Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

How many gear inches are you pushing?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

How many gear inches are you pushing?

Old 10-12-14, 08:00 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
eastbay71's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 681

Bikes: the bikes own me

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
How many gear inches are you pushing?

I've been messing around with Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator and mapped out the ratios on my bikes. While riding I tried to take notice of which gear I preferred on each and it turns out on level ground I like a gear of around 85 to 90 inches. This was a pretty useful exercise because it showed me I should swap the cassettes on two of my bikes and helped me develop a shifting strategy for hills on my normal commuter that uses the gears more effectively. It got me wondering what gear other people are pushing?
eastbay71 is offline  
Old 10-12-14, 10:45 PM
  #2  
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Great question. It'll take me a while to figure out what gear inches I ride in most of the time. I know on my Surly LHT when cursing on the flats I only have a couple of gears left to go. It has a Deore XT and 26" wheels.
LDier is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 12:11 AM
  #3  
Beer and nachos today!
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Treaty Seven
Posts: 222

Bikes: Schwinn Peloton, Schwinn Prelude SS, Specialized Sequoia

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A whopping 65 inches. My bike has been geared that low for ten years, and I'm jealous of anyone pushing something higher
illdoittomorrow is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 12:27 AM
  #4  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: England / CPH
Posts: 8,543

Bikes: 2010 Cube Acid / 2013 Mango FGSS

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1053 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 36 Posts
44x16x23-622

Single speed set-up.

72.3 GI.

Wouldn't mind switching the DICTA freewheel for a 15T (77.1 GI) or 14T (82.6 GI) as I'd like a little more cruising speed and my commute has only one hill to speak of.
acidfast7 is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 07:14 AM
  #5  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 8,721

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4227 Post(s)
Liked 2,491 Times in 1,286 Posts
It depends on the season. During winter I ride lower gear ratio, during, spring, summer and fall I ride higher gear ratio.

Bike No 1. - Fixed gear 68-73 gear inches
Bike No 2. - Fixed gear or singlespeed 58-65 gear inches
Bike No 3. - Singlespeed 56-61 gear inches.
wolfchild is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 07:22 AM
  #6  
The Flying Scot
 
chewa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: North Queensferry Scotland and London (and France)
Posts: 1,904

Bikes: Custom (Colin Laing) 531c fast tourer/audax, 1964 Flying Scot Continental, 1995 Cinelli Supercorsa, Holdsworth Mistral single speed, Dahon Speed 6 (folder), Micmo Sirocco and a few more

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hmm, not sure.

On a fixed my gearing is 64 inches, and I have dropped the chainwheel sizes on my geared bikes (one is 50-40-30, the other is 44-36-28, but my Scot is still 52-42). When riding a geared bike I try to maintain a cadence of 90 plius, with over 105 if i'm going for it. Higfher cadence really helps my knees.
__________________
plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

1985 Sandy Gilchrist-Colin Laing built 531c Audax/fast tourer.
1964 Flying Scot Continental (531)
1995 Cinelli Supercorsa (Columbus SLX)
1980s Holdsworth Mistral fixed (531)
2005 Dahon Speed 6 (folder)
(YES I LIKE STEEL)
2008 Viking Saratoga tandem
2008 Micmo Sirocco Hybrid (aluminium!)
2012 BTwin Rockrider 8.1
chewa is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 07:36 AM
  #7  
Passista
 
Reynolds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 7,649

Bikes: 1998 Pinarello Asolo, 1992 KHS Montaņa pro, 1980 Raleigh DL-1, IGH Hybrid, IGH Utility

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 885 Post(s)
Liked 748 Times in 409 Posts
Nexus 8, 42/20, 700x37 - according to Sheldon Brown this gives a gear range of 30 to 92 inches. I always ride on flat terrain, 90% of the time in 5th or 6th gear, 57 or 70 inches. That's a big gap, maybe it would be better to use a 23 and have 6th and 7th (61 and 70 inches) as my most used gears.
Reynolds is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 07:38 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
mikeybikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Edgewater, CO
Posts: 3,213

Bikes: Tons

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Depends on bike.

