Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

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PH
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby PH » 1 Jul 2016, 10:31pm

reohn2 wrote:Cheapest 3x10sp STI's are £140


Or £83 if you shop around
http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/shimano-s ... th-cables/

Psamathe
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Psamathe » 1 Jul 2016, 10:34pm

reohn2 wrote:Psamathe
Cheapest 3x10sp STI's are £140
Cheapest 10sp d/t levers £50.

Triple front mech £20

Spa's own 28/38/48 c/set £35(choice of rings add about £30)
UN54 BB £15

I am beginning to think it is the cost of the (STI) shifters that gets in the way for going to what I thought of as a "proper solution". And I keep coming back to wondering about bar end as so many cope/like them and I wonder if my reservations are nothing more than lack of experience with them.

Ian

reohn2
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby reohn2 » 1 Jul 2016, 10:35pm

PH wrote:
reohn2 wrote:Cheapest 3x10sp STI's are £140


Or £83 if you shop around
http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/shimano-s ... th-cables/


WOW that's cheeeaaapppp :)
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reohn2
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby reohn2 » 1 Jul 2016, 10:45pm

Psamathe wrote:I am beginning to think it is the cost of the (STI) shifters that gets in the way for going to what I thought of as a "proper solution". And I keep coming back to wondering about bar end as so many cope/like them and I wonder if my reservations are nothing more than lack of experience with them.

Ian


FWIW I don't like them.
I find them to be a potential knee knocker and not much further than d/t levers to reach for.
That said many people do use and like them.
IME Kelly Take Off's take some beating but are hard to find and I prefer them as they're out of the way in a fall.They have index rear and friction front,with the option of friction rear if there's a problem with the rear mech if there's a problem,and they can be used from all drop-barred hand positions.I like me Kelly's :)
OTOH if you're used to STI's they're very handy and nice to use IME.
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MikeF
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby MikeF » 2 Jul 2016, 12:13am

The answer to the original question of is 2" significant depends where that difference is. It becomes a bigger percentage difference as the gearing becomes lower so 2" difference at 30" is equivalent to 6" difference at 90". My lowest gears on one bike are 27", 23" and 20", and there is a significant difference in these ratios. Also I can detect a small difference between using the middle chainring and largest sprocket giving 29" and the 27".

But as others have said you need to get a range of gears in the 20s and in that sense 2" isn't significant.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

Samuel D
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Samuel D » 4 Jul 2016, 12:01am

Every little helps, but a 2" change, even at the bottom of the range, is not going to change your life.

I think you should try what you have before spending potentially a lot of money changing things. I don’t tour with a heavy load, but my lowest gear is around 35". People have toured with far worse. Lower gears are nice, but if you don’t have them, simply pedal slower. Some people seem to have trouble with the discipline of doing this, instead continuing to spin at a ‘good’ cadence and riding themselves into the ground when the hill steepens. But if you learn not to fear a ‘bad’ cadence – and in truth its ills are exaggerated – you may not need very low gears.

reohn2
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby reohn2 » 4 Jul 2016, 11:18am

Samuel D wrote:Every little helps, but a 2" change, even at the bottom of the range, is not going to change your life.

I think you should try what you have before spending potentially a lot of money changing things. I don’t tour with a heavy load, but my lowest gear is around 35". People have toured with far worse. Lower gears are nice, but if you don’t have them, simply pedal slower. Some people seem to have trouble with the discipline of doing this, instead continuing to spin at a ‘good’ cadence and riding themselves into the ground when the hill steepens. But if you learn not to fear a ‘bad’ cadence – and in truth its ills are exaggerated – you may not need very low gears.


It isn't discipline,it's CV capacity.
Maintaining optimum cadence(OC),whatever RPM that is, is the whole point of gears,to keep an OC is the goal of riding,the speed doesn't matter,being able to pedal does.

