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What Gears do you use the most

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    What Gears do you use the most

    I have a non ludi X1 and find I use gears 4-7 the most. Depending on the terrain. I mostly ride single track XC and find anywhere between 10-17mph is my sweet spot. What do others find are the gears they use the most while riding.

    It clearly depends on the bike speed and it might be a better question to ask how fast people typically go and their typical cadence

    I spend a lot of time in the 14-19mph range and pedal usually around 70-75rpm for continuous pedaling - bursts of 80-90 are common and I'll hit 110rpm at times... very, very seldom am I lower than 50rpm and that's only in the lowest gears

    My bike has an 11sp 11-51t cassette and presently a 44t ring

    I took a ride yesterday where every gear wasn't just used but needed... did some silly overgrown single track that I had to pretty much touch chest to the handlebars to get through and was very low speed first gear territory with some second and third for the less crazy... on the multi-use was mostly in the top four gears depending.... a lot in 7th-9th (19t, 17t, 15t) of 11 which covers the 14-19mph zone. The in between is mostly for getting going and some hills...

    My shifter doesn't have an indicator but I generally just know what gear I'm in by "feel"


      I ride street. I run an 8 speed with 11-40t casette and 50t ring on a 26" bike. #3 is for takeoff in traffic , 5,6,7 for cruising, and #8 is a run for your life overdrive. 1 and 2 are for unpowered riding around pedestrians, or powering through the occasional sandy patch in a trail. The wide spacing and small number of gears keeps me from wasting timing shifting through gears I don't need in traffic.
      My cadence is about what AZ says. Tucked in and 110rpm cadence I can make 36mph if I need to.
      I mostly ride 20-22mph for good range. If I have enough battery left on the way home I'll hit 25-27mph on an enclosed greenway. 32mph @ 90rpm is for rush hour traffic situations. If I'm forced to ride on a 45mph road I'll go 36mph to get me someplace else quickly. But the battery goes away fast. BBSHD and 17.5Ah battery.


      • Retrorockit
        Retrorockit commented
        Editing a comment
        The 50t chain ring is too big to be offset inwards. So I need a roller chain guide to keep this together in the 2 lowest gears.That's why I don't use much power at low speeds.

      OP, I ride pretty much only singletrack trail like you with an SC Nomad/BBSHD. I use a 42T chainring and an 11-34, 9-speed rear cassette. I was curious as to what front chainring number the X1 uses as I'm not familiar with their specs.

      Anyway, the main trail I ride on has little in the way of long straight sections. It's full of twists, turns, and obstacles. Most all my riding occurs in the first six cogs. At the end of the ride my fastest speed is usually 22-24mph, and that generally occurs at one spot that is a fast downhill with sweeping turns. The rest of the trail is hard to determine because it's a little difficult to glance down at the speedo very often...LOL! This is pretty tight trail overall, and it's the one I ride most frequently so I have more consistent numbers that I'm aware of. On a slow day I average about 9mph and a fast day I average about 11mph. My best ever there was 12mph. That two MPH doesn't sound like much, but there's a big difference in effort and clearing all the obstacles in the technical sections in an overall 18 mile ride. You're working the whole ride on this trail.

      Direct comparisons between riding locations, average speed, and the gearing necessary vary hugely. One singletrack place I ride I can do 18mph as an average, so you can see some comparisons are apples-to-oranges. On this "gear used" discussion, AZ and I have had conversations about our gear setups and gears used on an off road ride. We differ a great deal. Our bikes are quite different too. There's not really a right or wrong way to gear the bike or use those gears unless one is causing the motor to really labor with extremely high gear use. Riding styles vary quite a bit too which influences gear usage. I started my Nomad/BBSHD setup with a 9-speed, 11-50T cassette with 42T chainring. I found I didn't need this low a gear for my riding, and I found the jumps between those gears to be hard on the drivetrain. My old, more conventional, 11-34, 9-speed cassette has worked just fine for me...which surprised me a bit...but others want, need, or just like the lower gear cassettes for their use. Obviously I'm not in Colorado with miles long, grinding climbs. We do have pretty good, gnarly, technical spots that require a quick use of my 34T cog, but I found the 50T way too low. There is no one size fits all.