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Old 11-08-07, 10:43 AM   #1
ctavel
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3 (maybe 6) speed touring

I am in the planning stages for a tour across the country, east-to-west, most likely via the Transamerica Trail. I am a strong cyclist, avid racer, and currently work as a mechanic. So I feel confident I'll be able to make it-- but that's enough background info.

I am going to be touring on a early 80's lugged Nishiki that I have built as a three-speed but I have been tossing around making it into a six speed. I realize that this probably sounds like a ridiculous proposition with the not-so-recent invention of the derailleur, but I am going to ride with the 3 speed (but a 6 speed could be a little nicer in the mountains). My question is whether or not anyone here has ever made or seen a dingle (sturmey archer compatible) cog. I am pretty sure that I can weld to cogs together and sacrifice a perfect chainline for double the gears, but am just curious if anyone has done this.

thanks in advance
chris
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Old 11-08-07, 11:33 AM   #2
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I don't have an answer to your question, but am chiming in cuz loaded touring in the mountains will suck on even just a 6 speed... unless it's all for climbing and flat riding and you plan on coasting down even the slightest descent.

I'm not nearly as knowledgeable as you, so not sure what you mean by "made or seen a dingle (sturmey archer compatible) cog. I am pretty sure that I can weld to cogs together and sacrifice a perfect chainline for double the gears"

Are you saying you'd run a two-speed, "single speed"? Two rings, two cogs, same chain length so you can manually derail to lower gear inches for a long mountain climb or incase you get injured and can't generate as much power?
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Old 11-08-07, 11:39 AM   #3
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How about just using two rings on the front with some kind of chain tensioner? You could use a front derailleur or not.

I have to ask. Why would you want to do this? Yes it is possible, but... It would be so much more pleasant with proper gearing and you would also be at a much lower risk of having joint problems.

I strongly recommend the equivalent of at least a 32 tooth on the back and 26 tooth on the front. A bit lower would be even better.

Food for thought...
I met a nice very athletic young man on my TransAmerica this Summer. He insisted on using typical road bike gearing. We kidded him that he would never make it without destroying his knees (I actually thought that his youth would get him through it OK). He was in great shape and seemed able to handle it. He went home with a badly screwed up knee after 1200 miles. He has since had surgery and is trying to get recovered enough to try again in 2008. I am willing to bet he will have lower gears this time
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Old 11-08-07, 11:41 AM   #4
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I think you're talking about welding two gears together so as to double the thickness? Single speed (or internal gear) gears are 1/8th inch, while derailer gears are 3/32nd, right? Something like that. Harris Cycles did have some 3 speed cogs, like 19-22 IIRC.

To beat the derailer requirement, why not just carry a pair of chainrings? Or rear cogs? Just a small section of chain to add/subtract. Then no derailer to snap. Perfect chainline. Etc. Not as fast to change over, but would weigh less (subract derailer weight).
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Old 11-08-07, 11:43 AM   #5
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Well, what I am thinking is that I will be able to use two chainrings (a 44 and 40) and two cogs (21 and 19 or 20 and 18). By doing this I will actually (in theory) have 12 gears which would give me a range of 38 gear inches to 89 gear inches.

I was also just looking at a sturmey hub I have lying around and I may be able to simply add two cogs to the carrier by removing the spacers included to fine tune chainline. I will try and get some pictures to help explain what I'm thinking.

edit: hrrm, knee problems are no fun. I am taking note of all your suggestions.
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Old 11-08-07, 11:49 AM   #6
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Well, what I am thinking is that I will be able to use two chainrings (a 44 and 40) and two cogs (21 and 19 or 20 and 18).
That seems like such a narrow range?

Why not 44-19 and a 28-27 or something like that? (whatever makes chain length work for both sets?

You might be able to hammer up Stone Mountain, but a 20 mile climb at 4-5% in the Rockies will just be unpleasant at 40-21.

(not trying to discourage)
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Old 11-08-07, 12:03 PM   #7
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Below are the gear choices that I would have if I ran 44-40 up front and 21-19 in back. RadioFlyer, the hub itself has a 177% range in it. Hopefully the chart will clear up my gearing options. And, with not a touch of jackassery, I do appreciate the honest responses concerning my knees and enjoyment



chris
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Old 11-08-07, 12:13 PM   #8
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Are those gear inches? 42-84?

It all depends upon how heavy your load is and how well you have it balanced. If it's heavy, I just think you'll be mildly annoyed on really long climbs.

If you're young, adventurous, and healthy, I have no doubt you can do it, but being mildly annoyed means you're not having fun. And if you're adventurous -and- the load is balanced well, you'll be spinning out and coasting on the downhills pretty quickly when you'd be wanting to let loose and get over 40mph.

That route looks like it might go through the La Sal mts in SE Utah? If so, there are long downhill stretches that are so much fun to really go.
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Old 11-08-07, 12:21 PM   #9
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Yeah, they are in gear inches--while I'm young, 21, I haven't moved to any of the new fangled gear measurements. Yeah, the topping out is more what I am concerned about than the climbing. I train mountains on a fixed gear year round so I feel very strong on the hills. I appreciate everyones comments
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Old 11-08-07, 12:38 PM   #10
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Dingle?

