[Yak] Bicycles W/O Front Derailleurs
cycling at axelrod.plus.com
Sun Jul 22 08:46:23 CDT 2007
My NWT has an 8 cog cassette, a three-speed hub and no
front derailleur and it works great.
At the time I bought it, around 8 years ago now, BF
weren't fitting front derailleurs. I pleaded with them
to fit one but they stood their ground and advised very
much against it.
The bike is a tiny bit low-geared but that is rarely a problem
and I'm usually carrying or pulling a substantial load anyway
so its not a real limitation - if I wanted speed I'd use a different
bike - I enjoy plodding.
> Someone asked if it is Ok to have a BF set up without a front
> dérailleur. My advice is if you can afford to get a bike with a FD
> ... get it.
> My first BF was a basic model called the "metro". It came stock with
> a 52 chain ring and a 7 speed cassette (11-28) in the back. To be
> honest, it was never a problem. I found the gear spacing to be wide
> enough to cover most of my needs. While I would not avoid routes with
> hills, I would avoid routes described a "very" hilly.
> When the original, low quality grip shifter wore out I upgraded to a
> 9 speed (11-32) with a rapid fire thumb shifter. This provided a much
> needed improvement in shifting and as an added benefit I had a new
> low gear. The gear spacing was a lot better with the 11-32 as well.
> I never changed the crank or chain ring. Although it had only one
> ring in the front it was equipped with a triple crank. The 52 tooth
> chain ring was located on the middle position and a chain guard was
> bolted to the outside position. The inner, 74mm position was left
> empty. I had a 30 tooth chain ring that would fit this position. Even
> though I had no real need for gearing this low I went ahead and
> installed the small ring. There was no provision to fit a FD to this
> bike, so I reasoned I would just use my finger if it was ever needed.
> I did take the bike out and test my theory to see if this setup would
> work. I discovered the only real usable combination would be the
> three largest cogs on the back. The other cogs could not use up
> enough chain slack and the rear dérailleur would double back upon
> itself. Getting my finger dirty was something that did not bother me
> since I would probably be sweaty and grimy from riding.
> Until the day I sold that bike I NEVER used that small ring and I
> rode in some hilly country. The 11-32 cogset provided a gear range of
> 33 to 95 inches. That is not too far from what a 700C wheeled bike
> with a triple and 12-25 cassette can provide. While the top end falls
> a bit short (95 vs 114) the low end is nearly identical (33 vs 32).
> Personally, a 100 inch top end is about all I require so the 95
> suited me just fine.
> So what is the downside? in my opinion it is the wide gear spacing.
> jumping from 11 teeth to 32 teeth in 9 steps means that a lot more
> effort is required between each shift. I personally prefer my bikes
> to have a close ratio rear cassette and a compact double or triple
> crank up front.
> I've since upgraded to a pocket rocket with a triple crank. I do like
> having the front dérailleur.
> Just my .02 worth..
> Paul in Cincy
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