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  1. #1
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    Anything wrong with using 53 / 16?

    Another question, does anybody in the Vancouver area know of a bike that carries track parts?

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    With respect to street use, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Actually i'm surprised by how many people who are as strong as me riding a lower gear i.e 48x16. I hate spinning really fast - it just slows me down.

    My bike is 52x14.

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    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    53x16 would really suck going uphill. Most people ride fixed gears because they like spinning. I would ride 48x16 or 17

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    53x16 is about like a 50x15, pretty typical race gear. In principle it has slightly lower drivetrain loss (bends the chain a little less) but in practice you won't notice anything.
    Track - the other off-road
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck
    53x16 is about like a 50x15, pretty typical race gear. In principle it has slightly lower drivetrain loss (bends the chain a little less) but in practice you won't notice anything.
    I never thought of drive train loss. Interesting! I thought it was beneficial to use the smallest chain ring and cog combo possible to acheive the desired gear inch in order minimize chain length and therefore weight?

    My bike is strictly for track at the moment and tipping the scales at 215 lbs weight is not my primary concern.

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    Senior Member peterm5365's Avatar
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    Assuming you're using 23c tires then that's 87 gear inches which should be about right.

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    53x16, 50x15... 47x14... in the street??? who ever is using something like that in th street needs to learn from somebody...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraman6970
    53x16, 50x15... 47x14... in the street??? who ever is using something like that in th street needs to learn from somebody...

    why do you say that? as long as you have good legs and the terrain isn't too steep...

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    Isn't a thing of "i'm strong as hulk" or "i have good legs," no matter how strong your legs are, if they can't move fast. I have won criteriums sprinting with 52x16, the frankenstein monsters didn't even be able to grab my wheel because they were SLOW as a slug.

    As more you use big gears or heavy gears or whatever u want to call them... the slower you get. For sure you'll get super strong but you'll get slower. That is something people dont realize. have you seen a cat 1 racer go sightseen using 53x14? There are many things people dont realize and because they feel super strong they think it wont have any bad affect on them, well usually is people that havent get any racing xperience at all, not even talk about it or have somebody that can tell them how to do the right thing to improve performance, or in your case the best thing to do to ride in the street.

    I'm not saying that u cant use 50x15 in the street... sure u can, why not? but a lighter gear like 48x16 or 17 is more productive in the long term as a rider, style, performance will improve... cadence.. etc etc... I've seen a girl here in DC that rides a nagasawa I think, she works in DC, her style and pedaling technique are super pure... i went bananas watching her pedaling... using heavy gears u dont get that at all, by the opposite, it makes the situation worse... Well im talking to much s...t!... have fun

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    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraman6970
    Isn't a thing of "i'm strong as hulk" or "i have good legs," no matter how strong your legs are, if they can't move fast. I have won criteriums sprinting with 52x16, the frankenstein monsters didn't even be able to grab my wheel because they were SLOW as a slug.

    As more you use big gears or heavy gears or whatever u want to call them... the slower you get. For sure you'll get super strong but you'll get slower. That is something people dont realize. have you seen a cat 1 racer go sightseen using 53x14? There are many things people dont realize and because they feel super strong they think it wont have any bad affect on them, well usually is people that havent get any racing xperience at all, not even talk about it or have somebody that can tell them how to do the right thing to improve performance, or in your case the best thing to do to ride in the street.

    I'm not saying that u cant use 50x15 in the street... sure u can, why not? but a lighter gear like 48x16 or 17 is more productive in the long term as a rider, style, performance will improve... cadence.. etc etc... I've seen a girl here in DC that rides a nagasawa I think, she works in DC, her style and pedaling technique are super pure... i went bananas watching her pedaling... using heavy gears u dont get that at all, by the opposite, it makes the situation worse... Well im talking to much s...t!... have fun
    +1000

    The whole purpose of a fixed gear is to spin with it. I like to spin my 50x17 down the beach so I'd want to a fixed gear bike right around that size, which is a 77. You have to remember that ONE gear has to be ridable in ALL terrain and you don't want to HAVE to take a hill in a 50x14 at 40rpm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dial_tone
    +1000

    The whole purpose of a fixed gear is to spin with it. I like to spin my 50x17 down the beach so I'd want to a fixed gear bike right around that size, which is a 77. You have to remember that ONE gear has to be ridable in ALL terrain and you don't want to HAVE to take a hill in a 50x14 at 40rpm.

    The thing is, if you live in a relatively flat area, then using an all-terrain gear is counter productive. Personally, when i use low gears and spin fast, i'm spinning out all the time. So what happens is, i have to wait to slow down to pedal again, else i'll be bouncing around in my saddle everywhere i go.

