gear inch question

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Greg Peek, Feb 13, 2003.

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  1. Greg Peek

    Greg Peek Guest

    I would like to get some opinions if lots of you could jump in and help. What gear inch range do you
    like / want for the following types of riding: Touring: Recreatioanl riding: Commuting: Going fast:

    Thanks for the assistance,

    Greg Peek ATR / Longbikes mailto:[email protected]
     
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  2. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > I would like to get some opinions if lots of you could jump in and help. What gear inch range do
    > you like / want for the following types of riding: Touring: Recreatioanl riding: Commuting:
    > Going fast:
    >
    > Thanks for the assistance,
    >
    > Greg Peek ATR / Longbikes mailto:[email protected]

    I have found a gear range of ~19-~115 on a 27 spd suitable to cover all of the above activities on
    one bike. I manage this with a 28-42-52 triple and a 11-34 megarange cluster on a 559 rear wheel.

    Please don't pick apart the math. I know it is using ball park numbers

    --
    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  3. Paul Worden

    Paul Worden Guest

    I ride an MR Swift with 20 inch wheels. I have 'upgeared' it to 36 46 60 at the front and a 11 34
    megarange.

    This is fine for short recreational rides on moderate and short hills but too tall for touring. The
    orginal 30 40 52 is better for light touring and for heavy loads, I'd go for a Sachs 3x9 instead of
    the megarange. (or mountain drive..but they're too dear for me.)

    Paul W
     
  4. Greg Peek wrote;

    > What gear inch range do you like / want for the following types of riding: Touring: Recreational
    > riding: Commuting:

    17-100 suits me very well. 100 is a bit OTT for my purposes, but "they" don't do a 13-34 or 14-34
    9-speed cassette.

    > Going fast:

    37-106. Lowest gear actually *used* -except for starting - during last year's races was 55. I might
    be tempted to go to an 11-23 or even 11-21 cassette at some point, but not this year.

    Dave Larrington - http://legslarry.crosswinds.net/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  5. Geob

    Geob Guest

    > What gear inch range do you like / want for the following types of riding:

    I have a Vision R40, 20" in front, 26" in the rear. I crashed and smashed my front chainrings and
    replaced them with Cannondale Coda mtn bike gearing. I now have 22/36/46 or maybe it is 22/34/44,
    with an 11-32 cassette. This yields 17.9" - 108.7" gear/inches

    I am 200#, 5'9". I am in fair condition.

    > Touring: I generally ride between 20 - 35 miles on Saturdays. Not
    all Saturdays! I don't really use a tall gear. There are some really steep short sections with
    switchbacks on some of my routes, sometimes I use my lowest gear. I travel up the steepest between
    3.5 - 4.5 mph, about as slow as i can go and not topple over. I generally travel useing my middle
    chain ring, and fairly far up my cassette, not sure, 6,7,8, about 12-18 mph.

    > Recreational riding:

    > Commuting: I commute 15/16 miles per day to work, maybe only 3 days a week. I generally always
    > start off on the lowest cog on the cassette, and the middle chain ring. I always stay on the
    > middle chain ring around town.

    > Going fast: I will never use my highest gears. Scary. To darn twitchy.. when I pedal at speeds
    > above 30mph the side-to-side input from my feet and the slightest input from my hands makes the
    > bike wanna go side-to-side. I don't like to go fast. I have been 'down' on motorcycles and
    > bicycles hundreds of times and I feel I am statistically ready to get hurt.
     
  6. Ian Boag

    Ian Boag Guest

    And I thought I was the only middle-aged overweight dude in the world that cruised on a bent like
    that! I'm probably the only one in New Zealand anyway. Linear. Nice.

    IB

    [email protected] (GeoB) wrote:

    >> What gear inch range do you like / want for the following types of riding:
    >
    >I have a Vision R40, 20" in front, 26" in the rear. I crashed and smashed my front chainrings and
    >replaced them with Cannondale Coda mtn bike gearing. I now have 22/36/46 or maybe it is 22/34/44,
    >with an 11-32 cassette. This yields 17.9" - 108.7" gear/inches
    >
    >I am 200#, 5'9". I am in fair condition.
    >
    >> Touring: I generally ride between 20 - 35 miles on Saturdays. Not
    >all Saturdays! I don't really use a tall gear. There are some really steep short sections with
    >switchbacks on some of my routes, sometimes I use my lowest gear. I travel up the steepest between
    >3.5 - 4.5 mph, about as slow as i can go and not topple over. I generally travel useing my middle
    >chain ring, and fairly far up my cassette, not sure, 6,7,8, about 12-18 mph.
    >
    >> Recreational riding:
    >
    >> Commuting: I commute 15/16 miles per day to work, maybe only 3 days a week. I generally always
    >> start off on the lowest cog on the cassette, and the middle chain ring. I always stay on the
    >> middle chain ring around town.
    >
    >> Going fast: I will never use my highest gears. Scary. To darn twitchy.. when I pedal at speeds
    >> above 30mph the side-to-side input from my feet and the slightest input from my hands makes the
    >> bike wanna go side-to-side. I don't like to go fast. I have been 'down' on motorcycles and
    >> bicycles hundreds of times and I feel I am statistically ready to get hurt.
     
