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  1. #1
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    Gear inches of a Coaster bike

    I donít know if this is a question about a Classic or not, but here goes.

    When I was a kid in the 50ís and 60ís the only bikes we knew about were the "regular old coaster bikeí" that every kid on the block had. It was 20, 24, or 26 inches (tires). There were no gears Ė just one chainring in the front and one cog in the back.

    Hereís my question: What was the standard gearing ratio or gear inches of those bikes? What would be the equivalent gear setting on my 28/42/52 triple with a 13-26, 9-spd?
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

  2. #2
    Bike Happy DanFromDetroit's Avatar
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    I was checking out the 2003 Torker Tanker line of cruisers and I ran across the answer to your question (or at least a good guess).

    This particular balloon tire, coaster brake equipped "retro-styled" cruiser has a 44X18 ring and rear cog with 26 inch rims. This is:

    (44/18) * 26 = 63.5 gear inches

    This would be:

    (28/12) * 27 or 12t on your smallest ring
    (42/18) * 27 or 18t on your middle ring
    (52/22) * 27 or 22t on your big ring

    I don't know 9 speed road cassettes well enough to tell you which gear numbers those might be on your cassette, but they look like middling gears on your bigger rings and you don't have one quite small enough on your granny ring.

    BTW: I was surveying the wreckage of my winter commuter bike (a fairly beat up old Diamondback Topanga mountain bike) thinking that one of these balloon tired beasts (possibly with a 3 or 4 speed internal hub) equipped with a pair of rear wire baskets might just make a better winter commuter than a disposable mountain bike.

    regards
    Dan
    There is nothing homlier than the face on your last dime.
    --John Wildcat, Greenback Friend

  3. #3
    Senior Member chip's Avatar
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    I have never seen a 22t cog yet on a coaster brake bicycle..I heard it mentioned on this forum that there out there?
    I know when I asked a cycle shop clerk once he told me the 20t was the biggest..but they mention on this forum about 22t gear

  4. #4
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Coaster-brake middleweights were typically geared in the low-to-mid-60s, about the same as [direct drive] second gear on an English 3-speed. With 27" wheels, 42/18 gets you close, at 63 gear-inches.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

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