EDIT:- if you've ever pushed a fully loaded bike up a hill you've failed to ride up due to being overgeared,you'll appreciated the need for loooowww gearing :wink:
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Samuel D
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Samuel D » 4 Jul 2016, 11:54am

Not sure I follow, reohn2. I understand that an optimum cadence is optimum, but if you have to drop to 50 RPM in bottom gear, because you don’t have a low enough gear to pedal at 80 RPM, that may not be the end of the world. The pedalling forces would be higher than at 80 RPM at the same road speed (which may lead to knee discomfort but equally may not), but no more power would be required.

There will be an increase in perceived effort due to the biomechanical inefficiency of the sub-optimum cadence, but my point is that this loss of efficiency is not as severe as some people imagine. At the very least, everyone should try it for themselves!

Lower gears are better, but whether it’s worth buying a triple chainset, triple STIs, etc., for perhaps only a handful of hills a year is debatable. If you’re planning to tour the high mountains every summer until you kick the bucket, well, that’s a different story. The outlay would then make clear sense.

On the topic of STIs, I ditched them for down-tube shifters and wish I’d done so long ago. I was worried about losing their convenience but don’t even miss that aspect of STIs, and I gain simplicity, cost savings, weight savings, reliability, freedom to choose whatever brake levers I want (I went with the wonderful Shimano BL-R400), etc.

Psamathe
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Psamathe » 4 Jul 2016, 12:03pm

Samuel D wrote:N...
On the topic of STIs, I ditched them for down-tube shifters and wish I’d done so long ago.....

I am reassured that some use downtube shifters. I had then when I cycles in my youth. But taking up cycling again recently I got a bike with STIs and like them. Were I to lose the STIs my inclination would be to move to downtube shifters - though I wonder if this is familiarity more than anything else (others seem to like bar end). I suppose my justification is that I often change front and rear at the same time (or as part of the same change) and bar end means moving both hands from brakes whereas downtube shifters could change both front and rear with the same hand, leaving the other on e.g. brakes.

But without the experience I'm still reflecting.

Ian

reohn2
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby reohn2 » 4 Jul 2016, 4:03pm

Samuel D wrote:Not sure I follow, reohn2. I understand that an optimum cadence is optimum, but if you have to drop to 50 RPM in bottom gear, because you don’t have a low enough gear to pedal at 80 RPM, that may not be the end of the world. The pedalling forces would be higher than at 80 RPM at the same road speed (which may lead to knee discomfort but equally may not), but no more power would be required.

The power output goes up,ie;try riding up 20% at a cadence of 80rpm,then try it @50rpm,you'll find the latter much harder.Now try it again with a 20kg load on the bike.

There will be an increase in perceived effort due to the biomechanical inefficiency of the sub-optimum cadence, but my point is that this loss of efficiency is not as severe as some people imagine. At the very least, everyone should try it for themselves!

I'd estimate you're probably in you late twenties,could even be mid thirties(forgive me),come back in 35 years,when the engine isn't running at optimum,the term 'over the hill' is a term I'm intimately familier with,and which I suspect you are too,though only when pointing a finger at grey haired old bald people :wink:

Lower gears are better, but whether it’s worth buying a triple chainset, triple STIs, etc., for perhaps only a handful of hills a year is debatable. If you’re planning to tour the high mountains every summer until you kick the bucket, well, that’s a different story. The outlay would then make clear sense.

You're thinking like a young man again :wink:
Something I've mentioned before on the forum is,"to know small or thin,you have to also know tall or fat",it's the same with age, a young man has no perception of an old worn down body,he simply can't,as during a lifetime it only happens once and is a stead progression.
The body doesn't work as it did,it's that simple and what I meant by capacity.

