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44/16 combo a touch big?

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44/16 combo a touch big?

Old 06-16-06, 07:47 AM
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nikos
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44/16 combo a touch big?

Not new to road biking, but just coverted an older trek with a bontrager xpipe single crank - which is a 44 tooth and I have a 16 tooth cog on the rear. Well, its a touch difficult to just cruise around town, but Im able to get after it on the flats without maxing out the gear combo. Would I be better off with a 17 in the rear, a touch more zip for slow around town riding, but still able to rip it up on longer rides?
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Old 06-16-06, 07:52 AM
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i ride a 44x16 in seattle. it's pretty hilly downtown but you can always go another block and find a street that's not so steep. if you're having trouble huffing up hills i say add a tooth in the back. if you need something visual, here's a gear calculator i use: https://www.panix.com/~jbarrm/cycal/cycal.30f.html
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Old 06-16-06, 08:00 AM
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on my s/s I use a 46/16 at first it seemed pretty hard, but the more I ride it the easier it gets.
I use my s/s @ least once a week in my training rides.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:05 AM
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Gear inches are easier to think about than the front teeth, back teeth numbers. I like around 70 gear inches here in Western MA. Right now you are at 75.6 gear inches. Going to a 17t cog would give you 71.1. A little better acceleration, not as much top end, and (I think) a little better speed control with your legs.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:13 AM
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You can make a smaller difference in gears by changing out the front ring instead of the rear cog. If 46x16 feels too big/heavy/long I would try using a 44x16 in the front. If you're just starting out it is better to use something that feels too 'light' than too heavy and in my opinion a lot more fun to spin like mad than to lug around town. As time goes on, you'll get stronger and will probably want to push slightly bigger gears.

You might also want to start using some of the gear-charts that can be found on the internet. These charts usually have a column showing the percent step from one gear to the next. My favorite one is online here:
https://grit.homelinux.net/gi//index.php

but sheldon brown's calculator is simpler and easier to use:
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

All calculations aside, get a gear that feels right for your own legs on the terrain that you typically ride. It's less strain on your joints and muscles to ride a smaller gear, and it might be easier to do things like skids, trackstands, riding backwards, etc.
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Last edited by 40x14; 06-16-06 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:16 AM
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depends on whether you prefer spinning or mashing, and how you stop.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:26 AM
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I road bike everyday and do plenty of hill training rides, conditioning is not the issue, but when I ussually ride, I like to spin and conserve energy ( high cadence) so I guess the mashing is something to get use to. Im not having a problem when kicking it up, but when I just want to stroll around town, its a little much. I do like to hit the pedals and get it going.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:29 AM
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If you have a flip flop hub, put a 17 or 18t cog on the other side and give it a try. Worst case scenario is that you have a lower gear if you want to ride in the hills and you are out $30. Just make sure you have enough chain.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:36 AM
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I like 47x16. Track is like 47x14. Your gear sounds steep only for fixed mtb.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:48 AM
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I ride 42/15 around town, and it gives me plenty of zip around town. I can get up all the in-town hills without a problem, and spin out on flats just fine. I haven't yet wished I had more gear inches (here in Madison).

I rode a lower gear for awhile, and that was really fun as well. One does feel very zippy around town, but it can be less fun going down hills or on longer (flatter) rides. On another plus, it's a great way to get your spin developed (as it sounds like you already have), which is a very transferrable skill.

