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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 03-25-08, 09:09 PM   #1
dntwry
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most common gear ratio?

whats the most common gear ratio?
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Old 03-25-08, 09:16 PM   #2
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not sure i can say it is the most common, but most people will say 70ish gear inches is ideal for city riding. i run 50x19 which is just under that, and it treats me just fine. lots of off the peg bikes come with a 46 or 48x16 ratio, however.
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Old 03-25-08, 10:58 PM   #3
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i go 52-15 but my legs are stronger than average
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Old 03-25-08, 11:00 PM   #4
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I go 52-13 but my dick's way bigger than average
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Old 03-25-08, 11:03 PM   #5
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56 tooth chainring with a welded up 9 tooth driver...
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Old 03-25-08, 11:04 PM   #6
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53-11, but i usually just walk it around town.
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Old 03-25-08, 11:04 PM   #7
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I go 52-13 but my dick's way bigger than average

that's what i ment to say
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Old 03-26-08, 05:36 AM   #8
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I ride 48-18. Thats 70.1 gear inches. I agree that 70 is a good average. To put it in perspective, at 60rpm you're going 20 km/hr. At 90rpm (which is a decent sustainable rpm) you're doing 30km/hr. Powering it, you're probably spinning 120rpm, which is around 40km/hr.

Remember you're not always gonna be going in good conditions and full speed. When I ride with my dad, he rides casually at 20 so I reduce my cadence to 60. When I'm tired, a similar result. When theres wind, likewise. I reckon the average rider would spend a lot of time at 20km/hr, and when you have to spin at 40rpm to ride that speed, its no fun.
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Old 03-26-08, 06:14 AM   #9
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Past polls on this site have yielded a nice looking bell curve that peaks around 70-75 gi.
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Old 03-26-08, 06:36 AM   #10
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53x11 brakeless.
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Old 03-26-08, 06:41 AM   #11
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there's no single most common gear ratio. a lot of people have very different preferences. as already stated, most people ride in the mid-70s, in terms of "gear inches" - search www.sheldonbrown.com for a detailed explanation of gear inches.

i've ridden with people who push big gears and people who spin gears and without a doubt, the consistently fastest are those who have taught themselves to spin a low gear (65-70 inches, at most). i've ridden 48x18 and 49x19 for long periods of time, to get my legs to moving very fast. it's always shocking when i move back up to a higher street gear (46x16), but i generally find myself in great condition afterward - after a day or two of adjustment, i spin the higher gear as fast as i spun the low gear.

i recommend to everyone i know that they spend significant time in lower gears. i recently rode with a newbie roadie friend of mine, taught and explained to him some basics about spinning, and, in a few miles, got him quite easily up a couple hills that previously he had much difficulty with.
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Old 03-26-08, 07:25 AM   #12
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there's no single most common gear ratio. a lot of people have very different preferences. as already stated, most people ride in the mid-70s, in terms of "gear inches" - search www.sheldonbrown.com for a detailed explanation of gear inches.

i've ridden with people who push big gears and people who spin gears and without a doubt, the consistently fastest are those who have taught themselves to spin a low gear (65-70 inches, at most). i've ridden 48x18 and 49x19 for long periods of time, to get my legs to moving very fast. it's always shocking when i move back up to a higher street gear (46x16), but i generally find myself in great condition afterward - after a day or two of adjustment, i spin the higher gear as fast as i spun the low gear.

