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Big Dummy/Xtracycle Gearing?

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Big Dummy/Xtracycle Gearing?

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Old 03-19-08, 10:21 AM
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vik 
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Question Big Dummy/Xtracycle Gearing?

I'm just wondering what gear range you Big Dummy/Xtracycle owners are using? I'm talking the actual range you use regularly not what you theoretically have on your bikes.
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Old 03-19-08, 11:47 AM
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22/32/44 triple crank on the front, 11-32 9-speed cassette on the rear, typical mountain bike gearing. Here in Calgary, I find you'll need it if you traverse some of the bigger hills such as those up centre street or going from the downtown core out to the Southwest. If you're mostly sticking to one side of the city, a smaller gear range would do fine - but if you're someone who likes to hop between the high plateaus down into the valleys around the bow and back up again, I would go with touring/MTB range for sure.

I use pretty much all of it. Most days the 32 up front easily gets the most use and has been used to carry 30kg payloads up from downtown quite well, but once you're pulling triple digits in weight a lower gear range becomes your friend. The 44 gets use with nice tailwinds, downhills, and calm flat days pretty well too

The 'X really benefits from having a big gearing range.
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Old 03-19-08, 11:56 AM
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I have run a single -38 upfront with a typical 9spd in the rear. I live in a relative flat town and most of my Xtracycle riding is within 4 miles of my house. I like this clean setup but obiviously I would change it if live in a hillier town.
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Old 03-19-08, 12:46 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I'll be running a 38T x 16 with my Rohloff which equals about a 17" - 91" gear range. Looks like that is on the money.
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Old 03-19-08, 12:56 PM
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My Xtracycle has a Nuvinci hub, 16t cog, 32t chain ring. It's a pretty nearly perfect transmission, though some would scoff at the weight. It would be a lot easier to do if Xtracycle had horizontal dropouts, though.
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Old 03-19-08, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
My Xtracycle has a Nuvinci hub, 16t cog, 32t chain ring. It's a pretty nearly perfect transmission, though some would scoff at the weight. It would be a lot easier to do if Xtracycle had horizontal dropouts, though.
Same here but I'm running 42t ring/20t cog. St. Sheldon's calculator says that's ~26 to ~90 gear inches.
It says your set up is about the same: 27 to 94.5 inches.
Love the NuVinci.
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Old 03-19-08, 01:49 PM
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Is it a reasonable idea to run a nuvinci with 2 chainrings and a chain tensioner? I'm thinking that at $350 for a nuvinci, if I have to buy a hub, cassette, derailer, shifter anyway, now is the time to make the jump since I'm getting a wheel built up. But I'm worried about the range.

Though I'm also a bit worried about longevity and reliability on tour.

So indecisive!
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Old 03-19-08, 02:06 PM
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The NuVinci is built like a tank. It'll hold up. Mine has a couple of K-miles on it, has been hauling heavy loads and my Xtracycle has an electric assist which tore through a Sturmey-Archer and over torqued two SRAM hubs. The NuVinci acts as if it were brand new. It's also a silent hub, no click/clack when you coast.

I don't know about outfitting the NuVinci with multiple cogs, I would expect you could use a front derailer without much hassle. Although the range is not huge, it's very workable.

I do recommend using a chain tensioner of some sort (Rohloff, Surly, and On-One all make standalone tensioners) because given the length of chain used in long-tails I've had issues with the chain bouncing and skipping over the cog's teeth.
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Old 03-19-08, 02:25 PM
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I'd be thinking about using two front cogs that are not too far apart... using mostly the larger one but having the ability to drop down for a little exta oomph on the uphills.. i'd go for a schlumpf but that's sending the price pretty damned high!

the nuvinci uses 2 cables, right? are they standard mtb shifter cables, easily replaced and easy to change length?
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Old 03-19-08, 02:40 PM
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Yes, like the Rohloff it uses two cables. They are standard shift cables, but you need to get the tandem length cables to reach on a long-tail.

