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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 10-23-10, 11:45 PM   #1
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Anyone run low teeth combos to save weight?

This is for a singlespeed.

I'm thinking I could save some weight by running a low teeth combo of chainring & cog like a 34 x 12 which equals 74.5 gear inches.

Anyone do this? How much weight savings? Would it be worth it for a closet weight weenie?

I figure the chain would be shorter and the smaller chainring and cog would help shave off some weight.

I know less teeth would mean faster wear, but I am not worried too much about that since chains are relatively cheap.
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Old 10-23-10, 11:49 PM   #2
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Do consider that when you run a rear cog with less than 14 teeth you decrease efficiency and will experience greater drive train wear than you would by running a larger combination.
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Old 10-23-10, 11:55 PM   #3
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what do you mean by efficiency?
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Old 10-23-10, 11:58 PM   #4
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Has anyone considered filling their innertubes with helium?
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Old 10-23-10, 11:59 PM   #5
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A drive train using a 52/18 will give you about 74 gear inches and with this the chain engages more teeth and with greater engagement stresses on the chain, chain ring, and drive cog are reduced.
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Old 10-24-10, 12:04 AM   #6
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OK. Would 39 x 14 be an acceptable balance then? or should I go for more teeth?
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Old 10-24-10, 12:06 AM   #7
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what do you mean by efficiency?
ef·fi·cien·cy

 /ɪˈfɪʃənsi/ Show Spelled[ih-fish-uhn-see]
–noun, plural -cies. 1. the state or quality of being efficient; competency in performance.

2. accomplishment of or ability to accomplish a job with a minimum expenditure of time and effort: The assembly line increased industry's efficiency.

3. the ratio of the work done or energy developed by a machine, engine, etc., to the energy supplied to it, usually expressed as a percentage.

4. efficiency apartment.
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Old 10-24-10, 12:07 AM   #8
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I use 39x16 for my all around gear.
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Old 10-24-10, 12:11 AM   #9
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I think I'm going to go for 39 x 14 and see how long my drivetrain last. I've went to weight weenies.com and 34 x 12 and the 7 links that it would save me only 23 grams. Not worth it. Just another crack pipe dream of mine. Thanks for the input.
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Old 10-24-10, 12:15 AM   #10
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I think I'm going to go for 39 x 14 and see how long my drivetrain last. I've went to weight weenies.com and 34 x 12 and the 7 links that it would save me only 23 grams. Not worth it. Just another crack pipe dream of mine. Thanks for the input.
You do understand you could save 10 times more weight than that by drinking a cup less water dont you?
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Old 10-24-10, 12:43 AM   #11
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Mine came with 46/16. I think I'd only change it out if it became too easy to pedal and I felt like I was at a point where I could constantly ride it with a stronger GI. Riding with the wind, there have been occasions where I wished the gear was stronger, but riding into enough of a head wind the gear could probably be weaker. A couple of weeks back I rode about 12.5 miles into a 25 mph NE'er, 46/16 was slow going. The ride back was way to easy. That ride was strange, I figure I was matching the wind speed, it was like there was no wind at all coming home. But getting to the 1/2 point to turn around was more workout than I wanted.

As for fewer teeth to save weight, there isn't enough difference to matter really.
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Old 10-24-10, 01:19 AM   #12
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Yeah, it will work. But, you'd probably save more weight in a more effective way by switching to lighter tires and tubes.

Going the weight weenie route is a slippery slope. But, I won't say it's not worth it. Without trying hard, I got this 57cm bike to 16lbs (including the rear light and MTB pedals) and it climbed like a dream.

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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 10-24-10, 01:21 AM   #13
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Has anyone considered filling their innertubes with helium?
But hydrogen is lighter!

OP, if you really want to be a weight weenie, focus on big things like frame material. The number of teeth in a cog is not going to make an appreciable difference, especially if you're not running the gear inches that are best for you . . .
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Old 10-24-10, 01:27 AM   #14
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Smaller sized ratio will stretch and snap chains much easier than a larger ratio.

I'd go with something larger like 45/16 or 47/17, both of which will give you a very similar ratio.
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Old 10-24-10, 01:43 AM   #15
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Cheap-ish ways to shave lbs from an "normal" FG bike. This is assuming you have a budget bike.

- Lightweight tires
- Lightweight tubes
- Lightweight chain
- Alloy (not steel) bars
- Lighter seatpost (take-off from a road bike)
- Road clipless pedals
- Lightweight saddle

Not-so-cheap ways:
- Cranks
- Wheels (Lots of weight savings possible here. Mavic Ellipse are my all-time super-light but strong wheelset)
- Frame (Aluminum and Carbon come in about the same. Anything but steel.)



