Author Topic: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.  (Read 3879 times)

Offline twocool

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2019, 08:54:33 AM »
Remember that sprockets only change what you can do in 1st and 6th gear. They dont change the torque of the engine. Suzuki got the ideal sprockets figured out when they designed the bike. Only change them if you specifically want faster take offs in 1st or a different rpm at a given speed in 6th gear.

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Offline twocool

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2019, 08:55:41 AM »
I’m sorry but that makes no sense about only affecting 1st and 6th? My 97 bandit had major acceleration gains in every gear and all speeds. I lost 15mph top speed at redline and 1st gear was very short.

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Offline Meukowi

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2019, 08:58:10 AM »
Remember that sprockets only change what you can do in 1st and 6th gear. They dont change the torque of the engine. Suzuki got the ideal sprockets figured out when they designed the bike. Only change them if you specifically want faster take offs in 1st or a different rpm at a given speed in 6th gear.
source? it doesn't change the torque of the engine, but of the rear wheel, right? so every gear is affected

Offline mr72

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2019, 03:17:00 PM »
Remember that sprockets only change what you can do in 1st and 6th gear. They dont change the torque of the engine. Suzuki got the ideal sprockets figured out when they designed the bike. Only change them if you specifically want faster take offs in 1st or a different rpm at a given speed in 6th gear.
source? it doesn't change the torque of the engine, but of the rear wheel, right? so every gear is affected

Yes, you are correct.

It will produce more torque at the rear wheel in every gear. The downside is that it will require you to shift earlier and potentially spend more time shifting than accelerating. There is a trade-off, and IMHO the stock gearing of the GS500 was chosen primarily to make cruising at 60mph more comfortable without sacrificing off-line acceleration too much.

Available torque in gear at speed will be changed mostly by changing what speed you have maximum torque available. So if you can pass effectively at 50mph in 4th with stock gearing, you will pass with the same rate of acceleration at 45mph in 4th if you change the gearing by 10%.

I'll be happy to prove to anyone else with a stock GS500 that going to a 14t front sprocket makes the bike much quicker going from 0-45 mph when uses up all of first and second gear with the lower gearing while with stock gearing you're not to the power peak in 2nd gear yet by 45mph. But if we go 0-55 the stock bike will likely win since I'd have to do a 2-3 change before hitting 55 and the stock bike will not.

There are reams of evidence from the car guys that lowering gearing can improve acceleration within certain limits. That's why a 3.90 240Z will smoke the stock 3.36, and why the Jeep JK guys who put giant tires on their Jeeps are forced to change gear ratios just to make the thing usable in traffic.

Now, going from 16-14t up front on a GS500 is noticeable but not night and day. On my GS it means it will wheelie if you keep it wide open through first gear, but in the grand scheme of things it's not really a lot quicker it feels a lot quicker at sub-highway speeds.

Online Bluesmudge

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2019, 04:16:48 PM »
Remember that sprockets only change what you can do in 1st and 6th gear. They dont change the torque of the engine. Suzuki got the ideal sprockets figured out when they designed the bike. Only change them if you specifically want faster take offs in 1st or a different rpm at a given speed in 6th gear.
source? it doesn't change the torque of the engine, but of the rear wheel, right? so every gear is affected
What do you think the sprocket is magically doing? Its just changing gear ratios. That same thing you can do with your left foot by changing gears. Its just that in 1st you can't go any lower and in 6th you can't go any higher. Going to a 14t sprocket is like having a "0" gear but losing 6th. Having an 18t sprocket is like having to start in 2nd gear but gaining a 7th gear.
A 14t lets you get to the peak torque of the engine at a lower road speed in 1st gear so take-offs from a dead stop will be faster but the torque is the same -- you are just getting max torque "earlier."
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 04:30:18 PM by Bluesmudge »

Offline Meukowi

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2019, 05:09:28 PM »
Remember that sprockets only change what you can do in 1st and 6th gear. They dont change the torque of the engine. Suzuki got the ideal sprockets figured out when they designed the bike. Only change them if you specifically want faster take offs in 1st or a different rpm at a given speed in 6th gear.
source? it doesn't change the torque of the engine, but of the rear wheel, right? so every gear is affected
What do you think the sprocket is magically doing? Its just changing gear ratios. That same thing you can do with your left foot by changing gears. Its just that in 1st you can't go any lower and in 6th you can't go any higher. Going to a 14t sprocket is like having a "0" gear but losing 6th. Having an 18t sprocket is like having to start in 2nd gear but gaining a 7th gear.
A 14t lets you get to the peak torque of the engine at a lower road speed in 1st gear so take-offs from a dead stop will be faster but the torque is the same -- you are just getting max torque "earlier."
yeep, but why isnt it affecting the other gears? like you said, getting the torque faster, for example in 3rd gear

Offline mr72

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2019, 05:40:17 PM »
What do you think the sprocket is magically doing? Its just changing gear ratios. That same thing you can do with your left foot by changing gears.

