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  1. #1
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    Gears? 10 Speed vs. 21 Speed

    Would the hardest gear on a 10 speed be the same on a 21 speed?

  2. #2
    Senior Member mjolniir's Avatar
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    Hi, I guess that you are talking about an old 10 speed racer with 2 rings at the front and 5 gears at the back, and an old style mountain bike with 3 rings at the front and 7 gears at the back.

    A very smart guy, named Sheldon Brown, can tell you more than I can. Click the link http://sheldonbrown.com/gearing/index.html

    For my money tho - I say harder on the MTB because the tyres are fatter.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanb
    Would the hardest gear on a 10 speed be the same on a 21 speed?
    Probably not but maybe.

    To know for sure you really need to count the teeth on the sprockets of both bikes because there are lots of variations. Don't forget to factor in the wheel diameter.

    Most old 10-speed bikes had a 52 tooth big front chainring in front and a 14 tooth smallest cog on the back. Modern road bikes are likely to have a 53 tooth front chainring and a 12 tooth rear cog so that's quite a bit faster but harder to pedal.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    There's a lot of variables!
    Are you comparing similar bikes with similar tires?
    Lets assume, for purposes of discussion two "identical" MB's.
    Same size BIG Ring.
    10 speed equipped with 14-17-20-24-28
    21 speed equipped with 14-16-18-20-22-24-28.
    The 14T will be equally difficult to pedal.
    What you will find is that you have a better chance of finding a usable gear BETWEEN the 14 & 24.
    IME, the 14 is a bit too hard to pedal, (my heavy old MB with knobby tires) but the 17 is too easy and I "spin out".
    The 16T works better for me as the "next to the highest gear".
    It's not so much how many gears you have, but how many USABLE gears you have.
    THERE ARE other combinations available on the 7 speed cogsets.

  5. #5
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    Above info correct, but let's back up - how do you expect to use that info? You could be making some incorrect assimptions in asking the question, so the "right" answer may not be the one you need. Many people confuse harder gears with being able to go faster or get in better shape, neither of which is that simple.

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