Gears vs. single speed...

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by John-Forrest, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. John-Forrest

    John-Forrest Member

    I'm looking around for an ideal bike to put motor on. I'd like the "folded-back" handlebars, V-frame, splash guards, and luggage rack. Aluminum would be better.

    Are bicycles with gears any better than single speed bikes? I can't see how shifting gears would make difference - unless you're out of gas. Most of time you're riding motor though. Does pedaling while motor runs up hills add to power at all?

    Has anyone used a bike with 3-24 gears found that it is any better than single speed? I would think single speed would leave less to go wrong and could "confuse" engine chain.

  2. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Gears work to pedal-assist, especially in drastic situations.:detective:

    At my workplace I need to enter the parking structure via a very steep entrance ramp. There is a barrier arm at the bottom, so I can't get a headstart and must enter from a dead stop. There is no way a single speed can enter the ramp, with or without engine. Therefore I must enter the building through the elevator, which does not make my boss happy.

    With the same bike and 7-speeds I can motor and pedal up the steep ramp.

    Also, if heavy traffic crawl up a steep hill, I can pedal-assist up the hill. With single-speed I cannot.
  3. mlcorson

    mlcorson Member

    I use a rack mounted chain drive with a centrifugal clutch. From a dead stop, and on a steep incline, I have to help the motor. I also, regularly pedal up to about 5-7mph just to save wear on the clutch. Without higher and lower gears I would not be able to get going so easily. Also, when helping the engine, sometimes you're going so fast that you need a much higher gear to get your pedaling to match the speed.
  4. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    I think the most beneficial aspect of a geared bike is it will already have front and rear brakes
    not going won't hurt, but...not stopping will !!! :cool2:
  5. Hawaii_Ed

    Hawaii_Ed Member

    I pedal'd my single speed all the time, but over 20MPH I could not help any. Gears would allow more pedal assist. The ultimate setup is to use the motor to drive the gears, now that is a fun bike!
  6. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    1-thinking that in most cases yes

    2-yes in my case about doubles the power

    3-I have ridden both perfer some speeds added

  7. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    Get gears so you can buy a shifter kit eventually.
  8. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman Active Member

    My take

    The first and only built bike at this time is a multi speed, for my Son. The next one built for us to keep will be for me and will be a single speed cruiser...My reasons may be different to your needs. First I don't want or will not peddle a bike other then getting it started and maybe a very short distance. I'm 62, own a cell phone and know how to use it. Should anything happen to the bike that should put me down...I'm making a call to someone..... although the multi speed isn't bad, and best for those that want/need to peddle assist the engine.
  9. John-Forrest

    John-Forrest Member

    Thank you. It sounds like the answer to my question is: "Yes".

    Now I wonder if there is a way to add gears to the engine side, are there multiple sprocket versions? That would definitely help up those steep hills!
  10. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I like one gear ratio... not 21. Just makes it that much simpler for numerous reasons -- leaves your mind to gander at the finer beauties in life, doesn't pop off, doesn't make noise, doesn't break, doesn't require adjustment. Plus, I've heard it's better for your health to pedal with a single speed... something to do with the cadence when going uphill vs. downhill. The only real benefit I see to adding gears is for that extra assistance past 20mph, which isn't really that helpful IMO.

    As for adding gears to the engine side, I've definitely seen a couple people do it. I wish I remembered the guy who had the gears on the back. Another guy put a rear wheel in his front fork... then added his engine to the front fork as well. BAM... gears! Sick Bike Parts also has a freewheel setup that everyone should know about.