Utility Cycling - sufficient low gear for hauling stuff
Bikeforums.net is a forum about nothing but bikes. Our community can help you find information about hard-to-find and localized information like bicycle tours, specialties like where in your area to have your recumbent bike serviced, or what are the best bicycle tires and seats for the activities you use your bike for.
Is a low gear of about 22" going to be okay on the Big Dummy I'm building? I haven't cycled for years, and have no idea what I used to ride. I'll usually be hauling 100-130 additional pounds around town. I probably won't tackle really steep hills with more than 70 additional pounds or so.
I've read lots of discussion about the desirability of having a low around 17-18", and then some "old timer" pipes up about how he used to ride everywhere with only a 20" low, and how that made him a real man, and so on. :)
100-130 lbs. is a big load. 18 inches could be of great use.
08-12-08, 08:19 PM
I think the #1 question is "What kind of hills do you have?" Here in my neighborhood, hills are pretty minimal, and i can get all over with a single speed of whatever. But I can go a few miles from here, and it's different, and you can get in some of these cities where mountain goats would be at home, and that's different.
Can you maybe borrow a mountain bike and trailer and try toting some loads where you're going to go?
08-12-08, 10:02 PM
There's a few pretty steep hills in my town, and one down the end of my street is a good 20% grade, if not more. I can get up it at a fast walking pace towing both my boys in their trailer (say 100+ lbs.) on my Xtracycle in its lowest gear. My Xtra donor is an old Kona Lava Dome with low-end seven speed Exage 500 drivetrain... 46/38/24 triple and 11-30 cassette.
According to Sheldon's gear calculator my lowest gear (24x30) is around 20.9". I am by no means some super-cyclist, but I do ride every day and I use my bikes instead of my car for about 99% of my needs... I guess that helps, but mainly I think it's a question of determination :)
IMHO, for a cargo bike it's better to have low gears than high gears. I don't personally enjoy going overly fast when I got a heavy and/or precious load aboard...
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.12 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.