Except that it incrementally changes the gear ratio of all gears by a much smaller amount than you can change with your foot.

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Going to a 14t sprocket is like having a "0" gear but losing 6th. Having an 18t sprocket is like having to start in 2nd gear but gaining a 7th gear.

No, going to a 14t is like having a 0.875 gear, and then a 1.75, 2.625, etc.

Quote
A 14t lets you get to the peak torque of the engine at a lower road speed in 1st gear so take-offs from a dead stop will be faster but the torque is the same -- you are just getting max torque "earlier."

No, it doesn't work like that at all. You are talking about engine torque, we are talking about torque AT THE WHEEL. That is, where the wheel meets the ground. That torque is increased by 14.3% in every gear and at every speed when you go from a 16t to a 14t. So your acceleration will be likewise increased by 14.3% (or more, as wind resistance begins to limit acceleration). Since you have 14.3% more torque that means at a given WHEEL SPEED you also have 14.3% more horsepower. This is just basic math.

The only way this doesn't make the bike quicker is if 14.3% improvement in acceleration is negated by the addition of shift timing. According to my math, IIRC, going from a 16t to 14t sprocket makes 6th gear effective ratio be what 5th previously was, so to accelerate from zero to some speed above about 45mph will require an additional gear change with a 14t sprocket compared with the 16t stock, until you are running both in the middle of 6th gear. So let's imagine you can ride your stock GS500 from 0-60 in, um, say 6 seconds, with one gearshift. Let's say it takes 0.5 seconds to shift (probably less..), so the non-shifting time is 5.5 seconds. My math says then that with 14.3% more torque you should be able to accelerate the same bike, barring shift times, in 4.8 seconds, but if it takes two shifts to get there again at 0.5 seconds each, then that's 0-60 in 5.8 seconds, 0.2s quicker. Even less if you can shift quicker than 0.5 seconds.

The debate about this is rooted in a misunderstanding of how torque is applied to the ground through gearing. You have more torque on the ground with lower gears. Heck you could go to a 14t front and 48t rear and get it even lower. There comes a time when shifting is annoying and when running at 60mph at 7K rpm is very annoying. And with other vehicles there comes a point where shift time is really a big deal, get behind a manual-transmission dumptruck sometime at a stop light and see how it takes 5 gears to get from 0-20 mph and you'll see this in action. But for an incremental change like this, it only makes the bike quicker, even if only marginally, with the tradeoff being more frequent shifts and higher revs at highway cruising speeds.

Go ride a multi-geared bicycle and you'll quickly learn how sprocket ratios affect torque on the ground.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 05:42:38 PM by mr72 »

Online Bluesmudge

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2019, 02:33:50 AM »
yeep, but why isnt it affecting the other gears? like you said, getting the torque faster, for example in 3rd gear

It is affecting 3rd gear, but you could also just have been in 2nd gear with stock gearing and have approximately the same result. 3rd may actually equivalent to a 2.625 gear but that's splitting hairs unless you need a specific gear to hit a certain rpm at a certain speed. Outside of 1st and 6th gear, in some scenarios stock gearing will be better than modified gearing. Because these scenarios happen in infinite ways it's not worth worrying about. Rolling on the throttle in 3rd gear at 50 mph might feel better with a 14t but you are missing out on that sweet stock acceleration in 3rd gear at 57 mph.

I think we are all saying the same thing. You two are arguing as if we are running through all the gear from a dead stop and racing all the way up to the bike's drag limitation. I agree that if you just want to goon around town like a maniac and then hit the drag strip, then a 14t sprocket or something equivalent to 13t is your best bet because 6th gear with stock sprockets can't hit redline at speed before running into drag limitation. In first gear you will also get to max engine torque at a lower road speed and have more torque at the wheel. Its almost like...all the differences are happening in first and 6th gear which is the only thing I'm arguing.  The spacing between gears doesn't change, it just moves the entire rpm range by a certain percentage, which for 99% of riders doesn't matter outside of 1st and 6th gear. If you actually need to split hairs and have 3rd gear hit exactly 9,200 rpm at exactly 68 MPH for your specific racing application, then go ahead and run the numbers to pick your sprockets.

