compact crank

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compact crank

Postby elizabethw » Sat May 07, 2011 6:35 pm

Hi Guys
I am having trouble with long hills, I seem to run out of puff .. get winded. I am a 56 year old woman and have been riding casually for about 12 months.. on and off. I have signed up for the Ride to Conquer Cancer in August 200k over 2 days. A fortnight ago I did my first 100k which i learnt what bonk is... lesson now learned eat more.

I decided to increase my hill work as I know there is going to be hills... short hills or short steep hills I seem to manage.. but if you give me a long hill that progresses upwards I conk out get so short of breath. Someone said I should think about a compact crank set up. I have a triple crank set up on my bike which is a Specialized Dolce 2009 which has the following

Shift Levers Shimano 105 STI
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Crankset Shimano R553, 30/39/50 teeth

Should I be thinking about this compact crank would it make that much difference or should I just perserve and keep riding as much as I can. Another thought I had was maybe my fitness needs improving and I should get back to jogging on the treadmill to increase my endurance.

Any suggestions will be gratefully received.. I am so hooked to this riding and just love getting out on my bike. I have a great fellow rider who comes with me and is so patient... he has a mtb with slicks on and seems to just be able to slow down go into a low gear and pedals up the hills..

Cheers
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by BNA » Sat May 07, 2011 6:53 pm

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Re: compact crank

Postby Mustang » Sat May 07, 2011 6:53 pm

Hi Elizabeth,
One oldie to another, you are only one year young in cycle terms. Keep the setup you have, the triple chainring will give you better capacity on the hills rather than a compact which has two chainrings, usually 50/34. Good luck with the CC ride I'am sure it wont seem that long on the day & you can take all day & stop as needed.
Keep up the good work & visit the forum often, its amazing what you pick up.
Cheers Brent
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Re: compact crank

Postby elizabethw » Sat May 07, 2011 6:58 pm

Thanks Brent... I see you are doing the ride. I have reached my total now.. ... I shall keep pedalling and as you would know its not a race.

Cheers

Elizabeth
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Re: compact crank

Postby mitzikatzi » Sat May 07, 2011 8:11 pm

..snip..he has a mtb with slicks on and seems to just be able to slow down go into a low gear and pedals up the hills..


His lowest gear is front 22t rear 32/34t on 26 inch (1.5inch tyres) wheels. For every revolution of the front crank the rear wheel moves you forward 16 inches.

You bike has a 30t front say a 27t rear. Your wheel moves forward 29 inches.

A compact won't make any difference.
Best you can do is fit a cassette with a 27t or 28t tooth largest cog.
You could also fit a mountain bike Derailleur and then fit a 32t rear cassette.
Even then you won't be close to a mountain bikes lowest gearing.
Your middle cog is a 39t. I am thinking of changeing my 39t chainring to a 38t. I think it would be a better spread of gears for me. 38T is as low as you can go on the middle ring ( I think)
Last edited by mitzikatzi on Sat May 07, 2011 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: compact crank

Postby foo on patrol » Sat May 07, 2011 8:13 pm

You just need to get the Ks in and all will come to you before the ride. :idea:

The triple will give you plenty of combo's for all occasions! :wink: (good luck)
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Re: compact crank

Postby ireland57 » Sat May 07, 2011 8:32 pm

Keep the triple. It gives you a better range of climbing gears than a compact.

As mentioned in an earlier post you can also change the cassette (or the bike shop can) and add an 11-27 or 11-28 tooth rear cassette. It depends on what you have now obviously.

Something else worth considering......hitting the bottom of the hills at someone else's climbing pace (trying to keep up with a stronger rider) wrecks the latter parts of the climb better than anything else I know.
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Re: compact crank

Postby brit_in_oz » Sun May 08, 2011 12:33 am

SRAm Apex with a 50/34 with 11-32 T cassette is the only option if you want any improvement on gearing, and a weight saving over a triple but dont expect massive benefits, its still not going to be that much easier. This is the only realistic option as far as I am aware
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Re: compact crank

Postby mitzikatzi » Sun May 08, 2011 9:44 am

brit_in_oz wrote:SRAm Apex with a 50/34 with 11-32 T cassette is the only option if you want any improvement on gearing, and a weight saving over a triple but dont expect massive benefits, its still not going to be that much easier. This is the only realistic option as far as I am aware


" is the only option" That is not 100% true. The triple already has a small chainring of 30 the the OP's larges chainring is already a 50.
Nothing stopping you adding a 11/32 or 34 cassette to the triplechainring however it would require a mountain bike rear derailleur and some thought to cage length.
I am not sure that the OP was concerned with a minimal weight saving but the way I read it was after lower gears.
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Re: compact crank

Postby bosvit » Sun May 08, 2011 10:12 am

mitzikatzi is on the money IMO

Might be a good idea to post the size of your cassette eg 27-11 etc (being teeth on smallest and largest sprocket on your rear wheel)

In regards to long hill climbs like posted earlier it sounds like you are spinning yourself out too early. Can you post the technique you use? Eg which gear and how fast you are peddling. Some of the 'more in the know' forumites could well help you with your hill climbs

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Re: compact crank

Postby dobby » Sun May 08, 2011 1:11 pm

Im wondering if Liz is actually "spinning out" on hills in the triple, in which case you might need to get used to riding in a lower gear up some hills.

