So many gears, pointless?

GoatBeard

Regular
Having made the jump from 8 spd to 11, I'm struggling to see the massive benefit of having more, can someone enlighten me? Both cassettes were of a similar range (11-26) I still don't use the smaller end apart from stopping spin out on drops. Even then, never 11t. Gear changes are smooth but the difference is not really perceptible and 26t to the next one down still goes as CLUNK as ever
 

vickster

Legendary Member
There isn’t a massive difference if you have the same top and bottom gears. Marketing...more must be better right ;)

oops typo :ph34r:
 
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mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
More gears mean smaller gaps mean you're able to use a gear closer to the theoretical ideal one for you on that road in those conditions = maximum speed in gears with straightest chainlines. Disadvantages include more metalwork, thinner chain, more precise adjustments needed, and more. My most-used bike has three gears...
 

roubaixtuesday

Über Member
Beyond about 8s is incremental IMV - smaller gaps and/or wider range.

Nice to have but by no means essential. And a *lot* pricier.

If you're not using the 11t, you need to get yourself up the Snake Pass* and then descend flat out the whole way down**. Hard to have more fun on two wheels!

* Other long descents are available.
** Obviously without being reckless and taking due care and attention to conditions and other road users, before someone comes along to berate me.
 
With 24 theoretical speeds if you work it out you find that only 11 are of practical use. At least on my bikes that seems to be the case. As long as the lowest can get me up the steepest hills I am not too bothered about the rest as I work somewhere around the middle of the range and there is always one to suit.
 

Gunk

Über Member
Location
Oxford
More gears mean smaller gaps mean you're able to use a gear closer to the theoretical ideal one for you on that road in those conditions = maximum speed in gears with straightest chainlines. Disadvantages include more metalwork, thinner chain, more precise adjustments needed, and more. My most-used bike has three gears...
Same here, my Brompton only has 3 and I don’t seem to miss the other 29 that my MTB has.
 
Number of gears is a great indicator of age.

My dad was amazed when I had a road bike in the mid eighties with six speed on the back, "Twelve gears, what do you need that many for, I raced fine on a four block?" (would have been late fifties). Oh how I smiled, knowing there was a "cutting edge" seven speed being developed 😮

Ride on 35 years, and I find myself smiling like a wizened sage when people are discussing eleven and twelve speeds, thinking "Twenty two gears, what do you need that many for, I .......".

C'est la vie!
 

MontyVeda

a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll
If your not using 11 put a smaller chainring on the front, I run a 46 and use all my gears, this gets you 30 mph at 90 cadence, you could run out of gears going downhill, but there is nothing wrong with freewheeling.
The older i get the more i enjoy freewheeling... why should i do any work when gravity does a perfectly good job? :okay:
 

BigMeatball

Well-Known Member
Having made the jump from 8 spd to 11, I'm struggling to see the massive benefit of having more, can someone enlighten me? Both cassettes were of a similar range (11-26) I still don't use the smaller end apart from stopping spin out on drops. Even then, never 11t. Gear changes are smooth but the difference is not really perceptible and 26t to the next one down still goes as CLUNK as ever
Long story short, we don't need that many gears. Professional athletes probably do need them to do their job and earn their bread.

Chumps and recreational cyclists like the rest of us have no need for 11 gears. 8 is already more than we can handle.
 
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