Track bike gear ratio question

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Eric Appleton, May 4, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hello everyone. I have a Fuji track bike with a 48T crankset and a 14T rear cog that I use as a
    commuter bike and sometimes for longer trips. I use a hand brake now, but would like to be able to
    skid stop. At this point, the torque is too high; I can only manage the skidstop on a wet street. I
    would also like a lower gearing because I ride some hills. Also, I need a new back wheel as it is.
    The one I have is pretty beatup.

    Can I raise the rear cog to 18 or 20 and get the effect I want, or do I need to reduce the crankset
    as well? I'm trying to save a little money, but I would like to have the best setup.

    Does anyone have a recommendation for what I should do? How should I calculate the ratio and how far
    should I go?

    Thanks for the help. Eric
     
    Tags:


  2. Eric Appleton <[email protected]> wrote:
    : Hello everyone. I have a Fuji track bike with a 48T crankset and a 14T rear cog that I use as a
    : commuter bike and sometimes for longer trips. I use a hand brake now, but would like to be able to
    : skid stop. At this point, the torque is too high; I can only manage the skidstop on a wet street.
    : I would also like a lower gearing because I ride some hills. Also, I need a new back wheel as it
    : is. The one I have is pretty beatup.

    : Can I raise the rear cog to 18 or 20 and get the effect I want, or do I need to reduce the
    : crankset as well? I'm trying to save a little money, but I would like to have the best setup.

    : Does anyone have a recommendation for what I should do? How should I calculate the ratio and how
    : far should I go?

    Your gearing is too high for general fixed wheel biking - 90 gear inches. Around 75 gear inches
    seems popular. That means a 40 tooth front sprocket with your 14T on the rear.

    I'm pretty sure Sheldon Brown has a gear calculator on his website:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/index.html

    Each to his own, but why would you want to skid stop? It's pretty much bicycle abuse.

    Cheerz, Lynzz
     
  3. Ant

    Ant Guest

    [email protected] (Eric Appleton) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hello everyone. I have a Fuji track bike with a 48T crankset and a 14T rear cog that I use as a
    > commuter bike and sometimes for longer trips. I use a hand brake now, but would like to be able to
    > skid stop. At this point, the torque is too high; I can only manage the skidstop on a wet street.
    > I would also like a lower gearing because I ride some hills. Also, I need a new back wheel as it
    > is. The one I have is pretty beatup.

    > Can I raise the rear cog to 18 or 20 and get the effect I want, or do I need to reduce the
    > crankset as well? I'm trying to save a little money, but I would like to have the best setup.
    >
    > Does anyone have a recommendation for what I should do? How should I calculate the ratio and how
    > far should I go?

    When i first went fixed I used a 48-14 too. I liked it for going fast on the flats, but found it too
    mashy for all around use. I then tried 48-18, and finally settled on 48-16. Ive been riding the
    sixteen for a while now, and i think im going to go to 17 now. im just comfortable at a higher
    cadence than i used to be.

    all this is really useless to you, however. you'll have to pick your own gear. i do have to say,
    though, that from experience, 48-14 is a serious gear. your bike probably came with it because track
    bikes expect to see a lot of speed. i would be very surprised if you were maintaining velodrome
    speeds on your commute, but if so- More power to you!

    anyways, an 18 tooth track cog will get you in the 'normal' range, and i think youll like it. youll
    have a few crazy downhills, then youll get used to it, and youll wonder how you ever crunched your
    way around with a tall gear.

    the only problem with an 18, IIRC, is that the shimano cogs dont go that big (i think) and you end
    up having to buy an expensive surly or other (becuase the cyclo cogs do Not inspire confidence.)

    an aside: if you have a handbrake, you do understand that skid stops are merely showing off, right?
    a skid stop is completely redundant with a front brake- in fact 'eclipsed' is a better word than
    redundant, and it eats your tires to boot. but hey- you'll impress the co-workers. ;)

    cheers

    anthony
     
  4. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Eric Appleton" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hello everyone. I have a Fuji track bike with a 48T crankset and a 14T rear cog that I use as a
    > commuter bike and sometimes for longer trips. I use a hand brake now, but would like to be able to
    > skid stop. At this point, the torque is too high; I can only manage the skidstop on a wet street.
    > I would also like a lower gearing because I ride some hills. Also, I need a new back wheel as it
    > is. The one I have is pretty beatup.
    >
    > Can I raise the rear cog to 18 or 20 and get the effect I want, or do I need to reduce the
    > crankset as well? I'm trying to save a little money, but I would like to have the best setup.
    >
    > Does anyone have a recommendation for what I should do? How should I calculate the ratio and how
    > far should I go?
    >
    > Thanks for the help. Eric

    I used to commute on a fixed gear in the winter. Used to ride a 42 x 17 because I had to go over
    some fairly decent sized hills. I got very good at spinning down the backsides of the hills!

