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Dumb question #3 - counting gears

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
Ok, after reading a few more messages where riders quote their gears with
annoying alacrity, I'm asking - where do you get your gear count without
actually bending down with the bifocals?

Why do people end up memorizing them? I guess that's the sign of experience
and time, but there must have been a reason to learn them - so how did you
do this memory feat? I'm thinking figure the count and then mount it on the
top tube - eventually you'll be able to do 'cyclespeak' and talk about the
one of the puzzling esoterics of biking! ;-p

-B
post #2 of 89

Re: Dumb question #3 - counting gears

On Thu, 12 Aug 2004 11:29:27 -0400, Badger_South <Badger@South.net> wrote:

>
> Ok, after reading a few more messages where riders quote their gears with
> annoying alacrity, I'm asking - where do you get your gear count without
> actually bending down with the bifocals?
>
> Why do people end up memorizing them? I guess that's the sign of
> experience
> and time, but there must have been a reason to learn them - so how did
> you
> do this memory feat? I'm thinking figure the count and then mount it on
> the
> top tube - eventually you'll be able to do 'cyclespeak' and talk about
> the
> one of the puzzling esoterics of biking! ;-p
>
> -B
>
>


I have no idea what my gears are. The only time I find out is when I need
to replace my cassette. I have seen people who use charts of gears versus
speed at a certain rpm, but I'm not that industrious.

--
Bob in CT
Remove ".x" to reply
post #3 of 89

Re: Dumb question #3 - counting gears

Badger_South wrote:

> Ok, after reading a few more messages where riders quote their gears with
> annoying alacrity, I'm asking - where do you get your gear count without
> actually bending down with the bifocals?


Well, I've experimented a bit with different gear ratios, so I actually
have gotten down there and counted teeth. For most bikes, I've got
those counts recorded somewhere. But once the sprockets are chosen and
installed, the exact numbers of teeth don't matter much.

>
> Why do people end up memorizing them? I guess that's the sign of experience
> and time, but there must have been a reason to learn them...


But I've never memorized them. The only thing I _really_ memorize is,
which gear is my best for quick starts, such as getting going quickly
when the light turns green? I remember to shift to that gear as I'm
coming to a stop.

I also pay some attention to remembering the drill for going "just one
gear" lower or higher, when that involves changing the front chainring.
(Usually, it's shift the front one way, then shift the back a cog or
two the other way to compensate.)


--
--------------------+
Frank Krygowski [To reply, remove rodent and vegetable dot com,
replace with cc.ysu dot edu]
post #4 of 89

Re: Dumb question #3 - counting gears

"Frank Krygowski" <frkrygow@mousepotato.com> >


> I also pay some attention to remembering the drill for going "just one
> gear" lower or higher, when that involves changing the front chainring.
> (Usually, it's shift the front one way, then shift the back a cog or
> two the other way to compensate.)


Very funny Frank, but when you're out with the guys
you will always be in the big ring.
post #5 of 89

Re: Dumb question #3 - counting gears

I often go a half gear when there's a long straight section that
the big ring doesn't quite have the perfect gear for. Switching
rings and compensating with one or two cogs leaves me a half gear
above or below the gear I was in.

If it's not going to be for a while, it's not worth the trouble.
The front changer isn't one of those smooth operating ones.
--
Ron Hardin
rhhardin@mindspring.com

On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
post #6 of 89

Re: Dumb question #3 - counting gears

On Thu, 12 Aug 2004 19:13:33 GMT, Fabrizio Mazzoleni <chipomarc@lfdd.ca>
wrote:

>
> "Frank Krygowski" <frkrygow@mousepotato.com> >
>
>
>> I also pay some attention to remembering the drill for going "just one
>> gear" lower or higher, when that involves changing the front chainring.
>> (Usually, it's shift the front one way, then shift the back a cog or
>> two the other way to compensate.)

>
> Very funny Frank, but when you're out with the guys
> you will always be in the big ring.
>
>


Even up the Plateau de Beille or Alpe d'Huez?

--
Bob in CT
Remove ".x" to reply
post #7 of 89

Re: Dumb question #3 - counting gears

"Bob in CT" <ctviggen.x@adelphia.net> wrote in message newspscmv6gpu6snke8@news.snet.sbcglobal.net...
>> Even up the Plateau de Beille or Alpe d'Huez?

