How many gears do you use?

John Dombrowski

Active Member
i find that I only use maybe the top 3 gears at all times. Even with all the hills out here in San Diego, I only really use 9,10 and 11th gears all the time. I mostly just leave it in 11th gear. I don't really understand like Stromers having a front derailure with 2 sprockets up front for a road ebike.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
I use all 10 of my gears on my 2015 base Turbo. I like to ride a fast cadence between 80-95 rpm. I find myself using each gear from my low of 44x36 to my 10th gear of 44x11. At my normal cadence, this is a speed from 8-9 mph to over 30 mph. My usual ride is over rolling rural hills requiring up to 1/2 mile climbs. I usually ride ECO60 when riding solo and ECO40 when riding with my daughter.
 

John Dombrowski

Active Member
My bike has never been out of turbo mode but i just see no use for pedaling real fast so i never use but the top 3 gears at all times.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
John,

There is a big difference between a Turbo S at full TURBO and a base Turbo in ECO 40-60 even though both bikes weigh almost the same. If I ride at full Turbo, I find I go faster and use the lower gears less, but I keep spinning in the 80-95 rpm level because it is comfortable. However, with the lower power output of the base Turbo and my body type and weight (240 lbs), I can still get into a pretty low gear when climbing. My background is that I raced bicycles back in the early 1970s (while in college). I trained to ride a fast cadence and it is comfortable for me to do so.

This is a constant discussion between my daughter (age 36) and I. She rides a normal cadence around 60-70 rpm, 20 rpm less than me. She has been an ice hockey player for the last 29 years and plays 3-5 times a week. Her legs have lots of muscle mass and work better at a slow cadence with emphasis on a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. "Slow twitch" muscle fibers used for endurance activity (aerobic) are more efficient at using blood oxygen to generate fuel. Muscle fibers used when pressing hard at a slow cadence or climbing out of the saddle use anaerobic metabolism to create energy and are the "classic" fast twitch muscle fibers that excel at producing quick, powerful bursts of speed.

If I ride at too slow a cadence, my body goes from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism. This puts stress on heart and muscles in a way that doesn't work well for me (kind of like shoveling heavy wet snow or lifting too much weight). Even 45 years ago, I was a much better long distance rider at high cadence than I was a sprinter or climber. After a heart attack 16 years ago, I find it can take 24 - 36 hours to recover from even a short amount of anaerobic exercise. Due to being a low-brass musician for 55 years, my breathing capacity is exceptional, so I do fine keeping blood oxygenated and riding for hours as long as I keep "spinning" and avoid "pushing".

Doug
 
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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
John,

It is a big difference between a Turbo S at full TURBO and a base Turbo in ECO40-60. If I ride at full Turbo, I find I just go faster, but keep spinning in the 80-95 rpm level because it is comfortable. However, with the power output of the base Turbo, I can still get into a pretty low gear when climbing.

My background is that I raced bicycles back in the early 1970s (while in college). I trained to ride a fast cadence and it is comfortable for me to do so. If I ride at too slow a cadence, my body goes from aerobic exercise to anaerobic. This puts stress on muscles in a way that doesn't work well for me (kind of like shoveling snow or lifting too much weight). After a heart attack 16 years ago, I find it can take 24 - 36 hours to recover from even a short amount of anaerobic exercise, while I do fine riding for hours as long as I keep "spinning".

Doug

I agree with this. I recently changed cassette on my ST2. Finding that sweet spot where I can combine my own muscle power with motor power has helped eek out higher range and better speeds. I rarely use assist 3 (Turbo) on St2. Keeping myself in aerobic zone is huge plus in terms of physical work out.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Ravi,

I changed both the cassette and the front sprocket on my Turbo. I went from 48T to 44T in the front and from an 11-32 to an 11-36 cassette. This is optimal for speed ranges up to 30 mph in 10th gear and gave me a 20% lower 1st gear for climbing.
 

jamesthewright

New Member
Ravi,

I changed both the cassette and the front sprocket on my Turbo. I went from 48T to 44T in the front and from an 11-32 to an 11-36 cassette. This is optimal for speed ranges up to 30 mph in 10th gear and gave me a 20% lower 1st gear for climbing.

Hey!

I bought a 2015 Turbo X last December and have put over 600 miles on it already. Loving every minute of it! I live in the Denver area which is hilly and windy. But I too find that I am almost never in the lowest gear except when off assist; however, without assist on or at low levels of it, there times I wish I had a lower bottom gear ratio.

When in Max turbo, I wish I had a little higher top ratio....

