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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)

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Old 06-21-06, 05:42 PM   #1
Flamingmb
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how big of a gear should I be riding?

So I have a single speed bike that has a pretty big gear on it. I have gotten used to it but I dont know if it is the best gear for me. The front chainring is 56 teeth and the back is 16. Should I get something smaller?
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Old 06-21-06, 05:43 PM   #2
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Do you want something smaller? If so, then get something smaller. Personal choice.
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Old 06-21-06, 05:45 PM   #3
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How do you get up hills?!
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Old 06-21-06, 05:45 PM   #4
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The choice would depend on the type of terrain you regularly ride and whether you're experiencing any knee pain. For a flat area, 56x16 might be OK, but I know it wouldn't work for me.
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Old 06-21-06, 05:46 PM   #5
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I like the fact that I can cruise at a pretty high speed on it but it is hella hard getting off the line at a stop light. Also since I am putting a lot of pressure on the crank when I first get going would it help if I had a smaller gear? What do you people ride?
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Old 06-21-06, 05:46 PM   #6
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I'd get something more like a 56x13, for greater speed.
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Old 06-21-06, 05:49 PM   #7
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@ onetwentyeight
I really dont have that much trouble with hills. I usually get a running start at them most of the time and just power up them. its just the getting going that sucks.
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Old 06-21-06, 05:50 PM   #8
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in all seriousness, that's a really big gear and most people ride something considerably smaller. your ratio works out to about 117 "gear inches." for comparison, i ride a 42x17 which at 67 gear inches is a bit smaller than average. most folks ultimately find that they like something between 70 and 80. since you live here in portland, you'll probably be similar.
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Old 06-21-06, 05:57 PM   #9
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keep your current gear and don't listen to these panzies
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Old 06-21-06, 05:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamingmb
I like the fact that I can cruise at a pretty high speed on it but it is hella hard getting off the line at a stop light. Also since I am putting a lot of pressure on the crank when I first get going would it help if I had a smaller gear? What do you people ride?
I am a wuss my current ss is 42x16 and I am thinking about going a bit lower like a 42x18 for the hills and spinning.

Aaron
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Old 06-21-06, 06:00 PM   #11
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my friend rides 58x14 in portland. says he loves it. if getting going is your problem just don't stop.
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Old 06-21-06, 07:51 PM   #12
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From Sheldon Brown's "Online Gear Calculator" I get 92 gear inches for 56X16 with 700X23 tires.

http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/

I play around with gears a lot, and ride from 72" to 82".
I like lower gear inches for control and precision and higher gear inches for speed.

I presently ride 53X18 for 77", which I find the best of all possible worlds for a reasonably strong rider in hilly terrain.

Anyway, 92" seems like too much for me.
Please note the "for me" part.
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Old 06-21-06, 07:59 PM   #13
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oops, i think i entered my suggestion of 56x13...
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Old 06-22-06, 12:40 AM   #14
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Thats practically eddy merckx gearing...
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Old 06-22-06, 03:07 AM   #15
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I ride 39x15 in fairly hilly terrain. Just went from 27x1-1/4 to 700x23 tires, which brought my gear inches from 70.4 to 68.3. Though I do find I'm spinning out easier on the downhills, I think the easier gearing will be better on my knees. I may go with a different ratio when I change up my crankset soon though.
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Old 06-22-06, 06:22 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamingmb
but I dont know if it is the best gear for me... Should I get something smaller?
i dont know.
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Old 06-22-06, 03:31 PM   #17
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I ride 40x14. Gear i first started out in. I like it. I dont have any problems getting up hills, and going down hills the pedals rarely ever move uncomfortably fast, and if so i just slow down a little.

But quick question to throw in there, i went to my lbs to see if i could get a 14T freewheel cause i have a flip flop hub, and they said that with the type of hub i have i couldn't really fit anything smaller than like a 16T on it, and that ones smaller like 14T and 13T are meant for bmx flip flop hubs. Is this true? Cause if so, to get a freewheel i'll have to get a like 16T for both sides and then get like a 44T chainring in the front to get something along the lines of a similar gear ratio, and at the time i was like **** doing all that
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Old 06-22-06, 03:32 PM   #18
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and at the time i was like **** doing all that
Really not that much work.

Oh, and what kind of hub do you have?
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Old 06-22-06, 03:46 PM   #19
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Really not that much work.

Oh, and what kind of hub do you have?
Yeah i know it isn't too much work, it was mainly the money factor of purchasing a new fixed cog, a new freewheel, a larger chainring, and adding some links to my chain.

My rear wheel i bought off a dude used from craigslist, it's a 700c aluminum Wienmann, the only thing it says on the hub is "Suzul, Japan, 5 H"
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Old 06-23-06, 07:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeac
But quick question to throw in there, i went to my lbs to see if i could get a 14T freewheel cause i have a flip flop hub, and they said that with the type of hub i have i couldn't really fit anything smaller than like a 16T on it, and that ones smaller like 14T and 13T are meant for bmx flip flop hubs. Is this true? Cause if so, to get a freewheel i'll have to get a like 16T for both sides and then get like a 44T chainring in the front to get something along the lines of a similar gear ratio, and at the time i was like **** doing all that
Mostly true. AC Racing makes a 15t freewheel that fits standard freewheel threading, but it's hard to find, and reportedly not the most durable piece of equipment. 16t freewheels are common.
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