Retro climber?

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Retro climber?

Postby mse » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:21 pm

Hi all,
I've been riding my one & only bike into work for 5 odd years now - love it!
It's an old tange frame with shimano sport exage running gear. Nothing special but very original, in good condition & I like it. However, some friends have recently started early morning weekend rides & being late 30's, of course they went straight for carbon & Lycra!..... I'm not ready for that yet! So, I want to use my trusty steel vintage alongside the modern plastic but once we get to any decent incline I struggle. I'm certainly no pro but I can see that my major disadvantage is the gearing. I don't have a gear that lets me spin fast enough to just stay in the saddle & pedal uphill. For every one of my revolutions, my friends have turned their shinny cranks over twice!
Can I change the smaller front cog (54&42 biospace sis) to something even smaller? OR do i need to change the rear cogs?
Would love to hear your suggestions!!
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by BNA » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:48 pm

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Re: Retro climber?

Postby Discodan » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:48 pm

I had a similar issue with my MS which I was using as a training bike with a fit mate on his carbon wonder. That is 52/42 biopace and a 13-23 rear cluster, I came to the conclusion that a new rear freewheel was the best and cheapest option, I think it was a 13-28 from memory that you could get quite cheap. This is 6 speed I'm talking so it may not apply if you're on something different

some options, none of them flash but if you're looking for a cheap solution
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/SUNRACE-SCRE ... 3f1c4f62b1
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-Shimano- ... 5aee52f5bd
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-Sunrace- ... 565199f1fd
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby munga » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:30 pm

Discodan speaketh the truth!
pitty43 wrote:Thanks all for your help. Better change my Gumtree add now.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/retroclassiccycling/
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby dayne » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:04 am

A faster cadence up hills will blow your lungs up quick, a slow one will blow your legs up quick,
It's a trade off thing,
The testing on pros shows the fastest most efficient way up is a cadence for most of 83.

To be honest the weight of your bike will make a big difference as will the size of you,

If there big long mountains then a 12/27 is a good option,
If hills a 11/25,
This may not be an option in the group you have so just get the biggest you can, but more so go train more on hills,
Practice hill repeats of about 6-10min long at a cadence of about 60 so pretty slow and concentrate on strength,

In a matter of weeks you will really notice a change.

If you like steel and have a nice frame look at a second hand 105 10 speed group.
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby elantra » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:59 am

You could probably find a 39 tooth inner chainring, much better than 42 tooth.
Usually costs about 40 dollars at bike shop, but it will not be biopace.

Or as has been mentioned by Discodan get a wider ratio cluster.
I had to buy a screw-on shimano compatible 6-speed the other day, 13 to 28.
Found one (a Sunrace brand) at a brisbane bike shop for Twelve dollars. :D

And there is a perverse pleasure to be gained from passing your mates on their new bikes going uphill on your downtube shifting steel dinosaur.
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:41 pm

What discodan and others said in relation to replacing the freewheel/cassette. Usually the easiest and cheapest way to go about it, you can even go with a long cage mountain bike derailleur and 32 tooth cluster, i used that for a while and it worked very well. As has been said, building the legs up is what will really improve the climbing, but as elantra said, it is satisfying to do well with the extra difficulty of lugging about the steely weight.
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby singlespeedscott » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:52 pm

But the weight of the steel frame has little to do with it in the grand scheme. Your power to weight is based on the total mass of your bike and yourself. A 3-4 kg difference is going to mean little.

Definitely get a 13-28 freewheel. The 42 x 28 combination is the same as a modern 39 x 26. The ratio that your mates are probably using.

Also don't beat yourself up about climbing slowly. Just enjoy the challenge of the climb. The guys I ride with smash me up the hills by 3 or more minutes. Some people are just genetically better climbers.
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby idw » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:38 pm

Having a lower gear does make a fair difference, When i changed from a steely to my new touring bike i noticed hill climbing was alot easier. But i fell into a habbit of gearing down and going easy and noticed i was taking longer to climb hills in the end. I alway found with the higher gearing I had to attack hills to get up them which kept my adverage speed up, heart rate up, and overall gave me a better work out. It doesnt cost much to mess around with different chain rings and freewheels to find something your comfortable with and works for you. It is a really good feeling beating the boys with the new gear, though i can barelly keep with anyone atm, been building too many bikes and not riding any of them enough
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby munga » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:48 pm

elantra wrote:And there is a perverse pleasure to be gained from passing your mates on their new bikes going uphill on your downtube shifting steel dinosaur.


you could be riding a housebrick and still be waiting for me at the summit.
pitty43 wrote:Thanks all for your help. Better change my Gumtree add now.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/retroclassiccycling/
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby DarrylH » Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:22 pm

My steely came with a 53/42 and 13/21 on the back - men were men back then. Easily picked up a 39 inner ring and put a 12/27 on the back and it is no slower up most hills than my 2012 CF with 10 sp 105 gear running a compact front and 11/28 on the back.
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:41 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:But the weight of the steel frame has little to do with it in the grand scheme. Your power to weight is based on the total mass of your bike and yourself. A 3-4 kg difference is going to mean little.


