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Geared bikes or single speed?

Old 05-07-24, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan
This is a physical triumph, but also an achievement in MANAGING to accomplish something pretty damn hard using the resources available to you! Congrats! You determine what need to be done and devised ways and means (the stowage of cogs and the wrenches, the identification of places and times to execute the changes, et cetera! And based on your maturity to stick to the process, knowing "this is how I can get home if I stay with the pattern. Wow!

Dang, I must be one heckofa nerd if I think all this is cool! Well, so be it! I guess the shoe fits!

I'm tempted to try a fixed to get some of this challenge at my 70 years old and currently less toned knees and thighs. I can imagine finding a saddle position which works with a chainring pair to do "level flight" and to climb as long as I can stay aerobic. But always pushing the pedals on the backstroke to give some limitation to my down-celeration, that will be new!
I simply don't resist on the downhills. Not healthy for my knees. Regular (excellent) caliper brakes are on all my fix gears and I have no qualms whatsoever about using them.

Originally Posted by Trakhak
The mention of a "chainring pair" is disquieting. If you mean that you envision simply relocating the chain between larger and smaller chainrings during a given ride, it doesn't work that way. With anything more than a difference of only a very few chainring teeth, you'd have to shorten or lengthen the chain accordingly. That is, unless you play to swap sprockets on the rear wheel whenever you swap chainrings.
I am not sure what Road Fan means but I use 3 chainrings on my Mooney. Each aligns with its own cog. this means I can make very large ratio changes with out being limited by the not very long late '70s Campy dropout. I ran 46-42-36 for Cycle Oregon and typically 13 and a 17-21 double cog in back. (Like the Surley with its trademarked double cog but using 1/8" cogs.) This gave me gears of 46-13 (96 gear inches), 42-17 (67") and 36-21 (46"). (any gear works - as long as the chainring and cog add up to roughly the same number. Here, 46+13 = 59, 42+17 =59 and 36-21 = 57. I can unscrew the double and use a 24. 36+24 = 60. All of these keep the hub nicely on that dropout.
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Old 05-07-24, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
That is really not true most of the time. Most racers alternate between seated and standing, but spend much of the climb seated. More so in the modern era with a wider gear range.
I totally buy that. I especially note how much wider road race bike gearing is than it used to be.
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Old 05-07-24, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
I simply don't resist on the downhills. Not healthy for my knees. Regular (excellent) caliper brakes are on all my fix gears and I have no qualms whatsoever about using them.



I am not sure what Road Fan means but I use 3 chainrings on my Mooney. Each aligns with its own cog. this means I can make very large ratio changes with out being limited by the not very long late '70s Campy dropout. I ran 46-42-36 for Cycle Oregon and typically 13 and a 17-21 double cog in back. (Like the Surley with its trademarked double cog but using 1/8" cogs.) This gave me gears of 46-13 (96 gear inches), 42-17 (67") and 36-21 (46"). (any gear works - as long as the chainring and cog add up to roughly the same number. Here, 46+13 = 59, 42+17 =59 and 36-21 = 57. I can unscrew the double and use a 24. 36+24 = 60. All of these keep the hub nicely on that dropout.
Interesting. I assume no derailleurs or chain tensioners? If true, do you shift on the fly, or stopped, or need to undo the quick release?
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Old 05-07-24, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Interesting. I assume no derailleurs or chain tensioners? If true, do you shift on the fly, or stopped, or need to undo the quick release?
Fix gear. Tensioners and derailleurs - no. Old school. I stop and use a 15mm Pedros Trixie which doubles to remove the lockring to change cogs. Carry a 20 oz chainwhip if I am going to be unscrewing cogs. (You can see it on my top tube in my avatar.) When I have it dialed in I can flip the wheel or move the chain to another cog and chainring in about 2 minutes. 5 for a cog change.

I don't use quick releases for fix gear hubs. They require skill or ability to adjust both the centering and the chain tension at the same time. Nuts require neither. Pull the wheel back al the way, leaning it to the left. Tighten the left, center, tighten the right. Check tension, Walk the wheel to correct tension. Done. (At the top of hard climbs, both manual skill and ability are not to be had. But it is on that high speed descent you really, really want your chain slack correct.)
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Old 05-07-24, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
Fix gear. Tensioners and derailleurs - no. Old school. I stop and use a 15mm Pedros Trixie which doubles to remove the lockring to change cogs. Carry a 20 oz chainwhip if I am going to be unscrewing cogs. (You can see it on my top tube in my avatar.) When I have it dialed in I can flip the wheel or move the chain to another cog and chainring in about 2 minutes. 5 for a cog change.

