8 speed, to very low gearing 10 speed. Would Changing to Shimano XT M782 3x10 setup (22.32.40) with an 11.36 cassette, help overcoming for many hours everyday for 3-4 month cycling the Himalayas? I think I have to change derailleurs, chains and more.

Pleas I need some advise from mountain climber cyclists ( I come from very flat country,Denmark) , what groupset would give me the best range and lowest gears for climbing? Thanks beforehand.

  • I have very similar gearing (on a lightly loaded hybrid) and my hill limit is set more by the need to breath and to balance the bike while moving very slowly. I've ridden up short 1:3 hills on it. You've got quite a wide range of chain rings there. I suggest you start your hill training with what you've got then see if you need to go that low. by the way I assume you're fitter than me but much of that is used up in carrying more load. – Chris H Mar 17 '16 at 6:55
  • Now I have reached northern Thailand. So I have had my share of cycling hills. Eg.in Turkey, Georgia, Armenia,Iran and the hills of Muscat Oman. So I dare to say I am ok and I have done my training. Note, I have started from home in Copenhagen Denmark.Now I know My gearing would not be helpful in The Himalayas, it would not be fun tour. I am doing this tour for myself to have fun and enjoy the tour not to suffer.Thanks for your input chris – Amor Herm Mar 19 '16 at 13:53
  • Fair enough. From your original post I assumed you were planning your trip and hasn't left home yet. – Chris H Mar 19 '16 at 18:19
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To change from 8 to 10 you will need an upgrade to 10 speed shifters and likely a new derailleur. Almost certainly it would be cheaper to sell the bike and buy another, I would recommend against spending that amount of money on that bike.

The rear derailleur should be OK, the Altus have a capacity of 43 and max cog size of 34. The front is rated 48MAx, 20 Capacity.

A 8 or 9 speed 22/32/42(e.g. Shimano M361) crankset would be ideal, but are not that common in better quality sets. 22/30 is a seriously low gear, you will be riding slow enough maintaining balance will be a problem. You can also get a 11/34 8 speed cluster, giving an even lower 22/34 at the expense of wider gear inch gap.

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    8 and 10 speed cassettes are the same width. Why would you need a new hub? – ojs Mar 17 '16 at 16:55

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