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Stock Gearing on "commuter" bikes may be too high.

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Stock Gearing on "commuter" bikes may be too high.

Old 04-10-20, 12:26 PM
  #26  
phughes
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
I like having high gears on a bike, along with the regular gears.

Occasionally you may see storm clouds coming your way. It is nice to flick it up a few gears and do a sprint to a place where you can get out of the rain.

I sometimes like to pedal at high speed going down hill, particularly if, it is followed by an up hill section. If you gain a lot of speed going down hill, you can get a long way up the hill without excessive effort.

Even when just approaching a hill. I like to get up to a high speed, which likewise makes it easy to get a long way up the hill without excessive effort.
You evidently have not been on really big hills, where momentum is gone in short order, leaving you with nothing but gears, muscle, and endurance to get you up the hill. Trust me, in the Ozarks on my commute while I was there, I would barrel down the hill at 35-45 MPH, and still end up grinding away at 4 MPH going up the next hill.
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Old 04-10-20, 03:38 PM
  #27  
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So.... I use a Sturmey-Archer 3 speed on my commuter now, giving me 54, 72, & 96 gear inches, with 700x32 tires and 48:18 gearing.

Same bike (old Bianchi Strada), had Shimano 105 8sp - with a cross crankset (48-38) and a narrow cassette (12-25), gave me 40.1 to 105.5 gear inches on the 700x25 I ran at the time. I spent almost all my time in the 60-80 GI range when I had that many gears, so figured the 72 would do me most of the time. I have a relatively flat commute, and have done it on a fixed gear many times.

Remember with entry level bikes that there are a LOT of inexperienced cyclists who spend almost all their time on the smallest cog because they want as low a cadence as possible. I think. I'm not sure why else they'd do it, but I watch them do it and I get hold of their used freewheels with the smallest gear completely worn out and everything else looking new. I know the smallest cog wears fast anyway, but....?
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Old 04-10-20, 04:45 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
Remember with entry level bikes that there are a LOT of inexperienced cyclists who spend almost all their time on the smallest cog because they want as low a cadence as possible. I think. I'm not sure why else they'd do it, but I watch them do it and I get hold of their used freewheels with the smallest gear completely worn out and everything else looking new. I know the smallest cog wears fast anyway, but....?
Shifting to smaller cogs is easy and shifting to bigger ones is harder. At both ends. So why not go small-small, the ratio is ok. Pretty close to your average BMX.
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Old 04-11-20, 07:27 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Shifting to smaller cogs is easy and shifting to bigger ones is harder. At both ends. So why not go small-small, the ratio is ok. Pretty close to your average BMX.
Fair - only the tricks guys go with the micro-gearing though - the race world (remember, it's bicycle motocross) is still based around 44:16.

I'm more thinking about guys who describe actually shifting into a bigger cog, but only use any gear other than their biggest one to get started.
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Old 04-13-20, 06:21 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by speyfitter View Post
RANT
I feel that the front cranks sold on many bikes commonly promoted to commuter types are too large and that this is doing a disservice to commuter cyclists ...
I've always thought so. But then, old injuries have given me a lifetime of reduced power on one leg, so I've long appreciated lower gearing. A few multi-day tours, years ago, taught the practical value of appropriate gearing as well.

Agreed, that it's a general disservice to the average rider to have nearly all bikes be not geared sufficiently low for what's reasonably-common requirements. Perhaps with a simple gearing change (downward, in gear-inches), on factory fitted drivetrain components, it'd obviate much of the "need" for electric bikes, newer (ie, 12spd, 13spd) drivetrains, by much of the "average" cycling population.
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Old 04-13-20, 12:44 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Shifting to smaller cogs is easy and shifting to bigger ones is harder. At both ends. So why not go small-small, the ratio is ok. Pretty close to your average BMX.
I recall a former member who set up her bike 22/11 under that logic and got confused and mad when her drivetrain wore out in no time.
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Old 04-13-20, 03:02 PM
  #32  
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Too high gearing on a commuter bike should be evaluated on a case by case basis. Before buying my new bike in 2018 I checked out some different models of bikes from the popular brands available at one of my LBS. Proper gearing was one of my must haves.