However, most riders spend a good deal of time racking up miles in 6th gear wishing their bike wasn't so gosh darn buzzy and less time analyzing their shift points relative to different road speeds. So for most riders, its just a matter of what you want out of 1st and 6th gear that determines their sprocket choice.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 03:38:57 AM by Bluesmudge »

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2019, 02:43:35 AM »
The debate about this is rooted in a misunderstanding of how torque is applied to the ground through gearing. You have more torque on the ground with lower gears. Heck you could go to a 14t front and 48t rear and get it even lower.

No, the debate is rooted in not knowing what we are arguing about. All I'm saying is that sprockets only effect what you can do in 1st and 6th gear. For all the other gears you are just making some situations have more available torque and some have less.
For example with a 14t vs stock, you are absolutely 1000000% correct. Much more torque in first gear. But at the moment you shift to 2nd gear, you could have just been in 1st gear on a stock geared bike and would have had more torque. Under certain conditions, the stock version of 1st is better than 1st or 2nd on the 14t bike.
Which sprocket is best for 38 - 70 mph?
Which sprocket is best for 7 - 25 mph?
Which sprocket is best for 30 - 91 mph?
A street rider has to do all of these and a million other permutations. When talking about 2nd - 5th gear there is no way to know which sprocket is best.
If you want to argue about the importance of a 2.75 gear having a better shift point than an actual 3rd in a quarter mile then the floor is yours because that would be application specific and doesn't apply to most users of a GS500 who have considerations other than fastest acceleration from 0 to when 1/4 of an arbitrary distance has passed.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 03:26:59 AM by Bluesmudge »

Offline mr72

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2019, 01:35:15 PM »
No, the debate is rooted in not knowing what we are arguing about. All I'm saying is that sprockets only effect what you can do in 1st and 6th gear.

Which, I am sorry to say, is just totally incorrect. Changing the sprocket affects torque on the ground in every gear, at every speed.

Quote
For all the other gears you are just making some situations have more available torque and some have less.

No, you are making it have more torque in every situation by lowering the final drive ratio.

Quote
For example with a 14t vs stock, you are absolutely 1000000% correct. Much more torque in first gear. But at the moment you shift to 2nd gear, you could have just been in 1st gear on a stock geared bike and would have had more torque.

Only if in both cases you shift long before you reach the peak torque. So yes, if you shift at 4K rpm, then this is true. However, if you shift at 4K, this is an entirely moot conversation.

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Under certain conditions, the stock version of 1st is better than 1st or 2nd on the 14t bike.

This is where it's splitting hairs. In 99% of situations, the 14t will be quicker. In that 1%, the 16t will be quicker. I didn't do that actual math BTW, just estimating. It might be 99.9% and 0.1%. Or 98%/2%.

Quote
Which sprocket is best for 38 - 70 mph?
Which sprocket is best for 7 - 25 mph?
Which sprocket is best for 30 - 91 mph?

If by "best" you mean "makes the bike quicker" or "accelerates faster", then the 14t is best in all of these. If by "best" you mean "keeps revs low and noise down" then the 16t is best. If by "best" you mean fuel economy, 16t is best. And if "best" is "have to shift as little as possible" then 16t is best. Either choice is a compromise and you pick what you want to compromise. But it's a complete myth that changing the sprocket ratio doesn't improve acceleration. It does, all the time, in every gear, at least until you reach the law of diminishing returns wherein you spend too much time shifting gears or you can't get power to the ground because of wheelies or traction or you run out of top speed. But a small change like 16-14 will have a universal effect of making the bike noticeably quicker in every circumstance.

Top gear cruising and you need to pass without a downshift? The 14t is way better because not only is there a higher torque multiplier due to the gear ratio, but you are cruising at higher revs so there is more torque AND power at the given speed.

Seriously if you ride the 14t back to back with stock it is immediately apparent. A GS500 goes from occasionally-strained and often gentle to half-hooligan when you switch from 16t to 14t.

Quote
A street rider has to do all of these and a million other permutations. When talking about 2nd - 5th gear there is no way to know which sprocket is best.

