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  1. #1
    Roadie
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    scorpion's ascent

    At day break we started out on our infrequently travelled Scorpion Ascent ride. It's a 60 miler which starts out in the city of Dimona, down to the Dead sea, south to En Hazeva and right up to the Ascent finally back to Dimona.

    [I had purchased new wheels a few weeks ago and decided to install a 12-23 cassette with 53/39 chainwheels. While making that decision I planned to build another wheel appropriate for climbs with a 12-27 cassette, but have not got around to it.]

    Well back to the ascent - I started out with a nice kick going up the hill but the 13% grade took its toll and I was pedalling just fast enough to keep from falling off the bike. In a couple of places my front wheel came up off the ground. Just before the peak, my legs locked up. My thigh muscles were stuck in a contracted position and with some difficulty was able to dismount and loosen up. I walked the remaining 50 meters. On the remaining 20 miles back to start I kept my legs spinning and as loose as possible, there were only a few minor inclines and with the help of another partner whom I shared drafting we slowly made it back. Can't wait to get better gearing - I even consider getting a compact crankset.

  2. #2
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Berts, heroism aside, maybe a 13% grade you could go for a 12x25 or, we promise to look the other way , a 12x27........at least until you install that compact. A little "chutzpah" on the ascent ?
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  3. #3
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    ...down to the Dead sea, south to En Hazeva and right up to the Ascent...
    You've created an interesting image with this sentence, one I might use in an Easter sermon.

    Berts, by riding along the Dead Sea coast line, this qualifies you as the "lowest" rider* on BF-50+. When Denver returns from his New England vacation he'll need to add you to his Rouges' Gallery of accomplishments!

    * in negative elevation (below sea level).
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

    Visit my websites:
    FreeWheelSpa.com orpastorbobnlnh.com

  4. #4
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    what diff a compact double?

    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    Berts, heroism aside, maybe a 13% grade you could go for a 12x25 or, we promise to look the other way , a 12x27........at least until you install that compact. A little "chutzpah" on the ascent ?
    CC: so what difference would a compact make for this? I'm assuming that the compact double would probably be a 50/34 or thereabouts?

    Or perhaps I should ask this question on the 'Dumb Questions' thread?
    Or try to understand all that protoengineering discussion from another recent thread?

    or if I think through my own question, then evidently the 34 combined with berts' rear cassette would have geared him down sufficiently to attempt the 13% grade?

    centexwoody
    centexwoody
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  5. #5
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Interesting post, and a great name for a ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    Just before the peak, my legs locked up. My thigh muscles were stuck in a contracted position and with some difficulty was able to dismount and loosen up. I walked the remaining 50 meters.
    Been there, done that on a different mountain (Jonestown Mt. in Couumbia County, PA). Only I seem to remember using a few choice four letter words as the legs locked and I was trying to get off the freaking bike.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    city of Dimona, down to the Dead sea, south to En Hazeva and right up to the Ascent finally back to Dimona. .
    ---What Pastor Bob said...someday I hope to see it.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  7. #7
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by centexwoody
    CC: so what difference would a compact make for this? I'm assuming that the compact double would probably be a 50/34 or thereabouts?

    Or perhaps I should ask this question on the 'Dumb Questions' thread?
    Or try to understand all that protoengineering discussion from another recent thread?

    or if I think through my own question, then evidently the 34 combined with berts' rear cassette would have geared him down sufficiently to attempt the 13% grade?

    centexwoody

    You got it, Centex. A 39x23 will give him a 46inch low, a 34x23 will ease that off to a 40. For me, it takes about a 3 inch difference to really be noticable. Berts is probably a strong rider...for terrain so varied, I'd go on to couple that compact to a wider ranged cassette-- but thereby give up a greater selection of gears to use in the narrower range we ride in mostly. Most of the time, we need only a slightly lower gear for head wind, rollers, etc. Hence Berts desire for a second wheel, or wider range cassette, to use for climbing days. Mozeltov!

    *Berts, I just realized I'm speaking for you...apologies.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  8. #8
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    thnx - perhaps I'm slowly beginning to understand one of the more important mysteries of the cycling universe
    centexwoody
    They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into joy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    You got it, Centex. A 39x23 will give him a 46inch low, a 34x23 will ease that off to a 40. For me, it takes about a 3 inch difference to really be noticable. Berts is probably a strong rider...for terrain so varied, I'd go on to couple that compact to a wider ranged cassette-- but thereby give up a greater selection of gears to use in the narrower range we ride in mostly. Most of the time, we need only a slightly lower gear for head wind, rollers, etc. Hence Berts desire for a second wheel, or wider range cassette, to use for climbing days. Mozeltov!

    *Berts, I just realized I'm speaking for you...apologies.
    No apologies needed.
    I chose the 12-23 because I like the small differentials between changes enabling me to maintain cadence and speed over the varied terrain and conditions you mentioned above - however when it comes to monster hills that's another story. Since I know the type of terrain I'll be riding in advance, I figured it would be best to have a dedicated hill climbing wheel with more suitable gears.

  10. #10
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Berts-wow.....that's a really hard gear to push up a 13% grade! Especially if it's over a long distance. I can certainly see why your legs revolted on you! You know better than I but a 12/27 for climbing does provide some relief but if you're doing lots of climbing a Compact Crank is not a bad choice. You can then add a cassette to keep your gears closer to together.
    Ride your Ride!!

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