Of course, none of this makes much sense if you are gonna ride around in blue jeans, tshirt, shirt, and a wool jacket with a XL messenger bag with random stuff in it. You could spend hundreds of dollars removing 5 lbs from your bike...or you could clean out your bag.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 10-24-10, 02:32 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Yeah, it will work. But, you'd probably save more weight in a more effective way by switching to lighter tires and tubes.

Going the weight weenie route is a slippery slope. But, I won't say it's not worth it. Without trying hard, I got this 57cm bike to 16lbs (including the rear light and MTB pedals) and it climbed like a dream.

That's awesome. Would you mind posting the specs?
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Old 10-24-10, 03:08 AM   #17
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That's awesome. Would you mind posting the specs?
Thanks.

That bike was like 2005. This is from memory:

- Vittoria something "Pro" tires. $60 a pop. They were light and sticky. Not for skidding for fun.
- Continental Lite tubes
- Sugino 75 with 48t Sugino Zen ring
- TIME ATAC pedals
- Mavic Ellipse wheels (stickers removed)
- Profile Airwing bars with cloth tape
- Fizik Arione saddle with stock seatpost
- KMC K710 chain (stock for that bike)
- Euro Asia 18t cog
- Stock stem

I would guess that a lightweight chain (K710 is heavy) and Dura Ace pedals would have that bike in the 15lb area for sure.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 10-24-10, 04:27 AM   #18
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I run 38x15 on my SS cyclocross bike with cyclocross tires during the 3 or 4 coldest months. I mostly use it for commuting, especially in bad weather. Works great in poor weather and having the small chainring gives me the option of gearing it even lower if needed, which I occasionally do. I use a Surly steel chainring to minimize wear and in the warmer months, I swap my chainring and cog out for a 48x17 and install road tires.

Last edited by mihlbach; 10-24-10 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 10-24-10, 06:26 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Cheap-ish ways to shave lbs from an "normal" FG bike. This is assuming you have a budget bike.

- Lightweight tires
- Lightweight tubes
- Lightweight chain
- Alloy (not steel) bars
- Lighter seatpost (take-off from a road bike)
- Road clipless pedals
- Lightweight saddle

Not-so-cheap ways:
- Cranks
- Wheels (Lots of weight savings possible here. Mavic Ellipse are my all-time super-light but strong wheelset)
- Frame (Aluminum and Carbon come in about the same. Anything but steel.)



Of course, none of this makes much sense if you are gonna ride around in blue jeans, tshirt, shirt, and a wool jacket with a XL messenger bag with random stuff in it. You could spend hundreds of dollars removing 5 lbs from your bike...or you could clean out your bag.
You forgot full carbon fork.

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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Thanks.

That bike was like 2005. This is from memory:

- Vittoria something "Pro" tires. $60 a pop. They were light and sticky. Not for skidding for fun.
- Continental Lite tubes
- Sugino 75 with 48t Sugino Zen ring
- TIME ATAC pedals
- Mavic Ellipse wheels (stickers removed)
- Profile Airwing bars with cloth tape
- Fizik Arione saddle with stock seatpost
- KMC K710 chain (stock for that bike)
- Euro Asia 18t cog
- Stock stem

I would guess that a lightweight chain (K710 is heavy) and Dura Ace pedals would have that bike in the 15lb area for sure.
How much did those stickers weigh?
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Old 10-24-10, 07:04 AM   #20
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This dood knows how to lose weight/money on a bike.
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Old 10-24-10, 09:09 AM   #21
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I don't think anyone goes with low teeth for the reason to save weight. That just sounds silly.
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Old 10-24-10, 10:52 AM   #22
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How much did those stickers weigh?
Not much. I took the stickers off for the look, not to save weight. But there were a lot of them and lots of glue. I mentioned the removal because people often ask me "What wheels are those?" because it's unusual to see them with no stickers.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 10-24-10, 11:03 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 531phile View Post
This is for a singlespeed.

I'm thinking I could save some weight by running a low teeth combo of chainring & cog like a 34 x 12 which equals 74.5 gear inches.

Anyone do this? How much weight savings? Would it be worth it for a closet weight weenie?

I figure the chain would be shorter and the smaller chainring and cog would help shave off some weight.

I know less teeth would mean faster wear, but I am not worried too much about that since chains are relatively cheap.
loving 531 seems to be weighing on you. steel is fail.
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Old 10-24-10, 11:24 AM   #24
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The reduced efficiency will make a much, much bigger difference than the couple grams of weight savings. T
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Old 10-24-10, 12:19 PM   #25
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Not much. I took the stickers off for the look, not to save weight. But there were a lot of them and lots of glue. I mentioned the removal because people often ask me "What wheels are those?" because it's unusual to see them with no stickers.
What was the weight of the bike when it was stock? I'm guessing in the 20s. but I could be wrong.
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