Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

How many speeds does a person really need?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

How many speeds does a person really need?

Old 02-24-20, 11:10 AM
  #51  
smashndash
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 993

Bikes: 2017 Specialized Allez Sprint Comp

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 598 Post(s)
Liked 170 Times in 125 Posts
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Truth is, I don't really "need" a bike at all. I could survive without one but my quality of life would suffer. The short answer to your question is: I "need" to have however many gears it takes for me to feel like I'm having fun. There are clearly advantages to having lots.
I have little to contribute that hasn’t already been said, but thank you for calling out how meaningless the word “need” is in the context of recreational cycling. It rarely applies.
smashndash is offline  
Old 02-25-20, 12:12 AM
  #52  
ChrisAlbertson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Southern California
Posts: 151

Bikes: 70's frame, newer parts

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 33 Times in 24 Posts
Originally Posted by BlissfulAbyss71 View Post
WOW! 22 miles?! Im in New Orleans too, Thanks so much for explaining this. I just recently took a job in the CBD and none of the parking garages have clearance for my exceptionally tall van so Im trying to research alt travel methods lol. This helped a lot- I was wondering if multiple gears here in flatland was necessary.
The land may be flat but the wind makes a huge difference. A couple of of weeks ago I rode out and back on a level path. The "out" leg had a headwind I was only able to make about 11 or 12 MPH but on the way back I hit double those speeds with about the same level of effort. Wind can have the same effect as hills. If you ride in the wind you need gears
ChrisAlbertson is offline  
Old 02-25-20, 01:14 AM
  #53  
Rollfast
What happened?
 
Rollfast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Around here somewhere
Posts: 8,029

Bikes: 3 Rollfasts, 3 Schwinns, a Shelby and a Higgins Flightliner in a pear tree!

Mentioned: 57 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1834 Post(s)
Liked 282 Times in 246 Posts
I only need one, but it has to have a TANK and good tires.
__________________
I don't know nothing, and I memorized it in school and got this here paper I'm proud of to show it.
Rollfast is offline  
Likes For Rollfast:
Old 02-25-20, 03:23 PM
  #54  
friday1970
Senior Member
 
friday1970's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Brighton, Michigan
Posts: 486

Bikes: Optima Baron LR, '14 Nishiki Maricopa,'87 Trek 330 Elance, '89 Miyata 1400, '85 Peugeot PGN10, '04 Fuji Ace, '06 Giant Rincon, '95 Giant Allegre, '83 Trek 620, '86 Schwinn High Sierra

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 160 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 48 Posts
Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
I like good old 7 speed cog sets. They'll fit on 126mm & 130mm dropouts (with a spacer). and, they're cheap as dirt. Shimano and Microshift still make brand new shifters for them. And, If all else fails you can just connect friction shifters to them. What's not to love?
I just built up an older bike with a 2x7 system. Compared to 11spd components, 7spd was much less expensive. With 53x39 up front, I did go with a 12-32 cassette. Having 24 gear inches in the lowest gear helps out with some of the longer hills in my area. And Microshift shifters just work. They never fail. I went with used wheels with an 11spd hub, but spacers are cheap too. For a 1995 modernized bike, I'm very happy with 14 speeds.
friday1970 is offline  
Old 02-25-20, 06:45 PM
  #55  
ThermionicScott 
7-speed cultist
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 20,044

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2779 Post(s)
Liked 700 Times in 492 Posts
Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Thread was 16 years asleep before being abruptly awakened yesterday.
Mr.DNA, who asked the question, has not been active on BF since 2011.
Playing some Devo in honor of our OP, Mr. DNA :



My drivetrain bias should be apparent.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 02-26-20, 09:31 AM
  #56  
JTSpeedDemon
Member
 
JTSpeedDemon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Texas
Posts: 32

Bikes: Kent Rollin' Thunder 10-spd/overdrive

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 4 Posts
Well, after riding around town some on my "new" old 10 speed, I can say that I only really stay on the smaller front gear. I use just about the lowest 5 gears, those are great. The overdrive gear is just too tall for my tastes in most situations, unless I'm going down a very steep hill and somehow want to go EVEN faster!
But it's at least nice to have the option. Good for cruising too.
JTSpeedDemon is offline  
Old 02-26-20, 10:39 AM
  #57  
ChrisAlbertson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Southern California
Posts: 151

Bikes: 70's frame, newer parts

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 33 Times in 24 Posts
Originally Posted by JTSpeedDemon View Post
Well, after riding around town some on my "new" old 10 speed, I can say that I only really stay on the smaller front gear. I use just about the lowest 5 gears, those are great. The overdrive gear is just too tall for my tastes in most situations, unless I'm going down a very steep hill and somehow want to go EVEN faster!
But it's at least nice to have the option. Good for cruising too.
But let's say some other person owned your bike. Let's say he is bigger and in better shape. He might write "I stay on the larger chain wheel and only drop to the smaller one on very steep hills". So the bike is built to accommodate not just different conditions and roads but different riders.

