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  1. #1
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    SS - Need Bigger Gear(s)

    I love my Haro but I'm finding myself almost wanting to go look for a geared bike. The bike seems to to top out to much and it's getting worse as I ride more confidently. The only problem is that on the hills the current gear works well.

    I'm running 32x19 on a Mary SS 29er. The best I can do on the downhill sections is 16mph and anything more than 15 I'm spinning in the 90's and just can't keep it up. On the geared 26er I easily hit 20mph. On the flats I'm running 14mph at an 80 cadence but because of the lack of resistance I can't spin it very long and I settle in the 70's at about 12.5mph.

    I've got a 17t here that I was thinking of changing to but I'm unsure of how or if I'm going to be able to climb with it. How many more mph can I pick up by switching to the 17t? How much harder will the climbs be? I'm going to switch and try it, I'm just wondering what I can expect...

  2. #2
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    tune your hubs, get aero, and ditch the speedometer - on a SS the downhills are for recovery

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by campredcloudbikes
    tune your hubs, get aero, and ditch the speedometer - on a SS the downhills are for recovery
    Oh I plan to ditch the speedo and all the other crap but I'm trying to find out how fast or slow I'm going and what kind of cadence I got going on. I'm just using the gadgetry to get a baseline idea of how I ride. Just want to get a little more optimal.

  4. #4
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    32:19 you are flying. I was riding with 32:22 and recently steped down to 32:21. On a single speed you will never be in the right gear. You need to find the happy medium between spinning out on the flats or making the climbs.

  5. #5
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    Are you sure you're only spinning 90-ish rpm and not higher?
    Just for contrast: that's an average that raod riders pretty much hold for hours......I can hold 130+ for minutes at a time on the road and at least 110 on the trails......

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsomtb
    Are you sure you're only spinning 90-ish rpm and not higher?
    Just for contrast: that's an average that raod riders pretty much hold for hours......I can hold 130+ for minutes at a time on the road and at least 110 on the trails......
    130+???? I start to bob like a bobble head at about 118. Your cadence must be super smooth. My natural cadence is like 98 on the road.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsomtb
    Are you sure you're only spinning 90-ish rpm and not higher?
    Just for contrast: that's an average that raod riders pretty much hold for hours......I can hold 130+ for minutes at a time on the road and at least 110 on the trails......

    I really don't know, I'm just going off of what the computer is telling me. When it says I'm in the 90's I can barely keep it going. I get way choppy and it's not natural for me. If I didn't have the clip in on my feet would fly off the pedals. I'm 6'3 w/ 34" inseam so maybe my legs weren't made to go that fast. One of the guys I ride with is a roadie converting to off-roadie and seems to think I'm spinning in the 90's not the 70's but I really don't know. I can barely walk and chew gum, let alone pedal and count the strokes so I have to rely on what the computer is telling me.

    Hopefully I'll be able to get out tomorrow with the 17t on the bike and just try it.

  8. #8
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    Just saw another thread about gears that referenced sheldon brown's gearing calculator so I went to check it out. According to his calculator the speeds I'm making with my current setup would require a 100+ cadence. I guess the computer is probably off. The speedo readings are in line with my buddies bikes so who knows. The cadence counter gadgetry is coming off my bike tomorrow. It does nothing but confuse me and make things more complicated than they have to be...

    Also the calculator tells me what I wanted to know, two teeth only make a 1.5-2mph difference. If that's the case, the 17t is probably going to be a little better for me. The real trial will be to get it on the trails and find out.

  9. #9
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    Hmmmm - 32 x 17 with 29" wheels sounds pretty tough on the hills for me - esp if any of them are steep. I have a 33 x 20 and there are some climbs that that is too much, if it's steeper and long... I haven't calculated my cadence for it, but I can run brief stints around 25 mph or so with that gear - and yep - I'm spinning like mad.... Let's see...
    25 mph = .4166 mile/Minute. .4166 x 5280 = 2200 ft/min.
    2200 ft x 12"/ft = 26400 inches/min
    29" x 3.1416 (Pi) = 91.1 inches per wheel revolution
    26400/91.1 = 289 wheel revs/min
    289 / 33t front x 20t rear = 175 rpm at the cranks. High, but doable. When riding track bikes years ago, we'd train to hit 200+ for a short burst sprint. No wonder I can only do it for 15 - 20 seconds or so!
    R.I.P. Corky 10/97-4/09
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  10. #10
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    Same calcs for a 16mph speed with 29" wheels and a 32 x 19 is about 110 RPM - a bit higher than you originally estimated, and also fairly high if you have long legs and haven't trained for spinning!
    R.I.P. Corky 10/97-4/09
    Disclaimer: I sell and repair bikes for a living
    http://www.endlesscyclesonline.com

  11. #11
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    2 teeth in the rear is a really big step.Try 32/18 first.
    And work on your spinning.
    Ride more!

  12. #12
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    I don't get it? Is it a fixed gear?
    On my singlespeed, I'll accelerate up to speed on a downhill and coast until I need to accelerate again, which is generally faster than when I'm trying to keep up with my fixed gear (free gearing 51.6", fixed 51.9") on the same hill.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dontheclysdale
    I love my Haro but I'm finding myself almost wanting to go look for a geared bike. The bike seems to to top out to much and it's getting worse as I ride more confidently. The only problem is that on the hills the current gear works well.
    That's single speeding for you...You're either spinning like a hamster going nowhere or grinding to a stop on a hill. It's great isn't it?

  14. #14
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    If you're wanting speed, you're on the wrong bike. Singlespeeds will never win the Tour or the Leadville 100. Get yourself a geared bike.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    If you're wanting speed, you're on the wrong bike. Singlespeeds will never win the Tour or the Leadville 100. Get yourself a geared bike.
    Yep, I sometimes forget I started cycling again for fun not for competition. I just get a little carried away when I get out on the trails. I figure I'll leave the bike alone for now and work on trying to have a little fun and let the others take the lead. Perhaps this summer I may look at picking up a geared bike if I still have the need for speed. Until then I'll just work on building monster quads and high rotating stamina.

  16. #16
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    Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by can't get right
    130+???? I start to bob like a bobble head at about 118. Your cadence must be super smooth. My natural cadence is like 98 on the road.

    I've worked on my spin considerably over the years and genetically I probably should have been a track sprinter and not mtb'r (I think it's the #1 tool we have as cyclists of any disciplne) but I don't ride around that high.....like I said, that's just what I can maintain for a very few minutes at a time....I do bob a bit but don't fall apart.

    What you said about your natural cadence being around 98 on rd is kinda my point - most folks can comfy spin over 90 - esp for short periods - even on an mtb. Too many people are scared of leg speed but it's a really powerfull tool to have.......

    But it sounds like the OP is gettin' it sorted......

  17. #17
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    I ripped the cadence counter off today. I think it's too far away from the computer to be accurate anyways. I've got a Large frame and it's definitely a lot further away from the computer than the instructions say. It reads somewhat sketchy at times and sometimes it doesn't read. I'll just use the speedo and Sheldon's gear page to figure out what I'm do cadence wise. Thanks guys for all your help!

    I did grab a 34t front sprocket (had a problem with the rear freewheel) just to see if it's going to be too much on the climbs. Also I'd like to see what the higher cadence speeds feel like with a little more tension against the pedals. We'll see how it works out.

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