Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

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Psamathe
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Psamathe » 4 Jul 2016, 6:50pm

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?

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.

Not having experience I wonder how much John's earlier comment about age is relevant. I've often seen youngsters on this forum say that it is not important to get fit before a tour as "your muscles adapt after a few days" - but I find it taken a long time for my muscles to adapt (long time to recover as well) - though I'm only 60.

Ian

reohn2
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby reohn2 » 4 Jul 2016, 10:24pm

Psamathe wrote:
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


New bike? :)
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Psamathe
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Psamathe » 4 Jul 2016, 10:49pm

reohn2 wrote:
Psamathe wrote:
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


New bike? :)

Nope. Never been happy with the changing with the Tiagra that came with the bike. In the past I've considered upgrading to 105s (several times) and always rejected on cost. But, I'm 10 speed and found a retailer that is selling off the out-of-date old product 105 stuff massively discounted so too good an opportunity to miss. So purchased a set of 105 STIs and having them swapped next week.

Nothing to do with my longer term considerations about gearing for touring I raised in this thread.

Ian

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syklist
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby syklist » 5 Jul 2016, 7:18am

Psamathe wrote:Qu 1. My current lowest gear inches is 31". With a fairly minor/cheap change I could get that down to 29". Is that 2" significant or irrelevant. Or does every little help.

I dropped my first gear from 16.4 gear inches to 15.1 at the start of this season. I find that I notice the difference and yes it does help. I don't cycle much slower when climbing but it feels a bit more comfortable at speeds of around 3.5km/h and gives me a bit of extra leeway when on steeper gravel roads.

I am pulling 35kg of trailer behind me and my bike, water and bags probably weigh at least as much. I suspect that you might be travelling somewhat lighter than me :) I don't ever stand on the pedals when touring fully laden so need the low gears.
So long and thanks for all the fish...

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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby syklist » 5 Jul 2016, 7:28am

foxyrider wrote:Touring isn't a race so who cares if you do walk/push?

I do. My bike plus trailer with child in weighs 75+kg. Pushing that up a steeper incline is a lot harder than cycling it up. If I stretch my arms and body out and push as hard as I can, I tend to hit the trailer tow bar with my calves which limits how hard I can push. It is also hard to grab the saddle and push with one hand on the handlebars for the same reason.
So long and thanks for all the fish...

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Mick F
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Mick F » 5 Jul 2016, 8:14am

Psamathe wrote:
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).
Just a little thread drift here. :oops:

We were in Plymouth on Saturday, and the weather was rather unpredictable (to say the least!) and whilst in Evans Cycles buying some new mitts, the heavens opened and I was "trapped" inside. :D

I spent a good half hour looking at the bikes. Most had STIs and some Tektro brakes and levers. I felt and inspected the Tiagra, Claris, and 105 STIs to compare them to my Tiagra on my Moulton. I had seen and played around with some 105s a couple of months ago. The Tiagra, Claris and 105's at Evans were all similar, but the 105s before, were different.

All the STIs I tried at Evans were as awful as mine. The 105s from before seemed MUCH better indeed. They must have changed the design latterly.
The Tektro levers were very similar to Campag levers, and just as nice to use.

Off out on Mercian soon. Campag Chorus Ergos.
The gear changes are light and sweet, and the brake levers can be operated (even emergency stops) with one finger from the hoods. No doubt Tektro levers are the same.
STI brake levers have the pivot point way too low, and they are also spring-loaded. You have to stretch your fingers down the brake levers to operate them effectively and squeeze much harder than with Campag.

Don't blame my Tektro brake calipers for lack of feel. It's not the calipers because the Shimano offerings at Evans were just the same. It's the horrible brake levers that's the problem. If they are what you always use, I'm sure you don't know what I'm talking about. I'm getting very used to my STIs now and never even think about them. It's only when I get back on Mercian that I really understand the difference in the brake levers.

Gear selections are pretty much of a muchness. My Tiagra levers seem clunky and cheap and "plasticky". Maybe they need some grease injecting into them to soften them up.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Mick F
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Mick F » 5 Jul 2016, 4:11pm

PS:
Been fettling away this afternoon with the bikes on the stand in the sunshine on the patio.

I did some measuring.
The mechanical efficiency of Campag Ergo brake levers versus my Tiagra brake levers measure the same between pivot and bottom of lever. The levers are the same length, so they are identical.

It's where the pivot is that makes the difference.
The problem I have, is that the pivot is at the BOTTOM of the hood with STI, but near the top with my Ergo. It's that difference that really makes the difference when you reach down from the hoods to brake.
Mick F. Cornwall

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

Postby Samuel D » 5 Jul 2016, 4:35pm

For the same reason, braking from the hoods is much better with the Shimano BL-R400 levers than the ST-3300 and ST-2303 STIs I used in the past.

Hardly anyone pays attention to this matter. Even magazine reviewers would rather talk about tiny differences in shift speed than big differences in braking effectiveness.

It just goes to show you have to try everything yourself to know how it works. Hence my suggestion to try your existing gears before buying lower gears, reohn2’s good advice notwithstanding.

