Author Topic: Best gear for novice singlespeed user  (Read 4670 times)

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2017, 04:48:12 pm »
Wouldn't the solution be to have a wide/narrow chainring that ensured a fixed or singlespeed chain always engaged with the 'right' teeth?

I imagine that this sort of chainring would also make it more difficult to unship a loose chain, given the claims for such MTB chainrings.

They have a greater benefit with a geared set up with a single ring up front than for singlespeed. Even with an elliptical chainring I rarely lose the chain when single speeding but net a chain guide when I put gears on. Narrow wide stopped the chain dropping when I put gears on

Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2017, 05:38:45 pm »
It depends on your preferred cadence.  I'm doing about 100rpm at 18mph so I have a gear of about 60" (41 x 18).  On a fixie it's different because you have to gear for the downhills to avoud spinning out.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2017, 06:36:38 pm »
So you are willing to put up with chainrings that comparatively easily unship chains?

I have the scars.  But I do try to check chain tension, etc., regularly.  1/8" chain as well.

Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2017, 08:04:58 pm »
It's a commuter bike so same route each day. Undulating but a free rolling undulation that doesn't benefit much.from a gear change at first. One natural hill and a man-made.hill over a main link road bridge. Then it's practically flat into work.

Thinking of the gearing I use most it's a 50 chainring and the third biggest chainring on a tiagra 12-32 chainring I'm not sure what the teeth count on the cassette cog in use most often. On a very tired day or strong headwinds I use 50-32 (cross chain be damned!). Or I drop into the small chainring.

So if my guess on cassette teeth is right I'm on 50/21 or 26 mostly anyway when I want an easy ride. At 50/21 I would think 42/18 is closest but 44/18 is also close. Indeed the genesis ss would be ok at 42/17.

Mind you that's my relaxing gear on my commute. I can n grind out high gears closer to 50/15 I think tyre third highest gearing is and that's up my commuting hill. I do tend to mash it. For example I had a quite high gearing range on my old 7 speed road bike 400 exage groupset IIRC. I used.to do 1 in 4 hills every time I went out (the easiest hill to my house was 1 in 5!j. I would just take my time and almost trackstand to get my breath back.

I also used to leg press 525lb IIRC for fun at the time. Used to find it funny to share the leg press between reps with the muscle Mary's and watch their faces as they reduce the weights after me.

Knee op since then and I've lost that strength but mashing it uphill is something I can still manage. I don't walk even if I'm towing a loaded trailer stuck in my.big chainring. 50/25 with a heavy adventure cx1 luggage trailer plus panniers plus tent on rack top up Scottish hills. No walking there.

I reckon singlespeed is a good fit for me. My only.concern is spinning. I don't do that very well.

So gearing looks like 42/17 to start with (or whatever the bike comes with) then adjust with experience. What do you think?

What do I need to spend to get a reasonable SS? I've seen £499-799 for PX/On One or genesis SS bikes. Can you get disc braked ss for cheaper? I didnt want to spend that much. Was hoping they were a lot cheaper. Any cheaoer ones worth it? Prefer disc brakes as they're lower maintenance I reckon.

Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2017, 08:30:03 pm »
The best s/s and fixies are built, not bought  :)
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2017, 08:34:56 pm »
The best s/s and fixies are built, not bought  :)

Yebbut:  that applies to all bikes (except possibly Bromptons).

Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2017, 08:35:49 pm »
Cycled home in 50/21. Started off at 50/19 but forgot what I was doing so changed down out of habit when lights went red just before me (only 2 sets of lights on my commute). I was over the hills before I realIsed. D'oh!

I changed back to 50/19 and reckon that's a good gear for me except on those really.tired winter days, in the dark with.strong wind and rain. Those days tire me out anyway so with a singlespeed will not leave me much in the tank I reckon.

BTW the 50/21 was nothing. I didn't slow down going uphill. TBH on a good day I'm probably running a higher gear anyway going up that hardest section.

The thing I didn't like with the 50/21 was how I had to spin a lot higher cadence than I like on the flat. Forget about downhill sections. On the flat it felt like I was bouncing on the saddle. Poor pedalling technique no.doubt. I.once got told singlespeed is good.for pedalling technique (smoother circles) and power.

So based on this do you think 50/19 is too highly geared? Running 37-622 tyres gives 72.5" if I understand.that gear calculator someone posted earlier. That's the gear I found easy. I could manage 50/17 too but at 81" it's too much. I could do it but would not enjoy it as much.as the 72.5".

So what bike options that are cheaper than the excellent genesis SS bikes? Anything worth getting that's cheaper but with disc brakes?

Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2017, 09:00:32 am »
I've picked up a couple of Specialized Langsters off ebay for around £200. I use mine for a 24km each way commute with a couple of short sharp hills. Gearing is 42/16.

Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2017, 02:51:02 pm »
Quote
So based on this do you think 50/19 is too highly geared?

Only you can say ;-)

Do it for a few more days and see how you get on on different days and weather etc. And don't over think it, even if you do get your gearing 'wrong' you can change it later for the cost of a chainring or freewheel so not the end of the world.

