Why only 20 speeds?

20 speeds doesn’t seem to be enough for a range that allows for hills. Why would the Rambler offer more speeds than the GT?


  • I have the same question regarding the Sportster.

    My wife and I each purchased Sportsters in July of 2016, the x30 model. At the time the model choices were x24, x30, and SL (the SL was and still is 30 speeds). Now, there is the x16, x20, and SL. When we purchased ours trikes we chose the x30 over the SL, because we were concerned about the narrow tires of the SL off pavement. We ride a number of trails that are crushed stone, and even the occasional dirt trail. Regarding the x30, it has been our experience that at one time or another, depending on terrain, we have had need for the full range of 30 speeds. So, why the reduction from the x30 to the x20? Any thoughts anyone? Chonk?
  • I faced a similar concern when I bought my Rambler GT with the 26" rear wheel. I struggled with climbs because I didn't have a low enough gear (I wasn't strong enough and I had too much adipose tissue ;) ). I'd have to stop part way up a hill, lock the brakes and rest for a few minutes (Climbing the rest of the way was painful).

    Right here on this forum I read about a way to solve the issue. From Utah Trikes I ordered the Lasco front crankset for $80. It gave me a much better low gear, shorter crank arms and a guard to keep from unintentionally being scraped by the chainring. I've used and continued to use that arrangement on both of my Catrikes.

    That lowest gear enabled me to climb every grade I've encountered. I may have at times been creeping along at 3 mph, but I never had to stop. I also discovered, accidentally, that my knees felt better using the shorter crank arms (152mm). I had also previously read about concerns of being injured by the exposed chainring. The Lasco took care of all my concerns.

    The smaller rings on this crankset may reduce your top end but I've had no problem moving along at 18 to 20 mph, in the big ring, on a flat, smooth surface. And if I'm on a downgrade momentum takes me along as fast as I really need to go. I'm not a speedster and that's why I love riding a trike.

    ...my two cents worth. :)
  • Where's the "LIKE" button for @TrikesterHal 's comment?
  • A MTB front crankset is the simplest solution.
  • edited October 2017
    The difference between 20 gears and 30 could be negligible, ASSUMING that the bottom and top GI are the same. Which of course it isn't.

    I have become so enamored of the ~13GI I get from the SA Hub and the front low ring of 22 teeth - feels like I can climb trees. Plus I have the 32 tooth middle right (same count as comes on the Rover's single ring when new) and the 42 for those long flat and downhill stretches. I can't recall my top GI, but I think it's maybe a high 80. Good enough for my 340 pound butt to scoot along as fast as I dare.
  • That 22t low is a excellent granny gear. My low is a 32t and with a 26 " rear I'm almost at a standstill on some hills out in the county.
  • TCEd wrote: »
    That 22t low is a excellent granny gear. My low is a 32t and with a 26 " rear I'm almost at a standstill on some hills out in the county.

    When I go on what will be a longer ride I'm not ashamed to use granny gear on steep bridge crossings or short steep climbs at an underpass. I use it to budget my energy and extend my rides. Why wear myself out prematurely? (Rhetorical question)

    I can vividly remember trying to pull a steep grade and having to stop, lock the brakes, huff and puff before powering on. It was n-o-t fun. :p
  • I don't know of any ring set sold with TT trikes that has a low GI as low as 13.
    I think the lowest I've seen in the specs is 18, with most at 20+.

    When/if I every do upgrade, I'm going to ask them to sell it to me with a smaller low ring - I REALLY do like my ~13GI low end.
  • edited October 2017
    You can buy 8 speed cassettes w a 40 tooth low cog (i.e.,Sunrace 8-speed 11-40T wide ratio MTB cassette freewheel CSM680 with rear derailleur extender by JGbike). If your normal is 30 or 32T low this will really drop your g.i.s for that extra power climbing. I have an 11-36 on my Rover that works fine and not much $. I don't use the low very often, but nice to have it even w the e-assist.

    When I was running w/o eassist w a 28-38-48 front ring w a stock 11-30 and my 24" rear I had a stock low of 22 gi vs a potential of 17. W a 20" rear you can get down to around 14 So you can achieve the lower g.i fairly economically by mixing and matching cassettes and chain rings.

    Of course you can get even bigger rear cassette sprockets, but the price gets crazy and don't know what sort of derailleur/ chain line complications you get into
  • Plus some IGH's are particular about the gear teeth driving them; sensitive to torque levels.
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