Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 36
  1. #1
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Gearing for established legs

    There are several of us here that have come back to cycling either for the first time- or after a long lay off. That means that fitness is not always there and the main worry is as to whether we can get the right gearing to keep us cycling. Have to admit that it took a long time to get the right gearing for me and that only came when I got a "True" Mountain bike. That gearing was 42/32/24 and with an 11/28 rear cassette.
    Later MTB's had 44/32/22 and 9 spd 11/32 but those first years on the proper gearing taught me that i could get up the hills offroad and they never did get any easier- just faster.

    When I went road bike- I automatically opted for a triple. 52/42/30 and 12/26 cassette although I did cheat when I climbed a mountain and put a 28 rear cassette on. Even though I was on slicks- on a road bike and I had all that strength from the MTB's- I rarely got out of the 42 at speed. The 52 came in for downhils and with strong tailwinds. Then 6 months ago I got a bike with a compact double crankset. 50/34 and a 12/27 10 spd cassette. Took a bit of training but I find I can do all the hills in 34/27 that I used to do on the triple with 30/28.

    Then I recently got the TCR and this also has a compact but 50/36 and a 12/25 cassette. haven't tried the severe hills but I am doing hills up to 12% and without the leg strain I thought I would have. They are not easy but I haven't had to walk a slope yet.

    So what is the best gearing for those of us in this forum? For those of us unfortunate not to have hills in the area- I suppose you only need a couple of gears and they will be quite high. If you have the gentle rollers that don't even get you out of breath- then you can still get away with high gearing but the problem comes about if you have the kind of hills that the car struggles up. Disregard the MTB offroad hills as they only require one gear- The lowest you can get- but you know the type of hill. You look at it and get ready dismount right at the bottom. That is what you feel like doing when you start them.

    18 months ago- I would have said opt for the triple crankset and the biggest ring you can fit on the rear cassette.- Now I am beginning to wonder. Ok- I did have a certain amount of fitness behind me from Mountain biking- but I do wish I had gone for the Compact in the first place. Road hills I struggeled up with 30/28 on the triple- I still struggle up with the lowest gearing I can get on the new bikes. Difference is that the hills are faster. Cadence of 70 means that the hard work is over quicker with 36/25 than it ever would be on 30/28. And the leg strength is building back up again. Now wheres the 11/21 for my neXt trip Up Ventoux- I'll just make certain it is nowhere near my bike when I NEXT DO IT.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  2. #2
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Milledgeville, Georgia
    My Bikes
    2014 Specialized Crave Pro 29, 2014 Specialized Crux EVO Carbon Disc, 2012 Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross, 2011 Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert Compact, 2009 Salsa Casseroll, 2003 KHS Milano Tandem, 1986 Nishiki Cadence rigid MTB
    Posts
    12,728
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So what is the best gearing for those of us in this forum?

    For 50 people there will be at least 100 right answers to this question.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    So what is the best gearing for those of us in this forum?

    For 50 people there will be at least 100 right answers to this question.
    Let battle commence.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
    My Bikes
    86 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.
    Posts
    6,916
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    So what is the best gearing for those of us in this forum?

    For 50 people there will be at least 100 right answers to this question.
    That might be conservative!

    I'm pretty much a "gear head" when it comes to my bike. I could never find a cassette that seemed to quite fit for MY riding. So, I bought an extra cassette and made a "custom". The 28T was too low and I didn't use the 12 very often.
    I had a 12-14-16-18-21-24-28-
    and bought a 13-15-17-19-21-23-26-
    and made a-
    13-14-15-16-18-21-26.

    I expect I'll "tweak it" when the warmer weather arrives and my joints & muscles are in better shape. I'll probably change the 3 largest cogs to 17, 19 & 24.

    As a side note, crank length made a tremendous difference in my choice of gearing. See my post below-

    Are Your Cranks Too Long?

  5. #5
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Middle of da Mitten
    My Bikes
    Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent
    Posts
    7,115
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In my younger, pre-recumbent days, I tried a triple and took it back off -- the granny ring was just extra weight. I found a 42/28 gear was just fine, and grades only got tough when they were approaching 20%. Now that I'm on a recumbent, standing is physically impossible I need that 30T chainring on double-digit grades.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Centennial, CO
    My Bikes
    Lynskey 210R, Cannondale CAAD2 MTB
    Posts
    128
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have used a 52/42/30 with a 12/25 cassette and liked it. I rarely used the granny chainring. So, on my next bike I got a compact double with a 50/34 and 12/27. Then I started riding steeper hills. The compact double is fine for going up or down in long stretches, but for the in-between roller stuff, I find it a pain to switch back and forth between the chainwheels and have to shift about 5 cogs on the sprocket to get the right gear. My new bike has a 53/39/30 triple and 12/27 cassette. It suits me well, but I would rather have the 42 middle chainring than the 39. I find myself riding in the largest chainring more often on flatter rides.

