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Gear change progression?

Old 08-09-20, 08:57 AM
  #1  
kaiserschmarrn
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Gear change progression?

How do you figure out what your gear change progression, for possible lack of a better term, should be on a given bike? What I mean is, how do you figure out exactly which gear combinatiions that you should use as you progress upwards, so that you do not choose redundant gears, or maybe even drop down while shifting up?

Thanks,

Danny
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Old 08-09-20, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by kaiserschmarrn View Post
How do you figure out what your gear change progression, for possible lack of a better term, should be on a given bike? What I mean is, how do you figure out exactly which gear combinatiions that you should use as you progress upwards, so that you do not choose redundant gears, or maybe even drop down while shifting up?

Thanks,

Danny
there’s a decent gear calculator here:
Bicycle Gear Calculator
plug in your own setup and it’ll show you how the various combinations stack up
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Old 08-09-20, 09:20 AM
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I generally shift 1 at a time, harder or easier as terrain changes.
The front chainrings are like "High" and "Low" range.
Lots of short hills near me, so I am in the small chainring most of the time.
i shift to the large ring if I have extended time on flat roads or longer downhills.

I have no idea which gears overlap, not really relevant when riding.

Whichever gear keeps my RPM in the 85 - 95 range
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Old 08-09-20, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
I generally shift 1 at a time, harder or easier as terrain changes.
The front chainrings are like "High" and "Low" range.
Lots of short hills near me, so I am in the small chainring most of the time.
i shift to the large ring if I have extended time on flat roads or longer downhills.

I have no idea which gears overlap, not really relevant when riding.

Whichever gear keeps my RPM in the 85 - 95 range
That's really all there is to it. You figure out what cadence and load you're comfortable at and just change up or down to keep yourself there. Occasionally look down to make sure you're not cross-chaining, but mostly it gets noisy when you do, so you'll find yourself looking down anyway.

Over time, you'll get a feeling for how far to go up or down when the grade changes, so you'll shift into bigger gears (meaning smaller cogs) as you summit, or shift into smaller gears (meaning bigger cogs) as you lose momentum going up a hill. You'll also figure out how many cogs you need to go up or down when you change from one chainring to another in the front. Some of my bikes, with 53/39, it's two. The 50/34 and 52/36, it's 3.

The key is not overthinking. I generally couldn't tell you what gear I'm in, till I'm in either the largest or smallest and can't go any further.
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Old 08-09-20, 09:35 AM
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Old 08-09-20, 09:53 AM
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Back in the days of the 10 speeds, a rider had to do a few double shifts to get progression. That meant he had to shift both the derailer and the chain rings. Really dumb IMO.

As I have posted before especially if you have a front triple, look at it this way. Granny for hills, center ring for most riding, and the big ring for down hills or with the wind. Pick one of the three and simply shift across the rear cluster. That may not work well on some short chain stay DF bikes but it does work well on bents.
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Old 08-09-20, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Back in the days of the 10 speeds, a rider had to do a few double shifts to get progression. That meant he had to shift both the derailer and the chain rings. Really dumb IMO.

As I have posted before especially if you have a front triple, look at it this way. Granny for hills, center ring for most riding, and the big ring for down hills or with the wind. Pick one of the three and simply shift across the rear cluster. That may not work well on some short chain stay DF bikes but it does work well on bents.
My philosophy exactly.
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Old 08-09-20, 10:49 AM
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Internal gear hubs do the ratio sequencing for you.

Hence I found them Ideal in the heavy rain, as I wear a cycling rain cape , blocking my view of looking down,
to see what gear ratio combination I'm in..

Sheldon gears is another calculating program ... chain-wheel & cog combinations determine the IGH range Low & High..

That Option is offered on that site.






...
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Old 08-09-20, 02:07 PM
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I probably view things a bit differently than some. My road bike as a triple and mountain bike as a double. My goal is to shift chainrings as little as possible.

I ride in 48 or 38 on my road bike and only use the 30 chainring when I really have to.

Mountain bike 34/24 and depending on the terrain, I’ll run in one or the other; mostly climbing 24, mostly flat or downhill 34.

I like my cassettes to be wide enough to let me stay in one ring as much as I can. This is not quite like having multiple 1x setups because I use fewer cogs

