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The two "unusable" gears.

Old 08-20-19, 05:39 AM
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BririaBoarder
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The two "unusable" gears.

Back in the early '70s, when "ten speeds" were ubiquitous, the lore was that using the highest or lowest gears would cause the chain to fall off/get goofed up, therefore those gears weren't practical to use. (I don't remember the precise details of this bit of urban legend.)
Was that ever true?
I have a derailleur seven-speed, but the gear changer is a clicker set up on the handlebar, not levers like they had in the old days.


~~~A bicycle without fenders is a person without eyebrows.
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Old 08-20-19, 05:55 AM
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No.
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Old 08-20-19, 05:57 AM
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BririaBoarder-

The gears to avoid in the older 5 and 6 speed configurations were the big/big and small/small because the less flexible chains and the crossover angles made these noisy and high wear applications.
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Old 08-20-19, 06:23 AM
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Thanks, bertinjim, for the explanation. That's what I was looking for.
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Old 08-20-19, 06:24 AM
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I have never used fenders and likely never will.
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Old 08-20-19, 06:49 AM
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The manual which came with my bike (21 speed hybrid) advised to not use small chainring/small gear or large chainring/large gear combinations, since it does flex the chain and causes wear. With all the possible gear combinations, though, there's no real need to use those combinations anyway. But it's perfectly fine to use middle chainring and high/low gears as needed, which isn't often.
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Old 08-20-19, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
The manual which came with my bike (21 speed hybrid) advised to not use small chainring/small gear or large chainring/large gear combinations, since it does flex the chain and causes wear.
It's called cross chaining.
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Old 08-20-19, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I have never used fenders and likely never will.
I’m afraid I’m in the same boat. Should the brows be shaved or plucked out individually?
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Old 08-20-19, 08:53 AM
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I have one single fender that covers both wheels, only thinning a bit in the middle.
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Old 08-20-19, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
It's called cross chaining.
It is indeed and like cross-dressing in the '70's once frowned upon by some but now quite common and simply no big deal anymore, except in College Station.

-Bandera
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Old 08-20-19, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
It is indeed and like cross-dressing in the '70's once frowned upon by some but now quite common and simply no big deal anymore, except in College Station.

-Bandera
When did cross-chaining stop being a thing? My '94 Allez has the original Shimano 600 derailleurs, and it definitely does NOT like being cross chained and tells me so quite vocally. "Buzz crunch crunch buzz". Go up or down one gear in the back and she's quiet as ever. It's not a subtle difference.
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Old 08-20-19, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I have never used fenders and likely never will.
+1 (with a caveat...) My first bike, a red (of course) Columbia, complete with wooden blocks strapped to the pedals so I could reach them, bought at Korvettes Department Store, in NYC had fenders.
Eric
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Old 08-20-19, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
When did cross-chaining stop being a thing?
About the same time that the film "Kinky Boots" became popular and Shimano introduced 10 cog derail systems.
This allowed our local hero of the 41 Captain Fast to cross chain 50X28 on his Team Shy replica to pointlessly brag about climbing a minor grade "in the Big Ring".
A somewhat noisy triumph of style over substance.

-Bandera
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Old 08-20-19, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
When did cross-chaining stop being a thing? My '94 Allez has the original Shimano 600 derailleurs, and it definitely does NOT like being cross chained and tells me so quite vocally. "Buzz crunch crunch buzz". Go up or down one gear in the back and she's quiet as ever. It's not a subtle difference.
Funny, my experience seems to be the reverse of most folks.. Bitd, I had nine effective gears. The only one I can say for sure I never used was small/small. Large/large meant not having to drop to the small ring (anethema in my teeny rigid racer's mind). Who couldn't get up hills in a 52-21? It didn't make grinding sounds, perhaps because it got used relatively often, also the Ron Cooper rear triangle was famously rigid. I imagine that I used the small ring, living as I did at the top of a 500 climb in southern VT, and doing lots of hilly training and racing, but I can't say for sure.
Now, I have so many gears on some of my bikes, I don't know what to do with them all,* so I just don't bother with the 2 extreme cross chained gears. Not because they're noisy, though they might be. I just have no reason to.

Eric

*my most modern is an 02 Lemond Zurich and it's got 20.
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Old 08-20-19, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by BririaBoarder View Post
the lore was that using the highest or lowest gears would cause the chain to fall off/get goofed up,
IF the chain is too short (ie: bike not set up properly) going to big-big could cause the chain to tear the derailleur off. Nothing unique to a ten speed, but a possibility.
