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Who out there is aware that they're probably riding a bike that is significantly overgeared?

(ie: gearing that makes it tough to ride with a supple high-tempo spin, on anything but pan-flat terrain.)

Feeling under powered and grinding knees away on rolling terrain, on bikes specced with traditional gearing developed for full-time professional road racers, just seems daft. Not the uplifting and enjoyable experience it should be.

Has anyone considered the new sub-compact road chainrings that are becomming available? 

with ratios like 46/30 and 48/32 they're gears that us mere mortals can live with in the hills and dales. 

Thoughts?

34 comments

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Boatsie [230 posts] 4 months ago
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I agree.
Lately the tiagra 9speed cassettes have been on sale at $20 even.
I was waiting for a 12-25. Received email stating restocked. 4 minutes later no stock again.
Then I remembered that the bloke I bought the bike from had mentioned that when the cassette smooths he would replace it with a 13-25 due to the fact that top ratio was barely used and the nicety of the close ratio shifts.
Doing the maths...
My old reliable has top ratio of 3.56...... and that is plenty to me riding a high friction rear tire.
4.07 should be plenty at near same weight and only slightly less friction.. A tax over 4.5 is a 12 I think..
Can't remember exact.. Front cogs 53/39
Hoping it's low enough to climb 7%. Currently climb with 40 front, 28 rear and just sit back and wait because the top provides a 25+km fairly consistent down.

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Canyon48 [868 posts] 4 months ago
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I find my 52/36 chainset with 11-28 cassette perfect on my Canyon. That gives me a top ratio of 4.73, which is great for local descents where I easily top 45mph. The lowest ratio is 1.29 which is enough for getting me up all the local hills (Cheddar Gorge - Mendips etc).

My commute/winter bike has 50/35 with an 11-32 cassette. It can be a little annoying not having such a high top end - I get to about 42mph and can't get much more power out, but then again it's not such a concern as there's only one or two places I hit those speeds on my commute. Having a low ratio of 1.06 is very nice on my commute bike when I'm taking it easy up hills.

When I did more city commuting (I've since moved further into the countryside), I used 46/36 chainrings with an 11-32, I simply never used the top gears as I couldn't hit those speeds around town. Having such close chainrings makes the bike feel a bit more relaxed and a bit more responsive when getting around traffic etc.

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Absoluteblack [2 posts] 4 months ago
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wellsprop wrote:

I find my 52/36 chainset with 11-28 cassette perfect on my Canyon. That gives me a top ratio of 4.73, which is great for local descents where I easily top 45mph. The lowest ratio is 1.29 which is enough for getting me up all the local hills (Cheddar Gorge - Mendips etc).

My commute/winter bike has 50/35 with an 11-32 cassette. It can be a little annoying not having such a high top end - I get to about 42mph and can't get much more power out, but then again it's not such a concern as there's only one or two places I hit those speeds on my commute. Having a low ratio of 1.06 is very nice on my commute bike when I'm taking it easy up hills.

When I did more city commuting (I've since moved further into the countryside), I used 46/36 chainrings with an 11-32, I simply never used the top gears as I couldn't hit those speeds around town. Having such close chainrings makes the bike feel a bit more relaxed and a bit more responsive when getting around traffic etc.

45mph decents sharpen the mind! 

I'm interested to know which sprockets you're using most of the time on your Canyon when in the 52T? 

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Canyon48 [868 posts] 4 months ago
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Absoluteblack wrote:
wellsprop wrote:

I find my 52/36 chainset with 11-28 cassette perfect on my Canyon. That gives me a top ratio of 4.73, which is great for local descents where I easily top 45mph. The lowest ratio is 1.29 which is enough for getting me up all the local hills (Cheddar Gorge - Mendips etc).

My commute/winter bike has 50/35 with an 11-32 cassette. It can be a little annoying not having such a high top end - I get to about 42mph and can't get much more power out, but then again it's not such a concern as there's only one or two places I hit those speeds on my commute. Having a low ratio of 1.06 is very nice on my commute bike when I'm taking it easy up hills.

When I did more city commuting (I've since moved further into the countryside), I used 46/36 chainrings with an 11-32, I simply never used the top gears as I couldn't hit those speeds around town. Having such close chainrings makes the bike feel a bit more relaxed and a bit more responsive when getting around traffic etc.