  7. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    GeoB wrote:
    >
    > ... Going fast: I will never use my highest gears. Scary. To darn twitchy.. when I pedal at speeds
    > above 30mph the side-to-side input > from my feet and the slightest input from my hands makes the
    > bike > wanna go side-to-side. I don't like to go fast. I have been 'down' > on motorcycles and
    > bicycles hundreds of times and I feel I am statistically ready to get hurt.

    A bike that behaves in the manner described above is either poorly designed and/or does not fit the
    rider properly (weight distribution and/or steering setup).

    I have ridden recumbents [1] with a reputation for "quick" handling at speeds over 40 mph (65 kph)
    with complete confidence in the way the bikes handled. And both my gross motor coordination and
    balancing ability are at the low end of the average range.

    [1] Specifically, the RANS Rocket and Lightning P-38, and as a general category, lowracers. [2]
    [2] Earthcycles Sunset and the dual 406-mm wheel Wishbone RT I used to own.

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side) Various HPV's
     
  8. > 17-100 suits me very well. 100 is a bit OTT for my purposes, but "they" don't do a 13-34 or 14-34
    > 9-speed cassette.
    >
    > Dave Larrington - http://legslarry.crosswinds.net/

    Being new to the bent world, I have been messing with the gearing that came with the bent. It was
    originally 52,42,30 with an 11-32 cass...I now have a 13,14,15,16,17,19,21,24,28 this could easily
    be 13,14,15,16,18,21,24,28,32 this was acheived by mixing a little used 13-25 (9sp) with the
    original cass. If you stay on the 5 smallest sprokets and alternate between the 52 & 42 ring you get
    a close ratio set of gears from 61" - 100". Total range is 26" - 100", I still find myself getting
    lost in the gear range now that I can't have a quick glance at the back wheel. FWIW on my road bike
    I used to use 42 x 13,14,15,16,17,18,19,21,24. I like to spin : )
     
  9. "Dave Larrington" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Greg Peek wrote;
    >
    > > What gear inch range do you like / want for the following types of riding: Touring: Recreational
    > > riding: Commuting:
    >
    > 17-100 suits me very well. 100 is a bit OTT for my purposes, but "they" don't do a 13-34 or 14-34
    > 9-speed cassette.
    >
    > > Going fast:
    >
    > 37-106. Lowest gear actually *used* -except for starting - during last year's races was 55. I
    > might be tempted to go to an 11-23 or even 11-21 cassette at some point, but not this year.
    >
    > Dave Larrington - http://legslarry.crosswinds.net/
    > ===========================================================
    > Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    > http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    > ===========================================================

    I ride an Easy Racers EZ1 SC-Lite. I have regeared to 38-53-62 x 11-34 cluster. This gives me a low
    of 22.36 GI and a high of 112.72 GI. I shift thru the range in 10 single shifts. They are:Inner
    1-2-3, shift to Middle 3-4-5, shift to outer 5-6-7-8. The key is having to shift only one gear at a
    time, either the front or rear. While there other gears in between these shifts they require a shift
    of the front and the rear to complete one gear change. Between the M4
    (53.00) and the M5 (62.35) are two other shifts of 53.91 (Outer3) and
    54.00 (Outer4). The spread on the GI is so small and the shifting would go M4 to O3 to O4 to M5. way
    to much effort for so little gain.

    There is one brand of bent that boasts of 72 speeds.....out of 24 I only use 10...out of 72 I bet
    you only get one or two more useful shifts.

