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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niloc View Post
    Yes, for my tastes 10-spd 11-28 is a huge spread as well. On long rides with rollers and flats as well as hills, it's nice to have tight gearing in the middle where you do a lot of your pedaling. Shifting up or down a tooth or two in the rear to dial in your speed to your preferred cadence is useful. Helpful for maintaining even speeds in pacelines. The pros generally ride tight cassettes for this reason, and unlike us mere mortals, can power up the long climbs on a 39-4/23-5 or whatever. Being a mere mortal living in a mountainous locale, I use a triple to keep the tight gearing and still get up the hills. There isn't much you can't do with a 52/42/30 x 13-26. Ok a triple weighs a bit more than a double, but c'mon fart before your ride or something. It doesn't look as manly go-fast as a double which I suspect is the main reason they are not more popular. My cassette is 9-spd. If I went to 10-spd, and I see no need, but if I did I'd either stick with the 13-26 or maybe get a 12-25 and have even a hair tighter gearing than I have now.
    +1. 11/28 sucks for me, even 50/34 sucks. Looks like all 3 of us are from Seattle so probably ride similar conditions. My everyday setup is 50/36 with a 12-27. Heck, I did Zoo Hill last weekend with my 36x27 low gear. If you ride fast in groups tight gears are nice to have. Jumps in cadence with wide cassettes are annoying to me.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
    What prevented you from shifting up a gear?
    I was missing a 28 on the 12-30. Both have a 21, 24 gear (I use for climbing out of saddle) but the 12-30 had a 27 and the 11-28 had, well, a 28. That 28 seems to be the sweet spot for my "sit and spin" LOL...30 is too little and 27 is too much it seems...

  3. #53
    Senior Member IronHorseRiderX's Avatar
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    I replaced 11-28 with 12-30 Replacing 11-28t with 12-30t (cs-6700) and very pleased with results.
    On 34-30 I can maintain close to 90rpm on some long 10% stretches Bike Ride Profile | . Diablo #37. No wind! near Danville | Times and Records | Strava (10% 0.7mi long avg 88 rpm )
    Final climb is 0.1mi long with 16% where I now can hold ~75rpm avg Bike Ride Profile | 5/3/14 Danville, CA. Diablo #38 with the wind at my back! I predict lot's of PR on Strava today near Danville | Times and Records | Strava
    Imho for climbing 10% and above having 34 front with 30+ rear is very beneficial but it of course totally depends on you fitness level.

    It is hard and almost impossible to answer OP question - I suggest you just try to climb with whatever you have and figure out the rest after.
    Luckily cassettes are cheap (~$40) and easy to replace

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokehouse View Post
    I was missing a 28 on the 12-30. Both have a 21, 24 gear (I use for climbing out of saddle) but the 12-30 had a 27 and the 11-28 had, well, a 28. That 28 seems to be the sweet spot for my "sit and spin" LOL...30 is too little and 27 is too much it seems...
    The difference is less than 5% or 5rpm. They are essentially the same gear.....

  5. #55
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    Used an 11-28 this weekend on my wife's bike.. Only ventured once into the 34/28 on the wall... 13-15% grade.. I hear SRAM will have a 11/30 in July in the 1190 line... I think I will get that cassette for the wife for sure. I use a campy 12/29 .. But will also try the SRAM if it shifts well with campy

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niloc View Post
    I can't answer the OP question, as it depends upon the weight and fitness of this normal person.

    Here's my two cents though: 11-32 is a huge spread on a road bike, I don't know how many cogs you have but you're going to have some large gaps between gears in there, with cogs you might wish you had for long rides. If you're considering this combo (50-34/11-32), you should really be looking at getting a triple crankset. You get a wider gear range and smaller gaps between gears. The inner ring on my triple is a 30t which I think is pretty typical. My cassette is 13-26. So I'm getting about the same low gear as your 34/32 but with a much tighter cassette. 30/26 lets me spin up just about anything (I live in a very hilly area), and the 13 with my 52t big ring is tall enough to where if I spin it out I'm fine just tucking and coasting.
    No triple on the ultegra 6800

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
    The difference is less than 5% or 5rpm. They are essentially the same gear.....
    No...they're not. 5% is 5%.

    I can tell you They don't ride the same...my number's didn't reflect it; my HR, CAD and speed reflects a different story on climbs I've done time and time again. 30 was too much to spin, 27 isn't enough. 28 seems to be my sweet spot and it is what it is.

  8. #58
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niloc View Post
    Even with an 11-spd it will have wider gaps than my triple with a 9-spd.
    I'm not noticing an issue. But thanks for trying to make one up on my behalf.

    I would say that racers probably won't like the wide gaps. But they'll also avoid triples, so there you go.

    By the way, I've got a bike with a 9sp triple and a 11-34, and I can say that the gaps on the 11sp 11-32 really aren't bugging me. Srsly.


    The triple also gets you better chainlines.
    Meaning what, I'll burn through a $35 chain a month early?


    And 11 speed is fidgety, less durable, and more expensive (original outlay plus the parts wear faster). IMHO.
    I've used triples. I'd really rather not have one with STI. I seriously doubt 11sp will wear all that much faster than 10sp or 9sp.

