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Thread: 53x11

  1. #1
    Solo Rider, always DFL
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    53x11

    Just wondering: how often does anyone actually use the big, monster gear when riding? It might just be that I am a massive weakling, but I find that that 11 tooth cog barely gets used on a normal day. If anything I drop into that going downhill in the big ring just to keep my legs turning over... barely use it.

    At 90 rpms on a 700x25 bike that comes to 33.4 mph, according to sheldon brown (that's with a 52 chainring). According to http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm that comes to 671 watts on flat ground with no wind. With even 2mph of wind, it jumps to 745. That seems to border on the superhuman... so, do you folks routinely use that big-small combo??

    FWIW, at my height and weight, those numbers are more like 786 with no wind, and 871 with a breath of wind. I'm pretty sure I can't manage that kind of output

  2. #2
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    I don't have a 53x11, I have a 50x11, but it basically only sees action on descents above 30mph, or in a really fast downhill sprint, which I have yet to experience in my level of racing.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

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    . botto's Avatar
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    hell, i hardly touch my 53x12.

    the ONLY time i can recall needing a 53x11 was at the first road stage at the killington stage race. there was a longggggg, straight, shallow descent to the finish.

    while i never won that stage, the 2 times i did it i was 2nd and 3rd. it required patience (too many guys sprinted too early), nerves of steel ( the guys who went too early would crack, and you'd have to brush bars to get past), and the biggest gear you could get (because you were FLYING when you finish).
    Last edited by botto; 01-11-07 at 08:08 AM.

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    An 11 tooth is more compatable with a compact crank. Unless, like like DrPete says , dropping off of a mountain.

  5. #5
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Yea no doubt...I run a 13-26 on the back of my 53/39. I may not be able to mash down a hill but I don't feel like I loose anything.
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  6. #6
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    I typically have an 11 on my bike. Not really because I need it, but because its flat here, and I don't need big gears, so I put on a smaller cassette, either 11-21, or 11-23.

    Tuesday night world championships where the leadout of the sprints start in the low to mid 30's it doesn't hurt to have an 11, although I wouldn't say I need it.

    The other use of the 11, is for muscle tension workouts. On the trainer, or slight grades that pass for hills, I can use the 53x11 to get enough resistence at 55 rpm to do muscle tension.

    As for your wattage assumptions, you're forgetting that in big field sprint you're getting a big draft effect in the lead out. And in the end when you punch it you're going to be putting out a lot more than 871 watts.

    Sustained 871 watts would be super human. 871 watts for a sprint would leave a decent sized rider off the back of a Cat 5 sprint.

  7. #7
    Solo Rider, always DFL
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    Full disclosure: I have a triple, and rarely end up using either the big ring, or the granny ring. Most stuff seems to be doable with the middle ring... just made me think about how many gears there were that were semi-irrelevant.

  8. #8
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superslomo
    Full disclosure: I have a triple, and rarely end up using either the big ring, or the granny ring. Most stuff seems to be doable with the middle ring... just made me think about how many gears there were that were semi-irrelevant.
    We need to find you some mountains for a "chainring appreciation ride."
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  9. #9
    Senior Member Talewinds's Avatar
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    Shooooot, I start my rides on the 53X11 and then work up to my 53X2 from there!
    Actually, like Merlin stated above, I use mine on the trainer for out-of-the-saddle intervals, but that's about it.

  10. #10
    iks
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    During my 20 mile course with some good hills I use ALL my gears and frequently stay in 50-11 for extended periods along the flats. But I am not racing and typically have pretty low cadences (40-70).
    No wind is nicer than a tail wind

  11. #11
    Solo Rider, always DFL
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    I live in NYC, so the granny ring really sees no duty here, but I was in West VA a little while back (near Seneca Rocks) for a week, and while I ended up having to ride county roads (big-a** logging trucks, no shoulders anywhere), I DEFINITELY appreciated having the little ring, and hit some stuff that I couldn't finish even with it.

    I had to turn back from Spruce Knob, coming off of a medically inspired layoff it was more than my non-400-watt-dialing-up self could handle.

    Not getting rid of the triple, just interesting to see that there are extraneous combinations...

