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What a difference a tooth makes

Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
edited May 2010 in Commuting chat
I've been running 48-16 on the fixed for ages and thought I could up this and recently did to 48-15.

I find I've slowed a little on the general bits of the commute and I'm really nervous about the prospect of being a 'nodder' and getting my censored handed to me in scr

Saying that when I put the power down it's freaking fast which is great. but I've not yet seen how long I can keep that up for.

I'm going to give it a couple of weeks before swapping back or maybe getting a 49/50 chainring and getting back to the 16...thoughts?

So what I'm saying is... anyone else stepped up recently? how long does it take for it to become 'easy'. I guess it's just playing on my mind at the moment due to the wind hurting as well.

Jesus I sound like DDD
Purveyor of sonic doom

Very Hairy Roadie - FCN 4
Fixed Pista- FCN 5
Beared Bromptonite - FCN 14
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  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    Last year I was running a 50t large chainring on my Tricross and 172.5mm cranks when I managed to shear a crank.

    Took it back for a warranty replacement and rather nicely they sent me a whole new chainset.

    Only problem was that it was 175mm cranks with a 52t big ring.

    I didn't think I'd notice the difference between 50 and 52 teeth, plus I figured that any small differnce would be cancelled out by the longer cranks but I was wrong.

    Last year I would commute pretty much the whole journey in the big ring and only change down to the middle when there was a strong wind or whatever. But nowadays I'm 80% in the middle ring and only change up for long clear sections.

    Was really surprised just how much of a difference it was.
  • markshaw77markshaw77 Posts: 437
    I'm interested in this too as I am considering going up from 42-16 (SS) to 44-16 or even 46-16. The jump from 42 to 46 seems a lot (particularly for my dodgy knees!), but chainrings aren't cheap, so want to try and be right first time

    CP - Some quick Sheldon calculator musings would suggest that going from 16T to 15T at the back is a 6.7% increase in GI, whereas a 48T-50T switch at the front is only a 4.2% increase (2.1% for 49T), so that may be a better way to increase it more gradually and see how you go.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 19,546
    There's got to be a tooth fairy joke in there somewhere.

    Anyway, I think BJUK has been working on riding in a higher gear over the last few months. Obviously it's not quite the same as riding SS, but it's the same basic principle. He should be able to give you an idea of how long it took to become used to the higher gear.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    CP, if you're struggling, switch back. I think you use the same Miche system as I do, so it's not exactly a hassle. If you've got a flip-flop hub, which I reckon you have, it's possible with a little creative use of lockrings to have it fixed/fixed, then you could put the 15 on one side and the 16 on the other.

    Saying that, post-achilles-recovery I scaled my gear back up at 3 week intervals, which gave me time to rebuild strength, so about 3 weeks maybe?

    As I've said somewhere else before, I do have a theory that you go a step up and it suddenly becomes too high for you - when I went from 48/14 to 46/13, it was a gear too far, so to speak. I persevered for a while, then gave in and found 46/14 was fine.

    Getting chainrings is a) expensive and b) a hassle, especially as you may need to change your chain.
  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    Clever Pun wrote:
    ... thought I could up this and recently did to 48-15....I'm going to give it a couple of weeks before swapping back or maybe getting a 49/50 chainring and getting back to the 16...thoughts?

    It's quite a big step up... I think it's useful to think in terms of your average (or typical) speed and cadence. Assuming your are reasonably comfortable with your current setup then by gearing-up you are effectively seeking to increase your speed proportionally.. given that power goes up exponentially with speed, that can be a big ask.
    Jesus I sound like DDD

    Now that's a worry! next you'll be starting half-a-dozen off-topic threads a day, and making offensive remarks in half of them!

    Cheers,
    W.
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 16,181
    THE TOOTH?


    YOU WANT THE TOOTH?


    YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TOOTH!






    (laugh now, that's a funny as I'm ever going to be)
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • snailracersnailracer Posts: 968
    A smaller cog is also mechanically less efficient. So err on the side of more teeth.
  • Wrath RobWrath Rob Posts: 2,918
    MTFU and get stick with the 15T
    FCN3: Titanium Qoroz.
  • Oddjob62Oddjob62 Posts: 1,056
    Flipped mine this morning from my usual 51/18 to my (ready for hitting the track) 51/15. Might have to shift back down though... dunno if i can get home on this gear. I would be ok if there's no traffic, but if i'm forced to stop (as is often the case) going up the hill i may not get started again.
    As yet unnamed (Dolan Seta)
    Joelle (Focus Expert SRAM)
  • scrumpydavescrumpydave Posts: 143
    Crikey, you lot push some serious gears. I used to ride 42-16 on the commute and I changed to 42-15 to enter some time trials. 48-15 should be reserved for the track!
    Riding the Etape du Tour for Beating Bowel Cancer - click to donate http://bit.ly/P9eBbM
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Crikey, you lot push some serious gears. I used to ride 42-16 on the commute and I changed to 42-15 to enter some time trials. 48-15 should be reserved for the track!

