Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-25-12, 07:51 PM   #51
Digitalfiend
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzy101 View Post
Standard vs compact doesn't make a big difference IMO. With a standard and a big cassette in the back, you can pretty much get a gearing similar to compact. Or you can go compact and use 11-21.

If going compact is going to cost you a decent amount of $$$, and there's other improvements on the bike you could spend money on, I'd think twice about going compact. Having a climbing cassette is worth it anyhow, why not try that first? It's cheaper.
Heh, I'm actually going the other way: compact to standard. Other than putting a whole butt load more time on the bike (which is a given), there isn't much more I can put into the bike itself to improve it. Right now it's all rider limited. If I achieve my goals for this year, I do plan to reward myself next year with a set of nice aero-wheels, such as Zipp 404s or Bontrager's new Aeolus 5 D3s (running DA WH-7900 C24s right now.)
Digitalfiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-12, 08:16 PM   #52
Digitalfiend
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
120RPM is over 68kph. There aren't many sprints that end at that speed.
True, I probably could have articulated that a bit better. Is there anything a 53/11 buys you over a 50/11 then besides ultimate top end speed? What scenarios would the taller gearing be beneficial?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
You aren't going to reach those speeds unless you're going downhill, in which case you may as well just tuck and stop pedalling. If it's a group ride or a race, you're unlikely to be dropped on a downhill section unless it's technical, in which case the speed won't be as important.
There are a few long sections of my ride with moderate declines (I think -2% to -3%) where, with a bit of tailwind, I can sustain 55-58km/h with my 50/11 and I've always felt that I might be able to eek a bit more out if it weren't for the higher cadence. Perhaps that is all nonsense but I do like to experiment.

I do understand work-over-time and that higher cadence generally yields more work being done per unit of time, so I'm not anti-spinning. Bah, I'm not sure what point I'm trying to make now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
It will result in a slightly lower cadence but you won't magically gain power or go up a hill faster because you choose a higher gear. If you think that riding in bigger gears will make you stronger you could just do all your rides in one bigger gear on your compact. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way.
As I said, my main concern isn't really so much becoming He-Man as it is to address the occasionally odd shifting requirements of the compact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
no.
I've noticed increased muscle mass and strength during the middle of the summer after I've forced myself to use slightly more challenging gearing. Part is probably improved cardio/endurance, weight loss, etc but some of the improvement must come from increased muscle mass. No?

Please don't misconstrue my response as me being arrogant - that's not my intent, I'm just writing out my newbie-ish thoughts and experiences. I do appreciate your input.
Digitalfiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-12, 08:19 PM   #53
bobonker
Member
 
bobonker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Nor Cal
Bikes:
Posts: 816
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Solution: 2 bikes

1 with a standard for flats and 1 with compact for climbs

Bob
bobonker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-12, 08:44 PM   #54
redlude97
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 1,674
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 323 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digitalfiend View Post
As I said, my main concern isn't really so much becoming He-Man as it is to address the occasionally odd shifting requirements of the compact.
swap your 34T for a 36/38. Then your jump will be the same or better than a 39/53 and it should only cost ~$20
redlude97 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-12, 08:45 PM   #55
blcknspo0ln
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NJ
Bikes: 2009 Specialized Allez 105
Posts: 386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobonker View Post
Solution: 2 bikes

