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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 06-16-07, 07:51 PM   #1
slocate
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Is 48x15 really too hard for the city

This is in and around Manhattan (wash heights) were it is mostly flat but going uptown there are a couple of hills, not too many but stop and go could take some not too much effort (guess geting used to it). I've had this bike for two weeks only so I'm still getting used to it, but everybody I tell says it is too high (or low you correct me) for a beginner. Can I get away with raising just the back cog? If so how much?
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Old 06-16-07, 07:54 PM   #2
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That is more gear than I care to push. I would put at least a 17 or 18 on the rear. Spinning beats mashing in my book. Of course, that is just me and I do not know how you ride or how strong you are. If it feels comfortable stick with it.
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Old 06-16-07, 08:10 PM   #3
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44x17 and 49x17 are magical gears for me. just sayin'
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Old 06-16-07, 09:19 PM   #4
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45:15/16 for me. 18 freewheel if I want to go through (big) hills.
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Old 06-16-07, 09:24 PM   #5
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I like 65 to 70 gear inches for about 90% of my riding.
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Old 06-16-07, 09:32 PM   #6
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I pump a 46x15 in ATL. It's pretty hilly here, though.

Even though 48x15 sounds pretty stiff, generally after a week or so, you'll get used to whatever gear you ride. I say go for it.
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Old 06-16-07, 09:43 PM   #7
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I'm running a 48x16 in the flatland of FL and it's just about perfect. 48x15 you'll be pushing.

Figure your average speed and comfy rpms, factor in the hills and get yer gear inches from there. For me it's something around 23mph, 110rpm, blah blah. Bike's still ridable when I'm feeling lazy and pushing 50rpm.
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Old 06-16-07, 09:49 PM   #8
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i learned how to ride track on a 48/16, recently switched to 48/15 after being prompted by a messenger buddy. he claimed it was "the champions choice". Most experienced riders i know go with this gear. i actually find it easier to get up hills, although stopping those last few feet can be difficult, i do skid a lot more though. I find it much easier to lock up at high speeds.
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Old 06-16-07, 11:25 PM   #9
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I'd advise against it if you're trying to learn to skid, better to start with a lower gear, get the basics down than go for that.
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Old 06-16-07, 11:29 PM   #10
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Random question of curiosity - how big/tall are some of you that are running the higher gear inches? I mean, I can push a tall gear just fine, but in terms of practicality a lower gear and higher spin just work better with my smaller build.
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Old 06-16-07, 11:46 PM   #11
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5'7" 140 lbs and I ride 45/15 in Memphis. Not too hilly, but it has its moments. I stand for hills, but I still spin quite a bit going down so I don't want to go much lower. I'd rather fight a hill than spin my legs off going down the other side. I also run a front brake and don't skid, so that's not an issue.
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Old 06-16-07, 11:50 PM   #12
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Interesting. We're precisely the same size.
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Old 06-17-07, 12:26 AM   #13
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i wont tell you what gear right for you. how would i know?

i've ridden 52/16 for periods, but i find 48/16 most comfortable. the bigger gear was awesome when i wanted to "pound" but was tiresome when i was half-awake trying to trudge into class.

i think the best gear is one that you spin out as often as you feel like you mash it. with the average coming in at your most comfortable cadence. just because you can push a gear, wont necessarily make it ideal.
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Old 06-17-07, 06:12 AM   #14
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Even if you are strong enough to push 48x15 well, remember your knees. That gear will be pretty serious wear and tear on your knees for daily driving.
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Old 06-17-07, 06:20 AM   #15
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It depends. Do you want knee arthritis when you're 40?

Granted I'm in Albany so I have to deal with real hills, and I've had knee injuries in the past, but I roll 53:21 (Satan's gear-inches, wooo!). Spinning is good for you. It makes you stronger.
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Old 06-17-07, 09:13 AM   #16
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dont forget to think about what if you want to go for a long ride.

gearing is a preference, some people like to spin, others like to mash.

if you are getting around fine, maybe it isnt too tall for you.

then again, maybe you just dont what you like.

change it up and find out what you like.

whats the worst that can happen... you have extra chainrings and cogs laying around?
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Old 06-17-07, 09:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryand
dont forget to think about what if you want to go for a long ride.

gearing is a preference, some people like to spin, others like to mash.

if you are getting around fine, maybe it isnt too tall for you.

then again, maybe you just dont what you like.

change it up and find out what you like.

whats the worst that can happen... you have extra chainrings and cogs laying around?
try to change up whatever costs less, though.
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Old 06-17-07, 10:15 AM   #18
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Hehe.
I'm on a 42/16 right now, but for longer rides the lack of top-end is killing me. thinking about changing up. 48/15 is pretty intense though, Iunno about that unless I had a brake..
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Old 06-17-07, 10:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exfreewheeler
try to change up whatever costs less, though.
yes, cogs cost slightly less, but you can always sell and swap parts with friends.
(friends because they probably know how much you actually rode on that chainring etc.)
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Old 06-17-07, 10:52 AM   #20
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Someone should set up a BF cog swap for these kinds of experiments.
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Old 06-17-07, 10:54 AM   #21
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I currently ride 44x15, that can be a bit much sometimes.

My girlfriend rides 42x17, now that is just pure heaven. You don't even have to think about stopping, it just happens. You don't have to think about going either, the light goes green and all of a sudden you're cruising along comfortably. I'll be picking up a 16 or 17 tooth cog within the next few weeks.

I'd rather take it easy. Then again, I also plan on putting some Nitto Promenade bars on my next build...
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Old 06-17-07, 10:58 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andre nickatina
I'd advise against it if you're trying to learn to skid, better to start with a lower gear, get the basics down than go for that.

+1. low gears till you know how to stop, go up a couple, a few inches at a time as you get more comfortable at spinning and stopping. if you can keep the same cadence on a higher gear (as riding a lower gear will teach you to do), you'll go faster. and you gotta be able to stop fast, too.
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Old 06-17-07, 11:32 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Fugazi Dave
Interesting. We're precisely the same size.
Interesting.. so am I... plus 5 lbs..
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Old 06-17-07, 11:38 AM   #24
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Not if you like your knees.

Stopping + starting at lights = pain.
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Old 06-17-07, 12:14 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Igneous Faction
I currently ride 44x15, that can be a bit much sometimes.

My girlfriend rides 42x17, now that is just pure heaven.
I'm currently trying a 42x16 right now, and while it's great up the hills, I'm turning about 1000rpm going down. (The hills are steep around here)

I think a 45x16 with an 18 on the flip side would be the best solution for the varied terrain around here.

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