    London is really very flat.
  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    Cheers for the help/suggestions guys

    For now, I'm going to see if I can deal with it... there are a couple of hills(ish) on my route going down them is ace now, that's for sure.

    I averaged 17mph(rolling) on the way in this morning which isn't too bad for nearly 17 miles.

    MarkShaw yea I knew the front gives a more gentle increase but a more pricey one too, will see.

    I can certainly envisage swapping back to 16 for winter when it's grim riding

    50-14 is track riding gear
    Purveyor of sonic doom

    Very Hairy Roadie - FCN 4
    Fixed Pista- FCN 5
    Beared Bromptonite - FCN 14
  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    Clever Pun wrote:
    ...I averaged 17mph(rolling) on the way in this morning which isn't too bad for nearly 17 miles. ...

    Indeed, that's pretty good... OTOH it implies your average cadence is under 70rpm... which strikes me as very low...

    Might be worth trying to spin a bit more. High cadences don't suit everyone, of course, but personally I find it easier on the knees, and a good proportion of experienced/fast riders seem to turn >90 rpm, rather than <70...

    Cheers,
    W.
  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    Clever Pun wrote:
    ...I averaged 17mph(rolling) on the way in this morning which isn't too bad for nearly 17 miles. ...

    Indeed, that's pretty good... OTOH it implies your average cadence is under 70rpm... which strikes me as very low...

    Might be worth trying to spin a bit more. High cadences don't suit everyone, of course, but personally I find it easier on the knees, and a good proportion of experienced/fast riders seem to turn >90 rpm, rather than <70...

    Cheers,
    W.

    you're right, once it's up to 19+ it's a very nice ride... getting it there and keeping it there are much trickier

    Hence my original comment about nodding, I don't want to go down that route. I'm giving it a little to see if my legs MTFU if not then I'll drop back
    Purveyor of sonic doom

    Very Hairy Roadie - FCN 4
    Fixed Pista- FCN 5
    Beared Bromptonite - FCN 14
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 19,546
    Talking of big gears/low cadence, anyone else seen that TT rider with the MASSIVE carbon disc chainring? I think it has 67 teeth :shock: :shock:

    (BTW I mean see as in read about. I don't think he commutes on it)
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • Skippy2309Skippy2309 Posts: 426
    Currently Upped mine to a 50/15 which is easier than what I was pushing as I had to swap out the wheel, the old gearing was 46/13 which I really liked but the cog is stuck to the wheel after the accident. so going to get another one on friday along with a new helmet.

    A few hills on my commute a nice mile long climb (not very steep tho) on the way in. depends which way I go tho.

    I am pretty much a sprinter so the heavy gearing is not much of an issue as I can get the power down and up to speed quite quick.


    A tooth does make a huge difference, if your gonna ride a heavy gearing you can always alter your route slightly to avoid any steep climbs if you are not confident. MTFU dont help when you hit a stupidly big hill and your legs are about to explode - i made that mistake on a long ride, pretty steep climb got to the top eventually but was averaging about 7-8mph at full effort, felt good hitting the top but I barely made it home as I was spent...
    FCN: 5/6 Fixed Gear (quite rapid) in normal clothes and clips :D

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  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    Oh, I habitually ride 52x16 on the commute. Good for strength when sprinting away from the lights but just a touch spinny at higher speeds. You'll get used to it, CP
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 19,546
    JonGinge wrote:

    That's the one. Actually, on re-reading the article, it's 77 teeth.

    Good.

    Grief.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 19,546
    BTW, I'm riding mostly 52x14 atm, dropping down two cogs at up hill traffic lights.

    But I only have 20" wheels on the Dahon
    :oops:
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 19,546
    edited May 2010
    big_gear.jpg

    No need for a comment really.

    EDIT: except perhaps why are the forks back to front?
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    JonGinge wrote:
    Oh, I habitually ride 52x16 on the commute.

