Misunderstood terminology

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
drossall
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Re: Misunderstood terminology

Postby drossall » 25 Mar 2018, 10:22am

+1. And when you think about it, fixed wheels are anything but.

ANTONISH
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Re: Misunderstood terminology

Postby ANTONISH » 25 Mar 2018, 10:24am

Mike_Ayling wrote:Clipless pedals!

Mike

I suppose pedals without toe clips.
Of course we who use them always clip in to our clipless pedals. :?

thirdcrank
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Re: Misunderstood terminology

Postby thirdcrank » 25 Mar 2018, 1:48pm

drossall wrote:+1. And when you think about it, fixed wheels are anything but.


Free wheels too, unless you scavenge for junk.

profpointy
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Re: Misunderstood terminology

Postby profpointy » 25 Mar 2018, 1:51pm

horizon wrote:In other areas of life and the forum this is pejoratively called pedantry. :wink:


Hardly pedantry the gear inches thing -no more than correcting someone who thought a mile was 500 yards would be pedantry.

brynpoeth
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Re: Misunderstood terminology

Postby brynpoeth » 26 Mar 2018, 6:30am

tatanab wrote:Many of the misunderstandings we see on this forum I would generally think are by new riders or people who simply do not know. Cassette and freewheel for example; and a seat tube being described as a down tube for another.

There are errors in some books written by or about professional riders. I know that the gear inches thing occurs in a couple of accounts, I just cannot recall which books.
.
..
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The books are written in co-operation with ghostwriters (non-cyclists), quite likely the riders do not edit them thoroughly
Professional riders may not even know about gear inches, they have experts for that
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Tangled Metal
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Re: Misunderstood terminology

Postby Tangled Metal » 26 Mar 2018, 8:32am

You measure cycle parts on grams but do your care about the origins of the unit or just looking to compare the weight in grams of two items to get the lightest?

Do you care about the way a metre is determined. I believe there's a problem with the standard and they're looking into changing to a less solid option to determine it which can be carried out repeatedly anywhere with the lab facilities. IIRC using light to determine it.

So why do you care how gear inches is determined? Just know what a higher or lower number means and compare two figures. There's online and app based calculators for working it out. You just need details from your bike that you can get by looking at the relevant parts.

So IMHO obsessing over correct use or meaning of terms is the realm of nerds and pedants. Did you not understand that 90 gear inches on Boardman's bike is a high gear? If so meaning imparted.

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Mick F
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Re: Misunderstood terminology

Postby Mick F » 26 Mar 2018, 8:43am

90 gear inches isn't a high gear.
It's on the high side of medium IMHO

My Mercian (for instance) has gears from 24" to 115" with the central/medium gear ratio being 69.5"
My Moulton has gears from 16" to 134" = central/medium at 75"

These numbers matter.
Mick F. Cornwall

Tangled Metal
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Re: Misunderstood terminology

Postby Tangled Metal » 26 Mar 2018, 8:58am

No they don't. Not to most people who watched Boardman get his gold medal. Nor to must people who own a bike. They have easy gears and hard gears! :)

thirdcrank
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Re: Misunderstood terminology

Postby thirdcrank » 26 Mar 2018, 10:26am

Tangled Metal wrote: ... So IMHO obsessing over correct use or meaning of terms is the realm of nerds and pedants. Did you not understand that 90 gear inches on Boardman's bike is a high gear? If so meaning imparted.


As I was the first to mention Boardman and the Olympics and in the cause of nerds and pedants everywhere, I'll say this.

The article in The Times - pre-Murdoch a serious newspaper - was presented as expert sports journalism. I cannot remember all the details but the author - perhaps keen to display inside knowledge of CB's careful preparations - explained how he had agonised over different chainwheel/ sprocket combinations before settling on his final choice, then quoting the gear in inches. I've no doubt that the author (Chris Bryant?) new exactly what he was talking about and would have explained it had he been asked. Somebody - presumably a sub-editor - inserted the garbage about that being the distance the bike would travel for one complete revolution of the pedals. It seems reasonable to me to say that if they thought an explanation of gears in inches was necessary for the average reader to understand the article, then the explanation should be the correct one.

As the thread title says "misunderstood terminology."

In the meantime, keep digging. :wink:

simonhill
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Re: Misunderstood terminology

Postby simonhill » 26 Mar 2018, 11:03am

The trouble with gear inches is that it means little to most people and isn't instantly obvious. Remove the "inches" and it would make more sense.

A gear of 60 is lower/easier/etc than one of 90. Job done.

Alternatively you could also add a bit of pie to the equation to correctly give distance covered per pedal revolution, but I like the simple numerical scale.

By the way, single speed bike. What speed would that be?

Brucey
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Re: Misunderstood terminology

Postby Brucey » 26 Mar 2018, 11:07am

Mick F wrote:90 gear inches isn't a high gear.
It's on the high side of medium IMHO...


Well from a standing start, on a track, it is, and anyway it rather depends how fast you pedal... :wink:

IIRC when Ekimov broke the amateur 4000m record in 1986 (twice), his average cadence was about 140. He would have been riding a gear maybe less than 90". A gear of 90" would be good for about 38mph, if he used it.

These numbers matter.


Indeed they do! However they (or any other number) is completely meaningless without units..... :roll:

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Audax67
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Re: Misunderstood terminology

Postby Audax67 » 26 Mar 2018, 11:26am

Mick F wrote:Not maths, just plain simple English.


Murray Gell-Mann, an American physicist, was once asked by a journalist why he won a Nobel - "no maths, just plain English". He replied that if he could explain it without maths he wouldn't have won the Nobel.

What I like about the definition of gear inches is that the standard of reference is the penny-farthing.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

thirdcrank
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Re: Misunderstood terminology

Postby thirdcrank » 26 Mar 2018, 11:37am

Audax67 wrote: ... What I like about the definition of gear inches is that the standard of reference is the penny-farthing.


Ordinary bicycle, to you mate.

profpointy
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Re: Misunderstood terminology

Postby profpointy » 26 Mar 2018, 11:39am

Tangled Metal wrote:You measure cycle parts on grams but do your care about the origins of the unit or just looking to compare the weight in grams of two items to get the lightest?

Do you care about the way a metre is determined. I believe there's a problem with the standard and they're looking into changing to a less solid option to determine it which can be carried out repeatedly anywhere with the lab facilities. IIRC using light to determine it.

So why do you care how gear inches is determined? Just know what a higher or lower number means and compare two figures. There's online and app based calculators for working it out. You just need details from your bike that you can get by looking at the relevant parts.

So IMHO obsessing over correct use or meaning of terms is the realm of nerds and pedants. Did you not understand that 90 gear inches on Boardman's bike is a high gear? If so meaning imparted.


Saying it's pedantic to want to correct an explanation gear inches is a bit extreme when the explanation given was totally wrong. Is it pedantic to complain when someone says 1 metre is about a foot ? That's the scale of the error. Fair enough if you're not interested in nuances of gearing but if you are going to explain it's better if the explanation isn't wildly wrong.

drossall
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Re: Misunderstood terminology

Postby drossall » 26 Mar 2018, 7:54pm

Audax67 wrote:What I like about the definition of gear inches is that the standard of reference is the penny-farthing.

I did know that of course, but it brought it home when I visited the transport museum in Coventry. They have rather a good cycling collection. In one section of the museum were some mocked-up Victorian shops. Seeing an ordinary advertised as a 60" model, followed by a safety of a similar age, with a similar label, made the way that gearing terminology developed seem more real.