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your views on the 7-speed?

Old 07-26-14, 06:49 PM
  #26  
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The advantage for me is fine tuning. I am more able to find a gear that keeps me in my preferred cadence range.
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Old 07-26-14, 06:52 PM
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I use an IRD 7 sp freewheel with SR on my Raleigh and it shifts fine. I also had a Dura-Ace 7 sp freewheel on my Ciocc with SR before switching to 9 sp Chorus. I was using KMC X8.99 chains on both. I found that the IRD freewheel shifts smoother than the Dura-Ace but the later was still OK. Both are 13-28.

My Sakai has Suntour 6 sp with a Suntour Cyclone II, also 14-28 and same KMC chain. It doesn't require as much trimming as the 7 sp but I don't know if thats a factor of the lesser cog or the RD.

You'll definitely have a lesser tolerance limit with the 7 sp freewheel so a 9 sp chain may be the way to go.
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Old 07-26-14, 06:53 PM
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I personally do not like them. I find I have a tendency to bend axles with 7 speed freewheels and there's a good reason why 8-speed freewheels were very short lived. I think 7-speed freewheels will be around just about forever though mostly because of department store bikes.

7-speed freehubs however are another story. Those are great.

I think that 7 speeds is about the practical limit for friction shifters and I prefer 5 or 6. Sure, you could run 10 or 11 speed cassettes, but I think that the fiddliness involved with shifting would make it less functional, not more.
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Old 07-26-14, 06:59 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by browngw View Post
Its the top and bottom gears for the type of riding we do that matters.
See Post #3 on "Range", top & bottom indeed are the fundamentals of effective gearing.
As many steps as technology permits in between is a Good Thing.
Disagree?

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Old 07-26-14, 07:13 PM
  #30  
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john hood, funny you mention bent axles. on this davidson (pre-build), i found the axle was broken when i went to remove the rear skewer for the first time.

i was riding it today to the post office and broke my first spoke on the rear. walking home is not fun.
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Old 07-26-14, 07:15 PM
  #31  
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there's another vote to go with a 9-speed chain from kactus.
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Old 07-26-14, 07:17 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by John Hood View Post
I personally do not like them. I find I have a tendency to bend axles with 7 speed freewheels and there's a good reason why 8-speed freewheels were very short lived. I think 7-speed freewheels will be around just about forever though mostly because of department store bikes.

7-speed freehubs however are another story. Those are great.

I think that 7 speeds is about the practical limit for friction shifters and I prefer 5 or 6. Sure, you could run 10 or 11 speed cassettes, but I think that the fiddliness involved with shifting would make it less functional, not more.
I recently put an 8-speed freehub on my mountain bike and control it with a 7-speed thumb shifter in friction mode -- works like a champ.

I have had mixed results putting 7-speed freewheels on rear wheels designed for standard 6-speed (126mm OLD). Depending on the hub, axle, and spacers, sometimes I need to add 1-2mm more spacing on the drive side, redishing the rear wheel accordingly.

I currently run 2x6 gearing on all of my road bikes and find it adequate, but I would definitely not go back to the old 2x5 setup, which did not give me the tight 6-7% progression I wanted across the 2:1 range I wanted.
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Old 07-26-14, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by John Hood View Post
7-speed freehubs however are another story.
And the technology moved on to cassette 130: 8,9,10,11 cog for good reason.

That being said a well set-up 7cog served/serves perfectly well if the Range and steps meet requirements.

-Bandera
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Old 07-26-14, 07:22 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I find truth in that statement.
me too.

this 7-speed is teaching me a lot. i've found myself riding either in one of the top two gears (big ring) or just leaving it in a gear using the small ring. it's basically a 9-, not 14-speed. i'm certainly not being efficient.
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Old 07-26-14, 08:21 PM
  #35  
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I have two 7 speed bikes.

Super Mondia, 7 speed syncro , Regina Syncro 90S freewheel (index)



1987 Raleigh Team Professional in Reynolds 753r
Regina america 7 speed freewheel, Super Record Group. (friction)


old pic, now has white bar tape.
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Old 07-26-14, 08:33 PM
  #36  
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^ pretty bikes, but ... what if anything would you change about the gearing? if you had other 6-speed bikes, would you prefer they be 7-speeds?

i'm leaning just to replace the freewheel for a similar sunrace 7 at this point. actually less expensive than a 9-speed chain that might be weaker than the current one.

because today's broken spoke is on the drive side, i have to remove the fw anyway.
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Old 07-26-14, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
me too.

this 7-speed is teaching me a lot. i've found myself riding either in one of the top two gears (big ring) or just leaving it in a gear using the small ring. it's basically a 9-, not 14-speed. i'm certainly not being efficient.
Originally Posted by CV-6 View Post
The advantage for me is fine tuning. I am more able to find a gear that keeps me in my preferred cadence range.
I find it's a matter of the rightest gear for the speed and elevation I'm riding.

A lot of my bikes are the "half-step and a granny." I've never been one to do the cadence counts, gear counting and charting and fancy up-down-down-up shifting patterns. HOWEVER, I've found myself using my chainrings much more- so if I'm on the verge of pedaling too much, but the next gear is just a slight hair too much... I do the half step incremental shift.

