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Best way to use gears?

Old 05-31-14, 12:40 PM
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Ali89
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Best way to use gears?

Hi,

I have a triple chain set 28-38-48. My question is regarding switching up to the big ring for flat riding: is it best to switch up as soon as possible not to cross chain? Say 3rd of 8 at the back. Or to use the middle ring further down up the gears to 5th or 6th of 8?

Thanks
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Old 05-31-14, 12:52 PM
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Forget the technical crap and just use the gears to ride more comfortable.
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Old 05-31-14, 12:57 PM
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Old 05-31-14, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Ali89 View Post
Hi,

I have a triple chain set 28-38-48. My question is regarding switching up to the big ring for flat riding: is it best to switch up as soon as possible not to cross chain? Say 3rd of 8 at the back. Or to use the middle ring further down up the gears to 5th or 6th of 8?

Thanks
Whatever results in the least front shifting which is much more effort than shifting the rear when you're adjusting the rear at the same time to get to the next gear.

Right now I'm running 50-39-30 x 13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23-26.

Riding 50x19 the next easier gear would be 50x21 or 39x16. Obviously shifting one cog larger and staying on the big ring is simpler than the ring change with three cog difference.

OTOH, where the "flat" ground has parts with a slight upward slope or head wind which would drop speed below 15 MPH I'd be better off taking the opportunity to switch to the middle ring which at a moderate effort is good for about 10-21 MPH avoiding the extreme cogs and 9-22 without.

The middle ring on a triple sits farther outboard than the small ring on the double so the chain angle on the smallest cog can be better than the second smallest on a double and I wouldn't avoid it.

The other thing which might motivate using a different ring is spacing.

Given your 48-38-28 rings and cogs like 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-28 you might prefer riding 48x19 over 38x15 because the next easier gear is a hair closer (10% vs 13%) and drop to 49x17 close enough not to matter.
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Old 05-31-14, 02:57 PM
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I am 90% in the 2nd ring. If I'm behind my house where it is constant rollercoaster, I use the small ring a lot, but I am getting better at climbing and find myself staying more and more on the middle ring.

I only use the large ring for steep downhill or sustained downhill. I cruise on the flat about 17-18 mph on my trail along the river and I'm still only in the 7th gear (15t I think) and my middle chainring. Very rarely do I find myself wanting to do more than 21 mph or so and I can do that just fine on the 2nd chainring. I'm usually not on pavement when I am riding my hills. One spot that is paved and the hill extends a bit longer, I do jump up to the large ring just to get some 30+ mph adrenalin pumping, but I don't like that fast.
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Old 05-31-14, 03:40 PM
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Ride smart.. Learn what the gear ratios are and their sequence , and then you know which one is next.

count teeth ,, do the math ..


There are overlaps in the ratios on triple derailleur drive trains .. coinciding with the cros chain combinations


A 3 Speed Is simpler .

1 reduction gear, 1 Overdrive gear , and the one in the middle is the gear ratio of the cog and chainring teeth X the wheel size.
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Old 05-31-14, 05:22 PM
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All good advice. Cross chaining is not really a big deal.

My advice is more to anticipate a shift and be there before you need it.

For example: You are slowing down; shift down before.

Getting stuck in a high gear is worse than spinning up.
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Old 05-31-14, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
All good advice. Cross chaining is not really a big deal.

My advice is more to anticipate a shift and be there before you need it.

For example: You are slowing down; shift down before.

Getting stuck in a high gear is worse than spinning up.
Agreed that is always what I do so I am prepared for starting again like at a traffic light
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Old 05-31-14, 09:03 PM
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Middle ring is general purpose.

Small ring is for climbing and the first 1/4 or 1/3 of the cassette

Large ring is for fast flats and downhill and the last 1/4 or 1/3 of the cassette.

Crosschaining can bring you to a sudden halt if the chain is not long enough.

Crosschaining also increases wear on the chain itself, plus the teeth on the cassette and chainrings (although the rear derailleur does mitigate some of the wear). And if the crankset isn't quite lined up properly with the cassette, you can get the chain popping of the large or middle chainrings chainring.

You can usually tell if you are crosschaining excessively by the change in the noise the chain makes.

Crosschaining for double chainrings might not be such an issue, but it can be for triples such as on the OP's bike.

It pays to have a little understanding of this so you do indeed enjoy your ride and not end up on the side of the road or MUP wondering what the hell has gone wrong.
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Old 06-01-14, 12:57 PM
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Direct response to OP question. You can only severely cross chain in the small or large chain ring, not in the middle. If you jump to the large ring prematurely, you will be in the large ring and a large cog (low gear for RD), and more cross chained. Having said that, shift based on upcoming terrain more than worrying about your chain.
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Old 06-01-14, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Forget the technical crap and just use the gears to ride more comfortable.
And just how does one do that if they don't understand the concept of using multiple chainwheels and cogs ?
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Old 06-01-14, 01:26 PM
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When you run a triple you will experience gearing duplication across the range, for an example a bike that is 24 speeds really only has about 15 unique gearings.

This happens when the bike is cross chained and in the case of the big chainring / largest cog scenario shifting to the middle ring and upshifting a few cogs will give you nearly the same gearing and with the small chainwheel and smallest cog switching to the middle and downshifting a few cogs will put you in the same place. If you were so inclined you could whip up a gearing chart to find out exactly where these crossovers occur.

The benefit is that you will be running a straighter chain line which is more mechanically efficient, enjoying better chain tension which aids shifting, and this puts less stress on the derailleur and chain.

Cross chaining is not as much of a problem with modern bushingless chains but I would not make a habit of it as it is just inefficient.

As Rowan said, your chain is too short then cross chaining the big/big can become a serious problem as it will overload the derailleurs capacity which can cause damage to the derailleur, the bicycle, and the rider.
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Old 06-01-14, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Forget the technical crap and just use the gears to ride more comfortable.
,,,, Now look what you did! Ali didn't come back for his anwers didn't even say thanks,,,, hahahaahha ,,,but very well put! I second your comment,,,,
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Old 06-01-14, 02:32 PM
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I have the 30/39/50 with 9 speed cassette and use the middle ring 95% of the time. By the ratios 7-9 on the big ring and 1 and 2 on the small one are the only ones that don't overlap. If I see a big ole hill coming I will shift down to the small one in advance and don't worry about the cross chain. Same goes for an up coming downhill run.
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