Old 07-12-18, 05:10 PM
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The other issue that people will argue until they are blue is whether you really need the 60T rings.

I like my big gears on my road bike, but realistically, I really only hit the high gears on hard fast descents, > 40 or 50 MPH. Most of the time, I land somewhere mid-cassette.

Soon, I'm building a 29er touring bike, and it will have a reasonably wide gearing range, but realistically speaking, I will rarely be hitting > 20 MPH on the bike, so there won't be a need for anything extreme.

As far as power, it isn't as simple as just adding bigger gears. The human body realistically can't increase power indefinitely without also increasing cadence. Which means that you may well be in the same gears at 30 MPH as 20 MPH.

Think of an old car with a manual transmission. 5 speed? Can you start driving in 5th gear... maybe, but it will struggle with it, with slow acceleration, especially on a hill. Say you are cruising along the freeway at a fairly high power, and wish to accelerate up a hill, what do you do? Just mash the pedal the the metal? Nope... downshift, at least until you get up to speed.

The same thing is more less true on a bike. You can't just use an infinitely high gearing.

The amount of force you can repeatedly put into a pedal is limited to some fraction of your weight. In some cases on a hill, you can push and pull for a little more. However, standing and mashing big gears on the flats isn't particularly efficient either for a number of reasons including wind resistance.
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