45mph decents sharpen the mind! 

I'm interested to know which sprockets you're using most of the time on your Canyon when in the 52T? 

Fortunately, there are a couple local descents which are wide sweeping roads, so it doesn't feel all that fast!

Usually, I'm in using the 17 or 15 sprockets with the 52 chainring and a cadence of between 80 and 90 RPM - (which ties up quite nicely with my 75% quartile speed being usually around 22.5mph).

The silly thing is, I could easily lose the 11t for most my riding and have a slightly better chain line by adding a 16 sprocket between the 15 and 17. The trouble is, I'd definitely spin out a 52 12 on a descent.

 

 

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Daveyraveygravey [593 posts] 4 months ago
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I disagree with the OP, and agree with wellsprop.  I ride a 52-36 with an 11-32 which suits me down to the ground here in Sussex.  I can get up Bignor on this (25% in sections) although if I lived in the Lakes or the Alps I'd have a compact at the front.

Boatsie's gearing is to me what the thread is aimed at; I used to have a 53/29 and a 12/25, and realised that when the hills got steep, all my mates would sit and spin away from me as I stood out the seat and forced those cranks round at about 50 rpm.  

Modern 11 speed Ultegra is brilliant for most UK needs.

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Canyon48 [868 posts] 4 months ago
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Daveyraveygravey wrote:

I disagree with the OP, and agree with wellsprop.  I ride a 52-36 with an 11-32 which suits me down to the ground here in Sussex.  I can get up Bignor on this (25% in sections) although if I lived in the Lakes or the Alps I'd have a compact at the front.

Boatsie's gearing is to me what the thread is aimed at; I used to have a 53/29 and a 12/25, and realised that when the hills got steep, all my mates would sit and spin away from me as I stood out the seat and forced those cranks round at about 50 rpm.  

Modern 11 speed Ultegra is brilliant for most UK needs.

I don't necessarily disagree with the OP, I do however think it sounds like 52/36 or even 50/24 isn't the right gearing for the OP.

This is where a 1x drivetrain starts to make A LOT of sense. If you don't require gearing to take you beyond say 30mph, then a 44t chainring with an 11-42t cassette gives you a big range and a nice low gear.

If it at all concerns the OP, you'll end up running into efficiency problems if you drop below a 34 chainring with a 32 cassette. Having a gear ratio greater than one means you're gaining a mechanical advantage through the gears. When this ratio drops below 1 (i.e. a 30t chainring with 32t cassette = 0.94) you are losing mechanical advantage so the drivetrain losses become greater and greater. (The bigger the difference between the driving and the driven gear, the more efficient the system is).

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CXR94Di2 [2034 posts] 4 months ago
5 likes

If you weigh between 60-80kg then if you're reasonably fit should be able to get about on a compact 50/34 11-32 Cass. If you weigh more then easier gearing for hills will be needed. I have built a mountain touring bike using 40/28 XT crankset. I generally use an 11-32 for general riding and 11-40 for mountain climbing. I've changed the the outer chainring for a 44t. This will give a top speed of 32mph at 110rpm on slight declines anything more and I can let my weight accelerate me upto 50mph. MTB gearing will be fine for most riders, you really don't need 53,50,48 for most riders, except for young racing type. It's only convention to follow the professional riders with the same but average Jo really doesn't

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BrokenBootneck [259 posts] 4 months ago
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CXR94Di2 wrote:

If you weigh between 60-80kg then if you're reasonably fit should be able to get about on a compact 50/34 11-32 Cass. If you weigh more then easier gearing for hills will be needed. I have built a mountain touring bike using 40/28 XT crankset. I generally use an 11-32 for general riding and 11-40 for mountain climbing. I've changed the the outer chainring for a 44t. This will give a top speed of 32mph at 110rpm on slight declines anything more and I can let my weight accelerate me upto 50mph. MTB gearing will be fine for most riders, you really don't need 53,50,48 for most riders, except for young racing type. It's only convention to follow the professional riders with the same but average Jo really doesn't

 

its horses for courses though. I weigh 88-90 kilos and can spend all day on Dartmoor on 50/34 and 11 - 28. I live in Hampshire and I find myself under geared around Hampshire most the time and may switch to a mid compact as I tend not to use my 34 unless it’s really steep.  Although the cheap option is drop 5 kilos and stick an 11-25 on. 