Varies anywhere from 60 gear inches to 80 gear inches. My two speed is 49 and 68. 68 is cruising and 49 is climbing.
mikeybikes is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 08:15 AM
  #9  
jyl
Senior Member
 
jyl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 7,639

Bikes: 61 Bianchi Specialissima 71 Peugeot G50 7? P'geot PX10 74 Raleigh GranSport 75 P'geot UO8 78? Raleigh Team Pro 82 P'geot PSV 86 P'geot PX 91 Bridgestone MB0 92 B'stone XO1 97 Rans VRex 92 Cannondale R1000 94 B'stone MB5 97 Vitus 997

Mentioned: 146 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 31 Posts
On flat, usually around 80 (53x17).
jyl is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 08:53 AM
  #10  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Looks like anywhere from 77-94, depending on the head wind and grade. Flat, no wind should be around 88.
laflavor is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 09:19 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
gregjones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: West Georgia
Posts: 2,828

Bikes: K2 Mod 5.0 Roadie, Fuji Commuter

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Road bike: 34.5-109.9
Commuter: 19.6-102.4
gregjones is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 09:31 AM
  #12  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,359 Times in 865 Posts
AW3 15t, Brompton 349-35 tire-wheel 54t chain ring . [hub high is x1.33]


& 2 Rohloffs , 16t cog chainring size varied to match wheel size 20", 53t, 26",38t 18~90" in 14 steps..


DIY math , if it matters..

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-02-14 at 12:18 PM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 10:00 AM
  #13  
Really Old Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Posts: 13,928

Bikes: 87 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds. 2019 Giant Explore E+3

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1816 Post(s)
Liked 1,303 Times in 897 Posts
Originally Posted by illdoittomorrow
A whopping 65 inches. My bike has been geared that low for ten years, and I'm jealous of anyone pushing something higher
Me too!
On my skinny tired hybrid, my "cruise" is 61 or 66 GI. Maybe 72 if I'm "fresh" and have a tail wind.
I try to spin 80-85 RPM.
My emphysema means spin lower gears if I don't want to gas out.
Bill Kapaun is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 10:23 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 40,865

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Canyon Exceed, Specialized Transition, Ellsworth Roots, Ridley Excalibur

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2953 Post(s)
Liked 3,106 Times in 1,417 Posts
My SSCX is 65.2 g.i. (39x16) for commuting. You've got to spin it, kid.
caloso is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 11:28 AM
  #15  
working on my sandal tan
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 22,638

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers), All-City Space Horse (hers)

Mentioned: 98 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3873 Post(s)
Liked 2,574 Times in 1,581 Posts
On my derailleur bikes, I generally find myself in the 67-85" range during my commute (it's relatively flat, and slightly uphill to work, slightly downhill home.)

The fixed-gear is set to 71" during the spring-summer-fall, and switched to 59" for winter.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 11:36 AM
  #16  
It's MY mountain
 
DiabloScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mt.Diablo
Posts: 10,007

Bikes: Klein, Merckx, Trek

Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4370 Post(s)
Liked 3,031 Times in 1,642 Posts
70 inches on the FG commuter - my biggest hill on the way to work is a street overpass on the MUP.

DiabloScott is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 03:11 PM
  #17  
contiuniously variable
 
TransitBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,280

Bikes: 2012 Breezer Uptown Infinity, Fuji Varsity

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts


I told you it was good at climbing......

- Andy

Last edited by TransitBiker; 10-13-14 at 03:18 PM.
TransitBiker is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 03:29 PM
  #18  
contiuniously variable
 
TransitBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,280

Bikes: 2012 Breezer Uptown Infinity, Fuji Varsity

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Here's my old (and gone) trek's numbers......



You can see now why i love my uptown frankenbike so much more..... it just has a better drive system and a bigger range.

- Andy
TransitBiker is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 07:55 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
eastbay71's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 681

Bikes: the bikes own me

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by TransitBiker


I told you it was good at climbing......

- Andy
OMG Must Know More!
eastbay71 is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 08:27 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
gregjones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: West Georgia
Posts: 2,828

Bikes: K2 Mod 5.0 Roadie, Fuji Commuter

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by eastbay71
OMG Must Know More!
Make it easy in three steps:

1: Go here.
2: Plug in your numbers.
3: Play!!!!

