When I were a lad...

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peetee
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When I were a lad...

Postby peetee » 28 May 2017, 12:51am

It were 42-21 bottom gear. Never stopped me getting up Portsdown Hill - the hard way! I never walked I didn't.
Kids, don't know they're born. 34-28 my ****.

Seriously though, what is it with gearing these days? I would have collapsed in a confuddled, panting heap if I had to drop from a 53 to a 39 or a 50 to a 34. How do you do that and keep decent momentum or a even cadence? It's no wonder I see so many bikes with one ring worn to toothpicks and the other spotless.
Winter had arrived in the land of Kernow. Along with it came wet roads and cool winds.
“Oh, my wheels and coupling rods!” Peetee exclaimed.

Brucey
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Re: When I were a lad...

Postby Brucey » 28 May 2017, 1:02am

peetee wrote:It were 42-21 bottom gear. Never stopped me getting up Portsdown Hill - the hard way! I never walked I didn't. Kids, don't know they're born...


42/21 ...? Pah. That meant you had a second chainring. Bloody luxury.... Chain made from fence staples and binder twine, sprockets for goalposts....

cheers
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foxyrider
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Re: When I were a lad...

Postby foxyrider » 28 May 2017, 9:02am

I remember changing chainrings from 48 (for JNR RR) to 52 (TT's) a couple of times every summer week. Running a straight through 13-18 block (same one that's on my Eroica build!)

Having been through standard triples, compact triples, compact doubles, I've now come back to a 'standard' double 52/36 (it's got my alpine 34 on as we speak). Never really used to change rings very often, the jump was too big but ii find I use them more now with a bigger jump - go figure.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: When I were a lad...

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 28 May 2017, 9:23am

Hi,
Only rich kids had a double in the school cycle rack, 10 speed.......................enter my hybrid.............15 speed single clanger :mrgreen:
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You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
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Gattonero
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Re: When I were a lad...

Postby Gattonero » 28 May 2017, 9:32am

peetee wrote:It were 42-21 bottom gear. Never stopped me getting up Portsdown Hill - the hard way! I never walked I didn't.
Kids, don't know they're born. 34-28 my ****.

Seriously though, what is it with gearing these days? I would have collapsed in a confuddled, panting heap if I had to drop from a 53 to a 39 or a 50 to a 34. How do you do that and keep decent momentum or a even cadence? It's no wonder I see so many bikes with one ring worn to toothpicks and the other spotless.


Some stuff is because people BITD people would listen to the experienced guys in the Club or in their fav LBS.
Now you can read lots of foolishness and questionable opinions on magazines and the web. To "go out and ride" is often taken too seriously, don't get me started with what I see during my commute or longer weekend rides, and I'm not even talking of Box Hill! :lol:
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

ANTONISH
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Re: When I were a lad...

Postby ANTONISH » 28 May 2017, 10:08am

My first road bike had a 52/49 double chainring and a 14-23 5 sp block.
I manged to winch my way up the Puy- de - Dome on that.
These days I reckon I couldn't tackle that climb (not allowed today anyway) on anything higher than a 28 small ring and a 34 rear - six decades don't help much with the leg strength never mind the deterioration of the the body generally.
If lower gears had been available in the past I'm sure people would have used them. As for the large change from say 50 to 34, it's a case of picking the right moment for the change. I often notice cyclists trundling along on small ring small sprocket and hardly ever changing gear - perhaps it's all too confusing.
For myself I find that with the dreaded 11tooth small sprocket I am happier with a smaller large ring of 46t or 44t. Consequently a change to 34 isn't such a large jump.

gloomyandy
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Re: When I were a lad...

Postby gloomyandy » 28 May 2017, 10:35am

You may not have walked but many did. Some of my older clubmates have many stories of walking up hills that they now ride happily up despite being much older. Perhaps it depends where you live. In my part of the world (West Yorkshire) the Pennines provide many steep climbs, often one after another and of reasonable length. 15% is pretty common 20% not that unusual and a few 25% monsters that saw many pro riders in the recent Tour de Yorkshire fitting compacts and big cassettes! You might get up one of those on a 42-21 but I bet you wouldn't have a very fun day out after riding one after another!

