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How would you gear a C&V 5 speedster??

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How would you gear a C&V 5 speedster??

Old 09-13-19, 09:44 PM
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How would you gear a C&V 5 speedster??

So, I'm debating a "path racer" build, using a classic-to-some/vintage drop bar steel framed bicycle set up as a 5 speed. It would be mostly fast commuting miles and mostly flat areas (like 100 meters of elevation in the 8-10 mile leg). It's a cheapo build, so I'm pretty set on using a bargain basement priced newish 14-28 freewheel. I think the gearing on the freewheel is 14/16/19/23/28... but I'm not certain. I have a 44 tooth single crankset currently at my disposal, but, there's the chance that a 46 tooth and a 48 tooth could be at my disposal. Have in insights on the crank selection (i.e. the bestest tooth count for comfortable goldilocks spinning (not too hard, not too spinny, but just right)? Thanks for the responses in advance...
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Old 09-13-19, 10:04 PM
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Sounds like you will probably be in one or two gears the majority of the time. I would play with a gear calculator and figure out what chainring you need to have your best gears in the center of the fw so your chainline is good.
I once set up my Gran Sport with a 42 ring and a 13-18 corncob and it was great for the flatlands where I live.
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Old 09-13-19, 10:34 PM
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The 44T chainring is probably good enough. Ditto, the 14-28 freewheel. Other than that the tricky bit is finding gear steps that suit you. I'm really picky about gear steps and swap around chainrings and freewheels or cassettes often to find combinations that suit me. I go by feel. The gear calculators online don't really help. I just have to ride and try.

My Univega has upright albatross swept bars (I tried flipped, path racer style, but it was hard on my still-unhealed shoulder and neck injuries last year). I wanted to try a faux-path racer setup, including cushier tires. So far, so good.

It has a 30/40/50 triple but I'm in the 40 ring most of the time. I rarely use the 50, unless I remember to try it occasionally to even out overall wear on all the rings. I use the 30 when I'm hauling groceries or pet supplies on the rear rack and panniers -- there's a half-mile 5% climb from the nearest grocery store back home, so granny gears help with the bike is heavily loaded. Otherwise, the 40 ring gets 75% of the use.

I used to have a 7-speed 13-28 cassette, but swapped wheels and now have an 11-32. I'm still using mostly the middle three cogs except on some climbs and a few fast downhills.
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Old 09-13-19, 10:40 PM
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Recently set up a 3x6

48/38/28 chainring
14/16/18/21/25/30 freewheel

Iím surprised how much time Iím comfortably spending on the big ring while using the smaller half of the rear cog
for in city riding. Not lightning fast, but definitely no slow poke either.
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Old 09-14-19, 12:07 AM
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My wife's stock Schwinn Suburban is set up with a 46T chainring and 14-17-21-26-32 freewheel, giving a 39"-89" range. With my current thinking, I could drop that to a 42T or 44T ring and ride a lot of happy miles with that arrangement.
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Old 09-14-19, 04:45 AM
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for bombing around the streets of a relatively flat town (on 27/700s, assumed) I reckon 44/16 is a great all-purpose ratio and low enough for climbs over bridges etc. My $0.02 would be to go with that 44, giving you a longer 5th (44/14) when wanted and then the lowest 3 for heavier climbs or loads.
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Old 09-14-19, 06:37 AM
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14-17-20-24-28 is by far the most common 14-28 freewheel out there, so I am guessing that is what you have. This is a nice, even progression, with manageable gaps, but the challenge will be finding a small enough chainring to handle any hills you might encounter versus a large enough ring for higher-speed riding, particularly on mild descents. I would err on the side of too small, on the theory you can always coast downhill. This is why I find I need at least a 2x6 setup to give me both a tight progression and decent range, but you may be happy with only 5 gears. In your situation, I would be tempted to look for an ultra-spaced 6-speed freewheel with a 13T high and a 30 or 32T low, with a 46T ring up front. This would give you a very decent 96 gear-inch high and a good low in the lower 40s.
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Old 09-14-19, 09:53 AM
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So, I found out a bit more about the bike I will be refurbishing... the freewheel is actually 6 speeds (14-28 again). The person isn't a speed racer (aka, not someone who tops out their speed much, but usually goes at a "leisurely +" pace). The bike will be for campus runs, and general fitness. So..... I don't know if that changes anyone's input, but I do appreciate the insights so far. Keep them coming....
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Old 09-14-19, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by due ruote
Sounds like you will probably be in one or two gears the majority of the time. I would play with a gear calculator and figure out what chainring you need to have your best gears in the center of the fw so your chainline is good.
I once set up my Gran Sport with a 42 ring and a 13-18 corncob and it was great for the flatlands where I live.
This. When my Raleigh was set up 1x5 I went 13-15-16-17-19 on a 42 ring and it treated me well for relatively fast urban riding.
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Old 09-14-19, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle
So, I found out a bit more about the bike I will be refurbishing... the freewheel is actually 6 speeds (14-28 again). The person isn't a speed racer (aka, not someone who tops out their speed much, but usually goes at a "leisurely +" pace). The bike will be for campus runs, and general fitness. So..... I don't know if that changes anyone's input, but I do appreciate the insights so far. Keep them coming....
With that freewheel, your 44 single chainring will provide a decent granny gear for most hills, and a top end comparable to a typical fixie or single speed gear, around 75-85". Not bad for an all arounder on reasonably flat or rolling terrain.

I've considered converting my Univega from a triple to 40T single chainring, mostly because it'll clear space for fatter tires. I have 700x38 on it now, and the main hindrance to a fatter tire is clearing the front derailleur, not the frame or fork. I could just set the FD limit screws to the center ring only, remove the left shifter and try it like that to see whether I'd miss the other chainrings, but just having the FD on the frame still limits the tire width.
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