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How many gears is too many?

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How many gears is too many?

Old 11-15-21, 07:48 AM
  #101  
sjanzeir
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Originally Posted by Branko D View Post
nobody really wants a triple up front.
Which brings us rather nicely on to the question as to why so many people no longer desire the venerable triple crankset: is it really because of the extra weight and complexity, or is it because of the recently developed "cheap entry-level" stigma that has come to be associated with the triple? A lot of people whose real reason for having gone with 2x and 1x was the latter will readily tell you that they did so because of the former.

Last edited by sjanzeir; 11-15-21 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 11-15-21, 08:05 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by Branko D View Post
nobody really wants a triple up front.
I do for my touring bike because it suits my preference.
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Old 11-15-21, 08:09 AM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
Which brings us rather nicely on to the question as to why so many people no longer desire the venerable triple crankset: is it really because of the extra weight and complexity,

Friction FD=

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Old 11-15-21, 08:14 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post

Friction FD=

I'm sorry, is there a complete sentence hiding in there somewhere that would make sense to people who prefer natural cotton to lycra?
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Old 11-15-21, 08:16 AM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
I'm sorry, is there a complete sentence hiding in there somewhere that would make sense to people who prefer natural cotton to lycra?
I don't think such things exist.
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Old 11-15-21, 08:19 AM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I don't think such things exist.
Fluffy cotton is a real eye-opener.
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Old 11-15-21, 08:24 AM
  #107  
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Because the shifting in the rear is always better than shifting in the front - it's just the nature of how derailleurs work. A double can be and often is used as basically a 1x with a climbing ring for when you need it, and it tolerates crosschaining very well with a minimum of fuss and trouble. Especially when riding more agressively, I tend to ride like that a lot. That's not ideal with a triple.

A 1x is, well, a 1x, click one way for an easier gear, click the other way for a harder one, what could possibly be more simple? If it satisfies your requirements for range, and the gear ratios are close enough, it's as simple and as uncomplicated as it gets.

If you were to introduce a triple right now, the only selling pitch you could really offer is wider total gear range, but that's really relevant only in very niche applications - for some sort of loaded touring machine, maybe. For general road riding, a compact 50x34 double with a reasonably wide cassette will very rarely leave you lacking the appopriate gear, and for gravel various modern subcompact double options will again do the same. A triple is a lacklustre solution for a problem few people nowadays have, and that's why it has fallen out of favour.

Last edited by Branko D; 11-15-21 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 11-15-21, 08:29 AM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
Which brings us rather nicely on to the question as to why so many people no longer desire the venerable triple crankset: is it really because of the extra weight and complexity, or is it because of the recently developed "cheap entry-level" stigma that has come to be associated with the triple? A lot of people whose real reason for having gone with 2x and 1x was the latter will readily tell you that they did so because of the former.
Extra weight, extra maintenance, extra adjustments, extra shifter, extra cable.

Triple has so much gear overlap that 1 x 11 or 1 x 12 covers what you need on mountain bikes and 2 x 10 or 2 x 11 covers road/gravel bikes. Too much gear redundancy otherwise with triple.

Last edited by prj71; 11-15-21 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 11-15-21, 09:19 AM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by Branko D View Post
They don't, though. 3 x 9 was popular for a while on hybrids and some MTBs, then the third chainring got deleted and you've got 2x11, 2x12 and even 1x 12 and 1x13.

Running 2 x 11 on the road at the moment, I can certainly see the allure of a 2 x 12 setup; I could have an extra low gear without sacrificing spacing (or anything, really, except a small bit of weight I guess). In many ways it simplifies life; I can do an epic mountaineering tour one day and a fast flat-ish ride on the other all on the same cassette because I don't have to choose between close ratios at tall end of the cassette versus sufficient low gears for steep climbs, I can have both all in one.

If customers were just "more gears better" then you'd see 3 x 12 speed with 36 gears! and that'd be a big selling point. Except, it isn't - nobody really wants a triple up front.
I LOVE my 3 x 9 on my MIELE SUPREMA and also on some of my MTBs. It's cost me way too much to convert my vintage bikes to either 2 x 12 or 1 x 11. What I have works well for ME.

YMVV.

Cheers
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Old 11-15-21, 11:00 AM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
Which brings us rather nicely on to the question as to why so many people no longer desire the venerable triple crankset: is it really because of the extra weight and complexity, or is it because of the recently developed "cheap entry-level" stigma that has come to be associated with the triple? A lot of people whose real reason for having gone with 2x and 1x was the latter will readily tell you that they did so because of the former.
Most people enjoy the feel of a slick rear shift, click-click-click-click. They even simulate that feel on high-end turbo trainers.

But does anyone really enjoy the feel of a front shift? It's slow, awkward and very occasionally leads to a dropped chain.

Back when cassettes only had a few gears, a triple made sense to get a very wide range if required. But who needs a 3x12 setup? It's the same reason why nobody ever demanded a 4x9.

