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Old 08-29-10, 10:02 AM   #1
Venturous
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Newbie ??. 53/42 with a 12-26 cluster means what??

As I read here, I keep coming across talk like...

"I prefer 53/42 with a 12-26 cluster"

I believe this is refering to the gear sizes, but don't really understand it. Is this the teeth count or what. It is not that I really need to know this stuff right now... just curious. Thanks.
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Old 08-29-10, 10:04 AM   #2
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Yep, number of teeth on each chain ring and cassette cogs.
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Old 08-29-10, 10:29 AM   #3
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do the Math .. http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/
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Old 08-29-10, 10:29 AM   #4
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That mean the front chainrings have 53 and 42 for the outer and inner rings, respectively. The 12-26 mean that the gear cog on the rear wheel has gears that ranges from 12 teeth to 26 teeth. What this will tell you is when the chain is on the 42 tooth chainring and 26 tooth cog gear, divide the 42 by 26 and this will tell you how many revolutions of the rear wheel for each revolution of the crank, in this example there is 1.6 wheel rev/crank revolution.
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Old 09-02-10, 04:33 PM   #5
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Cool thanks! Neat stuff. I never worried about all this stuff when I rode many years ago as a kid. I just rode til I got to where I was going or got tired, then stopped. Now I have this need to understand everything.. Oh how did we ever get anywhere before cycling computers...

Thanks all..
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Old 09-02-10, 04:42 PM   #6
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Then go to http://www.jbarrm.com/cycal/cycal.html and put in the numbers. The primary display will give you "Gear Inches". Don't worry about understanding it, just use it as a relative number. The lower numbers mean it is easier to pedal. The higher numbers mean you go faster. The key here is to look at shifting % differences. Less than 3% means you have a duplicate gear. Between 10 and 12% mean moderate change when shift gears. Anything higher, unless it's on the lowest gear means a big difference in effort. You will either lose speed or rhythm when shiftiing.

The second screen will tell you how fast you will travel on flat land at a given gear choice and give you the speeds for different speeds of cadence, i.e, revolutions of feet.

Have fun playing, you can add and subtract gears and see how that would effect your shifting choices.

Another translation. The 12-26 is a good smooth cassette without too many horrible gear changes. When you combine with a 53/42 you will be able to handle some hills and flatlands. Steeper hills and mountains will be a challenge.
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Old 09-02-10, 08:35 PM   #7
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Yep, that is pretty "tall" gearing. The standard for a front crank is currently 52/39. Most folks would be more comfortable on hills with a rear cogset in the 12-28 or even 12-30 range.

You see a lot of older roadsters set up like the OP describes, either men were more manly back then or a lot smaller....
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