 

 

Still need to drop 5 kilos whatever!

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Boatsie [230 posts] 4 months ago
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I haven't installed the 53/39 yet.
Thanks Davey.
At the moment I still spin a 10 year old low cost road bike. Found no problems regarding durability, etc because always garaged and lubed.
48/40 front. 28/14 rear.
Note. I get overtaken. On descending rolls I tend to coast. I look at above 20kmph averages with a smile.
7% grade ok, the 10% grade next door is to scary to me.
I decided to go to a 53-13 top cog.
39-25 low cog because hills are not a problem, if too steep I can reroute.

Wellsprop reads an excellent mix! I'd like that (maybe next cog, just bought teeth)

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BehindTheBikesheds [1717 posts] 4 months ago
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I have a 52/38 with an 11-28 on my old ti racer, I find it more than adequate at the bottom end to get me over my local 7% short uphill drags and even shorter 14%, and I'm 100kg and too close to 50! Having said that I'd proably have preferred a 12 starting sprocket but mr.shimano isn't interested in offering bigger starting sprockets in their latest groupsets.

Could/would it be easier to spin up the inclines in a lower gear, yup, but then I like to tackle same/similar routes differently on different bikes which can sometimes depend on mood and my general health which swings wildly due to chronic ailment.

I have a short 7% downhill to the supermarket in the town to the East and a longer smooth road 5% to the market town to the West, on the daily I spin out on 48/11 because I like to hammer them as hard as I can simply because that's generally how I ride whether nipping the 800m to the post office or wherever, it does have a 26 inner and that's enough with the 28 or even 30 when I eventually wear out the cassette.

My audax/tourer/winter racer I run a 50/39/24 with an 11-28, this pretty much covers all the bases though is a little undergeared on occasion, I have a 12-30 and an 12-36 if I want to do silly steep and loaded which tbh isn't my thing together and the former I'd avoid like the plague.

My 'fast' bike is 52/36 or 52/33 and 11-28, this covers me for longer runs and for steeper stuff plus the lower gear helps out on the final hill on the way home. I don't tend to do hills, it's not something I get a kick out of and I'm simply not fit enough to get up and enjoy really long/steep stuff for the most part.

The last climbing I did of note was about 5 years ago in the alps whilst going to Chamonix on a non cycling matter, I just took a bike at last minute to fill in some time. I managed a 44 mile ride over 3 passes doing about 4600ft at about 11mph average on a 26/26 (& underinflated tyres) on my 'shopping' bike, a spesh globe pro.

I also still run a super compact on my old steel bike, usually 48/32 but can be a 50/28 or even 52/28, that's the big advantage of an 86mm BCD crank. I still have Suntour sprockets that I can pick and choose so could run a 50/28 with a 13/15/18 and 23/27/34 6 speed if I so wanted or any combination between 13 and 34.

ATEOTD people choose differing ratios for their needs, some are lower some are higher, I personally don't care what people choose, what I do care about is making it harder to choose what you can have sprocket wise and it not be silly expensive, that's why I've stuck to 10 speed for 3 of the bikes and indeed am happy with a triple on the audax/winter racer and daily.

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VeloUSA [245 posts] 4 months ago
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@Absoluteblack - I just built a cross/road bike running Di2 and SRAM 1x drivetrain: TT 42T chainring with XG1195 10/42T cassette. Spinning 42/10 is close to a compact 50/12 for the flats. Getting over hills and steep ascents like a mtn goat is a breeze.

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graybags [100 posts] 4 months ago
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Get a single speed, I find that 40x15 gets me round Hertfordshire quite comfortably  1

 

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fukawitribe [2299 posts] 4 months ago
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graybags wrote:

Get a single speed, I find that 40x15 gets me round Hertfordshire quite comfortably  1

 

"Single speed" and "comfortably" - not traditionally things that appear in the same sentence   3

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Pilot Pete [53 posts] 4 months ago
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BrokenBootneck wrote:

its horses for courses though. I weigh 88-90 kilos and can spend all day on Dartmoor on 50/34 and 11 - 28. I live in Hampshire and I find myself under geared around Hampshire most the time and may switch to a mid compact as I tend not to use my 34 unless it’s really steep.  Although the cheap option is drop 5 kilos and stick an 11-25 on. 

