Hot answers tagged

41

First, different people have different optimum cadence. So that's one thing that explains different cadence between different cyclists. Second, to travel at any given speed requires a certain amount of power. You can get more power by pushing harder at the same cadence, or you can pedal faster at the same level of force (or you can pedal harder and faster....


37

The bike will be fine -- the riding conditions are within the specifications of the bike components. The bigger issue is you -- you don't want to end up damaging joints and what not by overexerting yourself.


29

Having an overlap between the ratio ranges available with each chainring means you don't have to use your front derailleur as much. Based on your understanding and expectations of the terrain and conditions ahead, you choose a chainring which gives you access to a useful set of harder and easier ratios. The cassette ratios are spaced to achieve a vaguely ...


26

Left to their own devices many will cycle at a cadence (a measure of how fast you spin) that approximates cadence of walking, an RPM of about 50-60. So the fact you prefer a slower leg speed is not unusual. Trained cyclists will often have a cadence between 80-110 and up to 200 for sprints (track). Is there something bad about a cycling style in ...


25

Don't overthink it. Since you've got a triple, you're probably right to be in your middle ring most of the time That's normal. In the middle ring you should have access to the whole cassette/freewheel in the back, though you might get a little extra noise as you approach the extreme gears in either direction. You'll use the big chainring when you're going ...


23

In 2001, Kyle and Berto published a comparison of the mechanical efficiency of several configurations of derailleur and internally-geared hubs in Human Power, which you can find here. Among the systems tested were a Shimano MTB derailleur system, a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub, the Shimano 7-speed Nexus hub, and the 14-speed Rohloff hub. MTB derailleur systems ...


22

On or off road, but especially off road, it is desirable to be able to shift down more than one gear at a time to deal with abrupt changes in gradient and avoid being stuck in too a high a gear and stalling out. Also (as you mentioned) if you are required to slow down or stop suddenly, it's convenient to be able to drop down several gears while ...


21

A very strong rider will put a lot of strain on the bike doing that. Wear on the sprockets will be slightly increased by grinding a small sprocket, but that's not a big deal. What's more significant is that if a part is going to fail (or a worn part is going to skip), it will fail when under high load. A friend of mine has snapped several chains on the ...


21

The ratios aren't spaced out consistently Actually, if you look at your diagram and exclude the smallest and largest cog on the cassette, the gears are more or less evenly spaced. What unevenness there is is an artefact of the requirement for whole-number ratios. Sure, replacing the 15t cog with a 14.5t cog would give better spacing between the 17t and 13t ...


19

I don't think you can make a 3x1 setup work. In order to have the chain change gears, there needs to be a mechanism to take up the slack in the chain. In a normal dual-derailer setup, the rear derailer does that. You might be able to make it work with a chain tensioner, but I'm not sure if you can find one with enough range to do the job as well as a rear ...


18

There's a good article here which explains it pretty well - although there are 21 gears there are only effectively about 11 distinct useful gears on a typical 3x7 gear setup: That is to say, some of the gear combinations overlap (or near enough) and this means you don't really get any extra function from them, but having them can make gear changing up/down ...


18

"Spinning" your legs as fast as they can go (i.e. pedalling at the highest cadence you are able to sustain), so going as fast as physically possible in the gear you are in. Usually at that point you'd change up a gear to bring the cadence back down to a manageable level, but if you are already in your highest gear that's not possible so you're at the limit ...


16

1:1 and similar ratios are considered bad in automotive gearboxes. If there is one bad tooth it will soon take others with it, if it is always meshing with the same teeth. Automotive gearboxes tend to use coprime ratios (where the 2 gears have no common multiple) to avoid this. There really isn't a similar issue on a bike. I suppose it might be a good idea ...


14

In order of least expensive to most expensive, you either have a misadjusted derailleur, a very worn out cassette, or a crack in your frame. If you're not noticing any problems shifting under normal circumstances, I'd odds are good that your cassette is worn out and your chain no longer meshes with the cogs correctly.


14

Assuming you have Shimano-compatiple Hyperglide cogs: No, you can't. The cassette body is not symmetric, the cassette fits in only one position. You could resort to adapt the cogs with a file, though. But shifting will be problematic at least, the cogs have certain indents to make shifting smoother.


