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Old 03-17-12, 06:11 PM   #1
kajero
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PLEASE HELP ME settle this argument about my 9 SPEED Giant FCR 1

I keep telling everyone my Giant FCR1-W is a 9 speed bike. It even says that below the handle bars. But my SO and BIL, along with a few other friends who looked at the sprockets say there are 9 in the back in 2 in front so it is 18 gears. When I go from lowest to highest gear, I can do 9 changes. So is is my bike 9 or 18 gears? The dealer who sold it to me said it was 9 gears. I found some descriptions and pointed it out that it says 9 GEARS. But that doesn't help. I can't win the argument.

The reason for the argument? I think I've outgrown the bike. When I got it, I rarely used the higher gears. After four years riding, I am continually riding in the highest gear except for hills. I think I want something that has a few more gears. They keep saying I have higher gears (I can't find them) so why do I want a new bike. It seems I only have 5 changes on the first thumb thing on the right and 4 changes when I move the thumb thing to the left. Where are my other 9 gears????

Last edited by kajero; 03-17-12 at 06:11 PM. Reason: correct model
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Old 03-17-12, 06:16 PM   #2
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Back in the day, all road bikes were called '10 speeds' because they had 2 chain rings and a cluster of 5 in the back. Therefore, you have an 18 speed.

train safe

(I have an 18 speed road bike, and an 8 speed folder--one chain ring, cluster of 8)
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Old 03-17-12, 06:22 PM   #3
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Well, I see chains and cassettes marketed as 9 speed, 10 speed, and now 11 speed. So I think you may be right. I'll go to William James' web site and get his opinion on it.
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Old 03-17-12, 06:22 PM   #4
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How old are you?

Back in the days when men were men and bike frames were steel 10-speed ment 2X5 or ten total.

The rules have changed. Today 10-speed means 10 cogs on the back and we don't count the front. A modern bike typically has 20 or 30 potential gear combinations.

So you're right. It's an argument you can't win.
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Old 03-17-12, 06:28 PM   #5
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9 cogs in the rear? 2 chainrings in the front? You have a 9 speed double.
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Old 03-17-12, 06:54 PM   #6
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I use the old-school nomenclature and count the total number of combinations available. But, I’ll also use a variety of terms and phrases to describe a drivetrain, including;

18 speed (2x9), 20 speed (2x10), 27 speed (3x9) or 30 speed (3x10).

If writing a description, I’ll use 2x9, 2x10, 3x9 or 3x10.

I will say that a bike has a triple crankset and a ten speed cassette (depending on the drivetrain), if I think a shorter description would create confusion.
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Old 03-17-12, 07:17 PM   #7
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It sounds like you need to learn more about how your gears work. Is there a bike club near you or can someone at a bike shop help you? It sounds like you are not using all the gears on your 9 speed cassette. If you can only shift 4 or 5 times, something is not right. Maybe your shift cable needs to be adjusted so it will shift to all the gears. Hard to say what is happening without knowing more about how things are set up or what is happening.

You don't need more gears, you need to learn to use the ones you have.
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Old 03-17-12, 08:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kajero View Post
..When I go from lowest to highest gear, I can do 9 changes. ...
Then you don't have a 9 speed, you have 10.
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Old 03-17-12, 08:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
If you can only shift 4 or 5 times, something is not right.
I can shift a total of 9 times by moving the thumb lever on the left. It is has two positions. When it's positioned on the right side, I can shift 5 times. When I moved it to the right, I can shift 4 times. So I know I can shift a total of 9 times.

I just had the bike tuned up so it has be be in great condition. In fact it feels like a new bike. Except it seems to rattle in gear 5, but it always has.

MMhh . . . maybe I will post some photos tomorrow to help explain what I trying to say.

I sure would love to win this argument -- without going to the bike shop.
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Old 03-17-12, 08:10 PM   #10
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Just celebrated #60!
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Old 03-17-12, 08:14 PM   #11
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You should be able to shift through 9 gears with the shifters (thumb mechanism) on one side of your bar and shift the front chainrings with the shifter on the other side of the handlebars. This 18 gears. Make sure you get the full range of gears. If you're not, take it to a bike shop for adjustment.
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Old 03-17-12, 08:33 PM   #12
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You've a 9 speed cassette in back and a double ring up front, for a total of 18 different possible gear selections. You've a bike with 18 gears.
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Old 03-17-12, 08:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
If you can only shift 4 or 5 times, something is not right. Maybe your shift cable needs to be adjusted so it will shift to all the gears. Hard to say what is happening without knowing more about how things are set up or what is happening.
I believe he said he can move the thumb shifter to the right 5 times, then to the left 4 which makes 9.

In the OP, he says "to the left" .......in post #9 he says "on the left"...OP needs to clarify...First post makes sense that there is 9 gears in the back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kajero View Post
It seems I only have 5 changes on the first thumb thing on the right and 4 changes when I move the thumb thing to the left. Where are my other 9 gears????

Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 03-17-12 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 03-17-12, 08:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kajero View Post
I can shift a total of 9 times by moving the thumb lever on the left. It is has two positions. When it's positioned on the right side, I can shift 5 times. When I moved it to the right, I can shift 4 times. So I know I can shift a total of 9 times.
No. Somethings not right. The thumb lever on the left has two positions like you say - that moves the derailleur (thing that moves the chain) to one or the other two big rings in front. The shifter on the right side should allow you to move through NINE gears in the rear - not 4 or 5. Sometimes it's hard to get all nine gears depending on how much stretch your chain needs to make based on the chainring in front.