You are never going to be going very fast on a BD. The low end is your concern, and 250% is enough range to keep you from spinning out on all but the big down hills. But a front derailer would be cool.
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Old 03-21-08, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by vik View Post
Thanks for the replies. I'll be running a 38T x 16 with my Rohloff which equals about a 17" - 91" gear range. Looks like that is on the money.
A 32T front ,or smaller, will give you more welcome low end oomph and less speed. Remember that
for this type of bike speed can kill.......when you overdrive the brakes.
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Old 03-21-08, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by larry_llama View Post
Is it a reasonable idea to run a nuvinci with 2 chainrings and a chain tensioner?
I know Sheldon's done it, but aren't there chainline issues with mating 2 rings with any kind of hub gearing? As others mentioned, there's the Schlumpf ring if you want to go lower.
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Old 03-21-08, 05:41 PM
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Vik,

I don't have a Big Dummy, but rather a single touring bike that I use very loaded, sometimes with a loaded trailer too... and I also used a trailercycle too. And I'm not a strong hill climber. My gearing is similar to Abneycat's, but with a twist:

– crankset : 44-34-22
– front derailleur : 105, with bar-end shifters : works perfectly with said gearing
– cassette : custom 12-34 : 12-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-25-34
– rear derailleur : XT
– wheels : 700c

The gearing allows me to climb almost anything; however, by having the first 7 cogs closer to each other, most of my useful gears are relatively close to eachother. In practical terms, I use all those gears every 1-2 days, except maybe the 44/12. But I commonly use gears between 22/25 and 22/17 for steep hills, and gears above 34/25 for everything else.
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Old 03-22-08, 08:58 AM
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How about a single speed/fixed?
Anyone considering this? I'd use the bike as a grocery getter, kid hauler. Not much for hills and such here. I'm a bit concerned about the length of the chain and the obvious slack...easy to jump the chainring.
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Old 03-22-08, 11:11 AM
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The big dummy has vertical drops, so you are going to have to use a chain tensioner SS or not.
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Old 03-23-08, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
A 32T front ,or smaller, will give you more welcome low end oomph and less speed. Remember that
for this type of bike speed can kill.......when you overdrive the brakes.
Rohloff won't warranty anything with a smaller chainring than a 38T on a single bike using a 16T cog at the back. Since this is a cargo bike perhaps I should even be using a larger chainring??? In any case this gives me a low gear in the 17" range which isn't bad.

The other thing to think about is I will also be riding the BD empty or nearly empty in which case I'll be moving along at a good pace.
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Old 03-23-08, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by vik View Post
Rohloff won't warranty anything with a smaller chainring than a 38T on a single bike using a 16T cog at the back. Since this is a cargo bike perhaps I should even be using a larger chainring??? In any case this gives me a low gear in the 17" range which isn't bad.

The other thing to think about is I will also be riding the BD empty or nearly empty in which case I'll be moving along at a good pace.
While the warranty is nice, I know others have run lower gears, and thus, higher torque, which is I believe their concern, I still don't think anyone has broke one? Unless you are Mario Cipollini I think breaking it is not a big worry.
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Old 03-23-08, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
While the warranty is nice, I know others have run lower gears, and thus, higher torque, which is I believe their concern, I still don't think anyone has broke one? Unless you are Mario Cipollini I think breaking it is not a big worry.
Perhaps you are right, but is a big [$1000+] investment so I'll follow the manufacturer's recommendations at first. If a 17" low gear is not enough I'll consider a smaller chainring, but I want to validate that assumption for myself.
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Old 03-25-08, 10:03 AM
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I've got a 34t single ring up front, and an 11-32t in the back. This is definitely a low-gear bike! I often wish for even more low-end on mine, especially with a passenger + load. I really wouldn't advise running singlespeed/fixed on an Xtracycle... the amount of effort required just varies so much, based on the cargo being carried. Sometimes my weight + bike + passenger + cargo = 450-500 lbs., which makes hill-climbing a lot more interesting than I'm used to on a standard bike!
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