Recumbent bike gearing setup for hills

Discussion in 'Recumbents, Trikes and HPVs' started by YukonBoy, 18 Nov 2017.

  1. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy Extra solar

    Ultima Thule
    What is the gearing setup on your recumbent bike? Am I right in thinking there is only so low you can go before the gear is too low to be usable?
  2. voyager

    voyager E- tadpole Triker

    28f - 32 r on 20" wheels gives 17.4 inches or 4.1 mph at 80rpm

    it beats walking ( only just ) you could go lower but.................................

    BTW I am using this as bottom gear on a "e-trike"

    regards emma
    Last edited: 18 Nov 2017
  3. fatjel

    fatjel Über Member

    West Wales
    38f 36r on 26” wheels on the Bacchetta which is a bit high sometimes
    24f 32r on 20” wheels on the trike which is low enough
  4. Tigerbiten

    Tigerbiten Veteran

    A bent trike with a 54/38 double on a Schlumpf HSD at the front and a 21 tooth sprocket on a Rohloff built into a 20" wheel at the back.
    9.4" to 176.2" or 1.8 mph to 50 mph.
    Mines setup for hills both ways ....... :laugh:

    On a recumbent trike it gets easier as the gears get lower, but only if you don't lose your top +100" gears
    Last edited: 19 Nov 2017
  5. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    28x32 bottom gear with a 700c rear wheel. If I stay reasonably fit it can get me up anything round here, though I haven't attempted a rather sporting 25% gradient a few miles up the road since I stopped riding uprights and nor do I intend to.
  6. flake99please

    flake99please Make mine a '99'

    34/16 Schlumpf HSD & Rohloff on 20” wheels. Plenty low enough when fully loaded up going up hills, and more fast enough when coming back down.
  7. byegad

    byegad Legendary Member

    NE England
    My AZUB-4 had a front triple, rear 3 speed hub and a 9 speed rear cluster. (AKA SRam Dual Drive) So 81 ratios in all. Low was 15" which was as low as I could go and still retain my balance. Top was 150" and rarely used! The odd time I managed to get into gear 81, I was still spinning comfortably at >50mph. Down hill of course.
    classic33 likes this.
  8. fatjel

    fatjel Über Member

    West Wales
    On my two wheeled Bacchetta I initially couldn’t stay upright below 10 mph.
    Time and miles have helped to get that down to about 5mph but still can’t go as slowly as an upright so super low gears are not used much for now.
    The trike is different entirely no risk of falling off no matter how slow you go
    neil earley likes this.
  9. byegad

    byegad Legendary Member

    NE England
    I took a couple of months to get my balance sorted on the AZUB*. I could keep it upright at 3mph in the end but if I once stopped on a hill, restarting was an absolute nightmare!

    *I later found out I had a mild balance issue brewing, which is why I ride three wheels now.
  10. squeaker

    squeaker Über Member

    16 GI on my Grasshopper - any lower would be challenging.
  11. byegad

    byegad Legendary Member

    NE England
    That gels with my findings that 15" was as low as you can go. I run a 12" bottom gear on one of my trikes and that is no faster than I could walk on a hill, GPS hovers around 2.5mph in full climb mode. Given pushing a recumbent trike is a back breaking job I never get off. The steeper the hill the more often I stop to get my breath back, and I have tackled 33% hills on that trike.
  12. Tigerbiten

    Tigerbiten Veteran

    I've done +25% hills on my trike and without a full camping load, they are easy as long as I've traction ...... ^_^
    It's the main reason I geared it right down to 9.4".
    One a trike, the limiting factor becomes the amount of friction you have between your wheel/s and the road not the steepness of the slope.
    So once the road conditions get bad so your wheel/s start to slip, only then do you stop climbing.
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