I did a bunch ride this morning, we did 100kms at an average of 30kmh (it was pretty tough) - I was watching my heart rate monitor when we were riding up some longer hills and I found my heart rate goes DOWN as my cadence goes DOWN when riding longer hills (when comparing say a 90+ cadence to an 80 cadence) - so you might find as you get a bit stronger, riding in one gear or two higher (meaning a smaller cog on the rear than what you are in now) than normal might actually help you up some hills, and avoid spinning too hard - it is worth a try anyways
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Re: compact crank

Postby elizabethw » Sun May 08, 2011 6:58 pm

I think I will give that a go and not spin out on the hills before I get up them a bit.

Thanks everyone for the advice I certainly will take in on board and have a chat to my bike shop.
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Re: compact crank

Postby waynohh » Mon May 09, 2011 9:35 am

Try mostly spinning but stand up for 15sec every minute or so to refresh your legs.
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Re: compact crank

Postby sogood » Mon May 09, 2011 9:57 am

OP still hasn't informed on the existing cassette. OP's issue is one of gearing and endurance. Without knowing the cassette and the chainring/cog used, it's impossible to know what kind of gearing she was on whilst tackling the hills. Otherwise the best training for cycling endurance is cycling. Best training for hills is ride hills. Ride more to gain. Forget about treadmill and others for the time being.
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Re: compact crank

Postby ldrcycles » Mon May 09, 2011 10:03 am

Definitely keep the triple for the time being, as someone else said, you have only been cycling a year, when i was at that stage 30k was a BIG deal, now 120k is nothing. Just in case anyone is interested, i recently felt the need to get some lower gearing than 53/39 and a 13-23 cassette. For the life of me i couldn't find a cheap square taper compact crank, even 2nd hand, so instead threw on an 11-32 with a Deore derailleur. It works incredibly well, i almost never need to change into the small chainring, and when i do, i can ride up pretty much anything. Cheap way of getting very low gearing without the top end sacrifice of compact cranks.
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Re: compact crank

Postby hannos » Mon May 09, 2011 10:38 am

sogood wrote:OP still hasn't informed on the existing cassette.


Specialized Dolce
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBC ... nuItemId=0

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Re: compact crank

Postby simonn » Mon May 09, 2011 10:55 am

As sogood said just keep riding. The best training for cycling is cycling :).

You can't really go significantly lower than 30/27 anyway (without surgery to your bike - FWIW I have 30/26 as the lowest on my commuter) and I doubt it would make as much difference as just more riding, more experience etc.
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Re: compact crank

Postby elizabethw » Mon May 09, 2011 11:06 am

Yep thats my bike above.

The plan is now just cycle as much as I can and not avoid hills.. So I have picked out a good ride for me from my place that has some nice long hills and sharp ones as well about 45ks for the whole ride.. Just keep improving. I will stick with the bike as is, its just building stamina and endurance.

However, i will drop to the low gear on the front and sit about half way at the back when I start the hills. I have been dropping both to the lowest before the hill and trying to get up that way which I now feel isn't right for me. its all about finding what works for me and sticking to it.

thanks so much for the feedback. really appreciated.

I haven't been game to try and stand up on the bike.. I used to with the hybrid that I had but not since I have had the road bike..

Cheers
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Re: compact crank

Postby Ken Ho » Tue May 10, 2011 10:24 pm

The other thing to consider, is some basic strength training at the gym.
Squats and leg extensions to give you more power !!
I'm away working, but have a 16kg kettle-bell. I have noted a big improvement on the hills with some serious kettle-bell swing workouts. THey strebgthen lower back and core as well.
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Re: compact crank

Postby pawnii » Thu May 12, 2011 6:50 pm

I think you need to slow down :)
Stay under 80% of your max and you'll enjoy hill climbing more. You'll become a stronger happier climber also and in time your 80% will get faster :)

Good luck i'm sure you will be passing me climbing the back of Falls Creek soon.
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Re: compact crank

Postby elizabethw » Thu May 19, 2011 6:32 am

Went out on the weekend at attacked the hills, did so much better by slowing down not spinning... dropped gears when I needed to. Just need to build strength the more I get out on the hills the better I will get. Legs a bit sore the next day but thats good getting stronger. So will just perserve and improve each time.
I was able to get further up the hills this time than I have before and conquered one I hadn't managed before..

thanks for all the advice.

Cheers

Elizabeth
:wink:
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Re: compact crank

Postby foo on patrol » Thu May 19, 2011 6:44 pm

That's good Elizabeth! 8)

There is no substitute for klms and time on the bike. :)

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