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Old 08-27-10, 08:55 PM   #1
adam_mac84
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trying to find the right gearing

I need thoughts from you all... i currently ride a cross bike on road with 36/46 front crank and 12-26 cassette. I typically cruise in the 46 and the 3rd/4th cassette ring at around 20-21mph.

I am looking at the specialized secteur with apex, but see that it is a pretty wide gear range, 50/34 and 11-32 versus the 105 equipped comp with 50/34 and 11-28.

Do you think i'll be all screwed up with the apex group set? I live in the midwest, not the mountains, but occasionally (especially at end of long rides) i will end up on the little chainring in front and higher up in the rear... that just seems like a fairly large range on the apex line...

needing advise
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Old 08-27-10, 09:02 PM   #2
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You'll have some good sized gear jumps with the 11-32. If it was me and I was going to buy that bike, I'd simply buy a 12-25 cassette and put the 11-32 away for any big hill climbing rides I was planning to do. You shouldn't need to do anything on the bike except change the cassette. If you don't plan on doing any hills, the LBS might simply change it for you at no charge.
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Old 08-27-10, 09:09 PM   #3
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The idea behind Apex is that a compact double crankset & a wide range 10-speed cassette is supposed to be the answer to the (supposedly) finicky shifting of a triple crankset drivetrain (I say supposedly because my Ultegra triple shifts smoother than deer guts on a doorknob). If you don't have to deal with climbs where you live, you're probably better served with the 105.
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Old 08-28-10, 09:30 PM   #4
adam_mac84
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i guess i always assumed that stronger riders spent more time in the big ring/little ring while cruising... the only time i will shift to 46/12 is downhill... otherwise im that 2 to 4 clicks up on the cassette to maintain 85-90 rpm. I do know that just going to the 50t will help my descents and when i am downwind.

i will test ride both, but the LBS is right near lake michigan, so not too many hills on the west coast of michigan
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Old 08-28-10, 10:23 PM   #5
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math of ratios sorted out if you go here: http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/

Point of sale when you buy a new bike,
the swapping of cassettes can be done then while the parts are all new
for the lowest cost..
Maybe a junior racer block will be better
they start with a lower high gear to keep junior's knees
from going out too soon in their life.
by trying to push the gears pros use for the 40+ mph finish sprints.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-28-10 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 08-29-10, 05:49 AM   #6
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Buy the bike you like best and ignore the difference in gearing...

Cassettes are one of the easiest parts on a bike to replace if you don't like the gearing. With the right tool, I think that a cassette is easier to replace than a tire.
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Old 08-29-10, 07:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_mac84 View Post
i guess i always assumed that stronger riders spent more time in the big ring/little ring while cruising... the only time i will shift to 46/12 is downhill... otherwise im that 2 to 4 clicks up on the cassette to maintain 85-90 rpm. I do know that just going to the 50t will help my descents and when i am downwind...
You PEDAL going downhill downwind? You never heard of coasting?
I don't think anybody but you can say what gearing you need. For the record, though, all but one of my bikes have triple cranks, some from the factory, a couple cobbled together from the parts bin, and they all shift flawlessly. I think most of the complaints about triple shifting are due to operator error.
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Old 08-29-10, 09:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knobster View Post
You'll have some good sized gear jumps with the 11-32. If it was me and I was going to buy that bike, I'd simply buy a 12-25 cassette and put the 11-32 away for any big hill climbing rides I was planning to do.
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
Cassettes are one of the easiest parts on a bike to replace if you don't like the gearing. With the right tool, I think that a cassette is easier to replace than a tire.
This is exactly what I do.

R-Town is on the ancient lakebed. It's midwest flat around here. Wide range cassettes with huge jumps between each gear make little sense around here.

In the three-seasons, I run 12-23 cassettes on all my bikes--doubles and triples, 8, 9, and 10-speed. The close ratios are perfect for making small gear adjustments to go with small changes in wind speed or terrain.

When I head out to the hills of horse country south and east of the city, I swap to a 12-27. I leave the 12-27 on all winter too. It helps with the extra weight of the snow tires.

TIP: They make reusable zip ties with a little latch you can open to unzip them. They're perfect for keeping cassettes under control when changing and storing them. Reusable zip tie through the middle, and drop it in a plastic bag.
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