Curious though, why do i find on 2 bikes with identical gearing, one with an aluminium frame and the other steel (and about 3kg between them) i find climbing much harder on the steel frame? Specifically steep climbs, short rollers the heavier bikes feel faster (momentum?)
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:44 pm

ldrcycles wrote:
singlespeedscott wrote:But the weight of the steel frame has little to do with it in the grand scheme. Your power to weight is based on the total mass of your bike and yourself. A 3-4 kg difference is going to mean little.


Curious though, why do i find on 2 bikes with identical gearing, one with an aluminium frame and the other steel (and about 3kg between them) i find climbing much harder on the steel frame? Specifically steep climbs, short rollers the heavier bikes feel faster (momentum?)

What does Strava say? Usually when you hurt more your going faster.
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:03 pm

On the geared bikes, slower, the singlespeed on the other hand i'm faster than my big bucks carbon fibre job (on the right climb that is :) ).
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby amrjon » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:23 pm

DarrylH wrote:My steely came with a 53/42 and 13/21 on the back - men were men back then. Easily picked up a 39 inner ring and put a 12/27 on the back and it is no slower up most hills than my 2012 CF with 10 sp 105 gear running a compact front and 11/28 on the back.


I got a new (old) bike with those same ratios. I took it for a first ride on a local mountain loop that I like (mt kembla) and it was punishing all the way. I'm slow and unfit, but it's a loop I've don't several times and never suffered like that. I had to be out of the saddle the while way. Felt like it anyway.

Next time took a bike with a triple ring front and 28 back and was about 10 mins quicker with much less suffering.
No more mountain rides for me on those gears.
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby Metor » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:59 pm

ldrcycles wrote:
singlespeedscott wrote:But the weight of the steel frame has little to do with it in the grand scheme. Your power to weight is based on the total mass of your bike and yourself. A 3-4 kg difference is going to mean little.


Curious though, why do i find on 2 bikes with identical gearing, one with an aluminium frame and the other steel (and about 3kg between them) i find climbing much harder on the steel frame? Specifically steep climbs, short rollers the heavier bikes feel faster (momentum?)

Steel is less stiff. So on steep hills you lose more energy on getting the bike up and forward
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:12 pm

Metor wrote:
ldrcycles wrote:
singlespeedscott wrote:But the weight of the steel frame has little to do with it in the grand scheme. Your power to weight is based on the total mass of your bike and yourself. A 3-4 kg difference is going to mean little.


Curious though, why do i find on 2 bikes with identical gearing, one with an aluminium frame and the other steel (and about 3kg between them) i find climbing much harder on the steel frame? Specifically steep climbs, short rollers the heavier bikes feel faster (momentum?)

Steel is less stiff. So on steep hills you lose more energy on getting the bike up and forward

On a long climb I think stiffness has little to do with it. Long climbs are done seated. Not out of the saddle swinging off the bars. Some flex in certain parts of your frame can help in climbing and descending.
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby Discodan » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:00 am

In my opinion the comments about higher gearing forcing you to be stronger and faster up hills is very true up to a certain gradient, defined by your strength and ratios, at which point it really starts slowing you down. Depending on your psyche many of us will use a lower gear if we've got it and despite the theory that you can spin faster you still end up going slower. I ride with a friend occasionally who is at national level MTB on single speeds (in 24hr solo no less, mad bastards) and he will disappear up any hill that's not a cliff-face faster than you can imagine, just because he can't slow down because of the 2:1 gearing. I also found running my MTB on 1 x 9 limited my ratios but actually made me faster on anything but all day epics which would destroy your legs.

I found on the MS with it's 2 x 6 ratios when I was in race trim that for most hills it forced me to just push harder and go faster to stay on top of the gears but on one particular regular ride (coming out of Akuna Bay anticlockwise) the hill was too steep and I'd fall off the back of the gears. If the hills you are riding are beyond that threshold for you then lower gearing will help, just don't go all soft and use it all the time.

