I appear to have forgotten how to use gears on the road

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  • I appear to have forgotten how to use gears on the road
  • Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Subscriber

    Had my PlanetX Evo for a week now and loving the riding I’ve done so far. About 120 miles in total thanks to foggy/icy conditions but noticed one worrying thing. On the flat it is a delight compared with my SS hybrid but up the shorter hills the singlespeed is faster.
    I’m assuming because in SS mindset you know you have to hit the hill at speed and then be out of the saddle early. Maybe I’ll work our what gear equates to my 55:22 gearing and try that. A great bike for long grinds into the stronger winds though, and much better over any real distance for me, I just need to be more aggressive and a rider not a passenger.

    Premier Icon colin9
    Subscriber

    I have similar difficulties with gears these days, most of my bikes are SS. Changing up and down all the time seems a terrible faff if I’m just on a general not-mega-steep-or extra-long sort of ride. I’m out of gear changing practice.

    philjunior
    Member

    There’s definitely a tendency to shift into an easier gear and not put the power down as hard if you have an option.

    Applies to steepish climbs on bikes with a wider gear range vs old school 39×21 bottom gear cos you’re a hardman.

    For short bursts, give it some welly and you’ll be just as fast.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Subscriber

    Yup, I’m pretty aware it is user error.

    It’s nice to have the option of not having to give it some beans by switching to easier gears and spinning up short inclines, but you don’t have that option on SS, or dual-speed (one sprocket, two chainrings) in my longstanding current comedy case if you don’t want to be forced to walk up it!

    I’ve gone up https://www.strava.com/segments/949918 something like 31 times, but I did my 4th best time up there stuck in 16T sprocket last Sept (7th best by power).

    At least with gears you have the option of how you want to tackle uphill stretches.

    Ha, I remember having exactly the same issue going to an 8kg road bike after a 10kg singlespeed, just had to stop over-reacting to hills at the shifters, keep the momentum going.

    kerley
    Member

    Changing up and down all the time seems a terrible faff if

    Yep. I had a geared bike for first time in over 10 years last spring. The novelty was nice at the start, especially being able to pedal at higher speeds and get up very steep stuff but after 2 months the novelty wore off and I sold it and went back to my fixed gear.

    TiRed
    Member

    Ride the Planet X in 50×20 and see how it goes.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Subscriber

    That’s the game plan. Great bike, just need to make myself adjust to it. It does weigh over 1lb heavier than the SS. How will I cope?🤔

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I just need to be more aggressive and a rider not a passenger

    There’s more than one way to ride. Smashing up stuff agressively is a particular style, but spinning in the right gear is also valid. You use your muscles differently and it’s probably more efficient to spin in the right gear.

    I got used to spinning having ridden FS bikes for so long, so I rode my rigid MTB the same way. Then when I realised that I could get out of the saddle and smash the pedals it was a great pleasure, and something I’d forgotten all about. I have no issue though with picking a gear on my geared bike and doing it 🙂 I can smash up stuff if I want, or spin, and I can also go fast on the flat and winch up steep stuff. Aren’t gears great? 🙂

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Subscriber

    I’ll get Back to you on that.
    Like I said it’s a mind game. What’s bad is I can’t replicate my SS gears without a dodgy chainline. Time to man up. Or man down.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Me too.

    If it’s steep, I find that using gears doesn’t get me much further up the hill before I have to bail.

    There’s a certain amount of user error – possibly because I leave it too late or go too soon and lose momentum, and also because I am reluctant to put too much force down while changing.

    scotroutes
    Member

    I’m just starting on my SingleSpeed journey so coming at it from a different angle. My first impressions are that I need to pick uphill lines more carefully so as to maintain momentum. On a geared bike I can be less picky and rely on lower gearing to get/keep me going.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Subscriber

    Well as I (and everyone else) predicted it was user error, a bit more aggression and I’m picking up PBs on many climbs and everything on the flat. Not a surprise really seeing as I’m on my first proper road bike since restarting cycling 7 years ago…
    Dumbass 🙄

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    There’s definitely a tendency to shift into an easier gear and not put the power down as hard if you have an option.

    adding a singlespeed had the opposite effect on my geared bike riding. I tended to leave it too late to shift and then change down under too much load. Being a tall, fairly heavy rider its an excellent recipe for snapping chains and mangling front mechs a long way from home.

    philjunior
    Member

    Like I said it’s a mind game. What’s bad is I can’t replicate my SS gears without a dodgy chainline. Time to man up. Or man down.

    I think you’re overthinking the chainline. Gears result in a non-perfect chainline, but that’s OK (well, going big/big or little/little is a bit ugly but still OK if you have an excuse).

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