As for spinning, you WILL get better at this if you go SS/fixed, you'll also realise that for a lot of downhills you'll get more benefit out of a good tuck and coast than frantic spinning.

The cheapest way to do it is normally a home build out of spare bits and an old frame, or accumulated/borrowed parts from friends. But this can result in a bit of a bodge job or actually end up more work than you expect if you're not sued to all the idiosyncrasies of what will fit and what won't so sometimes it's better to either bite the bullet and buy something new and 'done for you' or at least look at 2nd hand options.

Be aware that a lot of SS and fixies are more track-esque than road-esque, so have very racey geometry and lack provisions for guards and big tyres, so be careful if you spot a bargain that it's not actually totally inappropriate!

I've had Langsters in the past, they are nippy, tough and ride well, and available very cheap 2nd hand, but you'll only get a 25mm (maybe 28) tyre in there and they are a pig to get guards on.

The Genesis Flyer is a decent all rounder to look out for, takes 25/28mm with guards and is sensibly built, but not often easy to find second hand.

My current SS is a 1980's Mercian* 531ST frame, with some home-built wheels, and it cost me under £200 all in, but I did already have the wheels... but decent old frames are easy to come by and as long as you pay attention to things like making sure it has horizontal dropouts, the right clearances and braze-ons etc. you can put together an excellent bike for very little cash.

*less well known builders or mainstream brands can be found even cheaper and at equal quality.


Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2017, 11:00:55 pm »
that is the longest link to an e-bay ad I have ever seen. They say a picture is worth a thousand words....

cheers

fd3

Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #36 on: August 23, 2017, 11:54:53 pm »
There's also the question of odd or even numbers of teeth regarding wear.  I've seen arguments in favour of both so I'm none the wiser.
I like to have a combination of primes.  43/17 is a really nice gear. 8)
I thought it was less an issue of primes but rather how many times round your cog divides into your chainring, and that only if you do skids and need to worry about even wear on the tyre.
I have never heard of a reason to use even cog:chain.
[/I could be wrong]

Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2017, 12:36:04 am »
I have never heard of a reason to use even cog:chain.

the chain wears unevenly (given a chance) in that the way the pin bushings wear means that unless the roller bushings wear in sympathy, the chain wears such that the pitch is different on every other link. If you use uneven tooth counts every tooth sees both types of chain link and the chain wears more evenly. If you use even tooth counts and run it long enough, the chain runs properly only when it is installed one way on the teeth, because the teeth wear to match the uneven chain.  I think this might become important if you intend to run the chain to death.

Also note that chains, once worn, need to be able to ride up on the teeth slightly. This means it is a bad idea to run a tight chain, once it is even slightly worn; it will be noisy and will wear everything at about x10 the rate.

IME full height teeth on chainset and sprocket, and a (pref 1/8") chain that uses cambered inner side plates makes for an IGH/SS drive that will tolerate being run fairly slack without unshipping. I have intentionally run such an IGH drive with up to 3-1/2" of slack and the chain will not unship more than once every few thousand miles, or once a year. Fixed is a different matter.

cheers

Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #38 on: August 24, 2017, 09:23:01 am »
that is the longest link to an e-bay ad I have ever seen. They say a picture is worth a thousand words....

cheers
I couldn't get the link thing working properly. It's a Raleigh m-trax 6000R road bike. Reynolds steel, 7 speed and a nice old bike IMHO. I was wondering if it could be made a single speed and whether it could make a reasonable singlespeed bike at that?

BTW it's a classic, old style, steel bike with skinny seat stays and indeed all tubing is skinny.


simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #40 on: August 24, 2017, 09:48:35 am »
There's also the question of odd or even numbers of teeth regarding wear.  I've seen arguments in favour of both so I'm none the wiser.
I like to have a combination of primes.  43/17 is a really nice gear. 8)
I thought it was less an issue of primes but rather how many times round your cog divides into your chainring, and that only if you do skids and need to worry about even wear on the tyre.
I have never heard of a reason to use even cog:chain.

A prime chainring can never divide by a cog so no matter what cog you can't get uneven tyre wear. I suspect if you had something like 32/16 you'd have uneven tyre wear because of where the power is applied unevenly in the pedal stroke always being in just a few places on the wheel.

fd3

Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #41 on: August 25, 2017, 11:04:00 am »
Sure, but if you had a prime mix that worked out at 1.5x:x it would mean that you get back to your starting position after two pedal strokes.  If, however, your setup were 2x+1:x then you would need 2x+1 rotations to get back to your starting point (that is as long as they don't have a common divisor).
Or at least something like that.
Brucey, are you suggesting that beyond this there is a further advantage to uneven:uneven (vs even:uneven).  And I still have yet to hear anyone supporting even:even, or did I misunderstand your post?
[/I could be wrong]

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #42 on: August 25, 2017, 11:06:25 am »
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chain-life.html is the best explanation I've read for choosing even-numbered sprockets and chainrings.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Best gear for novice singlespeed user
« Reply #43 on: October 04, 2017, 06:33:07 pm »
Havimg now ridden the Bob Griffin, 42 x 18 is just right for me.  But I'm a 100rpm spinner.
Never tell me the odds.