    48 x 14 is even a big gear racing in the lower cats. Might wanna think about either finding a
    smaller chainring (45 or 46), or a bigger cog (15 or
    16). If you have road sized cranks, you can probably find odd sized rings at your LBS for fairly
    inexpensively.

    www.fixedgearfever.com has two different gear calculators. One is a gear progression that will tell
    you which combo is bigger, and the other is a traditional gear inch chart.

    Mike
     
  5. Eric Appleton asked:

    >>Hello everyone. I have a Fuji track bike with a 48T crankset and a 14T rear cog that I use as a
    >>commuter bike and sometimes for longer trips. I use a hand brake now, but would like to be able to
    >>skid stop. At this point, the torque is too high; I can only manage the skidstop on a wet street.
    >>I would also like a lower gearing because I ride some hills. Also, I need a new back wheel as it
    >>is. The one I have is pretty beatup.
    >
    >>Can I raise the rear cog to 18 or 20 and get the effect I want, or do I need to reduce the
    >>crankset as well? I'm trying to save a little money, but I would like to have the best setup.
    >>
    >>Does anyone have a recommendation for what I should do? How should I calculate the ratio and how
    >>far should I go?

    Il Formico replied:

    > When i first went fixed I used a 48-14 too. I liked it for going fast on the flats, but found it
    > too mashy for all around use. I then tried 48-18, and finally settled on 48-16. Ive been riding
    > the sixteen for a while now, and i think im going to go to 17 now. im just comfortable at a higher
    > cadence than i used to be.
    >
    > all this is really useless to you, however. you'll have to pick your own gear. i do have to say,
    > though, that from experience, 48-14 is a serious gear. your bike probably came with it because
    > track bikes expect to see a lot of speed. i would be very surprised if you were maintaining
    > velodrome speeds on your commute, but if so- More power to you!
    >
    > anyways, an 18 tooth track cog will get you in the 'normal' range, and i think youll like it.
    > youll have a few crazy downhills, then youll get used to it, and youll wonder how you ever
    > crunched your way around with a tall gear.
    >
    > the only problem with an 18, IIRC, is that the shimano cogs dont go that big (i think) and you end
    > up having to buy an expensive surly or other (becuase the cyclo cogs do Not inspire confidence.)
    >
    > an aside: if you have a handbrake, you do understand that skid stops are merely showing off,
    > right? a skid stop is completely redundant with a front brake- in fact 'eclipsed' is a better word
    > than redundant, and it eats your tires to boot. but hey- you'll impress the co-workers. ;)

    Everything Ant wrote is correct. I would add that you might want to consider making your change in
    front, rather in the back.

    For each tooth added or subtracted, the axle must move 1/8" (3 MM.) Thus, to go from a 14 to an 18,
    you'd need to move the axle forward by
    1/2" (13 MM.) Your frame may or may not permit this, most likely not.

    As a result, you would likely need to spring for a new longer chain.

    It would probably be cheaper to go to a smaller chainring. According to my trusty sliderule, a 38/14
    is just about the same gear as a 48/18. You can get a nice 38 tooth BMX chainring for about $18,
    while a decent quality 18 fixed sprocket will be more like $30, plus needing the new chain.

    See: http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/chainrings.html

    and: http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/fixed

    Sheldon "75 Inches" Brown +----------------------------------------------------------+
    | And what are all these mysteries to me, | Whose life is full of indices and surds? | x^2 +
    | 7x + 53 |
    | = 11/3 --Lewis Carroll |
    +----------------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton,
    Massachusetts Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts
    shipped Worldwide http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  6. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    How steep are the hills you plan to ride? More hills mean lower gears. I prefer a 65 to 70" gear.

