Close Gear vs Wide Range

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Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby Krank » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:51 pm

For 11 speed, which do you prefer - close gear for maintaining optimal cadence or wider range to cope with hills better (but sacrifice on finding the exact cadence)?

I know this answer can be affected by many things such as compact vs standard crankset, weather, terrain/gradient, fitness levels, muscle fibre type, race/training.

But, using standard crankset size, on training runs - which do you prefer, and similarly in fast group rides?


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by BNA » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:11 pm

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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby open roader » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:11 pm

Horses for courses.

What you are asking is how long is a piece of string?

My reality is hilly terrain. I am no uber fit cyclist, I ride 11sp. compacts and 12-27.

With all due respect , you appear to have a bucket load of money, I strongly suggest you buy yourself a few cassettes and find out what works for you.
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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby Krank » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:32 pm

thanks mate. will do.

Tell me about your 12-27?

I understand this cassette is missing the 18t cog, but gains the 27t cog when compared to the 12-25.

Do you miss that 18t cog at all?

And, how do u find that 2t gap between 17-19-21 on the 12-27 cassette, when compared to the 1t gap on the 17-18-19 on the 12-25 cassette?

I am keen on the 12-27, and want to know more about it from end users perspective...


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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby clydesmcdale » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:38 pm

I have both the 12-29 and the 12-27 11 speed cassettes on 2 wheelsets.

Have never really thought about it other than when climbing steeply and looking for another gear. If anything the 12-27 allows me to use the front derailleur less, but it's marginal.
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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby Metor » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:42 pm

The cranckset shouldn't matter. When you buy the bike this should already have been considered (Compact, tripple, double). Although anyone can change his mind :wink:
I opt for 2 different cassettes: 12-23 and 12-27. This works for me from racing/touring on the flat to racing/touring in the mountains
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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby Krank » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:57 pm

Thanks guys,

I do understand that this topic is very subjective and I am simply putting some feelers out there for discussion.

My mind is already made with the standard size cransket.

Guys - Do you find it more difficult to maintain optimal cadence with those wider range gearsets?

And, I notice that none of you use the 11t cog. Why is this?



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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby Metor » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:02 pm

I used the wide range in the mountains and are not busy with my optimal cadence at those rides. On the flat it does bother me, but also that is very personal. That's why multiple cassettes will help out :wink:
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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby sogood » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:10 pm

Fortunately the difference lies just in the price of a new cassette, one that gets worn out in 6-12 months any way. So go and try it. Fact is, at 11 speed, the gaps between cogs is pretty small, and only lies in the b/n two of the larger cogs. Go and compare the exact cog teeth numbers of the two cassettes and you'll see what I mean.
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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby Krank » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:15 pm

Thanks Sogood.

Yes, here is the profile 11s matchup:

12-25 :12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,21,23,25
12-27: 12,13,14,15,16,17,19,21,23,25,27


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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby Krank » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:17 pm

Metor wrote:I used the wide range in the mountains and are not busy with my optimal cadence at those rides. On the flat it does bother me, but also that is very personal. That's why multiple cassettes will help out :wink:


What rear tooth/teeth do you like to be in on the flat to achieve your consistent cadence?

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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby sogood » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:30 pm

Krank wrote:12-25 :12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,21,23,25
12-27: 12,13,14,15,16,17,19,21,23,25,27

I think you can now make a well informed decision for your first trial cassette and know where exactly to monitor. At the end of the day, it's question of whether you have sufficient number of hard climbs that you need that 27.
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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby RonK » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:36 pm

I like close ratios, but also need to compromise a little as I'm no climber. So I use an 11-25 10sp.

If you select the 12-27, then you'll need to use the small chainring most often in order to stay on the small end of the cassette. If you try to use the big ring you'll spend a lot of time on the big end of the cassette where the ratios are wider.
If you really need a ratio as low as 39x27 (38"), then a better choice would be a compact 52/36 chainring with an 11-25 cassette. This combination will give the best spread of close ratios and a 37.9" low gear.
Hard to see though why you would need such a low gear at Jabiru.
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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby Krank » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:25 pm

Thanks Ron.

Very good information, and something I have not considered before. I will look into this.

Why do I need to use the small chainring most often in order to stay on the small end of this 12-27 cassette, as opposed to other different geared cassettes (such as the 11-25)?

Also, how often do you use the 11t cog?

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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby RonK » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:51 pm

Krank wrote:Why do I need to use the small chainring most often in order to stay on the small end of this 12-27 cassette, as opposed to other different geared cassettes (such as the 11-25)?

Also, how often do you use the 11t cog?

If you use the big chainring, then you need to use two gears lower (i.e. bigger sprockets) on the cassette to obtain approximately the same ratio. If your speed is under 30 kph you'll be using the big end of the cassette.

I rarely use the big ring, since 39x12 yields 37kph at 90rpm cadence. Staying on the small ring means I am most often on the small (close ratio) end of the cassette.

I do use the 11t cog when I start to spin out on the 12t and know that I won't need to hold it for very long. But the point of having the 11t is to have a usable 12.

