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Old 08-27-12, 12:44 PM   #1
Noobee
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Can not ride out of low gear

I am new to riding, I ride a Giant Sedona DX 24 speed and I only use the first 6 gears. I live in Florida, so I ride on flat land and ride on sidewalks or roads. I am hoping that it is just because I am new and need to build up leg strength to be able to utilize the upper gears. My question is, is the Giant Sedona DX considered a off road bike?
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Old 08-27-12, 01:04 PM   #2
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This bike is all stock, I bought it in 2006
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Old 08-27-12, 01:08 PM   #3
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Sedona can go offroad on gentle trails but not anything that it too lumpy or bumpy. But can't get out of a low gear?--Stop going uphills

Takes time for some of us to get the body and various parts of it working on a bike. Depends how fit you were before you started but even if you were reasonably fit- it takes time to get bike fit. Some of us are still trying to attain that but with practice- time and effort--It won't bee long before you are moaning about being too low geared.
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Old 08-27-12, 01:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Noobee View Post
I am new to riding, I ride a Giant Sedona DX 24 speed and I only use the first 6 gears. I live in Florida, so I ride on flat land and ride on sidewalks or roads. I am hoping that it is just because I am new and need to build up leg strength to be able to utilize the upper gears. My question is, is the Giant Sedona DX considered a off road bike?
I think it's considered a 'comfort bike' which is to say it's a mountain bike with a fat cushy saddle and more road-ey but still fat tires. Gearing is definitely off-road. You shouldn't need low gear except on 20% climbs.
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Old 08-27-12, 01:14 PM   #5
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I am new to riding, I ride a Giant Sedona DX 24 speed and I only use the first 6 gears. I live in Florida, so I ride on flat land and ride on sidewalks or roads. I am hoping that it is just because I am new and need to build up leg strength to be able to utilize the upper gears. My question is, is the Giant Sedona DX considered a off road bike?
I own a Giant Sedona DX, maybe a 2006, not sure, it was purchased new by a good friend not too many years before he died.

I think Giant usually advertises it as a "comfort bike," but you may as well call it a hybrid, as many seem to. I think it handles off-road better than most other hybrids I have ridden. I know people who say it can handle rough single track, but it doesn't seem ideally suited for that to me. It is fine for a basic dirt or gravel road, and it works OK on a lot of dirt trails, but there is a limit to how rough a trail I would want it on (but then, there is a limit to how rough a trail I want to take any bike on).

My oldest son uses it sometimes to commute to high school, I sometimes use it to commute, I usually use it on rides where I'm doing mixed paved and gravel. I don't like to be on it for more than 2 hours. I have no problem using the upper gears on the bike.
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Old 08-27-12, 02:34 PM   #6
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You would be hard pressed to use the lowest gear, a 28-11, on flat terrain. Are you certain you're in the smallest chainring? Your top speed at 80 rpm, probably fast for a newbie, would be around 13 mph. Why don't you shift to the middle chainring: less cross-chaining and as much of an effective "speed" range as you will need until you get stronger.
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Old 08-27-12, 04:28 PM   #7
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You would be hard pressed to use the lowest gear, a 28-11, on flat terrain. Are you certain you're in the smallest chainring? Your top speed at 80 rpm, probably fast for a newbie, would be around 13 mph. Why don't you shift to the middle chainring: less cross-chaining and as much of an effective "speed" range as you will need until you get stronger.
Good point. On flat ground, I cannot imagine why even an out of shape newbie would want to be in the small chainring on that bike (barring a really nasty headwind).

Neither my teenage sons nor I ever ride our Sedona DX in the small chainring, except in extremely rare instances when I decide to take it for a ride to climb nasty hills. No cross-chaining issues, and the lowest gear in the middle chainring is a pretty darned low gear.
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Old 08-27-12, 04:52 PM   #8
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The only time I use my small chainring on any of my bikes is when I'm hauling my 25kg kid up the steep hill to our house. Even a newbie should find the middle chain ring more comfortable.
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Old 08-27-12, 05:29 PM   #9
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You're fine.

Your knees will appreciate the low gears as you get stronger.

Dont worry about a thing.
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Old 08-27-12, 05:51 PM   #10
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If you want to improve your fitness get a bike computer. That way you can monitor and try to improve your average speed. The main thing is to ride.
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Old 08-27-12, 06:16 PM   #11
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It is far more important to develop a high cadence than it is to push a tall gear. Don't worry about what gear you are in, just work to get your cadence above 90 RPM and all will be good.
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Old 08-27-12, 06:39 PM   #12
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The secret is that you have 21 gears, in 3 ranges of 7 gears each. From what I can determine, your low range is 21.4 - 52.0, your middle range is 29.1 - 70.6 and your high range is 36.7 - 89.1. The range is all the gears you can get leaving the chain on one particular front gear. The low range uses the small front chain ring. The high range uses the large front chain ring.

The numbers I am using are are "gear inches". Its an old measurement based on the old "Ordinary" bikes of the 1800's. But it makes it visual. A 21" gear is equivalent to having an old ordinary bicycle with a 21" front wheel. The 89" gear is equivalent to having an old ordinary bicycle with an 89 front wheel. Obviously a 21" wheel would be easier to pedal, but you can't go as fast.

Look at your three ranges. The low range is 21.4 - 52.0. It might seem odd, but your 21.4 gear is when you are on the smallest gear on front and the largest gear on the back. The 52.0 gear is when you are on the smallest gear on front and the smallest gear on the back.

What you may have noticed if you studied the numbers at the beginning of my reply is that the gear ratios overlap between your gear ranges. So some of the gears on the lowest range are higher than some of the gears on higher ranges. Using the small front gear and small back gear in your low range gives you a higher gear than the lowest two gears on your high range with the chain on the large ring in front. So you are already strong enough to be riding in the higher ranges.

Why use the higher ranges? Well, using a small front gear and small back gear tends to bend the chain and sometimes catches the chain on other gears. It's called "cross chain". So bicyclists try to steer toward using the center gears on the back to avoid cross chain.

So, if you are going up a hill in a low gear and get to the top of a hill and want to go into a higher gear, you have two choices. You can shift the front gear for a big step, or shift the back gear up two steps. You use the front gear to select the general range of gears that you are riding in, and use the rear gear to make more subtle choices within the range.

You want to find gears that let you spin easily. I hope this helps.
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Last edited by Artkansas; 08-27-12 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 08-27-12, 07:54 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
I think it's considered a 'comfort bike' which is to say it's a mountain bike with a fat cushy saddle and more road-ey but still fat tires. Gearing is definitely off-road. You shouldn't need low gear except on 20% climbs.
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Good point. On flat ground, I cannot imagine why even an out of shape newbie would want to be in the small chainring on that bike (barring a really nasty headwind).

Neither my teenage sons nor I ever ride our Sedona DX in the small chainring, except in extremely rare instances when I decide to take it for a ride to climb nasty hills. No cross-chaining issues, and the lowest gear in the middle chainring is a pretty darned low gear.
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The only time I use my small chainring on any of my bikes is when I'm hauling my 25kg kid up the steep hill to our house. Even a newbie should find the middle chain ring more comfortable.
I am in the camp of don't worry about being in the small chainring. My first couple of months of riding was in the small ring, the easiest three or four gears and often in the very easiest gear. I was very out of shape and even small inclines did me in. A year and a half later I still need the lowest gear on climbs with far less grade that 20%. But I did become a good spinner.
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