Sure there is. If you want the bike to be quicker, then the 14t is best, in any gear, because there is more torque in every gear at every speed period. Well, again, if you do ALL Of the math you might be able to find a very tiny exception to this rule, or if you have extreme limits on the scenarios like always shift gears under 4k rpm then it may increase the number of exceptions but under normal riding conditions on a 38-45hp middleweight motorcycle like this the lower-geared bike is going to be quicker, with the tradeoff being things like fuel economy and excessive rpms at highway speed.

We just have to quit repeating this myth that lowering gear ratios doesn't have a noticeable effect across the board. It does. The math predicts it and the butt dyno agrees. And it's a very easy change to make, very inexpensive too, so it's fair to try it just to see if you prefer it one way or another.

BTW the Triumph Bonneville guys tend to go the other way, at least in America. They go from a stock 18t to 19t all the time on the 5sp bikes to lower the top speed cruising rpm. They have tons of torque to spare so the tradeoff works the other way round. The distinguished-gentleman types with spoke wheel Bonnies value that relaxed burbly feel and the 19t gives that. So "best" for those riders on those bikes is not the lower-geared bikes. OTOH the cafe-hooligan types with Bonnevilles tend to go to 17t and then have to lay on the tank to keep the front wheel down in 1st gear. If you're blasting down English countryside roads from one village to the next with 80kph speed limits then who needs tall gears, but on American two-lane highways with long sweeping turns and 55mph speed limits and grand views that buzz might interrupt your tranquility. I've even considered going to 19t on my Bonnie and if I had a sportier bike hanging around for those days when I want to ride to feel the road rather than see the sights then I'd likely do it. But even with a 19t sprocket my Bonnie would smoke my GS with the 14t because the Bonnie has twice as much engine torque at every speed in every gear...

Offline Mxrider787

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2019, 09:45:22 AM »
07 GS500F - Im going with the highest increase in sprocket gear ratio I can find..14t front and 46t rear sprocket with a new chain. I know I will gain acceleration across the board from past practice and the understanding of basic mechanics involving gear ratio as it correlates to the drive/driven sprockets of a motorcycle. I have a challenge to anyone reading this who disagrees with the facts stated.  Increase your gear ratio between your front/rear sprockets and take your bike for a spin around the block, bring extra panties for after you shaZam! yourself.                                                         

Offline Meukowi

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2019, 04:07:59 PM »
07 GS500F - Im going with the highest increase in sprocket gear ratio I can find..14t front and 46t rear sprocket with a new chain. I know I will gain acceleration across the board from past practice and the understanding of basic mechanics involving gear ratio as it correlates to the drive/driven sprockets of a motorcycle. I have a challenge to anyone reading this who disagrees with the facts stated.  Increase your gear ratio between your front/rear sprockets and take your bike for a spin around the block, bring extra panties for after you shaZam! yourself.                                                       
theres also 13t around, going to get that, just for the giggles 😁

Offline twocool

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2019, 01:01:11 AM »
a smaller front and larger rear sprocket would be a lower (than stock)  gear ratio in each gear...A "lower gear"..would be a decrease in gear ratio.  Just saying....

additional, you have no understand at all of basic mechanics involved.

But what's the point of arguing that?  Especially on the internet?  Do what you want...be happy!


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07 GS500F - Im going with the highest increase in sprocket gear ratio I can find..14t front and 46t rear sprocket with a new chain. I know I will gain acceleration across the board from past practice and the understanding of basic mechanics involving gear ratio as it correlates to the drive/driven sprockets of a motorcycle. I have a challenge to anyone reading this who disagrees with the facts stated.  Increase your gear ratio between your front/rear sprockets and take your bike for a spin around the block, bring extra panties for after you shaZam! yourself.                                                       

Offline twocool

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2019, 01:17:52 AM »
Ok...if we follow your logic....you say that your third gear will be a "lower gear" then my (stock) third gear..therefore you will have more torque to the rear wheel than I.   This is true, but this is not the whole story...

My (stock) second gear is a lower gear than your modified (lower) third gear.....so If I stay in second, I have more torque than you!

I you have a lower gear ratio throughout all 6 gears, All I have to do is select my next lower gear and I will have a lower ratio than you!

See changing the overall gearing, does three things...

1) it does lower the first gear, so you will get more torque and slight acceleration gain from a dead stop
2) it lowers the 6th gear, so you may limit top speed, or you may have the engine running at uncomfortable high revs when traveling at high speed.
3)  and this is the one that everybody is missing...your "shift points" that is to say the bike speed at shifts, will be at different speeds.

let me try to make it simple...you with modified lower gear ratios...me with stock.

