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View Poll Results: How do you gear your bikes?

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  • factory stock, off-the-shelf

    45 51.14%
  • my own custom combination

    38 43.18%
  • shiftless (single-speed or fixed gear)

    1 1.14%
  • other; explain

    4 4.55%
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Thread: gearing poll

  1. #1
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    gearing poll

    Since the subject of regearing arises periodically, I thought it would be interesting to see how various folks deal with the subject.

    All of my bikes have custom chainring and cog sizes which I have selected to fit my own needs.

    I typically go for a low gear in the mid-40s (gear-inches), a top gear in the mid-90s, and an average ratiometric progression of about 6 or 7 percent through most of the range, sometimes with a larger jump at the very top or bottom. I live in an area with light winds but some hills.

    What works very well for me:
    50-42 / 14-16-18-20-23-26 for club riding, recreation, unloaded touring; superb
    47-38 / 13-15-17-19-21-23 for same applications -- not nearly as nice a ratio progression
    49-46 / 14-16-18-21-24-26 equipment-constrained on an old classic; a bit stiff in the low end
    45-42 / 13-15-17-20-23-26 for commuting and general transportation
    Last edited by John E; 08-16-07 at 09:51 PM.
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  2. #2
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    My Lemond came with a 52/42/30--13/25 which is about perfect for me in rolling NE Ohio. Most other bikes in my fleet have been modified to nearly this same set-up over the years. I've added triple cranksets to some of them to achieve this.

    Hey, I'm old.
    Last edited by Louis; 08-16-07 at 10:06 PM.

  3. #3
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    I've added triple cranksets to some of them to achieve this.

    Hey, I'm old.
    My knees worship at the alter of the triple crankset.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  4. #4
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    53/39 & 12-25 works just fine for me, no reason to change it
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

  5. #5
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    My Lemond came with a 52/42/30--13/25 which is about perfect for me in rolling NE Ohio. Most other bikes in my fleet have been modified to nearly this same set-up over the years. I've added triple cranksets to some of them to achieve this.

    Hey, I'm old.
    Both my road bikes have triples....my knees thank me for it
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    Bike 1: 52/48/34 & 12/34 - Touring & very hilly rides
    Bike 2: 50/34 & 12/23 - General riding
    Bike 3: 50/32 & 12/25 - General riding
    Bike 4: 53/39 & 11/23 - Mashing on the flats or just rolling hills
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  7. #7
    cycling fanatic Ken Brown's Avatar
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    I seldom get into the highest gear and I never have a granny that is low enough. My Cannondale T800 came with an appropriate range, since it is a touring bike.

  8. #8
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    50/34...12/26 on the road bike

    48/36/26....12/26 on the MTB (no root climbing gears). This combination works extremely well on a hardtail used for general purpose Trail, MUP and around town road riding (most rides use a combination of all 3 thus precluding the use of a road bike).

  9. #9
    SEMPER FI HAMMER MAN's Avatar
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    both road bikes
    53/39-12-25
    53/42-12-25
    46-16 s/s


    no reason to change as here in Texas, mostly flat with some hills, none that are so steep to require a triple or a compact
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  10. #10
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    Compact Triple!

    48/38/26

  11. #11
    rck
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Paulie View Post
    Compact Triple!

    48/38/26
    plus 1 with a 12-34 7 speed cassette

  12. #12
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I've done both, factory and custom. I like custom better but I've been too lazy to do the work to make a custom one lately.

  13. #13
    SSP
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    Started off riding triples in my late 40's. As I've gotten stronger, I've migrated to standard doubles.

    The road bike has a 53/39 up front. Came stock with 12-25, but I sometimes put on a 12-27 if there's going to be a lot of climbing (e.g., the Death Ride).

    The TT bike has 53/39 up front, with 11-23 cassette.

    I'm currently building up a Surly Long Haul Trucker frame for around town, errands, commuting, and possibly loaded touring. It will initially be set up with a 9 speed Ultegra triple (52-42-30, with 11-23 cassette).
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  14. #14
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    50/34 with 12/25 rear works for me.

  15. #15
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Paulie View Post
    Compact Triple!

    48/38/26
    I'm not sure what a 'compact triple' is, but that combination used to be considered mountain bike gearing before the advent of 4-arm cranks. Why oh why didn't they just use the 110/58 BCD cranks that were already in existence before they went and invented a completely new size?

    So, what do you call my combination? 30/44/56, using a standard 12-27 cassette. This is on a 26" (ISO 559) drive wheel. Gear range is 26-114 inches. If I could easily find it, I'd use an 11-25, and then only use a 12-27 cassette when I traveled out of state to hilly rides.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Seemingly custom on all the bikes.

    Mountain has 44/32/22 and 12/32 9 speed. Probably The standard used by most MTB's nowadays.

