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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 08-19-14, 08:53 PM   #1
oneidabow1
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Changing Chainring/Crankset or rear cog to increase gear inches

Would doing this just make it slower or harder at take off or is it actually harder to pedal at a certain rpm? I currently have a Trek Earl with factory 44/17 and was thinking about going 44/15 or 48/16. My area is pretty flat and would like to cruise a bit faster on the flats and not overpedal going downhill. I'm not small so power won't be an issue. Comments? Witty banter?
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Old 08-19-14, 09:49 PM   #2
hockeyteeth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneidabow1 View Post
Would doing this just make it slower or harder at take off or is it actually harder to pedal at a certain rpm?
Yes and yes. More resistance will be felt at any given speed, but especially when starting from a dead stop. Just experiment with gear ratios until you find a more preferable setup. 48x16 is what many SS bikes come stock with, so that would probably be fine for you. Just remember the old maxim "Spin to win." It's not all about powering through a hard gear. You should be spinning a decently high cadence to keep your heart rate elevated and help your body work more efficiently. Just don't try to hulk out and push 52x16 because you think you're strong.
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Old 08-20-14, 11:33 AM   #3
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44/15 will be ~14% faster than your current ratio and 14% more difficult at all speeds.
48/16 will be ~16% faster than your current ratio and 16% more difficult at all speeds.

Does that sound doable, too easy, or too hard?

Mashing big gear inches takes a toll on the knees, spinning fast not so much. But, if you can spin big gears fast, well, more power to you.

Last edited by SquidPuppet; 08-20-14 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 08-20-14, 11:51 AM   #4
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why'd we leave out the option of 46/17?

It'd be cheaper to just change your cog down to 16 or 15. But a larger chain ring will make the bike a bit smoother and they look better, though it is the more expensive option.
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Old 08-20-14, 01:58 PM   #5
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I actually geared my Kilo down. Came with the standard 48/16 and geared down to 44/18 (68-ish inches IIRC). I lost 20 pounds and have another 20 to go so maybe down the road I'll gear up some.
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