I got my girlfriend a Citizen Tokyo off Craigslist a while ago to get her into biking. So far she's loving it; we've been on short jaunts in Philadelphia and New York City, and spent all of Labor Day weekend touring around Montreal. The only thing is that she's already spinning out just to keep up with us 700c or 27" folk on the flats. I'm upgrading the tires to Kenda high-PSI 16" tires which should help out a bit, but ultimately she needs better gearing.
Does anyone know where to find a 6-sp freewheel with 11T in the highest gear? I haven't had much luck with google and ebay.
I found other threads here where the Tokyo was upgraded to a 7-sp and the chainrings were swapped out to alleviate the gearing issue, but since this is a once-in-a-while bike I'd rather keep the hassle to a minimum and simply swap out the freewheel.
Hmmmm. 16"?? That's kind of tiny... wondering if the 11T would help all that much. Sounds like a chainwheel upgrade to raise the overall gearing. I have a 20" wheel folder and I have read where others are unhappy with the gearing and ride around in top gear all the time but honestly I use every single gear on mine and wish it had more. I can spin out top gear running downhill but I appreciate having as low a gear as I do for the occasional hills. It might be time to visit Craigs again and look for a more suitable bike for riding in mixed company. FWIW.
16" is indeed tiny, but it's perfect for her regarding how often she rides, her riding style, and our limited NYC apartment bike storage space (most of which is selfishly taken up by my bikes, of course).
I might take off the freewheel and see if it's possible to swap out some of the individual cogs, or maybe popping a 7 speed 11T on there and not using the lowest gear might work.
Then again, it looks like the easiest option may just be getting a larger chainring. So I'll add an additional question: What's your favorite protected chainring? (She'd like to keep the grease stains to a minimum, of course, hence the attractiveness of the current protected chainring).
Finding a 6 speed with an 11t is going to be difficult. There are 7 and 8 speed versions out there, but that would involve replacing most of the existing drive train. You best bet would be to swap out the chainring and ebait is a good source for rings and guards, as well as the usual suspects. Factor total cost for both scenarios and see which would be the best way to go. If you don't have much in the way of hills to deal with, the chainring would be the easiest solution.
with my walmart Next folder, and as an experiment with my Schwinn tango, both with the same low quality 6 speed (14-28), i tried a 52T crank with a longer crank arm that i took out from another bike. that provided a nicer range - in particular the high gear, so it was less spinning. this just required adding some chain links, and swapping the crank. but did not need a lot of any other work if one decided to replace the cassette. in the long run, they were still both very poor frames to do any more work on, and not worth the time and effort.
Yes, Geeeyejo put a 7sp with an 11t on his Tokyo, but notice that he didn't change anything else - he just uses the top 6 gears. I have a 7sp on mine too, and I did change the shifter. New gearset was about $40 including shipping. If I had to do over, I might save a few bucks and not change the shifter - 1st gear is so slow that if the hill is that steep, I might as well walk the bike up. The bike is still slow with the 11t 7th gear, but it is a big improvement over the stock 14t 6th gear. I considered the chainring upgrade, but on the Tokyo, you'd have to change the entire crankset - to me, more trouble and more expense than it is worth.