1 with a standard for flats and 1 with compact for climbs

Bob
Now we're talkin'! N+1 always wins.
blcknspo0ln is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-12, 09:00 PM   #56
Digitalfiend
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
swap your 34T for a 36/38. Then your jump will be the same or better than a 39/53 and it should only cost ~$20
Are there any 36/38 rings for a DA7900 compact? The big question is will they work properly with the Di2 front derailleur. I'm also sure I've read somewhere that the mixing rings with DA can lead to crappy front shifting due to the tooth/ramp differences. Otherwise, yes, that would be an ideal solution.
Digitalfiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-12, 09:02 PM   #57
Digitalfiend
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by blcknspo0ln View Post
Now we're talkin'! N+1 always wins.
I was originally going to sell my Roubaix after getting my Madone, but honestly, I find I'm using my Roubaix more as a backup/rain bike and I'll definitely be sticking with the compact on the Roubaix. Problem solved?
Digitalfiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-12, 09:16 PM   #58
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Bikes:
Posts: 7,893
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 396 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digitalfiend View Post
I've noticed increased muscle mass and strength during the middle of the summer after I've forced myself to use slightly more challenging gearing. Part is probably improved cardio/endurance, weight loss, etc but some of the improvement must come from increased muscle mass. No?
Cycling is largely an aerobic sport. Riding for hours at a time in a little or big gear is unlikely to result in muscular hypertrophy. More likely you lost some fat and provided better definition for your existing muscles. In any case, if you want to train in a bigger gear you still have that option with your compact.

I'm not trying to sway you either way. I have both and currently ride a standard. It doesn't make a big difference to me but with the compact I spend more time in the middle of the cassette.
gregf83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-12, 09:48 PM   #59
Digitalfiend
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks again.

Speaking of muscle mass, I'm very tempted to get a Dexa scan before this year's riding season really picks up. I definitely have some extra weight to lose (10-12lbs) and I love sifting through data so it would be interesting to track my progress in that area as well.

My standard crankset order arrived today. I'm very anxious to feel the difference over the next few months. I suspect that while I'll probably notice an improvement in the shifting patterns over the compact (for my particular routes), the difference probably won't be as dramatic as I originally envisioned in my head. As long as there is some overall improvement I'll be happy. Heck, at least the crankset was only $500, so if this experiment turns out to be a failure (or a disaster), at least I haven't lost too much. I've spent (and sadly also wasted at times) thousands on modding my old car, trying to squeeze out extra performance, when I used to do track days. Now THAT is an expensive hobby, which my wife always liked to remind me of.

Thanks again guys, it's been very informative. I'll be sure to provide an update and maybe some comparison data plots over the next couple of weeks.
Digitalfiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-12, 10:18 PM   #60
mechBgon
Senior Member
 
mechBgon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 6,957
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
If you think that riding in bigger gears will make you stronger you could just do all your rides in one bigger gear on your compact. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way.
In point of fact, it works that way for some of us. The high-stress, low-rpm stamina training isn't for everyone, but I'm getting fine results with that exact approach.

Quote:
I've noticed increased muscle mass and strength during the middle of the summer after I've forced myself to use slightly more challenging gearing. Part is probably improved cardio/endurance, weight loss, etc but some of the improvement must come from increased muscle mass. No?
I'll share my result on that... I tape-measure my right thigh as a general barometer of muscle mass. After four months of high-resistance, low-RPM climbing training, it's stayed pretty much unchanged at 22 inches. Muscle stamina, however, has improved a lot... I can pick a demanding gear, like a 2:1 ratio up a ~10% grade, and yeah it hurts, but I can make the legs do it for 8-10 minutes. And these climbs generally end up being de facto intervals, the cardio has been improving nicely from that aspect.

The downside for me is that right now my legs now prefer the lower cadences. Spinning was never my forte, but right now I get choppy above 100rpm and home in on a cadence in the low 80s.
mechBgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-12, 11:07 PM   #61
Digitalfiend
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
The downside for me is that right now my legs now prefer the lower cadences. Spinning was never my forte, but right now I get choppy above 100rpm and home in on a cadence in the low 80s.
After reading some of the responses here, that is definitely one concern I do have with switching from compact to standard (and keeping the 11-25/12-25 setup.) While I do like to stand for variation when tackling some hills, I'm generally a spinner. With my position dialled in on my old bike, I find I can spin up to 115-120 before noticing some bounce and 125-130 is about where I stop trying because it feels too bouncy. I generally find that, probably from riding a compact all these years, my legs and body like it when I spin at 95-100rpm and at about 90rpm on the hills.

It will be interesting to see how the change to a standard affects me. I'm a tiny bit nervous about my decision but mostly excited by the challenge of trying something new and different.

I think you hit on what I was trying to communicate about my feelings on grinding a harder gear: perhaps its muscle stamina that I'm noticing more than increased mass (though my legs do look and feel more solid by the end of the season.)

