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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-29-09, 01:34 PM   #1
Crabster
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Gearing question

Hi folks,

I have a question about gearing:

My Specialized Sequoia has a 50x42x30 chain ring and 11-28t cassette.
The Specialized Allez has a 52x42x30 chain ring and 12-26t cassette.

The gearing between the two would seem close but what is the actual difference and benefits of each? Would it be worthwhile to eventually changing the Sequoia's gear set to that of the Allez?

Thanks!
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Old 07-29-09, 02:09 PM   #2
CliftonGK1
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Check out the top and bottom gearing, because all the stuff in between can be duplicated.

At a modest 90rpm cadence, the 50/11 gearing puts you at 32.6mph while the 52/12 drops you to 31mph. A negligible difference.

At the same cadence, 30/26 is 8.3mph and 30/28 gives you 7.7mph. It's only a 2.2 gear inch difference, which you would barely notice.

If you're going to change gearing on the bike, allow me to make a suggestion which would give you a similar gearing range while eliminating some maintenance hassle and component weight:
A 50/34 compact double up front, and an 11 - 32 cassette and mtn rear derailleur. I run a similar combo (48/34 compact, 11-32 cass.) on my brevet bike and it has been awesome for every climbing situation I've found myself in.
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Old 07-29-09, 03:43 PM   #3
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The computation of gear inches is simple and answers your question, as noted by Clifton in the post above. Take a minute or 30 and read up on on line gear calculator, gear inches, meters development and so forth - - http://sheldonbrown.com/gearing/index.html
and you will answer all your own gearing questions.

With modern 9 and 10 speed cassettes, you really only need to know your high and your low. IMHO, the folks that actually need anything greater than a 100 inch gear are pretty few and far between. Compact cranks are the way to go - in fact, one of my bikes is built up with a 28-42 White Industries double crankset, providing a REALLY compact double... which I love.

Good luck, happy trails...
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Old 07-29-09, 04:18 PM   #4
billydonn
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50-11 is plenty of gear for almost anybody. It is highly unlikely you need to change.
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Old 07-29-09, 04:39 PM   #5
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You likely wouldn't be able to tell the difference. You'll only use the 50/11 when going downhill in the drops letting gravity do all the work anyway. The extra two teeth on the lower gear may let you spin a little more on long climbs, but likely won't be the difference between riding and having to walk.
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Old 07-29-09, 07:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
...If you're going to change gearing on the bike, allow me to make a suggestion which would give you a similar gearing range while eliminating some maintenance hassle and component weight:
A 50/34 compact double up front, and an 11 - 32 cassette and mtn rear derailleur. I run a similar combo (48/34 compact, 11-32 cass.) on my brevet bike and it has been awesome for every climbing situation I've found myself in.
Man, that's a rather expensive suggestion. $300+ for a Ultegra level compact not to mention the rear derailleur and chain. Especially when the set ups that they have are so close and there is nothing wrong with either of them.

The real difference is in the cassettes. Two teeth on the chainrings is nothing. I'd say, which one do you like better for the type of riding that you do and when the cassette that you like the least wears out replace it with one that matches the one you like.
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