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42x13 gearing question

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42x13 gearing question

Old 12-29-09, 09:54 AM
  #1  
FixMe
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42x13 gearing question

Does anybody currently ride, or has anyone ever tried, 42x13 gearing? I recently moved away from my job and my commute went from 9 blocks to 17.1 miles each way and I'm currently running 42x16 which is fine, but I want something a little more suitable for long distance and I can carry a better top speed (right now I average about 19mph). There's only one big bridge I have to climb and ride down, so I'm not sure if 42x13 would be good for climb/descent. Also, 42x16 works well for me with skids and high traffic areas, and I noticed that my gearing would go frm 2.5 or so up to 3.2 or higher which might make stopping/skidding a little more difficult. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 12-29-09, 09:58 AM
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13 is very small, as small as you can buy, I believe. The theoretical disadvantages of smaller cogs (faster wear, more noise) will tend to be more pronounced with that cog. However, that wouldn't stop me from trying it out. It'll be a steep gear, but you might like it. Worst case scenario, you're out $20 and a half hour swapping cogs back and forth.
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Old 12-29-09, 10:00 AM
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thats like 85 gear inches. i would only run that if the roads out there are completely flat. and stopping shouldn't be an issue if you have a brake.
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Old 12-29-09, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by dbgray21 View Post
thats like 85 gear inches. i would only run that if the roads out there are completely flat. and stopping shouldn't be an issue if you have a brake.
For a 17 mile commute my strongest recommendation would be more than one gear.

If you wanna do it fixed, though, more power to you... and I think you're right in opting for the longer gearing. Grinding out one hill climb is a fair trade for taking 10 minutes off your commute time. I've got a 13T cog that I swapped in for a couple metrics over the summer, and was very glad to have the higher gearing. Wouldn't want to do it every day, but that's up to you.
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Old 12-29-09, 10:53 AM
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I would try a 15 or 14 first. Going from a 16 to 13 is like going from a 42 to a 51 front (51 front and 16 Rear is pretty common Velodrome Gearing) So unless your commute is on the velodrome? A good spin will serve you better then 17 miles of Mashing
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Old 12-29-09, 11:19 AM
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I commuted 20 miles each way on a fixed gear--- and riding fixed wasn't much of an issue. What was an issue is that in the evening, I would be a bit tired, and I would sometimes add a tooth (on a fixed/fixed cog). I cannot imagine commuting on a 42-13. That is a radical change from a 42-16. Even if it is flat, I would not want a 42-13 against the wind. I have used a 42-14 before, and that could even be a bit steep at times. I have a shorter, but much more hilly commute now, and spent much of the summer on a 44-15 or 48- 17 combo. But to each his (or her) own.
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Old 12-29-09, 11:26 AM
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Be careful running a 13t cog.

i encountered a rather unique problem w/ this gear. 13t doesn't give your chain much clearance above the lockring and, in my case, it actually caused the chain to dig into the lockring and mutilate it. This also caused my chain to derail several times and the lockring threads on my cheap, generic hub to strip out.

So, if you are going to use a 13t cog just make sure that you are using a slim lockring that will keep the chain from digging into it.
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Old 12-29-09, 11:34 AM
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I ride 42-15 and it's a good fit. High enough for fast riding, low enough to get me up the hills.

If you are averaging 19mph on a 42-16, going to 42-13 would make you so fast you'd make the jump into hyperspace and wind up in Nebraska.
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Old 12-29-09, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ismellfish2 View Post
13 is very small, as small as you can buy, I believe. The theoretical disadvantages of smaller cogs (faster wear, more noise) will tend to be more pronounced with that cog. However, that wouldn't stop me from trying it out. It'll be a steep gear, but you might like it. Worst case scenario, you're out $20 and a half hour swapping cogs back and forth.
Ben's Cycle sell a 12-tooth track cog with a special lockring. I think Suntour make it. Can't imagine ever needing one though. I used to run a 48 x 13 on my concept, bananas. I'm amazed my knees still work.
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Old 12-29-09, 12:33 PM
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If you wanted a summer gear for long rides in the country, 85 would be great. But 85 gear inches would be awfully steep for commute purposes, especially during the winter.
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Old 12-29-09, 01:50 PM
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I'd split the difference, get something in between and try that. If you think you can make that big of a jump again... then get the 13.

For the record, 17mi commuting on fixed is no issue. I really don't drop much time when I take the geared bike (when I do, it's cause I'm pushing that much harder). I do 15mi on a 48x17... all flat.
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Old 12-29-09, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by chevy42083 View Post
For the record, 17mi commuting on fixed is no issue ... all flat.
Agreed.

17 miles each way with hills, it becomes an issue.
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Old 12-29-09, 03:51 PM
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Going from 16 to a 13 without trying anything else in between is just nuts. I wouldn't do it...
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Old 12-29-09, 05:06 PM
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Thanks for all the input. I don't think I'm going to jump that low. I was thinking about it today and averaging around 19mph on my gearing now isn't bad at all. Plus 42x16 is great for how I like to ride, so I guess I'm just sticking with what I got. Sometimes you just get random ideas and need some opinions, ya know? Thanks again everyone. See you on the streets.
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Old 12-30-09, 01:45 AM
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I used to work on a 42/14 gearing
It wasn't that bad, even through the winter.

I now ride 47/17 though.
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