Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-07-06, 09:35 PM   #1
MrCjolsen
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
MrCjolsen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Davis CA
Bikes: Surly Cross-Check, '85 Giant road bike (unrecogizable fixed-gear conversion
Posts: 3,957
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Is my gearing rediculously low?

40/15 fixed gear with a 16 tooth freewheel. Thats a gain-ratio of around 4.9-5.3 or barely 70 gear inches.

I know that 42-15 is a popular non-track combination, but on my road bike that's my "having a really good day, here comes a tailwind gear." I also like to spin a fairly high cadence.

Does anyone else (excluding SS mtb's) run gears that low?

Am I missing anything by using lower gears?
MrCjolsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-06, 09:45 PM   #2
Landgolier
THIS SPACE FOR RENT
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 2,849
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ran 52x20 for a while, which is 68 and change. Pretty nice for around town, gets you off the line quick. A little slow for long runs, but I also don't have any hills to deal with. Recently bumped it up to 48x18, which is 70. Seems to be working fine for me.
Landgolier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-06, 09:46 PM   #3
jimmy_jazz
Senior Member
 
jimmy_jazz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Decatur, GA
Bikes: 1985 Bridgestone 450, 1992 Trek 930 (SS Conversion), 2005 Bianchi Pista
Posts: 195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
70 gear inches is pretty standard for road use, especially if you have to deal with hills.

It might be a bit low if you're in a really flat area, but it's not ridiculous.
And using a lower gear can give you a bit more control over speed, as well as making it a bit easier to skip and skid, if you're into that.
jimmy_jazz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-06, 10:11 PM   #4
curlybro
lives in a giant shoe
 
curlybro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: st paul, mn
Bikes:
Posts: 252
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
Is my gearing rediculously low?
I don't know, is it? Do you fill like you spin too fast? If yes then your gearing may be too low for you, if no then it is probably fine.
curlybro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-06, 10:12 PM   #5
joshr
whatever.
 
joshr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: albany, ca
Bikes:
Posts: 119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It is neither rediculously low nor ridiculously low.
joshr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-06, 10:17 PM   #6
humancongereel
live free or die trying
 
humancongereel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: where i lay my head is home.
Bikes: bianchi pista workhorse, cannondale r1000, mountain bike fixed conversion
Posts: 6,999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
nah, it's not too low or too high for most folks. but how is it for you?

by the way, i have 43x17, about 66 inches, i rhink. not bad at all.
humancongereel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-06, 10:18 PM   #7
humancongereel
live free or die trying
 
humancongereel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: where i lay my head is home.
Bikes: bianchi pista workhorse, cannondale r1000, mountain bike fixed conversion
Posts: 6,999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
nah, it's not too low or too high for most folks. but how is it for you?

by the way, i have 43x17, about 66 inches, i rhink. not bad at all.
humancongereel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-06, 10:24 PM   #8
genericbikedude
如果你能讀了這個你講中文
 
genericbikedude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New York
Bikes:
Posts: 3,542
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
small gears on the street are way more fun. I ride 47x17, but I just got a 14t cog for kissena. I tried it on the street--no fun.
genericbikedude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-06, 10:36 PM   #9
kurremkarm
I bet
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 1,033
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No, sounds about right to me. I run 40:17 so im really low. I once read traditional fixed gears ran about 63 gear inches to develop spin. Windy? No problem. Big hill? No problem.
kurremkarm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-06, 11:04 PM   #10
Ill Mitch
Fast and Danger
 
Ill Mitch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Bikes: A bunch
Posts: 1,056
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I run 42-14, the acceleration is a bit slow but once I'm up to a comfortable speed I'm almost spinning out.

But yea, it's really up to you, if it feels good then stick with it.
Ill Mitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-06, 11:09 PM   #11
space_robots
()
 
space_robots's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Seattle
Bikes:
Posts: 187
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There were several polls about gearing in the past. Most people run something similar to you.

what's your fixed gear inches for use on road?
space_robots is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-06, 11:24 PM   #12
Fugazi Dave
Beausage is Beautiful
 
Fugazi Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Bikes: 2006 Langster, which I actually like.
Posts: 5,457
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
45x18 here. Low on the street means more control, better acceleration, etc. I'm all for it.
__________________
photo otaku | flickr | davidrmunson
Fugazi Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-06, 11:39 PM   #13
coelcanth
hunter, gatherer
 
coelcanth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 1,183
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
yah if you can spin it smooth and it feels good then its cool right?!

i gots 69.3 @ 44*17 and i stay around 0-300 ft above sea level

but what does that mean
coelcanth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-06, 12:15 AM   #14
arevalo
15mm
 
arevalo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Daly City, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 133
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I got stuck with 46x19.

