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  1. #1
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    Can I replace my front gear for a smaller one?

    I'm still pretty new to riding a bike, so please bear with my lack of technical knowledge (but with the expertise here I'm learning very quickly).

    I recently purchased a single speed bike (just a super cheap one) and I want a smaller chainring. The bike rides fine without any cargo, but I use it to run errands with my son (so once I get his 30 lbs and groceries it's a very difficult ride). Can I change out the chainring for a smaller one? Where would I find the parts I need?

    Additionally, this bike has coaster breaks. I do like them, but is it possible to install a front cable break as a fail-safe (I worry what will happen if my chain breaks or if I need to break for an emergency)?

    Thanks for the help!
    Last edited by bikergirl101; 07-19-13 at 01:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member seau grateau's Avatar
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    Can you post some pictures of the parts in question?
    Quote Originally Posted by adriano View Post
    thanckx.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    "I made love to your mother dozens of times last week, and she doesnt know what a worn chain ring looks like"

  3. #3
    for dynamic hybrid logics prooftheory's Avatar
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    If you could change the sprocket on the rear to a larger one, this would probably be cheaper than changing the chainring. Look here. As far as adding brakes, does your fork have a hole drilled in it for a brake?

    sup?

  4. #4
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prooftheory View Post
    If you could change the sprocket on the rear to a larger one, this would probably be cheaper than changing the chainring. Look here.
    The OP said "super cheap", so the chainring is probably part of the crank and not removable anyway. Also, the chain will probably need to be lengthened if a larger cog is installed.
    What, Me Worry? - Alfred E. Neuman

    Quote Originally Posted by Dcv View Post
    I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.

  5. #5
    for dynamic hybrid logics prooftheory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
    The OP said "super cheap", so the chainring is probably part of the crank and not removable anyway. Also, the chain will probably need to be lengthened if a larger cog is installed.
    yuck. In that case the answer is Kilo TT.

  6. #6
    Senior Member seau grateau's Avatar
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    The answer is never Kilo TT. It's not lupus.
    Quote Originally Posted by adriano View Post
    thanckx.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    "I made love to your mother dozens of times last week, and she doesnt know what a worn chain ring looks like"

  7. #7
    gouch pad bones_mcbones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
    The OP said "super cheap", so the chainring is probably part of the crank and not removable anyway. Also, the chain will probably need to be lengthened if a larger cog is installed.
    Yeaeeeeah
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by prooftheory View Post
    If you could change the sprocket on the rear to a larger one, this would probably be cheaper than changing the chainring. Look here. As far as adding brakes, does your fork have a hole drilled in it for a brake?

    sup?
    The fork does not have a hole drilled in it for a break. Is it possible to work around this....maybe with zip ties or rubber cement?

    As for the chainring, I'm getting from the comments here that I need to take a look to make sure these parts are removable before purchasing anything. I'm very comfortable with putting a longer chain on (about a month ago I purchased a $30 Craigslist bike to practice on so I could become comfortable with basic bike maintenance without fear of breaking a more expensive bike).

    I've also calculated that I want about a 2.23-2.78 gear ratio. Just to make sure, two larger gears perform the same as two smaller gears if they have the same gear ratio....right?

  9. #9
    for dynamic hybrid logics prooftheory's Avatar
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    I would seriously recommend getting a new bike. Is there some reason you are attached to the one(s) you have?

    Your understanding of gear ratios is pretty good. I'll send you back to Sheldon for a gear calculator.

  10. #10
    gouch pad bones_mcbones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikergirl101 View Post

    1)The fork does not have a hole drilled in it for a break. Is it possible to work around this....maybe with zip ties or rubber cement?

    2)As for the chainring, I'm getting from the comments here that I need to take a look to make sure these parts are removable before purchasing anything. I'm very comfortable with putting a longer chain on (about a month ago I purchased a $30 Craigslist bike to practice on so I could become comfortable with basic bike maintenance without fear of breaking a more expensive bike).

    3)I've also calculated that I want about a 2.23-2.78 gear ratio. Just to make sure, two larger gears perform the same as two smaller gears if they have the same gear ratio....right?
    1) A drill would probably work better.

    2) what peeps are referring to is a "one piece crank", which is different than a "3 piece". On a 3 piece, chain rings are easily replaceable. On a one piece they are not.

    3) seems way too high. What gears and what tire size?

    4) go to the local bike shop
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  11. #11
    gouch pad bones_mcbones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prooftheory View Post
    I would seriously recommend getting a new bike. Is there some reason you are attached to the one(s) you have?
    option 2. Forget about the front break and start working those legs. You're new, they will get vastly stronger, quickly.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by prooftheory View Post
    I would seriously recommend getting a new bike. Is there some reason you are attached to the one(s) you have?
    I love the color (it's a super bright orange making it almost impossible to miss me), the seat, the tires, the handle bars....everything. The only thing I don't like about it is the gear ratio. I could probably get all of those things in a much more expensive bike, but I just don't want to drop that much $$$ on a bike....first we living in an apartment so the bike is stored outside 24/7....second bikes here are stolen all the time....third it takes the fun out of it for me since it then becomes a major expense.