  12. #12
    You got Madoned! munkyv22's Avatar
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    Once or twice per ride for sprints and on downhills.
    2006 Trek Madone SL 5.2
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    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by munkyv22
    Once or twice per ride for sprints and on downhills.
    i'm sure your 53x12 would do the job just as well.

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    Senior Member Trevor98's Avatar
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    I find myself using the 53x11 more now that my neuro surgeon has limited my heart rate. I slow my cadence to keep my speed up.
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    -trevor
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. (Robert J. Hanlon)

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    Senior Member DigitalRJH's Avatar
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    Only on downhills.

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    Senior Member jimbud's Avatar
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    You can ware out your 11 cog if you just ride your bike on the rollers.

  17. #17
    You got Madoned! munkyv22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto
    i'm sure your 53x12 would do the job just as well.
    Works just fine for me. I'm not saying I can push it all day, but I do use it pretty much every time I ride.
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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    I only have a 53-12, but I use it often dropping off the steeps here in Austin. I can maintain contact up to 55 mph (~160rpm), but not for long.

    Funny how hills dictate a wider range. In the flatlands, seems like you'd never need anything smaller than a 13. The only time you'd go really fast (above 35) would be in a sprint, and those should be really high RPM anyway.

    I guess motorpacing can be helped with a tall gear too. I was on a cement mixer for a mile last week at 40-45mph, and 120-130rpm was getting a little tiring given how much power I had to develop to hang. An 11 would have made it a much easier job.

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    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    My largest gear is a 50x12, and I can usually spin it out (if I want to) at least once on most of my loops around here....it's pretty worthless beyond 40-42 mph; beyond that, just tuck and get as aero as possible to go faster (although on one downhill run in the Berkshires, I did hit nearly 47 mph coasting while sitting up in the hoods).

    For what New England lacks in altitude gain, it makes up for in pitch.
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  20. #20
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by munkyv22
    Works just fine for me. I'm not saying I can push it all day, but I do use it pretty much every time I ride.
    That group riding the 30mph paceline in Detroit probably gets fair use of their 53-11's. Floridians would also be likely lads for the 53-11.

    I have used the 50-12 on my bike a few times when in a group and also going downhill but I spin it out pretty quickly except on Monte Sano where I can pedal 50-12 all the way down, 3 miles.

    At the suggestion of a local racer, I rode one day in nothing but 50-12. All was fine until I hit this little hill and slowed down so fast I couldn't shift or unclip and just fell right over. I had a hard time maintaining cadence over 70-75, though.

  21. #21
    Giving you the business. Cypress's Avatar
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    Yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Moderator
    Dear Cypress,

    You have received an infraction at Bike Forums.

  22. #22
    The Brave Descender High Fist Shin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper
    Yea no doubt...I run a 13-26 on the back of my 53/39. I may not be able to mash down a hill but I don't feel like I loose anything.
    Chopper, I think I hit 50x11 on our ride last weekend. Remember? 38mph!

    That ridiculous tailwind helped a lot.

    Dante
    In life there are no mistakes, only lessons. -Shin

  23. #23
    The Brave Descender High Fist Shin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress
    Yes.
    Doper!
    In life there are no mistakes, only lessons. -Shin

  24. #24
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle
    That group riding the 30mph paceline in Detroit probably gets fair use of their 53-11's. Floridians would also be likely lads for the 53-11.

    I have used the 50-12 on my bike a few times when in a group and also going downhill but I spin it out pretty quickly except on Monte Sano where I can pedal 50-12 all the way down, 3 miles.

    At the suggestion of a local racer, I rode one day in nothing but 50-12. All was fine until I hit this little hill and slowed down so fast I couldn't shift or unclip and just fell right over. I had a hard time maintaining cadence over 70-75, though.
    well, when i'm doing the odd 47-50 kp/h paceline in the netherlands, i'm happy enough in my 53x13/14.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Talewinds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machin Shin
    Chopper, I think I hit 50x11 on our ride last weekend. Remember? 38mph!

    That ridiculous tailwind helped a lot.

    Dante
    Hey! I resemble that remark!

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