Gear help needed...-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Gear help needed...

    Just purchased a 1-speed (mercier kilo wt) for commuting. This is my first road bike and 1-speed. The stock gearing is 48 x 16, which is pretty stout for my 40-something years of age. Not sure how to best reconfigure for something a little easier to pedal.

    My mechanic also said the stock freewheel is of meager quality should be upgraded (ie. Shimano or ACS) at some point.

    So some questions:

    1. What size cog should I consider. It's flat where I commute, but a lot of stop and go. I can almost handle the 48 x 16 once I get it going.

    2. If I put on a larger cog, will I have to replace the chain as well? The rear axel sits midway in the horizontal dropout.

    3. Is a smaller chainring an option? How small?

    Let me say that I really like the aesthetic and simplicity of commuting on 1-speed -- I just need to find what will work best for me.

    Thanks for your input.


  2. #2
    Low Rep Count
    Reputation: 1SPD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    You can either go with a smaller front chainring or a larger rear freewheel/cog. The freewheel/cog may be the cheaper route and I you can easily pick one up for around $25 or less. A BMX one can be had for around $15 or less.

    I would suggest trying an 18t or 20t on there. You should only have to get a new chain if your current one ends up being too short and your rear wheel is slammed forward. I think you may have enough room to still use your current chain and make the jump to an 18/20 though if your axle is in the middle of the drop outs.

    If you go the chainwheel route I think you would probably be ok droping down to a 42 or so.

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