Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-26-14, 08:35 AM   #1
AZORCH
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
AZORCH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Liberty, Missouri
Bikes: 1946 Hobbs of Barbican | 1966 Paramount P-13 | 1971 Raleigh International | 1982 Gazelle AA Champion Mondial Special | 1980s Freschi Supreme Super Cromo | 1985 Katakura Silk | 1989 Waterford PDG Paramount | 2012 Boulder Brevet | 2014 Cycles Toussaint
Posts: 2,771
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
What is YOUR preferred "hill" gearing?

Without debating the weight or tubing or style of your bike ('cuz that is a circuitous journey I don't wish to travel), what is YOUR preferred low gear (or gear range) for riding the hills?

I'll start: Although 95% of my riding takes place in the 60 - 70 gear inch range, I like to have a bailout available to me in the upper 30's to low 40's for climbing or rolling hills. Any lower than that and I feel like I'm spinning like a hamster in a cage.

How about you?
AZORCH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 08:41 AM   #2
OldsCOOL
Senior Member
 
OldsCOOL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: northern michigan
Bikes: '77 Colnago Super, '76 Fuji The Finest, '88 Cannondale Criterium, '86 Trek 760
Posts: 11,127
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
I am currently working on that. All I know is this 39/28 sucks. I will ultimately go with a compact 50/34 and 12-28 cassette. I battle steep hills too much for the knees.
OldsCOOL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 08:41 AM   #3
pastorbobnlnh 
Freewheel Medic
 
pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ascending or Descending the NH Mountains NW of Concord!
Bikes: Snazzy* Schwinns, Classy Cannondales, & a Lonely '83 Santana Tandem (* Ed.)
Posts: 10,244
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
My lowest gear on all my bikes is just north of 12 inches (81 speed Cannondale Hybrid), and yes I use it and don't fall over. My normal road riding is a 30T or 28T granny coupled to a 32T-34T big cog, whether on a vintage freewheel or a modern cassette. So pretty low in the 20 to low 30 inch range. But I do live in the mountains and face TdF type categorized climbs on pretty much every outing.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a TdF caliper climber, not even like the ones who finish last up the hills!
__________________
Bob
Dreaming about riding in NH's summertime!

Visit my websites:
FreeWheelSpa.com orpastorbobnlnh.com
pastorbobnlnh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 08:50 AM   #4
Ex Pres
#39
 
Ex Pres's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: the 35223 (AL)
Bikes:
Posts: 6,260
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
I'm with you. My old fat legs just don't spin well. I've tried lower gearing - I may spin a littler faster that way going up hills, but I don't go any faster. So most of my bikes end up with 39x25 or 27, 34x23, or something similar. That being said, I'm putting together a bike with a 28x24, giving me low 30's, to try again. But I'm just hill avoidant in general. Unfortunately, the terrain around here doesn't allow me to avoid them altogether.
Ex Pres is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 09:08 AM   #5
jimmuller 
What??? Only 2 wheels?
 
jimmuller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Boston-ish, MA
Bikes: '73 Raleigh Carlton Gran Sport, '72 Peugeot UO-8, '82 Peugeot TH8, '87 Bianchi Brava, '76? Masi Grand Criterium, '87 Centurion Ironman Expert, '74 Motobecane Champion Team, '86 Gazelle champion mondial, '81? Grandis, and lots of uncertainty on some
Posts: 10,466
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
I assume you mean preferred low gear for going up hills, not down. You really don't say which.

My most common gearing is a compact double 48-34 paired to a standard 14-28 freewheel -> low of a bit under 33 inches.
The Masi has 42/34, for a bit over 33 inches.
I forget what the Centurion has but it is roughly the same.

I used to run a low of about 35in, but decided it wasn't enough for the hills here. As I've ridden more the hills have gotten steeper.
__________________
Real cyclists use toe clips.
With great bikes comes great responsibility.
jimmuller
jimmuller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 09:18 AM   #6
dddd
Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race
 
dddd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern California
Bikes: Cheltenham-Pederson racer, Boulder F/S Paris-Roubaix, Varsity racer, '52 Christophe, '62 Continental, '92 Merckx, '75 Limongi, '76 Presto, '72 Gitane SC, '71 Schwinn SS, etc.
Posts: 5,069
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here in the foothills, we have to be able to handle occasional pitches up near 20%, and to be able to recover to finish the return ride.

