audax bikes; gearing too high

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Mick F
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Re: audax bikes; gearing too high

Postby Mick F » 1 Aug 2012, 10:10am

I was in the pub last week, and a chap was talking to be about the Wiggins Effect, and how bike sales are increasing. I got going on my standard comments about how bike manufacturers are producing the wrong bikes, and actually putting off many people from continuing with riding them. I explained that there are more bikes than people in this country and most of them sit unused in sheds and garages.

TBH, I went on a bit, and he eventually glazed over. :oops:

What we want are lightweight bikes, a choice of frame styles, a choice of gearing, the ability to fit mudguards, and the ability to fit racks and the ability NOT to follow fashion. Maybe there's more that people could add to that list!
Mick F. Cornwall

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meic
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Re: audax bikes; gearing too high

Postby meic » 1 Aug 2012, 10:24am

That is why marketing is so useful, it convinces you that you actually need something else and to replace it frequently in order to maximise the manufacturers' profits.

On the other hand I frequently do ride with Audaxers doing very hilly rides of all distances, quite successfully*, with this type of gearing. There are even some who do it on fixed. :roll:

*them, not me. :wink:
Yma o Hyd

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NUKe
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Re: audax bikes; gearing too high

Postby NUKe » 1 Aug 2012, 10:34am

I am running similar to cycle Uk
We discused Campag capacity here
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=65164&hilit=+Campag
Last edited by NUKe on 2 Aug 2012, 9:32am, edited 1 time in total.
NUKe
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reohn2
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Re: audax bikes; gearing too high

Postby reohn2 » 1 Aug 2012, 10:57am

meic wrote:That is why marketing is so useful, it convinces you that you actually need something else and to replace it frequently in order to maximise the manufacturers' profits.

Thats the whole consumer system in a nutshell,short term,clever,but without wisdom :|

On the other hand I frequently do ride with Audaxers doing very hilly rides of all distances, quite successfully*, with this type of gearing. There are even some who do it on fixed. :roll:

*them, not me. :wink:

The operative word here is "some".
Most riders need lower gearing not only to climb but cruising ratios too, I still maintain that a 95inch top gear is big enough for a very high percentage of riders.
Imagine being new to cycling with a healthy bank balance and a reading backdrop of C+,you buy the kit and latest CF sportive bike only to find you can barely get the thing in the big ring.
It must be a bit disheartening to say the least! :|
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Mick F
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Re: audax bikes; gearing too high

Postby Mick F » 1 Aug 2012, 11:04am

Hence my point.
Bikes get bought - bikes get left in the garage coz they're the wrong bikes.

What's a person to do?
Go the custom way? Costs too much for the novice, and anyway, the novice wouldn't know what he wanted. Therefore, he goes to Mr LBS and buys something that looks good.
Mick F. Cornwall

guzzimag
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Re: audax bikes; gearing too high

Postby guzzimag » 1 Aug 2012, 1:19pm

I was a victim of shiny bike syndrome. After two happy years aboard a flat barred (comfy), Deore XT equipped (massive gear range) hybrid and a couple of thousand miles of commuting and weekend rides I decided on a "proper" road bike - a Cube Attempt race bike.

Fine for 15 miles, then my wrists and back start murdering me. Hills....gearing nowhere near low enough for hills in the Dales. I tried different saddles and stems to no avail. Bottom line is my buttock is too high and wrists too low - I should have realised from years of riding motorbikes that I would not get on with the sports bike position - whether one with an engine or pedals.

I now have a Spa Audax. I stuck a Brooks on it and left the bars in the highest position. I fitted a rack. It gets used for everything and I love it. I like the humungous 32 cog on the back (SRAM Apex) and use it a lot. People overtake me - I don't care. I can happily do 50 miles with no pains.

Anyone want to buy an immaculate, slightly dusty, 2011 Cube Attempt with about 200 miles on it??? :mrgreen:

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CJ
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Re: audax bikes; gearing too high

Postby CJ » 1 Aug 2012, 2:04pm

mattheus wrote:I THINK lower gears help avoid wheelspin as you can remain seated on steeper gradients, giving a smoother torque output. But it's complicated ...

I KNOW lower gears help avoid wheelspin. Sometimes I get wheelspin standing on the pedals up a hill. When that happens I shift into a lower gear and sit down. In this position and gear I am able to maintain a more constant torque, plus there's a bit more bodyweight over the rear tyre.

The complication is that some people don't know how to use really low gears. They make no attempt to pedal more evenly around the circle but persist with simple up-down thrusts, which given a lower gear results in even higher peak tractive force and even worse slip - or front wheel lifting.
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

jawaka
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Re: audax bikes; gearing too high

Postby jawaka » 2 Aug 2012, 9:30am

[quote][/quote]
Hey thanks for that : problem solved.
I do have a touring bike but bought the audax for faster day rides of 50+, and for one or two night, short tours. It is faster and more fun so I use it now for shorter rides and commuting too, unless I am going on the really hilly parts.
It is diffficult to pedal smoothly as it feels that too much momentum is lost on the upstroke without pushing down with the other foot; heck even a ridge in the road calls for an extra push. I have the feeling that if i stood up on the pedals the loss of weight over the back would cause the tyre to spin so much that i became stationary and fell sideways !

