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The Dominance of Ultra-Low Gear Racing Drive-trains

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The Dominance of Ultra-Low Gear Racing Drive-trains

Old 09-01-22, 03:02 PM
  #26  
Chinghis
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Man, I wish I had forums like this when I unloaded my Dawes Atlantis. I liked the bike, but hills killed me. Then I discovered 90s MTBs and granny gears, and life got sweet.

Some of this discussion makes me think going modern might be OK.
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Old 09-04-22, 12:35 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Saturday, I started with the local training ride which is attended by many accomplished and current 50 and 60+ National Champions. Of course, most have new bikes with electronic shifting and disk brakes. But what struck me was that most of these guys and gals had huge cogsets. Many of them went to 34! Now compact cranksets have been popular for some time but 34 tooth cogs on a road racing bike? Makes me think of doing that to my modern bike.
Hi, I live in the mountains. My rim brake road bike has a 50-34 compact with a 40 cassette using a wolf tooth. Yes, this sounds strange to most having a 40 cassette on a road bike and is commonplace here. My disk road bike has shimanno 12 speed 50-34, and 34 cassette which is my only choice at this time for cassette. I have never looked back using the 40. Have fun….
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Old 09-04-22, 08:52 AM
  #28  
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The best thing I ever did to my ride is putting on low gears. Where I would really have to put out the effort to climb, now I can breeze up which saves tons of energy for the rest of the ride. Will never go back to racing gears. When I ride my 80s racing bikes over the same hills I can’t believe the difference.
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Old 09-09-22, 10:44 AM
  #29  
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I have used a 42/26 or equivalent bottom gear for decades, and it still serves most of the time, but for the steepest local hills I do appreciate the granny ring on my mountain bike, the lowest gear of which is currently 1:1 (28/28 with 26" wheels = 26 gear-inches).

One of the Carlton's prior owners put a 144mm BCD Sugino Mighty Compe crankset on it, which restricts me to a 42T (or very rare, hard-to-find 41) inner, unless I triplize it. My wife's sister put a 14-34 5-speed freewheel on it with a SunTour VGT derailleur to handle the hills of Laguna Beach CA.

I am currently thinking something like 46-42 up front with something like a 6- or 7-speed 13-30 in back. That will give me 96 gear-inches, which is all the top end I have on most of my road bikes (46/13 or 50/14) and a tolerably low bottom gear, with decent ratio progression if I pick my cogs right.
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
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Old 09-16-22, 04:34 PM
  #30  
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Apropos or not... I just got a new work assignment and the project number is 5311... I'm going to either hammer or bonk.
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Old 09-18-22, 06:48 AM
  #31  
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It's not hard to install wider ranging gearing on vintage bikes. Finding old school road bikes that take wide tires isn't hard either. I'm not saying you should go out and find an old bike to rehab. There's a lot to be said for modern bikes. I just think what we're talking about on this thread (wide ranging gearing and wider tires) has been around for a long time. I'm running 48/34 rings and a 12-30 7 speed freewheel and 700 x 28c tires on a 1978 Trek TX 900; 50/36 rings and a 14-28 freewheel and 700 x 28c tires on a 1982 Peugeot PX 10, and 48/38/28 rings and a 13-28 7 speed freewheel and 700 x 32 tires on a 70s Fuji Finest.





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Old 09-23-22, 07:13 PM
  #32  
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Update: I finally found a 46T ring for the Bianchi. It is a TA, supposedly for inner use only, but it works fine as the outer ring. (I really don't care about ramps and pins, anyway, since I am old-school enough never to shift under load, and I detest the entire concept of indexing the front derailleur.)

So ... now instead of the 50-42 / 14-16-18-20-23-26 I have used for 25 years or so, it now has 46-38 / 13-15-17-20-23-26

Essentially the same top gear ratio, 10 percent lower bottom gear, and still good ratiometric progression. The 1959 Capo now has 46-38 / 13-15-17-19-22-25, cobbled together from two Regina America freewheels I had.
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Carlton: 1962 Franco Suisse, S/N K7911
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
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Old 09-25-22, 08:17 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
It's not hard to install wider ranging gearing on vintage bikes. Finding old school road bikes that take wide tires isn't hard either. I'm not saying you should go out and find an old bike to rehab. There's a lot to be said for modern bikes. I just think what we're talking about on this thread (wide ranging gearing and wider tires) has been around for a long time. I'm running 48/34 rings and a 12-30 7 speed freewheel and 700 x 28c tires on a 1978 Trek TX 900; 50/36 rings and a 14-28 freewheel and 700 x 28c tires on a 1982 Peugeot PX 10, and 48/38/28 rings and a 13-28 7 speed freewheel and 700 x 32 tires on a 70s Fuji Finest.





what stem is on the Fuji ?
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Old 09-26-22, 06:30 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by t2p View Post
what stem is on the Fuji ?

Nitto dynamic stem.
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Old 09-26-22, 02:33 PM
  #35  
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In the old days, to get crisp shifting you needed a rear derailleur with a short cage. That pretty much limited the big cog to 26t. You also needed single-step gearing on the fast end of the cluster. You can't do that with a 5- or 6-speed 13-34t cluster. So riders let their cadence drop on the climbs and hoped for recovery on the downhills.
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