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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 03-07-08, 01:40 PM   #1
JasperK
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Question about cogs

I'm currently running 46x16 and want to try an easier gear. Will switching to an 18-tooth cog make a noticeable difference? I'm just looking for a slightly faster spin on climbs.

Also (and apologies in advance for my ignorance of bike mechanics), is swapping cogs fairly easy for a mechanical idiot like myself? Does it require any special tools?

Many thanks.
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Old 03-07-08, 01:43 PM   #2
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that would be a big jump
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Old 03-07-08, 01:44 PM   #3
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this might help better since you also have to consider wheel size and crank length. but yes i would say that you would notice a difference.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

swapping cogs is fairly easy, as long as you have a lock ring tool. a chainwhip is nice, but you can rotafix as well
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Old 03-07-08, 01:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Re-Cycle View Post
that would be a big jump
just did the calculation. that is a big jump. looking at like 8 gear inches
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Old 03-08-08, 02:58 AM   #5
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Maybe go to a 17 tooth cog so you will have 17 skid patches. It might save you on tires if you skid a lot.

I'm rocking 46x17 and I love it.
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Old 03-08-08, 03:43 AM   #6
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Going up to 17 will be noticeable, going up to 18 will be a pretty big switch. 46-18 will be about 69 gear inches. I personally favor a gear this size for my long haul commuting and i hear that historically its been a favorite of british club riders too, but you do have to spin to go fast.
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Old 03-08-08, 04:22 PM   #7
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46 17 would be a really nice gear. jumping to an 18 seems a bit overkill.
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Old 03-08-08, 04:40 PM   #8
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46x18 would be lower than I would run, and I'm a lightweight when it comes to gearing.

I'm running 42x16 on one of my bikes, and I wish it were higher.

46x17 would be really good. So would 44x16 if you wanted to buy a chainring instead of a cog. All you need for that operation is a 5mm allen key.
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Old 03-10-08, 02:00 PM   #9
JasperK
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Thanks to everyone for the advice.
Bear with me for one more dumb question: Does swapping the chain ring or the cog require making any adjustments, or swapping out, the chain?
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Old 03-10-08, 02:18 PM   #10
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if the chain is too short or too long after the switch, it does.. going from 16 to 18 in the back means you need maybe 1/2 inch of forward movement in the dropout, so as long as you arent in the very front, you should be ok..
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Old 03-10-08, 02:22 PM   #11
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I like 46x18. It is nicer uphill, not so nice downhill. I can average about 20 on the flats with it & 17-18 over hilly terrain. I've spun it over 33mph (about 160rpm) downhill, but wouldn't want to do it everyday.
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Old 03-10-08, 02:27 PM   #12
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chainrings are easy and only need a hex (and a flathead) for the bolts. finding the right one with the proper tooth count and bcd is harder.

you should be okay with the chain as long as you find another chainring of the same width. you may need to add/remove some links in the chain though, in which case you'll need a chain tool.
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Old 03-10-08, 02:39 PM   #13
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I recently switched from 48x16 to 46x16, to 45x17. just trying different sizes.. I am happy with 45x17, a good ratio for hills..
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Old 03-10-08, 02:45 PM   #14
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my town is hilly as **** and I run 46x15 because it works fine for me getting up hills and I don't spin out on the down.
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