Still need to drop 5 kilos whatever!

You find yourself under geared with a biggest gear of 50/11? At 100rpm cadence that would be nearly 36mph. So you are going to switch to a 52/36? 

I reckon you you should learn to spin at a higher cadence, or alternatively turn pro if you can average 36mph around Hampshire!!!  3

PP

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Chris Hayes [238 posts] 4 months ago
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After trying a 50/34 I reverted to 53/39 - 11/27.  My issue with compacts is that I have a tendency to ride - like many other riders I've seen - on the outer ring in a lowish gear on the cassette - to spin at a reasonable cadence.  This causes excessive component wear due to chain angles.  I suffered a bit over Devils' Dyke at the weekend (but it's early in the year, cold, no food on LDN-BRTN, etc.).  I spoke to my LBS about fitting a Wolf Tooth plus 30 cassette, but as I'd probably have to shorten the chain, etc. I'm not going to do it.  I may get a 28/12 though.  I can get bottom end speed with the 53.  I wouldn't go back to a compact unless I was going somewhere very hilly - and I'm not sure that a 52/36 would make that much difference....but that said, Paolo Savoldelli rides one too these days.

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Colin Peyresourde [1840 posts] 4 months ago
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graybags wrote:

Get a single speed, I find that 40x15 gets me round Hertfordshire quite comfortably  1

 

Sounds like nonsense to me. Or you’re wasting your time.

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alansmurphy [1779 posts] 4 months ago
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I suppose it depends if you want to survive the hills or conquer. We had a club ride at the weekend and one of our team has a new 53/39 11-28 and it killed him.

As a low cadence rider he's happy with speed on the flat but it doesn't really help as he's scared and sketchy at speed.

Climbing he really struggled to stay with us and also it took much more out of him. On the 5th or 6th climb he was hanging!

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Pilot Pete [53 posts] 4 months ago
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Chris Hayes wrote:

After trying a 50/34 I reverted to 53/39 - 11/27.  My issue with compacts is that I have a tendency to ride - like many other riders I've seen - on the outer ring in a lowish gear on the cassette - to spin at a reasonable cadence.  This causes excessive component wear due to chain angles.  I suffered a bit over Devils' Dyke at the weekend (but it's early in the year, cold, no food on LDN-BRTN, etc.).  I spoke to my LBS about fitting a Wolf Tooth plus 30 cassette, but as I'd probably have to shorten the chain, etc. I'm not going to do it.  I may get a 28/12 though.  I can get bottom end speed with the 53.  I wouldn't go back to a compact unless I was going somewhere very hilly - and I'm not sure that a 52/36 would make that much difference....but that said, Paolo Savoldelli rides one too these days.

With a 50/23 at 100rpm you would be doing 17mph

A 34/15 combination at 100rpm gives just under 18mph

A 34/18 at 100rpm gives just under 15mph, a 50/26-27 similarly gives about 15mph

So what speed and cadence are you trying to ride at that means you are constantly cross chaining on a compact chain set whilst on the 50 ring which you couldn’t get using the inner ring and a smaller sprocket?

PP

 

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Canyon48 [868 posts] 4 months ago
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Pilot Pete wrote:
Chris Hayes wrote:

After trying a 50/34 I reverted to 53/39 - 11/27.  My issue with compacts is that I have a tendency to ride - like many other riders I've seen - on the outer ring in a lowish gear on the cassette - to spin at a reasonable cadence.  This causes excessive component wear due to chain angles.  I suffered a bit over Devils' Dyke at the weekend (but it's early in the year, cold, no food on LDN-BRTN, etc.).  I spoke to my LBS about fitting a Wolf Tooth plus 30 cassette, but as I'd probably have to shorten the chain, etc. I'm not going to do it.  I may get a 28/12 though.  I can get bottom end speed with the 53.  I wouldn't go back to a compact unless I was going somewhere very hilly - and I'm not sure that a 52/36 would make that much difference....but that said, Paolo Savoldelli rides one too these days.

