Gearing Questions

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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby rdp_au » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:49 am

Well, I think we’re all in violent agreement here - The right gearing for YOU is determined by lots of factors, not just whether you’re new or not. This is why talking to someone who knows their stuff is invaluable, particularly if you are relatively new. Alas, I don’t that happens much in your average LBS.

And, to the comment about the old ‘corncob’ clusters and need to double shift. Well, it was a fact of life when you’ve only got 5 or 6 ratios to choose from, you had to use them all. On modern 9 and 10 speed systems, double shifting is avoided by simply not using many of the possible combinations.
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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby andione1983 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:05 am

Certainly don't think I have a clear answer from this thread, so many options and opinions... But been a good read with the theory behind it

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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby Xplora » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:30 pm

12-23 :D
eon reckons 12-27 is the one for him, but he's also running a 39 granny gear... and a VERY strong rider.

Check out http://www.gear-calculator.com/# for the best comparison tool I have found. It really comes down to you, andy. Me? I want to keep my place in the paceline, which is just as hard for me as charging up mountains. We're ultimately talking about one or two gears... do you want your climbing gears to be close, or as low as possible? do you want your flat gears (15-19) to be plentiful, or are you more worried about getting up the hills? Do you really need to waste your time with an 11 cog? I set a KOM yesterday coming down the mountains because I had my 11. But I wouldn't use that gear more than once a fortnight if I'm lucky LOL
What gears are you sitting in most of the time for climbing, pacelines and sprinting? That pretty much answers your original question. If I wasn't going on any climbs, 12-23 is the best for me. If I was, 11-28 helps me capitalise on my strengths.
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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby rdp_au » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:35 pm

Good summary, xplora


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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby hannos » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:54 pm

For me, I prefer a compact and a 12-25. 12-28 when doing hills.
I can spin up any hills using these combo's.
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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby as7431 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:36 pm

Can you buy single 18t gears that are compatible with an Ultegra 10 speed cassette? I have a 12-25, which I use all the time, and a spare 11-28, which I was thinking of turning into a 12-28 for the hills, by removing the 11 and adding an 18 (which I is the gear I miss in my 12-25 too). Is this possible? Do I need to change the 12 to one made for the end of a cluster? I can not remember if the last one is different to the others?

Thanks

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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby queequeg » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:02 pm

Philipthelam wrote:Fair enough, but why does it matter?

I know someone that lives in dural, it takes quite a while (a long time!) to get there and I would say is very different to my idea of what living in "sydney" is. You have to turn on high beam on the roads there and the houses are massive, he lives in a three storey house. He has a swimming pool and a tennis court in his back yard, the land is probably several acres/hectares... I don't know. Compared to others, his house/land is not that big. Hence the reason for my uninformed opinions.


Just pointing out that Sydney extended beyond the confines of the CBD.

I live in Dural. I commute every day to Nth Sydney on a bicycle. Everyone thinks it is in the country, but It takes just under an hour. It takes 90 minutes on a bus! As the crow flies it is less than 20km to the CBD. I don't live in a massive house on acres of land.
I do have the convenience of being a short ride to Galston where I can access pretty much all the Northern Sydney rides, but I am not averse to riding to the other side of the city either. I have done Dural to Kurnell & back more than a few times. Sure, a new cyclist is not going to be riding 150km+ in a day, but when Centennial Park loops become boring, there is a whole expansive city to explore.
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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby Derny Driver » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:11 pm

as7431 wrote:Can you buy single 18t gears that are compatible with an Ultegra 10 speed cassette? I have a 12-25, which I use all the time, and a spare 11-28, which I was thinking of turning into a 12-28 for the hills, by removing the 11 and adding an 18 (which I is the gear I miss in my 12-25 too). Is this possible? Do I need to change the 12 to one made for the end of a cluster? I can not remember if the last one is different to the others?

Thanks

Tim

YES you can buy a single 18 tooth Ultegra Shimano cog. And yes, if you remove the end 11 cog, you need to replace the 12 with an end 12. They are different.
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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby Duck! » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:38 pm

as7431 wrote:Can you buy single 18t gears that are compatible with an Ultegra 10 speed cassette? I have a 12-25, which I use all the time, and a spare 11-28, which I was thinking of turning into a 12-28 for the hills, by removing the 11 and adding an 18 (which I is the gear I miss in my 12-25 too). Is this possible? Do I need to change the 12 to one made for the end of a cluster? I can not remember if the last one is different to the others?

Thanks

Tim

You can in theory buy a single 18T sprocket for Ultegra cassettes, but it's out of stock with Shimano Aus. Remember you'll also need an additional sprocket spacer to go with it as the 11 you'll remove has its spacer integrated. The 12T sprocket is the same whether it's the 9th or 10th gear, so you won't need to change that.

It may be easier (but more expensive) to buy a 12-23 cassette & rifle the 18T out of it, 'cos that's the only range in the Ultegra series that features the 18.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby kb » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:00 am

hannos wrote:For me, I prefer a compact and a 12-25. 12-28 when doing hills.
I can spin up any hills using these combo's.

I'm still grinding up some hills with on 34/28. Admittedly, I did go out of my way to find them :-)
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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby antipodean » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:31 am

andione1983 wrote:Certainly don't think I have a clear answer from this thread, so many options and opinions... But been a good read with the theory behind it


The clear answer is actually a question, why do you want to upgrade your gearing when the combo you have is perfectly adequate.
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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby andione1983 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:04 am

I'm asking to find out the theory behind a gearset why you would pick one over the other... I am not intending to 'upgrade' it's a theoretical question and may one day build a bike down the track I just want to get an understanding on gearset first , and i have learnt a lot from people's useful and helpful commenting unlike some others

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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby barefoot » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:13 am

I recently swapped from compact to standard, partly because I find a 39 to be a more flexible ring on the undulating terrain we have around here. The 34 on the compact was too small - I only ever used it on really steep hills. The rest of the time I tended to stay in the big ring and cross-chain a bit for moderate climbing gears. Now I can leave it in the 39 more of the time, and use the moderate climbing gears in the middle of the cassette.

Having gone with the 39 ring, I also added a additional climbing gear - a 30. Not at the back though ;-)

Yep, I got a triple crankset :lol:

I haven't used my 30 ring at all yet... but it's there for when I need it. And I intend to use it, even if I have to go out of my way to find suitable hills (which may or may not be sealed - this is a go-anywhere road bike).

I've never understood why people are so eager to add an extra sprocket at the back as soon as the next generation of cassette and shifter is released, but nobody ever wants to add an extra ring.

As I see it, I have the best of all worlds. If I run a 25t cassette, my 30t ring gives almost exactly the same bottom gear as a 34t compact with a 28t cassette. But I get the nicer spread of ratios in a tighter cassette - and a more useful 39t ring to spin them with.

On my old Long Haul Trucker (which I eventually sold because I wasn't using it for "trucking" duties), I had a 52-42-30 triple and a 13-26 cassette (8-speed). I sometimes, but rarely, ran out of gears at the bottom end. I'm not sure yet whether I prefer the 39 or 42 middle ring. But the 30 is a handy friend to have in times of need :-D

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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby barefoot » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:19 am

kb wrote:
hannos wrote:For me, I prefer a compact and a 12-25. 12-28 when doing hills.
I can spin up any hills using these combo's.

I'm still grinding up some hills with on 34/28. Admittedly, I did go out of my way to find them :-)


I installed a 11-32 MTB cassette on my road bike for a ride a few weeks back, and grinded up a lot of hills in 34:32. Then it got properly steep, and I had to walk. Strava records some of the bits I walked as sustained >40% gradient, peaking at 54% :lol:

That ride was part of the inspiration for me to switch my compact for a triple.

However low your gearing, there will always be hills to use them all.

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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby jonbays » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:31 am

Classic "how long is a piece of string" question gearing. What's comfortable for you for your typical ride on your bike?

And that will change as your fitness changes with time and your typical ride changes with time.

Call me a retro fool if you like but I am still very comfortable riding my old friction shift 12 speed with 52-42 chaining and 14-16-18-21-24-28 rear cluster. Even now at 50+ the 28 is only for when I have really bonked or for riding slowly up steep ramps. Mostly I will ride the 52-18 on the flat comfortable for 36-42kmh depending on the wind and when tiring or on small hills I drop back down to the 52-21 then 42-18 and 42-21 for longer steeper climbs. Mostly I am riding in only 5 of the 12 gears available and in gear inches that's 53-61-65-69-76 inches and those gaps are rarely a problem. When I was younger though I rode 10 speeds with 52-42 chaining and 13-15-17-19-21 rear cluster. They were like a breeze after coming of my fixed with 42-16 and even now 30 years older and 10kg heavier I still don't go past the 42-21 until I am really stuffed.
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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby kb » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:21 pm

barefoot wrote:I installed a 11-32 MTB cassette on my road bike for a ride a few weeks back, and grinded up a lot of hills in 34:32. Then it got properly steep, and I had to walk. Strava records some of the bits I walked as sustained >40% gradient, peaking at 54% :lol:

That ride was part of the inspiration for me to switch my compact for a triple.

!?!

I think I'd go a winch... :-)
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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby barefoot » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:10 pm

kb wrote:
barefoot wrote:I installed a 11-32 MTB cassette on my road bike for a ride a few weeks back, and grinded up a lot of hills in 34:32. Then it got properly steep, and I had to walk. Strava records some of the bits I walked as sustained >40% gradient, peaking at 54% :lol:

That ride was part of the inspiration for me to switch my compact for a triple.

!?!

I think I'd go a winch... :-)


Oh, did I mention it was on dirt?
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The 4WDs ahead of me on the summit track dislodged enough rocks that they probably would have been better off winching.

http://app.strava.com/activities/59153097

But that's getting further and further from the OPs question about gearing for a road bike. Other than to say that if you have a wide enough gear range, you can ride up steep things.

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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby Xplora » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:29 pm

^^ SRAM has a groupset running a 22 crank combined with a 42 rear. You can get much lower gears than the old bloke 42/18... but that's not the point. At least, I THINK that was the point. If you're trying to climb 20% anything you face a different task to hooning down Beach Road at 40kmh. That's why I asked my three questions. climbing, flats and sprinting - the cassette question answers itself if you can answer them. If you can't, keep riding and look at your cassette a few times.
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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:18 pm

I have a local bitumen climb that Strava claims a max of 42% for, the only time I cleared it was with a 28t triple crank and 30t MTB cassette. Even at that grade it was a very fine line between the rear wheel slipping and the front leaving the ground, 54% on dirt is something else! :)
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Re: Gearing Questions

Postby barefoot » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:16 pm

ldrcycles wrote:I have a local bitumen climb that Strava claims a max of 42% for, the only time I cleared it was with a 28t triple crank and 30t MTB cassette. Even at that grade it was a very fine line between the rear wheel slipping and the front leaving the ground, 54% on dirt is something else! :)


It wasn't an easy walk up ;-)

And the disc brakes proved their worth coming back down :-D
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