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Finally made the plunge(8 posts)

Finally made the plungewolfereeno
Jan 8, 2004 12:01 PM
unwrapped my new Pista yesterday. My first FG. Despite the freaking cold windy day we're having in NYC I couldn't contain myself and went for a quick 10 mile ride.

I think the gearing is a bit too steep. I can ride it - and did my typical sized hill (lap around central park). But there was a good bit of out of the saddle cranking and not that much spinning which is what I really want to develop.

It's currently at an 81" gear. I could go to a 17" or 18" (for 76" or 72") or a 44 in the front for 74". I figure it will take trial and error to really find out what I want.

So what are the pros/cons of swapping either the front ring or back one? Which is easier?

Depends on the terrain, I thinkOverStuffed
Jan 8, 2004 2:06 PM
I pull a bit less than 71" (27" wheels x 42/16), and that suits me for most of the climbing I do in the DC area, and I have no guilt about braking on the downhills when I don't feel like spinning. If you know you're going to encounter a lot of hills, then I'd gear it at 72", but if the terrain is more moderate (and I'm pretty sure NYC is flatter than DC), then I'd take a chance with the 17 tooth cog, unless you think you can get strong enough to keep the current gearing. Bottom line: it comes down to a guess.

Jan 8, 2004 2:23 PM
I always love to read those 1st ride stories. You are tough indeed to head out in this frigid NYC weather.

You fart around w/the chain less by swapping the rear cog, provided there is room in your dropouts to account for the change, but there is point at which your stock chain won't fit. Like if you have a 48/15 and wanted to go with a 48/19 you may not have enough chain to make it work. So you leave the 15 on and put a 44 or 42 up front, shorten the chain and away you go.

I ride a 79" gear and found that most of the time I'm better off with seated climbing. I save out of the saddle efforts for when I just can't do it seated anymore. The much-fabled spinning comes when you challenge yourself going down big hills.

Good luck with the new bike, once the days get longer I've resolved to commute to NYC by bike more often so maybe we can hook up for a ride to the GWB or somethin.

- Chris
Jan 8, 2004 3:49 PM
Where do you commute from, Chris?

I was laid off in July (great timing!) and had loads of time to ride. I rode up to or past Piermont/Nyack like 3 times a week. I go up and over the bridge all the time. I hear River Road is currently blocked by a big mudslide.

Regardng the chain, the wheels got about 3/8" to move further in the dropout. Is that enough room to add a 17 or 18? I didn't get any extra links to add back to the chain. Also regarding the chain. If I go smaller in the front ring and have to trim the chain, I assume I use a traditional chain tool. Can those links be added back or will I need a new chain to go back to the larger cog?

Thanks all
Jan 9, 2004 7:17 AM
I live in NJ, about 5 mi west of Giants Stadium. Normally, I just ride to the bus. On 9/11 a friend & I borrowed bikes and rode home from NYC, and I realized how do-able it was. Last year I commuted once on the fixed & it was a blast, but horribly time-consuming. Even though I'm just 14 mi from midtown, I have to go over the GWB which makes it a 30 mi ride - about 2 hours for me.

3/8ths doesn't sound like much room. If you go to a smaller ring in front I don't see why you couldn't add the links back someday. I think it's only Shimano with those replacement pins, but I have no personal knowledge of that.

I don't ride a 79" gear on purpose. It came that way & I'm lazy (it took me ~3 months to get the front brake off the shelf and on the bike). I also enjoy a challange, so grinding out increasingly tough climbs has been sorta fun.
Jan 8, 2004 9:40 PM
Nice bike! Make sure you post a pic or two soon. I'm anxious to see a real '04 Pista! I changed my stock gearing on my '04 Fuji Track to 42 x 16 (from 48). An advangtage of swapping out the cog vs. the ring is that it's less expensive. I, however, decided to change out the the ring and decided on Salsa. A few links had to be removed from the chain (which I believe I can add back), and the rear axle moved back a tad (which allowed a tad bit more clearance between the stays for wider tires and or fenders). I now have 700 x 25's w/SKS Raceblade fenders on the bike. I guess the decision can also come down to asthetics, to a small degree.

gearingwooden legs
Jan 9, 2004 1:44 AM
most people where i ride use a high sixties gearing, but then again we have a good amount of hills (pittsburgh). if you want to develop good spinning go for the 72 or so, if your terrain is mostly flat. many new single speed / fixed riders i see building bikes at our lbs have the impulse to try a big gear, high 70s to mid 80s, but it's really pointless bravado, harder to start, harder to stop, not very versitle. you can almost always spin faster, but your legs and knees can only push so hard.
Stay where you are for a little while.dzrider
Jan 9, 2004 10:13 AM
One of the beauties of fixed/ss riding is learning that you don't always have to be in the right gear. You'll also learn to let the pedals push your feet around while climbing without standing. If, after a dozen, or so rides, you haven't acclimated, try something easier. I think it makes more sense to change the cog. They're easier to find and less costly.