Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    khosch khosch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Greater New Orleans
    My Bikes
    Electra Townie; Bianchi Via Nirone
    Posts
    89
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    3 speed or 8 speed?

    I am trying to decide between the Electra Townie 3i and 8i. I live where there are virtually no hills and I probably won't take the bike to other locations to ride. But I don't want to purchase a 3-speed and then wish I had gone for the 8-speed.

    I would be interested in any thoughts, opinions or experience anyone might have in this regard. I haven't ridden a bike much in the past umpty-ump years, and the townies really appeal to me.

  2. #2
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    6,455
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I find the gap between the gears of a three speed to be too large. Even without hills you may encounter head winds that will make an 8 speed worth having.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,441
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That's the main difference.... Likely the lowest and highest gears on the three-speed and the 8-speed are pretty similar. It's just that the jumps between are substantial. You might find yourself in gears that are too low or too high and nowhere else to go.
    With my wonky old knees I just love gears.... The more the better.

  4. #4
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Paoli, Wisconsin
    My Bikes
    RANS Stratus, Bridgestone CB-1, Trek 7600, Sun EZ-Rider AX, Fuji Absolute 1.0, Cayne Rambler 3
    Posts
    9,980
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The highest and lowest gear ratios on an 8 speed actually are quite a bit different than a 3 speed.

    The steps between gears are closer, so that is good. And it does give you more options should you ever end up riding it in a hillier area.

    Definitely nicer to have the 8 speed. Unfortunately that will usually cost you about $300 more.

    All of that said, a 3 speed would likely do you well. They have been used for decades and in much hillier conditions than you describe. Note that millions of people get by fine with single speed bikes, so a 3-speed is already giving you more flexibility. If you get the 3-speed and find that you would like the gearing to be a little easier, you can have the rear cog changed out to a larger one.

    If money isn't a big concern, then go for the 8 speed. No harm in going there. If you are watching your dollars, then the 3 speed will likely be just fine.

  5. #5
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Oakville Ontario
    Posts
    5,092
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
    That's the main difference.... Likely the lowest and highest gears on the three-speed and the 8-speed are pretty similar. It's just that the jumps between are substantial. You might find yourself in gears that are too low or too high and nowhere else to go.
    With my wonky old knees I just love gears.... The more the better.
    8 speeds have about twice the range of a 3 speed. If the OP has any misgivings, and the extra coin for the 8 speed is not an issue, I'd definitely recommend the 8 speed. Much less chance for regrets that way.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. Elbert Hubbard.

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I must have ridden thousands of miles on the Sturmey archer gear system in my youth and it never caused a problem. But I now prefer closer ratio gears and more of them and that is just on a ride into town.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  7. #7
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Milledgeville, Georgia
    My Bikes
    2014 Specialized Crave Pro 29, 2014 Specialized Crux EVO Carbon Disc, 2012 Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross, 2011 Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert Compact, 2009 Salsa Casseroll, 2003 KHS Milano Tandem, 1986 Nishiki Cadence rigid MTB
    Posts
    12,788
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Go fixie.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  8. #8
    Senior Member wiredfoxterror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    The Floribbean
    My Bikes
    2006 Trek Rail 2007 Diamondback Dellacruz 1.0 2009 Trek Lime 2009 Jamis Boss Cruiser 7 1980s Nishiki Road Bike 1993 Cannondale R700 (Criterium) 1993 Cannondale V1000 1995 Cannondale M1000 1996 Cannondale Killer V900 1996 Cannondale M900 CAD3 1997 Ca
    Posts
    272
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a Townie 3s and a 7 speed Jamis Boss Cruiser. The one I get the most all around use out of is the 7 speed bike. But I love my Townie and I have put a lot of miles on it - mostly around town.
    Foxye, the Floribbean

    2006 Trek Rail
    2009 Trek Lime
    2009 Jamis Boss Cruiser 7
    1980s Nishiki Road Bike
    1993 Cannondale V1000
    1994 Cannondale Killer V900
    1995 Cannondale M1000
    1996 Cannondale Killer V900
    1996 Cannondale M900 CAD3
    1997 Cannondale F1000
    1997 Cannondale Super V 2000

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Northern VT
    My Bikes
    recumbent & upright
    Posts
    1,605
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have two commuter bikes, one set up as a 1x9 deraileur with 11-34 cassette and the other a Nexus 8 IGH; plus I live in a fairly hilly area. So both bike have a similar total gear range, just over 300%; have sort of kept an eye on the gear-in ratios most often used- there are two, about 37 and 66. This is a 178 % difference, which very closely matches the range of 3 speed hub. IMO- a 3 speed hub would be fine provided it is in the range you need. The extra range of an 8 speed is nice for those days when everything just bogs you down.
    ride long & prosper

  10. #10
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,286
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Look at it the way I did when I was on the fence about a 3speed or a 7 speed........You can't use what you don't have. So it is with more gears vs less gears.