    Fair enough, i can not do steep hills, but on the flip side, i go faster on the flats.

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    spinlikehell mickster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbrtbx
    The thing is, if you live in a relatively flat area, then using an all-terrain gear is counter productive. Personally, when i use low gears and spin fast, i'm spinning out all the time. So what happens is, i have to wait to slow down to pedal again, else i'll be bouncing around in my saddle everywhere i go.

    Fair enough, i can not do steep hills, but on the flip side, i go faster on the flats.
    But for how long can you go faster? If you're averaging 18-19mph on your rides (which is a fairly decent speed for a 2-3 hr ride) you'll be doing so at a cadence of about 68-70rpm on the 53x16 gear. This is way lower than what is generally acceppted to be an efficient cadence - your muscles will tire quicker than if you spin a lighter gear at a cadence of, say, 95 rpm. Plus, like a diesel engine, you'll lose even more in energy if its the sort of ride where you have to stop and start a lot (eg hills, lots of traffic, lights, junctions etc). That 53x16 takes some getting up to speed each time you drop below 14-15mph.

    A smaller gear allows you to respond better to changes in pace / terrain, is more efficient in terms of energy spent (hence you can go faster for longer) and is likely easier on your knees each time you start up.

    As UM has said, that 90inch gear is what we'd race on in the velodrome - and we're averaging speeds of maybe 29-33mph and peaking at 40mph+ in races that typically last only 5-25 minutes.

    Try learning to spin a lighter gear and I think you'll be surprised at how good it feels. Initially focus on staying smooth and fluid with your pedalling rather than on speed - this will come naturally as you get used to spinning your legs more quickly.

    mickster

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    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbrtbx
    The thing is, if you live in a relatively flat area, then using an all-terrain gear is counter productive. Personally, when i use low gears and spin fast, i'm spinning out all the time. So what happens is, i have to wait to slow down to pedal again, else i'll be bouncing around in my saddle everywhere i go.
    You can't coast on a fixed gear. 120rpm on a 50x17 is over 27mph. You're probably not exceeding that for very long on flat terrain and if you're spinning out at 120rpm you need the practice anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dial_tone
    You can't coast on a fixed gear. 120rpm on a 50x17 is over 27mph. You're probably not exceeding that for very long on flat terrain and if you're spinning out at 120rpm you need the practice anyway.

    Yeah i know this is a track forum, but my bicycle is a singlespeed coastable bike (sorry)
    I hardly spin at 120rpm, only on a few downhills around my way. What do you mean i need the practice, i don't understand. I think that this particular setup works for me because my legs are a lot stronger than my heart, being a smoker and all. I know it's less efficient in an urban environment but my legs can rest at the traffic lights if need be. Seriously, if i don't feel some good resistance at the pedals then i spin out all the time. How can this improve anything?

    However i see advantages in a lower gear, in improving my aerobic ability. I don't buy the 'improving spinning technique' idea, i've been riding bicycles all my life - this has surely come naturally by now.

    Thanks for all your advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbrtbx
    Yeah i know this is a track forum, but my bicycle is a singlespeed coastable bike (sorry)
    I hardly spin at 120rpm, only on a few downhills around my way. What do you mean i need the practice, i don't understand. I think that this particular setup works for me because my legs are a lot stronger than my heart, being a smoker and all. I know it's less efficient in an urban environment but my legs can rest at the traffic lights if need be. Seriously, if i don't feel some good resistance at the pedals then i spin out all the time. How can this improve anything?

    However i see advantages in a lower gear, in improving my aerobic ability. I don't buy the 'improving spinning technique' idea, i've been riding bicycles all my life - this has surely come naturally by now.

    Thanks for all your advice.
    To go fast on a track bike, or even in criteriums, you have to spin, period. You can lug around in a big gear if you feel comfotable doing that, but it will not make you fast. Thats all we are saying.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    To go fast on a track bike, or even in criteriums, you have to spin, period. You can lug around in a big gear if you feel comfotable doing that, but it will not make you fast. Thats all we are saying.
    I agreeeeee 100000000000+

    Darn, some people are so hard to understand something that simple... Thats why I stated before that some peope need to learn or find somebody to teach them right, thats all... Ok the guy wants to use 53x15 in the street good for him... the other one bounce as crazy monkey when doing spinning and thats because he complains, this guy is a slow pace maker. Well not even pace maker... he is slow thats all...

