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  1. #1
    Dazed and Confused JAX_11's Avatar
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    Tour of the gila gearing recommendations and other stuff for 2014

    Florida boy that goal is to race tour of the gila in 2014 trying to determine what a optimum gearing to race this stage race and other advice on arrival time, acclimation period and such. I'm already putting together planning stages and waiting for schedule to come out to plan hotel and travel.

    So I'm 5'7 131lbs riding currently a 53-39 with 11-25. I did ride a compact for 2 years so I feel very comfortable on them. wattage wise 248 threshold.

    For the TT bike I was thinking 54 and don't know what size small ring but on the road bike I wandering if it isn't a good idea or beneficial if I went to a 52-36 or 50-34.. That's wherein hoping guys like you who have experience in this race can direct me to the best combinations for my size and weight and power and terrain can help. Been working with a coach for only 8 weeks and have already seen a increase in power along with the 24lbs I lost specifically to race this race next year.

  2. #2
    Disgruntled Grad Student seejohnbike's Avatar
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    did your account get hacked or something? The topic is pretty suspect (really, worrying this much NOW about a race that is in 11 months?), and the grammar is appalling, even by internet forum standards.

    Unless you're also a Nigerian prince and want to share with us your treasures...
    If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research.

  3. #3
    No matches Flatballer's Avatar
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    Maybe he's dazed and confused?
    It's a bike race, not a tea party. - GirlAnachronism

  4. #4
    These Guys Eat Oreos Creatre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seejohnbike View Post
    did your account get hacked or something? The topic is pretty suspect (really, worrying this much NOW about a race that is in 11 months?), and the grammar is appalling, even by internet forum standards.

    Unless you're also a Nigerian prince and want to share with us your treasures...
    He's been posting about Gila since he registered. This is legit. He's just obsessed with it I guess and hasn't found the 10s of threads on Gila informative enough I guess.
    Category 2 | | Velogames BikeForums Leagues: 1st - 2012 Veulta, 1st - 2011 Vuelta, 2nd - 2013 Vuelta, 3rd - 2012 Giro, 4th - 2012 TdF

  5. #5
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Just give him an answer, before this thread becomes fodder for the grammar police

    jax is basically asking if 39x25 is fine...

    I would surely think so, but then I've never been to Gila

  6. #6
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    It's fine if you're fit enough to be at the front. Otherwise, nothing will save you.
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  7. #7
    Dazed and Confused JAX_11's Avatar
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    Yes I am obsessed with it. To me it's the biggest challenge for me to compete and do well in. I have worked on dropping weight just for this race next year. Hired a coach and invested in a quart power meter for training and doing exactly what he tells me. I get a year exactly to prepare. I have heard people say you need more than a 53 for the TT like a 54 or 55 and for the road race portion I'm right now in my mind saying 53-39 with a 11-28 but maybe a compact with a smaller tighter ratio of cogs. I am also interested in how long before the race I should arrive from Florida to acclimate if that is even necessary. Sorry for grammar, I'm I-phoning it today.

  8. #8
    Dazed and Confused JAX_11's Avatar
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    I have enough time I can actually come out up to a month before hand. I am within driving distance of north Georgia and plan on working on my climbing in dahlonega beforehand. Thanks you the replys. I would like to find the best gearing combo that I can spin the highest most efficient RPMs as mashing is not my style and definitely not a strength.

  9. #9
    Cat 5 Mod Jandro's Avatar
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    I'm confused:

    1) If you hired a coach, why are you not asking him these questions?
    2) This question has been asked and answered multiple times in multiple threads.
    3) We are not going to be able to tell you what your optimal gearing and cadence is. That is between you and your coach (see #1).

    Do you have any NEW questions that we CAN answer that haven't already been discussed/answered in the above?
    Attack in the feeling because it says I'll win absolutely.

  10. #10
    Disgruntled Grad Student seejohnbike's Avatar
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    if your coach is worth his salt, he ought to know most about your skills/strengths as a rider, and how best to answer these questions, rather than random jerks on the internet. (sorry, jerks.)

    at the very least, YOU should be able to ballpark some of these figures using something like this: http://bikecalculator.com/veloUS.html, and a gear inch calculator of your choosing (damn, I used to know a really good one what would let you look at the entirety of a cassette/rings combo, see the overlaps, 'unuseable' gears based on chain rub, %differences, etc, speed at a given RPM. was flash based, i think... anyone know what I'm talking about?)

    You can even check out the wikipedia page on the effects of high altitude on humans to get a picture of what you'd need for both a minimum of altitude acclimation, and full acclimation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects...tude_on_humans

    So yeah. Figure it out. These are pretty reasonable theoretical solutions to your theoretical situation, and I was able to find them in a matter of minutes on google. If you want less theoretical and more real-world data, get to scouring mapmyride, ridewithgps, strava, etc, and seek out climbs near you with a similar profile to see what kind of set up works well on them. Also, talk to your coach - this is what you're PAYING him for, yeah?
    If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research.

