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Old 01-19-11, 11:21 AM   #1
bikerjp
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Stadium hill and horsetooth dam riders?

Since getting a road bike in Nov this route has been one of my regulars (when the weather is nice). I'm curious how others ride this. I have a compact crank and 12-27 cassette. I know I have to build some strength and fitness and lose another 10 lbs, but what sort of gearing do you have and do you find it adequate? On Stadium hill, for example, or riding up the north side (heading south out of Bellvue) I'm in my lowest gear and barely managing 60 rpm and at times less. I simply can't maintain enough speed to keep my cadence up. In short, these hills bust my balls. I'm 6'3" and 195 lbs. I can loose a bit still but I'm not going to try and get below 180 so I'll always be a rather heavy rider. Is this gearing appropriate for me and I just need to get stronger or is this the wrong drivetrain for someone my size wanting to ride hills and mountain passes in the summer?

Thanks.
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Old 01-19-11, 12:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
I'm curious how others ride this. I have a compact crank and 12-27 cassette.
Thanks.
I ride this a number of times a year.
From N Denver, I park at N. Carter Lake Rd and 34.
I ride north to Masonville and north to Horse Tooth.
Return via Bingham Hill Rd through Loveland,
west up 34 to Drake and back to the car.
Makes for a nice metric century.
I ride a triple crank so have plenty of gears.
The two climbs going north along Horse Tooth get your attention, for sure.
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Old 01-19-11, 09:30 PM   #3
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I'm 6', 160, and currently running a compact with a 12-29 after switching from a 12-27. The 12-27 just wasn't allowing me to spin at a high enough cadence on climbs, which in turn was aggravating a cycling related knee injury. My experience riding that route is that as I build fitness, cadence improves, but only up to a point. Given how steep Stadium Hill is, I don't know if it's truly possible to just sit and spin your way up. Going south from Bellvue, I generally sit and spin up at a high cadence, with short periods of standing for a break.
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Old 01-19-11, 11:35 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. Sounds like I'm not alone in finding the compact a bit challenging on these climbs. However, I'm not sure I'm ready to drop the cash to get a new cassette and derailer (I think a short throw is too small for anything larger than 27 or 28). Guess I'll have to explore my options.
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Old 01-20-11, 01:33 PM   #5
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if youre on a aSRAM drivetrain, theres always switching to an apex rear derailleur and 12-34 cassette.

theyre marketing it as a "triple killer". i wouldnt wanna race on it cuz the gaps in the cassette gearing are gonna be huge, but its certainly an option for getting up the steep or long stuff.
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Old 01-20-11, 08:21 PM   #6
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if youre on a aSRAM drivetrain, theres always switching to an apex rear derailleur and 12-34 cassette.

theyre marketing it as a "triple killer". i wouldnt wanna race on it cuz the gaps in the cassette gearing are gonna be huge, but its certainly an option for getting up the steep or long stuff.
I've considered this. It actually doesn't have any gaps worse than the 12-27 I have now except for the granny gear.

12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 24, 32

vs

12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 24, 27

I'm considering a custom wheelset so maybe I'll put one of these on one set. I wonder if I can switch back and forth with the same chain length?
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