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gearing question

Old 06-10-14, 07:33 PM
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spdracr39
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gearing question

On the gears that overlap (excluding cross chaining) Is there an advantage one way or the other for the front chain ring big vs small. I have a triple and there are several gear combos that the ratios are pretty identical. I tend to ring in the middle ring a lot. I try to use the big ring when I can to spread out the wear.
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Old 06-10-14, 07:54 PM
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I like having overlapping gear combinations because it gives you options when to shift front chainrings. I tell new riders to think of your triple crankset as having 3 gear ranges: once for uphills, one for flat roads and one for downhills.
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Old 06-11-14, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I like having overlapping gear combinations because it gives you options when to shift front chainrings. I tell new riders to think of your triple crankset as having 3 gear ranges: once for uphills, one for flat roads and one for downhills.
This. Exactly this. What he said.

You'll soon learn when to best shift the front derailleur. Three basic idea is to use the rear derailleur a lot and the front much less often.

And I'll also point out many seasoned cyclists take a while to get this.
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Old 06-11-14, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
And I'll also point out many seasoned cyclists take a while to get this.
I think that it's the seasoned cyclists who have conflicts because they have long memories.

Back when men were men and freewheels only had 5 cogs we had to milk every possible gear combination from our drive trains. Since the advent of 7-speed freewheels that has changed. Now that we're up to 11 rear cogs I don't see it ever coming back.

Maybe, just to be contrary, I'll build myself a half-step + granny bike that has an 11-speed cassette. Program that into your Di2.
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Old 06-11-14, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Maybe, just to be contrary, I'll build myself a half-step + granny bike that has an 11-speed cassette. Program that into your Di2.
With the electric shifting for mountain bikes, you can do exactly that. You can just say up or down and it will simultaneously shift front and rear.
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Old 06-12-14, 08:06 AM
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With triples on both my bent and trike, I too think of the chain rings as up hill, level and down hill. That way with the long chain runs, if on the level I use the middle chain ring and just shift the rear as needed.

With the 8 to 12 gears on the rear of todays bikes, they have as many or more than the 10 speed of yore. Back in those days, cycling books told us we need to double shift to maintain cadence etc. With all of the gears now days all of that is pretty much out the window. Personally I just pick a gear that feels right and dont get hung up on exact cadence etc.
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Old 06-12-14, 10:43 AM
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One thing I notice, and it just might be the way I feel it, but even the same or close to the same gear ratio in the different front rings feel very different to me.

As was said, small chainring for climbing, middle for flat, and large for decent. I am very rarely on any sort of flat when I'm on the roads. When the hills are smaller grade, I can ride them just fine in the middle ring and lower gears on the back, but even if the ratios are the same, if I go to the smaller front and go further up towards the middle of the rear, it just feels a lot different and better.

Same with decending. I don't go into the large ring very often because I don't have much time going downhill before I'm heading up again. I can ride just fine up to around 28-29 mph in the middle and the 11t on the back, but if I change to the large ring and bump it down a few to the 15t, it is approximately the same ratio but it feels completely different and feels better.

This might be all just in my head, I don't know, but for the short amount of time I am going downhill and maybe hit 28 mph, my calculation tells me I'm at 109 rpm while in the large ring and dropped 2 gears to the 15t, my cadence is 108 rpm and though I personally couldn't pedal any sort of distance like that, it's only for a short time and only 1 rpm difference at that speed, but the large ring and 15t feels so much better pedaling than the middle ring and 11t.
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