I don't use quick releases for fix gear hubs. They require skill or ability to adjust both the centering and the chain tension at the same time. Nuts require neither. Pull the wheel back al the way, leaning it to the left. Tighten the left, center, tighten the right. Check tension, Walk the wheel to correct tension. Done. (At the top of hard climbs, both manual skill and ability are not to be had. But it is on that high speed descent you really, really want your chain slack correct.)
Oh, ok. I thought you had a bike with 3 chainrings and 3 mounted cogs, sort of a semi-fixi. Sounds like you have on only one cog at a time, stopping to change as needed.

Hmm, not to be argumentative, but two derailleurs may be no more weight than the tools you carry. It would be cool if you had the space to mount 3 cogs, and use fixie width chain with the correct cog spacing, assuming it shifted good. That would be a very durable setup, and a bit more user friendly. Even better with a super-mini rear derailleur, as you would only need enough wrap for shifting a cog at a time, even better if somehow it shifted both front and rear simultaneously, so really minimal rear derailleur needed.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 05-07-24 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 05-08-24, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
The mention of a "chainring pair" is disquieting. If you mean that you envision simply relocating the chain between larger and smaller chainrings during a given ride, it doesn't work that way. With anything more than a difference of only a very few chainring teeth, you'd have to shorten or lengthen the chain accordingly. That is, unless you play to swap sprockets on the rear wheel whenever you swap chainrings.
Not necessarily. They make eBikes that have a derailleur that is only used for adjusting the chain length, rather than shifting through the rear sprockets. I don't even know if 'derailleur' is the right term at that point?
The purpose on an eBike with a single mechanical speed is to prevent chain stretch when the rear suspension articulates, {example} but it could also be used to account for a double or triple chainring.
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Old 05-08-24, 08:45 AM
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Unless I missed it, there is a huge elephant in the room. The assumption on many of the posts in this thread is that the single speed is a relatively high one, so that hill climbing is a pretty high effort, and tough on the knees and chain.
Elsewhere on this site, a lot of riders are quite comfortable with the fact that they are slow. Why not apply this principal to single speed bikes?

The single speed would be set up as on a Chinese commuter bike, or as on a BMX.

Do you remember riding around as a kid on a BMX? Seat way too low; used only for low effort cruising on the flats only. One could pedal quickly going downhill, but only to a point; maybe 15 mph max. Climbing or starting from a stop required standing up to mash.
Chinese commuter bikes often have only one gear, and it is set for an easy slow cadence yielding maybe 6-8 mph, about jogging speed, but without the sweat. Want to go faster? Pedal faster, but the top practical speed may be something like 12 mph. Want to climb a hill? Stand up and mash. Descend a hill? Coast; enjoy the fruits of your labor rather than be obsessed with speed.

Us, being more toned in the legs than our typical muggle friends, might go a BIT higher on the gear, but not high enough for a comfortable cadence at 15 mph or high enough to cripple our ability to climb the average hill in our area.

To me, THIS is the beauty of a single speed: we get the desired simplicity mostly at the expense of top speed, not climbing ability.

I'd like to see some 60s and 70s technology make a comeback, but modernized. For example, my family had a chopper-style Schwinn from the 60s (banana seat, paint flake orange, IIRC) with a two-speed hub that ALSO had a coaster brake. It was PERFECT: the low gear was good for starting out and climbing hills. The high gear was good for cruising on the flat. Add the coaster brake and it meant no cables for the entire rear end of the bike. (and it didn't have a front brake at all. I wouldn't go THAT far, I'd want a simple mechanical disc or drum/roller front brake...)

To me, I would not want to go as simple as fixie. I want to be able to coast safely and use a coaster brake for the rear.

Anyone else with me on this?
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Old 05-08-24, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Oh, ok. I thought you had a bike with 3 chainrings and 3 mounted cogs, sort of a semi-fixi. Sounds like you have on only one cog at a time, stopping to change as needed.

