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My bike is a 21 speed, I find myself riding between 8th and 14th most of the time. Should I be using some of the other gears. I rarely if it all adjust the gears on the front crankset. LBS guy said I should utilize the other 2 more often to help extend the life of the drivetrain.

What say you?

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I have a triple chainring and 8 gears in the rear. I stay almost exclusively in the middle chainring and use all the gears. I just start with the lowest gear and work my way up and then downshift for sharp turns and stops. When I get to cruising on open road I'll go into the third chainring but don't use all of the gears. I'm not really a strong enough biker to use all of them. I've never used the first chainring just because there's no hills around here.
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I typed 2 answers to this question and erased them both. The best hing to do is try and keep the chain as straight as possible. The more bend in the chain, the more the friction and the more the wear and resistance.

I live in flat land USA and My favorite gear was the big chain ring up front and the 2nd or 3rd from the top in the back. Now I ride large/middle.

Sheldon
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Use the big chain ring. I triple dog dare you.

Yes, it will help extend the life of the middle chainring. When in the middle cog on the back, switch to the big chainring instead of down another cog. Then see how it feels. Save the granny gear for big hills.

Next, be aware of cross over. Big ring and big cog and the chain runs at too much of angle and is bad for the chain.
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Move to Atlanta. i get to use ALL ny gears. talk about big enough hills.

I prefer to use the middle chainring (of 3) for the most part and flutter between the appropiate gear. but for the long flats and the downhills, go to the 3rd chainring. for the big uphills, nothing beats the good ole 1ist chainring.
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I use the big chainring all the time. The only time I'll ever drop down to the small ring (I ride a double) is when I've got a loaded backpack and I'm just leaving work. There's a steep hill right right in front of the office and if I'm not warmed up (plus full backpack), I'll wuss out and hit the small ring.

I run an 11-25 on the back and 39/53 in the front.

My advice...when it gets hard to pedal, click into an easier gear. When your legs go past 95RPM, switch to something harder.
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Health Ace
6884 posts

Bicycles have gears? Mine had only one speed and weighed almost as much as a Harley. Well it felt like it did when I was 11, I could hardly stand it back up if it tipped over. It was a Schwinn Black Phantom. With the saddle bags and front suspension it even looked like a Harley with chrome fenders.

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11-21 on my trainers and 11-23 on my race wheels.
Sheldon
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What do those numbers mean?
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That's the smallest and largest cogs on the rear cassette. My largest has 25 teeth and the smallest has 11 teeth. Every other cog is somewhere in between.
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Gear ratio is expressed as Gear inches. You can find a calculator on the same page.

To make it easier to understand. If your wheel is 26 inches around, the bike has to travel 26 inches for the wheel to have made a complete revolution. The gears move the chain and the chain moves the wheel. The ratio between the front chain ring(the gears up front) and the rear cog(the gears in the back are measutred in inches. If you are in the small ring up front and the largest cog in the back. (Lets take John's bike) His gearing would be a 39/25. According to the chart, one revolution of the pedals would move the bike forward 42 inches. Using John's bike again. The large ring up front and the smallest in the back will move him forward 130 inches.

The larger the front gear and smaller the rear gear the farthur the bike will travel. The inverse is also true The smaller gear up front and the lager in the rear the less foward movement.

I hope I didn't confuse you more.

I'll see you all on Sunday.

Sheldon
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User avatar
Health Ace
6884 posts
26 inches around would be about the size of the back wheels on the tricycle I had as a kid.
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30/52 & 11/32 ...and I use 'em all :o
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i'll have to confess, i don't even know what those numbers are, or how to determine what i have.



BUT i just read Sheldon's post and though i don't understand it all, i will see what i have.

i do know i have a 700cc radius tire though. does that give me some credit?
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10/30 on the road bike, and on the trainer.

Trainer is a ten speed bike, withj 26x1 3/8 wheels.
Road bike, 21 speed, with 700x35c wheels
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