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Old 09-13-05, 12:48 PM   #1
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How many gears do you use?

I'm new to fitness cycling and commuting. I was using an old mountain bike with road tires for riding but on kept it between 2-3 gears. I recently got me a Trek 7200fx and now I can ride comfortably between 7-9 gears. I'm just wondering how many gears some of you go between on your rides, both fitness and commute? My fitness ride is on a paved bike trail with one short but steep uphill and another short but steep downhill, otherwise pretty flat.
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Old 09-13-05, 01:26 PM   #2
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Usually around 24.
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Old 09-13-05, 01:40 PM   #3
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My bike has 24, but I rarely use more than the first 8 to be honest.
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Old 09-13-05, 02:08 PM   #4
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On my hilly commute in Austin I used the full range from 2nd to top gear every day. Commute speed range from 7mph to 45 mph every day. Since moving to Dallas I rarely take it off the big ring and only occasionally hit top gear

Edit: this is with a compact double 9spd ... so 18 total.
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Old 09-13-05, 02:11 PM   #5
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Majority of the time is spent on a 39x18.
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Old 09-13-05, 02:22 PM   #6
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All of them.
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Old 09-13-05, 02:23 PM   #7
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All of them (12) Although some in the big chain ring are very close to those in the small ring - I stay in the big chain ring though as a psychological boost...Also, at least on some bikes and those with 7-9 cog cassettes/freewheels -- smallest cog to largest chain ring and smallest chain ring to largest cog are not great on the chain and should be avoided.
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Old 09-13-05, 02:43 PM   #8
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front gear always on biggest.
I only use 4 gears of the rear.

me big man strong legs ride fast.
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Old 09-13-05, 02:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak
All of them.
Me, too.

While the hills in our area aren't super long, there are a lot of them, and I ride towing a trailer most of the time. I love gears. My knees love gears. And it only took me 25 years to learn how to use them.
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Old 09-13-05, 02:59 PM   #10
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I have a direct drive that I use most of the time and it should be one that allows you to spin. If a hill comes up, I'll go as fast as I can into the hill then drop the chainring to the smallest. This usually allows me to go over the hill without having to shift the rear derailluer. Once I get to the top, I'll shift back to the middle chainring and I'm set.

If the hill is steep, I'll be forced to shift the derailluer to lower gears but most of the time, the front derailluer is enough to get me through the day. This is why it pays to have a tripple.
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Old 09-13-05, 03:01 PM   #11
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Short commute but, extremely varied terrain.
I use all 24.
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Old 09-13-05, 03:07 PM   #12
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1! (47x15)

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Old 09-13-05, 03:12 PM   #13
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I use a grand total of 4 gears. I have 53-46-28 up front and a 14-28 5-speed freewheel - it's an older touring setup. Trouble is, I live in some of the flattest land in the US, and my riding preference is long-distance day rides. I use the 46 chainring with the 17 and 20 cogs regularly, the 14 gets used in tail winds, and the 24 gets used in high headwinds. The 28 is still nice and shiny from when I cleaned it up this spring.

Once riding season ends, I'm going to upgrade to a 13-24 7-speed with a single 44ish chainring, so I'll have 7 gears to use.

Last edited by BryE; 09-13-05 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 09-13-05, 03:16 PM   #14
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Around the neighborhood, usually one. On a twenty mile ride, usually two or three. The invention of the "thirty speed" bike was done by the advertising boys at Shimano. No experienced cyclist has the slightest need for thirty gears on any given day of riding, whether riding through a desert, or riding through the Alps.
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Old 09-13-05, 03:21 PM   #15
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Out of 21 choices, probably 15, and only 10 of those often.

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Old 09-13-05, 03:26 PM   #16
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I can only use about 15 (of 24) before I would be crossing the chain to achieve the same ratios as more efficient alignments. Commuting, I use 5 or 6.
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Old 09-13-05, 04:17 PM   #17
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Old 10 speed give me 8 ratios useable of which I use only
5 rear on the 39t chainring. More than enough for urban
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Old 09-13-05, 04:30 PM   #18
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I have 27.

I generally stay only in my middle chainring. I sometime go into my highest chainring, but never into my lowest.
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Old 09-13-05, 05:25 PM   #19
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I have a 53/39 up front and (I think) a 12/25 in back. I use pretty much the whole range, though the 53-12 gets less work than it used to.
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Old 09-13-05, 05:31 PM   #20
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I rarely use more than one gear, and am thinking of having my shifters and derailleur removed. Having all of those extra gears means that when the cables stretch a bit, I suddenly find my bike slipping between gears. And so I finally have come to the conclusion: why go to all of the bother of doing maintenance on a gearing system that benefits me not at all when it's working correctly, but annoys the heck out of me when it's not working?
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Old 09-13-05, 06:09 PM   #21
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I live in a hilly area and use all 20 on every one of my mid-week 20-mile rides (only need the granny for getting up my own driveway at the end of the ride, though!)

Good riding,
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Old 09-13-05, 06:47 PM   #22
Sensible shoes.
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Old 09-13-05, 06:58 PM   #23
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Old 09-13-05, 07:48 PM   #24
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Have 21, tend to use about 6... would use more, but the hills dictate the changes.

44-28, 44-21, 52-21, 52-19, and 52-17... rarely slipping into 52-15, which with a good cadence, puts me close to 27MPH... any faster and I'll just coast, thanks.
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Old 09-13-05, 08:20 PM   #25
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Depends what and where. On my patrol bike, I never shift out of the middle chainring, and maybe four cogs. The university is fairly flat.

On my rather weighty homemade recumbent, I need 'em all....
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