Hmm, not to be argumentative, but two derailleurs may be no more weight than the tools you carry. It would be cool if you had the space to mount 3 cogs, and use fixie width chain with the correct cog spacing, assuming it shifted good. That would be a very durable setup, and a bit more user friendly. Even better with a super-mini rear derailleur, as you would only need enough wrap for shifting a cog at a time, even better if somehow it shifted both front and rear simultaneously, so really minimal rear derailleur needed.
It's all about the fix gear. I simply love it! Freewheels are "not fixed". They have all sorts of other advantages but the pure joy of the fix gear is never there. And to this day, the only changeable fix gear system I've heard of is the Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub. (Actually, there were a few crazy systems invented for race bikes pre-derailleur but they were not bullet-proof and idiot simple and required brave young men to operate them.)

To date, I've never ridden the SA system. I learned of it summer of '77 when I worked at a shop with a mechanic that was a friend of the slightly odd-ball Sheldon Brown. Sheldon had and rode that hub. Both thought it wouldn't be a good fit for a young, strong racer. No longer either of those but I value rock solid durability now even more.
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Old 05-08-24, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jack pot
SS will take you you anywhere gears will but its more fun if you're FIXED ..harder is funner
Sure, a lot of fun if you're in a relatively flat area, but as much as I like single speed, they really aren't fun here in Western PA around Pittsburgh.
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Old 05-08-24, 12:18 PM
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sufficient bike for 95% of bike riders ...$550 new & app $200 on Craigs List
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Old 05-08-24, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by jack pot


sufficient bike for 95% of bike riders ...$550 new & app $200 on Craigs List
I guess I fall into the remaining 5% of riders then!
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Old 05-08-24, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
The mention of a "chainring pair" is disquieting. If you mean that you envision simply relocating the chain between larger and smaller chainrings during a given ride, it doesn't work that way. With anything more than a difference of only a very few chainring teeth, you'd have to shorten or lengthen the chain accordingly. That is, unless you play to swap sprockets on the rear wheel whenever you swap chainrings.
I did not necessarily mean that, sorry, and I did not intend to disquiet anyone.
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Old 05-08-24, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
I simply don't resist on the downhills. Not healthy for my knees. Regular (excellent) caliper brakes are on all my fix gears and I have no qualms whatsoever about using them.



I am not sure what Road Fan means but I use 3 chainrings on my Mooney. Each aligns with its own cog. this means I can make very large ratio changes with out being limited by the not very long late '70s Campy dropout. I ran 46-42-36 for Cycle Oregon and typically 13 and a 17-21 double cog in back. (Like the Surley with its trademarked double cog but using 1/8" cogs.) This gave me gears of 46-13 (96 gear inches), 42-17 (67") and 36-21 (46"). (any gear works - as long as the chainring and cog add up to roughly the same number. Here, 46+13 = 59, 42+17 =59 and 36-21 = 57. I can unscrew the double and use a 24. 36+24 = 60. All of these keep the hub nicely on that dropout.

I meant a chainring / sprocket pair which you intend to ride together. Chainring, cog, sprocket, pinion? We should look up their definitions, it might be surprising.

Regarding my thoughts about decelerating. If itís wrong to assume some kind of reverse foot force is used to slow down, I can only say itís a learning experience, and thanks to 79pmooney!
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Old 05-08-24, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan
I meant a chainring / sprocket pair which you intend to ride together. Chainring, cog, sprocket, pinion? We should look up their definitions, it might be surprising.

Regarding my thoughts about decelerating. If it’s wrong to assume some kind of reverse foot force is used to slow down, I can only say it’s a learning experience, and thanks to 79pmooney!
There's nothing wrong about using one's legs to slow fix gears. It is hard on my knees. So I just "coast" at whatever RPM is required. ("Coasting" is one of the most valuable skills fix gears impart. The ability to completely relax any and all muscles that aren't actually being used. With gears and freewheels, completely relaxing the muscles not needed on that part of the stroke is a real benefit but not necessary. But downhill on a fix gear, the better you can relax, the faster, safer and more fun the descents are. And that training benefits you all the time. When your quads are working, not only are your hammies not, they are actually in a millisecond recovery. And vice versa. Huge plus on very long rides. And in races.

To this day, I am in deep gratitude to those club vets who told me I had to set my second bike up fixed.