    I generally run in the middle ring and the center of the cluster. this is one smooth shifting bike
    and its one sweet ride.

    peter spirito
     
  10. John Foltz

    John Foltz Guest

    GeoB wrote:
    >
    > I have a Vision R40, 20" in front, 26" in the rear. I crashed and smashed my front chainrings and
    > replaced them with Cannondale Coda mtn bike gearing. I now have 22/36/46 or maybe it is
    > 22/34/44, with an 11-32 cassette. This yields 17.9" - 108.7" gear/inches
    >
    You're not going to get 108.7 inches unless you're running a 26x1.95 rear tire (559 rim with a 50c
    wide tire.) For reference, with a
    26x1.25 tire, you'd be getting 102 inches, using the 46T chainring.

    I'm in the minority, but I hate to run out of high end gears. As a corollary, I hate to make a
    habit of cruising in my highest gear. So the highest gear isn't as important to me as the next two.
    I like to have at least one in the 90s and one in the low 100s, and a sprint gear around 125-135
    inches. There's no major hills over 5% where I ride, so the only reason I have a triple is for when
    I go on trips - a 40" low would be fine otherwise. For touring with a load, I'd want about a 20"
    low gear, and having a gear over 110" wouldn't matter as much. I had a 17" low on my V-Rex for
    years and never used it.

    Before anyone asks, I don't coast on downhills if I can see the bottom. I don't take chances on
    curves, but recumbents are made to be powered down hills, and anyone who doesn't ride their
    recumbent like a recumbent is doing things the hard way.
    --

    John Foltz --- O _ Baron --- _O _ V-Rex 24/63 --- _\\/\-%)
    _________(_)`=()___________________(_)= (_)_____
     
  11. John Foltz

    John Foltz Guest

    Tom Sherman wrote:
    > GeoB wrote:
    >
    >> ... Going fast: I will never use my highest gears. Scary. To darn twitchy.. when I pedal at
    >> speeds above 30mph the side-to-side input > from my feet and the slightest input from my hands
    >> makes the bike > wanna go side-to-side. I don't like to go fast. I have been 'down' > on
    >> motorcycles and bicycles hundreds of times and I feel I am statistically ready to get hurt.
    >
    >
    > A bike that behaves in the manner described above is either poorly designed and/or does not fit
    > the rider properly (weight distribution and/or steering setup).
    >
    I've heard of this complaint before, applied to Visions. The newer ones are a few inches longer,
    but older models has WBs as short as 36-38 inches. One VR-44 rider in our club added a bungee
    cord stabilizer to his steering. He hated the stock steering, but claims the bungee made the
    bike rideable.

    I agree, I wouldn't want a bike like that.
    --

    John Foltz --- O _ Baron --- _O _ V-Rex 24/63 --- _\\/\-%)
    _________(_)`=()___________________(_)= (_)_____
     
  12. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Peter M Spirito wrote:
    >
    > ... There is one brand of bent that boasts of 72 speeds.....out of 24 I only use 10...out of 72 I
    > bet you only get one or two more useful shifts....

    Peter,

    The real advantage of adding a 3x8/9 DualDrive hub (or and older Sachs/SRAM Spectro 3x7 hub) to a
    triple crank/rear cluster bicycle, is not more ratios in the middle of the range as these are mostly
    near duplicates [1], but the two to three additional ratios that are gained at both the low and high
    ends. As you will find out, you will want both higher and lower gear ratios on a recumbent than you
    would find useful on an upright road bike.

    [1] And the shifting pattern would be too complicated for almost anyone to remember and use.

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side) Various HPV's
     
  13. John, I agree with you. Some will, some won't. Like you, I have little need for real small gearing
    when riding in my regular riding area. On the AERO I run a 52/42/26 with a 11/23. If say, I go to a
    rolling hill ride I may elect to go to an 11/27 but also have a 25. I also can go to a 32 if needed.
    In my case I tailor the cassette to the ride terrain and purpose. This only makes sense...a well to
    me anyway. I believe that, for me, effective riding involves using eveything the terrrain and
    conditions will give you. I also pedal downhill, but keep safety in mind when I do so. Then use my
    momentum to best advantage for the next climb maintaining my cadence within a range that is
    effective for me (90+). I attempt to stay within this range in all gears whether it bombing down a
    hill, climbing or going 15 mph or less into a killer headwind.

    There is no real gearing scheme that appeals to everyone. If stock bents came with lower gearing the
    complaints would still be there. So they try to cover as best they can, both ends.

    Sooo..."Each to their own, one persons gearing makes the others groan" There are masher, tourers,
    racers and spinners. Competitive speedsters and recreational grinners. Sloggers that find frequent
    stops that are winners. The minimilast, maximist and learning beginner. Some will ride centuries at
    5 hours or less...some will take 10 on a bike thats a mess. It can be loaded touring and end with a
    tent or an all out butt busting competitive event. Each one has their type of pleasure with aches
    and pains but memories to treasure. For the occaisional rider what does it matter? For the tourer,
    commuter or those who crave speed... fit the steed to the deed and you might just succeed.