In conclusion; if it feels like too much, it might be. If you have the means, fiddle with it until it feels right. It's fun to mess around with that kind of stuff.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by genericbikedude
Your gear sounds steep only for fixed mtb.
Gearing questions are always location-specific. You are in "harlem", he is in "madison, wi". There is a possible terrain difference which could affect what gear ratio one prefers.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:55 AM
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sure, its subjective. thats all I'm trying to say. d'ffrnt strokes.
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Old 06-16-06, 09:01 AM
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for diff'rent folks!
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Old 06-16-06, 09:28 AM
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i started with the standard 48/16 which is pretty tough... dropped to a 44/16 and noticed just enough difference to feel comfortable. anyone know the number of skid patches on a 44/16?
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Old 06-16-06, 09:47 AM
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How simple is it to pop off the single cog in the rear for different rides. I pop off my cassette for switching road wheels all the time. What park tool remover would I need, its obviously larger than the adapter I use for the road cassettes? I have a shimano cog on there right now, not fixed gear, single/freewheel - sorry for the language barrier.
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Old 06-16-06, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by nikos
How simple is it to pop off the single cog in the rear for different rides. I pop off my cassette for switching road wheels all the time. What park tool remover would I need, its obviously larger than the adapter I use for the road cassettes? I have a shimano cog on there right now, not fixed gear, single/freewheel - sorry for the language barrier.
fairly simple. you just need a 4-pronged ss freewheel remover. what i would do would be secure it into the notches on the freewheel via a washer and the tracknut, and then put a wrench on (or clamp it in a vice) and twist. 30 seconds.
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Old 06-16-06, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by youth
anyone know the number of skid patches on a 44/16?
4. all you need unless you skid a whole lot.
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Old 06-16-06, 12:12 PM
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44x16 doesnt sound bad to me at all, but if you think its tough, switching to a 17 or 18 in the back is pretty easy.
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Old 06-16-06, 12:25 PM
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49x16, was tuff to adjust to at first, but now I am really liking it. Would be pretty hard in hilly areas though.
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Old 06-16-06, 12:30 PM
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i run 44/16 here in l.a. pretty comfortably. i was using a 42 up front, but after a couple months i was spinning it out a lot. the 44 was a perfect step up. somewhere right in between, like 72 gear inches is about perfect for all around.
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Old 06-16-06, 01:15 PM
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I'm running 69 & 78 inches on my flip flop.
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Old 06-16-06, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by nikos
I road bike everyday and do plenty of hill training rides, conditioning is not the issue, but when I ussually ride, I like to spin and conserve energy ( high cadence) so I guess the mashing is something to get use to. Im not having a problem when kicking it up, but when I just want to stroll around town, its a little much. I do like to hit the pedals and get it going.
If you're on a road bike a lot it should be easier to figure out. Determine a gear that feels good on your road bike for the type of riding you're doing. Do this by riding around and taking mental note of the gear you're on. Try to remember it for later.

For example, let's say you feel comfortable cruising on a 52x18... that's about 76 inches with a 700x23 tire according the the gear inch charts and very nearly the same as 46x16. If you're in stop and go traffic on the fixie, you might want to subtract up to 6 inches from the same gear on a road bike. My point is, use the road bike where it's easy to change gears to help you figure out what gear will work for you on the fix. Obviously if you're using the fix to get a workout you'll want a heavier gear than if you're just using it for coffee shop and errands. The fix makes you work harder on hills, both on the way up and on the way down.
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Old 06-16-06, 02:40 PM
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if you like high cadence riding and energy efficiency though, aren't you going to spin out quickly on even your present gearing?

you might consider just getting comfortable with it. it's hardly a steep gear and you'll strengthen your legs to match it relatively quickly if you're riding it even somewhat regularly.
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Old 06-16-06, 03:12 PM
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44x16 is a great all around street gear. On the flats I can cruise 23-24 and on the downhills I've topped 40mph. I was a bit nervous when I moved out here from Mpls with the terrain difference of LA but it's been all good. If you want to spin as fast but at a slower speed just add a tooth or two to the rear.
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Old 06-16-06, 03:26 PM
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I ride a 44x16 in NYC on an IRO Jamie Roy, and find it fine to perfect for the city (mild slopes, some big bridges). No hills I can't climb on it, and enough speed for when I need it. Only reason I use that combo is I bought the bike used and it was set up that way.
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