Monday, July 2, 2012

Those Silvery Gears


Maintenance that glistens in the light

Performing some maintenance this weekend on the bikes, I set this new cog cluster for the cruisemuter down on a black surface, and was struck by how pretty it was. Even though it is older, seven speed technology, I also wondered if that isn't more gear combinations that I ever need, or use. Even on somewhat hilly rides, I end up using about five combinations, or six: the smallest two or three cogs in the middle ring, a couple of those in the big ring, then a couple of the biggest cogs in middle or smallest ring for bailout combo on a really steep hill. Not even close to 21, let alone 24, or 30. So in that respect, an internally geared hub with 8 speeds should be more than enough for me, generally speaking. But on the other hand, derailleurs are pretty easy to work on, easy to maintain, and reasonable to replace. I don't have to rebuild a wheel when the cogs wear out, or if the derailleur needs replacing. 

Does it make sense that I enjoy my single speed, my fixed gear, and my multi-speed bikes in their own ways? That some times when I'm riding the fixed gear I miss the granny gear, and some times when I'm riding a derailleur bike I missed the single speed? Between fixed, seven, eight, and ten speed setups, right now, the eight speed chain would appear to represent the sweet spot of cost, technological evolution, and longevity. Ten speed chains cost too much and wear out too fast. Most single speed setups work fine with an eight speed chains, and they are believed to last longer. The point of mentioning the chain discussion isn't that I am sold on one particular size, but rather that I think it would be better if I could just settle on one size that would work on all my bikes. That's going to be tricky as long as I keep the road bike with 30 speeds. So maybe two sizes. Depending on how many speeds I really need.
 

5 comments:

  1. And, the IGH is much heavier.

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    Replies
    1. Particularly compared to a fixed gear, yes. But toting around that functional weight here in Flatland for usage on the occasional heartbreaking hillish mountain may be worth it, I'm thinking.

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    2. And as I understand it, makes changing the tire a chore and a half.

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  2. I suffer from OCGCD ... Obsessive Compulsive Gear Changing Disorder. Not only do I like to ride using a specific, very low pressure to the pedals, but I want to make sure when I replace a cog set or chainring set, ALL the gears are worn out!

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    Replies
    1. I'm not in OCGCD land, but I can see it from where I dwell, just over yonder, up that huge hill, down that swoopy valley, across the other side and up the hill, at 83 rpm steady.

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