    Jude....///Bacchetta AERO St. Michaels and Tilghman Island.. Maryland Wheel Doctor Cycle and Sports,
    Inc 1-800-586-6645 "John Foltz" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > GeoB wrote:
    > >
    > > I have a Vision R40, 20" in front, 26" in the rear. I crashed and smashed my front chainrings
    > > and replaced them with Cannondale Coda mtn bike gearing. I now have 22/36/46 or maybe it is
    > > 22/34/44, with an 11-32 cassette. This yields 17.9" - 108.7" gear/inches
    > >
    > You're not going to get 108.7 inches unless you're running a 26x1.95 rear tire (559 rim with a 50c
    > wide tire.) For reference, with a
    > 26x1.25 tire, you'd be getting 102 inches, using the 46T chainring.
    >
    > I'm in the minority, but I hate to run out of high end gears. As a corollary, I hate to make a
    > habit of cruising in my highest gear. So the highest gear isn't as important to me as the next
    > two. I like to have at least one in the 90s and one in the low 100s, and a sprint gear around
    > 125-135 inches. There's no major hills over 5% where I ride, so the only reason I have a triple is
    > for when I go on trips - a 40" low would be fine otherwise. For touring with a load, I'd want
    > about a 20" low gear, and having a gear over 110" wouldn't matter as much. I had a 17" low on my
    > V-Rex for years and never used it.
    >
    > Before anyone asks, I don't coast on downhills if I can see the bottom. I don't take chances on
    > curves, but recumbents are made to be powered down hills, and anyone who doesn't ride their
    > recumbent like a recumbent is doing things the hard way.
    > --
    >
    > John Foltz --- O _ Baron --- _O _ V-Rex 24/63 --- _\\/\-%)
    > _________(_)`=()___________________(_)= (_)_____
     
  14. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    "Jude T. McGloin" wrote:
    > ... There is no real gearing scheme that appeals to everyone. If stock bents came with lower
    > gearing the complaints would still be there. So they try to cover as best they can, both ends.
    >
    > Sooo..."Each to their own, one persons gearing makes the others groan" There are masher, tourers,
    > racers and spinners. Competitive speedsters and recreational grinners. Sloggers that find frequent
    > stops that are winners. The minimilast, maximist and learning beginner....

    Jude,

    In my opinion, a good LBS should find out what the customer needs so the riding experience will be
    a positive one - this could include not recommending certain bikes (that would be excellent for
    other riders) or in the context of this discussion, changing drivetrain components to fit the
    rider's needs.

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side) Various HPV's
     
  15. Tom, I ask a lot of questions of the prospective customer. Too often sales people are more
    interested in selling what they need to sell vrs. meeting the needs of the buyer. Because most
    recumbents come with a stock component specification dealers can be reluctant to make changes that
    cut into their already modest margain without passing on the cost to the customer. I personally love
    to custom build to the customers needs. However, this can sometimes be an expensive way to go.
    Gearing is easy if its just a cassette issue. Some other changes involve costly swapouts. Many on
    this NG have multiple bikes. I have bents at two extremes. An minimalist AERO and a maximus bikeE
    AT. The bikeE has a fairing, fenders, underseat rack, rear rack, three headlights and tailights. I
    looking at building up a BARON, like John Foltz I would elect for a double with some big gears,
    since it would be more of a flatlander. Again, IMO the key is "Fit the steed to the need"
    Jude....///Bacchetta AERO St. Michaels and Tilghman Island.. Maryland Wheel Doctor Cycle and Sports,
    Inc 1-800-586-6645 "Tom Sherman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Jude T. McGloin" wrote:
    > > ... There is no real gearing scheme that appeals to everyone. If stock bents came with lower
    > > gearing the complaints would still be there. So they try
    to
    > > cover as best they can, both ends.
    > >
    > > Sooo..."Each to their own, one persons gearing makes the others groan"
    > > There are masher, tourers, racers and spinners. Competitive
    > > speedsters and recreational grinners. Sloggers that find frequent stops
    that
    > > are winners. The minimilast, maximist and learning beginner....
    >
    > Jude,
    >
    > In my opinion, a good LBS should find out what the customer needs so the riding experience will be
    > a positive one - this could include not recommending certain bikes (that would be excellent for
    > other riders) or in the context of this discussion, changing drivetrain components to fit the
    > rider's needs.
    >
    > Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side) Various HPV's
     
