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  1. #1
    aka old dog greywolf's Avatar
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    Hill Avoidance !!!!

    How many of us find the gears on our bikes need to get lower as the years get higher ? I put an MTB freewheel on my old road bike 2 yrs ago so my lowest gear is 42x28 . since I broke my hip in a crash I've found that this gear is'nt quite low enough ,when I stand, up a hill it feels like a spike in my hip joint so I realy need to look at going lower still ,a new bike with a triple is out of the question for a while yet (other commitments) so Im thinking of finding a 39 chainring to replace the 42 . I like climbing hills ,I find them a personal challenge but I've noticed I have sub-conciously been avoiding a lot of the hillier loops I used to ride pre-crash! How low can you go?
    :D
    dont worry be happy ????

  2. #2
    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    A local hill here is legendary, 0.8 mile, single lane, 12- 20% grade, always a challenge and one I finally made this year (non-stop). Used my litespeed, 38x25. it was 2 weeks ago and I still hurt. I only do this once/twice a year (non-stop part). I practice on it, but usually stop/walk as it takes its toll on my body. I find that its not only gearing, but highly on climbing technique and also mental attitude.
    I really like taking riders 20-35 years younger (I'm 57) and outclimbing them.
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  3. #3
    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    Ohh almost forgot - went to cumberland gap state park this past friday/sat. Went to the overlook. Passed a bike rider going up. Now this is a STEEP climb of about 2-3 miles. Well - went to the overlook, and as wife and I got back to parking lot, there was the biker! I spoke with him, he has a redline , cross country bike, a local fellow and does this once a week. He is 49. He says it takes him 30 minutes on average to get to top.
    Dang! I would do good to do this once a year at most!!!!
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  4. #4
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    I'm still doing ok with my 53/39 and 11-23 cassette. I haven't run out of gears yet on any of the hills I encounter. On a bad day I'm on the small chainring and on the 21 tooth cog when I hit the top of a hill.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon 105

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  5. #5
    3speed CitiZen's Avatar
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    If the hill is steep enough, I get off and walk the bike up.
    One of the pleasures of being 50 is not giving a damn what onlookers think.

  6. #6
    Queen of France Indolent58's Avatar
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    You may not be able to spring for a new bike, but if you could swing a compact double crank like an FSA Energy (~$US 160) you could get a 50/34, which would be substantially lower than your 42 or a 39. Much cheaper than retrofitting a triple or a new bike. You need gears low enough to keep you riding the hills you want to ride.

  7. #7
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I geared the Bianchi 50-42 / 13-15-17-19-21-23-26, reserving the 26T cog for steep (>14 percent) hills and that occasional "running on empty" climb near the end of a long ride. I am not too proud to stand on the 42/23 on a moderately steep hill.

    The UO-8 commuter, geared 45-42 / 13-15-17-20-23-26, has a significantly lower top and the same bottom gears. I use the 42/23 combination alot more on this bike than on the Bianchi.

    One of my most satisfactory gear setups is the 48-45-34 / 13-15-17-19-21-23 on the PKN-10. Again, I reserve the lowest combination for "bail-out" and find the 34/21 adequate for most hills.
    "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
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    If you really need the extra gears without switching chainrings, get a long cage MTB derailleur for the back, and switch to a much taller cassette. You can get a 12-34 cassette and never look back. I'm not a great climber myself, so I switched to a 14-32 on my old 7 speed. I can still get up hills with my triple and a 12-27 cassette, but the older bike is much nicer to spin up grades.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH
    I'm still doing ok with my 53/39 and 11-23 cassette. I haven't run out of gears yet on any of the hills I encounter. On a bad day I'm on the small chainring and on the 21 tooth cog when I hit the top of a hill.
    You are an animal my friend!

  10. #10
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    It may be heresay, but a few locals have put MTB gearing on their road bikes. Lotsa low gears then.


    jim

  11. #11
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    I put mtb gearing on my road bike when I was 55. Now at 74, I am looking at an electric hibrid like the Giant Lafree Light.

  12. #12
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruchai

    I put mtb gearing on my road bike when I was 55. Now at 74, I am looking at an electric hibrid like the Giant Lafree Light.
    I saw two of those on the trail yesterday!

    The trail is flat, and I couldn't quite understand why the husband and wife were using electric on the flats??
    Almost gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for another fun new group of 50+ folks

  13. #13
    aka old dog greywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimLane
    It may be heresay, but a few locals have put MTB gearing on their road bikes. Lotsa low gears then.


    jim
    I was thinking that the next time I need a new free-wheel I'lle get a 30 as the lowest sprocket but I think that will be the limit with the rear changer that I've got , I need to try before I buy to see if it will work OK .
    :D
    dont worry be happy ????

