I bought my Rocky Mountain RC-30 about 7-8 years ago. It was a pretty standard mid-range configuration that I have not altered significantly except for upgrading to a disc brake in the rear a couple of years ago which was definitely worth the expense!
Now, I’m nearing the end of life for my front sprockets. The kind folks at West Point Cycles have pointed out that the set-up is unlikely to last through the winter. A year ago or so the smallest sprocket already died, but I didn’t replace it, but simply got rid of it and had the gears adjusted so that I only have two settings in the front. So, I went from 3*8 gears to 2*8 options. Now I’m thinking whether I should not go fixed in front.
- lower maintenance, particularly since I don’t myself maintain derailleurs. They have always bugged me as they rarely keep their setting/configuration despite the best initial set-up by qualified mechanics. Derailleurs get bumped, cables stretch, the whole thing is a nuisance.
- less clutter on the handle bars by getting rid of one shifter
- some weigh reduction by dropping another sprocket and shifter, cables, etc.
- workout benefits as I would go with a large sprocket in front
- better use of gears as the lowest and highest gears are not really usable on front sprocket because this sets the chain off in an angle that means friction at the derailleur
- obviously, fewer gears. If I go with a large sprocket in front, the 8th Ave bike route will be a challenge for example.
- maybe a fixed large sprocket works for me, but what when I finally buy a new bike and hope to pass this one on to one of the kids?