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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 12-11-07, 05:53 PM   #1
I_luv_hooters
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brakeless & your gear ratio

So I went brakeless about 2 weeks ago. Just a trial - they're available to go back on anytime I feel like it. But I don't yet feel like it. Now today I lowered my gear ratio dramatically. Its now 44x18. I think it's way safer this way. Yes, I'm slower but I'm also more in control of my bike (especially down hill). It also resolves any skidding issues I had. I can now do multiple powerslides and skid w/out even getting out of my seat. I can pretty much stop on a dime. My question is: What ratio do you other brakeless riders use? Do you agree going to a lower gear helps? Also: did any of you go back to a brake?
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Old 12-11-07, 05:59 PM   #2
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I also ride 44x18. Mostly for the hills around here though.
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Old 12-11-07, 06:10 PM   #3
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When I was riding brakeless I had a 46x19 ratio.. I didn't have any close calls, but then again I only rode that bike for a season before I got a new one. And really, the main reason I went brakeless was because there was some crazy clearance on the front tire (700c in a lazy 27" fork) and I couldn't get my sidepulls to work well. I was too lazy to get a good brake, so I just left it off.

With my new bike, I do have a front brake, but then again I commute more often on it, and ride 46x17. I would only dream of taking off the front brake when I visit the velodrome.. that ratio is a little too high for me to skid consistently. But then again I'm a pretty small guy.
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Old 12-11-07, 06:46 PM   #4
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40x15 and 44x16 here, both brakeless. the first bike because i was too lazy/cheap to buy a cable and lever and didn't happen to have one lying around. the second is because i don't wanna scuff up the paint on the rims...i am realizing more and more every day how dumb that might be but god damn they look good. never really had any issues...the type of bars you run will affect your control as well, as you know. i run a flat bar on my new bike and i feel pretty unsafe when it comes to needing to pull off a clutch skid or powerslide. with my chop and flops i felt pretty damn safe...good solid hand positions for those "oh ****" moments.
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Old 12-11-07, 07:31 PM   #5
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46/16 is as heavy as I feel safe with..but I much prefer 17 rear cog, and run that 95 percent of the time, anything lighter, and you can stop really quickly once you get used to it for a few months
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Old 12-11-07, 07:37 PM   #6
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Broke my break lever recently, so I'm riding 48/16 brakeless, which is tough, plan on getting a new lever, and switching to 46/17 for brakeless fun.
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Old 12-11-07, 07:39 PM   #7
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49/17
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Old 12-11-07, 07:39 PM   #8
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74 gear inches and happy
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Old 12-11-07, 07:50 PM   #9
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48/17

17 skid patches, 70.50 inches.
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Old 12-11-07, 07:51 PM   #10
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i ride 46/16 brakeless. i've got empty threads on the other side of my hub, thinking of getting an 18 tooth cog for my steep climbs on the way home from work. my roommate rides a 44/18 and it drives me crazy when i ride it. you can skid the rear tire if you take off too quickly.... i stop just fine with my gearing. i've had my fair share of close calls, but never because i couldn't stop in time.
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Old 12-11-07, 08:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oh No View Post
48/17

17 skid patches, 70.50 inches.
skid patch ratios:



45x15 = 1 skidpatch? WTF???

Last edited by I_luv_hooters; 12-11-07 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 12-11-07, 08:28 PM   #12
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http://software.bareknucklebrigade.c...it.applet.html
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Old 12-11-07, 08:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oh No View Post
48/17

17 skid patches, 70.50 inches.
my math might be off, but isn't it more like 74 ish gear inches?

i know my 49/17 is around 76 inches
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Old 12-11-07, 08:50 PM   #14
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44x15. I can stop just fine. I'll probably gear up to 44x17 though, I miss the spin.
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Old 12-11-07, 08:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_luv_hooters View Post
skid patch ratios:



45x15 = 1 skidpatch? WTF???
just like 48x16, it's a 3:1 ratio. and 48x12 is a 4:1 ratio. i forget the proper mathematical term for expressing it, but the ratios can be reduced to an integer:1 ratio.
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Old 12-11-07, 08:55 PM   #16
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I failed math, so can someone explain to me Gear Inches? And whats good or bad? (high or low)

thanks

Also which is best...
48 x16
48 x 17
48 x 18

?

I really suck at math.
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Old 12-11-07, 08:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oh No View Post
48/17

17 skid patches, 70.50 inches.
48/17 too... but its more like 75 gi
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Old 12-11-07, 08:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime View Post
I failed math, so can someone explain to me Gear Inches? And whats good or bad? (high or low)

thanks
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_g.html#gearinch

lower the gear inches the "Easier"

i was always under the impression it was for every pedal rotation (full) you travel so many inches.
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Old 12-11-07, 09:13 PM   #19
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48/18

i didn't want the heavier 48/17, but i didn't wanna spin like mad on a 19 cog. feels fine to me.
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Old 12-11-07, 10:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humancongereel View Post
just like 48x16, it's a 3:1 ratio. and 48x12 is a 4:1 ratio. i forget the proper mathematical term for expressing it, but the ratios can be reduced to an integer:1 ratio.
The number of skid patches is equal to the number of teeth on the cog divided by the greatest common factor between the chainring and cog.

Since 15 divides 45, the greatest common factor is 15 and you are left with one skid patch.

The best gear combinations are ones that are relatively prime - their greatest common factor is 1.
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Old 12-11-07, 10:04 PM   #21
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40x14 13 skid patches
650c wheels
my math may be off but it should be close this time
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Old 12-11-07, 10:05 PM   #22
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I really suck at math.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoshi View Post
The number of skid patches is equal to the number of teeth on the cog divided by the greatest common factor between the chainring and cog.

Since 15 divides 45, the greatest common factor is 15 and you are left with one skid patch.

The best gear combinations are ones that are relatively prime - their greatest common factor is 1.
Soo...

48 17 > 48 18?
Or
48 17 < 48 18?
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Old 12-11-07, 10:18 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c0urt View Post
40x14 13 skid patches
650c wheels
my math may be off but it should be close this time
7 skid patches, right? the greatest common factor of 40 and 14 is 2, 14/2=7. am i right? i think i'm grasping the math now...i've read about this a few times, but it's always big proofs and such, and it loses me by the end. this explanation is one of the simplest i've heard.
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Old 12-11-07, 10:30 PM   #24
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Wait, a greater number of skid patches is better right?
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Old 12-11-07, 10:33 PM   #25
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48x18, but as soon as I buy a lockring wrench I'm dropping to 17 for more skid patches, since i have like, none now.
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