Edit: re slowing with your legs. Because on fix gears, you can, many run without brakes. Keep in mind that good brakes (especially in front) stop you in roughly half the distance of the most perfect stop using just the rear wheel. (That's assuming you have the skill to match the best rear brake out there.) Those club vets just told me to keep the brakes (because crashing costs you training and races).

Last edited by 79pmooney; 05-08-24 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 05-08-24, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
Unless I missed it, there is a huge elephant in the room. The assumption on many of the posts in this thread is that the single speed is a relatively high one, so that hill climbing is a pretty high effort, and tough on the knees and chain.
Elsewhere on this site, a lot of riders are quite comfortable with the fact that they are slow. Why not apply this principal to single speed bikes?

The single speed would be set up as on a Chinese commuter bike, or as on a BMX.

Do you remember riding around as a kid on a BMX? Seat way too low; used only for low effort cruising on the flats only. One could pedal quickly going downhill, but only to a point; maybe 15 mph max. Climbing or starting from a stop required standing up to mash.
Chinese commuter bikes often have only one gear, and it is set for an easy slow cadence yielding maybe 6-8 mph, about jogging speed, but without the sweat. Want to go faster? Pedal faster, but the top practical speed may be something like 12 mph. Want to climb a hill? Stand up and mash. Descend a hill? Coast; enjoy the fruits of your labor rather than be obsessed with speed.

Us, being more toned in the legs than our typical muggle friends, might go a BIT higher on the gear, but not high enough for a comfortable cadence at 15 mph or high enough to cripple our ability to climb the average hill in our area.

To me, THIS is the beauty of a single speed: we get the desired simplicity mostly at the expense of top speed, not climbing ability.

I'd like to see some 60s and 70s technology make a comeback, but modernized. For example, my family had a chopper-style Schwinn from the 60s (banana seat, paint flake orange, IIRC) with a two-speed hub that ALSO had a coaster brake. It was PERFECT: the low gear was good for starting out and climbing hills. The high gear was good for cruising on the flat. Add the coaster brake and it meant no cables for the entire rear end of the bike. (and it didn't have a front brake at all. I wouldn't go THAT far, I'd want a simple mechanical disc or drum/roller front brake...)

To me, I would not want to go as simple as fixie. I want to be able to coast safely and use a coaster brake for the rear.

Anyone else with me on this?
Chinese bikes: The government destroyed bicycle paradise; Used to be, owning a bike was a rite of passage to be married and have a family, the streets filled with all bicycles, people going to work or other utility use. Now, the government discourages bike use and streets are clogged with car traffic, in order to better support their growing auto industry. Massive pollution. The same as GM destroyed electric trolley use in many USA cities in order to sell their buses that spew diesel exhaust and also tire dust.

Single speed and 2-speeds are OK on flats. In my region, a 3-speed was not enough range, especially not low enough, and that was with 20" wheels so geared inherently lower. Using a single here is quite an athletic undertaking, I need at most 21 gear inches to spin up most steeper grades, that and standing for the worst (like 20%+ I think) grades. Trying to go everywhere here in that low gear would be a nightmare.

Likewise, I would only want a coaster brake for on the flats, as brake part replacement is a lot more expensive than rim pads. This is also why I avoided a good deal on an IGH bike with Shimano roller brake (once I looked up what that was), basically a more fancy coaster brake, the steeps here would wear it out quick, and a rebuild kit was not cheap.

Bikes were mostly used for utility in the first half of the 20th century. The Sturmey-Archer 3-speed IGH was like Visicalc was for the personal computer, vastly improving the utility of the device, the "killer app". I'm a derailleur person now, due to ease of repair and maintenance, but I recognize the greatness of the S-A for early variable gearing.
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Old 05-09-24, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Chinese bikes: The government destroyed bicycle paradise; Used to be, owning a bike was a rite of passage to be married and have a family, the streets filled with all bicycles, people going to work or other utility use. Now, the government discourages bike use and streets are clogged with car traffic, in order to better support their growing auto industry. Massive pollution. The same as GM destroyed electric trolley use in many USA cities in order to sell their buses that spew diesel exhaust and also tire dust.

Single speed and 2-speeds are OK on flats. In my region, a 3-speed was not enough range, especially not low enough, and that was with 20" wheels so geared inherently lower. Using a single here is quite an athletic undertaking, I need at most 21 gear inches to spin up most steeper grades, that and standing for the worst (like 20%+ I think) grades. Trying to go everywhere here in that low gear would be a nightmare.