So for me, I found that 42/28t = 39/26t = 36/24t.

This ratio gets the job done, and I can even squeeze a full range of gears into 7 sequential ratios using just a 5-speed freewheel (13-24t) with a 36-52t chainset.
When I shift to (or from) the big chainring, I simultaneously shift to (or from) the largest 24t cog, breaking the big chainring gearing gap down to be similar to just one shift in back. This results in a total of seven sequential ratios.

Used on a variety of bikes, some heavy, I hope to make it through my 50's with this lowest gear.
It helps that I am a lightweight who rides several times per week in this hilly area, and that our weather mostly allows this, year-round.

Last edited by dddd; 02-26-14 at 09:30 AM.
dddd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 09:22 AM   #7
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 1,827
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 47 Post(s)
With the exception of the Campy NR bike, every bike, (vintage or not) I have has a triple. Either 52/40/30 or 52/42/30. Then I change out the freewheels/cassettes depending on the ride. If it is a climbing ride then a 13 or 14-28 goes on back. Otherwise, it is usually a 13 or 14-21 or a 13 or 14-24 on back. The NR bike has a 14-26 on back. I prefer a triple up front and 5-8 gears in back over a modern 2 x 9, 10 or 11.

Last edited by seypat; 02-26-14 at 09:26 AM.
seypat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 09:54 AM   #8
scozim 
Ellensburg, WA
 
scozim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ellensburg, WA
Bikes: See my signature
Posts: 2,786
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
For me it really depends on how I'm feeling or how hard the wind is blowing. Also a timely topic as I'll be doing RAMROD this year with 10,000 ft of climbing (thanks to Northbend). My gearing is all over:

A couple of bikes are at 52-42 and one has a 28t low gear while the other is usually a 24 or 26. A 30 would have been nice at Cino Heroica a couple of times last year.

My Spectrum is a 53-39 with a low 26t. The Nishiki is a 53-39 and 28t low in the rear. That one isn't really used for climbing much, though.

The Trek is equipped with a 50-36 and (for now) a 21t low out back.

The touring hybrid runs a triple set up.
__________________
1984 Gitane Sprint; 1984 Gitane Tour de France;1982 Trek 610; 1980's Univega Supra Sport (fixie); 1975 Teledyne Titan; 1968 Peugeot PL8; ;1982 Nishiki Marina 12; 1972 Peugeot PX-10; 1987 Trek 800 Antelope (touring/commuting set up); 1981 Trek 510; 1993 Trek 950 mtb; 1996 Klein Pulse II mtb; 1997 Klein Pulse Comp mtb; 1989 Peugeot Limestone hybrid (for touring); 1989 Spectrum Titanium
scozim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:02 AM   #9
The Golden Boy 
Blood And Steel!!
 
The Golden Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Waukesha WI
Bikes: 1978/79 Trek 736; 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport; 1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP; 1985 Trek 620; 1985 Trek 720; 1986 Trek 400; 1987 Schwinn High Sierra w/ Drop Bars
Posts: 7,303
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
I'm riding bikes with triples- so they're pretty much 50-45-28 with something like 14-28 in the back. So my low is 28-28. That's about fine for me when carrying stuff. Not a whole lot of stuff, but stuff.
__________________
*Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

"Go that way, really fast, if something gets in your way- turn." Charles DeMar
The Golden Boy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:11 AM   #10
whatwolf 
Unimatrix Zero
 
whatwolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Bikes: 1987 Land Shark, 1988 Schwinn Voyageur, 2010 CAAD9 CX
Posts: 936
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My "fast" road bike has a compact double 50/34 and 12-25 10-sp cassette. (36~110 GI)
My "chill" road bike will have a compact double 46/32 and 12-29 11-sp cassette. (28~99 GI)

Last edited by whatwolf; 02-26-14 at 10:24 AM.
whatwolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:16 AM   #11
Cougrrcj 
Over forty victim of Fate
 
Cougrrcj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NE Ohio / Phoenix AZ
Bikes: A few...
Posts: 2,103
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
I'm with seypat. My 'hilly' bike wears a triple - 48-38-28 and a choice of 13-21, 13-24 or 13-26 six-speed freewheel depending on expected terrain. I am on the middle chainring 99% of the time, using the big ring for tailwinds, and saving the small ring for hills.