Now if the weather would just improve here, I'd be much happier. I'm getting tired of riding in damp 5-8C weather.
Digitalfiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 10:58 PM   #62
Digitalfiend
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Small update:

Finally got the new frame and standard crankset setup and after a few hundred kilometres, I'm sold. I actually find some of the longer, less steep (4-6%), hills easier, if that makes any sense. Heart rate is lower but speed is up compared to when I'm on my Roubaix/compact - though I attribute part of that to my Madone too.

I know it sounds odd, but the standard seems to give me a better combination of effort and reasonable cadence (85-90) for most gears. Now, I also realise that my Madone is quite a bit stiffer and about 4-5lbs lighter than my Roubaix, but it's more the feel of the gearing that I'm noticing. So far I haven't encountered a hill that's made me long for the compact or a 39/27, so I think I made the right choice. I've also noticed that my speed on the flats seems higher as well, though at a slightly lower cadence (~85, though occasionally 90 when cruising, whereas the compact was generally 90-95, sometimes 100 when "cruising".) This is subjective for sure as there are too many variables (wind, temp, how I feel, lack of a power meter) to take into account but it sure seems like I'm carrying more speed.

I have noticed a touch of tenderness on the inner side of my right knee but I don't think I've got my seat perfect yet on my new frame; I stupidly forgot to record all my measurements before sending the '11 frame back. I doubt it is a standard crank causing it.

Anyhow, I'm very happy with my choice so far. Going to try 100km tomorrow and see how that goes - wondering if a 12-25 might be in my future as the 16t will get used a lot more than the 11t.
Digitalfiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 11:56 PM   #63
Christobevii3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 229
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a rear 11-28 and with a compact 50/34 I was stuck between big and small ring a lot and drove me nuts. With the 53/39 and it being relatively flat here I have a decisive sit in big or small ring and prefer that.
Christobevii3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-12, 12:09 AM   #64
twodownzero
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This thread getting bumped to the top just makes me love my triple more and more. I have the low gears of a compact AND the tightly spaced and overlapping gears of a standard. I also don't have to shift my front ring that much because each ring has a nice tight useful range. Best of all, my gears are close together and I'm always at the cadence I want.
twodownzero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-12, 05:41 AM   #65
LowCel 
Throw the stick!!!!
 
LowCel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Charleston, WV
Bikes: GMC Denali
Posts: 17,877
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
This thread getting bumped to the top just makes me love my triple more and more. I have the low gears of a compact AND the tightly spaced and overlapping gears of a standard. I also don't have to shift my front ring that much because each ring has a nice tight useful range. Best of all, my gears are close together and I'm always at the cadence I want.
Every time I see a post like this it makes me happy to have the legs to not need a triple........
__________________
I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.
LowCel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-12, 06:08 AM   #66
Soloist Assassin
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Bikes: 2011 Cervelo S2, 2001Trek USPS 5200, 06 Cervelo P3 Alum, 1999 Schwinn Pro Stock BMX, 1987 Schwinn Traveler
Posts: 7,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digitalfiend View Post
The big question is will they work properly with the Di2 front derailleur.....
Sell your Di2 to some idiot that thinks they need such gadgetry, and get a proper mechanical group: SRAM Red, or SR11, and spend the rest on EPO. Problem solved.
Soloist Assassin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-12, 06:58 PM   #67
Digitalfiend
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soloist Assassin View Post
Sell your Di2 to some idiot that thinks they need such gadgetry, and get a proper mechanical group: SRAM Red, or SR11, and spend the rest on EPO. Problem solved.
Yeah...no.
Digitalfiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-12, 01:43 PM   #68
icyclist 
Spin Meister
 
icyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: California, USA
Bikes: Trek Émonda SLR with some upgraded (i.e. lighter) components, Specialized Allez, '94 (just the frame, the rest of the bike is somewhat Frankensteinian), Follis (French, 1961, I'm the original owner), Wabi fixie, Spesh. Stumpjumper (hardtail).
Posts: 2,609
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LowCel View Post
Every time I see a post like this it makes me happy to have the legs to not need a triple........
Is it about the legs? Or is it about having all the gears you want with a triple instead of the hobbled set-up you have?