My 48t chainring taco'd and 46 was the biggest they had at my LBS.

No problems whatsoever... in fact, I rode my buddies 46x17 and I can barely tell the difference. Or is it just me?
arevalo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-06, 02:30 AM   #15
G0balistik
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Boston
Bikes:
Posts: 299
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ride a 52x15 and it is a tough gear. hills are really tough especially towards the end of rides. But when you have a wide open road, you can really get some speed and that is what I enjoy.
G0balistik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-06, 07:24 AM   #16
pathdoc
Hey let's ride.
 
pathdoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Allen, TX
Bikes: Torelli road bike, Tsunami tandem
Posts: 2,002
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
48x16 here. How do you do the calculations?

Last edited by pathdoc; 05-08-06 at 07:42 AM.
pathdoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-06, 07:29 AM   #17
mcatano
Crapzeit!
 
mcatano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 2,553
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Either an online calculator like the one at sheldonbrown.com, a chart like the one at bikecult.com/works, or some old fashioned math (#t [front] * 27 / #t [rear]).
__________________
mcatano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-06, 07:36 AM   #18
mattface
Senior Member
 
mattface's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Montpeculiar, VT
Bikes: Soma Rush, Fuji Cross, Raleigh Technium Mtn Bike, Ross 10 speed with Shimano 600.
Posts: 3,951
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
70 gear inches is actually quite a common choice for street gearing. I'm currently running 71, and a recent poll showed a lot of people in that range.

I like it on the flats because I get a good spin going. I like it on the hills, because I can ride up them instead of walking, and can still keep up with the spin on downhills provided I've got the space to fly. All in all it's a great ratio for hilly areas, but chances are I'd still like it even if I lived in a flat area, because it sets up a good fast cadence for the flats, and it's flexible for the times when you need to stop a lot or ride slow.
mattface is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-06, 08:18 AM   #19
Aeroplane
jack of one or two trades
 
Aeroplane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Suburbia, CT
Bikes: Old-ass gearie hardtail MTB, fix-converted Centurion LeMans commuter, SS hardtail monster MTB
Posts: 5,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by G0balistik
I ride a 52x15 and it is a tough gear. hills are really tough especially towards the end of rides. But when you have a wide open road, you can really get some speed and that is what I enjoy.
Um, yeah, 52x15 is quite a tough gear. Probably good for the track.
Aeroplane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-06, 08:31 AM   #20
ajd
+++ NO COURIER
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 86
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
52x18 on 27" wheels. A tall gear by my standards since I'm used to mt bikes. It's relatively easy to ride for the 2 miles to work every day through a slight river valley. I'm replacing it with a 46t mostly so that it's less brutal on my knees and I get quicker starts in traffic.
ajd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-06, 08:34 AM   #21
dirtyphotons
antisocialite
 
dirtyphotons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 3,385
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
you get many years to try different gearings and improve leg strength. only one set of knees though.
dirtyphotons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-06, 09:13 AM   #22
Ken Cox
King of the Hipsters
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bend, Oregon
Bikes: Realm Cycles Custom
Posts: 2,129
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ride different gear inches depending on my mood.

I like the speed that 77 or 82 gear inches gives me, and I like the control, especially downhill, of 70 or 72 gear inches.
If I lived in a really hilly area, or rode in very heavy urban traffic, I could see 68 inches as very desireable.
Fixed gear bikes provide more control and precision than do coasters, and lower gear inches mean even more control and precision.

If a person has knee issues, it has more to do with body mechanics than gear inches.
Higher gear inches only reveal the basic problem; they don't cause it.

For gear inch calculations, go here:

http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/

Important: enter your correct wheel and tire size, and crank length; and consider choosing gear inches rather than gain ratio (for some reason, gear inches make more sense to me).
Ken Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-06, 09:41 AM   #23
dirtyphotons
antisocialite
 
dirtyphotons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 3,385
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Cox
Higher gear inches only reveal the basic problem; they don't cause it.
-1

Quote:
Originally Posted by www.sheldonbrown.com
Gear Selection
A principal cause of knee problems is over-stress as the result of using too high a gear. For more on this, see my article on Gear Shifting.
honorable men can differ
dirtyphotons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-06, 09:49 AM   #24
griffin_
griffin_
 
griffin_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: phila
Bikes: raliegh "too lazy to make my own" rush hour
Posts: 728
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
doesn't 40-15 leave you with like one skid patch?
griffin_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-06, 09:52 AM   #25
Moximitre
dig dig dig
 
Moximitre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Chicago
Bikes: Full Fendered Bareknuckle, Faggin with 10spd Centaur, 1973 Raleigh 3spd Cruiser.
Posts: 878
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
no, that would be 45-15 i think
Moximitre is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:51 AM.