Hi .... I need some experts to shoot some holes in this theory I'm going to follow. I currently ride 42t/50t Rotor Q-Rings with 11:23 rear cogs, 175mm cranks, 178cm tall and love them. All gear inches are not created equal. As such a smaller big chain ring ( within reason ) is better at the end of the day.... particularly in the sprint to the line or for sudden surges during a ride where rapid acceleration is crucial ...... if a 48t front is good enough for trackies who ride between 40 and 60km/hr for an hour, why cant it be appled to the road? Granted, I'm not racing at speeds over 50 to 55km/hr for any length of time so I figure that an Increased ability to spin makes up for the loss in size of the 53 ring and you feel fresher at the end of the ride due to getting over tdc so much easier.
FACT 1: 5.5 years on 175mm cranks with a 53/39 round rings and 11.23 rear cogs.
Always been the leadout man and getting run down in the last 30 or 40 metres by every man and his dog.
Always in big gears and max cadence "sprinting" around 110/112. Av cad about 89rpm
Sore/aching L hip for 3 years under extreme load.
FACT 2: Spent 6 months on 170mm cranks to reduce pressure on hip at tdc. Seemed to work as pain eased but my top end and hill climbing suffered badly.
FACT 3: Spent the last 6 months on a set of rotor q-rings, 50/42 with an 11/23 rear. Back on 175mm cranks.
DIFFERENCE ... average cad up by 4rpm,
Av max cad in sprint up by 13rpm
Average HR down by almost 4 beats
Av Max HR in a sprint is down 1beat.
BUT ..... my average top end sprint speed is up by 5km/hr ...... 60km/hr plus is now possible ( at times )without using the 12 or 11. ( quick for me )
No aching L hip
I am now "winning" 1 in 2 sprints and if run down it's mostly by only 1 or 2 riders
...... huge, huge improvement.
NOTE: Nothing has changed with my training, diet etc .... only the use of the Q-Rings
When I go to the 48t rotor q-ring ( which hasn't arrived yet ) I'm expecting that I can still increase my av cadence by around 2 or 3 rpm to almost offest the drop in speed at the same rear cog as before. ( the reduced load at tdc is critical to my increased endurance I believe ) The smaller ring is perceived by me to spin easier and thus save my legs and so be fresher in the sprint or enable me to jump quicker during a surge. As I can sometimes push a 50/13 to around 130rpm I figure a 48t can go to about 135 or I drop into the 12 at 125rpm. Who knows what happens if I get to an 11 with a tail wind.
I'm also finding that pushing a 42t small ring in strong head and crosswinds is better than grinding on a 53t or even a 50t ....... I feel much fresher in the legs and appear to have a better sprint finish due to the increased cadence I can muster, 135rpm +. I'm finding that it's all about the cadence at top end speed.
AM I BEING DELUSIONAL ? ..... I keep getting told that BIGGER is always better