Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Vancouver, Washington and Ocean Shores, Washington, USA
Bikes: 2 - 2007 Custom Bike Fridays, 2 - 2009 Bike Friday Pocket 8's, Gravity 29'er SS, 2 - 8-spd Windsor City Bikes, 1973 Raleigh 20 & a 1964 Schwinn Tiger
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The need for lower gearing and a closer ratio between gears led us to sell our Boardwalk D7s last year and purchase Bike Fridays with the Dual Drive set-up.
We now have 27 gear choices rather than the previous 7. Going up hill is a whole lot easier and smoother.
Another reason for the change was to have bikes with INDUSTRY STANDARD PARTS. Working with Walter at BF, and using "gear-inch" calculator, we started out with a 42-tooth chain ring. After riding the bikes for 3-4 months, we decided we would like to shift the entire range up a gear or two, so I ordered and installed 46-tooth chain rings on both bikes. It has worked out really well. The 9-speeds in the direct-drive mode are closely spaced and just right for most of our riding, plus we can shift to a higher or lower range when terrain dictates.
Bottom line: The wife always has 2-3 gears in "reserve" even on the steepest of hills. She likes that.