On the comments about weight and stiffness and it's impact on climbing, I won't profess to understand but suspect the comment about standing vs seated climbing is key. Last year I took my brother's 6.3kg beast up Norton Summit Rd (a 400m climb in Adelaide) and for the majority of the ride I was seated and really couldn't notice any difference compared to the 11kg MS. Coming to the 60 kph sign at the end of the ride I got out of the seat for the first time and booted it and, oh my god, the difference was amazing and it really leapt forward. Was this due to the 5kg weight saving or the stiffer frame, I don't know the answer (I suspect stiffness) to that one but there certainly was a difference. Just my 2c

cheers
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby Paddles » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:06 am

Interesting issue mse, my ride bike is a 1990 shogun that I've restored (sounds very similar to what you've got, tange frame etc) and whilst i don't ride up too many long hills, I'm craving for a bit lower gearing. I've got 42/52T biopace rings up front and a 14-24T 7 speed rear. I do have a 40T biopace ring in my box of goodies so I reckon I'll throw it on and give it a go after reading these comments.
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby LG » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:57 pm

Where did this assumption that steel frames are "less stiff" come from? Less stiff than what?
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:15 pm

Well my Tom Wallace is like a cooked noodle, and i remember an article in Ride (i think) where a track rider from the 80s complained about how much flex the Clamont track bikes had.
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby Metor » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:22 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:
Metor wrote:
ldrcycles wrote:Curious though, why do i find on 2 bikes with identical gearing, one with an aluminium frame and the other steel (and about 3kg between them) i find climbing much harder on the steel frame? Specifically steep climbs, short rollers the heavier bikes feel faster (momentum?)

Steel is less stiff. So on steep hills you lose more energy on getting the bike up and forward

On a long climb I think stiffness has little to do with it. Long climbs are done seated. Not out of the saddle swinging off the bars. Some flex in certain parts of your frame can help in climbing and descending.

I replied on the steep climbs, because there is where he has most trouble. Those you do most of the time standing. Besides that are long climbs for sure not always done seated. I prefer standing even on long climbs. It takes more energy but I feel more comfortable and gives me more power. Except when I am just taking it easy and want to enjoy the view :wink:
Some flex might help, but the difference between steel and aluminium can be huge. I rather have a stiff bike on a climb and a descent.
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:59 pm

ldrcycles wrote: i remember an article in Ride (i think) where a track rider from the 80s complained about how much flex the Clamont track bikes had.
Yet my Clamont road bike, designed for crits, as well as being the lightest steel frame I own is also the stiffest.

I guess I just dont put out as much power as Martin Vinnicombe :D . I doubt Andre Greiple puts out as much power as he did. Regardless, when you are talking about guys with that much power any frame is going to flex. Unless it's a BT carbon track frame.

Metor wrote:I replied on the steep climbs, because there is where he has most trouble. Those you do most of the time standing. Besides that are long climbs for sure not always done seated. I prefer standing even on long climbs. It takes more energy but I feel more comfortable and gives me more power. Except when I am just taking it easy and want to enjoy the view :wink:
Some flex might help, but the difference between steel and aluminium can be huge. I rather have a stiff bike on a climb and a descent.


I stand for short power climbs but prefer to sit on longer steeper ones. I get out of the saddle occasionally but only to rest the hamies.

Just watch the tour riders. They spend most of the time in the saddle and only get out to attack or rest the legs.

Give me a nice steel frame for descending any time. Nothing holds a line like a steelie. Stiff frames bounce around to much on rough bitumen and don't hold a line.
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby mse » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:36 pm

Thanks so much for all your replies & feedback! I will have a look at the existing rear cog set & find for a suitable replacent that has a lower gear (those eBay links are helpful - cheers!). In fact, I might think about a lighter complete wheel set just for the weekends to swap out with my original alloy weinmanns!
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby Stepr » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:09 pm

I started riding my old Kojima to work with a 7 speed rear cassette, I messed around and changed the gearing, but eventually got a cheap (second hand) R500 rear wheel and upgraded to a 9 speed and put on a 9 speed chain. I still use the 7 speed indexing and it changes very well, If I want the extra gears for climbing I turn the thumb screw on the shifter while riding and it changes it to friction enabling me to access any gear.

Surprising that the 7 speed indexing works so well on the 9 speed but is does, just have to set it up right.
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Re: Retro climber?

Postby sunho » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:19 pm

Stepr wrote:I started riding my old Kojima to work with a 7 speed rear cassette, I messed around and changed the gearing, but eventually got a cheap (second hand) R500 rear wheel and upgraded to a 9 speed and put on a 9 speed chain. I still use the 7 speed indexing and it changes very well, If I want the extra gears for climbing I turn the thumb screw on the shifter while riding and it changes it to friction enabling me to access any gear.

Surprising that the 7 speed indexing works so well on the 9 speed but is does, just have to set it up right.

'

clever... i must try that to see if i can access my other gears...
at the moment i have 7 speed dt shifters because 8 speed is too xcy..
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