    I'm just looking forward to some warmer weather and less ice on the roads so I can get on the bike again

    Ted

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Gaseous Cloud around Uranus
    Posts
    3,339
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have 22-34 gearing,there are no steep hills....
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  8. #8
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Post-partisan Paradise
    My Bikes
    GF Wahoo '05, Trek T1000 '04, Lemond Buenos Aires '07
    Posts
    4,936
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My road bike has a 50x39x30 front and a 12x25 rear. I top out downhill at about 34 MPH and wish sometimes I had a 52T big ring. The 30x25 granny seems gigantic compared to the 22x34(!) on my mountain bike. Someday I'll switch out the road bike to a 12-27 cassette. Either that or acquire some new legs.

  9. #9
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,555
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I say pretty much the same gearing as someone in any other age group who wants to do the same type of riding you do.

    For me...

    Road bike 52-39 and 12-21
    This is fine for the hilly areas near home, but lower would be nice if doing really snotty climbs. I can handle short steep climbs (.5 miles at 14%) and long gradual climbs (miles at = or <6%) on it as is.

    Touring bike for loaded touring in the mountains 46-36-24 and 11-32
    Fine for just about anywhere that is an actual road.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Hemet,California
    My Bikes
    Giant OCR2, Motobecane Fantom Trail, Specialized Hard Rock, Giant Nutra
    Posts
    621
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well call me a wuss, but there are mountains in my area. I have a 50-39-30 with an 11-34. I do best with a cadence between 90 and 120.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,259
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Don't let anybody kid you in here... I am the ultimate wuss!

    48/38/26 front
    12-28 rear

    This is for predominantly flat road riding...

    ...and I may shift over to a 13-30 Sheldon century cassette!

    So there!

  12. #12
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
    My Bikes
    1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;
    Posts
    14,809
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    ...and made a- 13-14-15-16-18-21-26.

    I expect I'll "tweak it" when the warmer weather arrives and my joints & muscles are in better shape. I'll probably change the 3 largest cogs to 17, 19 & 24. ...
    It is always great to hear from a fellow gear head!

    Some of you guys have seen my gearing before. For road bikes, I favor very close ratios between 50 and 90 gear-inches (1st and 3rd on an old English 3-speed), where I spend most of my time, with bottom gears in the 40s and top gears in the 90s:

    Bianchi: 50-42 / 14-16-18-20-23-26
    Capo #2: 49-46 / 14-16-18-21-24-26
    Peugeot: 45-42 / 13-15-17-20-23-26

    Schwinn mountain bike: 48-40-28 (or 48-40-24) / 13-15-17-19-22-24-26
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  13. #13
    Senior Member George's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Katy Texas
    My Bikes
    Specialized Roubaix - Look 566 - Jamis Coda Elite
    Posts
    5,260
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Paulie View Post
    Don't let anybody kid you in here... I am the ultimate wuss!

    48/38/26 front
    12-28 rear

    This is for predominantly flat road riding...

    ...and I may shift over to a 13-30 Sheldon century cassette!

    So there!
    How about, 48/36/26
    11-32.
    That's for riding anywhere
    George

  14. #14
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    How about, 48/36/26
    11-32.
    That's for riding anywhere
    48/36/24 and 11/32 9 spd. Thats on the Tandem but that is a compromise gear. Its offroad but MTB gearing of 44/32/22 is too low. We would never use the 22/32 and rarely the 28 so got the old ATB crankset with 48/38/26 and the low gear was too high. Went to a 24 and then found the jump to a 38 too much.

    The 24/32 will get us up the steepest hills and a cadence of 100 in 48/11 gives us 30 mph. Above that speed and we will be coasting in any case but we did reach 45mph and still pushing on the pedals once. And once was enough.

    Gearing takes some sorting out but you set the gearing to your body and your type of riding.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,259
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    How about, 48/36/26
    11-32.
    That's for riding anywhere
    Show off!!!

  16. #16
    Senior Member George's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Katy Texas
    My Bikes
    Specialized Roubaix - Look 566 - Jamis Coda Elite
    Posts
    5,260
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Paulie View Post
    Show off!!!
    I really went that way, hoping to do a little touring, but it's not working out to good yet. I've been laying out a few plans, but I just can't pull it off yet. I think when my wife gets better, I'll take a short trip to the Texas Hill Country and put those gears to work.

    The road bike with 50/39/30 and a rear of 12-27 is really working out pretty good as well, but I can't carry anything on it but water bottles.
    George

  17. #17
    tsl
    tsl is offline
    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    My Bikes
    1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
    Posts
    6,387
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I really, really like close-ratio cassettes. So in order to have any range, I need a triple on the front.

    Bike 1, 8-speed: 52/42/30 and 13-23

    Bike 2, 10-speed:
    3-season wheelset with road tires: 52/39/30 and 12-23
    Winter wheelset with studded snow tires: 52/39/30 and 16-27

    However, it's pretty flat around here. A big hill is 200 feet of elevation, and there aren't many of those. So when I have to ride someplace with real hills, I fall back on standard cassettes, 12-28 on the 8-speed and 12-27 on the 10-speed.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  18. #18
    Senior Member freeranger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Kentucky
    My Bikes
    06 Lemond Reno, 98 GT Timberline mtn.bike
    Posts
    1,013
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My Lemond Reno still has the stock gearing 30/42/52 and 11>26 cassette. So far that seems to be fine, though I really haven't ridden the road bike all that much.
    My older GT mtn bike has a 12>32 cassette, and I think the crank is 22-32-42. Used to have a 11-28 cassette, but decided I wanted the 32 for easier hill climbing (the GT is an older chromoly frame and isn't a light-weight by anyone's standards-but it's bullet-proof!)