>
>


You know I wasn't referring to steep climbs.
post #8 of 89

Re: Dumb question #3 - counting gears

Badger South writes:

> OK, after reading a few more messages where riders quote their gears
> with annoying alacrity, I'm asking - where do you get your gear
> count without actually bending down with the bifocals?


For most folks who have ridden awhile the gear cluster is known, for
instance, I know I have 13,15,17,19,21,24 on my old fashioned system
and two chainwheels, the 46-50t. I've had these for a long time and
in the old days, when there were not so many gears, the question is
whether one had the "right" gear for a certain course.

> Why do people end up memorizing them? I guess that's the sign of
> experience and time, but there must have been a reason to learn them
> - so how did you do this memory feat? I'm thinking figure the count
> and then mount it on the top tube - eventually you'll be able to do
> 'cyclespeak' and talk about the one of the puzzling esoterics of
> biking!


I think if you ask this question of newer riders or ask it again in
maybe five years, they won't know. With 30 combinations, the question
is irrelevant. Just the same, folks are always amazed what others
ride on various courses. I am only amazed at what people think they
are going to do with 52-11 or even 52-13 that can't be better done by
coasting.

Other than that, just watch when a "spinning" subject comes up here or
in the "tech" group and the significance attributed to having the
"right" cadence. The oddest one in this vein is when relatively
newcomers advise me on what gears to ride to prevent damaging my
knees. These folks wouldn't recognize and old bikie if they were
introduced. They would advise Michael Schumacher on how to drive a
car.

Jobst Brandt
jobst.brandt@stanfordalumni.org
post #9 of 89

Re: Dumb question #3 - counting gears

Pete wrote:
>
> "Ron Hardin" <rhhardin@mindspring.com> wrote
>
> >
> > If it's not going to be for a while, it's not worth the trouble.
> > The front changer isn't one of those smooth operating ones.

>
> And that is why few of us reading this ride huffy's.
>
> Pete


One of my brakes sticks, too. Both are a result of not using them
much. Grit gets in there and sets up housekeeping, over the course
of, what, hmm...
2004 1998-8000*p
48000 miles on this Huffy.

3rd BB set, 2nd derailleur, 3rd MRX shifter set, 2nd set of brakepads,
2nd Terry Liberator saddle.

Next brake pad change I'm going to have to replace the unused brake
entirely because the pad thingy has frozen to the brake arm, in fact.

Stuff gets old and wears out.

When the bike was new, everything shifted great. In fact I was amazed
how much shifting you could usefully do in rolling country, once
the shifters were on the bar ends and you had 21 speeds. Now I've
settled into a favorite few, long since.
--
Ron Hardin
rhhardin@mindspring.com

On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
post #10 of 89

Re: Dumb question #3 - counting gears

On Thu, 12 Aug 2004 21:23:59 GMT, <jobst.brandt@stanfordalumni.org> wrote:

> Badger South writes:
>
>> OK, after reading a few more messages where riders quote their gears
>> with annoying alacrity, I'm asking - where do you get your gear
>> count without actually bending down with the bifocals?

>
> For most folks who have ridden awhile the gear cluster is known, for
> instance, I know I have 13,15,17,19,21,24 on my old fashioned system
> and two chainwheels, the 46-50t. I've had these for a long time and
> in the old days, when there were not so many gears, the question is
> whether one had the "right" gear for a certain course.
>
>> Why do people end up memorizing them? I guess that's the sign of
>> experience and time, but there must have been a reason to learn them
>> - so how did you do this memory feat? I'm thinking figure the count
>> and then mount it on the top tube - eventually you'll be able to do
>> 'cyclespeak' and talk about the one of the puzzling esoterics of
>> biking!

>
> I think if you ask this question of newer riders or ask it again in
> maybe five years, they won't know. With 30 combinations, the question
> is irrelevant. Just the same, folks are always amazed what others
> ride on various courses. I am only amazed at what people think they
> are going to do with 52-11 or even 52-13 that can't be better done by
> coasting.


I ride those gears simply because most of my ride is uphill, where I'm
going slow, and I try to make up the time when I hit a "flat" (i.e.,
downhill but not too steep) section. Plus, after getting hammered on/by
the hills, I like to do some hammering myself!