Giant's Escape 3 for example is one of their entry level hybrid type bikes that makes an excellent commuter and general purpose bike. It's 48/38/28 crankset and 14 - 34 7 speed cassette is a perfect match for this bike providing 22.4 - 93.4 gear inches. I have this same set up on their Sedona I ended up buying. For recreational riders the 22.4 low gear makes short work of nearly any hill most of us will encounter, and the 93.4 gear inch top end allows us to breeze along quickly and effortlessly with a tailwind or going down a low grade. Not bad for $400.

In fact many of us might have been happy with an even larger triple chainring (50/40/30) for a little more top end and still have plenty of low end power. Got to love those triples!
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Old 04-13-20, 03:13 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
Too high gearing on a commuter bike should be evaluated on a case by case basis. Before buying my new bike in 2018 I checked out some different models of bikes from the popular brands available at one of my LBS. Proper gearing was one of my must haves.

Giant's Escape 3 for example is one of their entry level hybrid type bikes that makes an excellent commuter and general purpose bike. It's 48/38/28 crankset and 14 - 34 7 speed cassette is a perfect match for this bike providing 22.4 - 93.4 gear inches. I have this same set up on their Sedona I ended up buying. For recreational riders the 22.4 low gear makes short work of nearly any hill most of us will encounter, and the 93.4 gear inch top end allows us to breeze along quickly and effortlessly with a tailwind or going down a low grade. Not bad for $400.

In fact many of us might have been happy with an even larger triple chainring (50/40/30) for a little more top end and still have plenty of low end power. Got to love those triples!
I agree with you on a case by case basis but the reality is most people aren't aware after they lay cash down on a bike and some accessories and take it out the door that this is even an option, hell I'd wager that some people who even sell bikes don't know this is an option! So that is a big part of the problem. Couple that with people looking for knee jerk solutions to the gruelling climbs they may having where a bike shops reaction might be to recommend more expensive options then a simple regear (clipless pedals & shoes, e-bikes, etc.). In some cases people might give up cycling because they just find it intolerable and won't push through for a month to improve their fitness.

I think you'd be doing people a service by having a lower geared bike equipped form the factory and if they find that a 42-11 or 44-11 is not high enough for going fast then they are in the upper echelon of cyclists and in great physical shape and are likely smart enough in the cycling world by then to figure out they can put some higher gears on their bike.
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Old 05-25-20, 11:46 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by speyfitter View Post
RANT
I feel that the front cranks sold on many bikes commonly promoted to commuter types are too large and that this is doing a disservice to commuter cyclists. For example many 8 speed commuter type bikes are sold with a 48-38-28 triple crank. If you shift with consideration for chain line management this means that the average commuter cyclist will seldom utilize the largest chainring for much of their city riding and the smallest 28 tooth chainring will at times, depending on the rear cassette (assume an 11-32 rear cassette), find on steeper hills the lowest gear won't be low enough requiring them to have to get off and push their bike or find the climb more gruelling and tiring then it needs to be, especially for newer riders and/or those carrying more weight. In this case, if the bike was sold with a 42-32-22 front crank instead the climbs on harder hills would be much easier, the likelihood of pushing bikes in these situations would be reduced, and the front crank set would see a more even use of all 3 gears on the front crankset and on the rear cassette. The reality is the average commuter cyclist can't push a 48-11 or 48-13 tooth combo except on downhills or if they somehow like extra low cadence.
END OF RANT
Totally agree.

With my cargo bike, i seldom go higher than 44-18, 63.6 gear inch.

With my road bike, i can only go as high as 44-13, 91.4 gear inch.
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