Likewise, I would only want a coaster brake for on the flats, as brake part replacement is a lot more expensive than rim pads. This is also why I avoided a good deal on an IGH bike with Shimano roller brake (once I looked up what that was), basically a more fancy coaster brake, the steeps here would wear it out quick, and a rebuild kit was not cheap.

Bikes were mostly used for utility in the first half of the 20th century. The Sturmey-Archer 3-speed IGH was like Visicalc was for the personal computer, vastly improving the utility of the device, the "killer app". I'm a derailleur person now, due to ease of repair and maintenance, but I recognize the greatness of the S-A for early variable gearing.
Excellent post, I will just point out one thing wrong:
Rebuilding a rear roller/coaster brake for you would not be an issue, since it is just the rear brake. If you had a front brake, I guess you'd want to avoid the roller & rim brakes entirely and go right to disc.
Derailleurs/chains are easy to maintain, but they sure do need a lot of cleaning & lubing!
Have you given any thought to Pinion gears or are they too heavy for your application? (they're making inroads quickly in utility-type eBikes)
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Old 05-09-24, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
It's all about the fix gear. I simply love it! Freewheels are "not fixed". They have all sorts of other advantages but the pure joy of the fix gear is never there. And to this day, the only changeable fix gear system I've heard of is the Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub. (Actually, there were a few crazy systems invented for race bikes pre-derailleur but they were not bullet-proof and idiot simple and required brave young men to operate them.)

To date, I've never ridden the SA system. I learned of it summer of '77 when I worked at a shop with a mechanic that was a friend of the slightly odd-ball Sheldon Brown. Sheldon had and rode that hub. Both thought it wouldn't be a good fit for a young, strong racer. No longer either of those but I value rock solid durability now even more.
I'm not sure I understand your post.
For one thing, it had three speeds, therefore not fixed.
Are you saying they made a 3-speed that would not coast?
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Old 05-09-24, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
I'm not sure I understand your post.
For one thing, it had three speeds, therefore not fixed.
Are you saying they made a 3-speed that would not coast?

Review: Sturmey Archer S3X: Three Speed Fixed Gear

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Old 05-09-24, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
I'm not sure I understand your post.
For one thing, it had three speeds, therefore not fixed.
Are you saying they made a 3-speed that would not coast?
Yes. Sturmey-Archer made a 3-speed hub that was fix gear in all three gears. I believe they still do.

Bah! When I answer a quote from my email, I don't see responses until I post or view the entire thread. Trakhak beat to to it only better.

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Old 05-09-24, 09:32 PM
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Interesting, though mention in article of "lack of prawls", must be an idiom or portmaneau of pawns or pawls or prawns.
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Old 05-09-24, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
Excellent post, I will just point out one thing wrong:
Rebuilding a rear roller/coaster brake for you would not be an issue, since it is just the rear brake. If you had a front brake, I guess you'd want to avoid the roller & rim brakes entirely and go right to disc.
Derailleurs/chains are easy to maintain, but they sure do need a lot of cleaning & lubing!
Have you given any thought to Pinion gears or are they too heavy for your application? (they're making inroads quickly in utility-type eBikes)
Thanks!

Pinion looks promising, 18 speeds with no duplicates, durable, if maintenance is just drain and refill lube, that is great. Was first seen on only bikes $5000+ and in Europe; Another recent thread tells of new Lectric e-bike that has Pinion and is $2000, encouraging.

Derailleurs are messy, with oil, why I used an on-bike chain cleaner; I'm going back to wax like I was using all through the '90s and '00s, that's clean enough that I can take off the chain in bare hands.

Yes I do want discs. If I could find a cheap 20" disc fork and wheel, I'd do it for just the front on my bike, but I think that will need to wait for me to buy a disc bike or frame, wheels, and parts.
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Old 05-10-24, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Thanks!

Pinion looks promising, 18 speeds with no duplicates, durable, if maintenance is just drain and refill lube, that is great. Was first seen on only bikes $5000+ and in Europe; Another recent thread tells of new Lectric e-bike that has Pinion and is $2000, encouraging.