> Other than that, just watch when a "spinning" subject comes up here or
> in the "tech" group and the significance attributed to having the
> "right" cadence. The oddest one in this vein is when relatively
> newcomers advise me on what gears to ride to prevent damaging my
> knees. These folks wouldn't recognize and old bikie if they were
> introduced. They would advise Michael Schumacher on how to drive a
> car.
>
> Jobst Brandt
> jobst.brandt@stanfordalumni.org




--
Bob in CT
Remove ".x" to reply
post #11 of 89

Re: Dumb question #3 - counting gears

Badger_South wrote:
> Ok, after reading a few more messages where riders quote their gears with
> annoying alacrity, I'm asking - where do you get your gear count without
> actually bending down with the bifocals?


Many sprockets actually have the tooth count stamped into their
surface so you can read it if you have good eye sight. Even if
they don't, it's quite east to count the teeth. The biggest
common rear cogs are only 34 teeth. Front chain rings usually
have the number of teeth stamped into them but they can easily
be counted too if not. If you still have the specs on your
freewheel, you may be able to just look up the cogs sizes.

> Why do people end up memorizing them? I guess that's the sign of experience
> and time, but there must have been a reason to learn them - so how did you
> do this memory feat? I'm thinking figure the count and then mount it on the
> top tube - eventually you'll be able to do 'cyclespeak' and talk about the
> one of the puzzling esoterics of biking! ;-p


It's not really tough. My chainrngs are 28-38-48. Is that hard
to remember? My cogs are 13-15-17-19-21-23-26. Notice that it
starts with 13 and progresses by 2 up until 23 after which there's
a 3 tooth jump. That makes it pretty easy to remember. Most
clusters are put together with some sort of sequence in mind that's
easy to remember once you figure it out. Admittedly, sometimes if
I want to know how many teeth it is, I find myself thinking "third
cog, 13-15-17: It's 17." rather than thinking "third cog, 17".
post #12 of 89

Re: Dumb question #3 - counting gears

jobst.brandt@stanfordalumni.org wrote:
> ride on various courses. I am only amazed at what people think they
> are going to do with 52-11 or even 52-13 that can't be better done by
> coasting.


Back in the early 70s I would have given a lot for a 52-11 or even
a 52-13. I powered through everything and ran into my fairly slow
spin comfort limit very quickly. I'd wind up riding the brakes on
downhills so I had something to pedal against.

52-14 was the biggest gear I could find anywhere.

I hooked the 14 cog almost instantly, too. It would have been
really bad on an 11.

No other cog ever wore much.
--
Ron Hardin
rhhardin@mindspring.com

On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
post #13 of 89

Re: Dumb question #3 - counting gears

"Bob in CT" <ctviggen.x@adelphia.net> wrote in message newspscmv6gpu6snke8@news.snet.sbcglobal.net...
> >

>
> Even up the Plateau de Beille or Alpe d'Huez?


About the d'Heuz, I've check back on my racing
journals and it looks like mostly on the 39x17 or
39x18, any gear smaller than that on that climb and
you will be dropped from the group.
post #14 of 89

Re: Dumb question #3 - counting gears

On Thu, 12 Aug 2004 21:08:51 GMT, Pete <ptr@usaf.com> wrote:

>
> "Ron Hardin" <rhhardin@mindspring.com> wrote
>
>>
>> If it's not going to be for a while, it's not worth the trouble.
>> The front changer isn't one of those smooth operating ones.

>
> And that is why few of us reading this ride huffy's.
>
> Pete
>
>

Over 5,000 miles on my Huffy. My Schwinn Super Sport looks fast but
those time trail type tires won't go where I want, which is just
about anywhere around here. The roads really need some work in my
part of California. That and 2 bio-pace chainrings...
The Schwinn has some serious limitations as to where I can ride.
Bill Baka


--
Using M2, Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/m2/
post #15 of 89

Re: Dumb question #3 - counting gears

"Bill Baka" <bbaka@syix.com> wrote in message newspscm5oxdb9scufd@news.syix.com...
> > >

> my Huffy.


I going to go ahead and assume you're trying to be funny.
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