  19. #19
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Milledgeville, Georgia
    My Bikes
    2014 Specialized Crave Pro 29, 2014 Specialized Crux EVO Carbon Disc, 2012 Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross, 2011 Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert Compact, 2009 Salsa Casseroll, 2003 KHS Milano Tandem, 1986 Nishiki Cadence rigid MTB
    Posts
    12,728
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    I really, really like close-ratio cassettes. So in order to have any range, I need a triple on the front.

    Bike 1, 8-speed: 52/42/30 and 13-23

    I like close ratios too. That spread is very close to what I get with my triple and 7 speed, 50/38/26 and 12-21 setup.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    N. California
    Posts
    1,410
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a Compact 50/36 on my road bike with 12/27 cassette and 700x25c tires. This gives me gearing from 35 to 110 gear-inches and I can go up any hill around here although I have to stand for the tougher ones.

    My touring bike is 46/36/26 with 11/32 and 26 x 1.75" tires for about 22 to 108 gear inches. Unloaded I can go up any hill around without standing. But slowly.

    Since I am getting into very long distances I am thinking the road bike is not geared low enough when I am tired (after 100+ miles) so I am building another steel bike which will probably have XTR components on it. This will give 44/32/22 and 11/32 cassette with 700 x 28c tires for a range of about 18 to 107 gear inches which would be okay but is a little low.

    So now I am thinking of going with the new LX cranks FC-M581 which can be made 48/36/26 for a range of 22 to 117 gear inches. So that would be my ideal.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    My Bikes
    2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom, 1985 Univega Gran Turismo; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
    Posts
    6,920
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Gosh, I think I have the wussiest gearing of all.

    I recently changed the crankset on my Trek commuting/touring bike to 44-32-22. And my cassette is 11-34 With 175m cranks, that gets me to a low gear of 17.5 inches.

    I've been a fan of low gearing forever, and I live at the bottom of a three-block-long hill that is the only way out of my neighborhood. It starts at 11% grade, steepens to 16% for awhile, and settles down to 8% to 10%. The Trek is a heavy bike, and when I ride it I'm usually loaded up for commuting, so having the low gearing is nice (plus it has fenders, a rack, lights, kickstand, etc.). I use the granny at least 2 or 3 x a day (like, getting up the ramp of the parking garage in the office building where I work).

    In addition to having the very low granny, I like the 44 / 32 inch chain rings -- really the 32 inch middle ring is low enough for almost every hill I ride (lots of 8 to 10% rolllers); and the "big" ring is small enough that I'm on a lot, even when loaded down.


    Other bikes:
    - The Davidson is a triple, not nearly as low...lowest gear is around 30 inches. That's plenty low on that bike because I don't ride it loaded down.

    - The Tommasini has a 53/43 crank and a 11/26 cassette. A delightful bike to ride but on bigger hills I'm usually standing.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Gaseous Cloud around Uranus
    Posts
    3,339
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Started out many years ago with 52-42-32 X 11-28,NOW I've got 46-34-22 X 13-15-17-19-21-24-34.Works good for my old legs.My everyday/touring/commuting bike for the last 30 years.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  23. #23
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Paoli, Wisconsin
    My Bikes
    RANS Stratus, Bridgestone CB-1, Trek 7600, Sun EZ-Rider AX, Fuji Absolute 1.0, Cayne Rambler 3
    Posts
    9,980
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Stapfam is being pretty modest with his conditioning and training. The man has ridden up Mont Ventoux!

    Many of us, not all, but many, are pikers by comparison.

    I'm with the wusses in the forum. I like something in the neighborhood of 46/36/26 paired with 11-32. Although as I haven't been riding any serious hills, just the occasional 5%-6% grade, I've rarely dropped out of the 36t ring and only rarely used my 32t rear cog.

    If I attempted a long, steep hill, I'm sure I would struggle to get up it in 26:32. If I were to set out on a long trip through the hills, I'd be best off with MTB gearing.

    I also hate riding standing up and haven't done so for many months.

    My recumbent has 52/42/30 with 11-34. This produces a low end of 16.5 gear inches. So low that it becomes extremely hard to maintain my balance. Even in the middle ring, the lowest gear is 23.1 gear inches. I rarely ever use the small ring. On the top end, there is only one gear above 75" and just 5 above 60".
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,259
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Gosh, I think I have the wussiest gearing of all.
    I recently changed the crankset on my Trek commuting/touring bike to 44-32-22. And my cassette is 11-34 With 175m cranks
    You win!!!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,901
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Since I discovered compact cranksets I do not think I will ever use anything else. 50/36 front and 12/25 or 26 gets me up the hills of W. PA. Some are just naturally better climbers and can do the same thing with traditional 53/39, so be it.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •