Gearing for climbs

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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby Drunkmonkey » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:17 pm

sogood wrote:
clackers wrote:
Drunkmonkey wrote:Most people dont know how to climb properly, they just do what is needed to get over the hill......or slight incline in some cases!!

Well, if you think only noobs are spinning, DM, listen to Lance Armstrong's coach:

Ummm... Looks like many people really don't know how to climb properly. :mrgreen:


righteo :roll:
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by BNA » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:56 pm

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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby cavebear2 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:56 pm

I found that a 38/28 combo was ok up Raspberry Hill (back o' Falls) but I'm hanging out for my new build with a 34/28 low gear.
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Gearing for climbs

Postby toolonglegs » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:22 pm

Perry if a whippet like you is hangin out for a compact... Then it must be rather nice hill :-) .
I am htfu'ing and putting the 38 back on the cx bike... If I can't get up it with a 48/38 11/28 then I would probably be quicker running!.
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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby cavebear2 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:08 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Perry if a whippet like you is hangin out for a compact... Then it must be rather nice hill :-) .
I am htfu'ing and putting the 38 back on the cx bike... If I can't get up it with a 48/38 11/28 then I would probably be quicker running!.
Yep it just about would be quicker running up Raspberry Hill, if I was a very strong runner that is.

It's 8.9 km at 7.7% average on a very rough chip seal road, although a 13.3km section inclusive of that hill averages right on 7.0%
The surface is rough enough to make the unsuspecting think that they've got a flat rear tyre. With a compact I'll be able to spin a bit faster and not stand up most of the way which is what I've done on my first 2 ascents of the B.o.F
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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby pawnii » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:27 am

I've finally switched to a compact 34/50. When climbing it's great but when i'm on the flat the 50 is too small. I have to double/triple shift when accelerating just to keep up with mates riding 39/53. I'm thinking about moving to a 36/52. I find it's not common to see a compact crankset that is 36/52 for sale. I wonder why? It seems like a good middle ground to me.

My thinking is If i have an 36/52 i can use my 11/23 when on the flat rides or switch to a 12/28 when in the mountains (with slight tuning of the rear derailleur).

34/28 = 31.9 gear inches
36/28 = 33.8 gear inches

I'll loose 1.9 gear inches if i change. I wonder if that'll make a difference when i'm on a +10% gradient ?
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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby sogood » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:39 am

pawnii wrote:I've finally switched to a compact 34/50. When climbing it's great but when i'm on the flat the 50 is too small. I have to double/triple shift when accelerating just to keep up with mates riding 39/53.

This doesn't make sense. What did you have to shift? From where to where did you have shift? Are you saying that you you are running out of gears and hitting 50/12 or 50/11?
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Gearing for climbs

Postby Redbull » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:52 am

I only run out of gears on my compact when running down hill at about 54kph.

Though I have been considering putting on a 52 on the compact.
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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby Daccordi Rider » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:58 am

If you run out of gears on the flat with a 50-12 you are doing 55km+. Methinks the pro ranks beckon.
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Gearing for climbs

Postby toolonglegs » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:41 pm

I wouldn't race on a compact... 50/11 is on the small side. 54/12 :-) and the 11 if really needed....before you comment you need to do the Maths with a 180mm crank compared to my 175mm compact.
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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby sogood » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:56 pm

toolonglegs wrote:I wouldn't race on a compact... 50/11 is on the small side. 54/12 :-) and the 11 if really needed....before you comment you need to do the Maths with a 180mm crank compared to my 175mm compact.

We already know your 2LLs are mash specialists! :lol:

That was background data, not a comment. :wink:
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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby pawnii » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:40 pm

sogood wrote:
pawnii wrote:I've finally switched to a compact 34/50. When climbing it's great but when i'm on the flat the 50 is too small. I have to double/triple shift when accelerating just to keep up with mates riding 39/53.

This doesn't make sense. What did you have to shift? From where to where did you have shift? Are you saying that you you are running out of gears and hitting 50/12 or 50/11?


Let me correct myself.
I find the gear ratios too close between gears with a 50 chainring when riding on the flat. On the 53 the gear ratio spacing is perfect. You shift up a gear every 4-5km/h keeping the same cadence. On a 50 chainring you shift up a gear every 2-3km/h, you require too many shifting when sprinting or accelerating on the flat.
From standstill to 40km/h you almost have to shift down your whole cassette if you use a 50 chainring.

Maybe this is something i just have to get used to?

I still think it's worth trying a 36/52 or even a 34/52 setup in the front.
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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby sblack » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:41 pm

pawnii wrote:Let me correct myself.
I find the gear ratios too close between gears with a 50 chainring when riding on the flat. On the 53 the gear ratio spacing is perfect. You shift up a gear every 4-5km/h keeping the same cadence. On a 50 chainring you shift up a gear every 2-3km/h, you require too many shifting when sprinting or accelerating on the flat.
From standstill to 40km/h you almost have to shift down your whole cassette if you use a 50 chainring.

Maybe this is something i just have to get used to?

I still think it's worth trying a 36/52 or even a 34/52 setup in the front.

May I suggest you check out Sheldon Brown's Gear Calculator. Chose KPH (AT) 90 RPM (or any other cadence). Put in 53, 52 and 50 for your chainrings and chose whichever cassette you currently use. You'll find that the difference in the steps between the different chainring sizes is very small. To change the spacing between gears you need to look at changing the cassette.

