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Old 10-28-09, 12:17 PM   #1
Desert Fox v2
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Questions

I am new to serious biking and also to the forums. I have two questions that I was wondering about.

1. does the "speed" of the bike refer to the total number of gears available or does it refer to the amount of rings on the cassette?

2. I recently purchased a 1989 Peugeot that would be either a 6-speed or a 12-speed depending on the answer to the first question as it has two rings on the crank and 6 rings on the cassette. Would it be possible to outfit my bike with brifters?
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Old 10-28-09, 12:21 PM   #2
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It really doesn't matter what you call it, and you can add up chainrings and cogs if you want, or just the cogs...

Might want to read this article http://www.sheldonbrown.com/speeds.html regarding changing drivetrain on your pudgit.
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Old 10-28-09, 12:23 PM   #3
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Typically, the bike itself is advertised with the total number of gears. In other words, a mountain bike with 7 rings on the cassette and 3 rings on the crank is advertised as a 21-speed.

However, in terms of component groups, they'd refer to the number of rings on the cassette and the number of rings on the crank separately. For instance, my road bike is a SRAM 10-speed Double (10 on the cassette, 2 rings on the crank) and my mountain bike is a Shimano 7-speed triple.
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Old 10-28-09, 12:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Desert Fox v2 View Post
1. does the "speed" of the bike refer to the total number of gears available or does it refer to the amount of rings on the cassette?
Total available in the old days (say before 1993 or thereabouts). Yours is old so you have a 12 speed.

Newer bikes to the available cogs on the rear cassette (8, 9, 10, 11 speed) but in actuality you would have 16, 18, 20, 22 available speeds (-2 if you don't cross chain) (or triple the rear if you run a triple front crank)

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2. I recently purchased a 1989 Peugeot that would be either a 6-speed or a 12-speed depending on the answer to the first question as it has two rings on the crank and 6 rings on the cassette. Would it be possible to outfit my bike with brifters?
Yes you could outfit your bike with brifters, however you would have to change your entire drivetrain (cranks, chain, at least the rear hub and cassette) and you may or may not have to spread your frame depending on the spacing, typical to your year, chances are good you have 126mm spaced frame and would have to up to 130 or 135mm to fit the newer hubs.
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Old 10-28-09, 12:40 PM   #5
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Correct me if I am wrong, but once the total got past 21, the description broke up. Or maybe it broke when the industry moved from freewheels to cassettes.
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Old 10-28-09, 01:08 PM   #6
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Many bikes are still marketed as the "total" number of chainrings x cogs (and I should have said multiplied chainrings by cogs, instead of adding, in my first response), although not usually road bikes. Still, it's about as important in general as how many watts your sound system "has".
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Old 10-28-09, 01:16 PM   #7
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Those who are experienced reference only the number of cogs (more correctly, sprockets) at the rear as the number of speeds. From there, you've either got a standard double, compact double or triple crank.

No one talks about Campy's latest drivetrain as a 22 speed (two chainrings and 11 cogs). It's an 11 speed drivetrain.
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Old 10-28-09, 02:16 PM   #8
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Not a good idea to upgrade the '89 Peugeot. The upgrade would cost more than a new bike.
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Old 10-28-09, 02:30 PM   #9
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Still, it's about as important in general as how many watts your sound system "has".
That will zoom right over 99% of the heads of people on this board.
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Old 10-28-09, 05:31 PM   #10
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That will zoom right over 99% of the heads of people on this board.
That bad, eh?
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