So, just an observation about cycling


New Member
Oct 30, 2010
I'm getting a little older, and even at my peak, a 14 gear was for downhills.
If you look at the cassettes they sell, they tend to keep the low gear at 11 or 12, possibly a 13.
They then slap on a bigger gear at the end.
What about trying to make the gearing change similar across the shifts, that's whiat I like about the higher end units is the relatively close ratios.
Give us who can't put out 300W+ the same tools, just make them work for our power levels Yep, I'd be happy knowiing I can't hit 35mph on the flats, but, also knowing I can make that hill


Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2003
There are two main designs for derailer-geared bikes, freewheels and freehubs/cassettes. Freewheels have the coasting mechanism as an integral part of the sprocket stack and are generally limited to a 14T smallest.
They also leave more of the axle unsupported and are prone to suffer axle bending and breaking at 7-speed rears or higher - which is why the freehubs were invented.
Freehubs/cassettes have the coasting mechanism and the sprocket stack as separate assemblies and can generally use an 11T smallest.

The rear sprocket with the fewest teeth is your HIGHEST gear, NOT your lowest.
What you’ve been looking at seems to be so-called Mega Range cassettes and freewheels. These are meant to provide a number of fairly tightly spaced gears for most of your riding, and then one last, considerably easier ”bail-out” gear to use when the incline is about to overwhelm you.
Not an entirely bad idea IMO.
A fix for your dilemma - hill climbs AND tight ratios - is to adjust the other end, fit smaller chain ring(s).
And while they’re horribly unfashionable, I do appreciate triple cranks.
For a go-anywhere, ride-anything kind of bike I still prefer them.
My commuter has a rideable speed range of about 25 mph.
I can grind up a hill at 2-3 mph, and I can stay on power during the descent up to about 27-28 mph before spinning out.
All with nice and close ratios due to the triple crank.
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