  11. #11
    VeloSIRraptor
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
    It's fine if you're fit enough to be at the front. Otherwise, nothing will save you.

    </thread>
    This is all that matters.
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If it comes down to a field sprint, you probably won't win, so don't let it.

  12. #12
    Dazed and Confused JAX_11's Avatar
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    Do you ask a nutritionist about cancer? Well I dont expect my coach who races in Florida to know information about a 5 day stage race at altitude when florida racing is mainly flat crits/road races at sea level. I was just looking to see if a compact crankset for the road bike is preferred in cat 3 for this race or a standard. That what I was looking for. I pay a coach to train me, get my weight down. i dont expect him to know if the field is mainly using compacts or standard cranks when he's never done that race and am from florida where everything is flat. There is no where in florida to practice the kind of stuff I would be facing there. All i know at this point is there seems to be alot of climbing which is why I want to do this race. I just cant figure out if a compact with a 11-26 is gonna be better for me than a standard with a 11-28. I figured there would have been someone on here thats raced this race as a cat3 who would lend some words of advice when it comes to gearing. Ive researched online "tour of the gila gearing and other such stuff" I find nothing but talk of Armstrong and leipheimer when they raced it. nothing that helps a cat3 from Florida. Thanks

  13. #13
    VeloSIRraptor
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    If your coach can't help you get ready for a big race that is 12 months away, they aren't worth paying.

    My coach hasn't ever sent anyone to the race I'm aiming for, but it isn't like that stopped her from talking to her contacts, working backwards from what I'd need when toeing the line, and putting together the info I need.

    Here's some free advice, given from the most helpful part of my (admittedly stingy) heart,
    I'd strongly, STRONGLY advise you to seek out some races with climbing in them between now and September... get as much feel as you can for what a climbing race feels like. There is climbing in GA, in NC... lots of places within a decent distance of Florida.
    Even going from riding & racing in hills on a daily basis in Seattle to my first race with serious climbing in it, that was an eye opener.

    Do whatever you have to do to make this happen - climbing races are wildly different than flat races, and Gila is yet a whole 'nother bag of fun. I never got to race it, but raced in NM for a bit and it is a different world out there.
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If it comes down to a field sprint, you probably won't win, so don't let it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    Here's another suggestion: Go to North Georgia, ride in the mountains with the gears you have, and see how you do. If you need bigger gears, get bigger gears. If you need smaller gears, get smaller gears.

    None of us can really answer this question for you. Some people do better with big gears. Some people do better with little gears.

  15. #15
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Agreed about the climbing races. I would be a lot less concerned about the altitude. Get your climbing strength and technique together. The other thing is that you said you have a Quarq. Standard or compact? Because if you switch cranks you'll be without the Quarq. That may or may not be an issue for you. As for gearing, it's possible to sneak a 12-30 onto a standard crank setup with a little tweaking. I have never done Gila but I cannot imagine staying at the front of a race with a smaller gear than a 39-30.

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    I've ridden those roads, not raced them, I'm sure other folks here have raced them, but my two cents is you need a compact with an 11-28 for the road races. You are from Florida and those roads are steep. You are going to be working on surviving the climbs.

    It's not just that there's a lot of climbing, there is a lot of steep climbing. And you say you are a spinner not a masher. The low gears are going to help you and a 50x11 high gear is plenty high enough.

    For the altitude question, if you really can go several weeks early, and you really care, go ahead and go several weeks early. A few days isn't going to help, and might actually hurt, but a couple weeks will help. And then you can pre-ride the roads and train at altitude too.
    ...

  17. #17
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seejohnbike View Post
    ...
    at the very least, YOU should be able to ballpark some of these figures using something like this: http://bikecalculator.com/veloUS.html, and a gear inch calculator of your choosing (damn, I used to know a really good one what would let you look at the entirety of a cassette/rings combo, see the overlaps, 'unuseable' gears based on chain rub, %differences, etc, speed at a given RPM. was flash based, i think... anyone know what I'm talking about?)
    ...

    Mike Sherman's gear calculator
    updates the charts and graphs as soon as you make any change. You can see the effects of different chainrings, cogs, or cadence immediately.

  18. #18
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    use a 53x39 with an 11x28 for the 1st stage and the gila monster stage, and maybe the TT. take an 11x23 for the other stages and the crit.

    doing some climbing and climbing races is a good idea, but you need to race more. period. at least 30 to 50 races between now and next May, plus time trials. if you dont, you should save the plane ticket money because you wont be suited to go. the climbing is the dealsealer at gila but there's also always allot of wind, and being able to handle yourself in a pack is critical or you'll be iban mayo at the 2004 TdF (look it up). you should do the GMSR in September of this year to get a flavor for climby stuff and for racing against a field full of sandbaggers who are targeting a specific race (which will be the case at gila).

    also, you need to vocalize your goals with your coach and discuss all things bike racing with him/her.