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Re: audax bikes; gearing too high

Postby stork » 6 Aug 2012, 9:24pm

I have an Audax bike (it's got 'Audax' in the name) and it came with a 50/34 double and a 12/23 8-speed cassette. For shorter rides near where I live (where a big climb is maybe 30m over 1km of road), those gears were fine. However, for longer rides (when smaller hills start to look bigger) and for bigger hills, I changed the cassette for an 11/32. Ideally, I'd have gone for a triple chainset too, but that would have cost much more (including new shifters).

I'm glad of the change, having taken the bike to the Peak District last week, and just about made it up some steep climbs (Ewden Bank, Hunshelf Bank) using the bottom 2 gears.

I'd much prefer 'touring' gearing on Audax bikes, which I think are far more suitable for the average rider like me.

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Re: audax bikes; gearing too high

Postby Tin_Hat » 8 Aug 2012, 12:46pm

531 Colin said;

Oddly enough, I don't remember reading any posts along the lines of........."I am a vain and foolish person, I allowed myself to be seduced by the greyhound good looks of bike X when I really needed bike Y which is comfortable and practical, and looks a right mongrel."

Funnily enough, I was that vain and foolish person! After four years of struggling with a compact 50/34 and inadequate (for my knees anyway) range of gears on my road / audax / shiny bike I realise that I really would like a nice comfortable touring bike with a range of gears something like 17" to 95". Oh and a highly unfashionable (in my LBS) Brooks saddle too please! Is it possible to obtain such a set up without going down the 'bespoke' route?

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Re: audax bikes; gearing too high

Postby Brucey » 8 Aug 2012, 1:06pm

I am also that vain and foolish person, in that I have ended up with 'quite a few' different bikes that I 'need' for different purposes, when, realistically, a better specced (mongrel) bike might replace several of the 'greyhounds'.

I quite like my 'greyhound' bike(s) but they wouldn't be my first choice for many purposes and gearing is one of the main issues.... I clearly knew this when I built my last roadbike; even though it has a double, and won't take any smaller than a 38t inside ring :oops: I was careful to be sure that the STIs would work a triple if required....

cheers
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Ayesha
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Re: audax bikes; gearing too high

Postby Ayesha » 8 Aug 2012, 2:46pm

I am a vain and foolish,, ish person.

I've just treated myself to a Specialized Shiv full-on Tri-bike.

It came with a 52/36 chainset and a 11 - 28 ten speed cassette.

Falling for Shimano's aftermarket sales trick, I immediately bought a 11 - 23 ten speed cassette, because the STD issue didn't have a 16 or 18 tooth sprocket.

I am £50 less wealthy and have a 11 - 28 Ultegra ten speed cassette redundant..... :roll:


I also have a Shimano Sora 52/42/30 chainset and 12 - 25 nine speed cassette off a Dawes Giro lying around doing nothing.
I installed a 36/22 chainset and a 12 - 27 nine speed cassette to get more sensible gearing for Audax. :lol:

magical_mouse
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Re: audax bikes; gearing too high

Postby magical_mouse » 26 Sep 2012, 5:18pm

HI, interesting thread, i agree completely with the sentiments expressed, i have a dawes century se (2011) model with tiagra triple and have settled on 2 variations depending upon the distance and hills.

For most riding i have replaced the chainrings on the tiagra triple with stronglight 48/38/24 and the cassette with 12-27, this gives a low gear of around 24" which is low enough to pedal up very steep hills (i live dorset/somerset borders and the hills do rise up), it also allows higher cadence than the stock gearing.

For longer distance/more hills/i'm feel i'm going to be tired at the end, i have the option of 12-32 cassette with deore lx rear mechanism, the only issue is that the bottom gears are so low that each pedal revolution does not go very far uphill, still when one is exhausted slow is better than stopping.

What i really want is to replace the smaller sprockets on the cassette with larger ones to give closer ratios and a lower top gear, something like 15-27 or 15-32 would be ideal.

reohn2
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Re: audax bikes; gearing too high

Postby reohn2 » 26 Sep 2012, 6:22pm

magical_mouse wrote:.......What i really want is to replace the smaller sprockets on the cassette with larger ones to give closer ratios and a lower top gear, something like 15-27 or 15-32 would be ideal.

Buy an 11-32 HG50(11,12,14,16,18,21,24,28,32)
and a 14-25Tiagra(14,15,16,17,18,19,21,23,25) total cost for bother cassettes is about £35
The smallest two cogs are loose,the rest are rivetted together by three pins/rivets.
With a center punch and hammer punch them out from the small cog side,it should only need one or two sharp hits and the cassette can be seperated.
All the cogs are then seperate and can be reassembled onto the rivets(with spacer inbetween),the reassembled cassette with chosen ratios can then fitted onto the freehub and the last two cogs 14 and 15t fitted,everything is then locked up as usual with the lockring.
Note:- don't worry about the pins/rivets coming out as they are snug up against back of the freehub body.
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Re: audax bikes; gearing too high

Postby Brucey » 26 Sep 2012, 6:37pm

reohn2 wrote: Note:- don't worry about the pins/rivets coming out as they are snug up against back of the freehub body.


-or better still perhaps just leave them out anyway; they don't do anything useful once the cassette is fitted, and they don't do much that is useful before then if they are liable to drop out in handling.

BTW if 13-32 were more widely available, then the 'leftovers' might constitute a more useful cassette as well.

cheers
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