With a 50/23 at 100rpm you would be doing 17mph

A 34/15 combination at 100rpm gives just under 18mph

A 34/18 at 100rpm gives just under 15mph, a 50/26-27 similarly gives about 15mph

So what speed and cadence are you trying to ride at that means you are constantly cross chaining on a compact chain set whilst on the 50 ring which you couldn’t get using the inner ring and a smaller sprocket?

PP

 

Yeah, I'm confused about this too. When riding a 50t rather than a 52 or 53t, you'll be using a smaller sprocket, hence better chain line, to keep the same speed and cadence.

I've never had an issue with chain line when riding my 52/36 11-28 road bike as opposed to my 50/34 11-32 commuter bike - the transition between little and big rings just happens at a different speed.

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Pilot Pete [53 posts] 4 months ago
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At the risk of mutual back slapping, I’m with wellsprop on this.broken heart

I too ride 52/36 with an 11-28 cassette. I live on the edge of the Peak District and ride a combination  of flat across the Cheshire Plain or the hills of the Peak District which are characterised by short sharp inclines, most of which are well into double figures on gradient.

My old road bike had a compact chainset 50/34 with a 12-25 cassette fitted as standard. I rode this for five years and always felt the extremes weren’t quite optimal. I could have done with a lower bottom gear for the steepest climbs and a larger top gear for the ensuing descents (I descend fast!)

When I built my current road bike I opted for the 52/36 with 11-28 combination which I find gives me those more optimal extremes -36-28 is lower than my previous 34-25 and 52-11 is significantly higher than 50-12.

These combinations work well for me in the terrain I ride regularly. With a 110BCD Rotor crankset I can always swap the front rings for compact 50/34 if I so wish. This would be an option if I were to plan a week somewhere like the Pyrenees, which I last did with the compact 12-25 combination and I struggled with a lowest gear of 34-25. A 34-28 would have been much easier...

PP

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BrokenBootneck [259 posts] 4 months ago
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Pilot Pete wrote:
BrokenBootneck wrote:

its horses for courses though. I weigh 88-90 kilos and can spend all day on Dartmoor on 50/34 and 11 - 28. I live in Hampshire and I find myself under geared around Hampshire most the time and may switch to a mid compact as I tend not to use my 34 unless it’s really steep.  Although the cheap option is drop 5 kilos and stick an 11-25 on. 

Still need to drop 5 kilos whatever!

You find yourself under geared with a biggest gear of 50/11? At 100rpm cadence that would be nearly 36mph. So you are going to switch to a 52/36? 

I reckon you you should learn to spin at a higher cadence, or alternatively turn pro if you can average 36mph around Hampshire!!!  3

PP

 

I hardly ever feel the need to use my small ring and spin quite well thanks. Knees are buggered after years in the Royal Marines, which is why i was invalided out.

I can hold 300 watts for over half an hour.  I just figured having cogs I use all the time was preferential to using some. 

If over geared is grinding away beacause your gears are too big and i'm spinning too much in my small ring and therefore not using it, surely i am undergeared?

If i had a larger small ring, I would actually use it.

I currently have a buggered achillies and still commute on my bike. I just pootle in the small ring and that still feels too easy even with my injury? 

btw i always tend to stay around 90rpm and try and keep cadence fairly high on hills too. 

 

Please explain where I’m going wrong!

 

i'm not talking about top end speed but effective use (for me) of the small ring and cassette.

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Boatsie [230 posts] 4 months ago
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What about 50/39??
I don't think I'm as powerful yet 40 front 28 rear seems to work up 7% fairly easy.
Flat perfect weather I average 25 kmph during 20km using ratio 3.5....

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BrokenBootneck [259 posts] 4 months ago
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its a possibility, but will change my chain ring when i wear out the pressfit BB and swap to an adapter and 24mm set up. So a cassette change is the cheap option. I managed 27.2kph for 9719km last year!

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Pilot Pete [53 posts] 4 months ago
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Eh up Broken, from a fellow ex infanteer!  3

Under geared means that you are spinning out when in your top gear, I.e. you are in your 50/11 and are bouncing in the saddle at something 120rpm cadence!

