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Can't go fast enough, running out of gear.

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Can't go fast enough, running out of gear.

Old 08-20-08, 11:23 AM
  #1  
ThomasA
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Can't go fast enough, running out of gear.

I have a 26" 24 speed (3 front, 8 rear) and it's all Shimano equipped. I ride for intense exersize like up and down city hills. I never use the front small 2 crank rings, always just the 3rd. Should I just upgrade to a 10 speed cassette? What all is needed to convert to such? The cassette, rear shifter? Does the derailleur need to be changed as well? Is there anything else, or any other way I could pick up more speed down hills? Right now I max out at ~42mph on the biggest hill in town and I can't pedal fast enough to keep up with it. I can really only pedal to ~38mph effectively. Thanks.
-Thomas
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Old 08-20-08, 11:54 AM
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My opinion- sounds like at this point, any extra money needs to go for brakes and insurance rather than bigger gears.
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Old 08-20-08, 11:54 AM
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The number of speeds isn't what determines how fast the bike goes when you pedal. What you want is bigger chainrings and/or smaller cogs.

Sheldon Brown's gear calculator could be useful for you. Put in what your bike currently has and for gear units choose "MPH @ 90 RPM" (or whatever RPM your cadence is). The chart that comes up will tell you how fast you go pedaling at that cadence in each of your gears. Then go back to the form and change the chainrings size and/or the cassettes and see how that changes the results.
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Old 08-20-08, 11:56 AM
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Thanks Ill look in to that.

By the way, just got new good brakes put on. I wanna go fast!
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Old 08-20-08, 11:59 AM
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Generally late model 10 speed cassettes are not easily converted on to older style freewheel cogs, which I'm guessing is what you have. The spacing of the frame on newer bikes is wider to make room for the extra gears, and the gear set attaches differently.

Counting the number teeth on your largest chain ring and then the number teeth on the rear cog might provide an area to modify.
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Old 08-20-08, 12:15 PM
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If you want to go fast get a bike with 700c wheels, a 53/39 double crankset and a cassette with an 11t cog.
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Old 08-20-08, 12:22 PM
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He'll probably still spin out with 53x11, get a 54 or 55.

Hmmm, wonder who's the beneficiary.....
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Old 08-20-08, 12:36 PM
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When I first got a multispeed bike, I thought I was running out of gears. After discussion with the prop of the LBS, and installation of a computer with cadence function, I decided I had a long ways to go before needing bigger chain rings. Not saying this is the OPs problem, just saying. . . .
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Old 08-20-08, 01:37 PM
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Is it not recommended to go faster than this? On a nice flat road I could use one more gear slightly taller than my 3 and 8 combo. I'll have to count the teeth when I get home.

I got this bike used, but I think it's around a 2005-06ish. It's Jeep brand frame and handlebar, but the front fork and stem seem to be different, as they are very beefy, stiff, and light. The whole bike is incredibly light for a mountain bike. I have street tires on it as well. My intention with it is to make it a mean street bike. Lighten it up more with some carbon pieces, maybe put a slightly thinner tire on it, and possibly some aero bars for the downhill runs.

-Thomas
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Old 08-20-08, 01:40 PM
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Seriously...save your money and get a road bike. Wheel size, gearing and body position will always limit you with this bike.
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Old 08-20-08, 01:45 PM
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Agree ^^ Get a road bike for the long road, and get a Cyclo-computer with cadence, on the flats you should be doing 80+ rpm of the crank, this will get you the exercise you are looking for trying to keep up with your pedals going town a hill will give you a case of road rash or worse.
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Old 08-20-08, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ThomasA View Post
I have a 26" 24 speed (3 front, 8 rear) and it's all Shimano equipped. I ride for intense exersize like up and down city hills. I never use the front small 2 crank rings, always just the 3rd. Should I just upgrade to a 10 speed cassette? What all is needed to convert to such? The cassette, rear shifter? Does the derailleur need to be changed as well? Is there anything else, or any other way I could pick up more speed down hills? Right now I max out at ~42mph on the biggest hill in town and I can't pedal fast enough to keep up with it. I can really only pedal to ~38mph effectively. Thanks.
-Thomas
What is The Crash Speed Rating on your helmet?
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Old 08-20-08, 06:48 PM
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Well I looked at the bike and the front crankset is actually an Impel Sugino (looks like Shimano) 42/34/24 so obviously I've got a lot of room to upgrade there. I think I'll try to find a Shimano 52/42/30 and a set of 700c wheels and see where that puts me.
-Thomas
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Old 08-20-08, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ThomasA View Post
Well I looked at the bike and the front crankset is actually an Impel Sugino (looks like Shimano) 42/34/24 so obviously I've got a lot of room to upgrade there. I think I'll try to find a Shimano 52/42/30 and a set of 700c wheels and see where that puts me.
-Thomas
You can't just put 700C wheels on a 26" frame. If you want to go faster it's probably worth it to buy a road bike (and based on the speeds you want to ride at a nice set of hydraulic disc brakes may be in order too!)
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Old 08-20-08, 07:11 PM
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Well the wifey has a bike with 700c's and from some measurements I took it looks like I'll have to re-adjust the brake pads but other than that they will go right in.
-Thomas
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Old 08-20-08, 07:15 PM
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A lot of MTBs have rather low overall gearing, and it's no trick for a strong rider to "spin out". Like the guys say, a roadster will generally have higher gearing. Very few humans can effectively pull 53 X 11 on a level road.
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Old 08-20-08, 08:11 PM
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Here you go:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNwmpLPhoHw
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Old 08-20-08, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Ugh. Look at his right arm at 1:05 to 1:12. Is that his bone sticking out??
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Old 08-20-08, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
Very few humans can effectively pull 53 X 11 on a level road.
I think the people suggesting 53 x 11 (or 54 or 55) were just yanking his chain.

har har
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Old 08-20-08, 08:26 PM
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actually 54 is good for long downhill runs, but it's overkill 53 would be good enough.
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Old 08-20-08, 08:35 PM
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i don't know, bro... those speeds aren't safe on city streets. there are morons on the road. being on those skinny tires won't give you much braking power (your wheels will just lock).

i'm a fan of speed, but i prefer getting a higher average speed over top speeds. top speeds are dangerous - i want to be able to ride the next day.

got a velodrome in your area? spin out there - the track is yours.
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Old 08-20-08, 08:40 PM
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Well if someone is "yanking my chain" I sure would appreciate an honest answer. I don't know everything about cycles yet so if you tell me something Ill probably believe you.

It was an arm pad, not a bone. and Im not trying to go 105mph on my bike. I just want to use my bike effectively in a downhill situation. And like I said, even on a slight incline I run out of gear. And also, I found out I have a 42t 3rd gear in front so obviously I DO need a larger one, since most road bikes are running 52-53's.

You're right 700c's probably arent a safe choice at those speeds in the city. I think I'll stick with my 26x1.75 michelin's they have really good grip and braking traction. I'll try a new crankset and see where it puts me.

-Thomas
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Old 08-20-08, 09:05 PM
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Find a bigger hill and coast!

Do you have a computer with cadence? Are you spinning at a reasonable (like 95-105) cadence in those high gears?
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Old 08-20-08, 09:11 PM
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if you're doing it for exercise, convert it to a 52 16 fixed : ) at least you won't get bored downhill, just change direction of the pressure
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Old 08-20-08, 09:12 PM
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Get a Schlumpf speed drive and you will be spinning out somewhere near the Montana speed limit.
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