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How Do I Make This Bike Go Faster!?

Old 08-25-10, 09:53 AM
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How Do I Make This Bike Go Faster!?

I recently sold a friend a 1982 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8 (126mm spacing). It has a Super Maxy crank (52/40 teeth, 110 BCD) and 6sp freewheel (13-15-17-20-24-28). I got it all tuned up and ready to roll yesterday and he came by and took it for a spin. He headed out and 45 minutes later comes back and says, "I need faster gears, man."

The guy is 6'3", 220lbs and has friggin' monstrous legs. Initially I thought I'd just replace the 52t chainring with a 53t and/or the freewheel to a 6sp with an 11t small cog. Well, my research looks like that's easier said than done.

So my questions are:

Is there a 6sp (or 7sp if it'll work without modification) freewheel with an 11t small cog? I've found one or two used 7sp freewheels with a 12t which I'll go with if that's my best option and it'll work without issue.

Is it me or are 53t 110 BCD rings hard to find? I've found TA 53 and 54 rings from Harris, but they're too expensive and special order. Also, the ring needs to be silver or polished.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 08-25-10, 10:03 AM
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Are you sure he actually needs taller gearing or is he just a masher?
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Old 08-25-10, 10:08 AM
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I agree sounds like your buyer is more of a masher than a spinner.

I don't think there ever was an 11t FW. yes a 110bcd 53T is a bit odd so it would be pricy. I would go with a 12-23ish FW and try and teach him a bit about spinning.
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Old 08-25-10, 10:11 AM
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if he's a masher then yeah it might make sense that he need taller gears. Some people just do better mashing...i don't see any sense in trying to stop 'em doing it if their knees can take it.

**EDIT** I'm a 'tard, you need a freewheel...i linked to freehub Cassettes.

might wanna look for a 54T chainring too.

**edit**
here's one, but like you said...not cheap. $45 http://www.amazon.com/Sugino-54t-110...1&sr=1-1-fkmr2
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Last edited by Zaphod Beeblebrox; 08-25-10 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 08-25-10, 10:12 AM
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My dad says the same thing. He wants either a 53-13 or 52-12 at the least, luckily I swapped his cranks around and got him a new FW. I would just go with a FW with a 12.

One of these days I'll outfit him with a 56t chainring see what he says.
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Old 08-25-10, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I agree sounds like your buyer is more of a masher than a spinner.

I don't think there ever was an 11t FW. yes a 110bcd 53T is a bit odd so it would be pricy. I would go with a 12-23ish FW and try and teach him a bit about spinning.
I'm in no position to teach anyone about spinning technique. Hell, I use platform pedals. He is most certainly a masher. He's also the type of guy who has to learn lessons for himself. That said, his legs are really strong and I doubt he runs into much trouble on rides under 20 miles.

So it sounds like a 12-23/24 freewheel is my best bet. So will I have any issue going from 6 to 7sp freewheel?

Zaphod, you linked me to cassettes.

Last edited by ColonelJLloyd; 08-25-10 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 08-25-10, 10:23 AM
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ah geez I'm a mo-ron.
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Old 08-25-10, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
ah geez I'm a mo-ron.
I was not going to mention that...

OH is he really just looking for more topend? you could always replace that 40t with a 46 but hill climbing will suffer
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Old 08-25-10, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
if he's a masher then yeah it might make sense that he need taller gears. Some people just do better mashing...i don't see any sense in trying to stop 'em doing it if their knees can take it.

**EDIT** I'm a 'tard, you need a freewheel...i linked to freehub Cassettes.

might wanna look for a 54T chainring too.

**edit**
here's one, but like you said...not cheap. $45 http://www.amazon.com/Sugino-54t-110...1&sr=1-1-fkmr2
ZB, those are cassettes. not freewheels.

If his wheels are 1982 like the rest of the bike, then he is going to need a freewheel. And like BG, I have never heard of an 11t cog on a freewheel.

EDIT, never mind, you already realized it.

wishing I had a nickel for every screwup I made.
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Old 08-25-10, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
OH is he really just looking for more topend? you could always replace that 40t with a 46 but hill climbing will suffer
I'm dense. I'm not really seeing how that's going to help in this situation. And regardless of what he says I'm not putting a small chainring any bigger than 40 on the bike. We live in Kentucky, not Florida. Although. . . . he might learn his lesson while he's walking his bike halfway up a monster hill, dry heaving.

Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
ah geez I'm a mo-ron.
We're not done chastising you yet, dude. C'mon! What's your major malfunction!?

Last edited by ColonelJLloyd; 08-25-10 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 08-25-10, 11:29 AM
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ah Gunnery Sgt. Hartman.

ya know I was thinking that I'd never seen a 11T on a freewheel and then did a search for on Amazon and got all those results....and I just sorta assumed because I typed "Freewheel" into the search that they musta been freewheels. You know what happens when you assume....
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Old 08-25-10, 11:54 AM
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Switching from a 52 to a 53 tooth chanring will not be a noticeable difference, not worth the effort.