  19. #19
    Disgruntled Grad Student seejohnbike's Avatar
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    i'll play along with the analogy for a bit: no. you would not go see a nutritionist about cancer, you would go see a doctor. Specifically, an oncologist. But, still a doctor. So, if you asked an oncologist a question about some other form of medicine (lets say, general practice, or a common surgery), they ought to be able to give you some kind of reasonable answer, and if your question is REALLY specific, maybe refer you to a specialist, or ask a specialist for you and get back to you.

    Your coach, while they may be a specialist for racing in a place like florida that's pretty flat, is still a coach for bicycle racers. In the 'general practice' of bicycle racing, climbing is definitely a thing that a coach should be able to give advice about - whether its through their own knowledge, or through their professional network of others they know to ask.

    If they can't/won't do this for you, you should seriously consider finding another coach.

    And again, let me stress the importance of doing a little number crunching/stalking of your own. If you're THIS determined to go, you should be willing to put in a little more work on your part to find these answers. Stalk competition from last year, look up strava segments, see how fast they rode certain segments. Take some of that, punch it into bicyclecalculator and see what kind of power you'd need to do. If you're really anal about stuff, you can probably look up NOAA data and find average wind speed/direction kinda stuff for those routes. When you figure out how fast they'll hit each segment, take a look at what kind of gearing could give you that speed. Then look back at your power - can you sustain that at whatever RPM you'd be turning over at that speed? Who knows if this will be close or not, but it's certainly a starting point (hopefully in the ballpark), and that's a far better position than you're in now sitting on your hands/asking others to figure it out for you...

    If you want, I could coach you based on a purely numerical/theoretical basis having never seen the Gila courses. Probably would do a better job than your current coach. Would definitely do if for cheaper. Straight up Moneyball in this m'fer.
    If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    As for gearing, it's possible to sneak a 12-30 onto a standard crank setup with a little tweaking.
    No tweaking necessary - Shimano and SRAM make RDs that will work with a 12-30.
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

  21. #21
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Another cluster**** of a thread.. BF rarely fails to deliver!
    Cat 1 o-meter: 24/35 points

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  22. #22
    Dazed and Confused JAX_11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    use a 53x39 with an 11x28 for the 1st stage and the gila monster stage, and maybe the TT. take an 11x23 for the other stages and the crit.

    doing some climbing and climbing races is a good idea, but you need to race more. period. at least 30 to 50 races between now and next May, plus time trials. if you dont, you should save the plane ticket money because you wont be suited to go. the climbing is the dealsealer at gila but there's also always allot of wind, and being able to handle yourself in a pack is critical or you'll be iban mayo at the 2004 TdF (look it up). you should do the GMSR in September of this year to get a flavor for climby stuff and for racing against a field full of sandbaggers who are targeting a specific race (which will be the case at gila).

    also, you need to vocalize your goals with your coach and discuss all things bike racing with him/her.
    I have raced on average 20-30 races a year. I have several trips planned for north Georgia this summer since its only a few hours away. It seems like your thinking I have never rode in a pack before but maybe I'm taking it the wrong way. Very comfortable in a pack.
    Gearing wise I have a new TT bike coming with another quarq that I'm gonna order. I could get a compact and put 52-36 rings on it and put that one on my road bike and take the 53-39 and place it on the TT bike. That's one of the reasons I asked about gearing before I order this quarq. I dropped my weight from 154 to 130lbs and am maintaining nicely. 5'7". I just was looking for a rough idea about what the field has used gearing wise in the past is all.

  23. #23
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    My advice?
    53x15 fixie, dial it up to 400w and pound them guads...
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  24. #24
    No matches Flatballer's Avatar
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    I think what MD was trying to say is that there's racing, and then there's RACING. A race like Tour of Gila attracts people from all over the country, and they've all probably been targeting it all year and building specifically for it.
    It's a bike race, not a tea party. - GirlAnachronism

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAX_11 View Post
    I have raced on average 20-30 races a year. I have several trips planned for north Georgia this summer since its only a few hours away. It seems like your thinking I have never rode in a pack before but maybe I'm taking it the wrong way. Very comfortable in a pack.
    Gearing wise I have a new TT bike coming with another quarq that I'm gonna order. I could get a compact and put 52-36 rings on it and put that one on my road bike and take the 53-39 and place it on the TT bike. That's one of the reasons I asked about gearing before I order this quarq. I dropped my weight from 154 to 130lbs and am maintaining nicely. 5'7". I just was looking for a rough idea about what the field has used gearing wise in the past is all.

    ok. for some reason i didnt think you've raced much. the gearing recommendations in my post are from 2 of my teammates, a cat 1 and cat 2 that did the 40+ version of gila this past year, and have done the pro/1 and cat 2 races in the past. you should still put GMSR on your calender since it's a climby race you can do in 3 months to get your feet wet and give you a waypoint for doing what you need not only equipment wise, but also recovering between stages, etc. although no TT bikes are permitted there.

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