Derailleurs are messy, with oil, why I used an on-bike chain cleaner; I'm going back to wax like I was using all through the '90s and '00s, that's clean enough that I can take off the chain in bare hands.

Yes I do want discs. If I could find a cheap 20" disc fork and wheel, I'd do it for just the front on my bike, but I think that will need to wait for me to buy a disc bike or frame, wheels, and parts.
Yep derailleurs are mature, light, inexpensive and efficient. Nothing else can compete in these aspects, so they're going to be around until bikes are all replaced with eBikes.

Did you read about the special top-secret Honda-designed gearbox for full suspension mountain bikes? Every time they needed service, the team retreated to a van. When they finally were opened up by someone outside of Honda, it was found that it was simply a chain/derailleur enclosed in a case. It was not the same old design, it had to be different because it was moved from the back to the middle of the bike, but still!
https://www.cyclingabout.com/inside-...cle-gearboxes/

Re. wax, it would do a good job preventing corrosion on the plates and will not attract grit like wet oil, but it will also not lubricate the pin areas after it dries. On motorcycles, this is more acceptable, as they have sealed O-ring chains now with lube inside, but bikes aren't there yet.
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Old 05-10-24, 10:23 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
Yep derailleurs are mature, light, inexpensive and efficient. Nothing else can compete in these aspects, so they're going to be around until bikes are all replaced with eBikes.

Did you read about the special top-secret Honda-designed gearbox for full suspension mountain bikes? Every time they needed service, the team retreated to a van. When they finally were opened up by someone outside of Honda, it was found that it was simply a chain/derailleur enclosed in a case. It was not the same old design, it had to be different because it was moved from the back to the middle of the bike, but still!
https://www.cyclingabout.com/inside-...cle-gearboxes/

Re. wax, it would do a good job preventing corrosion on the plates and will not attract grit like wet oil, but it will also not lubricate the pin areas after it dries. On motorcycles, this is more acceptable, as they have sealed O-ring chains now with lube inside, but bikes aren't there yet.
Spectacular post. Had no idea the Honda gearboxes for bicycles existed.
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Old 05-10-24, 12:35 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by jack pot
SS will take you you anywhere gears will but its more fun if you're FIXED ..harder is funner
This bike is from the peak coolness of AC models and paint options. They had moved to flatmount and thru axle, quality carbon forks from Whisky or Columbus, and super great paint schemes.
...that many spacers on a carbon steerer?...seems well past the 40mm that is usually cited as a max for safety. Just a psa.
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Old 05-18-24, 08:01 PM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
Yep derailleurs are mature, light, inexpensive and efficient. Nothing else can compete in these aspects, so they're going to be around until bikes are all replaced with eBikes.

Did you read about the special top-secret Honda-designed gearbox for full suspension mountain bikes? Every time they needed service, the team retreated to a van. When they finally were opened up by someone outside of Honda, it was found that it was simply a chain/derailleur enclosed in a case. It was not the same old design, it had to be different because it was moved from the back to the middle of the bike, but still!
https://www.cyclingabout.com/inside-...cle-gearboxes/

Re. wax, it would do a good job preventing corrosion on the plates and will not attract grit like wet oil, but it will also not lubricate the pin areas after it dries. On motorcycles, this is more acceptable, as they have sealed O-ring chains now with lube inside, but bikes aren't there yet.
Derailleurs have no countershaft and churning of 12 constant-mesh spur gears to get 6 speeds like Pinion, or planetary gearsets. Inherently efficient.

Wax: Actually I think it's the reverse; The wax is quickly shed from the side plates, but the wax inside each roller and between pins and inner plate swages, is captured and contained there, and hard enough to not just squoosh out. I went to oil, thinking that wax, while clean (my reason for using), put more wear on chains (despite, with monthly wax-melt, running the same chain on my road bike for about 70k miles over 15 years, I was a noob, didn't measure stretch until noticing the wear on the uniglide cogs and reversing, but dang, there's proof). Only now, after reading test results on ZFC, is it evident that wax works better than oil for durability (who knew?), even candle wax, but waxes with teflon powder and moly- or tungsten-disulfide are better. I'll switch back this summer. To my knowledge, wax is terrible at preventing corrosion, unfortunately. But I'm a dry biker, rain trashes the drivetrain and rim brakes with road grit, and water gets inside the cheap bearing seals.
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