    Oh yes, I got the 7 speed!!
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  11. #11
    khosch khosch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Greater New Orleans
    My Bikes
    Electra Townie; Bianchi Via Nirone
    Posts
    89
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for all the quick responses! I was leaning toward the 3-speed, but after hearing about your experiences I am going to get the 8-speed. I just have to wait a month or so; but it really is better to wait and get the better bike than to buy now just because I am so eager to get on the road. Everyone has always told me to be more patient, so I am trying to do that!

    Thanks again guys!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Peters, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
    Posts
    23,950
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    The steps between gears are closer, so that is good. And it does give you more options should you ever end up riding it in a hillier area.
    Close steps between gears is good on the flats. Once you get into a cadence rhythm it's nice to have closely spaced gears so that you don't find yourself making the choice between a gear that feels a litle too hard and one that's too easy.

    In the hills I like more widely spaced gears. They account for the momentum lost while shifting on the way up and for acceleration on the way back down.

  13. #13
    Senior Member wink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New Smyrna Beach,Fl.
    My Bikes
    EZ Sport AX- Specialized Expedition Plus eight others for wife and others that come down
    Posts
    156
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Go with the three speed or dérailleur.The seven and eight speed are not that reliable if you ride a lot.I just sold my wife`s 7 speed and got her a dérailleur 21 speed.And did I say the dérailleurs are a lot cheaper.The in hub sounds good till you ride it day in and day out.Then you will find they are not what they are cracked up to be.SMHO

  14. #14
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    In a state of 5th Dimension, where size has no meaning.
    My Bikes
    Gunnar Street Dog
    Posts
    1,937
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Go fixie.
    Aww nuts! I was going to suggest that.

    khosch, since you have few or no hills, you might find a fixie of single speed fun. The Raleigh One Way was a fine looking bike in'08.

    With a flip-flop hub, you can have a fixed cog on one side, and a single speed freewheel on the other. The best of both worlds.
    "The People will believe what the Media tells them they believe". George Orwell.

  15. #15
    tcs
    tcs is offline
    Palmer tcs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Parts unknown
    Posts
    4,296
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by wink View Post
    Go with the three speed or dérailleur.The seven and eight speed are not that reliable if you ride a lot...The in hub sounds good till you ride it day in and day out. Then you will find they are not what they are cracked up to be.
    Rider Vin Cox has completed the Guiness recognised fastest bicycle ride around the world (18,225 miles in 163 days) using a Shimano Alfine 8 hub.

    http://www.greatbikeride.com/index.php

    http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/2010/0.../vins-done-it/

    http://www.explorersweb.com/trek/news.php?id=19572
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  16. #16
    Senior Member wink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New Smyrna Beach,Fl.
    My Bikes
    EZ Sport AX- Specialized Expedition Plus eight others for wife and others that come down
    Posts
    156
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    Rider Vin Cox has completed the Guiness recognised fastest bicycle ride around the world (18,225 miles in 163 days) using a Shimano Alfine 8 hub.

    http://www.greatbikeride.com/index.php

    http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/2010/0.../vins-done-it/

    http://www.explorersweb.com/trek/news.php?id=19572
    Yes but I said day in and day out riding with out a truck load of parts and a mechanic with you.

  17. #17
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
    My Bikes
    1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;
    Posts
    15,183
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Irrespective of terrain, I like gears, lots of them, tightly spaced, e.g. 6%. If you can budget a little more money for the 8-speed, go for it. It's cheaper to overspend somewhat on more bike than you need than to underspend and then have to replace a bike which is less than you need or want.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  18. #18
    tcs
    tcs is offline
    Palmer tcs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Parts unknown
    Posts
    4,296
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by wink View Post
    Yes but I said day in and day out riding with out a truck load of parts and a mechanic with you.
    Wow, you didn't even read the links before you responded with something foolish.
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  19. #19
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Oakville Ontario
    Posts
    5,092
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by wink View Post
    Yes but I said day in and day out riding with out a truck load of parts and a mechanic with you.
    With plenty of my own experience to back it up, I'll put my faith in any of the currently available gearhubs on tour or anywhere. Your apparently negative experience is unusual.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. Elbert Hubbard.

  20. #20
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    In a state of 5th Dimension, where size has no meaning.
    My Bikes
    Gunnar Street Dog
    Posts
    1,937
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As I understand it, internal hub gears have been used by the masses in Europe for decades, with nary a problem. Alas, the ten speed bike boom of the 70's pretty much killed it in America. But, as some might point out, the disadvantages of such gears are:

    -A heavier rear wheel.

    -Pretty impossible for the average home bike mechanic to repair, should they break internally.

    -Much more problematic to fix a flat, unless you can find some of the old "dirt worm" style inner tubes and run them. For the unaware, this tube didn't make a ring. Instead, they were more like a "sausage",
    sealed at the ends. When installing the tube, you simply overlapped the ends.

    Pretty cool, other than that.
    "The People will believe what the Media tells them they believe". George Orwell.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,441
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I fixed a flat on a bike with a Shimano "nexus" hub once. That was quite enough, thank you.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •