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Gearing question from a new cyclist

Old 03-21-16, 07:19 PM
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claudia52
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Gearing question from a new cyclist

I'm considering buying one of 2 bikes: A Trek Shift 2 or a Trek Shift 3. I know next to nothing about gearing, but need to climb moderate city hills...I am willing to work hard.
The Shift 3 has a crank of 48/38/28 with a cog of 11-32.
The Shift 2 has a crank of 48/38/28 with a freewheel of 14-34.
Which of these 2 would handle hills better?
Thanks very much and happy pedalling!
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Old 03-21-16, 07:35 PM
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the Shift 2 has a slightly lower granny gear of 28:34 (14:17). Meaning slower but easier to pedal. The Shift 3 has a granny ratio of 28:32 (7:8). Not a whole lot of difference.
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Old 03-21-16, 07:38 PM
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Thank you, General Geoff!
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Old 03-21-16, 08:05 PM
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I agree, not alot of difference between the gear choices of the Shift 2 and 3.
If you are going to be climbing alot of hills though, I'd think about getting a bike that doesn't have a suspension fork. Something along the lines of a Trek 7.2 or 7.3 FX. Same price range as the Shifts but because they don't have a suspension fork, will weigh less and you won't be fighting the suspension as you climb (they tend to "pogo" and absorb energy vs. a standard fork that will put more of your effort directly to the road).
Suspension forks are great if you are doing serious "off roading"(good ones, that really work, cost hundreds of dollars), but if you are going to be using your bike mainly on paved roads or crushed gravel bike paths a standard fork will probably work better for you.
The best thing would be to take them both out for a "back to back" test ride at your Trek dealer and see which you prefer. They will be happy to let you do this.
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Old 03-22-16, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by claudia52 View Post
I'm considering buying one of 2 bikes: A Trek Shift 2 or a Trek Shift 3. I know next to nothing about gearing, but need to climb moderate city hills...I am willing to work hard.
The Shift 3 has a crank of 48/38/28 with a cog of 11-32.
The Shift 2 has a crank of 48/38/28 with a freewheel of 14-34.
Which of these 2 would handle hills better?
Thanks very much and happy pedalling!
Guess the 3-speed gear change showed improvement but not enough?

the 14-34 will get you a slightly(about half of one 'speed') lower lowest gear but there is another factor.
That is a 7-speed with a 'megarange' low.
so its really a 6-speed with normal jumps then a huge jump to a very low climbing gear.

If you'll be on a lot of moderate hills the 8 speed 11-32 with more consistent gearing jumps may be better overall.

Ideally?
Get the 8-speed bike and see if the shop will swap in a 22 32 42 crank before purchase for a moderate upgrade fee.
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Old 03-22-16, 09:26 AM
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There are changes the dealer can make in addition to picking a set of parts chosen at the factory level .

2 is a freewheel Shift 2 | Shift | Recreation bikes | City bikes | Bikes | Trek Bikes
3 uses a cassette-freehub (1 more 'speed') a bump up in the components like the crankset
Granny gear may be bolted rather than riveted on, so excangeable for smaller*.
Shift 3 Women's | Shift | Recreation bikes | City bikes | Bikes | Trek Bikes

* Less teeth , the rear gear cassette can also be exchanged at point of sale by the dealer, for larger to crete a lower gear ratio..

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-22-16 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 03-22-16, 10:07 AM
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some gear inch figures:

your original 3 speed high gear - 74
modified 3-speed low - 31

14-34 bike = 21.2 to 88
11-32 bike = 22.5 to 112

11-32 bike with 22-42 crank 17.7 - 98

You might not even shift down to the 17 often but it can be nice to have
For me and I guess you the 98 would be plenty high

Last edited by kzin; 03-22-16 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 03-22-16, 10:57 AM
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Kzin, the 3 speed gear change opened up a lot of new territory for me. But now I've caught the fever to explore more of the ridge I live on. Thanks for the crank suggestion.

Do you have any thoughts on the Nuvinci vs the Alfine 11 or Shimano Nexus 8?
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Old 03-22-16, 11:00 AM
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17 sounds perfect for this area. So much appreciate the gear inch calculations. I've tried Sheldon's calculator, and it is beyond me.
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Old 03-22-16, 11:03 AM
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Thanks, fietsbob. Is there any advantage to a freewheel vs a cassette?
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Old 03-22-16, 11:11 AM
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If you go out for an hour once a week and just do laps up and down a hill that's typical of what you ride, it will make you a lot stronger pretty quickly. The hills will start to take less work, regardless of what bike you're on. Combine getting stronger with a bike with great hill gearing, and hopefully you'll have a lot of good times. If you do decide to do hill workouts, though, take the next day to rest.
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Old 03-22-16, 11:11 AM
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If you need to compare another bike, try using Mike Sherman's gear calculator. It is very straightforward. Mike Sherman's Bicycle Gear Calculator