I like 6 speed- I just went from 5 to 6 on my Trek 720. I'm considering going to 7 on my 620.
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Old 07-26-14, 09:15 PM
  #38  
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^ hilarity.

i love that dialogue when nigel says to marty about his guitars, "don't touch it. don't even look at it."

but this is the crux of the issue. does c&v think 7 is better than 6? or is it actually the reverse?
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Old 07-26-14, 09:40 PM
  #39  
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Just today, I put some 700c wheels on the Peugeot, which was setup with 6-spd Accushift. It shifted nicely, so I was going to switch the 6spd Suntour freewheel onto the new wheels. But alas, as fate would have it, my homemade Suntour freewheel remover broke. So, I left the 7spd Sunrace (It's chrome!) on the replacement wheel and switched the Suntour downtube shifter to friction mode and adjusted the rear derailleur. Works great. No clicky though.
Has anybody tried these with a Sunrace freewheel? Sunrace Stem and Down Tube Shifter - 7-Speed, 1 pair
Running a Suntour Edge rear derailleur.
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Old 07-26-14, 09:56 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by John Hood View Post
I personally do not like them. I find I have a tendency to bend axles with 7 speed freewheels and there's a good reason why 8-speed freewheels were very short lived. I think 7-speed freewheels will be around just about forever though mostly because of department store bikes.
Why would a 7 sp tend to bend axles more than 6 sps if they are both 126 spacing?
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Old 07-26-14, 10:58 PM
  #41  
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^ i don't know. this axle broke right at the end of the cone where it sits below the cartridge bearings.
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Old 07-26-14, 11:44 PM
  #42  
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I'll offer another vote for 9-speed chains. Strong enough for mountain biking with a 22t chainring, so strong enough for me, and mine wear very well.

Narrower chain makes the shifting more forgiving by not having the chain contact/interfere with next-larger cog than you are shifting to, whether using friction or indexed shifters.

I even prefer 9s chain for use with ALL Suntour and Uniglide freewheels, whether 5, 6 or 7 speed.

Campagnolo actually specified their C9 9s chain for all of their previous 8s indexed systems, then ceased production of their pre-9-speed chain.

I use C9 chain on my 1964 Varsity with it's original chainrings and using a modern 7s cassette, and I use C9 chain on my Supersport with a 6-speed Uniglide freewheel. Shifting is great!

I recently switched to 9s chain on my Torelli when the 7-speed Synchro indexed shifters didn't quite match the sprocket spacing of my 13-25t Sunrace freewheel, and the 9s chain cured the drivetrain of all symptoms of it's mis-matched indexing. So again, the 9s chain makes for more forgiving shifting and indexng behavior.
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Old 07-26-14, 11:48 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I find truth in that statement.
Me three.
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Old 07-26-14, 11:58 PM
  #44  
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Seven is the golden mean for me. Freewheels though, in big cogs, are hard to find. And the Shimano megarange is hard on the eyes.

Something no one mentioned: 126 dropouts are usually horizontal. If you stand and stomp, you can pull your rear wheel left. I am 200 pounds, and even with a tight skewer I sometimes pull the wheel. When you do that just a bit, your rear won't trim well. It starts with a little buzz as you go then the shifting goes less smoothly. Given my choice I would have all 7 speed. Double or triple up front matters not. Its a lot of gears.
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Old 07-27-14, 06:59 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
- it's a new build that came without a chain
- original suntour fw
- sram pc830 chain
- campy nr friction (pat '84 rd)

bandera, what's the "move along" quip about? can i not ask opinion on 6 v 7?
I think he means there's not a lot to say, and this is certainly not usually the kind of trade-off you suggest. Making any "more gears" setup work is the issue, not putting up with inconvenience.

For me, I like to have a a lot of gears available of the range that helps me, and I have not had a lot of trouble making any setups work. I had a preference for friction for many years, but am now leaning forward toward indexing. I still have the skill to feather the rear derailleur, but Ergopower works so well that I now think "why bother?" when I ride one of my friction-equipped bikes.

I learned to ride and wrench multi-gear bikes in the 1960s when 5-speeds in the rear (plus 2 chainrings, making a 10-speed) were the standard. It did not inherently work perfectly. There was some challenging component matching, lot of adjustment. Not all levers had the same cable pull, friction screws did not always get tightened just right or could keep their position, some brands of chain had more lateral flexibility than others, and some rear derailleurs flexed as they worked.

Chain length was a critical parameter in setting the upper wheel distance to the cogs. Making that distance consistent across gears was a challenge not all designs met. The much-maligned French Simplex Prestige did a pretty good job of that due to its dual sprung pivots, where the much more durable single pivot Campagnolo Record and same-geometry Nuovo Record did not. But due to their stiffness the Campy Record design worked quite well for the range of gearings used in stage racing bikes of the day. In the marketplace obviously light weight, durability, appearance, and good functionality over a limited range won out over the less -durable but more capable Simplex.

