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gears or shifters?

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gears or shifters?

Old 08-30-08, 01:51 PM
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e0richt
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gears or shifters?

I have a Dawes lightning sport bike... it has 14 speeds and indexed stem shifters...
I upgraded the bike by buying a tiagra rear wheel that can fit an 8 speed cassette...

from what I understand an 8 speed speed hub will actually handle 8, 9 and 10 speed cassettes...
its the indexed stem shifter that is the limiting factor here. Its a lower end shimano shifter that doesn't have
a friction setting... however I do have a set of older style shifters that are friction...

I want to hear what commuters here think.... is it better to have indexed shifting or is it better to have more gears?

oh and sorry in advance to the fixed gear heads or single speeders... not interested in that mode of travel...
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Old 08-30-08, 02:05 PM
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I don't think one is necessarily inherently better than the other. I think it is what you are used to. Everyone uses index shifting right now because that is what bikes are sold with. The advantage of index shifting is that if properly adjusted, shifts happen with a single click. The down side is that they are hard to properly adjust for the novice.

With friction shifting, you make the gear changes by finessing the shifter. There is a little learning curve, but once you know how to do it, it is fairly simple.

To answer your question, I'd ask this: are you running into problems with the current gearing on your bike? Are you under or over geared for your terrain and the loads you carry? If the answer is yes, then by all means upgrade to the system that will address these problems, which will probably involve index shifting. If not, save your money for something else or a replacement bike if you really want index shifting. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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Old 08-30-08, 02:06 PM
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FWIW, I prefer friction shifters since they require very little maintenance and it's easy to always find the sweet spot for being perfectly in gear.
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Old 08-30-08, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by e0richt View Post
I have a Dawes lightning sport bike...
I want to hear what commuters here think.... is it better to have indexed shifting or is it better to have more gears?
Bought a Cannondale SR300 for 20.00 at a yardsale. The drivetrain and wheels were trashed. I converted it to a 1x8 by adding a Sugino 103mm bb, matching SG 170mm cranks w/a 48t chainring and removed the frt der. Eventually, I swapped out the Sugino chainring for a 48t Rocket Ring as they're unramped and I was experiencing 'chaindrop' more than I thought I should. Problem solved for about 16.00. The cassette is 12x28t w/a Tiagra rr der and a Sachs/Sram PC-58 7/8 sp chain. I used an old Shimano Dura Ace barend shifter and the system has been flawless. Saved alot of trouble in NOT having to 'dial in' the indexing. The friction shifting system whether dt, stem or barend will accomodate 8, 9 or 10 sp cassettes as the 'lateral swing' is determined by the der, not the shifter. So, I'd stick with whatever friction system with which you are most comfortable.
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Old 08-30-08, 07:13 PM
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I really don't see any advantages to extra gears for a commuter. You've got plenty. I'd stick with what you've got. I use friction shifters on my commuter and an 8-speed cassette. Granted, I grew up when 6 cogs on the back was a lot, but still. Even for racers it's become counter productive - I don't know how many of you are pro cycling fans, but there were WAY too many broken chains in the first two Grand Tours this year.

Let me ask you this - What are you trying to accomplish? What sort of terrain do you ride on? Do you use all 8 cogs in the back on a regular basis? What's the tooth spread (smallest cog # teeth to big cog # teeth) on your current setup? If you're on somewhat flat ground and don't use all 8 a lot and you have a big tooth spread like 12-32 or 12-34 you can just get a cassette with a smaller spread (e.g. 12-26 or 12-28 or even 12-23 or 12-24) and essentially accomplish the same thing (gears closer together) as going to a 9-speed without having to worry about new shifters and a narrow chain.

If you ride the big cogs a lot but never the small cogs you can also get smaller chainrings to move you down to the small ones more.

Chris
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Old 08-30-08, 07:52 PM
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I have 27 speeds; not because I need them, but they're good to have just in case, as I do decide to get myself into 'things' from time to time....

When commuting, I use about 3, sometimes 4. I have index triggers, and the 'adjustment' factor doesn't rear its ugly head very often; after 19 months, including winter riding, I'm still on the original cables, and had to 'tune' the shifting ONCE. (Boy, do I love SRAM....)

If you feel the need for more gears, get 'em; if you don't care about index, there are still friction/ratchet shifters out there SOMEWHERE. Neither is more important than the other across the board.
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Old 08-30-08, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ATAC49er View Post
I have 27 speeds; not because I need them, but they're good to have just in case, as I do decide to get myself into 'things' from time to time....
27 speeds, or 27 combinations?
how many overlap?

a good tool is sheldon's gear calculator.
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Old 08-30-08, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by GV27 View Post
I don't know how many of you are pro cycling fans, but there were WAY too many broken chains in the first two Grand Tours this year.

You mean like David Millar? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIW1MAvyPD4

I agree for commuting/biking for transportation, 8 gears is plenty, and I certainly wouldn't want to bike under load with a 10 or 11 gear system due to the thinner chains. I actually understand the pros wanting to run a straight cog (ie. 11-21 with no skipped gears), but few of us need that situation where you are trying to ride on the rivet for hours in just the right gear.
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Old 08-31-08, 12:53 AM
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Who cares how many gears you have? Better question is what's the range of gear ratios available?
Maybe just keep your current shifter, but toss out a few of the cogs from the middle of the cluster that you don't use anyway?
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Old 08-31-08, 01:01 AM
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I did a cheap opgrade to a close spaced 8 from a "standarf" 12-28 7. It was simple because of the friction shifters.
I love the combination for my flatland riding. As the wind changes a bit, I can shift 1 tooth in either direction and keep my cadence in a narrow range that works best for me.
I'd go 9 speed, but I find the $6, 8 speed chains too appealing.
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Old 08-31-08, 01:15 AM
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Less is more

More gears = thinner cogs = less durability = more $

Keep it simply bulletproof

KISB
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Old 08-31-08, 01:16 AM
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If you can stack 10-speeds on your hub, then go for it. Use the friction shifters. They're great once you get the hang of operating them. They're simple, effective, and you can trim them on the fly.
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Old 08-31-08, 01:25 AM
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Running 1x8 friction on the Yukon. In reality I still only use 3-4 gears most of the time.
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Old 08-31-08, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bikinpolitico View Post
You mean like David Millar? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIW1MAvyPD4

I agree for commuting/biking for transportation, 8 gears is plenty, and I certainly wouldn't want to bike under load with a 10 or 11 gear system due to the thinner chains. I actually understand the pros wanting to run a straight cog (ie. 11-21 with no skipped gears), but few of us need that situation where you are trying to ride on the rivet for hours in just the right gear.
That's precisely what I mean - it happened a few other times, just that nobody else tried to qualify for the Olympics in Discus immediately after! Chain breaks like that used to be unheard of.
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