My 'flatlander' bike has the ubiquitous 52-42 chainrings and a 13-21 six-speed freewheel.
__________________
'75 Fuji S-10S bought new, 45k+ miles and still going!
'84 Univega Gran Tourismo
'84 Univega Viva Sport
'86 Miyata 710
'90 Schwinn Woodlands
Huffy MTB - for trips to corner store
MTB of questionable lineage aka 'Mutt Trail Bike'

Cougrrcj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:18 AM   #12
bradtx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pearland, Texas
Bikes: Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana
Posts: 6,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
AZORCH, ~31 GI works for me and my bum knee on my roadie, ~20 GI for the touring bike (when loaded). ~44 GI puts too much strain on my knee, but used to be all that I needed. While I have yet to need the lowest gear on either the roadie or touring bike, they're nice to have available.

Brad
bradtx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:24 AM   #13
OldsCOOL
Senior Member
 
OldsCOOL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: northern michigan
Bikes: '77 Colnago Super, '76 Fuji The Finest, '88 Cannondale Criterium, '86 Trek 760
Posts: 11,127
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatwolf View Post
My "fast" road bike has a compact double 50/34 and 12-15 10-sp cassette. (36~110 GI)
My "chill" road bike will have a compact double 46/32 and 12-29 11-sp cassette. (28~99 GI)
A 12-15 cassette? A 10sp? I'm missing something here.
OldsCOOL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:25 AM   #14
whatwolf 
Unimatrix Zero
 
whatwolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Bikes: 1987 Land Shark, 1988 Schwinn Voyageur, 2010 CAAD9 CX
Posts: 936
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
A 12-15 cassette? A 10sp? I'm missing something here.
Bah! Typo. 12-25
whatwolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:29 AM   #15
gaucho777
Senior Member
 
gaucho777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Berkeley, CA
Bikes: '72 Cilo Pacer • '72 Peugeot PX10 • '73 Speedwell Ti • '74 Nishiki Competition • '74 Peugeot UE-8 • '86 Look Equipe 753 • '86 Look KG86 • '89 Parkpre Team Road • '90 Parkpre Team MTB • '90 Merlin
Posts: 5,527
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
39x26

gaucho777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:36 AM   #16
PhilPub
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: London, England
Bikes: Ron Cooper Columbus SL 1987, Planet X London Road
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Gear ratios are the main reason I went modern-upgrade rather than period correct with my Ron Cooper restoration. 10-speed 50/34, 12-25 is soooo much more practical than 6-speed 52/42, 13-23. And it's not even about age; I'm fitter at 41 than I was at 16, but being able to tap out a nice rhythm in the saddle gets you up a 10-12% incline a lot quicker and easier than grinding away and swerving across the road.
PhilPub is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:36 AM   #17
zandoval 
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Bikes: Univega, PR-10, Ted Williams,UO-8, Puch, PHLE, UO-18 Mixte
Posts: 1,751
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Favourite gears for hills? I always seem to end up at 34/34...
After that its the Size 12s...

In Bastrop Tx we have short steap hills - Very much fun cause if you do have to get off and use your Size 12 Ambulatory gear its not for long...

Even the Mountain Bike guys hang out at 34/34 so I don't feel so bad...

I love my home made compact crank at 34/52 and my Shimano 6 speed Tourney has a reasonable range - My only problem on the set up has been the need for a long cage derailuer and some front derailuers can have a hard time jumping between the 34/52 crank...
zandoval is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:37 AM   #18
auchencrow 
Senior Member
 
auchencrow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Detroit
Bikes:
Posts: 10,330
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Around here, I haven't used my biggest cog yet - but I probably would if I lived on this street!

