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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    New Bike gear ratio question

    I'm upgrading from my old (80s) 12 speed.

    The bike I'm looking at has a 11-25 sprocket and I can choose either a 46x36 double, a compact (50x36) or a standard double (53x39).

    I'm not sure which I would choose. Currently my biggest gear is 52 front and 14 rear. I use that about 15% of every longer ride. I live in florida (but not forever) so no major downhills. What are your opinions of which crankset I should use?

  2. #2
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    normally its the low gear you care about, not the high gear

    what's the low gear on your old bike? did you ever use it? could you live without it?

  3. #3
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    You should not ride in your top gear on flat ground. You are pedaling too slowly and too hard. You will wreck your knees, and you will not learn to ride fast.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Depends on you- the hills (Perhaps not in Florida) and cadence you like to run.

    I only run 50/12 as my highest gear and only use that downhill or if a tailwind comes in and that is on both a Compact and a Triple.

    And a s point of interest- Read about David Millar (Garmin Tour Rider) and in training he uses a compact Crankset with a 12/27 cassette. He can't see the sense in using Big gears all the time and knocking his knees out unless he has to.

    I'd go compact if it were me but then I am a wimp who has hills on his rides.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    The usual units of gears are "gear inches"
    Using Gear Inches, you can compare the range of your current system to that of the prospective std or compact double.
    My feeling is that if you are not an athlete you should probably be riding a compact double.

    The only time I have ever used my top gear is with a big tailwind.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Thanks, sounds like the compact is the way to go

  7. #7
    Senior Member doghouse's Avatar
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    Try this link and plug in your numbers.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/
    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax
    and get used to the idea." -Robert A. Heinlein

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