There is a huge difference in riders. I look at Stava segments ledger boards and see that the top riders are 4X faster than me on hills and 2X faster on flats. On a tropical segment near me, there might be 1,500 riders with posted times. The riders in the top 50 are dramatically different from those near the middle or the bottom and the bike manufacturers make the bikes to be usable by everyone. (Wind drag is the square of the speed, so it works out the best ones are 4X stronger overall)

So on this one hill, I use the lowest or second-lowest gear and ride up at 6 MPH the fastest person on the same road is going 26 MPH and does it as a sprint He is also less than half my age and rides 55 miles a day on average. Looking at online data I see far more variation of rider ability then I see in terrain difference gears are made to accommodate.
ChrisAlbertson is offline  
Old 02-26-20, 11:08 AM
  #58  
JTSpeedDemon
Member
 
JTSpeedDemon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Texas
Posts: 32

Bikes: Kent Rollin' Thunder 10-spd/overdrive

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 4 Posts
^^True, true. Riders make a big difference.
JTSpeedDemon is offline  
Old 02-27-20, 10:28 AM
  #59  
Miele Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,190

Bikes: iele Latina, Miele Suprema, Miele Uno LS, Miele Miele Beta, MMTB, Bianchi Model Unknown, Fiori Venezia, Fiori Napoli, VeloSport Adamas AX

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1127 Post(s)
Liked 677 Times in 479 Posts
Originally Posted by JTSpeedDemon View Post
Well, after riding around town some on my "new" old 10 speed, I can say that I only really stay on the smaller front gear. I use just about the lowest 5 gears, those are great. The overdrive gear is just too tall for my tastes in most situations, unless I'm going down a very steep hill and somehow want to go EVEN faster!
But it's at least nice to have the option. Good for cruising too.
It can be nice to have those higher gears if/when your fitness level improves a lot. I have a single speed that at the beginning of the season is pretty highly geared but a month or so into the season I can spin that same gear very easily.

Cheers
Miele Man is offline  
Old 02-29-20, 05:50 PM
  #60  
justcynn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Little Rock, AR
Posts: 64

Bikes: 2011 Specialized Roubaix, (2) 1980 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8 All Chrome, 1987 Schwinn Le Tour 23, 1988 Schwinn Le Tour 25, Trek Mountain Bike, 1988 Bianchi Grizzly Beach Cruiser, 1987 Schwinn Prelude 23, 1994 Trek 370

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked 35 Times in 18 Posts
on flat surfaces, I like to ride my road bike like its a fixie, but on steep inclines - I'm often reaching for another gear, especially now at the beginning of the season
justcynn is offline  
Old 02-29-20, 07:21 PM
  #61  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 6,258

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame, Ti 26 MTB

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1526 Post(s)
Liked 346 Times in 252 Posts
I need a Pinion P.18 mated to the SA 3speed Cassette hub with an 11 speed cassette on there (probably the EDCO 10 speed compatible one) Just want a few gears for cruising around town. While 594 may seem like not enough to most people almost like running a single speed or something I think I could make it work. It is a shame I couldn't get a Rohloff hub that has a Microspline freehub instead of a pesky cog, that would give me a few extra gears for climbing.
veganbikes is offline  
Old 02-29-20, 07:28 PM
  #62  
Papa Tom
Senior Member
 
Papa Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 4,142

Bikes: The same GT Outpost Mountain bike I've been riding since 1996, although I modify it throughout the year for commuting, touring, and recreational riding.

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 702 Post(s)
Liked 126 Times in 72 Posts
I think I replied to the OP 16 years ago, when this thread first started. Back then, I was probably using five of my 20 gear combinations. These days, I'm probably only using four, but you have to adjust for inflation.
Papa Tom is offline  
Old 03-01-20, 08:32 AM
  #63  
Digger Goreman
Quidam Bike Super Hero
 
Digger Goreman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Decatur, GA (Metro Atlanta, East)
Posts: 906

Bikes: 1995 Trek 800 Sport, aka, "Frankentrek"/"Camel-Trek"

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 261 Post(s)
Liked 270 Times in 189 Posts
Or... you could just wuss out for "e-" speed....
Digger Goreman is offline  
Old 03-01-20, 11:54 AM
  #64  
mackgoo
Senior Member
 
mackgoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: San Clemente
Posts: 437

Bikes: 87 Bianchi X4, 96 Bianchi Ti Mega Tube, 06 Alan Carbon Cross X33

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 163 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 91 Times in 47 Posts
Originally Posted by Mr. DNA View Post
Can anyone tell me what the advantage is to having a 9, or even an 8 speed bike is? Likewise with a triple chainring in the front? I'm assuming I'm missing out on something really basic about gearing, but I don't quite understand the need for so many cogs, or especially for 3 chain rings.
Thanks for the feedback
Can anyone tell me why this should be a concern of anyone but the one considering "upgrading"?
mackgoo is offline  
Old 03-01-20, 01:27 PM
  #65  
depechegore
Junior Member
 
depechegore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
its more about gear ratio than from speeds, speeds config is more to dont let jump so much about gear ratios of your bike, each speed is a gear ratio, search : sheldon brown gear calc

spanish my native lang
depechegore is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.