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27speed - bonkers? discuss

swallowswallow Posts: 25
edited November 2007 in XC and Enduro
Does anyone out there actually use the inner ring? no pun intended. I am now down to 2x8 having found a source of n.o.s. tioga titanium 8spd cassettes and in a way still feel overgeared. Really starting to like the look of the belt driven / shimano alfine type setups on the orange bikes at the bike show - very clean in all respects. So does anyone really use their granny ring? Even my girlfriend refers to it as 'chav-gear' (due to the inability of chavs to fix a slipped front der. cable on their ladies Raleighs)
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  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    you cant have many hills near you. :wink:
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • swallowswallow Posts: 25
    edited October 2007
    lived in the Cotswolds for 30 years now live in Bath - even my daily commute involves 1.5 miles of 1 in 10! There comes a point where pedalling like a lunatic to travel at 3 mph wastes more energy than pushing a sensible gear - may also help that I am only 65kg and fit!!
    I will admit though that it is easier coming down in the morning than going up after work!
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Visit Wharncliffe, and be prepared to push!

    No Yorkshiremen hehe ;-)
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    1 in 10?! Thats flat! ;-)

    What is your cadence?
  • Ciaran500Ciaran500 Posts: 348
    Thought the same as you untill I tried to cycle up a mountain (well, a really big hill), started off enthusiastically but at about halfway I was very glad for the inner chainring.
  • swallowswallow Posts: 25
    edited October 2007
    now thats getttinga bit technical, my lowest gear is 32x34, I have no idea at what cadence I pedal - when climbing, if I get down to that gear, I stand if I have to, anything I cant get up in that gear I would consider unridable and far quicker to push or carry anyhow - is that normal. I'm not trying to big myself up, but when road touring (on my mtb) in New Zealand where they really have hills, I pulled a full BOB trailer and still had no use for a 24 ring at the front. Again my girlfriend also never used the granny ring in that trip!
    http://www.bestofbritishdeli.co.uk/cute ... ges/nz.JPG
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    standing, while exerting more power, is actually less efficient. The best way is to sit and chose a gear you can spin at around 90rpm of the cranks. It may feel like your legs are going too fast, but it IS more efficient.
  • swallowswallow Posts: 25
    maybe the rides (off road) that I usually go for are not long enough to have got into that - I normally am lucky to get two hours in at any time, so I am full of energy and happy to be knackered afterwards!
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    there is also a big difference between tarmac and dirt. in terms of traction.

    if you are on a good surface then yes i could understand you not wanting a lower cog. but where i ride it is needed.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • swallowswallow Posts: 25
    so do you ever use the really lowest gear or do you use a few higher? balance would become an issue in the lowest of the low on even a slight incline off road?
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    lowest of the low. seated and spinning.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Same here, quite often too. And there are hills on my route where I could do with even a lower gear
  • swallowswallow Posts: 25
    what speed would that have you doing? Would walking be quicker/more efficient at that point?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    No, spinning is always more effecient than walking as the action is smoother.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    swallow wrote:
    what speed would that have you doing? Would walking be quicker/more efficient at that point?

    often there is not room to get off :wink:
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • You're not there to walk though, are you?

    Part of the challenge, and therefore an integral part of enjoying the ride is those small victories, such as cleaning a difficult climb. At 6'5" and 110kg I'm by no means a good climber, but I get a great sense of satisfaction at hauling myself up a hard climb (not that I have to do it often in Norfolk).

    Obviously, walking is inevitable sometimes, but I won't do it if I don't have to. So, I guess what I'm saying in answer to the original question is the granny ring is valuable for me. If only I was built like a whippet, eh?
  • benneallybenneally Posts: 973
    Its not really the same, but on Gold D.of.E. i used the granny gear loads. Hardnock pass was gear 1:1 the whole way up and i was standing up leaning over the hanndle bars the whole way, over half hour of pure strain lol.

    But now, i never drop out of the biggest (3rd) chain ring at the front, Im thinking of buying a bigger chain ring as my normal coasting gear along flat roads is 3:7 (max being 3:9).
  • benneally wrote:
    Its not really the same, but on Gold D.of.E. i used the granny gear loads. Hardnock pass was gear 1:1 the whole way up and i was standing up leaning over the hanndle bars the whole way, over half hour of pure strain lol.

    But now, i never drop out of the biggest (3rd) chain ring at the front, Im thinking of buying a bigger chain ring as my normal coasting gear along flat roads is 3:7 (max being 3:9).

    You're just bragging about having thighs like a racehorse, aren't you?
  • mtb.boymtb.boy Posts: 208
    You can not be doing much MOUNTAINbiking to have never used the granny gear. Try getting up Skiddaw without it !!!
    The first rule of cycling is - Tell everyone how great cycling is.