Older bikes may have a freewheel which is a complete unit that screws on to the rear hub. Newer ones have a cluster of cogs which can be removed from the freehub and replaced separately. With this you can replace whichever part wears or fails.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogset and picture of the freehub that it goes on:

https://www.google.com/search?q=free...aKIirsjII-M%3A
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Old 03-22-16, 11:15 AM
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I didn't realize the pogo stick effect of sus forks. Hmmm. Back to the drawing board. Thanks, KLiNCK.
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Old 03-22-16, 11:17 AM
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HI Seattle, you're so right about gaining strength. I can feel the improvement already. I'm sure you are familiar with hills, being in your neck of the woods
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Old 03-23-16, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by claudia52 View Post
Kzin, the 3 speed gear change opened up a lot of new territory for me. But now I've caught the fever to explore more of the ridge I live on. Thanks for the crank suggestion.

Do you have any thoughts on the Nuvinci vs the Alfine 11 or Shimano Nexus 8?
Personally I don't like the Nuvinci in principle. I want to decide my gear selection, not let the hub decide for itself.
If you're interested you should search and/or post that specifically.

I have no actual experience with the shimano 8 or 11 but I like my 3-speeds enough more than my derailers that my next bike will be one or the other. The 11speed price is staggering to me.

the 8 speed with gears low enough to suit me leaves a very marginal high gear.
I may end up with a bike with a 8-speed hub AND front derailer.
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Old 03-23-16, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by kzin View Post
Personally I don't like the Nuvinci in principle. I want to decide my gear selection, not let the hub decide for itself.
If you're interested you should search and/or post that specifically.

I have no actual experience with the shimano 8 or 11 but I like my 3-speeds enough more than my derailers that my next bike will be one or the other. The 11speed price is staggering to me.

the 8 speed with gears low enough to suit me leaves a very marginal high gear.


I may end up with a bike with a 8-speed hub AND front derailer.
What advantage would the front derailer confer, Kzin?
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Old 03-23-16, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by claudia52 View Post
What advantage would the front derailer confer, Kzin?
Gear range. Very low low to decently high high.
It would basically give me 3 8-speed internal gear hubs on the same bike
1 in a very low range
1 in a medium-low range
1 medium high

It has the advantage over a 3*8 all-derailer setup of no cross-chaining issue
all 8 rear gears available for all 3 front rings.
Plus most shifting is internal gear which is just nicer especially on hills

Still considerably cheaper than an alfine 11 or (gasp) rohloff
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Old 03-23-16, 12:59 PM
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I think the problems are being overstated.

The granny gears on these bikes are very, very low, good for wheelies or for going uphill as fast as you could walk. That's still true of the Shimano 8-speed.

The suspension fork will have little downside on this bike, it's not a lightweight bike to begin with and most of the rider's weight will be over the back.

The more-speeds gear hubs and especially the NuVinci or the Rohloff are very rare compared to the derailleurs and you would first need to find one to try before you decide.
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Old 03-23-16, 01:16 PM
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One thing that is rarely mentioned is getting an internal gear hub fixed. I know this first hand having owned a trike that had an older version of the SRAM dual-drive (3 internal and 8 external gears) plus a Schlumpf Mountain Drive (2 speed internal gear) that replaces the front bottom bracket. It is a really useful system for a trike that has a 20" 406 drive wheel as the way it was set up on my trike it gave me a wider gear range than you find on a road bike with 700C drive wheel. Both eventually failed due to the many thousands of miles I put on them. The option I found was to repair the SMD myself or ship it to Europe for rebuilding. I found exactly one place where they would repair the SRAM drive but the cost was about equal to buying a complete new hub. Instead I just replaced the rear wheel with a new one with a brand new dual-drive hub. The gist is that if you buy a bike with an internal hub, don't expect the shop where you bought it to fix it. They usually don't have a clue.
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Old 03-23-16, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by claudia52 View Post
I didn't realize the pogo stick effect of sus forks. Hmmm. Back to the drawing board. Thanks, KLiNCK.
The bikes you're considering have lockouts for the suspension making it a moot point.
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Old 03-23-16, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by kzin View Post
Personally I don't like the Nuvinci in principle. I want to decide my gear selection, not let the hub decide for itself.
The only Nuvinci hubs that auto shift are those for E-bikes, the rest are shifted manually like any other IGH.
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Old 03-23-16, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
The only Nuvinci hubs that auto shift are those for E-bikes, the rest are shifted manually like any other IGH.
Thanks, was their first hub autoshift?
Still not exactly like any other.
Infinite range rather than discrete ratios.
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