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  1. #1
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Roadie vs Hybrid gearing

    As I continue to learn my Reno, one thing stands out that really baffles me: gearing and the perception of gearing (no, it really is still one thing).

    This is what my Fisher has: 48/38/28, 8-speed: 11-32; and this is what my LeMond has: 52/42/30, 9-speed: 12-26 and yet it seems I spend a lot more time on the Reno's large ring than I do on the Fisher. On both bikes, I spend most of my time in the middle -front and rear- yet, gear for gear, the Reno feels like the lower ratioed bike. Even when climbing, I can seemingly go much easier using a 30 front 23/26 rear on the LeMond than I can using the Kaitai's 28 front, 26/32 rear. Is it the reduced weight of the LeMond? The 25cm tires? Is is the cranks, the geometry? Am I imagining it? Maybe I should just roll with it and forget about analyzing it.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  2. #2
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    A formula 1 Ferrari does not need anywhere near the same gear ratio's as a Peterbuilt. More effecient use of energy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    As a big F1 fan, I do get this analogy. Better transfer of power.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    It is mostly in your head. It's still a human powered machine with gears, chains and a couple of wheels. Shaving off five pounds didn't make THAT much difference. Neither did the riding position. The bearings weren't ****ty and dragging on the KaiTai were they? The skinny tires do make a huge difference, but it's mostly in your head. And that is the best part about it IMHO, I absolutely feel the same way about the Coda, it is so far and away different in feel and fun factor that it SEEMS a lot easier, but the laws of physics have not been repealed, so it's MOSTLY in our heads. Which is what makes it so cool, to feel that fun factor, and to WANT to get on the bike and just ride and never stop. Strange isn't it?
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  5. #5
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    It sure is but I know what you mean about not wanting to stop. I went out last night and rode up to a friend's house. He lives in the middle of a 895 foot, 13% grade. I stopped briefly -he wasn't home- and I headed out. Instead of turning to go back down, I climbed the rest of the way up the grade. Not a super long climb but I had to -HAD to- do it. The bike made me do it. Later, I was heading home on this rolling road -up, down, up, down, UP, down- the last climb up is another 850-950 climb of 7%. I was about 200 yards south and I saw a guy riding along at the start of this climb. I don't know what came over me but I started sprinting... head down and pushing. I caught him int the middle of the climb and just blew past him (now, granted, he wasn't moving all that fast but still... ok?). I did it because the bike could. I could. The bike let me. And there is still no sadder moment than when I pull into my driveway and dismount. Ride over. Fun over.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I found exactly the same when I went to a road bike. On the road hills- I used to use the 22 front sprocket on the MTB and probably the 28 rear sprocket- leaving the 32 as an emergency gear. Those same hills and I use the 30 /26 gearing on the road bike. Admittedly that is my bottom gear but it is nowhere near as low as on the MTB. But then the MTB is a different geometry and weighs 5 lbs more.

    If the MTB was on a road ride with slicks- then I would be 44 front and 11 or 13 on the rear for most of the ride-- and this is where I differ from you in that I am mainly in the middle ring on the road bike, a 42, and 12 on the rear. I have just started using the big ring- the 52, and probably somewhere around the middle gear on the rear.

    I would forget about analysing the bikes- They are for different uses, but When I get to the TANDEM- this is a completely different beastie. It is a full offroad machine with the weight to go with it- 55lbs in ride trim. One set of gears--48/36/24 on the front and 9 spd 11/32 on the rear. It is an offroad machine but fit slicks on it and it is fast on the road on the flat and downhill- just hold your breath. Take a smooth flat road with no wind and no bends. In 48/11 at 100 cadence- we are 30mph on slicks. BUT we do not ride in the11- we are normally around the 13. We like to ride at a cadence of 95 and this gives us around 25mph as our riding speed. We only use the 11 on downslopes or downhill. This thing is Heavy but it has momentum. Get it up to speed and it stays there with very little effort. Then you hit a hill and it is surprising how quickly you find yourself in granny and wondering if you should fit the normal MTB crankset of 44/32/22.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  7. #7
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Welcome to one of the most efficient machines ever designed. It is not in your head. Everything about a road bike conspires to turn your energy into forward motion as effectively as possible. It has a little to do with weight, a little to do with aerodynamics, a little to do with tire width and tire pressure, a little to do with body positioning that maximizes the transfer of power to the pedals, a little to do with smoother rotating parts, a little to do with frame stiffness and so on ad infinitum.
    Road bikes have been evolving for many years with the primary purpose of turning human power into speed. It works.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    Road bikes have been evolving for many years with the primary purpose of turning human power into speed. It works.
    That it does, that it does. The one big thing that I noticed about the Reno from Day One -before Day One, really- is how it just seems to glide forward. This Saturday will be interesting... I pick up my Kaitai from the shop (a little yearly tune up and chain replacement) and from there I'll be heading out to and across the GG Bridge. That's the plan anyway... it's about a 16-17 mile round trip. I can do 15-20 miles on that bike pretty easily but I haven't done a ride of any distance since the LeMond came home. The last time I brought the bike in, I had only been riding for a couple of months -a long way from where I am now- and I did 10-12 miles without a whole lot of difficulty. But now? I wonder what this is gonna feel like.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  9. #9
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Check this out... http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/ calculate the gear inches for each bike taking all variables into account and compare. If two bikes are the same gear inches but one seems easier, then it is something else such as weight difference or your fit / riding position.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Agree with Bluesdawg.
    A lot of "littles" add up to a "bunch"!

