Page 2 of 2

Re: Can I lower my gearing?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 8:17pm
by markjohnobrien
mig wrote:
Ivorcadaver wrote:I have a 5 year old Pinnacle Arkrose which made a very satisfactory commuter bike for my daily work trip from Bolton to Manchester. Having been furloughed and working from home for the foreseeable future I have been using the bike for leisure purposes. Stripped down and with some 38mm tyres it has been great for bridleways and forest tracks. Problem is it is too high geared when the inclines start and the going gets rough. It’s 11 speed, 105, 50/34 upfront and 11-32 cassette, so lowest gear is 29’’. I could swap the cassette for 11-34 but I don’t see it making a significant difference. I have read on the internet that an 11-42 cassette will work with a med cage 105 rear mech (even though Shimano specs state a max of 11-34). Could I go the 11-42 route perhaps with 46/30 upfront (if such a combo exists)? That would give me a low gear of 19’’; quite a significant reduction. Any suggestions greatly appreciated......or is it time to go over to the dark side and buy an MTB?


genuine question. when you get a significantly lower gear like that do you struggle to pedal it?


What a strange question: it’s easier to pedal, not harder.

Re: Can I lower my gearing?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 9:05pm
by mig
iandusud wrote:
mig wrote:genuine question. when you get a significantly lower gear like that do you struggle to pedal it?


Surely the lower the gear the easier it is to pedal. Have I misunderstood the question?


in terms of direct physics yes you're correct of course. however, for me, anything lower than say 38 x 20 (700c wheel) is just too low for me. i can't maintain the cadence required and my heart rate climbs rapidly. even up longish, steep hills i'm better suited to riding a higher gear it seems. i think it relates to years of winters on fixed in the mid 60s-70 inch gears.

do others not find the same?

Re: Can I lower my gearing?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 10:36pm
by rotavator
mig wrote:
iandusud wrote:
mig wrote:genuine question. when you get a significantly lower gear like that do you struggle to pedal it?


Surely the lower the gear the easier it is to pedal. Have I misunderstood the question?


in terms of direct physics yes you're correct of course. however, for me, anything lower than say 38 x 20 (700c wheel) is just too low for me. i can't maintain the cadence required and my heart rate climbs rapidly. even up longish, steep hills i'm better suited to riding a higher gear it seems. i think it relates to years of winters on fixed in the mid 60s-70 inch gears.

do others not find the same?


My low gear limit is a lot lower than yours! I can quite happily get up most hills on an 18" gear but when I have tried using lower gears I was spinning the cranks too fast and weaving around the road which is not safe if there is traffic. I have never ridden a fixie but my first bike at the age of 8 had a single gear and it lasted into my twenties.

Re: Can I lower my gearing?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 10:38pm
by mig
rotavator wrote:
mig wrote:
iandusud wrote:
Surely the lower the gear the easier it is to pedal. Have I misunderstood the question?


in terms of direct physics yes you're correct of course. however, for me, anything lower than say 38 x 20 (700c wheel) is just too low for me. i can't maintain the cadence required and my heart rate climbs rapidly. even up longish, steep hills i'm better suited to riding a higher gear it seems. i think it relates to years of winters on fixed in the mid 60s-70 inch gears.

do others not find the same?


My low gear limit is a lot lower than yours! I can quite happily get up most hills on an 18" gear but when I have tried using lower gears I was spinning the cranks too fast and weaving around the road which is not safe if there is traffic. I have never ridden a fixie but my first bike at the age of 8 had a single gear and it lasted into my twenties.


how big was that bike? :shock:

Re: Can I lower my gearing?

Posted: 17 Oct 2020, 12:29pm
by Pendodave
I've just got back from a couple of days in the forest of bowland after lowering the gears on my pretty row rent road/touring bike.
What a wonderful thing it was - went from lowest of 34/27 to 34/34. My first hilly trip with no pushing.
I dont think I would have had the faintest idea without advice on this forum, but managed new chain (suitably trimmed), new cassette and new rear mech without too much drama (thanks brucey and jdsk).

Re: Can I lower my gearing?

Posted: 17 Oct 2020, 1:21pm
by rotavator
mig wrote:
rotavator wrote:
mig wrote:
in terms of direct physics yes you're correct of course. however, for me, anything lower than say 38 x 20 (700c wheel) is just too low for me. i can't maintain the cadence required and my heart rate climbs rapidly. even up longish, steep hills i'm better suited to riding a higher gear it seems. i think it relates to years of winters on fixed in the mid 60s-70 inch gears.

do others not find the same?


My low gear limit is a lot lower than yours! I can quite happily get up most hills on an 18" gear but when I have tried using lower gears I was spinning the cranks too fast and weaving around the road which is not safe if there is traffic. I have never ridden a fixie but my first bike at the age of 8 had a single gear and it lasted into my twenties.


how big was that bike? :shock:

It was an adult sized bike that I had to grow into! Money was tight in those days.