I've just come back from a drive out with Mrs R2,the route took us up and down a hill that at it's steepest is 17% with a false flat of 100m,then an average of about 10%,with a total length of 1.2km.
In my youth I'd bounce up it on 42x24,and later 38x26 then later still 26x26 then even later still on 24x32.
I'd use it for a bit of strength training up until quite recently,riding up and down it consecutively four or five times before carrying on with a 60 mile ride.
Mrs R2 and I would ride up it on the tandem in 24x34 but only once as part of a hilly ride for fun :) .
The(solo bike)difference in gearing is purely due to age,and the chances of me riding up it on 42x24 now carries about the same chance of me needing an Ambulance if I tried it :wink: .


On the topic of STIs, I ditched them for down-tube shifters and wish I’d done so long ago. I was worried about losing their convenience but don’t even miss that aspect of STIs, and I gain simplicity, cost savings, weight savings, reliability, freedom to choose whatever brake levers I want (I went with the wonderful Shimano BL-R400), etc.

I'm the same with Kelly's,DT levers in Kelly's are fantastic IMHO.
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Mick F
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Mick F » 4 Jul 2016, 4:15pm

reohn2 wrote:
PH wrote:
reohn2 wrote:Cheapest 3x10sp STI's are £140


Or £83 if you shop around
http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/shimano-s ... th-cables/


WOW that's cheeeaaapppp :)

And very* horrible too ................. though I'm getting used to them.

Main complaint is the poor mechanical advantage of the brake levers. Second complaint is that they have a very clunky and un-smooth gear selection, especially the LH side. Third complaint is the indicators on the tops work the wrong way round.

*Note my lack of swear words. :wink:
Mick F. Cornwall

reohn2
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby reohn2 » 4 Jul 2016, 4:42pm

Mick
You're the only person I've heard complain about them :?
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foxyrider
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby foxyrider » 4 Jul 2016, 4:55pm

Having just completed a camping trip of some 570km using gearing of 50/34 x 12/29 without any undue stress I certainly wouldn't really bother looking for silly low gears. So okay, I admit to stopping on a couple of steep climbs but after a brief rest I rode the climbs in full - no pushing! (last year I did a three week tour without using the 34 chainring at all - it was along the North Sea route in Holland/Gwermany/Denmark, a ride in the Alps would be a different matter!) Touring isn't a race so who cares if you do walk/push?

More important than a couple of gear inches is making sure it all works, your load is balanced and you are happy with all your camping gear. It is harder with a load but once you've adapted to how the bike rides loaded it shouldn't slow your progress too much. Be realistic with daily distances, have multi night stops so you can explore unloaded, I always try to factor in at least one bricks and mortar night in every 7 - the break from the tent gives you a chance to get stuff dried, washed and relax a bit.

The main thing is to enjoy yourself - if it's a chore go home, regroup and start again.
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!

reohn2
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby reohn2 » 4 Jul 2016, 5:31pm

foxyrider wrote:Having just completed a camping trip of some 570km using gearing of 50/34 x 12/29 without any undue stress I certainly wouldn't really bother looking for silly low gears. So okay, I admit to stopping on a couple of steep climbs but after a brief rest I rode the climbs in full - no pushing! (last year I did a three week tour without using the 34 chainring at all - it was along the North Sea route in Holland/Gwermany/Denmark, a ride in the Alps would be a different matter!) Touring isn't a race so who cares if you do walk/push?

Gearing for courses,no?

Me,because it's easier to ride up a hill with the correct gearing than push a loaded bike up the same hill



.........The main thing is to enjoy yourself.........


That's correct and having the gearing to cope with terrain is part of that enjoyment.

I think it was Lucian Van Impe who said(I paraphrase) "choose a gear you can climb the hill on but have one or two lower for those times when you're not at your best"
There'll always be a time you wished you had a lower gear,but I've never been in a position where I wished I had a higher one :wink:
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Psamathe
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Psamathe » 4 Jul 2016, 6:45pm

reohn2 wrote:Mick
You're the only person I've heard complain about them :?

Me too. Later this week I'll be able to make a comparison between Tiagra and 105 STIs (outbound ride bike will have Tiagra STIs, return it will have 105 STIs).

Ian