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Professional Cycling For the Fans Follow the Tour de France,the Giro de Italia, the Spring Classics, or other professional cycling races? Here's your home...

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Old 07-01-09, 01:41 AM   #1
clicker7
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Pro gearing on the Alpine stages.

I was wondering if anyone knew what was common pro gearing for the Alpine stages at the Tour de France?

I know those guys are strong, and I was just curious what they used for a rear cogs on major Alpine stages?

Thanks,

Joseph
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Old 07-01-09, 02:57 AM   #2
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I was wondering if anyone knew what was common pro gearing for the Alpine stages at the Tour de France?

I know those guys are strong, and I was just curious what they used for a rear cogs on major Alpine stages?

Thanks,

Joseph
With 10 and 11 speeds these days pretty much the same cassette you buy at your local bike shop.

There are the sprinters who just ride over the mountains and dont need to prove anything, they probably throw on 11-27 on the back.

The contenders most probably have an 11-25 just coz they make them that way
Remember, their not going slow enough to really need the 25 or 27. Pantani usually used his 39 ring to a 15 or 18 at the back on the steep parts because he was just going that fast
On some stretches they get back into the big ring where the road flattens out a little (3-5%)
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Old 07-01-09, 07:21 AM   #3
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What he said. They're just that strong.
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Old 07-01-09, 09:20 AM   #4
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I was wondering the same thing. I read that these guys don't use compact cranks. Insane. Being from Colorado I can't believe they can push up Tour climbs on standards and with high cadence.
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Old 07-01-09, 10:36 AM   #5
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There have been articles on the subject, and just a few years back some live commentary during the Tour about Lance using a 39x21 and not needing to go to a 39x23 - even though he was "dancing" up the mountain. Ulrich was using same gear but not "dancing."
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Old 07-01-09, 10:44 AM   #6
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I was wondering the same thing. I read that these guys don't use compact cranks. Insane. Being from Colorado I can't believe they can push up Tour climbs on standards and with high cadence.
Just shows you how fast they are going.

I was on L'Alpe d'Huez a few years ago and wanted to time some of my camera shots for when the pros came by. Used a few "fast" locals going up to try and pace my panning. When the pros rode by at top speed, it was unreal.

There's a reason why on TV you see fans sprinting beside the peloton and fade after 20 or so odd feet - the pros are just too damn fast.

Now the grupetto... that's another story.
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Old 07-01-09, 04:22 PM   #7
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Thanks for your replies guys!

Those guys are strong!

Joseph
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Old 07-01-09, 05:17 PM   #8
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The strong guys dont' climb in the smallest gears. You can tell that by their cadence and how much ground they cover per revolution. Seems I read about Virenque using a 44 small ring at one point, craziness.
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Old 07-01-09, 05:27 PM   #9
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The strong guys dont' climb in the smallest gears. You can tell that by their cadence and how much ground they cover per revolution. Seems I read about Virenque using a 44 small ring at one point, craziness.
Geez that is bigger than my only front ring.
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Old 07-02-09, 12:57 AM   #10
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Geez that is bigger than my only front ring.

Well, that probably was back in his Festina days.

I've done a few of the domestic climbs that the pros have gone up. Benchmarking myself against their times ranges from laughable to downright unbelievable.
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Old 07-02-09, 01:17 AM   #11
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I did Hautacam last July with a 39-25. But it wasn't the gradient that bothered me. It was the heat. I would have preferred 10C and rain to a suffocating day like that. Those pros are inhuman.
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Old 07-02-09, 04:06 AM   #12
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The real climbers and GC guys are pretty light...but it's more about power to weight. The bigger guys and the sprinters are not really anything special on climbs. The difference is that they have the ability to ride those miles day after day.

It's like any other sport. You start when you are young and learn to ride bigger miles gradually. These guys did not come from a "45 minutes plus two laps" crit world. Six, seven hours a day on a bike is normal, even for teenagers.

That's why the kids from the US that are really good here go to Europe so they can learn how to race a bike.

There are more guys using compacts than you know...and on super ridiculous climbs like the Angliru in Spain where a few years ago in the rain the team cars could not get up the road, spinning tires (shudder) triples!!

Last edited by roadwarrior; 07-02-09 at 04:10 AM.
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Old 07-02-09, 07:51 AM   #13
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Wouldn't it be nice if the TV people paid some attention to this on a regular basis. Maybe tell the camera guy to pan down to show the chain ring or the rear wheel, the announcers can only describe what the cameraman shoots and they don't show much of the bikes on climbs. It would just add to the coverage, I'd be glad to trade that for the human interest stuff or the mini bios that are just meant to tell you who to root for.
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Old 07-02-09, 09:44 AM   #14
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Wouldn't it be nice if the TV people paid some attention to this on a regular basis. Maybe tell the camera guy to pan down to show the chain ring or the rear wheel, the announcers can only describe what the cameraman shoots and they don't show much of the bikes on climbs. It would just add to the coverage, I'd be glad to trade that for the human interest stuff or the mini bios that are just meant to tell you who to root for.
My guess is that most of their audience doesn't care. When you watch a football, hockey, basketball, baseball, tennis, etc., how often do you hear the announcers talking about what cleats, skates, shoes or gloves the players are wearing. And yet similar decisions are made based on field conditions, the player's style, player's position, etc. as a cyclist decides on what cassette to throw on for the day. Actually, I think that vs. TV gives more tech coverage than a lot of other sports on TV.
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Old 07-02-09, 09:52 AM   #15
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Wouldn't it be nice if the TV people paid some attention to this on a regular basis. Maybe tell the camera guy to pan down to show the chain ring or the rear wheel, the announcers can only describe what the cameraman shoots and they don't show much of the bikes on climbs. It would just add to the coverage, I'd be glad to trade that for the human interest stuff or the mini bios that are just meant to tell you who to root for.
They do this sometimes. I remember very clearly in the '07 TdF when Vino was juiced up on stage 15, he was blasting past everyone on what looked like 39-16 or a 39-17 on the Peyresourde.



(I'll try to find a screenshot later)

Last edited by kimconyc; 07-02-09 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 07-02-09, 05:18 PM   #16
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My guess is that most of their audience doesn't care. When you watch a football, hockey, basketball, baseball, tennis, etc., how often do you hear the announcers talking about what cleats, skates, shoes or gloves the players are wearing. And yet similar decisions are made based on field conditions, the player's style, player's position, etc. as a cyclist decides on what cassette to throw on for the day..............
Thats correct.
I hope I never have to see Bob Roll on a TV set ever again. While its nice for 99ers, it is like watching commentary for idiots. "He is actually pedaling pedals, they are what makes the bike go forward"
So stupid. So, so, stupid.
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Old 07-02-09, 05:41 PM   #17
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I was wondering the same thing. I read that these guys don't use compact cranks. Insane. Being from Colorado I can't believe they can push up Tour climbs on standards and with high cadence.

i remember andy hampsten saying "i climb everything with a 42 x 21."

ed rader
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Old 07-02-09, 07:54 PM   #18
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Wasn't someone using a triple last year on that nasty climb in the Giro...the one with the dirt section near the summit?
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Old 07-03-09, 03:39 AM   #19
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Wasn't someone using a triple last year on that nasty climb in the Giro...the one with the dirt section near the summit?
I'd find it very encouraging if this were true.
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Old 07-03-09, 03:46 AM   #20
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This is Vino on the Peyresourde. Looks like he was using a standard crank and that cassette looks like an 11-25 to me, so he's climbing in what looks like 39-19 or 39-21.

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