    -Bruce

    "ant" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > [email protected] (Eric Appleton) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > Hello everyone. I have a Fuji track bike with a 48T crankset and a 14T rear cog that I use as a
    > > commuter bike and sometimes for longer trips. I use a hand brake now, but would like to be able
    > > to skid stop. At this point, the torque is too high; I can only manage the skidstop on a wet
    > > street. I would also like a lower gearing because I ride some hills. Also, I need a new back
    > > wheel as it is. The one I have is pretty beatup.
    >
    >
    > > Can I raise the rear cog to 18 or 20 and get the effect I want, or do I need to reduce the
    > > crankset as well? I'm trying to save a little money, but I would like to have the best setup.
    > >
    > > Does anyone have a recommendation for what I should do? How should I calculate the ratio and how
    > > far should I go?
     
  7. On Sun, 04 May 2003 21:10:15 +0000, Eric Appleton wrote:

    > Hello everyone. I have a Fuji track bike with a 48T crankset and a 14T

    That is a big gear -- in fact it's bigger than a lot of trackies use.

    > rear cog that I use as a commuter bike and sometimes for longer trips. I use a hand brake now, but
    > would like to be able to skid stop.

    why? All it will do is open you up to opportunities to crash, and wear out tires.

    > At this point, the torque is too high; I can only manage the skidstop on a wet street. I would
    > also like a lower gearing because I ride some hills.

    That, at least, is reasonable.

    > Can I raise the rear cog to 18 or 20 and get the effect I want,

    Of course. A 48/18 or 48/19 is a good all-round gear. That is about what I use (usually a 46/17
    or 46/18).

    > Does anyone have a recommendation for what I should do? How should I calculate the ratio and how
    > far should I go?

    Check out Sheldon Brown's site for details, though I think he over-emphasizes his "gain" concept.
    American old farts like me use what are called "gear inches", (chainring/cog)*wheel diameter, as a
    way to compare various combinations. This goes back to the old ordinary bikes, where the size of the
    wheel really was the size of the gear.

    The gears you are contemplating are in the low-70s, which is good.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | "Business!" cried the Ghost. "Mankind was my business. The _`\(,_ | common welfare was my
    business; charity, mercy, forbearance, (_)/ (_) | and benevolence, were, all, my business. The
    dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"
    --Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"
     
  8. On Mon, 05 May 2003 06:13:09 +0000, ant wrote:

    > all this is really useless to you, however. you'll have to pick your own gear.

    True

    > anyways, an 18 tooth track cog will get you in the 'normal' range, and i think youll like it.
    > youll have a few crazy downhills,

    Ah, yes, downhills. You will learn to let the bike spin you. This is not the same as spinning,
    really, but is still a challenge.

    > the only problem with an 18, IIRC, is that the shimano cogs dont go that big (i think) and you end
    > up having to buy an expensive surly or other (becuase the cyclo cogs do Not inspire confidence.)

    Check Sheldonbrown.com. He has some nice cogs in 18s and larger.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | "What am I on? I'm on my bike, six hours a day, busting my ass. _`\(,_ | What are you on?"
    --Lance Armstrong (_)/ (_) |
     
  9. Thank you so much everyone. This is exactly the kind of information I need. You all give me faith
    in mankind.

    And thank you for putting me in my place about the skid stop thing. Mostly, 48/14 is just too big
    for me to be cranking on all the time.

    Cheers, Eric

    [email protected] (Eric Appleton) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hello everyone. I have a Fuji track bike with a 48T crankset and a 14T rear cog that I use as a
    > commuter bike and sometimes for longer trips. I use a hand brake now, but would like to be able to
    > skid stop. At this point, the torque is too high; I can only manage the skidstop on a wet street.
    > I would also like a lower gearing because I ride some hills. Also, I need a new back wheel as it
    > is. The one I have is pretty beatup.
    >
    > Can I raise the rear cog to 18 or 20 and get the effect I want, or do I need to reduce the
    > crankset as well? I'm trying to save a little money, but I would like to have the best setup.
    >
    > Does anyone have a recommendation for what I should do? How should I calculate the ratio and how
    > far should I go?
    >
    > Thanks for the help. Eric
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...