Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
Didn't get a bigger sprocket - got a smaller chain-wheel! It turns out that I was running 48/18 which gave me gear ratios of 54"/72"/96". I now have a 44-tooth chain-wheel so now the gearing is 49.5"/66"/88" which I find much more practical.
My daily ride is on a 2 x 5 speed with plenty of steel to carry, and I use all the gears except only raely the highest. I am banking on an improvement in fitness to bring me in line with them.
There is plenty of overlap in the ranges of my cogs though, so I recon an 8 speed hub with no overlap would be plenty of gearing.
As a kid 3 speeds was plenty, and there was some fair hill climbing included. I guess it was strength over fitness though 'cause the few long rides I did really killed me.
I commute on a 12 year old 24-speed MTB and mostly use gears 3-7 on the middle chainring.
I've calculated that an 8-speed setup (such as the Avanti Blade 8 or giant would have similar be similar to what I have now if I only use the middle chainring and while part of me loves the idea of a fast commuter bike, I am curious about the gearing on road bikes and the thought of 30 gears is very tempting.
At the moment I am running around on an old Malvern Star with a 46/18 set-up giving gears of. I've just purchased a 20-tooth sprocket to suit the Shimano 3-speed hub (running in 27" wheels), which gives me gears of: 46.6"/62.1"/82.8". When I finally get around to building the new wheels for my Universe roadster it'll be similarly geared at: 46.2"/61.6"/82.1"
Anyone got a couple of Dynohubs they don't want?
The Bad Boy I ride is equipped with an Alfine 8-speed.
I take off in 4th; or 3rd when a bit tired or there's a hill immediately in front of me.
Mostly ride in 5th.
Downhill in 6th or 7th (depending how long the downhill is for or how stuffed I am from the previous climb )
Climb in 3rd and 2nd shifting to 1st when I'm running out of legs on my two longest climbs.
If I attacked the downhills more I might make it to 8th. I've not yet taken the bike into the 50+ kph range.
Fitness will change all of this, though.
There's some gear-ratio jumps that are a bit high. I'd like to try a SRAM I-motion 9 hub and, of-course, a Rohloff *drool*. For more even spacing of gear-ratios. Even the Nexus premium would be nice to try.
--Current rides: Cannondale Bad Boy 8 || Surly Big Dummy || Dahon Dash P-18
granny gears rule!!!!
i just got a Single Speed wet weather commuter
its running 42/16 which according to Sheldon is 69 gear inches.
Has been great so far and able to get me up all hills so far. Unless your commuting in the blue mountains or want to pedal at 60km/h i think a few gears is all that is needed.
A bit of HTFU is all that i have needed so far.
I did my commute today on my Single Speed Apollo III. I originally had it set up as 40/16 (27x1 1/4 tyres), but found out very quickly while it was great up the hills, I ran out of legs to quickly on the flats. I changed it to 48/16..... the flats are fantastic, and the hills, well I just had to HTFU and stand up to them . Did the commute in 30minutes flat (17km) each way. I guess with the road bike I tend to take the hills more easily because I can just change down a few gears to suit, because I normally take 35mins to 40mins depending on traffic lights etc....35 mins on a clean run, 40 mins with a few red lights.....
I've been single speed commuting for a while now (with a geared bike) and recently grabbed a second hand dedicated single-speed (Kona Paddywagon). I'm commuting around 13km each way into the city and out again with 42/16 on cycle paths.
The cycle paths are reasonably flat and wind is the biggest issue. I have cycled 'across town' and had a testing (HTFU) time traveling through Mount Hawthorn (hilly) North Perth and Mount Lawley!
Must be the season for it...I am now commuting on a single speed (as of this morning). Because of the hills on the way to work, I have a 42/18 which gets me there without too much HTFU. The way home is downhill so I'll have to see if the gearing is too low or not.
Given that, it took me the same time as I normally take which was a big surprise.
Got two bikes that I spend most of my commuting time on.
My Peugeot fixie running 48/16 on 700C-23s which I use if I am feeling good (full brake setup front and rear)
Or my rebuild curbside find which is a Repco of some variety running single speed 43/16 on 27x1 1/4 wheels.
Both bikes are good fun, the fixie is the only way to turn my 10Km each way commute into anything like a challenge, I am just
far too lazy if I ride my geared bike.
Peugeot Iseran - Geared Bike
Peugeot Versailles - Fixie
Peugeot U08 - Poser
Repco Nishiki - Single Speed
Just discovered on Vimera Road there is on hill which I just can't quite get over using 46.6 gear inches. Time to buy a bigger sprocket! A 22T will give me 42.3 gear inches. Or I might try a different route. Shrimptons Creek is interesting. It ends on a suburban street somewhere. Must work out good route from Station to that end of the cycle-way.
I commute with a 16 speed Sora set and mainly use the first 6 gears with the small (34?) chain ring. I only switch to the big ring on downhills or on a good straight. The front derailleur is quite stiff to change down. Dunno if that's a Sora thing or it's just getting old. There are no hills to speak of, and lots of traffic lights, so I'm doing a lot of stop start. Top speed is about 50kmh on a slight downhill stretch.
Fausto Coppi Reparto Corse | Giant Farrago Cross
One to one for on the flats.
One to one for going up hills.
One to one for going down hills.
(Hmmm. Methinks this thread is not for me. )
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .
My commute is mostly flat, couple of sections of only a few hundred meters with a slight incline.
Normal commute : sit on 90" most of the time, push it up to 120" when sprinting. (I like a couple of little sprints before slacking off and rolling into work.) So thats anything from 30km/h to 50km/h. Typically flick up and down through 4 gears for this (14-13-12-11 on the back, 50 on the front)
Climbs - short climbs on a commute 80"-100" depending on how I feel. Sometimes, if I am rolling nicely into the climb, I will put it up a gear (more inches) and stand on the pedals, still relaxed though, and just cruise up the climb using bodyweight, and keep the speed around 25-30kp/h. So thats either drop it down to 15, or up to 13 on the back cog and 50 on the front.
If I am wasted, or down with the flu, or hungover from the night before ... then no rules apply - its just survival at all costs. I doubt I would even know what gear I was in then.
Horror climbs of excessive gradient that never end : 38" - 47", using 3 cogs on the back . I dont have any horror climbs on my commute, thank goodness. 38.8" being my lowest gear (23 on the back, 34 on the front), which is barely short enough for some nasty sections, but you get over it with practice I spose.
2010 GT GTR Carbon Team
2008 Avanti Giro, Lime Green
"Middle Age" postponed for another year ...
Sure it is... how big is your wheel?
24". So by definition I ride on 24 gear inches.
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .
27 gears on my flat bar roadie. ON the commute, I use most of them at some stage. The largest proportion of the ride is spent on the middle chainwheel & 3rd, 4th & 5th rear sprockets.
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