The place for fixies and other rides without gears
I've been riding around my Raleigh Royal Tourer as a utility/commuting bicycle and I tend to find that I stick to one gear most of the time.
44t biopace chainring (does that make any difference?)
27" x 1-1/4" wheels
70.1 Gear Inches
5.2 Gain Ratio
(This is roughly the same as 42/16 on 700 x 28c wheels if that is easier to relate to)
Calculated with to Sheldon's Gear Calculator.
I do shift down and make use of larger sprockets when climbing some hills, but this is the gear I use for most riding.
I could probably go single-speed with a similar or slightly lower gear ratio if I had the resources to spare to build yet another bicycle.
I am reasonably new back to cycling (15 years) and getting fitter again except for 6 week lay off because of a broken wrist.
I ride 42/52 front with 19/18/17/16/15/14/13/12 8 speed rear.
I usually use (700c x 23) 42/15 (73.6") and go up to 42/14 (78.8") if conditions are favorable, or down to 42/16 (69.0") when they are not.
Back in my younger days I rode (narrow tubular) 46/52 front with 18/17/16/15/14 5 speed rear.
I used to ride from one side of Brisbane to the other in 46/16 (75.8") for pretty much all of the trip and only change up or down one tooth on the rear (71.4 or 80.9) in a couple of spots.
My first gear was 67.4" and I could get over any hill in that gear, including Mt Cootha faster than anybody else, and that gear set gave me 98" top gear but I nearly never used it except for big descents.
In my experience spinning a lower gear (100 cadence is my usual, sometimes down to 90, sometimes up to 110) will get you further and faster than pounding an overly big gear.
Your gearing sounds about right given that you are running heavier rims and tyres than what I ride now and rode in the past.
A 2" change (certainly 4") change in gearing can make a world of difference, so be prepared to change the front ring to get exactly the ratio that you want.
I have a Repco with Biopace rings that I have recently single handedly (joke) restored, but I have not tried it out just yet.
There are all sorts of views on Biopace rings and similar shapes, including arguments that the Biopace rings should be rotated away from the Shimano designated alignment.
I have not tried any of these rings so I am unable to comment either way.
Newer does not automatically mean betterer.
70 gear inches is a good place to start when going singlespeed or fixed. From there you can play around and adjust.
Don't forget that the bike will be slightly lighter getting rid of all those gears, so if you are comfortable with 70 gear inches on the tourer, I'd stick with that and see how you go.
That's a good way to wear out a cassette prematurely. Especially if it's of the 'newer' style with half height teeth.
My choice of gear depends upon my energy levels, terrain, wind and current speed. I have a Shimano Nexus 8 speed hub, and find that I'm tending to use gears 3 thru 8 over the length of my commute, probably spending most time in either 6th or 7th (80 or 92 inches).
on road around 72GI, offroad mostly around 58GI, though for hillier spots around 52GI, that's for the SS riding, for gearies whatever suits the place and mood.
- Lewis Mumford
6-speed screw-on freewheel, steel sprockets with old-school tall teeth. Shifting gears sounds like this: clikity, clickity, clickity CLUNK! I also had the fore-sight to buy two more of them as spares. I own duplicates of most wearing parts, including all the running gear.
I've currently got a 17T fixed cog on a 42T Biopace chainring. 23x700c tires at 120PSI.
90% of the time it's a good ratio for the roads I am riding. Might look into a higher gearing setup like 42x15 in the future.
52x17 80GI Singlespeed that is regularly used on 42km commute, max gradient 5%, no climb more than 400m long, good for 32-35kmh.
Was running 44/17 fixed but swapped out to 44/18 fixed as my commute and local streets are appaulling. I cross 3 train lines, 6 roundabouts and travel along a very neglected and corrugated main road.
Merida Ride Lite 93 2012
Mojo Urban fixed
1984 Christoff R.I.P
1 extra tooth on the rear cog makes all the difference?
Fair enough. I've got a 17T cog on my fixed side and a 18T cog on my freewheel side, so I'll be able to check out the difference once I actually bother to try out the SS side. Mind you I am running it on a 42T Biopace chainring so I have a bit less resistance.
I'm on 46-17 with my Ricardo SS. 73 GI roughly, pot luck really that it works out so well for my trips about Adelaide, seems like a big decision when you're new to it all (like I was) and about to part with cash for cranks and cogs, but ultimately, aiming for a conservative 70 GI, give or take, you can't go wrong.
On the flat I have never managed to ride happily on a gear much more than 83 gear inches, so I figure that you must be using some skinny tyres and be riding on flat ground to be using gears approaching 100 gear inches (My tourer has a top gear of about 94 gear inches).
Around 65-70" is good. Better to have 65" for hilly areas.
My SS has a double freewheel on one side and fixed sprocket on the other, so I have the choice of 65", 73" or 77". Mostly I use 65" and the 73" if I do a flatland ride. The new Thorn Nomad has 14 gears but the 1:1 ratio is the 11th (the gear you should use most often) and with 42-16 on a 26" wheel it makes it 67.6"- so a very similar riding gear to the SS.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
I suppose after a while, most of us would accumulate a collection of chain rings of varying sizes plus a few rear sprockets as well. We could then change them around to suit the conditions. Now, if we could just take the spare ones with us when we go cycling and swap them over when we go up or down hills it would improve our cycling. Maybe, instead of carrying them around in our backpack, we could mount them together on the axles or cranks and devise some way of moving the chain from one to another ......
not original, and i'm sure we have all heard this many times before.....
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