    San rensho is right stating that in a criterium or track or even in a road race u need to spin... if u are not able to spin better kill your self or train more... Example for those that think that being strong and dont get tired using 53x15 for a few hours is really cool.... in a freaking race... im talking Panam, world cups, or even Cat 1, if the guy isnt able to do 120 rpms using 53x14 for at least 2 or 3 hours better kill himself or go play Chess with his grandpa. Races are that violent... in track is even worse because u need to go with the right gear multiplication to stand sometimes 1 hour or 2 racing at 110/120 rpms average (a 50 km per points race in a track for axample). I understand that books say that using a light gear the legs get tired and s..t! but the real world is another one, sadly it is like that.

    You bounce over the seat... ok you are still too slow thats all that it means, how o you fix it? we have been tellin' how to fix the problem, the issue is that they dont believe a s..t! of what we say... I'm an old school racer, I started when I was 14 Y/o (im retired now), I trained for 3 months doing only cadence using 42x19, using cycling shoes with no straps to built the pedaling technique those days or i was not going to be able to keep up with the other kids at all, and every year I did the same at the beggining of every season to do not lose the technique for at least 3 weeks. Nobody is doing that this days... probably some old grumpy member of this forums remember that kind of training... im talking about old shool stuff. Well now a days is more like... Ok read the book that somebody who never did racing in his life wrote... put a pair of look pedals a 2 grands bike and u are all set...

    I saw Pavel Tankov when he was Junior win the junior road world cup and using a bike that was a real JUNK! I talked with his trainer and all what he was doing was cadence w/o straps, even mountain like that. many other guys trained like that like for example Reg harris... well again im talking to much s..t!

    nites

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    Senior Member CafeRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraman6970
    53x16, 50x15... 47x14... in the street??? who ever is using something like that in th street needs to learn from somebody...

    I agree!

    No wonder most cyclists cant spin worth a shyt. A 90" gear is massive on the street, Your not gaining anything from training on that unless your doing real motorpacing / overspeed work. Well other than sore knees. On the street and light training rides Im rolling a 46 x 17 (73"). Start sprinting up past 60km on that and you'll learn how to pedal real fast and smooth.

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    TJ
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    Quote, "On the street and light training rides I'm rolling a 46 x 17 (73")."

    Yea, I first got on the track 3 yrs ago with 48x16. Got on the track only a few times. Now I don't have a track nearby. I've been on 46x17 for the last two years on the street. When I bought new wheels a couple of months ago and they came with a 16 cog, it suddenly felt heavy, especially into the wind.

    I commute daily 5 miles each direction. I also did a 100 mile group ride on my fixed, 46x17. But the gear ratio seems perfect for standing up on hill climbs and cruising on flats. I never have a problem riding in a group at speeds anywhere from 18 to 30mph although after 27mph I really have to work it.

    I hope to get back on the track by the end of this summer.
    "Get a bicycle. You will not regret it... if you live." ~ Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeRacer
    I agree!

    No wonder most cyclists cant spin worth a shyt. A 90" gear is massive on the street, Your not gaining anything from training on that unless your doing real motorpacing / overspeed work. Well other than sore knees. On the street and light training rides Im rolling a 46 x 17 (73"). Start sprinting up past 60km on that and you'll learn how to pedal real fast and smooth.

    Agreeeeee... Finally we agree in something Cafe!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjsager
    Quote, "On the street and light training rides I'm rolling a 46 x 17 (73")."

    Yea, I first got on the track 3 yrs ago with 48x16. Got on the track only a few times. Now I don't have a track nearby. I've been on 46x17 for the last two years on the street. When I bought new wheels a couple of months ago and they came with a 16 cog, it suddenly felt heavy, especially into the wind.

    I commute daily 5 miles each direction. I also did a 100 mile group ride on my fixed, 46x17. But the gear ratio seems perfect for standing up on hill climbs and cruising on flats. I never have a problem riding in a group at speeds anywhere from 18 to 30mph although after 27mph I really have to work it.

    I hope to get back on the track by the end of this summer.
    Hi... you just mastered 46x17... it will take you a while to use 16, what you can do is put something like 44x16 or so and go up time to time untill u get 46x16, btw if u master 16 it means that u got stronger and faster at the same time... as a tip for everybody, the one who commands on how hard the gear it gets its the cog, simple phisics that i wont wate time in xplain because is super obvious (if anybody wants to know why, just ask). The wheelchain will only give you the sensation of how the pedaling will be... probably track racers know what im talking about. usually road racers dont know that much about ti because they dont change the chainwheel at all, is always the same... well you know... im talking s...! again...hehe bye

  21. #21
    Senior Member mrwhite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraman6970

    I'm not saying that u cant use 50x15 in the street... sure u can, why not? but a lighter gear like 48x16 or 17 is more productive in the long term as a rider, style, performance will improve... cadence.. etc etc... I've seen a girl here in DC that rides a nagasawa I think, she works in DC, her style and pedaling technique are super pure... i went bananas watching her pedaling... using heavy gears u dont get that at all, by the opposite, it makes the situation worse... Well im talking to much s...t!... have fun

    I ride 46:19.

