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  1. #1
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    Selecting a gear ratio

    I'm going to purchase a freewheel but before I do I want to make sure I'm buying the right one. I plan on getting a Miche Advanced crank with a 49 chainring. I live in NYC and there aren't that many hills here. The biggest hill I'll probably climb is the 59th street bridge. Sheldon says that for street riding a gain ratio of 5-5.3 is ideal. I'm considering a 19t freewheel which would give me a 5.4 gain ratio or 69.6 gear inches.

    Wanted to see if a 49/19 ratio makes sense for my terrain and to what others have experienced.

  2. #2
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    If you're already in good shape that should work fine.

    I highly recommend the ENO freewheel, but it's not a bad idea to get a cheapie first.

  3. #3
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    I'm in decent shape.

    I'm planning on getting an ENO, that's why I want to be sure it's the right one.

  4. #4
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    you could probably even go for a 18 or even 17 tooth freewheel. if you're riding mostly flat terrain, you might find you're spinning like crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by andre nickatina View Post
    the guy must have been like holy ****? this kid on a fixie is killin it without engine motors.

  5. #5
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    Get a few cheaper freewheels, try them out, then pick the one you like best. Once you've done that, get the White industries freewheel in that size.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    For road riding, I fluctuate between 70 and 81 gear inches, depending on the bike, the time of year, and where I'm planning on riding. For NYC riding, I personally would go with 49/18. I recommed starting with a cheaper freewheel because you may decide you picked the wrong gear. A lot of people get stronger after a couple of months and regear their bikes. With experience, a fgss rider develops a fine tuned sense for choosing the right gear and you'll want to change gears eventually. Ultimately, its a good idea to have a freewheel tool and several freewheels. But I would put off getting the ENO until you know what your main gear ratio should be.
    Last edited by mihlbach; 03-23-08 at 05:00 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member gfrance's Avatar
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    It's my humble opinion that most people err on the side of running too high of a gear ratio for what ever reason. I live in New York and have come down every year till now I'm at 46/18. I find those with the bigger gears are the ones who pedal slowly, just cruising around. I need to move for my 10 mile commute and the more I can spin, the faster (avg speed) I wind up moving the bike.

  8. #8
    Are we not men?
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    for city riding: acceleration>top speed

  9. #9
    There's a biking season? yohannrjm's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think Zombie Carl got it right.

    On flats with little stop-and-go the higher gearing would be ideal, so you have a higher top speed. However, in areas where you won't be riding at top speed too much, you'll gain much more by being able to accelerate faster.

    Also, your knees will thank you if you use a lower gear when you've got to be ramping your speed up and down all the time.

  10. #10
    ALL PARTY ryansexton's Avatar
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    I couldn't see myself wanting to do anything else besides mash on a single speed.
    Quote Originally Posted by crushkilldstroy View Post
    This is SSFG. Nothing is logical here.

  11. #11
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    Do NOT by an eno freewheel (though they are indeed great) until you are sure you are comfortable with your ratio. I would try the 19- ride it for a while- and then adjust up or town a tooth.

  12. #12
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    Some good advice here but it seems like most of you are in agreement that I should just purchase some cheap freewheels and test them out. Are the ACS and Shimano freewheels the cheap ones? $15 each. I think I'm going to purchase a 17, 18 and 19.

    A side note, will this tool remove all freewheels from the hub?

    http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=2335

  13. #13
    cab horn
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    Shimano are the cheaper ones. You can go even cheaper but you'll have to destructively remove the freewheels.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  14. #14
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    i ride a 46x16 and it's jsut right...both fixed and free. flat city streets and ocassional slopes just the streets o new york. think if the freewheel size is any greater than that...you'll be spinning like crazy... imho

    cheers

  15. #15
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    also btw i ride a shimano free...so far no complains about it.

    cheers

  16. #16
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    At least with a freewheel you can spin like crazy and recover by coasting.

    On my single speed I'm currently running 46 x 18. ENO freecog.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrenceterrenc View Post
    i ride a 46x16 and it's jsut right...both fixed and free. flat city streets and ocassional slopes just the streets o new york. think if the freewheel size is any greater than that...you'll be spinning like crazy... imho

    cheers
    That's a similiar gain ratio as a 49x17 setup. I think I'm going to try 16,17 and 18. One of those should work well.

  18. #18
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    I can't find any cheap freewheels with 19t. They all stop at 18t.

  19. #19
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    ACS freewheels go up to at least 22.
    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/singl...tml#freewheels

    can be found cheaper here...
    http://www.niagaracycle.com
    Last edited by mihlbach; 03-23-08 at 11:06 AM.

  20. #20
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    Thanks. I thought the Claws only worked with 3/32 chains.

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