People probably do not change front rings as often as they once did (the wider range of gears in a cassette typically available make it less necessary), but is that a bad thing? Chainrings are often less expansive than a new cassette!

I have bikes with a huge difference in gearing. My TT bike has a 54/42 with an 11-25 cassette, my road bike a 50/34 with an 11-28 and my touring bike a 42/26 with a 12-36! All work fine and I don't seem to have problems with cadence or anything else. On my TT bike (the only one I measure my cadence on), I typically average around 95rpm and over a 25 I see very little variation. If I was only allowed one of those gearing combinations to ride all year round I'd probably go with my touring bike, I most certainly wouldn't be picking the TT bike!

I use my touring bike as my poor weather bike and happily ride all winter long on club rides, very rarely using anything other than the 42 chainring. Yes this means I commit another one of those sins that many will be horrified at, I cross chain! But the SRAM front mech allows it with no catching and I happily get 3 to 4 thousand miles out of a chain (this is over winter don't forget) and a cassette lasts several chains, I've not had to replace the chainring so far, but when I do a new one will cost around £20.


Kojak
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Re: When I were a lad...

Postby Kojak » 28 May 2017, 2:26pm

I'm a bit new to road cycling but as you mention it....
That has been bugging me. I never want to drop onto the smaller cog unless I really have to because the change is horrific on my Giant Defy.
It just spins up like the chain has come off and all rhythm is lost.
As a kid I can't remember this happening on my old 10 speed racer.

reohn2
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Re: When I were a lad...

Postby reohn2 » 28 May 2017, 2:42pm

peetee wrote: .........Seriously though, what is it with gearing these days? I would have collapsed in a confuddled, panting heap if I had to drop from a 53 to a 39 or a 50 to a 34. How do you do that and keep decent momentum or a even cadence? It's no wonder I see so many bikes with one ring worn to toothpicks and the other spotless.

Simple,double change,you have the ratios set up so you can drop a chain ring and change up a couple of cogs at the back to give you a slightly lower ratio.
Similarly so when changing down from 34 to 24 chain ring,it's where duplicate or almost duplicate ratios come in handy.
Of course you've got learn where and when such changes are best used but that's a matter of practice and knowing your gearing
Last edited by reohn2 on 28 May 2017, 7:24pm, edited 1 time in total.
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nez
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Re: When I were a lad...

Postby nez » 28 May 2017, 7:07pm

Lovely stuff. I remember being dead impressed someone had a five gear bike, drop bars and all that malarky. I had something with 3 gears and rod brakes. I think it may have been a Hercules - I certainly had a Hercules at one point. Good luck to anyone riding one now. Of course I was better off than my Dad, who rode all over the Kent Weald from London with his brothers on fixed gear bikes weighing abt 50lb. Some things have improved since the 30's (his youth).

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: When I were a lad...

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 28 May 2017, 7:54pm

Hi,
Hah, rod brakes my first shared bike with my twin :(
Gears :? .......a freewheel maybe and a bell IIRC.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

nez
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Re: When I were a lad...

Postby nez » 28 May 2017, 9:17pm

I gained the impression the rod brakes were merely decorative, though Brucey may be able to tell us how they can be set up to stop a bike.

MikeF
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Re: When I were a lad...

Postby MikeF » 28 May 2017, 9:33pm

nez dans le guidon wrote:I gained the impression the rod brakes were merely decorative, though Brucey may be able to tell us how they can be set up to stop a bike.
As far as I recall rod brakes with Westwood rims stopped OK. The adjustment was in the sliding section part of the rod.
As for gears 3 speed was the norm either hub or derailleur - 4 speed if you were lucky.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: When I were a lad...

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 28 May 2017, 9:35pm

Hi,
nez dans le guidon wrote:I gained the impression the rod brakes were merely decorative, though Brucey may be able to tell us how they can be set up to stop a bike.

I remember.........very poorly :lol:
The mechanics alone are poor as unlike conventional opposed rim where the rim is squashed, rod brakes are trying to pull radially at the wheel rim via many parts that are part of the brake train, whole wheel, forks, handlebars, frame etc, not to mention the actuating parts. it could be argued that these are direct pull like V brakes.
MA (as you like to call it) cannot be adjusted (easily) and water and dirt are not flung off like opposed pad rim brakes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_brake
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NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.