Have you checked out Harris Cyclery?

From there Sturmy Archer page: seen on this page


"Special! NOS Cyclo Conversion Sprocket Sets! Quantities Very Limited
We have a very few New, Old Stock Cyclo 2- and 3-sprocket adaptors to convert Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hubs to either 6 or 9 speeds.
These work with 1/8" (wide) chain only. You must join the chain with a chain tool, not a master link. They work with Sturmey-Archer hubs only. Not suitbable for use with coaster-brake models.

Modern derailers are not wide enough to handle 1/8" chain without modification. You will need to add spacer washers to each side of the derailer pulleys to space the derailer cage for use with 1/8" chain.

Price: $49.95 for 2-sprocket type, 59.95 for 3-sprocket type."

Good luck & have fun!
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Old 11-08-07, 12:44 PM   #11
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Have you ever ridden a bike loaded with 40 pounds for 60 miles in rolling hills or up to a mountain pass? If not, then don't assume that you could make it up and over any terrain just because you are 21 and can ride a fixie up mountains.

If you weigh, say, 160 pounds, then 40 pounds of gear is 25% of your body weight.

When I train for my tours, I put in long hours of loaded bike training. It is an entirely separate experience than riding my unloaded bike when I am not training.

Before you limit your biking options, you should get some real experience riding a loaded bike. Then, you can make informed decisions.

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Old 11-08-07, 12:51 PM   #12
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Camel, thanks for the link, I hadn't seen that. Unfortunately though they are "gone forever" as according to the checkout page.

Raybo, it pains my soul to have my training bike labeled a fixie, but I should have known it would happen. It does have brakes and I wear a helmet so maybe that makes up for it. I completely agree with your comments though and I am currently training with a loaded bike in an area with short steep hills. I suppose that this is different than less steep long hills but I am not simply hypothesizing about this with no experience.

thanks again folks
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Old 11-08-07, 12:53 PM   #13
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A bit wide of your question but I toured this summer on an 80's lugged steel Nishiki frame (custom model, 4130 dbl butted) and found the frame to be a bit scary flexible when just moderately loaded, I can easily Torque the front end while the back stays still. I got somewhat used to it but it isn't nice and I won't use it again. Out of the saddle pedalling with any pizzaz was pretty tough with it.

On the other hand I did have a more upright stem which could have contributed to the leverage to move the frame around.

I used this bike as my main road bike for a couple of years and liked it a lot for that purpose.

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Old 11-08-07, 01:39 PM   #14
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Camel, thanks for the link, I hadn't seen that. Unfortunately though they are "gone forever" as according to the checkout page....
That's a bummer, they were priced pretty reasonable too.

Maybe try e-mailing Sheldon Brown directly, or calling him at Harris. He may have some squirelled away in a parts stash, or may have suggestions on where you might be able to buy some.
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Old 11-08-07, 07:04 PM   #15
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well, in case anyone was wondering about my original question, you can with minimal modification add a second cog to a sturmey archer cog. Thanks for everyones interest and advice.
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Old 11-08-07, 07:12 PM   #16
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Cool, post some pics of your complete rig if you get a chance.
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Old 11-08-07, 07:27 PM   #17
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People have and are touring the world on penny farthings (lots of pushing on that one) three speeds and the like. I have and do short tours on my Raleigh Superbe 3 speed. I typically carry 2 cogs plus the one on the bike, along with a short piece of pre sized chain and an extra master link. It takes all of 5 minutes to pop the wheel and swap the cogs out. FWIW I typically coast down long hills I hadn't thought about using the two cogs in the rear...but I still think it wouldn't take much to just switch them out as needed.

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Old 11-08-07, 08:44 PM   #18
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I'm a fan of single speed bikes because the're simple and work for many types of riding. Touring isn't someting I'd use a single speed for, that's for sure.

But making some crazy 6 speed bike out of old 3 parts? Welding cogs together? You're bike might not make it coast to coast.

Stick to a single speed and walk out all the hills. It's been done before.
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Old 11-08-07, 08:55 PM   #19
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Fixie, Northern tier. (Seattle to Duluth)

one hundred and sixty miles per day.

http://www.mile43.com/peterson/NorthRoad/NorthRoad.html
Not my style, but it can be done.
very nicely written.


Wouldn't it make a little more sense to stick the Sturmey hub on a 20" bike, like a Moulton or something to help preserve the sun gear? At least carry an extra axle and a comprehensive AW adjustment tool set (a large standard screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, and a big rock).
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Old 11-08-07, 09:57 PM   #20
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Fixie, Northern tier. (Seattle to Duluth)

one hundred and sixty miles per day.

http://www.mile43.com/peterson/NorthRoad/NorthRoad.html
Not my style, but it can be done.
very nicely written.
Yea, but that's Kent Peterson! That ride would be impossible for mere mortals.
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Old 11-09-07, 12:08 AM   #21
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http://www.mile43.com/peterson/Turtle/TurtleText.html

Read about Kent Petersen's Great Divide Race on a single speed! Fire and gravel roads for 2500 miles with 250K feet of climbing. Impressively crazed performance with a positive attitude.

Last edited by arctos; 11-09-07 at 12:10 AM. Reason: factual error
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