i recommend to everyone i know that they spend significant time in lower gears. i recently rode with a newbie roadie friend of mine, taught and explained to him some basics about spinning, and, in a few miles, got him quite easily up a couple hills that previously he had much difficulty with.
The best gear ratio depends on many things including where you are riding. In NYC perhaps a low gear is faster. I generally ride in areas where there are miles between stoplights with rolling hills. In that environment a higher gear ratio (high 78-81 inches) is clearly faster, assuming of course you are strong enough to maintain a decent cadence up the hills. I agree with the second bolded point....riding a lower gear at least some of the time is beneficial. Low gear to develop the spin...then high gear to develop the strength. I ride lower gears in the winter, because I'm in no mood to ride at full speed in the freezing wind, rain, snow, filthy roads, etc.
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Old 03-26-08, 08:27 AM   #13
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milbach, you've got a good point about the variable of social geography, but my intended point (which i'm clarifying in response to your point), is that i'd bet good money that if you train in a lower gear, you'll ride those miles between stoplights in rolling hills even faster when you put your bigger gear back on... which you say. so, high five! after some clarification we agree with each other.
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Old 03-26-08, 09:07 AM   #14
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spinning is good, but don't overdo really high rpms a lot or you will **** up your knees. mix it up with lower rpms to.
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Old 03-26-08, 09:23 AM   #15
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48x16 is the stock ratio on lots of bikes
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Old 03-26-08, 09:25 AM   #16
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48x16 is the stock ratio on lots of bikes
ditto
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Old 03-26-08, 09:34 AM   #17
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high rpms ****s up your knees? i was unaware of that....i lways thought that ifi was pushig a harder gear my knees would take more of a toll since they dont feel outstanding on my current spinny gear....
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Old 03-26-08, 10:06 AM   #18
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42 x 16 is a very common ratio for around town, good for accelerating and decelerating. It comes to about 70 gear inches. I personally ride 43 x 17, which is a tiny bit smaller even.

Anything much bigger really isn't very useful, unless you want to do long uninterrupted rides outside town.
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Old 03-26-08, 10:16 AM   #19
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Im on a 40 x 16. With 170's and 38c tires (STILL!) *Shakes fist at sky* STUPID WINTER!

Its like 65 - 66 inches. I also have a 14t which takes it up to 74 - 75 inches.
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Old 03-26-08, 10:17 AM   #20
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high rpms ****s up your knees? i was unaware of that....i lways thought that ifi was pushig a harder gear my knees would take more of a toll since they dont feel outstanding on my current spinny gear....
just my experience. i run 65" at times and end up spinning pretty consistently above 100rpm unless i'm climbing, which is rare. just like your knees aren't used to mashing big gears, nor are they designed to spin at 120rpm all the time. i just mix it up and avoid any overuse injury.
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Old 03-26-08, 10:21 AM   #21
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ya makes sence i would say. im running the super spinny 42X17 but i can do wheeeeeeelllliiiesss
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Old 03-26-08, 11:12 AM   #22
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I run 32/18 (51 gear inches) which I find just about right with what would equate to 700x56 knobby tires. It's a bit tough to get through the more technical spots and some steep climbs, but gives me a shot at everything. My biggest issues are the extended uphill sections with roots/rocks or loose ground. Without momentum clearing roots/log overs/larger rocks gets to be near impossible. I think the gearing is just about perfect for my uses, as I seem to be more limited by technical skills than the gearing in off road use.

On flat paved ground I really feel the limit on cadence at around 18mph which isn't bad. Downhill is just pathetic, although I've spun up to about 30mph and that's not exactly comfortable. The good news is when you are dead tired going into a headwind uphill and the start seeing some flurries and you ran out of water about 8 miles ago, you can really appreciate having your gearing too low. I learned that last night.
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Old 03-26-08, 11:27 AM   #23
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I have a 46t chainring with a fixed/fixed hub so i run 46/17 (17 skid patches) when i ride with my friends and just eat **** around town. Also, 46/15 if i plan on doing long rides.

I think a fixed/fixed hub was one of my favorite investments now that i think about it.
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Old 03-26-08, 11:28 AM   #24
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I've found that the most common gear ratio is the one that the rider is comfortable with. You shouldn't ride with a gear that you don't like.
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Old 03-26-08, 12:58 PM   #25
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I have a 46t chainring with a fixed/fixed hub so i run 46/17 (17 skid patches) when i ride with my friends and just eat **** around town. Also, 46/15 if i plan on doing long rides.

I think a fixed/fixed hub was one of my favorite investments now that i think about it.
i cant fingure out if the bolded is a good or bad thing. darn slang!
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