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  1. #1
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    How many folks only use the middle chainring?

    I hadn't owned a bike since I was a kid until a month ago when I bough a Trek 7.2 to pull around my 1 year old and get some exercise. I have been out and about almost every day since, really enjoying the hobby/sport.

    The roads and paths are flat as a pancake where I live, I have found no need to use the big or little rings. In fact, I rarely get to the high or low gear in the back either, probabally 99% of my riding is done in 5 gears. will this be beneficial in extending the life of the drive train?

  2. #2
    ^ JBC. jbchybridrider's Avatar
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    I'm two speed up front and spend most time on the big ring 50T.
    2010 Custom Carbon JBC, 1990 Ricardo Pinnacle, 1988 Ricardo Elite, 1983 Ricardo Varsity, 1990 Peugeot Hurricane, 1977 Dawes Galaxy GT, 2007 Pinarello F3-13, Custom aussie made 1980 Columbus SL racer, 1975 Calton Rapide, 1995 Olympia Fusari, 1993 Basso Viper.

  3. #3
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    44-12 to 44-15 most of the time for me. Climbing a steeper grade I sometimes use the middle and the smallest for offroad only.
    a

  4. #4
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    Rpm

    Quote Originally Posted by Bakammer View Post
    I hadn't owned a bike since I was a kid until a month ago when I bough a Trek 7.2 to pull around my 1 year old and get some exercise. I have been out and about almost every day since, really enjoying the hobby/sport.

    The roads and paths are flat as a pancake where I live, I have found no need to use the big or little rings. In fact, I rarely get to the high or low gear in the back either, probabally 99% of my riding is done in 5 gears. will this be beneficial in extending the life of the drive train?
    By keeping up the r.p.m. , spinning, you will be extending the life of your personal drive train, your body . You are the engine and have your own tachometer, So enjoy the ride !Teach your children well !

  5. #5
    Senior Member David Bierbaum's Avatar
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    While I don't only use the middle chainring, the occasions for me to use the large one are almost infinitesimal. My granny-gear only gets a workout when I'm going up a hill that is steep or when I go up a mild hill while I'm tired. I think I spend about 95% of my riding life in the middle chainring though. And this isn't a "flat as a pancake" area of the Country, near the bluffs of the Mississippi.

  6. #6
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    I spend more than 99% of my time in the middle ring and I've chosen my drivetrain configuration with that as a goal. I would guess that using the same gears most of the time would reduce the life of the drivetrain because those specific chainring(s) and cogs will wear out faster. My crankset doesn't have replaceable rings so when the middle ring is shot, I will have a perfect opportunity to upgrade to something stiffer and lighter! Cassettes are easy to replace so no worries there.
    Currently riding a 1995 Trek 730 Multitrack converted to 26" wheels.

  7. #7
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    99% middle
    1% small

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    I'm assuming you have an 11-32 cassette on the back?
    Consider a different cassette without the extremely large & small cogs, such as a-

    http://www.loosescrews.com/index.cgi...d=356470811124

    Just Google -
    8 speed cassette
    Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 07-14-12 at 01:28 PM.

  9. #9
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    I also have a 7.2 and I would say 85% on the middle ring.

  10. #10
    Senior Member AdelaaR's Avatar
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    You said it yourself: "flat as a pancake".
    It would indeed be weird to use many different gears on such paths.
    You'll learn to appreciate the lower gearing when your kid gets heavier and the hills get tougher.

  11. #11
    Member dbshabo's Avatar
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    I use all three of my chainrings. I use a different one each time I ride. Between the three rings I use gears 2 - 7, 3 gears per ring per ride. I figured it would spread out the wear on my chain, rings, and rear gear sprockets. I may be wrong about that I don't know. I will say the middle ring is the most comfortable for me.

    Shabo

  12. #12
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    I use the middle one mostly and the small one for hills. I wouldn't miss the big one if I were to take it off.

    I have 28/38/48 rings with an 8 speed 11-34 cassette.

    Something like this is a typical ride for me though:


  13. #13
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    I almost never use my big chainring. It's way too scary at those speeds.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Looks like I'm gonna be the oddball. I spend most of my time on the large chain ring, but's a 42t.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

  15. #15
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    I have a triple road bike and I spend most of my time in the middle ring, 42, with rear cassette 12-25. I can't stand the 11-34 cassette on the hybrid. The spacing between the gears is HUGE. Not sure if I want to sell the hybrid or change the cassette. I'm not happy with wide flag bars. And I don't like the thumb shifters; they are unnatural hand position. If Trek hadn't discontinued the Portland, it would have been a great commuter bike.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  16. #16
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    I can't stand the 11-34 cassette on the hybrid.
    Just took my new 11-32 cassette on its first real ride today. I have to say I like it. It gives a little better top speed than a 12-xx and with the smallish 44t large front chain ring I have on my mtb the 11 really makes a difference for me. I do agree that when you start climbing the 3 tooth differences in the cogs makes it a little annoying, but for something that needs to be able to ride on both the road and the trail I find a wide range rear cassette to be just the ticket.

  17. #17
    c23
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    I work on cadence. Smooth and quick pedaling at the same rate at any speed(or try to). 99.9% flat here, there is one small section with a grade I only found while riding a bike at a perfect cadence since the grade is so small. Middle and large chainring, and 2-4th gear on the rear can keep a constant steady cadence.

    Mashing pedals is not good for knees and makes you tired. Spinning a constant speed at a constant pressure can keep you biking for miles.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
    I have a triple road bike and I spend most of my time in the middle ring, 42, with rear cassette 12-25. I can't stand the 11-34 cassette on the hybrid. The spacing between the gears is HUGE.
    I have a similar dislike for large range cassettes. My bike had an 11-28 7-speed cassette and the largest gap just happened to be where I do most of my riding. I got a new wheel and upgraded to an 11-28 9-speed cassette (stayed with the 11-28 for the sake of having a decent granny gear) but as my riding legs come back, I plan to move to a much tighter cassette, either a 12-25 or even a 12-23. I like small, subtle jumps that allow me to maintain a smooth cadence.
    Currently riding a 1995 Trek 730 Multitrack converted to 26" wheels.

  19. #19
    Senior Member AdelaaR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Looks like I'm gonna be the oddball. I spend most of my time on the large chain ring, but's a 42t.
    That's my middle ring

  20. #20
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    I have a 7.3fx and ride most of the time in the middle gear, easier for stop and go at stop signs and general riding. When i can get a long run without having to stop i shift up to the big gear. No hills where i live so no need to shift down to the small gear. Today i was in big gear front, 6th gear rear and crusing at a comfortable 18-19 mph.
    Trek 7.3 FX

  21. #21
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    I also have a 7.3 and South Florida is also as flat as a pancake. I spend most of my riding time on the largest gear upfront and the fifth or sixth on the rear.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee kenney View Post
    By keeping up the r.p.m. , spinning, you will be extending the life of your personal drive train, your bodyll !
    After my hip replacement a friend who at one time was a racer gave me this advise and has been very helpful this year helping with the other hip & knees.

  23. #23
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    All the time I'm changing shark-toothed middle rings for customers. Granny or big-rings - much rarer.

  24. #24
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    middle ring 80 to 90 % of the time ... pretty sure my wife has never used the big ring on her coda sport, she does use the small one on occasion

  25. #25
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    7% big (48)
    90% middle (38)
    3% small (28)

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