The 2015 only has assist to 26 mphs but I am rarely ever able to maintain that. The cadence is too high for me (I am traditionally a hiker/backpacker), so I have been contemplating the opposite direction. Add teeth to the front, maybe 52, but then without or on low assist the bike would become much less useful.

Overall I think its geared well considering the assistance options. The 2016's have a lower bottom gear ratio which is likely nice!
 
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Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
James,

Your 2015 Turbo-X currently has exactly the same drivetrain that my 2015/16 base Turbo came with. You have an SRAM X7 derailleur with PG1030 11-32T cluster and 48T chainring, 200W nominal GOSwissdrive hub motor, and 468Wh battery. With the stock 700x45C tires, your 10th gear is 122 gear inches and a cadence of 70 rpm is 25.5 mph. You can get the same SRAM PG1050 11-36T rear cluster that I purchased and get a lower 1st gear for climbs. I would suggest you do some cadence counting and find what your comfortable cadence range is. If you can maintain 70 rpm, the switch to a 52T chainring would give you a cruising speed of 27.5 mph instead of the 25.5 mph you get using the 48T gear. You will have to add extra links to your chain to accommodate the 8 extra teeth in the 11-36T/52T setup, but the derailleur should span this range easily.

For me, at my top cadence of 100 rpm for descents the standard Turbo 10th gear would be 36.5 mph. I changed gearing to 11-36T and 44T and tires to 700x35C on my TURBO. This allows me to cruise at 25 mph at 90 rpm in 9th gear. If I use the top gear, I am doing 29.5 mph at 90 rpm and 32.5 mph at 100 rpm.

Doug
 

David1

Active Member
I use them all , wish I had more, constant changing on my St2. Still nice the way it is. Found some new routes today. Residential streets rule around here. No need to travel main roads. Just keep the speed down.
 

Allan47.7339

Active Member
I use all ten gears on my 2014/Turbo S and sometimes wish I had a few more. I generally ride at Eco40 and save the turbo mode for a few specific hills and traffic sections on my commute. The other day as I got my Turbo ready to leave for work I realize I'd forgotten to turn on the charger after connecting to the bike. I usually use 60% battery on my to work route but only had 24% remaining after a very windy from work commute the day before. I decided to ride anyway mostly in the no power mode. I made it using only 4% with 20% battery remaining. It felt like riding a fully loaded touring bike. I got the Turbo S because it's an e-bicycle and rides well with or without power. I've ridden it about 60 miles without power.
 

Tonqin

Member
I'm going to change to 12-26 cassette soon as I like the 1 tooth steps in the high range.
My commute is generally flat except for 2 short sharp hills barely longer than a few hundred metres though.
For me I spin in the 12t or 13t on the flats to reach the max assist of 45 kmph.
I only ride in turbo mode as well.
 

Marko

Active Member
I ride in Eco40 and I normally use gears 3-8. If I use regen, I use even 1-2 in uphills (exercise).
 
All. I ride predominantly in ECO 50 and occasionally in ECO 60 as I near work so I start to cool down. Starting in low gears reduces the current draw at the motor and extends range. I always use the lowest gear to climb steeper hills. Slow speed and too tall a gear will lead to overheating the motor.
 

New E Biker

New Member
I ride 25 miles round trip each day in the Stanford area. The trip is fairly flat with a few notable moderate (not really steep) hills. Other than accelerating from stop, I use either top gear or next one down most of the time and carry 26-27 mph for most of the trip (I am in full Turbo mode due to time constraints for the most part). I generally have around 30% battery remaining when I get home.

I have taken a few joyrides on the weekend on ECO30 up a very long, very steep grade (5 miles, 2600 feet elevation gain) and used mostly the bottom 3 gears. Used 24-28% of the battery. Then regen mode all the way down I got back 6% :)
 

Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
I use all the gears, and as I'm constantly adjusting for pedaling efficiency, I shift more often than anyone on the planet. When my girlfriend rides with me, she constantly hears me clicking away. I'm surprised she hasn't strangled me yet.

I figure that anyone with a keen understanding of the physics involved in bicycle locomotion would use all the gears. I guess there are times when you just want to stay in a high gear and maybe use a throttle to accelerate from stops, but I still think that's dangerous – I feel the need to be in the optimal gear at low speeds so that I can maintain my balance. I've found that at speeds under 5MPH, if you're in a high gear and pedaling at 10rpm or something, you can't balance/steer/lean as easily as if you were pedaling at 40+rpm.

My girlfriend is new to cycling and initially used only the top five gears, but since she's had to learn to downshift before coming to a stop, I think she's getting better at being in the right gear.