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42

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 answer heavily depends on the groupset construction/generation and personal perception of what is "bad", among other factors. Below are a few aspects that I am aware of. Switching gears in the traditional bicycle drivetrain assumes there is a momentarily side load on the chain, twisting it and forcing it to jump/fall from one cog to another. ...


36

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.


30

I think it's simpler than what many think. Car and motorcycle drivetrain is a reductor: their ratio (driver to wheel) < 1 in most cases. Bicycles are the opposite: the wheel normally turns faster than the cranks, and the drivetrain is a multiplier. It is somehow easier to remember and 'feel' ratios that are greater than 1: compare 4.3, 3.7, 2.9 with 0.23, ...


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 ...


27

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 ...


22

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 ...


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 ...


22

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 ...


20

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 ...


19

"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 ...


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 ...


17

You cannot get a higher gear ratio by replacing the cassette. The 11 tooth sprocket is the smallest you can get on a compatible cassette. (Systems with 10 tooth sprockets exist but use a different freehub design). The issue is that you have 46/30 tooth sub-compact chainrings (I looked up specs here). Which are giving you the low ratios. This is common on ...


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

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 ...


14

Not really. You might want different gears, but probably not fewer. Shorter crankarms give you less mechanical advantage—they're functionally equivalent to being in a higher gear. So you might want a lower gear range to compensate. It is common to express mechanical advantage as "gear inches"—this is (front sprocket/rear sprocket) × wheel diameter ...


13

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.


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 ...


13

This seems very much to be a case of freewheel/freehub pawls (the mechanism which allows the wheel to rotate without turning the cassette and pedals) sticking and not springing back into drive mode immediatly, after coasting. You say when braking, but it might be when coasting or backpedaling before a corner, which happen alongside braking. It usually ...


13

The specific model of rear derailleur you have is an Acera RD-M360 SGS, produced about 2009-2011, for 7 or 8 speed drivetrains. Shimano very helpfully provides archive specifications on the product info page. Looking in the 2009 spec PDF we can see that the max size of the largest sprocket the derailleur will handle is 34. I believe 12-34 freewheels do exist,...


12

Depending on the year of your Giant Escape 3, it either has Shimano EF40 or EF41 shifters. Both shifters have the same User Manual which has this information on downshifting: Assuming you are talking about your rear derailleur (right shifter), to shift 1 position you need to push the lever a small amount. Pushing the lever more will cause it to shift 2 ...


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: ...


12

Sounds like an indexed thumb shifter or an indexed pod shifter or a trigger shifter. All three names mean the same kind of thing, though different designs may put the two levers in different places, or may use a button for release. Examples: Shimano Tourney 7 speed TX50 Shimano Altus three position left hand shifter. Integrated Its possible to get ...


12

They are chain keepers. Back in the day before narrow-wide chain and 1x transmissions, the front mech/derailleur was a great way to keep the chain on the chainring. And given bikes had two or three chainrings the front mech was necessary for changing gears. However MTB riders liked to bounce around a lot, and that could still "throw the chain" which ...


12

If the OP's bike has a short cage Shimano rear derailleur, then officially, the maximum cog size is 30t. Going down to 28t is definitely fine, but going over 30t is not technically OK. Shimano's compatibility specifications are known to be conservative, however, so in practice, a 32t cog should work. I would caution against exceeding the maximum cog size by ...


12

It sounds like you're talking about the tooth difference, and not the horizontal spacing between cogs. Most cassettes are "uneven" in this sense. It does not affect indexed shifting, so long as the derailer can accommodate the max number of links difference and can "reach" as high as the largest cog.


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

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 ...


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