Also, I believe you'll find most front derailleurs (unless you go triple) are specified as a 16 tooth maximum difference in chainrings so the 34/52 is not recommended. I'm not aware of anyone that's tried it and it may work but just be aware that according to manufacturer specifications it doesn't.
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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby toolonglegs » Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:53 am

toolonglegs wrote:Perry if a whippet like you is hangin out for a compact... Then it must be rather nice hill :-) .
I am htfu'ing and putting the 38 back on the cx bike... If I can't get up it with a 48/38 11/28 then I would probably be quicker running!.

Big mistake! :oops:
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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby sogood » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:56 am

pawnii wrote:Let me correct myself.
I find the gear ratios too close between gears with a 50 chainring when riding on the flat. On the 53 the gear ratio spacing is perfect. You shift up a gear every 4-5km/h keeping the same cadence. On a 50 chainring you shift up a gear every 2-3km/h, you require too many shifting when sprinting or accelerating on the flat.
From standstill to 40km/h you almost have to shift down your whole cassette if you use a 50 chainring.

Maybe this is something i just have to get used to?

I think the problem lies with you and possibly the cassette. Not the crankset. Plenty of riders win sprints on CT cranksets.
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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby lethoso » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:59 am

sogood wrote:I think the problem lies with you


fixed.

It's all in your head man. There's really not that much of a difference between the two.
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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby pawnii » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:33 am

you're all probably right. I might stick with the 34/50 and see how i go. :D
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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby Ken Ho » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:23 pm

One of the thoughts I had while deciding to go for a compact or not, was about the gearing on motorbikes.
Most bikes come with a 17 tooth front sprocket, as it helps keep the revs low for 100 kph ride-by noise tests, as well as improving fuel consumption figures.
However, a lot won't pull red-line in top gear. It's not the best gear for racing either, so many bike guys will change to a 16 tooth front, as not only doe sit close the ratios a bit, and make spirited riding better, but often the overall top speed will increase, as the engine is still able to pull at the top of the rev range.
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I might add, for modern bikes over 100 HP, top speed is not determined by gearing as much as it was on the old Honda Fours I learnt on, but for us humans, it's still very pertinent.
MotoGP riders spend a lot of time getting the gearing right for each track, and they use what works. Their ego does not come in to it.
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Gearing for climbs

Postby toolonglegs » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:23 pm

sogood wrote: Plenty of riders win sprints on CT cranksets.

I certainly couldn't win a fast sprint on a 50/11.
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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby sogood » Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:10 pm

toolonglegs wrote:
sogood wrote: Plenty of riders win sprints on CT cranksets.

I certainly couldn't win a fast sprint on a 50/11.

You are in the non-plenty subset group. :mrgreen:
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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby esky64 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:44 pm

Comedian wrote:Having had both and done a bit of climbing I think I can comment on this.

I had a compact plus a 11-28 on the rear. When climbing cootha this setup was great. I could amble up and do 14 minute times with ease chatting to people.

I fitted a standard crank on the front. 39/53. This was all good as long as the time was less than 12 minutes. Then one day I did a slower climb (12:30) and grinding up he hill in the lowest gears at 40 rpm nearly killed me.

Having said that I'm now doing sub 10 and the gearing is great but I'd say if you are struggling than definitely go for a compact.

The catalyst for me to change to a standard was that on the compact I would just stay in the large chainring all the time. With the standard things seem a bit more flexible.

I think you got the two points right
"if you are struggling than definitely go for a compact"
If your spending most of the time in the small ring them maybe your large ring is to big
"The catalyst for me to change to a standard was that on the compact I would just stay in the large chainring all the time"
If your spending most of your time in the large ring maybe your small ring is to small
I've just gone compact and my 18th gear is now larger them on my standard cranks
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Gearing for climbs

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:12 pm

The beauty for me is I normally run a standard set up... But when I want to go high I can change to compacts in a couple of minutes.
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Gearing for climbs

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:15 pm

Have pedals already on each set and have never needed to reset the front derailleur even going from 55 to 50. Have two join links in my chain to shorten it so don't have to swap chains.
Going high at this time of year is impossible though.
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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby fringe_dweller » Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:43 pm

My 11-28 arrived today. Keen to go hit up my local climb and see how things go.

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Re: Gearing for climbs

Postby colaiacw » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:05 am

I would like to share my gearing experience with you.

If have two bikes, one with a 50/34 compact and a 12-25 cassette, the other has a standard setup with 53/39 and a 11-25 cassette. I have found that I actually prefer the standard setup even for climbing!

It is a strange thing but I feel more comfortable in respect to cadence and strength with the standard setup than I do with the compact. I know that the compact setup is giving me a lower gear for climbing, but when I ride the same 90km route (lots of hills, some at 9 to 12%) with both bikes, the standard setup wins hands down? The standard also feels much more efficient when cruising on the flats. I am rarely in the 39/25 combination for the climbs unless I am really stuffed.

And yes the compact setup bike is 2 kilos heavier than my other bike, but I have the same compact setup on my hybrid (steel) road bike that weighs 14kg and I can keep up the same pace as my 8.6 kg alloy road bike, so weight has little to do with my ability. I am not even going to start with the rotational inertia comments as I am over that too.

I read other posts of people experiencing the same thing. I am thinking of ditching the compact and go for a triple or standard on the training bike, not sure though. At the end of the day, use what ever setup is right for you, learn to listen to you body and not what works for others as it may not work for you.

Cheers. Have a great ride. :D
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Gearing for climbs

Postby sogood » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:53 am

colaiacw wrote:I am rarely in the 39/25 combination for the climbs unless I am really stuffed.

then you are either super strong or don't have much of a climb. :p
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