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  1. #1
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    Gear Ratios for Ladies Beach Cruiser towing baby trailer

    Hi, Ive just purchased a beach cruiser for my wife and it goes nicely. Now shes gone a bought a baby trailer and so i set it up and we went for a ride. Now with the additional weight, plus wind factor, our thighs are burning!!

    current ratio on the beach cruiser is 42:20 on 26" with crankbars at 7.4 inches long.

    Now keeping in mind that this is a single speed beach cruiser, how would one go about making it easier to ride, now that she has the trailer on the back. do i decrease the size of the front crank sprocket and increase the rear cog ? how many teeth am i looking for to make it easier yet not so much that her legs are turning and she aint moving. Also if i installed shorter crankbars on it would that make a difference?

  2. #2
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    I'm writing the following under the assumption that you're wife's bike has a coaster-brake rear hub and an OPC (fairly standard cruiser set-up)....Normally, I'd recommend going bigger out back, but unless you really hunt for it (http://www.bikesmithdesign.com/cogs/index.html), you won't find a snap-ring cog bigger than 23t. I think that a 44t/23t ratio is plenty low enough (49.7" gear), but obviously some folks like to spin more than I do. It is easier to drop gear-inches on your set up with a smaller front sprocket. If you go too small, it'll look crazy on a cruiser (just my opinion, but it's one shared by many.) I'd suggest going 40t front with a 22t rear. This'd give you 47.3 gear-inches, and can be had for cheap.

    http://www.amazon.com/Wald-Steel-OPC...words=wald+40t $6 sprocket

    http://www.amazon.com/Sturmey-Archer...+Cog%2C+Silver $6 cog

    You might want to swap the cogs first, and run the 44x22t ratio and see how she likes it. (Hopefully, your chain is long enough and there's enough room in your dropouts to accommodate the difference.) If that's not good enough, go ahead and switch the sprocket, too. Switching either only takes minutes, with a flathead screwdriver and a big adjustable wrench being all the tools you need. Of course, once you got the OPC apart, you'll prolly wanna repack the BB...

    hth
    Last edited by surreal; 08-26-13 at 06:16 AM. Reason: spelled stuff wrong

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    try a 36t chainring.. 2:1 , 18t cog.

  4. #4
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Bob, some more math for ya:

    2:1 ratio, with the existing 44t sprocket, would require a 22t cog.

    Which is cheaper: a 36t sprocket plus an 18t cog? or just a 22t cog?
    More math: if they're sitting at 57.2" now, would the 52" be low enough?

    Of course, cheapest move would be a 36t front sprocket with the existing 20t cog: 46.8" for $6. Similar would be using the existing 44t front sprocket with a 23t nexus cog: 49.7" for $6, toss another $5 for a new chain, b/c you might need it plus it may be time for one...

    I can't help but think that an adult cruiser with a 36t front sprocket looks odd, especially when there's a big chainguard lookin' empty with a lilliputian chainwheel in it.... but that's just my opinion.

  5. #5
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    Thanks heaps, ill change out the front sprocket and tow the trailer and see how it goes, just went for another ride then and it was a head wind both ways lol and my legs are burning !

  6. #6
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    I changed out the front sprocket to a 36t, removing two chain links and keeping the same cog on the rear, it was slightly easier to ride, although its very windy where i live so even on flat ground its a struggle. starting to pedal the bike was slightly easier, but its just that return journey back, that you wish its was less windy and closer to home
    I had to recount the number of teeth on the rear and it was 19, so i must have counted one twice. so now with a ratio of 36t:19t what would be the best cog size for the back to further improve the ease of riding while towing the trailer, yet not be spinning her legs around and have nothing to show for it. , 20,21,22,23 ?

    photo.jpgimage.jpg
    Last edited by BaMenace; 08-27-13 at 10:10 PM.

  7. #7
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    When I bought my wife a new Schwinn ladies bike a few years ago she complained that it hurt her knees to ride it. So I had the bike shop lace in a 3 speed hub and change
    the front chain ring to a 36 tooth ring. Now she goes grocery shopping ,or gives the grand kids rides in the trailer I built for her, with no problems at all.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

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