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What Sort of Gearing Works Best for your Needs?

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What Sort of Gearing Works Best for your Needs?

Old 10-21-21, 02:00 PM
  #201  
livedarklions
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
And of course, you have nothing constructive to offer , right?

I'll offer this--I suspect people vary enough in the proportions of their leg bones and hip bones that the idea that there's a universal ideal ratio seems pretty far-fetched.

I don't doubt that ratio works well for you, I just don't see how anyone could accept that as a generalizable finding.
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Old 10-21-21, 02:32 PM
  #202  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
No way. It's too risky.

1. Don't piss into the wind.
2. Don't cross the beams.
3. Don't exceed 21.6%.

If I remember correctly, 21.7% is exactly the ratio where the time dilation effects become noticeable, and if your hip angle isn't exactly right, you'll end up with one leg older than the other.
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Old 10-21-21, 02:39 PM
  #203  
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OMG! I'm at, like 21.9%! My N = 1. My mileage is probably in the 15,000-20,000 range.

It is most definitely constructive to point out how many subjects have been included in any test. Anyone who thinks one person's experience is universal needs some more learning in the area of critical thinking.

I think there are numerous people who can pedal N miles in apparent comfort but find the same equipment and setup painful at 3N, or 1.5N, or probably at 1.1N miles. My Brooks Imperial is fine for 12 miles. At 13, my crotch is on the way to total numbness. I use a seat that's proven good (for me) up to 45 miles. I'm confident it'll be good for 50 miles, but I don't know what will happen if I go much above that.
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Old 10-21-21, 02:40 PM
  #204  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Branko D

From my own findings, which i have extensively detailed on this forum, something from 20.5% to 21.6%(max) seems to be a sweet spot, Its generally okay to go down a bit below 20.5%, but certainly not past 21.6%.
"Seems" is the key. Your extensively detailed "findings" appear to be purely subjective, certainly no power measurement. Not to mention the extensively detailed string of ill fitting bikes. You might get less pushback if you backed up your opinions with actual power measurements or at least some comparison rides of significant distance.
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Old 10-21-21, 02:56 PM
  #205  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
"Seems" is the key. Your extensively detailed "findings" appear to be purely subjective, certainly no power measurement. Not to mention the extensively detailed string of ill fitting bikes. You might get less pushback if you backed up your opinions with actual power measurements or at least some comparison rides of significant distance.

My findings indicate that the ideal mid-ride meal is hot wieners in Rhode Island. It seems to hit some sort of sweet spot.
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Old 10-21-21, 02:56 PM
  #206  
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50 or 55 gear inches for singletrack trails. Our roughest is a little over 1k feet per 12 mile loop.

75 gear inches on the road. No mountains, just rolling hills, sometimes endless headwinds.

When I rode with group rides, I used 46/15 on my fixed gear. Gave me a comfortable 25mph cruising speed.

Last edited by c_m_shooter; 10-21-21 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 10-21-21, 03:14 PM
  #207  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
My findings indicate that the ideal mid-ride meal is hot wieners in Rhode Island. It seems to hit some sort of sweet spot.
Sweet spot? Does that mean you put sweet relish on your wienerS?

RI is the only New England state I have never ridden in.
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Old 10-21-21, 04:30 PM
  #208  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Branko D

From my own findings, which i have extensively detailed on this forum, something from 20.5% to 21.6%(max) seems to be a sweet spot, Its generally okay to go down a bit below 20.5%, but certainly not past 21.6%.
Those numbers only apply to bikes which are too small and have a bent fork installed backwards .
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Old 10-21-21, 04:46 PM
  #209  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Sweet spot? Does that mean you put sweet relish on your wienerS?

RI is the only New England state I have never ridden in.

No, the sweetness is provided by the coffee milk. For some reason, the good wieners are all labeled as being "The New York System". I like riding in RI. Lots of interesting local foods.
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Old 10-21-21, 06:05 PM
  #210  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
"Seems" is the key. Your extensively detailed "findings" appear to be purely subjective, certainly no power measurement. Not to mention the extensively detailed string of ill fitting bikes. You might get less pushback if you backed up your opinions with actual power measurements or at least some comparison rides of significant distance.
I think Sheldon Brown had it about right:

ďToo long cranks cause excessive knee flex, and can cause pain/injury if it causes your knee to flex more than it is used to.