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Old 08-20-19, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Last ride 76 View Post
+1 (with a caveat...) My first bike, a red (of course) Columbia, complete with wooden blocks strapped to the pedals so I could reach them, bought at Korvettes Department Store, in NYC had fenders.
Eric
I grew up in Philadelphia. I remember shopping at Korvette’s in S. Jersey.
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Old 08-20-19, 10:26 AM
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What if you only have an eyebrow?
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Old 08-20-19, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Last ride 76 View Post
+1 (with a caveat...) My first bike, a red (of course) Columbia, complete with wooden blocks strapped to the pedals so I could reach them, bought at Korvettes Department Store, in NYC had fenders.
Eric
Wow! Memories. My parents used to shop at a Korvettes in Redford Township just outside the Detroit city limits. That was back in the 1960s and caused me no small amount of confusion when I got a bit older and went to school and my friends were talking and dreaming about driving Corvettes. I dimly remember there being some legal issue around Korvettes not being able to advertise sale prices back in the day. Not sure I'm remembering that quite right. It's been decades.
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Old 08-20-19, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
Wow! Memories. My parents used to shop at a Korvettes in Redford Township just outside the Detroit city limits. That was back in the 1960s and caused me no small amount of confusion when I got a bit older and went to school and my friends were talking and dreaming about driving Corvettes. I dimly remember there being some legal issue around Korvettes not being able to advertise sale prices back in the day. Not sure I'm remembering that quite right. It's been decades.
I think the Wikipedia page explains the no advertising of sale prices thing--technically, it was organized as a retail cooperative, and it had "members" not customers--the membership cards were just handed out. This allowed them to skirt anti-price discrimination laws and work out discount deals with suppliers which would have been illegal if it were just a store chain.
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Old 08-20-19, 01:25 PM
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I might be wrong, but thought he/she was referring to not using the highest and lowest cassette gears (rear) to avoid the chain jumping into the hub or chainstay.... An "urban legend", perhaps, of people that didn't know how to adjust a derailleur?

I mean, wow, can't get my wife to give up her "dork disc" no matter how much I promised her that the "stop" screw will indeed... wait for it... STOP the chain from going over first gear....
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Old 08-20-19, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I have never used fenders and likely never will.
I haven't had fenders since they came off my Western Flyer banana seat bike some time in the early to mid-80's. I think the rear one began to fall off so I went ahead and removed it. I had trouble before with the fender filling up with mud while foolishly taking a ride down a country road not long after it rained, so I wasn't sad seeing it go. Though back when I was a kid, the times I polished them up with steel wool and they shined up like a new penny , they looked pretty slick.
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Old 08-20-19, 02:11 PM
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Small cog and small cog, is the worst. Because you know it's prolonged.

Nobody ever stayed on large/large for long. You knew it was brief.

But small/small.. you know they're in that gear all the fkn time.
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Old 08-20-19, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
Small cog and small cog, is the worst. Because you know it's prolonged.

Nobody ever stayed on large/large for long. You knew it was brief.

But small/small.. you know they're in that gear all the fkn time.
This makes no sense to me at all. I occasionally shift into large/large by accident on hills, but I can't ever remember being on small/small.

And if you're staying on any combo on a prolonged basis, it's probably fine. The bikes I have that don't like cross chaining make it too obvious for you to want to stay there. If you're not hearing it or feeling it, it's probably not doing any unussual damage beyond normal wear.
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Old 08-20-19, 03:09 PM
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I have always cross-chained (at least to the extent that the newer outside chainrings allow) when there was good reason for it. I live to climb. I love going hard uphill. If that hill levels off briefly I don't want to have to ease up to do two double shifts to say PC for that lesser grade.

In a race many decades ago, I badly over-geared my bike, 54-44 x 13-17 for the States on a flat course. Less than 40 riders. I spent 80% of the time (maybe more) on the small ring. Rounding the turn onto the 2 mile finishing stretch, I shifted to the large-large so I could pull a surprise jump a mile from the line with just an easy shift in back to the 54-15. Worked beautifully.

Ben
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Old 08-20-19, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
Small cog and small cog, is the worst. Because you know it's prolonged.

Nobody ever stayed on large/large for long. You knew it was brief.

But small/small.. you know they're in that gear all the fkn time.

If you look above, you will see that I used Large/large frequently, bitd... and as I was riding 350mi/week in (hilly) VT, that was a fair amount of time. I never used small/small. Why would I. The idea, in my mind, and I wasn't alone, if you read some other posts was "Big ring good". Maybe it was a USA thing, or even a NE USA thing.
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