We start out together....you beat me off the line because you have lower gear and more torque...

You shift to second gear
I am still in first gear, because my first gear is a higher gear.

so now you in second, me in first

I have the torque advantage now...I have a lower gear than you!

Now I shift to second....you have the advantage because your second is lower gear then my second....

But now you have to shift to third...I am still in second...I have the advantage...

I shift to third...your advantage...

You shift to forth...my advantage..

I shift to forth...your advantage

You shift to fifth...my advantage..

I shift to fifth your advantage...you shift to 6th
My advantage....I shift to 6th...still my advantage!


You win off the line...I win on the top...in the middle turns out to be a draw!


Now a reality check.....the lower gear, for jack rabbit starts, only works if you do a drag racing type start.  I "normal" driving where you are not doing a WOT start...the stock gearing works just fine.  The middle gears (stock) you can just shift up or down to get the torque you need, at the RPM you desire...


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[/quote]yeep, but why isnt it affecting the other gears? like you said, getting the torque faster, for example in 3rd gear
[/quote]

Offline Mxrider787

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Offline Meukowi

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2019, 06:46:55 AM »
Ok...if we follow your logic....you say that your third gear will be a "lower gear" then my (stock) third gear..therefore you will have more torque to the rear wheel than I.   This is true, but this is not the whole story...

My (stock) second gear is a lower gear than your modified (lower) third gear.....so If I stay in second, I have more torque than you!

I you have a lower gear ratio throughout all 6 gears, All I have to do is select my next lower gear and I will have a lower ratio than you!

See changing the overall gearing, does three things...

1) it does lower the first gear, so you will get more torque and slight acceleration gain from a dead stop
2) it lowers the 6th gear, so you may limit top speed, or you may have the engine running at uncomfortable high revs when traveling at high speed.
3)  and this is the one that everybody is missing...your "shift points" that is to say the bike speed at shifts, will be at different speeds.

let me try to make it simple...you with modified lower gear ratios...me with stock.

We start out together....you beat me off the line because you have lower gear and more torque...

You shift to second gear
I am still in first gear, because my first gear is a higher gear.

so now you in second, me in first

I have the torque advantage now...I have a lower gear than you!

Now I shift to second....you have the advantage because your second is lower gear then my second....

But now you have to shift to third...I am still in second...I have the advantage...

I shift to third...your advantage...

You shift to forth...my advantage..

I shift to forth...your advantage

You shift to fifth...my advantage..

I shift to fifth your advantage...you shift to 6th
My advantage....I shift to 6th...still my advantage!


You win off the line...I win on the top...in the middle turns out to be a draw!


Now a reality check.....the lower gear, for jack rabbit starts, only works if you do a drag racing type start.  I "normal" driving where you are not doing a WOT start...the stock gearing works just fine.  The middle gears (stock) you can just shift up or down to get the torque you need, at the RPM you desire...


Cookie





yeep, but why isnt it affecting the other gears? like you said, getting the torque faster, for example in 3rd gear
[/quote]
[/quote]still arguing bout this? lets make it simple:
Lower final drive ratio gets faster max torque therefore reaching faster top speed; which is lowered because lower FD ratio. Thats what drag race is about, to adjust gear ratios/Fd ratio to the fastest possible, for example a 1/4 mile race. A lower tuned gs would be outrunned by stock at a point where theres no more power left at the rear wheel, and the stock has that 1 gear left.

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2019, 09:42:30 AM »
Are you drag racing with your bike?  Or just riding around?

Offline Meukowi

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #37 on: May 20, 2019, 11:37:32 AM »
Are you drag racing with your bike?  Or just riding around?
as for competitive matter, no. but having fun to race other bikes/cars

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #38 on: May 20, 2019, 03:17:03 PM »
The point remains, it only effects what you can do in 1st and 6th gear. If a smaller front sprocket tunes 1st and 6th to your liking than that's great. Just dont expect your bike to be better by any metric vs stock gearing in 2nd through 5th. Thanks to twocool for bothering g to spell it out gear by gear. 

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Re: Sprocket, chain, and gear ratios.
« Reply #39 on: May 20, 2019, 03:25:22 PM »
Yeah except twocool's explanation was completely flawed and I already explained it before.  But whatever. I'm done with this topic. I suppose the internet myth is just way too durable and people are determined to defend it no matter what.