I learned this the hard way when I bought a used mountain bike that came with 180 mm cranks. I found that it made my knees hurt every time I rode it.

On the other hand, there doesn't seem to be any deleterious effect from shorter cranks


I had a similar experience: over a long stretch of time, Iím more comfortable with 170 mm cranks than longer cranks. Longer MTB cranks eventually make my knees hurt. YMMV.

Otto

Last edited by ofajen; 10-21-21 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 10-21-21, 06:17 PM
  #211  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I like riding in RI. Lots of interesting local foods.
Iím thinking about a short tour up there next year. There is at least one Amtrak train that accepts bikes.
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Old 10-21-21, 08:04 PM
  #212  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I'll offer this--I suspect people vary enough in the proportions of their leg bones and hip bones that the idea that there's a universal ideal ratio seems pretty far-fetched.

I don't doubt that ratio works well for you, I just don't see how anyone could accept that as a generalizable finding.
Youre right, it is just a generalization.

I do believe, that industry standard crank sizes is more of a cost cutting procedure, and that if it wasn't such a big deal, different sizes wouldn't even exist.

My "range" which I've suggested wasn't specifically what I found works for me. It's a range I can safely suggest as a solid starting point for 99% of people, after trying everything from 19.5 to just over 21.7% with thousands of kilometers of all sorts of riding in between.

whether you guys want to experiment for yourself, and whether there is actually any use in doing so is

A. Not entirely my concern
B. Totally up to you, including whether it is important or not.
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Old 10-21-21, 08:08 PM
  #213  
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How would you guys change your gears according to wheel sizes?

Eg. The giant talon uses a larger chainring for the 29" wheel version versus the 27.5"

I was thinking that, a larger wheel = more gear inches, meaning a gear down could be helpful to compensate?

Has anyone on here setup a single speed bike with less aggressive gearing, such as for touring or hill climbing?
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Old 10-21-21, 08:10 PM
  #214  
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My current XC bike uses 29x2.35 wheels, 185mm crank arms, 26/36 and 11-42.

I find the 11t cog to be useless like on most other bikes, unless the front chainring is seriously undergeared for the riding you are doing. Maybe a 26/38 or 28/38 with a 13/42 cassette (if that even existed) would work better.
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Old 10-21-21, 09:10 PM
  #215  
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7x9
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Old 10-22-21, 12:29 AM
  #216  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
How would you guys change your gears according to wheel sizes?
I wouldn't.
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Old 10-22-21, 12:32 AM
  #217  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
I find the 11t cog to be useless like on most other bikes
This sounds like a motor problem.
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Old 10-22-21, 01:30 AM
  #218  
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And the thread diverges...

My gearing preferences for my home terrain (flat to gently rolling with some short, steep every now and then) and my riding style:
  1. Roadie (700x23): 53x42 with a 13-26 6-sp freewheel (3.4m to 8.6m). Can't go smaller than 13t on the freewheel so won't go smaller than a 53 big ring. Can normally get up everything I ride with the 42/22 but keep the 42/26 as a bail-out when I'm fatigued and riding up the hill into a headwind. I think I've used it twice this year.
  2. Commuting (700x25): 44x34 with a 12-21 7-sp freewheel (3.4m to 7.8m).
  3. Touring (700x28): 44x29 with 11-28 7-sp cassette (2.2m to 8.5m). Rode this on a three week loaded tour from Munich to Barcelona in the Alps and the Pyrenees.
  4. MTB (559x54): 44x32x22 with 12-34 6-sp cassette (1.3m to 7.6m).
Addendum: I joined a recreational cycling club this year and on multiple occasions have had other club members question my gearing (i.e. they don't think it's low enough). The weirdest thing is that it has happened on routes that were almost dead flat! I think the recent trend toward huge road cassettes (like 11-32 or 11-34) has warped some people's perception of what's needed. My old road rear derailers are only rated to 28t so I can't even run those new fangled road cassettes wiith huge pie plates anyway.