All you need to know about your current gear inches and what effect any tooth count changes that you perform will make.
gregjones is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 08:33 PM
  #21  
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 5,977
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 987 Post(s)
Liked 530 Times in 365 Posts
Originally Posted by eastbay71
I've been messing around with Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator and mapped out the ratios on my bikes. While riding I tried to take notice of which gear I preferred on each and it turns out on level ground I like a gear of around 85 to 90 inches. This was a pretty useful exercise because it showed me I should swap the cassettes on two of my bikes and helped me develop a shifting strategy for hills on my normal commuter that uses the gears more effectively. It got me wondering what gear other people are pushing?
A 50-15 is 88 gear inches, and a 50-14 is 94 gear inches.
At my preferred 90 rpm, the 15-15 is 23.5 mph, and the 15-14 is 25.2 mph.

I'm more at a range of 50-19, 18.6 mph, to 50-17, 20.8 mph. 70-78 gear inches.

eastbay71, check out Mike Sherman's gear calculator.
You can change any of the settings and the charts update on the fly. And the "Speed over RPM Range" chart is interesting.
rm -rf is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 08:46 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,893
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1062 Post(s)
Liked 665 Times in 421 Posts
45, 60, and 80, with 60 being my typical level ground cruising gear.
Gresp15C is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 08:47 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
gregjones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: West Georgia
Posts: 2,828

Bikes: K2 Mod 5.0 Roadie, Fuji Commuter

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by rm -rf
And the "Speed over RPM Range" chart is interesting.
Especially when you check the "Sort" box.

It lays out how each rear cog relates to each other when paired with the different chainrings. It give a great visual image of what happens from big to small ring and how many cogs it affects in the rear.
gregjones is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 08:56 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
kickstart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Kent Wa.
Posts: 5,332

Bikes: 2005 Gazelle Golfo, 1935 Raleigh Sport, 1970 Robin Hood sport, 1974 Schwinn Continental, 1984 Ross MTB/porteur, 2013 Flying Piegon path racer, 2014 Gazelle Toer Populair T8

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 396 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Living in the foothills of the cascade range means lots of hills and a mile long 10%+ grade on my daily commute, but I'm a masher, not a spinner, and couldn't care less about cadence and such nonsense, so I don't need lots of gears, and can't stand derailleur shifting.


Ross MTB porteur 7 speed IGH (commuter) .......31.7 - 77.6 GI
Robin Hood 8 speed IGH (utility)..................... 26.2 - 80.2 GI
Raleigh Sports Model 3 speed IGH (recreation)...51.8 - 92.1 GI

Eventually the Porteur will get a Nuvinci N360 ...25.1 - 90.4 GI
kickstart is offline  
Old 10-13-14, 09:27 PM
  #25  
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 13,464

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Tilt, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 72 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3133 Post(s)
Liked 2,115 Times in 1,378 Posts
I need 40-70 on my commute. I use the 55-70 shift quite a lot on the level. There are a few downhill spots I can push 100 but it's not really needed. That's just for the commute, though. There are a lot of other uses for a bike where I could use a 20. That's what the MTB is for.

I like the double shift on my MTB and would like to have it on the commuter too, but it's good enough.

This is pasted from my gearing spreadsheet, apologies for formatting

[TABLE="width: 415"]
[TR]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]3rd[/TD]
[TD]2nd[/TD]
[TD]1st[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]"Alpine"[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]52[/TD]
[TD]40[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]cassette[/TD]
[TD]5x14 to 28 FW2[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]11[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]10[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]9[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]8[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]7[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]6[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]5[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]14[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]101.5[/TD]
[TD]78.1[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]4[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]16[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]88.8[/TD]
[TD]68.3[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]3[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]20[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]71.0[/TD]
[TD]54.6[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]2[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]24[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]59.2[/TD]
[TD]45.5[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]1[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]28[/TD]
[TD]no gear[/TD]
[TD]50.7[/TD]
[TD]39.0[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17

Last edited by Darth Lefty; 10-13-14 at 09:37 PM.
Darth Lefty is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.