  11. #11
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    If you could mount 700c wheels with 120psi tires on your hybred, you'd be amazed at how fast it is in spite of its weight.

  12. #12
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Well, I do have 700's on my Fisher... 700x38 Armadillo Crossroads
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  13. #13
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Uh, I think he meant 120psi in each tire, not 60psi in each.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  14. #14
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    23mm was tire width, not tread depth.

  15. #15
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
    It sure is but I know what you mean about not wanting to stop. I went out last night and rode up to a friend's house. He lives in the middle of a 895 foot, 13% grade. I stopped briefly -he wasn't home- and I headed out. Instead of turning to go back down, I climbed the rest of the way up the grade. Not a super long climb but I had to -HAD to- do it. The bike made me do it. Later, I was heading home on this rolling road -up, down, up, down, UP, down- the last climb up is another 850-950 climb of 7%. I was about 200 yards south and I saw a guy riding along at the start of this climb. I don't know what came over me but I started sprinting... head down and pushing. I caught him int the middle of the climb and just blew past him (now, granted, he wasn't moving all that fast but still... ok?). I did it because the bike could. I could. The bike let me. And there is still no sadder moment than when I pull into my driveway and dismount. Ride over. Fun over.
    It's just that the Reno climbs like a scalded monkey.


    I just love that phrase. I'm in love.......

  16. #16
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    Uh, I think he meant 120psi in each tire, not 60psi in each.
    I'd say you might want to go read up on the specs of these tire but Specialized doesn't list PSI.
    Suffice it to say, these ain't no 60 lbs tires. Far from it.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  17. #17
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
    I'd say you might want to go read up on the specs of these tire but Specialized doesn't list PSI.
    Suffice it to say, these ain't no 60 lbs tires. Far from it.
    Hey, I was foolin' around. I'm sure they are fine tires. What do they run, about 90psi ? Anyway, I think you would agree that they aren't going to roll as easy as the tires on your Reno, which was the point.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  18. #18
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    Hey, I was foolin' around. I'm sure they are fine tires. What do they run, about 90psi ? Anyway, I think you would agree that they aren't going to roll as easy as the tires on your Reno, which was the point.
    It ain't right messin' with someone's tires, ya know. And don't be jokin' about no bar tape neether.

  19. #19
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    Hey, I was foolin' around. I'm sure they are fine tires. What do they run, about 90psi ? Anyway, I think you would agree that they aren't going to roll as easy as the tires on your Reno, which was the point.
    Humor just doesn't really translate well in print... Truthfully, I was just joshin' back at ya. Absolutely, no offense was taken.

    I don't have the bike here right now to verify but I think they will take 100 lbs. I run 'em around 90-95 since I do mostly street and hard-pack riding with the Kaitai. 100 lbs, btw, is also the limit of the Bontragers that came with the Reno. Bah. I'll be replacing those soon enough (with Armadillo Roubaix Elites)

    But, yeah, just compare the contact patch of a 38 to a 25 and it's not too hard to figure which one's gonna roll better.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  20. #20
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    The road bike's superior aerodynamics and ergonomics and lower rolling resistance make a noticeable difference.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  21. #21
    Senior Member dendawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
    Is it the reduced weight of the LeMond? The 25cm tires? Is is the cranks, the geometry? Am I imagining it? Maybe I should just roll with it and forget about analyzing it.
    I think weight is a big factor, plus more efficient riding position. I got fitted for my road bike on a size cycle. As I got closer and closer to my optimum geometry the pedaling seemed easier, more comfortable. The hills certainly seem easier, and I've noticed my HR is down on my climbs compared to the old hybrid. Speed is up as well. I did over 15mph avg on one loop of the park the other day, never did more than 13.5 on the hybrid.

  22. #22
    as I used to be NotAsFat's Avatar
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    The road bike has four main advantages over the MTBs and hybrid bikes:
    1. It's riding position is more aerodynamic.
    2. It's wheels are lighter, and have lower rolling resistance
    3. It's lighter, overall.
    4. The riding position allows your muscles to transfer power to the pedals more efficiently.

    Taken together, these advantages easily offset the MTBs' and hybrids' lower gear ratios. Even a cheap road bike will run rings around a high-end MTB on good pavement.
    Starve a terrorist - ride a bike to work. It's not just good for the environment, it's good for civilization.

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