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-   -   New bike... gearing question (http://www.bikeforums.net/clydesdales-athenas-200-lb-91-kg/380552-new-bike-gearing-question.html)

tigereye 01-19-08 11:49 AM

New bike... gearing question
 
Looking for my first bike, and think I've gotten it narrowed down to one of the Codas from Jamis so that I can stay under my budget ($600ish for bike) and still have a steel frame.

Specifically, I'm looking at the Coda and Coda Sport. All other components aside, I'm curious about the practical differences between the more road-ish gears on the Sport vs the MTB-ish gears on the regular Coda. Specifically, would this significantly affect hill climibing, etc given my size (6'4 - 280).

Coda:
48/38/28 triple with Shimano CS-HG40, 8-speed, 11-32.

Coda Sport
50/39/30 triple with SRAM PowerGlide 950, 9-speed, 11-32.

Thanks,

Mike

CliftonGK1 01-19-08 01:11 PM

You'll notice less of a difference at the top end (48 vs 50) than you will with the low end (28 vs 30). With the Sport, you could always have your shop throw a 12-34 cassette on there and make up for the 30 ring up front.

I'm rockin' a 36/48 front to a 12-25 9spd cassette, and I weigh 235. It's not so much your weight as it is your fitness level on the hills that will get to ya if you have the 'wrong' gearing. I've got some long climbs that I do (2+ miles at 8%) and I'm switching out for a 34/48 front to a 12-27 cassette so I can just spin 'em out without feeling like I'm mashing on the steeper sections.

If you're not doing any loaded touring, I've got a feeling that a 30/32 combo will be plenty low enough gearing for darned near any hills you encounter. There's a hill I train on called Squawk Mtn, and it's 1180' of gain to the top in 2.25 miles with a steep section of 21% grade for a quarter mile. I managed to tackle it on a 39/25. (Of course, I was burnt out afterwards, though.) You should be fine with either gearing setup.
I'd base the decision more on the other component levels between the Coda base model and Sport model.

*edit*
Just saw that you're in Cinci. I used to live there for 7 years. Unless you're riding up Grand Ave in Delhi every day (my old commute) you're not going to find any really gnarly hills that can't be handled with a 30/32 combo.

rxda90 01-19-08 03:25 PM

I have a 2006 Coda Sport, and love it.

It has the 52/42/30 chainrings and an 11-32 freewheel. Even on my steepest hills in NE Ohio (10% grades for short runs) I find that I don't use the granny combo. There's something about cycling at a slower pace than I can walk that is inherently unsettling.

Lots of bike trails in your area .... get out there and use 'em! You'll find that they're pretty flat to rolling, and with either of the gearing options, you should be fine.

After the purchase, be sure to take your bike in for it's free tune-up, and specifically have the LBS check the wheels for trueness and the spokes for tension. I was popping spokes in the rear wheel pretty regularly in my first season until the LBS essentially re-laced it and pre-stressed it for me. Went all of 2007 without any problems (1200 miles).

Good luck with your new purchase!

Bill Kapaun 01-19-08 03:38 PM

The highest gears on both cassettes are 11-12-14-16-18-21.
The 8 speed has an additional 26-32.
The 9 speed has an additional 24-28-32.

The 21 to 26 jump on the 8 speed seems a bit excessive to me, BUT-
That being said, I've made a "custom" 7 speed that I use with 13-14-15-16-18-21-26. SAME big jump, but I don't have hills. IF you don't have hills, you don't need the 32 either! IF that's the case (on either), use your bargaining power and you can probably get the LBS to do a swap for a more "road friendly" cassette for free.

http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/

Mr. Beanz 01-19-08 06:06 PM

28/32 or a 30/32???You should be able to climb the Empire State Building with those gears. The rest is all training, not the bike. I along with a few other Clydes at 245 plus climb 10,000ft with standard doubles 39/25.

$600 for a steel frame bike? I wonder if only the 3 main tubes are cromoly and the stays hi tensil steel. I know a few years ago, mfg'ers used to do this. $600 sounds too good for a complete cromo frame.

George 01-19-08 06:56 PM

I have a Coda Elite and it's set up for touring and I went with a 48/36/26 and left the rear at 11-32. When I went to the Texas Hill country with it, I had the 2 lowest gears as bail out gears, but I used all the others.

George 01-19-08 06:58 PM

I had the choice of going with the 2007 or the 2005 and I picked the 2005 as they keep cutting back.

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t...o/HPIM0290.jpg

tigereye 01-19-08 10:20 PM

Thanks everyone for the advice. I guess I'll stop obsessing about the gears. Sounds like I won't have anything to worry about there.

However, Mr. Beanz has me worried about the frame now:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz (Post 6013217)
$600 for a steel frame bike? I wonder if only the 3 main tubes are cromoly and the stays hi tensil steel. I know a few years ago, mfg'ers used to do this. $600 sounds too good for a complete cromo frame.

Reading the description on their site, it only mentions cromoly main tubes, so I assume his assumption is correct. Is this anything I should be concerned or worried over?

Thanks again,

Mike

Mr. Beanz 01-20-08 12:36 AM

I did have a KHS andem that was designed with the cropmo main frame and the rest hi tensil steel. Prolly not anything to worry about. I know the tandem ran very well.

Only thing that would concern me is that hi tensil steel is (from what I've heard) a bit more likely to break as it's more (can't think of the correct term as it's late) 'brittle' than cromo (?). I know the dept store bikes (Huffy) are made of hi tensil steel. But like I said, the tandem we had was actually a good ride.

If you don't plan on racing, might not be too big an issue. But then again, I thought that of my Lemond, and look at it!:D

Tom Stormcrowe 01-20-08 01:27 PM

Hi Ten steel still has a longer life cycle than Aluminum. The biggest attribute of CroMo steel is it has the ability to be made into thinner walled, lighter tubes and retain the same strength.

Wogster 01-20-08 06:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz (Post 6014933)
I did have a KHS andem that was designed with the cropmo main frame and the rest hi tensil steel. Prolly not anything to worry about. I know the tandem ran very well.

Only thing that would concern me is that hi tensil steel is (from what I've heard) a bit more likely to break as it's more (can't think of the correct term as it's late) 'brittle' than cromo (?). I know the dept store bikes (Huffy) are made of hi tensil steel. But like I said, the tandem we had was actually a good ride.

If you don't plan on racing, might not be too big an issue. But then again, I thought that of my Lemond, and look at it!:D

The difference is that High Tensile steel is not as strong as Chromium or Molybdenum alloyed steel, this means for a given tube you need more high-ten steel (the tubes need to be thicker). For large tubes this can add considerable weight. Chain and seat stays because they are much smaller in both diameter and length, so the difference might be only 100g or so, per tube. This was actually quite a common way of building bike frames back in the day, as high-ten steel is also cheaper.

Jim-in-Kirkland 01-21-08 08:18 AM

I live in a hilly area and may have an extra 10 lbs of commuting gear - so I would choose the 48/38/28 triple front with 8-speed, 11-32 rear. I also like having the option to spin up a hill at the end of day if my legs are tired. FYI - I have replaced the 30t front chain ring with a 28t on my bike - it shifts ok but probably not as good a front crank pinned/ramped for 48-38-28. Good luck.


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