If you ride predominantly flat lands with small undulations you will undoubtedly remain more in the big ring if you are that fit. I do too. Trying to use the small ring more just for the sake of it begs the question why?

Your gear combinations are there to help you keep your preferential (ideally most efficient) cadence when the gradient changes. So, on predominantly flat rides I wouldn’t expect to use my inner ring much (and indeed I don’t, I can do 100 miles on the Cheshire Plain and not select the 36 ring at all). This is not an issue though.

Having said that, when I go into the Peak District I will use the 36 significantly more, and the 52 on the down hills.

If you find you are wearing out the big ring, then so be it, just replace it when it is worn. I would suggest that riding on the flats on a ‘bigger’ small ring up front just so you use it more would potentially wear that ring out faster (less teeth spreading the load). 

It really is more about not cross chaining if you can avoid it. If you find your current combination has you in the 50 ring all the time, but up on the biggest cog on your cassette I would suggest you should have dropped to the inner ring and down the block to get a similar ratio instead.

I accept that I wear out my 52 ring more quickly than my 36 because I spend a much higher proportion of most rides on that ring. I very rarely have to change inner chainrings as they just don’t get the same amount of use, or power being put through them - I can push hard on the flats on the big ring for hours like you, but tend to try to twiddle more on the 36 and bottom gear when climbing the steep stuff, only rarely putting max power down and honking on the bars to get up a 25% ramp...

So I personally can’t understand the logic of changing chainset/ rings just to use the inner one more...

All the best

PP

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BrokenBootneck [259 posts] 4 months ago
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Pilot Pete wrote:

Eh up Broken, from a fellow ex infanteer!  3

Under geared means that you are spinning out when in your top gear, I.e. you are in your 50/11 and are bouncing in the saddle at something 120rpm cadence!

If you ride predominantly flat lands with small undulations you will undoubtedly remain more in the big ring if you are that fit. I do too. Trying to use the small ring more just for the sake of it begs the question why?

Your gear combinations are there to help you keep your preferential (ideally most efficient) cadence when the gradient changes. So, on predominantly flat rides I wouldn’t expect to use my inner ring much (and indeed I don’t, I can do 100 miles on the Cheshire Plain and not select the 36 ring at all). This is not an issue though.

Having said that, when I go into the Peak District I will use the 36 significantly more, and the 52 on the down hills.

If you find you are wearing out the big ring, then so be it, just replace it when it is worn. I would suggest that riding on the flats on a ‘bigger’ small ring up front just so you use it more would potentially wear that ring out faster (less teeth spreading the load). 

It really is more about not cross chaining if you can avoid it. If you find your current combination has you in the 50 ring all the time, but up on the biggest cog on your cassette I would suggest you should have dropped to the inner ring and down the block to get a similar ratio instead.

I accept that I wear out my 52 ring more quickly than my 36 because I spend a much higher proportion of most rides on that ring. I very rarely have to change inner chainrings as they just don’t get the same amount of use, or power being put through them - I can push hard on the flats on the big ring for hours like you, but tend to try to twiddle more on the 36 and bottom gear when climbing the steep stuff, only rarely putting max power down and honking on the bars to get up a 25% ramp...

So I personally can’t understand the logic of changing chainset/ rings just to use the inner one more...

All the best

PP

 

it seems pointless having it and not using, but will probably change when it’s worn. I did Buxton to peniston and back over the peaks and the strines on a 53/39 25-11 a couple of years ago bugger me that was a challenge. So using that as a benchmark something a little easier would probably suit me a little better allowing me a bit more spinning on big slopes. I think either a mid compact with a 28 at the back would be a versatile combination with a 11-25 in the tool box for flatter rides. 

 

Looking forward to getting up the peaks again this year.  Just have to sort this bloody injury out!

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Boatsie [230 posts] 4 months ago
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On topic yet off topic regarding gearing. I have ordered a cheap fixie. I can climb 5% at 3.5 and the bike is 44-16 ratio.
A local ride is a flat of 5km then a hill climb of 2km (+145m) then a rolling run off 25km (+145m, -190m). Loop.
I figure later I can walk 2km and enjoy!