When 6-speed first came in, the freewheel just had another cog put on, with the same tooth design and spacing. The same derailleurs, chains, and shifters were fine. The hubs and frames had to get wider, and some engineering was needed to make sure wheel and axle strength were adequate. I didn't work in a shop, but I didn't hear much of axles breaking. The Brandt book had not been written, so knowledge about high spoke tensions was not common. All wheels were a lot less stable than the ones we have now.

To go to 7-speeds there were two concepts: use narrower cog spacing and use 126 mm spacing, or use the original 5-speed spacing but add two more cogs. The former needed a narrower chain, which we now call "7-speed," and the latter needed more space between the frame ends - 128 or even 130. I think Sun-Tour went narrow and Shimano went "standard," but I'm not sure of that. The Italian brands did not succeed at making the transition to 7. The French muddled along, eventually becoming Sachs and then SRAM.

Clearly the 128 or 130 mm early designs were sometimes too much for the existing axles. I don't know how early cassette hubs fit into this "world according to Road Fan" picture, but we do know they were stronger in terms of axle durability. I think the viability of 8-speed depended on the better axle support inherent in the cassette concept.
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Old 07-27-14, 07:12 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
in the land of c&v, say, upper mid-level,126mm old, mid-late '80s road bike with all the bells and whistles, what's your view of the 7-speed freewheel option over the 6-speed?

- does it shift as well with the same chain?
- does it offer a gear or two more that is worth any shifting issue it causes?
- if not racing, is the small incremental gearing worth the potential trouble?
- is it as quiet as a comparable 6-speed?
- is it as trouble free?

who here prefers a new 7-speed (like a close ratio sunrace 13-25t) over a regular 6-speed (14-28)?

.

background for this post:

- '84 davidson is my first 7-speed (suntour fw with campy nr fd/rd)
- new sram chain hangs up on top of the cogs on occasion
- upper pully damn close to the cogs
- noisy, especially in lower gears
- not sure what to replace (chain or fw?) nor what to replace it with.
I think one problem is that a 28 tooth cog is a bit over the limit for a Nuovo Record. They are marked as 26 tooth maximum. Super Records are marked as 28 tooth maximum. Due to their short cages neither is really suitable for modern gearings which are wider-range than in the NR's heyday. Many riders say they have made an NR work with a 14/28, but I haven't, even after a lot of chain-link tuning to get the cog distances adequate. I think they are best with cogs 24 or smaller. They also have a limit as far as how much chain they can wrap up.

There is no issue with getting an NR to swing far enough side to side to handle the frame spacing of a 7-speed.

I've done decent 7-speed NR setups on my bikes with SunTour, SunRace, Shimano, and Sachs ARIS freewheels. How well they shift is a function mainly of tooth design. SRAM 7-speed chain is what I've used on most of these.
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Old 07-27-14, 07:24 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by SkyDog75 View Post
More cogs generally means slightly narrower spacing between cogs, so the trimming needs to be a little more precise. (One of the reasons indexed shifting is widely considered a requirement for 10 & 11 speed drivetrains.) If you're using a worn derailleur, the play in it also might make precise trimming more difficult.
This is a key point. And chain width should be matched to the drivetrain. A chain that was original and perfect on a 5-speed can be too wide for a 7. Result can be that the chain cannot be well-centered on a selected cog because is is just too wide to fit in between, and it is always touching the next-bigger or smaller one. It's will always be trying to shift to the next position. Trimming might not be able to solve this problem, need a 7-speed chain. So maybe the cog spacing, chain width, cog wear, derailleur wear, and possible shift lever pull ratio can conspire to make convenient trimming difficult if not impossible - you'll always need to make another adjustment.
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Old 07-27-14, 07:35 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
- you'll always need to make another adjustment.
At this point (7spd/mid-late 80's) Shimano's indexing technology takes the functional lead, Campagnolo's Syncro fails to measure up and Suntour's Accushft dooms the company. And so it was.

-Bandera
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Old 07-27-14, 07:43 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
well, bandera, at least that last post was straightforward. thank you.

so i should replace the 6 on my moto as well with a 7 to be more efficient?

i know how bandera feels. is this what everyone in c&v land is doing?
I went to a 7 this year when I built the Cannondale Criterium Series. What did I gain? The cassette is a 12-28, my previous FWs were 14-28. The gear spacing is the same but I now have the 12 for spirited descents...I love to wind it out.
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Old 07-27-14, 07:47 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I find it's a matter of the rightest gear for the speed and elevation I'm riding.

A lot of my bikes are the "half-step and a granny." I've never been one to do the cadence counts, gear counting and charting and fancy up-down-down-up shifting patterns. HOWEVER, I've found myself using my chainrings much more- so if I'm on the verge of pedaling too much, but the next gear is just a slight hair too much... I do the half step incremental shift.

I like 6 speed- I just went from 5 to 6 on my Trek 720. I'm considering going to 7 on my 620.
Because of the 7sp on the new bike, I couldnt handle the 5 on the old one....had to swap in a 6 to make it interesting again.
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