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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 05-30-11, 04:38 AM   #1
daven1986
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42-18 too high, should I go to 42-19 or 42-20?

Hi all,

I find the 42-18 (with 700x23, 170mm cranks) a bit too high for my style of riding, on my other fixed gear (700x35 tyres, 172.5mm cranks) I have 36-16 and find that just right.

I want to use a bigger cog, but can't decide between a 19t or a 20t.

How much easier is a 42-19 over a 42-18 (I have tried the gear calculators online but can't really get much of an idea from them). Should I go for the 20t?

Thanks

Daven
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Old 05-30-11, 06:25 AM   #2
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You've really just got to try different setups out and get a feel for them. Every person's experience is different. But once you get an idea for a few, that should help you in gauging other setups you haven't tried. For instance, I use to ride a SS mountain bike at 32/18 which is a ratio of about 1.77. Since 39/22 is also about 1.77, I can expect that setup to feel the same, even though I've never tried it.

Just give it a shot and see how it works out.
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Old 05-30-11, 07:14 AM   #3
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It's all in your head. Both of your current bikes have the same effective gearing (61.4 .vs. 61.2 gi), so there must be some other reason that one feels too high and the other feels "just right." Longer cranks will make the gear feel a bit easier, but the difference between 170mm and 172.5mm is very small, so I doubt that's it.
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Old 05-30-11, 08:48 AM   #4
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It's all in your head. Both of your current bikes have the same effective gearing (61.4 .vs. 61.2 gi), so there must be some other reason that one feels too high and the other feels "just right." Longer cranks will make the gear feel a bit easier, but the difference between 170mm and 172.5mm is very small, so I doubt that's it.
Could be the massive difference in tire size, but that would make the second bike harder to pedal. Maybe OP doesn't understand gear ratios?
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Old 05-30-11, 09:20 AM   #5
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No, I understand gear ratios, and by looking at all gear calculators they should be roughly the same or the second bike should be harder. Think I will have to just give it a shot.
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Old 05-30-11, 10:03 AM   #6
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I don't understand gear ratios at all, but I started with a 40/16 setup and it's too... not sure if it's high or low..... see I told you I don't know about gear ratios.... but I'll be adding a 13 to the other side, and keeping the 16 just in case I feel slow that day....
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Old 05-30-11, 10:11 AM   #7
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40/13 is quite a jump from 40/16. I can definitely see 40/16 being too easy, but I think 40/13 will be rough.
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Old 05-30-11, 10:16 AM   #8
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Old 05-30-11, 10:36 AM   #9
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Gearing is differnt for everyone, Depending on how strong you are, your position on the bike, tires, rim weight. Like everyone else says its pretty much a trial and error type thing,

currently im using 48/16 I used to use a 17 cog, But since the switch i havent really noticed.
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Old 05-30-11, 10:52 AM   #10
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Gearing is differnt for everyone, Depending on how strong you are, your position on the bike, tires, rim weight. Like everyone else says its pretty much a trial and error type thing,

currently im using 48/16 I used to use a 17 cog, But since the switch i havent really noticed.
but you just lost all yer skid patches dood!
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Old 05-30-11, 10:57 AM   #11
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but you just lost all yer skid patches dood!
He's still got 2! But for me, I think it would be zero cause I doubt I could lock up a 48/16.
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Old 05-30-11, 04:30 PM   #12
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2 teeth can make a big difference in either direction. When you calculate your gear inches, think smaller number, easier to pedal, but you must pedal faster to go fast. Scrod here sells cogs for $16 plus $2 shipping, which is pretty reasonable and are good cogs. You could try out a couple and see what you want. I use 700c x 32 tires which gives me 42/16 (71 GI) and 42/18 (63). I had run 42/16 (liked), but knees were hurting, so I tried out 45/18 (67) for a few days and knees still hurt. Last couple of days I went back to 42/18 and have focused on spinning. Knees do not hurt right now.

Doc said the area behind my patella is shot on both knees, so I have to watch it.


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Old 05-31-11, 06:11 AM   #13
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I've been using a 46x14 on 700x23c tires and Floriduh flat terrain. High enough to keep up with Roadies but still low enough to climb the bridges. I can skid with this gearing but almost never do. 86gi btw ...
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Old 05-31-11, 06:22 AM   #14
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HTFU!!

... just kidding. I ride 52/19

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Old 05-31-11, 01:54 PM   #15
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Oh well this is embarrassing! I was told it was 42-18, but upon counting it (yes I should have done it before) it turns out it is 42-16. So I will be buying an 18t cog!

Thanks

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Old 05-31-11, 05:01 PM   #16
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If you wanted just a little easier pedaling, consider a 17t cog. Otherwise 18 will make it a lot easier. You could get both and see what one you liked best.


Tom
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Old 05-31-11, 05:46 PM   #17
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Seeing ratio's this low is weird to me - the lowest person I know if 44x19. Loooove flatness.

(On Topic) Maybe see if a local shop has a few cogs lying around to try out?
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Old 06-01-11, 11:17 AM   #18
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Found an 18t for 5.99 so bought it should be good and make me enjoy the bike much more (even though it is a beater!)
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Old 06-01-11, 01:49 PM   #19
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61 gear inches? Too High?

Maybe you're in a very hilly area? It seems that 61 gear inches is a pretty low gear for all around use. Wouldn't 70-75 be a more typical FG/SS number for general purpose riding?
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Old 06-01-11, 06:56 PM   #20
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FWIW, 42x18 is my normal setup, and there are a few hills that I just can't pedal up - I get to a point where I can't move the cranks anymore and have to get off or fall over. I also keep a 20T on the flip side for longer rides and off-days.

I also run 42x18 on my S3X, that makes those hills rideable.

Consider also that I live in the mountains where to get anywhere I have to go up. Maybe the OP's local terrain is similar.
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