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  1. #1
    Member kate2's Avatar
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    Change gearing.. Need advice

    Hey Guys,

    So I have been searching through old threads about some good gear ratios but I can't understand some of things the posters were saying!

    My current gearing is 47/16. It is great when I am home from college because there are zero hills where I live. That makes it very easy for me to really spin. However, I have a hard time slowing down mainly because I am a girl and my legs are not as strong. I also have a problem at school. When I am biking on flat land we are good but there is also a lot of hills by me. I don't have a problem going up, it becomes a problem going down the hills. I just am not strong enough to slow down without standing up or using my front brake!

    Do you guys have any suggestions on what I should do? Can I fix my problem with stopping by changing my cog?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member redpear's Avatar
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    It's fine to backpedal while standing.

    My suggestion is just to ride more. Eventually it wil get easier.
    You can try and gear down by getting a larger cog, but sometimes this can make it tricky to backpedal when spinning very fast.

    Since cogs are inexpensive, it doesn't hurt to try and gear down.

    Also, having good, solid foot retention helps slowing down quite a bit. What are you using right now?

  3. #3
    Still spinnin'..... Stealthammer's Avatar
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    It sounds as though your gearing fits your needs in every respect except during decelleration. If everything else is working well for you, why not just use your front brake? I can understand no brakes on the track, but on the road where traffic and terrain can introduce unpredictable conditions, a front brake is invaluable, and changing your present gearing from what works to something less than optimal just for braking purposes seem counter-productive to me.
    Last edited by Stealthammer; 01-14-12 at 09:30 AM.
    Just your average 'high-functioning' lunatic, capable of passing as 'normal' for short periods of time.....

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  4. #4
    AEO
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    leg strength is pretty comparable between ordinary men and women, actually.

    you can always work on your backpedaling technique or you can install a rear brake and use that.
    there's no shame in using brakes when going down hill. That's what they are there for.

    In fact, one can argue that back pedaling actually does more harm than good in your leg muscles and joints.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
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  5. #5
    Morton Nagrom_'s Avatar
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    use your brake?

  6. #6
    Member kate2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redpear View Post
    What are you using right now?
    I use those steel clips with leather straps..maybe I should look into getting those like larger fabric straps? Any recommendations?

  7. #7
    Member kate2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redpear View Post
    Since cogs are inexpensive, it doesn't hurt to try and gear down.
    Also if I was to do how many teeth would you recommend?

  8. #8
    Senior Member seau grateau's Avatar
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    That is a pretty high gearing, so the difficulty is understandable. Try an 18t cog.
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  9. #9
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kate2 View Post
    Also if I was to do how many teeth would you recommend?
    I have 47 x 17 or equivalent on my bikes, and it's plenty of gear to average 20 mph and spin over 30 mph down hills. If I'm going down a long or steep hill and find myself spinning too fast, I just ride my front brake to keep the speed steady. If I need to slow down, I'll use the brake to assist my legs backpedalling as necessary. As to foot retention, if you're serious about it then go clipless with SPD style walkable shoes. Otherwise clips and straps are the next best option.
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  10. #10
    Dcv
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    47x16 is pretty high, 77 gear inches. 70 gear inches is a good all around gear, you could go down to 66 gi if you like to spin. Check our all city's gear gear calculator: http://allcitycycles.com/

  11. #11
    Member kate2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
    Try an 18t cog.
    The more teeth on the cog the easier it is? so a 47/18 would be easier than a 47/16? Oh the joys of trying to understand gears!

  12. #12
    . xavier853's Avatar
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    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kate2 View Post
    The more teeth on the cog the easier it is? so a 47/18 would be easier than a 47/16? Oh the joys of trying to understand gears!
    Yes, and the opposite is true in the front. Less chainring teeth is easier. Personally, I'd try 17T first. Going from 16T to 18T is a very big jump.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dcv View Post
    I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.

  14. #14
    Member kate2's Avatar
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    Can anyone recommend a good brand for a cog? I have a Velocity rear hub... are the cogs pretty standard?

    P.s. Thank for the help so far everyone

  15. #15
    Senior Member redpear's Avatar
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    Cogs are pretty standard. Soma is a good value. I use one. EAI and DA are better, but more expensive.

  16. #16
    Member kate2's Avatar
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    Anyone recommend a Surly cog? And what is the difference between 3/32" and 1/8" tooth thickness?

  17. #17
    Senior Member redpear's Avatar
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    I've heard that Surly cogs are noisy, but I've never had one.

    3/32" is the thinner road standard, 1/8" is the beefier track/single speed standard. The important thing when choosing a cog is to match whichever your chain and chainring is.

  18. #18
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kate2 View Post
    Anyone recommend a Surly cog? And what is the difference between 3/32" and 1/8" tooth thickness?
    No I don't recommend a Surly cog. Expensive and noisy. Soma is just as good quality, cheaper and quieter. 3/32" will work with any chain, but 1/8" is thicker and will only work with a 1/8" chain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dcv View Post
    I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.

  19. #19
    Member kate2's Avatar
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    My chainring is a 3/32" is ill be going with a 3/32" tooth thickness?

  20. #20
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redpear View Post
    Cogs are pretty standard. Soma is a good value. I use one. EAI and DA are better, but more expensive.
    Largest size for DA is 16T.
    What, Me Worry? - Alfred E. Neuman

    Quote Originally Posted by Dcv View Post
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  21. #21
    Senior Member redpear's Avatar
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    If your chainring is 3/32" your chain is probably 3/32", so your cog should be 3/32"

  22. #22
    Member kate2's Avatar
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    Views on a EAI Deluxe cog?

  23. #23
    Senior Member redpear's Avatar
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    Also very good. Better, but more expensive. If you can find one for a good price or it doesn't bother you to spend an extra few bucks I'd shell it out. Otherwise, a Soma cog is just fine.

  24. #24
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    if you buy several cheaper...errr...less expensive cogs you can experiment with different ratios for a smaller investment

    redline, gusset & avenir make machined steel cogs in 3/32" that you can easily find online for less than $10

    i have ridden a gusset 332 cog for thousands of trouble free miles...but once you find the size you like best you can switch to something like a soma or eai that will get you more cred here, if that is what you crave...

  25. #25
    . xavier853's Avatar
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    Get a formula cog. fer serious. don't spend a butt load of cash on a cog when you are still figuring out what gearing is. also formula cogs will do just fine. no probs. done. /thread

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