Any known combinations that keep same chain please?

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Pilot Pete [53 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
BrokenBootneck wrote:

it seems pointless having it and not using, but will probably change when it’s worn. I did Buxton to peniston and back over the peaks and the strines on a 53/39 25-11 a couple of years ago bugger me that was a challenge. So using that as a benchmark something a little easier would probably suit me a little better allowing me a bit more spinning on big slopes. I think either a mid compact with a 28 at the back would be a versatile combination with a 11-25 in the tool box for flatter rides. 

Looking forward to getting up the peaks again this year.  Just have to sort this bloody injury out!

Not wishing to be argumentative, but I again don’t understand why you would fit a mid compact (say 52/36) and change between an 11-28 and an 11-25 based on hilly or flat. Why not just have the 11-28 which will give you plenty of ratios for hilly or flat?

Being a stronger rider you will be using the mid range cogs on your 11-28 on the flats in your big ring, unless you plan to pootle around below 15mph in which case you could drop it to your 36 and be mid range again.

Then when you hit the hills you have the 36/28 which is just about enough for most of the steep stuff even for a more powerful rather than climbing frame rider like you ( and me  3 ). What would be the benefit of switching to an 11-25 cassette for a flat ride? I don’t find I am stuck trying to find a perfect ratio on my 11-28!!!

PP

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Chris Hayes [238 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Pilot Pete wrote:
Chris Hayes wrote:

After trying a 50/34 I reverted to 53/39 - 11/27.  My issue with compacts is that I have a tendency to ride - like many other riders I've seen - on the outer ring in a lowish gear on the cassette - to spin at a reasonable cadence.  This causes excessive component wear due to chain angles.  I suffered a bit over Devils' Dyke at the weekend (but it's early in the year, cold, no food on LDN-BRTN, etc.).  I spoke to my LBS about fitting a Wolf Tooth plus 30 cassette, but as I'd probably have to shorten the chain, etc. I'm not going to do it.  I may get a 28/12 though.  I can get bottom end speed with the 53.  I wouldn't go back to a compact unless I was going somewhere very hilly - and I'm not sure that a 52/36 would make that much difference....but that said, Paolo Savoldelli rides one too these days.

With a 50/23 at 100rpm you would be doing 17mph

A 34/15 combination at 100rpm gives just under 18mph

A 34/18 at 100rpm gives just under 15mph, a 50/26-27 similarly gives about 15mph

So what speed and cadence are you trying to ride at that means you are constantly cross chaining on a compact chain set whilst on the 50 ring which you couldn’t get using the inner ring and a smaller sprocket?

PP

I generally ride at circa 32-36kph on rolling roads - at a much lower cadence than 100 - as do most riders - so the cadence/ratios whilst mathematically correct are probably not sustainable on long rides.    Re-run your numbers at a real-world cadence of 80-90... 

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Pilot Pete [53 posts] 4 months ago
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Chris Hayes wrote:
Pilot Pete wrote:
Chris Hayes wrote:

After trying a 50/34 I reverted to 53/39 - 11/27.  My issue with compacts is that I have a tendency to ride - like many other riders I've seen - on the outer ring in a lowish gear on the cassette - to spin at a reasonable cadence.  This causes excessive component wear due to chain angles.  I suffered a bit over Devils' Dyke at the weekend (but it's early in the year, cold, no food on LDN-BRTN, etc.).  I spoke to my LBS about fitting a Wolf Tooth plus 30 cassette, but as I'd probably have to shorten the chain, etc. I'm not going to do it.  I may get a 28/12 though.  I can get bottom end speed with the 53.  I wouldn't go back to a compact unless I was going somewhere very hilly - and I'm not sure that a 52/36 would make that much difference....but that said, Paolo Savoldelli rides one too these days.

With a 50/23 at 100rpm you would be doing 17mph

A 34/15 combination at 100rpm gives just under 18mph

A 34/18 at 100rpm gives just under 15mph, a 50/26-27 similarly gives about 15mph

So what speed and cadence are you trying to ride at that means you are constantly cross chaining on a compact chain set whilst on the 50 ring which you couldn’t get using the inner ring and a smaller sprocket?