    I guess I'm just weak

    Big gear, big legs
    Small gear, big heart.

  22. #22
    TJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraman6970
    Hi... you just mastered 46x17... it will take you a while to use 16, what you can do is put something like 44x16 or so and go up time to time untill u get 46x16, btw if u master 16 it means that u got stronger and faster at the same time... as a tip for everybody, the one who commands on how hard the gear it gets its the cog, simple phisics that i wont wate time in xplain because is super obvious (if anybody wants to know why, just ask). The wheelchain will only give you the sensation of how the pedaling will be... probably track racers know what im talking about. usually road racers dont know that much about ti because they dont change the chainwheel at all, is always the same... well you know... im talking s...! again...hehe bye
    Uman: I'm very certain that there is wisdom in what you are trying to tell me. I'm trying to decipher it. Can anyone else explain what Ultraman is trying to say?
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  23. #23
    TJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrwhite
    I ride 46:19.

    I guess I'm just weak

    Big gear, big legs
    Small gear, big heart.

    Maybe you just spin faster. That would equal more endurance.
    "Get a bicycle. You will not regret it... if you live." ~ Mark Twain

    "Get yourself a cheap track bike - you won't regret it...if you live." unknown

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraman6970
    Hi... you just mastered 46x17... it will take you a while to use 16, what you can do is put something like 44x16 or so and go up time to time untill u get 46x16, btw if u master 16 it means that u got stronger and faster at the same time... as a tip for everybody, the one who commands on how hard the gear it gets its the cog, simple phisics that i wont wate time in xplain because is super obvious (if anybody wants to know why, just ask). The wheelchain will only give you the sensation of how the pedaling will be... probably track racers know what im talking about. usually road racers dont know that much about ti because they dont change the chainwheel at all, is always the same... well you know... im talking s...! again...hehe bye

    Ok, so when I start riding on the track again, how can I know when to increase my gear inches? Once again, I'm doing well at 73" gear and have been riding it for two years on the road. When I start to train on the track, should I rely on a measure of how many rpms I can produce in order to tell when I'll be strong enough to increase gear inches or is there another method? I plan on endurance events BTW.
    "Get a bicycle. You will not regret it... if you live." ~ Mark Twain

    "Get yourself a cheap track bike - you won't regret it...if you live." unknown

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    Hi again... my english sucks anyways so I apologise for it ok? I dont even know where to start from because there are many factors to think about, for example I havent seen you riding ever so dont know how fast or strong are you for example, but what I can do is help you with tips. Actually old school s..t! that nobody does anymore. Darn u guys uses inches... is easier to see gears in meters and cms

    At the begining of the season, put someting like 42x18 (fixed gear) and go sight seen with it. dont get crazy just sight seen... 15-20 kms mondays, wednesdays and fridays... saturday and sunday use your road bike and sight seen with light gears also. Second week... same stuff but this time 60 - 70% of speed (i think u got the idea)... ride 15 or 20 kms with fixe gear at constant pace is hard to do, and thats the idea get you body used to be pedaling for 2 or 3 hours non stopping!!!. Thats the reason it is not recomendable to do that sh... every single day, u must rest!!! By the 4th week change to 42x17 and do the same stuff with more distance... youll feel that the 17 is a lot heavier for sure... sprint time to time lets say each 15 mins... but gradual sprints... start accelerating more and more seated, do not go over the pedals... sprints at 90% with gradual accelerations, that will give you the capacity of change the pace like never before, and probably in a road race or a criterium u'll find your self using one gear or two. At the same time you u'll get the final RUSH in a sprint that is really needed. I think you got the idea because basically u have to mix speeds and distances... one day short distance but at full speed. Improvise a "traning schedule", this thing is only common sense dude. But you need somehow the bases already.

    I mentioned u r going to do track stuff, well this is the basic training for it. Do not get crazy because fixed gear really can get you totally combusted if you abuse of it (tired). Well story short at the end of the 6th ot 7th week you should be able to ride 100 kms using 42x17/16 non stopping at at and average of 90 rpms, you wil become programed to do it, thats called RACING PACE, with out having racing pace programed in your body there is nothing to do in a race. Thats the secret, race pace and how to get it programed in your legs. Probably now you can understand why this pro guys ride so freaking fast... +100 rmps using 53 or 54x 14/13 in a TT. This is the hardest past on cicling Racing pace.

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