I have the luxury of owning several bikes, and I've had all sorts of drivetrains over the years. I don't think it makes any difference which set-up I or anyone else has. If you ride super-steep, super-long hills, you need a relatively low gear (relative to your strength), whether you're on a compact, standard or triple.

I've seen very fit cyclists walking their bikes, or turning around after several miles of 12%+ grades, because they thought they had legs enough on the gears they normally rode.
__________________
This post is a natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and are in no way to be considered flaws or defects.
icyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-12, 02:01 PM   #69
antmeeks
Maud Magnet
 
antmeeks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Atlanta, GA
Bikes: 2012 Specialized Allez Comp, 2001 Kona Stuff
Posts: 765
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What about a mid-compact?

My bike has a 52/36 with a 11-28.

I live in a super hilly area, can climb with no problem and only spin out downhill at about 42-ish mph in the 52|11 combo.

I think it's a nice compromise between a standard and compact.
antmeeks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-12, 11:12 PM   #70
ThermionicScott 
Gratuitous glib and snark
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)
Posts: 14,658
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 596 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
This thread getting bumped to the top just makes me love my triple more and more. I have the low gears of a compact AND the tightly spaced and overlapping gears of a standard. I also don't have to shift my front ring that much because each ring has a nice tight useful range. Best of all, my gears are close together and I'm always at the cadence I want.
Yep. The vast majority of the time, I'm basically riding a 52/42 double. And then when I encounter a steep, long hill, that 32T is right there for me.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
RUSA #7498

(Photobucket is holding my pictures hostage. If you're interested in seeing one of the missing pictures in an old thread, PM me and I'll attach it.)
ThermionicScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-12, 12:24 AM   #71
twodownzero
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by blcknspo0ln View Post
Now we're talkin'! N+1 always wins.
Surely you meant "n+1." "N+1" would literally mean all of the bikes in the world, plus one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LowCel View Post
Every time I see a post like this it makes me happy to have the legs to not need a triple........
Yeah, who needs efficiency anyway? HTFU trumps all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Yep. The vast majority of the time, I'm basically riding a 52/42 double. And then when I encounter a steep, long hill, that 32T is right there for me.
Nothing wrong with liking to spin. 42x32 is actually basically the same gear as 30x23, which is the lowest that I have as well (unless my math is wrong).

Everyone seems to think that a triple is all about having lower gears on the extreme end, but when combined with the proper cassette, one can have the same gear range with a standard, compact, or triple. The only difference, then, is how tightly spaced the gears are. 34x28, which most of the guys here running compacts have, is significantly lower than any of my 30 gear ratios.

A triple gives closer gear spacing, but not necessarily lower gears. And combined with a smaller and tighter cassette, the difference in weight is pretty small--smaller than most think.
twodownzero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-12, 12:39 AM   #72
Bianchi Ben
Celeste is the Best
 
Bianchi Ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: The Valley, 91403
Bikes: Bianchi Via Nirone 7, Peugeot Nice
Posts: 103
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is an interesting thread. I've enjoyed the insight from the Standard riders. And do feel the sentiment of "You'll never get stronger riding a compact." There are just too many crazy hills here in SoCal for me to justify Standard. Maybe with a bit more experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vermilionx View Post
i live in the valley, socal... so i like making inclines and climbing easier with my compact.

but on the downhill parts... i seem to be running out gears at around 37-40mph.

what speed do standard double run out gears?
I'm in the Valley too. I have Compact front, well kinda (50/36), and run 11-27 on the rear. I had 12-25 before and found the same thing, no gear when I was done tucking on the downhills. Since switching to 11t I haven't found that problem yet...

Last edited by Bianchi Ben; 05-08-12 at 09:34 AM.
Bianchi Ben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-12, 01:40 AM   #73
twodownzero
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd hope not! 50x11 is a bigger gear than 52x12.
twodownzero is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:44 AM.


 
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.
I HAVE A QUESTION