    The second rule of cycling is - Tell everyone how great cycling is !!!!
  • benneallybenneally Posts: 973
    milkywhite wrote:
    benneally wrote:
    Its not really the same, but on Gold D.of.E. i used the granny gear loads. Hardnock pass was gear 1:1 the whole way up and i was standing up leaning over the hanndle bars the whole way, over half hour of pure strain lol.

    But now, i never drop out of the biggest (3rd) chain ring at the front, Im thinking of buying a bigger chain ring as my normal coasting gear along flat roads is 3:7 (max being 3:9).

    You're just bragging about having thighs like a racehorse, aren't you?

    thats just it....i have the skinniest legs ever :S
  • clarksonclarkson Posts: 1,641
    i spin rather than push the cranks. where i live i dont tend to use the granny ring. in fact never, cos its so flat. on holiday in the lake district tho, most of the climbin was done in the granny ring. they're too long to push a higher gear for me.
    I said hit the brakes not the tree!!

    2006 Specialized Enduro Expert
    http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/3192886/

    2008 Custom Merlin Malt 4
    http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/2962222/

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    http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/3453980/
  • I often use the inner ring on a ride out, when your climbing a steep hill like you get in the lakes for 30 mins you need that inner ring.

    Also on a ride yesterday i climbed a very steep grassy hill and it was the lowest gear sat forward on the seat and spinning like mad to get up the hill, balance in low gear doesn't really make any difference to me but if i had to stop, unclip myself get off push bike up which uses different muscles and climb back on, no i don't think it's quicker.

    I did a race a few weeks ago where i was riding 5 hours and believe me that inner ring got hammered....could of done with a lower gear!

    All IMHO.
  • benneally wrote:
    thats just it....i have the skinniest legs ever :S

    Easy there, joke.

    I'm only jealous 'cause I'm a fat knacker who starts to die at the meerest sight of a hill.
  • rendorendo Posts: 194
    swallow

    i think you really need to go and look at gear ratio's in inches.
    i use the inner ring all the time, but then i don't have a wide range cassette.

    Your right that 27 gears is excessive, but your wording makes it sound like your bigging yourself up. a mtb on the road with a wide ranging cassette, i.e. something like a 12-34 gives a huge range.
    offroad i rarely use the outer ring but thats only because the range i need is at the lower end of the scale. likewise on the road i only use one, but i don't brag about it
  • fumpsfumps Posts: 227
    I'm still a relative beginner.

    But i'm really pushing myself to do some steep climbs (even for yorkshire standard) and i am always on the lowest gears.
    Even then i lose momentum on some of them.....but thats me biting off more than i can chew i think.
    Arrrghhh it's worse than i thought!!!!!
  • AmosAmos Posts: 438
    I found offroad I never really needed the big ring, so I dropped down to running two rings (22 & 36) which gives me all the range i need.

    Hence i have 18 gears, so in my opinion, 27 was a bit excessive for my riding, but i think getting rid of the small ring for off roading is stupid. Unless your only riding Green graded trails.
  • GraemeTGraemeT Posts: 155
    you can never have too many gears.

    Looking forward to the introduction of a 12 speed cassette :lol:
    Just Keep Pedalling
  • Tried this for the first time the other weekend, if you can do this in middle ring then fair play to ya mate :D

    http://www.yasiru.com/images/2007/NY%20Moors%20&%20Y%20Dales/DSCF2155.JPG

    KILLER, My legs nearly fell off! :cry: haha
  • FSR_XCFSR_XC Posts: 2,258
    Use granny ring about 1% of the time off road.

    On road I'm rarely out of top ring. I could do with this being 2-4 teeth larger at times, but then again I could really do with getting a road bike.

    I can see why some people only have one ring on the front as off road I use middle 90% of the time.

    However I do use all of the gears.

    XC bikes are designed to go up & down hills as well as on flat ground.
    Stumpjumper FSR 09/10 Pro Carbon, Genesis Vapour CX20 ('17)Carbon, Rose Xeon CW3000 '14, Raleigh R50

    http://www.visiontrack.com
  • swallowswallow Posts: 25
    FSR_XC wrote:
    Use granny ring about 1% of the time off road.

    On road I'm rarely out of top ring. I could do with this being 2-4 teeth larger at times, but then again I could really do with getting a road bike.

    I can see why some people only have one ring on the front as off road I use middle 90% of the time.

    However I do use all of the gears.

    XC bikes are designed to go up & down hills as well as on flat ground.

    Seems like you and I are the oddities around here! that may however be due to not being surrounded by real mountains? I have however done quite a lot of mtb'ing in 16 years in the sport - completed Bristol Bikefest 12hour solo two years ago, again without a granny ring, but suppose that course was quite flat really. Leckhampton/Cleeve Hill in Cheltenham and around my new stomping ground of Bath there are no climbs that would exceed a couple of miles in distance, there is the odd steep bit, but nothing that you wouldn't just stomp up, and recover on the easier gradients. Afan has some climbs that I would consider good, but does anyone have any recommendations for a good long climb that would make me want to find that granny ring from the depths of the shed? preferably near Bath or at least south-west??
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