PP

I generally ride at circa 32-36kph on rolling roads - at a much lower cadence than 100 - as do most riders - so the cadence/ratios whilst mathematically correct are probably not sustainable on long rides.    Re-run your numbers at a real-world cadence of 80-90... 

The OP was the one who mentioned a ‘supple high-tempo spin’. I’d equate that to circa 100rpm.

I average 85-90 and consider that to be the lower end of spinning - older school ride partners tend to churn at a much lower cadence and one of my best buddies averages 100rpm and I consider him to be a spinner... nothing unsustainable, it just depends on what people find comfortable or what they practice to get better at. But of course it will affect what gear you are most comfortable in.

My point was that with either a compact or standard chainset, or anything in between, most riders should be able to cruise along comfortably at their preferred cadence at their preferred speed without cross chaining. I cannot see a reason to swap chain sets or cassettes to achieve this. Swapping either of these would normally be to adjust the extremes of the gear ratios, I.e. lower gears to get up steeper climbs and/or higher gears for the descents...not for riding on the flat at a steady pace...

PP

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Chris Hayes [238 posts] 4 months ago
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Pilot Pete wrote:
Chris Hayes wrote:
Pilot Pete wrote:
Chris Hayes wrote:

After trying a 50/34 I reverted to 53/39 - 11/27.  My issue with compacts is that I have a tendency to ride - like many other riders I've seen - on the outer ring in a lowish gear on the cassette - to spin at a reasonable cadence.  This causes excessive component wear due to chain angles.  I suffered a bit over Devils' Dyke at the weekend (but it's early in the year, cold, no food on LDN-BRTN, etc.).  I spoke to my LBS about fitting a Wolf Tooth plus 30 cassette, but as I'd probably have to shorten the chain, etc. I'm not going to do it.  I may get a 28/12 though.  I can get bottom end speed with the 53.  I wouldn't go back to a compact unless I was going somewhere very hilly - and I'm not sure that a 52/36 would make that much difference....but that said, Paolo Savoldelli rides one too these days.

With a 50/23 at 100rpm you would be doing 17mph

A 34/15 combination at 100rpm gives just under 18mph

A 34/18 at 100rpm gives just under 15mph, a 50/26-27 similarly gives about 15mph

So what speed and cadence are you trying to ride at that means you are constantly cross chaining on a compact chain set whilst on the 50 ring which you couldn’t get using the inner ring and a smaller sprocket?

PP

I generally ride at circa 32-36kph on rolling roads - at a much lower cadence than 100 - as do most riders - so the cadence/ratios whilst mathematically correct are probably not sustainable on long rides.    Re-run your numbers at a real-world cadence of 80-90... 

The OP was the one who mentioned a ‘supple high-tempo spin’. I’d equate that to circa 100rpm.

I average 85-90 and consider that to be the lower end of spinning - older school ride partners tend to churn at a much lower cadence and one of my best buddies averages 100rpm and I consider him to be a spinner... nothing unsustainable, it just depends on what people find comfortable or what they practice to get better at. But of course it will affect what gear you are most comfortable in.

My point was that with either a compact or standard chainset, or anything in between, most riders should be able to cruise along comfortably at their preferred cadence at their preferred speed without cross chaining. I cannot see a reason to swap chain sets or cassettes to achieve this. Swapping either of these would normally be to adjust the extremes of the gear ratios, I.e. lower gears to get up steeper climbs and/or higher gears for the descents...not for riding on the flat at a steady pace...

PP

 

I spin at 80-90 too.  Very few riders can  sustain a steady, supple 100rpm over long rides - especially competitive ones (whether with mates or races).  I ride a lot - circa 20,000 km a year, 14,000 of those on my road bike - and rarely see what I'd call capable riders spinning at that cadence:  they are most new riders or youngster Cat riders I can't keep up with! (It's an age thing  21  

My comment related to my experience of riding a compact to ride - possibly a muscle memory issue - on the outer ring in a relatively low gear on the cassette.  My LBS also recognises this through the wear they see on outer rings and cassettes.  Perhaps I should get my calculator out to work our my ratios to see where my sweet spot is...but I'm off out riding now and its p*ssing it down....the first 15 minutes are always the worst. 

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