Large tooth jumps on the tallest gears are not good, it would be much more usefull to have a 13-14-15 higher end than a 11-13-15 (or something similar). The 28 tooth low gear is pretty low, unless he intends to climb a lot, you might be better off then swapping out the 28 for an additional gear in the high range. Even for a big guy, a 52x13 should be a plenty tall top gear for anything except really fast pack racing.

There is probably no good reason to stay with a 6 speed freewheel on this bike. Go to something like a 13-25 or a 12-23 7-speed freewheel .

11 tooth freewheels do actually exist! I have a rare suntour 11 tooth cog that mounts outboard of the "retention" cog (screws onto the inner diameter of the cog). 20 yrs ago before 11 speed casettes were available, I used this 11 tooth FW on my time-trial bike. Worked well to have the 11 if there was a tailwind or downhill section to the course.

Last edited by GrayJay; 08-25-10 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 08-25-10, 12:02 PM
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52X13 is over 32 MPH @100rpm.

How fast is this guy? Cat1 racer?
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Old 08-25-10, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Old Fat Guy View Post
52X13 is over 32 MPH @100rpm.

How fast is this guy? Cat1 racer?
Exactly. If he can sustain that gear for 5+ miles, even at 80 rpm, I'm impressed.
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Old 08-25-10, 12:22 PM
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It's not that these people are spinning up in that gear, they like slow cadence.
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Old 08-25-10, 12:29 PM
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It's not that these people are spinning up in that gear, they like doing it wrong.
fixed.
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Old 08-25-10, 12:29 PM
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Is money an issue? If not, this will get that Schwinn up to speed in nothing flat.

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Old 08-25-10, 12:32 PM
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52x13?
If he can do the 52x15 for 20 miles at 90-110rpm he is an olympian.
If he can sustain the 52x13 at 100rpm for 40k he will crush all the current records under his massive quads.
Tell your buddy to get a life. Or tell us which pro this really is....
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Old 08-25-10, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by liquefied View Post
fixed.
Normally I'd agree with you, but my dad is in his mid 50's. I don't ***** at him for not killing himself every time we go ride. I'm just glad he gets out.
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Old 08-25-10, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by stien View Post
Normally I'd agree with you, but my dad is in his mid 50's. I don't ***** at him for not killing himself every time we go ride. I'm just glad he gets out.
But your dad doesn't complain about a 52/13 does he? Sounds the guy in the OP is just too macho for cycling.
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Old 08-25-10, 12:37 PM
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Hope he knows a knee doctor.
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Old 08-25-10, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Old Fat Guy View Post
Hope he knows a knee doctor.
I've got the number handy.
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Old 08-25-10, 01:08 PM
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Using Sheldon's calulator with a 700x25 tire size:

@60RPM

52x11=22.3mph
52x12=20.4mph
52x13=18.8mph
53x11=22.7mph
53x12=20.8mph
53x13=19.2mph
54x11=23.1mph
54x12=21.2mph
54x13=19.6mph

@80RPM (what I consider the upper limit of "mashing")

52x11=29.7mph
52x12=27.2mph
52x13=25.1mph
53x11=30.3mph
53x12=27.7mph
53x13=25.6mph
54x11=30.8mph
54x12=28.3mph
54x13=26.1mph

Since I can't imagine anyone riding normally at 60rpm let's assume the person in question tends more towards the 80rpm side of things.

That's CAT1/pro peleton speed. Something's fishy.
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Old 08-25-10, 01:21 PM
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Honestly whats the difference if it makes sense or not or whether its right or wrong....The guy puts the bike in 52/13 and he wants taller gearing than that. Simple. Two options: Give him taller gearing or tell him to STFU.

Analyze the guy (and poke fun at him) all you want, but for a group of people who's general opinion on personalizing a bike is "Its your bike do what you want" there sure is a lot of concern over a big guy who just wants a lower gear to mash on.
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Old 08-25-10, 01:33 PM
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He's no pro. He's a beginner cyclist. This really doesn't need to turn into a "mashing is wrong, teach him how to ride how I think is the best way" discussion.

The guy is athletic and his thighs and calves are scary looking. They're his knees, I can't be bothered to look out for their well being. He's a grown man. I get enough sh** for telling people they're wrong as it is. Just ask my wife.

Some of you are assuming he's using his highest gear for several miles or something to that effect. No. He's in the drops and sprinting up to full speed for a few blocks. I guess he just likes to do that. It's not my place to tell him to ride any other way.

I was plenty skeptical when he returned and berated him with questions, like "You had this shifter (rear, DT) all the way down and this shifter (front) all the way up and you wanted more?".

I'm familiar with Sheldon's gear calculator and used it to show what his gear inches would be with a new 12-26 7sp freewheel as compared to what he has now. FWIW, he has 170mm crank arms and rides 27x1 1/4 tires.
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