I want to buy a new touring bike but I am struggling to find one that has gearing low enough to allow me to climb hills when loaded up. Currently, I tour on an old 26in-wheel mountain bike with a triple, with 44/32/22t chainrings and an 11-32t 9-speed cassette. Lowest gear works out a little under 18in.
I’m looking for a disc-braked drop-bar bike with a similarly low gear but I’m drawing a blank. Even with a road triple (typically 50/39/30t) and a wide range cassette (e.g. 11-32t), the lowest gear (30/32) works out a shade over 25in with a 700C wheel. It’s significantly higher, and there is no way I am getting up some hills on that. I’d prefer STI-type brake/shift levers, not bar-ends.
All solutions gratefully received.