    Tandem has 48/36/24 and 12/32 9 speed.

    Giant has 52/42/30 and 11/28 8 speed.

    Boreas has 50/36 and 12/27 10 speed.

    The Boreas will probably go to a triple with 50/39/30 and stay with the 12/27.
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  18. #18
    Pretend Racer dcvelo's Avatar
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    I have an older hybrid that's a triple but I can't remember off the top of my head what the gearing is....having used the granny gear on it exactly once, I stuck with doubles on my road bikes.

    My first road bike came with a 53/39 and 12/25 cassette. I had my second built to my specs but stayed with that combo since it's been working pretty well for me.

  19. #19
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    I have a 2002 Lemond Zurich. It came with Ultregra Triple 12-27. For a ride through Utah I switched to an XTR cassette and derailleur and now love the MTB gearing and have not taken it off - I have 12 - 34 (granny is 30 - 34). I sacrifice smoothness for really low gears and the ability to climb up anything. Priorities!!!!

  20. #20
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    Tpourer Rohloff Speedhub 500 on the tourer 38 chainring 16 cog

    T.T bike 54/42 with 11 to 19 (straight/single cog step) 9 speed for flat courses
    50/39 with 12 or 13 to ??? depends on the hills

    Road Bike 52/39 double , not a clue about the sprocket, 12 to 29 9 speed.... maybe, at the moment

    george

  21. #21
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Since I ride in the mountains a lot, I use a 52-39-30 triple with 10 speed 12-25 on my main bike. I am often SPUN OUT in 52x12 and sometimes struggle in 30x25. Touring bike has 48-38-28 with different cogsets, 13-30 9speed last time. MTB is 42-32-22 with 13-30 8speed.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    I'm basically stock with the exception of what might be considered a "custom" rear cog set.
    I have an 86 RockHopper with 26-36-46 up front.
    The bike came with a 12-14-16-18-21-24-28 cassette.
    I picked up a bunch of bike parts last year and amongst the spare parts was a FALCON Freewheel.
    It's a total piece of "waste", but it's a 13-14-16-18-21-24-28.
    I usually found the 12T cog a bit high, but was often "spinning out" (I thought at the time) on the 14T.
    Although I now typically spin the 14T (with a bit higher cadence) the 13T is ideal when I get the rare tail wind. The times I could actually use a 12T are so rare, I've learned to live without it very well.
    My ideal cog set (this week anyway) would be 13-14-15-17-20-24-28 or 13-14-15-16-18-22-28.
    I'm just curious how long the cheap Falcon stuff will last. I know it's already beyond its expected life, but I keep stuffing grease in it and hoping. If it were only HyperGlide!

  23. #23
    tsl
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    Within a month of buying my first bike last year, a hybrid with a 48/38/28 triple, I knew I wanted closer ratios. I didn't like the big jumps between the gears, and it seemed like in many places, the gear I wanted was the one between the ones I had. Fortunately, my usual terrain doesn't require wide ranges. I replaced the 8-speed 11-30 with a 13-23 and was happy, until winter when snow and snow tires required the big cogs again.

    The 8-speed 13-23 is a rare item apparently. I couldn't find another when I bought my road bike (52/42/30) this past winter. So it got a 12-23 and a 12-28 for when I get into the hills south of the city. Recently, I moved the 13-23 from the hybrid to the road bike and am enjoying the 16-tooth cog again. Still wishing for an 18...

    I have a new bike on layaway, a Trek Portland. I comes with a 52/39/30 triple and a 10-speed 12-27. I'll be ordering a 13-25 for the nice weather. That'll finally get me the 18-tooth cog I've wanted for a long time. Before snow flies, I'll be getting a 16-27 for it. Yahoo! Close ratios at the low end for snow riding.

    With 16 months under my belt, I find I'd continuing to get stronger. That has me thinking about a double for next year. Not yet sure if I'll give up the triples, or if I do, if I'll go compact or standard.
    Last edited by tsl; 08-17-07 at 01:06 PM.
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  24. #24
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post

    48/36/26....12/26 on the MTB (no root climbing gears). This combination works extremely well on a hardtail used for general purpose Trail, MUP and around town road riding (most rides use a combination of all 3 thus precluding the use of a road bike).
    We're not too far apart on mountain bike gearing.

    Schwinn: 48-40-28 / 13-15-17-19-22-24-26
    (I have also tried it with 48-40-24, which requires care on the 24-to-40 upshift.)
    Ross: 46-38-24 / 12-13-15-17-19-21-23-25
    (This is particularly fun because the frame says "Shimano 21 speed," but my replacement wheelset has 8 cogs.)

    Thanks for all of the responses. We have a gratifying number of gear-heads in the 50+ group!
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  25. #25
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Road bike: stock, 50/39/30, 12-25. I'd like an even smaller granny gear, though.

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