Gearing upgrade options for higher top-end speed on the Cruzbike S40 recumbent road bike

The Cruzbike S40 Complete stock gearing setup works great for most recumbent road bike riders on most roads. But some riders may want to upgrade the gearing to achieve higher top-end speeds. Jim Parker, Cruzbike co-founder, director and avid rider, offered these options to a customer via email. We thought this information might be helpful for others, too!

I understand you want to be able to pedal up to a higher speed.

The Cruzbike S40 recumbent road bike comes with a 42T chainring and 11-42T cassette. At a cadence of 90 rpm, that will bring you up to 26-27 mph. If you want to pedal while going faster than that, you either need to increase your cadence, or change your gearing.

A larger chainring would be the easiest/cheapest step. A 46T chainring would bring your top speed (at 90 rpm) up to 28 mph. A 48T chainring would equate to 30.4 mph, 52T would equate to 33 mph.

Of course, these larger rings would make climbing hills more difficult, but if you don't do that a lot, then it might be the best step. Also, don't forget that a larger chainring will require that your chain have additional links added to it.

The other (more expensive) option would be switching to a 2X system. You would need new shifters, and a new front derailleur at the very least. Then you would have two chainrings (for example 50T and 34T).

Cruzbike does not normally sell these types of parts because they are not specific to Cruzbike. Any bike shop can upgrade your bike's components to a 2X system if you are not experienced in doing this work yourself.

I suggest you discuss your options and costs at your favorite bike shop.

1 comment

  • Ed

    I recently purchased the partial SRAM set from the clearance section, and I purchased the front derailer post. I wanted a 2X on the front and I wanted to keep the 11-42t on the back. My local bike shop did the work for me and used a Wolf Tooth adapter for the rear derailer. I get a little rub when on the large ring up front and the 4 inner gears in rear cassette, which is expected. I got what I was looking for though, a higher top end and a lower low end, so hills are easier and flats are faster.

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