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  1. #1
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    Bike build thoughts/ questions

    Yes I have only been riding for a month. Yes I know next to nothing about bikes. Yes I am thinking about building a bike. Makes perfect sense right
    Anyways, here goes. After riding for this month I have came to realize that I very seldom ever use my front gears. I'm always in the middle ring, and only have 7 gears in the back so basically I do everything I need with a 7 speed bike. Why couldn't I find a older road bike frame, put a single gear in the front with a tooth count somewhere between my current second and third ring, and just run a 9 or 10 speed rear? I think that would make a good workout bike. Hills may be just a little harder, but I have strong legs. I may not be able to make the jump to warp speed but I have never had my bike in the top gear as it is now, by the time I get to that kind of speed there is another hill that will require a down shift. Now I'm not saying this would be a good only bike I would still want a regular road bike for longer trips and long climbs, but for a daily training bike I think it would be great. Is there something I'm missing here?
    I know there is a lot about bikes that I would have to learn before undertaking this project, but I am of above average mechanical ability I believe and can learn just about anything I make my mind up to do. So what are the flaws in my way of thinking? I'd really like to know what you think. I am very thick skinned of if it is a stupid idea say so, I can handle it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    It's a bike ... you can do with it what you want. I converted an old mountain bike to a sort of urban assault bike with a single ring up front and 7 or 8 cogs out back. The only thing I need to do to it is put a chain tensioner on it because it tends to drop the chain if I don't watch how I shift.

    As for training on what you're suggesting ... sure, it's possible, but I think as a new rider you should concentrate on learning how to spin and work on a good efficient pedal stroke. And on increasing your fitness. Soon enough, you'll be pushing that big ring that you rare use

  3. #3
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    You can certainly do a 1x9, people do it to cut down on complexity. There are also internal gear hubs too that go from 8 to 11spd, where you don't even have a rear derailleur as another option.

    I'd do what was suggested above, ride for a while, get back in shape and be sure what gears you want before narrowing your choice. Might save you some cash in parts wasted.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Fangowolf's Avatar
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    If you want to keep a wide range of peddling options, there will be big changes when you change gears. Nothing you can't get used to, but you will be changing cadence instead of gears. You might want to use gear inches to give you an idea of where your comfort gears are
    Front Teeth / Rear Teeth * Wheel size
    so if you had a 46 tooth front with an 11-34 rear with a 700c (27 inch ) wheel you would wind up with
    37 41 48 54 62 73 83 96 113

    you can compute your current gears and use them to get a feel for the differences in the shifting.

  5. #5
    Getting older and slower!
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    If you have only been riding a month, you really don't know what your riding style will be after, say 5,000 miles. While it can be done, I suggest for now you work on your cadence and using the gears you have.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cychologist View Post
    If you have only been riding a month, you really don't know what your riding style will be after, say 5,000 miles. While it can be done, I suggest for now you work on your cadence and using the gears you have.
    +1

    It's normal to get a lot of ideas of what you like & don't like.
    Give it another month or 2 and many of your current ideas may change.

    A couple years ago, I got into mixing cogs on my cassette to give me "custom" gearing.
    It got to a point I was swapping 2-3 times/wk. because on different days something else seemed to make more sense.
    Now i just accept that somew days are going to be different, but maybe the day after will be like today. I might as well stay where I'm at and save 2 swaps.

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys, great advice. I need to figure more out about me and biking before I try to re-invent the wheel. I'll revisit this idea in a year or two and see if it still seems cool then, if so I'll put one together.

  8. #8
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    Of course, it's your bike and you can do whatever you want to do with it.

    But from my point of view, you're crazy plotting big changes to your equipment based on such a short span of experience. When I started out riding, I had ideas based how I rode with those around me, and after around 6 months I had a firm idea in my head about upgrading my bike. After a year on the bike, I was really glad I didn't pull the trigger on a new bike as my riding focus changed dramatically.

    If I was you, I'd just put in time on the bike you have. You will get stronger on the bike and thus your gearing choices will adapt and develop over time. Another point to note, is that playing around with the front gearing options can get a lot more expensive than playing with the rear. I run 39/53 on the front and prefer to spend most of my time in the small chainring. I do that because the gearing is fine for most of the riding I do other than racing, and when it comes time to change worn chainrings, the inner ring is a whole lot cheaper to replace than the outer chainring!

  9. #9
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    I had similar thoughts when I first started riding. I waited a couple of years and ended up with a different twist. I've got a road bike and a fixed gear. Road bike for group rides and fixed gear for solo... great fun.

  10. #10
    Senior Member adrien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbeasley View Post
    I had similar thoughts when I first started riding. I waited a couple of years and ended up with a different twist. I've got a road bike and a fixed gear. Road bike for group rides and fixed gear for solo... great fun.

    me, too
    "how do you know you can't swim until you have drowned?"

  11. #11
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    Going to resurrect this thread just to give some closure in case someone finds it by searching. I bought a road bike with a compact double, and love it. I can ride 90% of the time in the big ring so it is kind of like what I was looking for. When I hit a good hill however, I just touch the brifter and "wonder twins power activate, form of a mountain goat" up I go. I'm very happy and think it fits my needs here in hilly WV better than a 1xN can, for now .

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