It looks like this:

LEFT THUMB RIGHT SHIFTER
Two positions Nine positions
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Old 03-17-12, 09:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kajero View Post
I keep telling everyone my Giant FCR1-W is a 9 speed bike. It even says that below the handle bars. But my SO and BIL, along with a few other friends who looked at the sprockets say there are 9 in the back in 2 in front so it is 18 gears. When I go from lowest to highest gear, I can do 9 changes. So is is my bike 9 or 18 gears? The dealer who sold it to me said it was 9 gears. I found some descriptions and pointed it out that it says 9 GEARS. But that doesn't help. I can't win the argument.

The reason for the argument? I think I've outgrown the bike. When I got it, I rarely used the higher gears. After four years riding, I am continually riding in the highest gear except for hills. I think I want something that has a few more gears. They keep saying I have higher gears (I can't find them) so why do I want a new bike. It seems I only have 5 changes on the first thumb thing on the right and 4 changes when I move the thumb thing to the left. Where are my other 9 gears????
It's St Patrick's day so enjoy and it's not about winning, it's about surviving.

Clearly your bike, as you have described it, has 18 gears, 18 distinct gearing options given 2 front chain rings (different tooth count/diameter) and a rear cassette with 9 cogs. That should be beyond serious debate.
Now, if you cannot access all the available cogs on the rear cassette or both of the chain rings on the front, then that is another issue altogether.
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Old 03-17-12, 10:26 PM   #16
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A: With two chainrings up front and 9 gears on the rear wheel, you have 18 speeds. The drivetrain SYSTEM you have is described as a 9-speed, because of the rear gear cluster. So EVERYONE'S right, quit arguing.

B: The way you describe shifting is a little odd. The shifter on the left of the h-bar should be either high gear or low gear (for the front). The right shifter should change between 9 gears (for the rear).

C: What's the point of arguing? It doesn't magically change what the bike is equipped with. Go ride, and unless your GF or BIL are riding your bike, tell them (nicely) to STFU.
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Old 03-17-12, 10:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northwestrider View Post
You've a 9 speed cassette in back and a double ring up front, for a total of 18 different possible gear selections. You've a bike with 18 gears.
To be more precise, he has 11 gears but 18 gear combinations.
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Old 03-18-12, 02:35 AM   #18
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....... but 18 gear combinations.
That may no be true.
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Old 03-18-12, 03:18 AM   #19
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Actually, all of you saying he has 18 gears are not quite correct. If you do an analysis of the chainring-cog combination, you will find quite a few overlap -- that is, they are either identical, or the difference between them is so incidental as to be insignificant. Likely, while the rider has 18 speeds at his disposal, he actually has only 11 or 12 useful gears.

Of course, if he had a triple up front, things become a little more complicated by the need usually to avoid cross-chaining, so 27 speeds on a 3x9 would equate to 18 or 17 or 16.
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Old 03-18-12, 06:33 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Actually, all of you saying he has 18 gears are not quite correct. If you do an analysis of the chainring-cog combination, you will find quite a few overlap -- that is, they are either identical, or the difference between them is so incidental as to be insignificant. Likely, while the rider has 18 speeds at his disposal, he actually has only 11 or 12 useful gears.

Of course, if he had a triple up front, things become a little more complicated by the need usually to avoid cross-chaining, so 27 speeds on a 3x9 would equate to 18 or 17 or 16.

Now you’re just trying to confuse the OP.
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Old 03-18-12, 06:47 AM   #21
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If you are no longer comfortable or happy with the bike then sell it. A new bike always makes me happy. Regardless of the number of sprockets.
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Old 03-18-12, 11:33 AM   #22
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Thas' what I'm talkin' 'bout! ..........(post #18)


Quote:
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Actually, all of you saying he has 18 gears are not quite correct. If you do an analysis of the chainring-cog combination, you will find quite a few overlap -- that is, they are either identical, or the difference between them is so incidental as to be insignificant. Likely, while the rider has 18 speeds at his disposal, he actually has only 11 or 12 useful gears.

Of course, if he had a triple up front, things become a little more complicated by the need usually to avoid cross-chaining, so 27 speeds on a 3x9 would equate to 18 or 17 or 16.
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Old 03-18-12, 11:51 AM   #23
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It is not the number of gears you have that determines what your high a low gear ratios are. A 50 tooth chainring on the crankset and an 11 tooth cog on the rear cassette is the same gear ratio regardless of the number of "speeds". Most of the time the term "9 speed" or "10 speed" is referring to the number of cogs in your rear cassette.

It also sounds like you are not getting the full range of the gears you presently have. You might to get your bike checked out.
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Old 03-18-12, 12:29 PM   #24
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Ok, even after you fix the issue that's keeping you from using your gears properly, should you discover that you still want higher gears, that doesn't necessarily mean you've outgrown the bike itself. The chainrings and cassette can be swapped out for different components that will provide different gear ratios. And if you've ridden this bike on a regular basis for 4 years, they may be showing some wear anyway, especially if you haven't replaced the chain.

For people who, unlike me, are good at calculating gear ratios, this link shows the components that were equipped on that model.
Giant FCR 1 W
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Old 03-18-12, 02:27 PM   #25
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Call it what you like but to me it is an 18 gear- 9 speed bike.

First road bike was an 8 spd Sora with a triple. I now have 10 speed with with compact doubles. There are only two things about the gearing I need to know- Where's the lowest gear? when going uphills and "Why don't I have a lower one?"
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