    To bones_mcbones , I calculated that ratio off of the Craigslist bike (which was a mountain bike with the same size wheels: 26"). I found my favorite gear on that bike and drove around in it for a few days just to make sure. I know it's kind of an odd ratio, it's just the gear that worked the best for my riding (generally flat with small hills and LOTS of cargo). With the current gear ratio on the single-speed bike my knees are getting killed.

  13. #13
    Member dudeyagnarbro's Avatar
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    Can you post an actual photo of the bike?

  14. #14
    gouch pad bones_mcbones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikergirl101 View Post
    I love the color (it's a super bright orange making it almost impossible to miss me), the seat, the tires, the handle bars....everything. The only thing I don't like about it is the gear ratio. I could probably get all of those things in a much more expensive bike, but I just don't want to drop that much $$$ on a bike....first we living in an apartment so the bike is stored outside 24/7....second bikes here are stolen all the time....third it takes the fun out of it for me since it then becomes a major expense.

    To bones_mcbones , I calculated that ratio off of the Craigslist bike (which was a mountain bike with the same size wheels: 26"). I found my favorite gear on that bike and drove around in it for a few days just to make sure. I know it's kind of an odd ratio, it's just the gear that worked the best for my riding (generally flat with small hills and LOTS of cargo). With the current gear ratio on the single-speed bike my knees are getting killed.
    How many teeth on the rear cog? How many teeth are you planning on for the front chain ring?
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  15. #15
    gouch pad bones_mcbones's Avatar
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  16. #16
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bones_mcbones View Post
    what peeps are referring to is a "one piece crank", which is different than a "3 piece". On a 3 piece, chain rings are easily replaceable. On a one piece they are not.
    Incorrect. A 1-piece crank (aka Ashtabula) has the right crank, spindle axle and left crank made as a single piece. A 3-piece crank is simply one with a separate right crankarm, a spindle axle and a left crankarm. The chainring may or may not be removable. For example, the chainring on my SE Draft Coaster is attached to the right crankarm and is not removable or replaceable. It is, nonetheless a 3-piece crank.

    IMGP1385.jpg
    What, Me Worry? - Alfred E. Neuman

    Quote Originally Posted by Dcv View Post
    I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.

  17. #17
    gouch pad bones_mcbones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
    Incorrect. A 1-piece crank (aka Ashtabula) has the right crank, spindle axle and left crank made as a single piece. A 3-piece crank is simply one with a separate right crankarm, a spindle axle and a left crankarm. The chainring may or may not be removable. For example, the chainring on my SE Draft Coaster is attached to the right crankarm and is not removable or replaceable. It is, nonetheless a 3-piece crank.

    IMGP1385.jpg
    and a crank set/bb/chain ring is referred to as what?
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  18. #18
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bones_mcbones View Post
    and a crank set/bb/chain ring is referred to as what?

    Read this >>> http://sheldonbrown.com/opc.html

    and this >>> http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ta-o.html Look up "Three-piece cranks" about half way down page
    Last edited by TejanoTrackie; 07-19-13 at 03:05 PM.
    What, Me Worry? - Alfred E. Neuman

    Quote Originally Posted by Dcv View Post
    I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.

  19. #19
    gouch pad bones_mcbones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
    I don't read on Fridays.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member DiegoFrogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bones_mcbones View Post
    option 2. Forget about the front break and start working those legs. You're new, they will get vastly stronger, quickly.
    She's carrying precious human cargo and wants to have good, redundant brakes. Have you seen a coaster brake on a cheap bike?

    You might want to consider not writing on Fridays, either.

  21. #21
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bones_mcbones View Post
    and a crank set/bb/chain ring is referred to as what?
    Generally, the 3 pieces of a 3 piece crank are left crank arm, right crank arm, bottom bracket spindle.

    The most typical style of replaceable chainwheel for one piece cranks have a hole which correlates to a pin/bolt on the crank, as seen below the "36" here:



    And as previously mentioned there are some 3-piece cranksets with non-replaceable chainrings. The absolute worst have chainrings swaged to the crank - uggh.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Olde Western Auto Cruiser.

  22. #22
    Senior Member seau grateau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiegoFrogs View Post
    You might want to consider not writing on Fridays, either.


    Seriously, OP. Pics or you can't get actual advice.
    Quote Originally Posted by adriano View Post
    thanckx.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    "I made love to your mother dozens of times last week, and she doesnt know what a worn chain ring looks like"

  23. #23
    gouch pad bones_mcbones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiegoFrogs View Post
    She's carrying precious human cargo and wants to have good, redundant brakes. Have you seen a coaster brake on a cheap bike?

    You might want to consider not writing on Fridays, either.


    I think we might be getting trolled.
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