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Old 10-22-21, 05:10 AM
  #219  
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Originally Posted by Gonzo Bob View Post
Addendum: I joined a recreational cycling club this year and on multiple occasions have had other club members question my gearing (i.e. they don't think it's low enough). The weirdest thing is that it has happened on routes that were almost dead flat! I think the recent trend toward huge road cassettes (like 11-32 or 11-34) has warped some people's perception of what's needed. My old road rear derailers are only rated to 28t so I can't even run those new fangled road cassettes wiith huge pie plates anyway.
I'm deliberately not going to post my gearing habits because my habits are such an outlier on the high side that every time I post them it turns into a thread hijack of people trying to talk me out of them. I'm at the point of saying "don't try this at home."

As I was muscling my bike up a slight road incline a couple weeks ago on the 53 ring, some guy on a gravel bike who was on an intersecting rail trail said something to me about using too high a gear. I think it's hilarious that people are so anxious to "correct" other people's habits that they don't consider that the person they're talking to likely knows more about what works best for their particular engine than anyone else. Unless someone is clearly struggling or asking for advice, I don't think people should expect polite responses to such condescension. I ignored the guy and just rode off fast. Maybe you should just tell the fellow club members "funny, I was just going to tell you that you're riding in too low of a gear." It's a relatively benign way of making the point that such opinions are silly.

I've pretty much resigned myself to having to buy older bikes as the trend towards compacts and, even worse 1x, is cutting out high gears I like to use to put on lower gears I'll likely never use. I use the 28 on the rear rarely, but I never have thought while I was on it that I wished for anything bigger.
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Old 10-22-21, 05:26 AM
  #220  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I'm deliberately not going to post my gearing habits because my habits are such an outlier on the high side that every time I post them it turns into a thread hijack of people trying to talk me out of them. I'm at the point of saying "don't try this at home."
Yeah, I feel this...when someone starts asking how to get their bike geared below 20gi so they can ride up 15% gravel, my first thought is, have you tried a better motor or better route planning?
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Old 10-22-21, 05:39 AM
  #221  
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
Yeah, I feel this...when someone starts asking how to get their bike geared below 20gi so they can ride up 15% gravel, my first thought is, have you tried a better motor or better route planning?

I do so little gravel riding that I wouldn't know what gear I'd use for a 15% gravel grade.

But <20 gi? Is that even possible?
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Old 10-22-21, 06:02 AM
  #222  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post

But <20 gi? Is that even possible?
Yes. At least it was. My first touring bike (Cannondale T 700) had a 22x34 low gear. Canít remember the exact GI, but it was less than 20.
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Old 10-22-21, 07:02 AM
  #223  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
How would you guys change your gears according to wheel sizes?

Eg. The giant talon uses a larger chainring for the 29" wheel version versus the 27.5"

I was thinking that, a larger wheel = more gear inches, meaning a gear down could be helpful to compensate?

Has anyone on here setup a single speed bike with less aggressive gearing, such as for touring or hill climbing?
The effective wheel diameter appears in the numerator of the gear inch calculation, so you would scale the gearing inversely to any change in wheel size to keep gear inches the same.

Thus, a bigger wheel might want a smaller gear ratio in the same proportion. If you keep the rear cogs the same, a larger wheel should want a smaller chainring, other things being equal.

That said, other things may not be equal. You asked about SS. As I mentioned, I have 64 gi on the SS MTB and about 67 gi on the SS road bike.

The road bike I usually use when trails are dry and easy to traverse.

The MTB has a heavier, stronger frame and heavier tires and I ride it more in messy conditions on muddy, sticky trails in cold months when the leaves are down and the trails are not sheltered from the wind.

All that to say it works better to have a slightly lower gear on the MTB.

Otto
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Old 10-22-21, 07:07 AM
  #224  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
But <20 gi? Is that even possible?
Using modern components, it is achievable by mixing and matching road and MTB parts, sometimes using adapters and such...some folks claim it is just fine, but when you hear what they go through to make it work and how far they are past the ragged edge of component specs (like RDs), it's not something I'm interested in considering the use cases and how far I'd be walking if it fails me.
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Old 10-22-21, 07:14 AM
  #225  
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
The effective wheel diameter appears in the numerator of the gear inch calculation, so you would scale the gearing inversely to any change in wheel size to keep gear inches the same.
I'd say could as opposed to would. For example, comparing a 10-42 cassette driven by a 46t chainring, the difference in gi between a 650b x 2.1in to a 700c x 38mm is minimal, so much so that any gear change would introduce more difference than just leaving it alone.
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