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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby reohn2 » 5 Jul 2016, 4:47pm

As I've posted before,I've been using STI's for 20 years, RSX,7sp,Sora 8sp,Tiagra,105 and Ultegra all 9sp and never had a problem braking from hoods or drops and gear changes(solo or tandem) have always been slick and positive.
Whether 10sp STI's are any different I dunno as the only 10sp stuff I have is MTB STI's and they're very good too.
I'd guess there's more people using Shimano than Campag,you and Ian are the only two I've heard complain about either the change or the brake leverage.
I can easily brake from the hoods very effectively on the tandems we've owned,one with V brakes and T/A's one with BB7's,I've never felt they lacked power,and on the drops never needed more than one or two fingers on the lever.
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Samuel D » 5 Jul 2016, 4:54pm

Do you have large hands, reohn2? I suppose if you can reach farther down the lever when using the hoods, you get better braking for a given effort at the lever.

I didn’t think there was anything wrong with braking from the hoods until I got the BL-R400 levers and realised they worked a lot better from the hoods (for me, my hands, etc.).

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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby reohn2 » 5 Jul 2016, 5:10pm

Samuel D wrote:Do you have large hands, reohn2? I suppose if you can reach farther down the lever when using the hoods, you get better braking for a given effort at the lever.

I didn’t think there was anything wrong with braking from the hoods until I got the BL-R400 levers and realised they worked a lot better from the hoods (for me, my hands, etc.).


Yes I do and the thought did cross my mind that others may not,though everyone who uses road STI's can't have big hands.
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Mick F
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Mick F » 5 Jul 2016, 7:03pm

reohn2 wrote: ......................... though everyone who uses road STI's can't have big hands.
I have big hands.
I don't have any problem with braking from the hoods with my Taigra STIs.
Believe me, I don't.
Maybe people with small hands just get used to it?

However ......................... the Campag Ergo brake lever system is SO MUCH BETTER.
Yes, I have got used to STI brake levers, but please believe me about the rubbish system that STI is with respect to Ergo.
As I said, the Tektro levers are good.

Going back to the old days, Wienmann were good too, and any brake levers I used back then.
It's all to do with WHERE the pivot is.
STI pivots are too far down, or at least the one's I've looked at and used ............. but when I played with some 105 levers, they were fine ............... but I reckon they were an older version to what is out there now, because the new 105's are as bad as my Tiagra.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby reohn2 » 5 Jul 2016, 7:27pm

My point in all this is that Shimano STI's work and work very well indeed IME,either braking or gear changing.
Perhaps if I'd had Campag Ergo's I'd have another perspective,but I haven't and many many other people haven't and are quite satisfied with them.
As I've also pointed out,STI's I've used across the range and from 7 through to 9sp,over considerable mileages on solos and tandems can't be faulted for their performance and may I add durability too,in fact I haven't had one fail yet.
So you'll forgive me but I'm bound to react when people start knocking them.
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Mick F » 5 Jul 2016, 7:38pm

Of course I forgive you. :D

My point is all to do with which system suits you/me/others.
I rode that Moulton with STI Tiagra for over 1,000miles without even sitting on Mercian. Mercian was in bits and in deep maintenance for most of that 1,000miles.

In all those miles, I got used to the Tiagras, in fact now I'm riding both bikes, I have difficulty with the Ergo gear controls. :lol:
The thing that I have never got used to, was the poor ergonomics of the brake levers of STIs.
No doubt if that's all you've ever had, you cannot even comprehend my comments.

Remember, I reckon that not all STIs are the same.
Some are better than others.
The 105's I had a play with, with a chap who stopped for a chat when we were riding together were absolutely fine.
The 105's in Evans Cycles on Saturday were as bad as my Tiagra's levers and of a similar design.

Maybe someone could explain the difference between Old and New 105's and if there are better ones out there from Shimano these days.
Mick F. Cornwall

Psamathe
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Psamathe » 5 Jul 2016, 7:47pm

reohn2 wrote:My point in all this is that Shimano STI's work and work very well indeed IME,either braking or gear changing.
Perhaps if I'd had Campag Ergo's I'd have another perspective,but I haven't and many many other people haven't and are quite satisfied with them.
As I've also pointed out,STI's I've used across the range and from 7 through to 9sp,over considerable mileages on solos and tandems can't be faulted for their performance and may I add durability too,in fact I haven't had one fail yet.
So you'll forgive me but I'm bound to react when people start knocking them.

My problem with mine (Tiagra) is not the braking (as I've no experience to compare them with and I stop) but the unreliability of changing rear gears. 1 STI click can do nothing, move one cog or move 2 cogs (sometimes 1 click changes 1 cog makes so much noise you have to click back down which then does not change cog back down (i.e. click up, click back changes one cog). Sometimes you can change gear then 1 mile down the road it will change again with no STI clicks. Changing gear is a matter of just clicking until you change cog and then if it's noisy, click back.

Quite a few very experience shops have tried and failed (one which is part of a chain tried and ended-up saying "sometimes you just can't get it sorted, some bikes are like that".

But for me more important is being out riding so I manage. But it would be nice to have a 1 click=1cog (ignoring the Shimano design thing where 1 big click=2 cogs changing down).

Ian