#365daysofbiking Too low for comfort

Monday, September 21st 2020 – The fascination with other people’s bikes continues, as does the bafflement with some modern bike technical fashions.

In a familiar customer bike shed, a new bike I think might be a Marin is locked with a Poundland cheese string bike lock (but thankfully this shed has a very securely locked door). It’s a nice, fairly high-end equipped bike, with SRAM (that’s Sachs for the oldies) gears. It’s what I would class a ‘forest bike’ – it’s not really a full MTB but not a hybrid. It would be at home on Cannock Chase’s midway trails or rough canal towpaths.

The bike has remarkable gearing arrangement, that’s sadly fashionable – a single front ring, which is tiny and an eyewateringly wide rear sprocket range.

I note it’s been left in the lowest of gears.

Why?

The gearing is utterly rubbish for road use.

I was talking to a pal about this the other day. I’m tying to build a decent derailleur setup at the moment, but there’s no longer the crossover between road and MTB gear sets where you can get a massive range for excellent touring use by mixing and matching. It’s either this stupidity, which necessitates a huge rear mech just waiting to get smashed off by a stump, or the low range and boredom of road group sets.

I know it’s fashion, like the frankly ludicrous fat bike fad, and we’ll swing back to doubles and triples when the spinning kids want to go a bit faster than15mph downhill. But I wish it would pass.

It comes to something when a basic hub gear offers 25% wider range than most mountain group sets.

Rant over. For now.

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