Ask Wheel Women

Do you want to ask Wheel Women a question about gear, riding, what we do or do you need some inspiration?

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5 thoughts on “Ask Wheel Women”

  1. Hi, I am looking to buy a lighter bike that will make hill climbing easier. I will admit I do not quite understand the gearing that would make hill climbing easier. I really like what I have read about the 2017 Specialized Ruby Elite. I currently ride an All-City Spacehorse which I love, until I get to the hills. Is the Ruby Elite going to be easier when attacking the hills? Thanks, Lisa

    1. Well I’m not entirely sure which model of Spce Horse you have but it seems they are primarily more of a touring/randonneur bike…that usually equals robust but heavy, with wider tyres that have less roll. The Ruby Elite 2017 is a magnificent bike…light, nimble, geared for the hills with a compact set up and a 32 on the rear end. You can climb walls on it! I think in comparison to the Space Horse you will be shocked at the difference…I could be wrong here, but that is my inkling! I have a 2017 Expert custom build….hills have never been easier, rides have never been faster!

  2. Well that’s a whole lesson in itself, but the short answer is that generally speaking, the larger (or more teeth) on the biggest rear cog of a bike, the easier it is to get up a hill. The Ruby 2017 has a range of cogs from one with 11 teeth (the smallest) to a cog with 32 teeth (the biggest)…that means it will go reasonably fast, but be terrific up the hills.

    The Specialized Amira has race geometry, so it’s built for speed. On the rear set of cogs there is an 11 tooth and it goes up to a 28 tooth cog as the biggest (there are 11 cogs in all). So that means the Amira will be harder to push up a hill, but it is a lighter bike! The Ruby will be easier up the hill, but it is a fraction heavier.

    The big difference between both bikes is that on the Ruby you will sit in a more upright relaxed position, but on the Amira you will be crouched much lower into a race, or aggressive, position. The Ruby is made for distance, and the Amira made for speed.

    There are other factors of course that take a whole lesson to explain, such as the ratio of gears and the size of the front chain rings etc, but as a general rule, what I have said above applies.

    Hope that helps!

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