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What gear should I be in?

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What gear should I be in?

Old 10-03-14, 11:20 AM
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sen2two
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What gear should I be in?

I am referring to the main crank. I have always kept it in the larger of the 2 gears and have never even used the smaller gear. I have always wondered if this is commonly done or am I doing it wrong?

So is it common practice to ride in the larger gear all the time and only change gears on the cassete?

I have even given it thought on removing the smaller gear and the front derailleur to lose a bit of weight and clutter.
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Old 10-03-14, 11:26 AM
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Whatever gear gives you the speed you want at the the power output you are willing to expend
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Old 10-03-14, 11:51 AM
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53x11
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Old 10-03-14, 12:00 PM
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Where do you live? There are times when even on perfectly flat roads I have been in my small ring due to nasty 30+mph headwinds. What cadence do you ride at? If you never go to your small ring chances are you do not have any big hills in your area, face strong winds, or you are mashing too big of a gear.
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Old 10-03-14, 12:12 PM
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I live in Florida and most roads are flat. But the occasional over pass acts as my hills. We do have occasional strong winds, but not everyday.

I do not know about cadence or power output as I don't pay attention to it. I just try to pace myself to ride hard for the whole ride.

So I guess it doesn't matter to much.
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Old 10-03-14, 12:20 PM
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Is this a serious thread?
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Old 10-03-14, 12:42 PM
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sen2two
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Define serious
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Old 10-03-14, 12:43 PM
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Back in the days when I was young and didn't know much better I did take the front derailleur off my bike, partly because I didn't use it much, and partly because it didn't work so well.

I use mostly the smaller chain ring now, but periodically the need arises that I need to get on the big one. As long as it fits with my cadence and effort level that's the gear I'm using. Why, I may have even used 53x11 once.
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Old 10-03-14, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by sen2two View Post
Define serious
If serious, it depends what kind of cadence you are aiming for. If you can generally stay over 80 in the big ring you are probably good. But continually pushing hard gears can cause unnecessary muscle fatigue on longer rides and some people develop knee problems that way.
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Old 10-03-14, 01:09 PM
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If you decide to lose the small chain ring and front derailleur you will need some sort of chain keeper to keep the chain from falling off. Decent chain keepers can cost more than a front derailleur:

Chain Keeper from Paul Component Engineering


To save money you can keep the front derailleur and use that as a chain keeper. To save time and effort you can just keep your bike the way it is because it's probably not worth the trouble to change it to save a few grams.
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Old 10-03-14, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by sen2two View Post
Define serious
Something about a meaningless subject that gets to eight pages with lots of name calling
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Old 10-03-14, 01:22 PM
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If you need to ask the question your likely not at a proper cadence or your rides are so short it does not matter. As you ride further you will encounter hills and wind so that small ring will become more valuable.
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Old 10-03-14, 01:26 PM
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Based on OP's question, I think he doesn't need the small ring, and he should take it off. Why carry around something you don't need.
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Old 10-03-14, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by dalava View Post
Based on OP's question, I think he doesn't need the small ring, and he should take it off. Why carry around something you don't need.
Exactly. I suggest leaving the spare tube, pump/co2, tire levers and helmet at home. they are just weighing him down.
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Old 10-03-14, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sen2two View Post
I am referring to the main crank. I have always kept it in the larger of the 2 gears and have never even used the smaller gear. I have always wondered if this is commonly done or am I doing it wrong?

So is it common practice to ride in the larger gear all the time and only change gears on the cassete?

I have even given it thought on removing the smaller gear and the front derailleur to lose a bit of weight and clutter.
Absolutely. In fact, some removal all gears and use a bike as a scooter. These are typically track stars or cyborgs.
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Old 10-03-14, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
Absolutely. In fact, some removal all gears and use a bike as a scooter. These are typically track stars or cyborgs.
I'm not sure this is good advice. He should keep the right one and sell the extra ones on ebay.
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Old 10-03-14, 01:56 PM
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Two questions:

1) How old is the OP?

2) How are his knees?
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Old 10-03-14, 02:04 PM
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Many females will ask you what you have up front, because size really does matter........

So, do you have a standard crank (53/39) or a compact (50/34)? If you have a standard crankset, try riding the 39 and experiment with riding at a higher cadence. If you don't care then get rid of all the gears you don't use and turn it into a fixie.
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Old 10-03-14, 02:45 PM
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OP,
You can do anything you want. If you do go single ring, as was already mentioned, you will need chain retention. One easy way is to put the big ring to the inside and add an aluminium bash guard.

People ride single speeds, so obviously you can ride with a single front ring and a cassette in the back. Ultimately, knee pain is all in your head.
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Old 10-03-14, 03:27 PM
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whatever one(s) you ride just remember the golden rule... stay out of small/small and Big/Big and you won't damage or put wear on your chain
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Old 10-04-14, 10:03 AM
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If you are just a recreational rider, no, you don't need a cadence or power meter. But to be effective and avoid unnecessary pain, you should be in a gear that allows you to pedal without "pushing." If you aren't standing on the pedals and it takes nearly a second to crank them one revolution, you can be pretty sure you are in the wrong gear. Also, as long as you aren't sprinting or going for some crazy aerobic workout, if you can spin them around twice within a second, you are also in the wrong gear.
The only time you're likely to notice a difference if you take your bike apart like you say will be when you carry it and wash it. You won't notice when you ride, until you find yourself on a new, steep hill or facing a nasty headwind and wish you could drop to that smaller chainwheel after all.
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Old 10-04-14, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by FLvector View Post
Many females will ask you what you have up front, because size really does matter........

So, do you have a standard crank (53/39) or a compact (50/34)? If you have a standard crankset, try riding the 39 and experiment with riding at a higher cadence. If you don't care then get rid of all the gears you don't use and turn it into a fixie.
Well this may have answered my question on this subject. I often wondered why some stay in the small ring and I mostly ride on the big one. We are going the same speed but my cadence is usually higher. I tried using the small ring but find it harder to ride the pace I normally ride. So I guess my compact double is more suited to the big ring
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Old 10-04-14, 02:59 PM
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Old 10-04-14, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldhead View Post
I often wondered why some stay in the small ring and I mostly ride on the big one. We are going the same speed but my cadence is usually higher. I tried using the small ring but find it harder to ride the pace I normally ride.
Nonsense. Both of you are at the same speed, and you're on a higher gear and have a higher cadence? Impossible unless one of you is cross chaining.
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Old 10-04-14, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ConGrUenCy View Post
Nonsense. Both of you are at the same speed, and you're on a higher gear and have a higher cadence? Impossible unless one of you is cross chaining.
It's not impossible. He's in a 50 front ring and someone else is in a 39. There are lots of combinations where that can happen.
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