- Posts: 163
- Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:28 pm
- Location: Melbourne, AU
The lowest available ratio, and the one I've been using 95% percent of the time, is 28:14 (51.5 gear inches or a gain ratio of 3.8 with my current setup). I understand this should be a low, easy gear but for me it isn't. My commute, for those who are familiar with the area, is from Brunswick to the Melbourne CBD, which means a gentle downhill grade on the way in and vice-versa on the way out. Riding in is fine, but riding out I have to mash the pedals and riding is noticeably slower and more difficult than on a geared bike. Furthermore, I hurt my knee mountain biking two weeks ago, and riding like this aggravates it. Indeed, I believe it would have healed by now were I riding on a geared bike.
Moving up to the next ratio, 38:14 (69.9 gear inches, gain ratio of 5.2) is difficult enough that I barely use it. I feel overgeared almost all the time, which is obviously a problem given that this much closer to a 'standard' single-speed ratio.
I don't know what on earth is wrong with me. It seems that practically anyone can buy an off-the-peg singlespeed with 42:16 etc, and ride it happily. I'm not old (30), overweight or sedentary, and I've been commuting by bike for three years.
I'm still trying to decide what to do with my commuter. The sensible thing to do would just be to get another shifter and keep it as a geared bike, but I wonder if I should single-speed it to force myself to become a better cyclist. Maybe keep the commuter as a geared bike and look at building up a SS as a training tool...
- Posts: 292
- Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:52 pm
I think there is more info needed - aim for around 70 inches if you live somewhere flat like brunswick and are on a roadie.
If you need to spin a tiny gear it is probably best to drop hipster aspirations and stick to gears.
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- Location: Lake Macquarie
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- Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:19 pm
- Location: Kin Kin, Queensland
- Posts: 346
- Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:52 pm
- Location: Newcastle
To be honest, about an hour after arriving I wished I'd taken my geared road bike. I love my SS, but that's because where I live it's reasonably flat with the odd hill with 8-10% gradient. Anyway, in Wanaka I did a 60k ride out to Lake Hawea and found myself having to grind up a long steep rise from the Clutha River onto Hawea Flat and cursed my stupidity for packing SS for the trip. A week later I did a 110km community ride (Telstra Clear Challenge) north-west of Auckland and it was hellishly hilly. Not fun. At all. Several riders watched me grind those hills, shook their heads and loudly questioned my sanity (which I was also doing).
It's true that riding SS can improve your pedalling form, but I say save that for the flat and slightly undulating terrain.
Why punish yourself? There's nothing wrong with you. The way you describe your commute, it's better suited to a geared bike. Save the SS for flatter terrain.
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Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. H G Wells
- Posts: 720
- Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:23 pm
- Location: Sydney.
Cup of concrete and she'll be right.
65-70gi is ideal for Melbourne. Going smaller is just stupid.
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- Posts: 166
- Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:01 am
- Location: Northern 'burbs, Adelaide
boyracer wrote:^^^49/17 in Adelaide for 45k roundtrip commute. And i am old! I don't remember any real 'up' from Melb CBD to Brunswick.
What about a flip flop hub? ride to work/flip,ride home. rinse, repeat.
This! Or get a new shifter... Gearing is a very personal thing, what some people push easily is a nightmare for others. I enjoy spinning & have crunchie knees so I am very content on 44/18 all day, everyday, others might like 52/14 etc.
Mojo Urban fixed
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