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Another newbie question about gears

Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Another newbie question about gears

Old 04-27-09, 10:42 PM
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morphius
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Another newbie question about gears

My Bike has 2 gears in the front, and I have noticed that my friend has 3. Why would some bikes makers make only 2? Isn't harder to climb some stiff hills with only two gears at the front? Can someone please explain this to me?
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Old 04-27-09, 10:47 PM
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More is better, right?
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Old 04-27-09, 10:49 PM
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obvious troll is obvious.
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Old 04-27-09, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by anticlimbactic View Post
obvious troll is obvious.
+1
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Old 04-27-09, 10:53 PM
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What you have is described as a "double", your friend has a "triple".

In theory you are right but it's no really that simple.

The gearing is a combination of the front cog and the rear one. For easier climbing you are looking for a smaller cog on the front and a larger cog in the rear. There are many gear combinations that amount to the same thing. Look here for a gear calculator.

Doubles are used for a variety of reasons such as to save weight, give crisper gear changes (although a well adjusted triple should be smooth), no need for larger gears.

If you re struggling then you can get a larger cog set for your rear.

Best of luck.
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Old 04-27-09, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rollin View Post
What you have is described as a "double", your friend has a "triple".

In theory you are right but it's no really that simple.

The gearing is a combination of the front cog and the rear one. For easier climbing you are looking for a smaller cog on the front and a larger cog in the rear. There are many gear combinations that amount to the same thing. Look here for a gear calculator.

Doubles are used for a variety of reasons such as to save weight, give crisper gear changes (although a well adjusted triple should be smooth), no need for larger gears.

If you re struggling then you can get a larger cog set for your rear.

Best of luck.
Thank you, that makes some sense.
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Old 04-27-09, 11:01 PM
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Back when I was a kid, I never heard of a road bike, there were just "10 speeds". This was always 2 gears in front, 5 in back. They've expanded both of them through the years.

As for needing lower gears- consider that here in the Dallas area, I can ride anywhere I want to on my single speed with no problem. So people riding round here on road bikes don't have much need for some gear that lets them ride up a wall.
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Old 04-27-09, 11:31 PM
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Most people don't need three.
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Old 04-28-09, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by MONGO! View Post
Most people don't need three.
Most people don't cycle up this after 60 miles:
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Old 04-28-09, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by rollin View Post
Doubles are used for a variety of reasons such as to save weight, give crisper gear changes (although a well adjusted triple should be smooth), no need for larger gears.
It's not mentioned often, but the lower Q-factor for a double over a triple should also be considered.
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Old 04-28-09, 04:13 AM
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I'll just recap what others said: A triple has many down sides like higher Q-factor (meaning less optimal distance between pedals, too far away), higher weight, most likely harder to tune to work well and generally you just really don't need the smallest gear that much (depends a lot on the area you ride in, if you live in the mountains it might be a good thing to have).
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