confused about gears!

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by creff, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. creff

    creff New Member

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    Can someone explain gear shifters to me?!

    I'm considering converting my flat-bar road bike to drop handlebars but am possibly the least technically minded person alive.

    When shifters are listed as being 9-speed does that mean they are only suitable for bikes with 9 gears?

    My bike has 24 gears - would someone be able to recommend appropriate shifters for converting to drop handles?

    Thanks
     
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  2. strings&gears

    strings&gears New Member

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    The "9-speed" refers to the number of cogs on the rear wheel. Your 24 speed bike has 8 cogs in the back and 3 chain rings. Not sure if "9" shifters will work with 8 cogs due to the cog spacing and how much the shifter will move the deraileur with indexed shifting. I would consult your lbs regarding your options.
     
  3. creff

    creff New Member

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    Ah I see! So when people refer to double/triple bikes are they referring to the front cogs being 2/3? What is a compact bike in that case?
     
  4. strings&gears

    strings&gears New Member

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    I presume you are referring to a compact crankset. If so, that means the chainrings have fewer teeth than a "standard" crankset. For instance, the "standard" large ring typically has 53 teeth. A "compact" may have only 50. A compact crankset makes pedalling easier all other things being equal.
     
  5. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Switching to drop bars usually takes far more than people realize, with brakes and front shifter cable pull ratio no longer matching up as before. Unless you'r ready to spend considerable effort on it you might want to stop at a couple of drop bar ends instead.
     
  6. Dietmar

    Dietmar New Member

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    If that is so, and considering your questions, you should probably have somebody at a reputable bikeshop do the conversion for you.

    As explained by other posters, you would need suitable 8-speed shifters, but what kind of shifters, if any, would work depends on the type of cassette and rear derailleur you have. Best to go check at your LBS.
     
  7. nonfeel

    nonfeel New Member

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  8. randochap

    randochap New Member

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    This.
     
  9. Akadat

    Akadat New Member

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    I have a mountain bike with drop bars. Gears were solved by using Shimano ST CT15 index shifters for 3x front and 7x rear (you may have to scrounge for those) but they are surprisingly acessable when mounted next to the stem. Friction bar-end shifters are the next best on drop bars and I suspect certain brifters will work too.

    Brakes are less a problem - the old style road brake levers complete with suicide levers work very well with vee or cantilever brakes. The lever pressure is greatly reduced and brake efficiency is excellent. I can't ride a bike with caliper brakes any more because they cannot lift the back wheel unless you are almost breaking the cable. My setup can do it easily using the suicide levers.

    It depends on the riding you do...for me commuting amongst arrogant cars and blind pedestrians requires instant and powerful braking along with constant awareness.
     
  10. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Something's wrong with your brake calipers if you can't unweight the rear wheel. Once the rear starts hopping--lifting, dropping, lifting, dropping--you're at the limit of braking for your bike.
     
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