Years ago half step gearing was used with 5 speed freewheels, but 1x10, 11, 12 have eliminated the need.
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Old 08-09-20, 02:24 PM
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I don't believe I've ever done much pondering about this. I shift up and down the cassette as needed, shift the front when I spin out or something rubs. Admittedly not very thoughtful. Maybe there are subconscious choices being made?
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Old 08-09-20, 02:35 PM
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I try not to overthink it. As long as I’m not cross chaining, it’s not supercritical.
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Old 08-09-20, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Back in the days of the 10 speeds, a rider had to do a few double shifts to get progression. That meant he had to shift both the derailer and the chain rings. Really dumb IMO.
Only if you're OCD enough to insist on always following a strict, linear progression. I don't, anymore. If I need a little change, I shift the rear derailleur. If I need a bigger change, I shift the front. I don't much care if the gear I land in is the next one in the sequence.
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Old 08-09-20, 03:27 PM
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basic Math

front T number turns cog T number in a ratio.. eg 44:22 - 2:1

. multiply that by diameter of wheel typically inches,

optionally calculate circumference

gives you how far you go every crank rotation,
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Old 08-09-20, 03:40 PM
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The big ring is used until the next to largest sprocket is used. If you need a lower/slower gear change to the little ring, usually followed by shifting 1 to 3 sprockets smaller. I always shift 2 and then adjust from there. If you get too bogged down before shifting to the little ring, no sprocket shifts may be needed.
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Old 08-09-20, 07:51 PM
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I have a touring with a 50-45-28 triple. That one needs a bit of thinking as there are so many equivalent (or close to) ratios. But on a 53-39, or 50-34 in my old age it doesn't take me long to have a feel for what ring I should be in and then the cassette just follows naturally. I think the bigger question is more personal -- get a wider ratio cassette so you spend all your time except climbing in the big ring, or a close ratio cassette and get a feel for when it's best to change rings. I do use big big sometimes just to get over a hump.

scott s.
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Old 08-10-20, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
front T number turns cog T number in a ratio.. eg 44:22 - 2:1

. multiply that by diameter of wheel typically inches,

optionally calculate circumference

gives you how far you go every crank rotation,
I can't count the number of times I've had to stop in the middle of a climb so I can calculate the best gear ratio.

This is a pretty silly thread.
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Old 08-10-20, 06:05 AM
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roth rothar
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Use the Popeye method: 53x11 and a can of Spinach
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Old 08-10-20, 06:33 AM
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Make it easy on yourself and go to a 1x setup. If you insist on multiple chain rings in the front, half-step gearing is marvelous. Yes, you have to overcome a distaste for shifting with your left hand, but half-step eliminates a lot of redundant combinations and also allows a logical progression through the gears.
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Old 08-10-20, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I can't count the number of times I've had to stop in the middle of a climb so I can calculate the best gear ratio.

This is a pretty silly thread.
That's why you should bring a cheat sheet, or write some numbers on your hand like you did for a high school test. This way you just have to find the right numbers to choose the correct gear, Hopefully before you crash into the trees.

But seriously, with my triple chainring I just pick the one that I anticipate I might need soon if its important, Like climbing or for quick acceleration.

This works best if the cassette cogs are spaced correctly. For me, that's a 10- 13% increase with each up tick

My 1'st derailleur bike was a 10 speed racer with a 2 x 5 speed drivetrain. Because the 5 rear cogs were spaced widely apart, The engineer who designed the bike chose to use chainrings that would put a step between each rear cog. So while the single shift was a bit higher then ideal, If it bothered me, I could always find the next gear up or down. With just 2 chainring's it's easy to do.
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Old 08-10-20, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by roth rothar View Post
Use the Popeye method: 53x11 and a can of Spinach

I can never seriously give people gearing advice because I'm a genetic freak who cruises best at level in 53X11 or 53x12. I'm also a huge fan of the 1930s-1940s Popeye cartoons, but I'm really not that into spinach.

My basic method is ride in highest gear then gear down for hills, headwinds, and sometimes heat. This will not work for most people, and I've had to listen with amusement to people telling me it can't possibly be working for me. Apparently, if I do it another 50 years, I WILL blow out my knees.
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Old 08-10-20, 09:01 AM
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Small chainring, 1 2 3, middle chainring 3 4 5 6, large chaining 6 7 8.
Pretty simple
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Old 08-10-20, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Only if you're OCD enough to insist on always following a strict, linear progression. I don't, anymore. If I need a little change, I shift the rear derailleur. If I need a bigger change, I shift the front. I don't much care if the gear I land in is the next one in the sequence.
Gonna take Rideabent's side on this one. Back in the 2 X 5 days I used to fiddle with my right hand on both shift levers until I stumbled into the gear that came closest to hitting the "sweet spot." Interestingly, I found it more annoying not to find the "right" gear on a flat road than if I were riding hills. At the time I lived in NW Indiana which was mostly the top of a table.
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Old 08-10-20, 09:19 AM
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In front, I use the large chainring about 95% of the time. The smaller one only gets used for steep climbs, riding slowly (on sidewalks, for example), getting started across a busy street after a stop, etc. Once I get going I'm right back into the big ring and I shift from gear to gear (large to small) in the back as I increase speed. Pretty simple really. I am sure most people do similar.

Some day I should try a triple-chainring bike. That extra sprocket will probably blow my mind!

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Old 08-10-20, 09:35 AM
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BITD, simpler times, when asked what gear are you in the reply was like " my 42:16" ..







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Old 08-10-20, 10:18 AM
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I'm in the middle chainring of my triple about 95% of the time. I shift the rear to get to the "that feels right" gear as terrain, wind, and my general attitude dictate.
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