am sure many of us can say that we love our granny. Of course, I am referring to “granny gear”, not our grandmother(s) … not that we shouldn’t love our grandmother(s). Most of us probably lost our grandmothers in death long ago and many of us no doubt have lost our parents. Hey, we’re getting old! Anyway, back to ol’ granny (gear). I don’t know what I would do without her. I am pretty sure I just couldn’t make it thru life … at least not up some of the hills.

For those who don’t know what granny gear is it is the lowest gear combination … in other words when the chain is on the smallest sprocket in the front and the largest sprocket in the back.

granny gear

granny gear

When I first bought my trike it came with a 11-32 tooth rear cassette. When I replaced it I went with 11-34 and am so glad I did. Now most of the trikes I read about come with 11-34. Of course, I am talking about trikes that have an external rear derailleur and a sufficient number of gears. Most nowadays are 30 speed. I know there are trikes out there with much fewer gears … typically 8. I don’t think there is anyway I could climb the hills with that gear range. Some of them are quite challenging with my 27 speed and 34 tooth rear cog.

One thing I have never done, but thought about, is to change the small front sprocket to a smaller diameter so that I would have better hill climbing ability. If ever it wears enough to justify changing it I will probably go with a smaller one.

Another option for those with money to burn is to invest in a two speed crankset such as a Schlumpf Mountain Drive.

Schlumpf Mountain Drive

Yet another option is to employ a 3 speed internal hub on the rear wheel in addition to the derailleur system and multiple sprockets. With this setup you can shift the 3 speed internal hub while sitting still and thus change gears … something which could be very handy when you find you didn’t downshift into a lower gear but should have. That is always bad news especially when already dealing with an incline. Of course, any of these options cost money so not everybody could/would/will beat a path to a bike shop to “git-ur-dun”. It is a nice setup if you can do it.

3 speed hub with cassettes

Just think … with a 3 speed internal hub and 30 speed external that’s a total of 90 speeds. And with a two speed crank gearbox it would be 180 speeds. To be quite honest I don’t know if a 7 speed rear internal hub is available with the cassette or not. Of course, there is even a 14 speed internal hub. I doubt if these are available with the cassette but wow … what if they are … 210 speeds … 420 speeds … 840 speeds. Of course, there would be a whole lot of duplication among the gear combinations.

Well, those are some options to improve on ol’ granny. I have to settle for what I have and do my best to …


Author: Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, truthtoponder and stevesmixedbag) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com (

One thought on “LOVE YA’ GRANNY!”

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