  14. #14
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Baron
    Ohh almost forgot - went to cumberland gap state park this past friday/sat. Went to the overlook. Passed a bike rider going up. Now this is a STEEP climb of about 2-3 miles. Well - went to the overlook, and as wife and I got back to parking lot, there was the biker! I spoke with him, he has a redline , cross country bike, a local fellow and does this once a week. He is 49. He says it takes him 30 minutes on average to get to top.
    Dang! I would do good to do this once a year at most!!!!
    Shoot, I've gone up that hill several times on bikes. Let's see, the first time it was on my Honda, the second time on a BMW...

    Doug

  15. #15
    riding a Pinarello Prince orguasch's Avatar
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    Love those hills, I have 53-39 cranks and an 11 - 21 cogset, love those hills something will not be right if I don't ride a hill on my bike ride
    "Racso", the well oiled machine;)

  16. #16
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    A 39 chainring and a mtb rear derailer with a 11-34 would probably be the easiest way to go.
    Ride to eat, eat to ride

  17. #17
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Hey, Rasco, you have very typical modern Tour de France gearing. You are either a well-oiled machine or Lance Armstrong's biological father.
    "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
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  18. #18
    riding a Pinarello Prince orguasch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E
    Hey, Rasco, you have very typical modern Tour de France gearing. You are either a well-oiled machine or Lance Armstrong's biological father.
    John E,
    thanks, I don't have a choice, thats the only cogs I have on my bike, so I might as well ride it, as for Lance Armstrong Biological father, that cannot be my origin is southEast asian, as for the name "Racso" that was spelled backward "Oscar"
    again thanks , John E for making my day.

    Oscar =Racso
    "Racso", the well oiled machine;)

  19. #19
    aka old dog greywolf's Avatar
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    I'm thinking along the lines of dropping to a 39 c/ring & uping the anti on the back from 28 to 30 but I dont know if the rear changer will take another 2 teeth ? ,its an old exage & the cluster is screw on .
    :D
    dont worry be happy ????

  20. #20
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E
    I geared the Bianchi 50-42 / 13-15-17-19-21-23-26, reserving the 26T cog for steep (>14 percent) hills and that occasional "running on empty" climb near the end of a long ride. I am not too proud to stand on the 42/23 on a moderately steep hill.
    Allright, A mountain bike with lower gearing than the roadies, but mentally I always want a lower gear whenever I look at a hill. The solo has a low gear of 22/32, but that lowest gear is the survival gear. By the time I am in that one, I am completely shatterd and need it. The Tandem is higher with 24/32 but that low gear is needed on most of the steep ones and is definitely not survival gear, as there is no lower. That is the steep hill gear.
    Surprising thing is, for winter training, we put a 26 on the front, to raise the gearing and make us work harder, and we never notice it.

    Doug
    Last edited by stapfam; 10-22-04 at 01:37 PM.

  21. #21
    Member offtheback's Avatar
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    Stop fooling around and do what I did. Set your steed up with a 24/26. I can climb a 21% grade ( as long as it's not over 1/4 mile in distance ). I also do shrub removal

  22. #22
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CitiZen
    If the hill is steep enough, I get off and walk the bike up.
    One of the pleasures of being 50 is not giving a damn what onlookers think.
    This I can relate to. That and my knee implants demand it.

    I,too,am lookin for a bit lower gear myself in the mean time.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greywolf
    I was thinking that the next time I need a new free-wheel I'lle get a 30 as the lowest sprocket but I think that will be the limit with the rear changer that I've got , I need to try before I buy to see if it will work OK .

    What rear derailleur do you have? You need a rear der. for a triple before going to a 30 in the back. The long cage on the triple will only take a 30 max, at least with Shimano. I have an MTB rear now on mine for my 32. I'm lucky though, because that bike is set up for touring, with a 48/38/28 chainring up front.

  24. #24
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CitiZen
    If the hill is steep enough, I get off and walk the bike up.
    One of the pleasures of being 50 is not giving a damn what onlookers think.
    Same here.
    I just returned to cycling three months ago and discovered I couldn't do hills, much less any of the bridges that link Manhattan with the rest of the world. Sometimes when I'mwalking my bike across a bridge, younger guys will get off to walk their bikes and act like they're wth me.

    Maybe there's a reason why hybrid bikes have become so popular?

    Stacy
    Last edited by Stacy; 11-26-04 at 11:34 AM.

  25. #25
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CitiZen
    If the hill is steep enough, I get off and walk the bike up.
    One of the pleasures of being 50 is not giving a damn what onlookers think.
    I refuse to give up on a hill and walk. Not pride, it is the realisation that it is more awkward to push the bike up the hill, than to pedal it. The mere fact that others that have given in and are walking past me faster than I am pedalling does not matter. Incidentally, the hills do not get any easier the fitter you are, they just take less time to climb them

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