I'm pretty sure nobody ever chose a 2x or 1x because they thought there was a "stigma" to 3x being "cheap". There are not even many entry level bikes with 3x these days. Newcomers probably don't even know they ever existed.
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Old 11-15-21, 12:10 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
I LOVE my 3 x 9 on my MIELE SUPREMA and also on some of my MTBs. It's cost me way too much to convert my vintage bikes to either 2 x 12 or 1 x 11. What I have works well for ME.

YMVV.

Cheers
Yeah, no problem with that.

I have a 3x10 on my gravel bike simply because it is what I had on hand and there is no sense in throwing away something which works without issue (and I wanted to reuse parts and keep the budget down). In the same way I'm not going to rip off the 2x11 from my road bike or TT bike and bin it. That'd be a genuine waste - it works well.

However, if building a bike from the ground up, or buying a new bike, of course I'd go with 2x12 speed which is ever so slightly better.
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Old 11-15-21, 07:13 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by armille1 View Post
I searched and had trouble finding a thread on what the correct number of gears should be.
The correct number of gears is based on personal preferences of an individual.
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Old 11-16-21, 04:24 AM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
I LOVE my 3 x 9 on my MIELE SUPREMA and also on some of my MTBs. It's cost me way too much to convert my vintage bikes to either 2 x 12 or 1 x 11. What I have works well for ME.

YMVV.

Cheers
Even though I do prefer modern drivetrains (especially 1x on MTBs) I would not convert an older bike either if it was working fine with whatever period drivetrain it had. They all work well, but it doesn't mean there isn't room for future improvement. I fully expect drivetrains in 10 years time to be better than current ones. Same goes for pretty much any tech. Some things move faster than others (eg mobile phones over the last decade) and others move at a snails pace e.g. bicycle drivetrain tech! lol.
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Old 11-16-21, 08:20 AM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
Fluffy cotton is a real eye-opener.

Fluffy Cotton is my stripper name.
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Old 11-16-21, 09:21 AM
  #115  
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I was helping my uncle strip a cotton field many years ago when a skunk got caught and went through the stripper. When you hear someone say, "that job really stinks," I know what they're talking about.

BTW, It was in west Texas. Not in Louisiana or anywhere close to Texarkana.
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Old 11-16-21, 10:25 AM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
I was helping my uncle strip a cotton field many years ago when a skunk got caught and went through the stripper. When you hear someone say, "that job really stinks," I know what they're talking about.

BTW, It was in west Texas. Not in Louisiana or anywhere close to Texarkana.
Oh, when them cotton balls get rotten...
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Old 11-16-21, 12:51 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
The correct number of gears is based on personal preferences of an individual.
Luckily, that individual posts often on this forum.
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Old 11-16-21, 01:31 PM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
Maybe they develop a continuous variable shift system that can give you any possible gear-inch between two extremes. Then you just need to spec the extremes.

scott s.
.
I'm picturing a belt driven system with pulleys that can increase and decrease their diameter by very small increments.
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Old 11-16-21, 01:33 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by Montag311 View Post
I sometimes wonder if having more gears means that you just wind up shifting more often, which means more wear and tear on levers, derailleurs, chain, cables, etc.
More gears definitely has you shifting more often if you're picky about cadence. To me, the wider the range (generally, this means more climbing and descending), the more gears desired.
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Old 11-16-21, 02:18 PM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by armille1 View Post
What is the ideal number of gears in rear cassette? 12? 13? 20?
I like 7 because of its narrower overall width. This assumes I can set up a triple in front with half step + granny chainrings.

https://sheldonbrown.com/gear-theory.html
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Old 11-16-21, 02:18 PM
  #121  
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I just saw an article about a two-speed rear hub with a 12-speed cluster---same weight as a 2x12 system, 24 gear ratios, something like 451% range .... available in multiple ratios, starting with 56-37, 52-36, 50-34 and 48-33.

Apparently a single hub can be used with multiple wheelsets

Not affiliated with the company,. never used the product, don't care if it works, or sells or any of that. Pure information.

https://classified-cycling.cc/en/powershift-hub
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Old 11-16-21, 02:21 PM
  #122  
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sixty
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Old 11-16-21, 02:27 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by armille1 View Post
What is the ideal number of gears in rear cassette? 12? 13? 20?

I think the bike industry keeps adding gears as a marketing tool, even if it is at the expense of engineering efficiency. Does anyone agree?

The more gears you add, you (i) lose chain thickness (so faster wear or lower tension limit), (ii) reduce the spoke angle (so less wheel strength) and (iii) maybe get thinner gears (so faster wear?). At what point is it too much?

How do you think this plays out over the coming years? Keep adding gears until there are too many snapped chains or taco'd wheels? I suspect that after 14-15 gears, chains will start to wear out too fast and customers will start complaining, and then they'll go back to 12 or 13 gears.

How do you think this plays out?

Thanks.
It will end up with some form of continuous/incremental shifting without a cassette at all.
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Old 11-16-21, 03:26 PM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
It will end up with some form of continuous/incremental shifting without a cassette at all.
If they can get it to be as efficient as current drivetrains or very near, that'd really be ideal.
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Old 11-16-21, 03:30 PM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
sixty
Fifty nine. Sixty is ridiculous.
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