    That is coz your shifters don't work, innit. :)

    CP - what does your avatar say? Embrace the pain.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • greg66_tri_v2.0greg66_tri_v2.0 Posts: 7,172
    cjcp wrote:
    JonGinge wrote:
    Oh, I habitually ride 52x16 on the commute.

    That is coz your shifters don't work, innit. :)

    Nah. Dat is coz 'e cannot pedal 'is feet 'n' change 'is shiftars and dat, all at da same time and dat, innit. And dat. Coz.
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    Greg66 wrote:
    cjcp wrote:
    JonGinge wrote:
    Oh, I habitually ride 52x16 on the commute.

    That is coz your shifters don't work, innit. :)

    Nah. Dat is coz 'e cannot pedal 'is feet 'n' change 'is shiftars and dat, all at da same time and dat, innit. And dat. Coz.
    Innit, tho'.
    I iz a man, multitasking iz na ma ting
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    JonGinge wrote:
    Greg66 wrote:
    cjcp wrote:
    JonGinge wrote:
    Oh, I habitually ride 52x16 on the commute.

    That is coz your shifters don't work, innit. :)

    Nah. Dat is coz 'e cannot pedal 'is feet 'n' change 'is shiftars and dat, all at da same time and dat, innit. And dat. Coz.
    Innit, tho'.
    I iz a man, multitasking iz na ma ting


    :lol::lol::lol:

    U guyz is lk nt v gud @ txtspk lol but its prlly 42nt lol l8rs
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    JonGinge wrote:
    Greg66 wrote:
    cjcp wrote:
    JonGinge wrote:
    Oh, I habitually ride 52x16 on the commute.

    That is coz your shifters don't work, innit. :)

    Nah. Dat is coz 'e cannot pedal 'is feet 'n' change 'is shiftars and dat, all at da same time and dat, innit. And dat. Coz.
    Innit, tho'.
    I iz a man, multitasking iz na ma ting


    :lol::lol::lol:

    U guyz is lk nt v gud @ txtspk lol but its prlly 42nt lol l8rs
    Dagnabbit! You saw through us. How, I just don't know. It beggars belief...
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    JonGinge wrote:
    JonGinge wrote:
    Greg66 wrote:
    cjcp wrote:
    JonGinge wrote:
    Oh, I habitually ride 52x16 on the commute.

    That is coz your shifters don't work, innit. :)

    Nah. Dat is coz 'e cannot pedal 'is feet 'n' change 'is shiftars and dat, all at da same time and dat, innit. And dat. Coz.
    Innit, tho'.
    I iz a man, multitasking iz na ma ting


    :lol::lol::lol:

    U guyz is lk nt v gud @ txtspk lol but its prlly 42nt lol l8rs
    Dagnabbit! You saw through us. How, I just don't know. It beggars belief...

    Remarkable, hey? It has just occurred to me that you may have been being Jamaican. In which case I apologise profusely and await the arrival of the definitive authority on Jamaica and its population, the eminent D to the DDizzle.
  • BassjunkieukBassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    Did someone call?

    I did do a while of trying to ride in progressively harder gears. I can't remember how long it took me to get "used" to each gear but I think it was a few weeks. TBH it was partly due to the fact that my chain and cassette where stretched and worn so changing gear really was a gamble! I just stuck it in a gear and stuck with it for each commute as they where relatively flat and the brief uphills could be dealt with by just standing or grinding!

    I think I was riding most of the time in 42*13/14 (I have a 12-25 8sp cassette and used the 2nd smallest cog). I think I was running around 75" and did use a 85 or 89" at some point by using the 52 up front but that was just too slow away from lights!

    Once I got used to it I think has done wonders for my leg strength as I certainly feel stronger and can cruise around in it all day and when I do get a need for speed I can quickly get upto mid 20's, drop a cog at the rear and then be racing towards the fun side of 30 :-)

    I say do it personally CP, your posting some awesome averages on Daily Mile so the extra resistance should do you a world of good and give everyone else a chance!
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  • Oddjob62Oddjob62 Posts: 1,056
    Well i got home in the new gear... so gonna leave it on for a bit. The extra speed is very nice :)
    As yet unnamed (Dolan Seta)
    Joelle (Focus Expert SRAM)
  • mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,177
    What a difference a tooth makes

    yup, that's what she thought


    tooth-missing.jpg
    FCN = 4
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