14

1x9 setups are more common on a mountain bike or commuter bike setup with rapidfire shifters than a drop bar setup. However, due to a lack of front derailleur they can have chain jump issues due to the effect of the rear derailleur on the chainline. This has to be compensated for, often with a chain guard on the outer side and jump stop on the inner side of ...


14

The chain is stuck because of its short length and cross-chaining - the chain links are severely bent. Also with the chain not clean it will not turn nicely in such a scenario: Also your chain is short, making your derailleur stretch forward (marked blue) which makes the cross-chaining even more severe (marked red). On such a stretched derailleur there are ...


14

The general idea of "lever drive," or a reciprocating pedal motion instead of a rotary pedal motion precedes even the invention of the modern diamond-frame bicycle--consider the Special Star from 1886. More recently, there was the Facet Biocam, the Alenax, and the Wall Walker. Within the world of reciprocating drivetrains, the String Bike is interesting in ...


13

Since it only happens when you stand I would say it is definitely a combination of a worn chain and worn chainring, and nothing to do with shifters or derailleurs. As a chain wears, it 'stretches', meaning the distance between the pins in the chain grows. This is a result of the side plates wearing into the pin. Once the chain starts to 'stretch', it starts ...


13

I think everyone has provided some pretty sound advice, especially Daniel Hicks and his recommendation to go with the quickest and cost effective option by replacing your chainrings! With a 130/74 BCD, an ideal setup would be to swap in a 24/36/48 which would give you a great range at a cheap price. The front derailleur is probably the least necessary ...


13

I think the terms used here are a bit confused. Rather than saying that a road bike has 22 "gears", you should be saying that it has 22 "speeds" (or more correctly, as pointed out in the comments, "gear ratios" is the technically correct most accurate term (when people say 'gear', they are using it as short for 'gear ratios')). Even that can be a bit ...


12

The simple answer is, no, it is not advisable, and yes it can cause damage. The chain uses tension to shift. Shifting with both front and rear derailleurs at the same time will remove that tension. The answer above is absolutely correct, but they are a bit too phlegmatic about the risks involved. Drop a chain due to poor shifting habits, and you risk ...


12

If you can, with the chain in one of the middle cogs in the back, shift to each of the front chain rings then your front derailleur is likely in proper alignment and adjustment. This question and answer cover how to adjust the derailleur if you want to learn how to do it yourself. What you are describing, shifting to small ring in front and small cog in ...


12

I've got a 2nd hand Hercules too and I've done this exact thing. Get a quality chain tool and look up some videos on Youtube about how to remove and re-link a bike chain. I pretty much winged it as I had no clue what I was doing. It took a bit of work and a lot of frustration to get the chain length right. I probably did it wrong, but it works. EDIT: ...


11

It is not necessarily "good" for your workout. If you drop into the 'easy' gear, you obviously have to pedal faster to maintain your speed. Going at a slower cadence in a higher gear will just trash your knees after awhile. Select the gear that yields a similar cadence as when you are riding on the flats, while maintaining a similar energy expenditure. ...


11

In my experience, most light work can be done with the bike stored upside down (standing on the handlebars and seat). Of course, I'm assuming that you're talking about a road bike. Other bikes, like a mountainbike with a twist-shifters or trigger-shifting, might not be as well suited.


11

20,000km's in 2 years on Ultegra Di2. It performs very well. Shifts are smooth, crisp, quick and effortless. I have a few other road bikes running various mechanical shifters, but have preferred the electronic shifters during the past two years. No need for adjustment due to no more cable stretch. The front derailleur auto trims and follows the rear ...


11

No - Struggling away in the small rear cog/large front chainring combo is bad. Fitness is an overall term that has many components, so: If you want power you need to work on intervals, which is as fast as possible at full power for short burst times, then recovery time at a middling state. If you want to train for endurance, being at the steady state for ...


11

You need to be moving (and pedalling) to change gears on a bike with derailleurs. So you should try to change down before stopping, to a small gear at the front and a big gear at the back. The front gear are often labelled L...H for low to high, while the back gears are 1...8 (or anywhere between 5 and 11 depending on how many cogs you have) -- again low to ...


11

A friend of mine broke a crank (the "arm" of the pedal) in the Alps, so yes, parts can fail under load. It's not always the case that cheap parts fail earlier; sometimes they are actually sturdier: she would likely not have broken a cheap steel crank. Besides, I wouldn't be very concerned about my cheap parts to begin with. (I would be concerned about my ...


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