__________________
- Auchen
auchencrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:38 AM   #19
jimmuller 
What??? Only 2 wheels?
 
jimmuller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Boston-ish, MA
Bikes: '73 Raleigh Carlton Gran Sport, '72 Peugeot UO-8, '82 Peugeot TH8, '87 Bianchi Brava, '76? Masi Grand Criterium, '87 Centurion Ironman Expert, '74 Motobecane Champion Team, '86 Gazelle champion mondial, '81? Grandis, and lots of uncertainty on some
Posts: 10,466
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
A 12-15 cassette? A 10sp? I'm missing something here.
It came in several variations.
The competition version
12-12-12-12-12-13-14-14-14-15

The sport version:
12-12-12-13-13-13-14-14-15-15

And for the hill-challenged:
12-13-14-15-15-15-15-15-15-15
__________________
Real cyclists use toe clips.
With great bikes comes great responsibility.
jimmuller
jimmuller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:42 AM   #20
cyclotoine
Senior Member
 
cyclotoine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Yukon, Canada
Bikes:
Posts: 8,509
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZORCH View Post
Without debating the weight or tubing or style of your bike ('cuz that is a circuitous journey I don't wish to travel), what is YOUR preferred low gear (or gear range) for riding the hills?

I'll start: Although 95% of my riding takes place in the 60 - 70 gear inch range, I like to have a bailout available to me in the upper 30's to low 40's for climbing or rolling hills. Any lower than that and I feel like I'm spinning like a hamster in a cage.

How about you?
I don't believe you can have this conversation without the discussion of type of bike, type of riding etc..

for example, if I am crossing a mountain pass with a water bottle and some energy bar I am perfectly happy to go over with my standard 39/53 and a 12-27 10 speed cassette on my 17 lb road bike once I am in riding shape of course.

Early season I ride a 12-27 with compact on my 20 some odd pound 531 sport frame with fenders and 25c tires...

on my loaded touring bike I had an 11-34 8speed cassette and a ritchey logic compact crank with a 24T small ring... nothing I can't ride over with that.

This summer I will switch my MTB to a single 30T racew face NW ring and try the one-up components conversion to an 11-42 rear 10s cassette. Pretty excited about this actually. I'll shave a bunch of weight and my bike will look sexy and with the clutch derailleur I hope to minimize chainslap.
__________________
1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear
cyclotoine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:54 AM   #21
OldsCOOL
Senior Member
 
OldsCOOL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: northern michigan
Bikes: '77 Colnago Super, '76 Fuji The Finest, '88 Cannondale Criterium, '86 Trek 760
Posts: 11,127
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
It came in several variations.
The competition version
12-12-12-12-12-13-14-14-14-15

The sport version:
12-12-12-13-13-13-14-14-15-15

And for the hill-challenged:
12-13-14-15-15-15-15-15-15-15
!!
OldsCOOL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:56 AM   #22
OldsCOOL
Senior Member
 
OldsCOOL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: northern michigan
Bikes: '77 Colnago Super, '76 Fuji The Finest, '88 Cannondale Criterium, '86 Trek 760
Posts: 11,127
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatwolf View Post
Bah! Typo. 12-25
You had me counting fingers for a quick moment.
OldsCOOL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:57 AM   #23
spacemanz
Senior Member
 
spacemanz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Seattle
Bikes: Frejus/Bertin/Cannondale
Posts: 1,085
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just recently converted back to a 130 rear wheel instead of an older 126, so I went from a 14-28 to a 11-34 on the rear end, and I've been using a 50-34 in the front. I'm not really a gear-head, LOL, but from what I've read, that 34t in the front AND rear should be pretty sweet for hills, eh?
spacemanz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 10:57 AM   #24
likebike23 
Rides Majestic
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westfield, MA
Bikes: 1983 Univega Gran Turismo, 1970 Schwinn Super Sport, 2001 Univega Modo Vincere, Self-Built Nashbar Touring, 1974 Peugeot U08, 1974 Atala Grand Prix, 1986 Ross Mt. Hood, 80's Maruishi MT-18
Posts: 1,358
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It can get pretty hilly around here, but I can get up just about any of my hills with 1:1 gearing.
likebike23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 11:22 AM   #25
miamijim
Senior Member
 
miamijim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Tampa, Florida
Bikes:
Posts: 13,244
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
8 speed would be a 12-19 straight block
10 speed would be a 12-21 straight block
__________________
WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 1984 Schwinn Paramount; 1987 Schwinn Paramount; 1975 Tom Ritchey, 198X Vitus
miamijim is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:00 AM.