  16. Dj Blag

    Dj Blag Guest

    My Phantom has a 30/42/52 crankset. When I bought it from Rolf at HostelShoppe, I asked about lower
    gearing. He suggested I try it as is because: 1-the bike is much different than my Linear LWB, and
    2-the standard crankset, with its ramps and pins make shifting very easy. He was right about both,
    but since I got the bike late last season, I never got into good enough shape to attempt my favorite
    long climbs that of course, result in my 'greater favorite' downhills. Of the hills that I did ride
    last year, I didn't run out of low gears, so I may be ok. My Linear had a single front ring when I
    got it, with the Sachs 3x7 in the rear. It didn't have enough low for me, so I changed the front to
    a Mt. bike crank, and resulted in 63 gears, probably many redundant. The climbing/spinning ability
    was great, but the bike was too relaxed for me. I sold it to a gentleman who took it to South
    Florida, which is a great place for a bike like that. I don't know if I answered your question,
    other than the fact that if the gearing were to limit my climbing ability (the part of cycling I
    dislike) I would change the gears. Chas
     
  17. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Dj Blag wrote:
    >
    > My Phantom has a 30/42/52 crankset. When I bought it from Rolf at HostelShoppe, I asked about
    > lower gearing. He suggested I try it as is because: 1-the bike is much different than my Linear
    > LWB, and 2-the standard crankset, with its ramps and pins make shifting very easy. He was right
    > about both, but since I got the bike late last season, I never got into good enough shape to
    > attempt my favorite long climbs that of course, result in my 'greater favorite' downhills. Of the
    > hills that I did ride last year, I didn't run out of low gears, so I may be ok. My Linear had a
    > single front ring when I got it, with the Sachs 3x7 in the rear. It didn't have enough low for me,
    > so I changed the front to a Mt. bike crank, and resulted in 63 gears, probably many redundant. The
    > climbing/spinning ability was great, but the bike was too relaxed for me. I sold it to a gentleman
    > who took it to South Florida, which is a great place for a bike like that. I don't know if I
    > answered your question, other than the fact that if the gearing were to limit my climbing ability
    > (the part of cycling I dislike) I would change the gears. Chas

    The Phantom should be able to handle a 52/42/24 chainrings as long as you are not trying to use
    Shimano Rapidfires or some other indexed system with only three positions for the front derailleur.

    Typically, combining a triple crank with a 3x7 hub will result in more than 40 near duplicate
    gear ratios.

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side) Various HPV's
     
  18. Dj Blag

    Dj Blag Guest

    Tom wrote:
    > Typically, combining a triple crank with a 3x7 hub will result in more than 40 near duplicate
    > gear ratios.

    Wow! That many? I did 'do the math' when I made the conversion, but after looking at all those
    numbers, I figured it wouldn't make a difference riding anyway. "If it feels good, it must the the
    right gear"!? Chas
     
  19. Pete Huber

    Pete Huber Guest

    I added a fourth chainring and an extra return side chain tensioner in order to utilize 20, 30, 42,
    60 chainrings with an 11-21 rear derailler. This arrangement gives great range with little change
    between gears. Living in a mountainous area the gearing provides plenty of options for both uphill
    and downhill.

    Pete Huber Speed Ross Pulaski, VA

    "Greg Peek" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I would like to get some opinions if lots of you could jump in and help. What gear inch range do
    > you like / want for the following types of riding: Touring: Recreatioanl riding: Commuting:
    > Going fast:
    >
    > Thanks for the assistance,
    >
    > Greg Peek ATR / Longbikes mailto:[email protected]
     
  20. Paul Worden

    Paul Worden Guest

    >John wrote: but recumbents are made to be powered down hills.

    With my current 60 front and 11 rear (where's that gear inch table?!), speeds of more than 60 kph
    (36 mph) require a higher cadence than I can (want to?) give (down hill.) Steering weave isn't a
    problem, but wind gusts do move the trike a foot or so sideways oof line.

    Recumbents (well - some) roll fast downhill and accellerate rapidly, so pedalling downhill doesn't
    add much to the average speed. It's on the cusp at the bottom you can kick it in and keep it going
    for the next rise.

    With a Sachs rear hub, I could pedal at 70 kph, but I didn't like the drag. The trike felt 'stodgy.'
    But for touring, the Sachs was great, particularly on the low end.

    Paul W - MR Swift
     
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