Day 82: Bike gears

26 03 2010

Being a newbie cyclist, I have to confess something: don’t laugh, but I don’t understand the specifics of bike gears. I do understand the smaller gear (“granny gear”) when riding hills, or using a larger gear when wanting more speed. But I don’t understand the numbering. (Is there numbering?)

My Trek 1.5WSD road bike has a triple chainring.  These are the specs from Trek’s website:

Crank FSA Vero 50/39/30
Cassette SRAM PG-950 11-26, 9 speed

I have no idea what this means. When I was a kid, my 10-speed bike had numbers on each shifter so I always knew what gear I was in. Now that I think about it, my mountain bike has numbers on each of the grip shifters. My road bike, however, has no numbers. Just a small “window” on top of the shifters that have a small tick mark on the left and right sides, but no numbers. Am I correct in assuming that with road bikes it just doesn’t matter what “number” gear you’re in? I shift up or down according to riding conditions. Occasionally Carrick and I go out riding together. There have been times when one of us may ask the other one “what gear are you in?” to help get up a hill. My answer is usually, “Uhhh. . . ” 0r “granny gear.” See my point?

I found this video where Georgene Terry from Terry Bicycles explains the bike gears and what they do, but I’m still somewhat confused. I am aware of avoiding the “small chainring-small cog” and “large chainring-large cog” situation because of the stress it can put on the chain. I suppose it’s good I at least know that much.

Maybe it’s my aversion to math and numbers in general. I’ve always hated math (which is why I was an English major in college.) If anyone has a quick and easy tutorial or tips on bike gearing, I’d appreciate it.

Today’s starting weight: 150

— Chocolate, banana, peanut butter smoothie (low-fat peanut butter and milk) = 385 cal.

— Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich = 430
— Iced tea = 10

— Salad with ranch dressing = 163
— Soft pretzel = 483
— Iced tea = 0

— Weight Watchers mint ice cream cup = 280

Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride.

…( ) / ( ) 

Thanks for visiting.




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