I don't use the big ring until my speed gets up around 40kph, when I'm sure to stay on the small end of the cassette.
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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby Krank » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:19 pm

very good insight Ronk. You have just opened my world further into gearing (despite reading alot of stuff on the net).

I may have to re-assess the way I ride now...

I am in my large chain ring (and the smaller 3 cogs) for most of my riding (have not used the small chain ring since Perth Hills in 2011), but I notice my cadence is lower than 80RPM.

I am thinking now for me to improve I need to sustain a higher cadence, which obviously means paying more attention to my counter and responding more frequently to gear changes to maintain a stable cadence.

So, the smaller front chain ring enables a closer ratio - so obvious to me now :oops:

Can you elaborate more on making the 12t cog more usable with the 11t cog up front?

I have not yet purchased the crankset yet and the cassette because i do need to research this topic more, and I am more than happy to buy more than 1 cassette.

When I read the reviews on the Oltre XR, most users use and state the importance of using the standard crankset, and I wonder why?

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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby sogood » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:32 pm

RonK wrote:If you use the big chainring, then you need to use two gears lower (i.e. bigger sprockets) on the cassette to obtain approximately the same ratio. If your speed is under 30 kph you'll be using the big end of the cassette.

Yep, that's why the 50 on my CT chainset works. For regular riding, I hardly ever need to move to the small ring except for nasty climbs.
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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby Krank » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:45 pm

Thanks Sogood.

Is the 52/36 a semi compact chain ring and the 50/34 a compact chain ring?

Why would alot of reviews state that the Oltre XR is ideally suited to the standard crankset?

When woudl the standard crankset be more useful / favoured over the compact chainset - in general?

Also, with the 50/34 compact, do you find yourself changing ratios (up and down on rear) to maintain your cadence?

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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby sogood » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:51 pm

If there were no significant hills around Sydney and I am 25 years younger, I'd go with a standard. CT gives a middle aged recreation rider that extra 2 steps at the lower end with little loss at the top (11-25). That's the basic reason for me.

I use 50/34 CT On both my road bikes. Changing rear cogs for cadence is no different what chainset you use.
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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby RonK » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:53 pm

Krank wrote:very good insight Ronk. You have just opened my world further into gearing (despite reading alot of stuff on the net).

I may have to re-assess the way I ride now...

I am in my large chain ring (and the smaller 3 cogs) for most of my riding (have not used the small chain ring since Perth Hills in 2011), but I notice my cadence is lower than 80RPM.

I am thinking now for me to improve I need to sustain a higher cadence, which obviously means paying more attention to my counter and responding more frequently to gear changes to maintain a stable cadence.

So, the smaller front chain ring enables a closer ratio - so obvious to me now :oops:

Can you elaborate more on making the 12t cog more usable with the 11t cog up front?

I have not yet purchased the crankset yet and the cassette because i do need to research this topic more, and I am more than happy to buy more than 1 cassette.

When I read the reviews on the Oltre XR, most users use and state the importance of using the standard crankset, and I wonder why?

Krank

OK, so now you reveal that you don't use the small ring, I can understand why you want a 27t cog. However this approach makes no sense to me.

I aim to maintain an average cadence of 90 rpm. Since my usual road speed in flat, windless conditions is around 30-35kph, and I like my gear ratios to be close, then I have to use the small chainring.

On any cassette, to avoid cross chaining you don't want to use the small sprocket with the small ring, or the big sprocket with the big ring. So to have a usable 12t, you need an 11t, which will rarely be used.

Knowing now how you ride, I think your best choice would be to stick with a standard 53/39 chain set and an 11-25 cassette and start using the small chainring, bearing in mind that to achieve the recommended 90 rpm average cadence you will need to be pedaling faster than that for much of the time. I often rev up around 130rpm.
Last edited by RonK on Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby RonK » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:55 pm

sogood wrote:
RonK wrote:If you use the big chainring, then you need to use two gears lower (i.e. bigger sprockets) on the cassette to obtain approximately the same ratio. If your speed is under 30 kph you'll be using the big end of the cassette.

Yep, that's why the 50 on my CT chainset works. For regular riding, I hardly ever need to move to the small ring except for nasty climbs.

A good option for hilly terrain.
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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby sogood » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:55 pm

With modern drivetrains, cross chaining is no longer an issue when well adjusted.
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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby Krank » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:11 pm

Ok - thanks boys.

When I read the reviews on the Oltre XR, most users use and state the importance of using the standard crankset, and I wonder why?


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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby RonK » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:11 pm

sogood wrote:With modern drivetrains, cross chaining is no longer an issue when well adjusted.

And EPS front derailleur will be self-trimming too so even the 11t will be usable.
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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby Krank » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:14 pm

Just on that EPS Front Derailer - I popped a question for you on the other thread..

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Re: Close Gear vs Wide Range

Postby sogood » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:18 pm

Krank wrote:When I read the reviews on the Oltre XR, most users use and state the importance of using the standard crankset, and I wonder why?

No ideas. But it's common for the "mine is bigger than your" set to portray the CT as being weak and the standard setup to be the "real man's" setup. If there's no logical sense, it makes no sense.
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