[CR]5 speed, 6 speed, 7 speed rear clusters

Example: Framebuilders:Tony Beek
From: "garth libre" <rabbitman@mindspring.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 19:07:00 -0500
Subject: [CR]5 speed, 6 speed, 7 speed rear clusters

Because of my job, I am able to spend hours mulling over things, while I wait for something to happen. This is hours of calm waiting, punctuated by short periods of mind numbing excitement. (Such is the life of an undercover taxi limo etc. code enforcement officer).

This business of having every possible gear combination from 40's up to 103 seems wasteful in general. (Culminating with the new 30 speed race bikes that can be seen everywhere now). For a flat stage what would have been the classic 5 speed rear cluster to be used with a 52/42 chainwheel setup? What would it have been for a 6 speed, a 7 speed? For a mild hill stage how would this have changed.

I ask this because in flat Florida where I live, I only use gears from the mid 70's to mid 90's, with most of the time spent in mid 80's. I imagine that most racers from the decades of the 60's and 70's and 80's found themselves using the same. I seem to remember a lot of 14-15-17-19-21 clusters. Does anyone really think that having all the in between steps available makes the racing enthusiast any faster, and can anyone but an absolute beast have any use for a 53 front 12 rear combo?

Garth Libre in flat So. Fl. finding I use only a few gears anyway.