    I'd also guess people made similar complaints about the transition from 9sp to 10sp, or 8sp to 9sp....

    I say "use what you like." If you want to use a triple, go ahead. But I for one have no issues with a wide 11sp cassette. It works fine, I rarely need to use the 32, and it's there when I need it.

  9. #59
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    I use a 50-34 and 11-32 cassette on my road bike, it works great for hills and cruising.
    2013 Felt 960 MTB 1601.7 miles
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  10. #60
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    I just built a 50-34 11-34 drive train for my brevet bike. I'm fit enough but after 300-400km with few stops and no sleep I care not for muscling up the hills. Ite nice to have a spin and roll up slow option. Done may 200km plus rides on an mtb as well. On the hills.in my granny I can cruise past the hard men cursing and suffering with a 25 on the back. Rather have it and mot ned then than need it and not have it.

    Cadence doesn't bother me. I even removed the sensor on my roadie. I'm happy holding 90 or so and my legs know what it feels like. Getting tired of being a.slave to the numbers. If I get where I need to go in the time I have alloted its good enough. I just run a hiking garmon these days. No HR or cadence data at all. Pace lines are too close gor my liking so gaps in the cassette are moot.
    Last edited by krobinson103; 05-19-14 at 05:09 PM.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokehouse View Post
    No...they're not. 5% is 5%.

    I can tell you They don't ride the same...my number's didn't reflect it; my HR, CAD and speed reflects a different story on climbs I've done time and time again. 30 was too much to spin, 27 isn't enough. 28 seems to be my sweet spot and it is what it is.
    So what happened with your HR, cadence and speed comparing the 27 and 28 for the same climb?

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokehouse View Post
    No...they're not. 5% is 5%.

    I can tell you They don't ride the same...my number's didn't reflect it; my HR, CAD and speed reflects a different story on climbs I've done time and time again. 30 was too much to spin, 27 isn't enough. 28 seems to be my sweet spot and it is what it is.

    Absolutely correct. I agree.

    I just upgraded my bike to 6800 and had it set up with an 11-32 just because I wanted to try it out. Turns out, I can't stand it. The 11-32 is set up with 11-12-13-14-16-18-20-22-25-28-32 and the 3 tooth gaps are just too much. I also really miss the tighter spacing at the smaller cog end of the cassette. What it did tell me was that I don't really ever go much lower in gearing than a 25. What I did, and seems to work great for me is to replace this with a SRAM 11-26 (11,12,13,14,15,16,17,19,21,23,26). This works pretty much perfectly for me - a long run of 1 tooth changes for small changes in gearing then it opens up to spacing of two with a drop out gear at 3 tooth spacing for 26. This works well for me to grades to 10%. If I were riding at 10% or higher then I'd really look at the 12-28 (too bad it's Dura Ace = expensive) or the Campy 12-27. Either one would be great for me.

    The gaps in the 11-32 are manageable for sure on an 11 speed system and I can conceive of those that would like it. But it does have pretty large jumps in gearing that are hard to adjust to. 5% change in gears is a very noticeable difference. I just couldn't seem to find a sweet spot or anticipate the effort needed if I shifted up or down from the gear I was at. I was constantly finding myself either spinning more than I wanted to be or having to push harder than I wanted to.

    Just to add, if I needed to deal with steeper grades, i'd select SRAM's 11-28
    11,12,13,14,15,16,17,19,22,25,28 over Shimano's (11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25-28) for it's longer spread of tightly spaced gears.

    J.


    Last edited by JohnJ80; 05-20-14 at 08:21 AM.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    Absolutely correct. I agree.

    I just upgraded my bike to 6800 and had it set up with an 11-32 just because I wanted to try it out. Turns out, I can't stand it. The 11-32 is set up with 11-12-13-14-16-18-20-22-25-28-32 and the 3 tooth gaps are just too much. I also really miss the tighter spacing at the smaller cog end of the cassette. What it did tell me was that I don't really ever go much lower in gearing than a 25. What I did, and seems to work great for me is to replace this with a SRAM 11-26 (11,12,13,14,15,16,17,19,21,23,26). This works pretty much perfectly for me - a long run of 1 tooth changes for small changes in gearing then it opens up to spacing of two with a drop out gear at 3 tooth spacing for 26. This works well for me to grades to 10%. If I were riding at 10% or higher then I'd really look at the 12-28 (too bad it's Dura Ace = expensive) or the Campy 12-27. Either one would be great for me.

    The gaps in the 11-32 are manageable for sure on an 11 speed system and I can conceive of those that would like it. But it does have pretty large jumps in gearing that are hard to adjust to. 5% change in gears is a very noticeable difference. I just couldn't seem to find a sweet spot or anticipate the effort needed if I shifted up or down from the gear I was at. I was constantly finding myself either spinning more than I wanted to be or having to push harder than I wanted to.

    Just to add, if I needed to deal with steeper grades, i'd select SRAM's 11-28
    11,12,13,14,15,16,17,19,22,25,28 Shimanos (11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25-28) for it's longer spread of tightly spaced gears.

    J.


    How can you say he is correct and then follow up by saying you could use either a 12-28 or 12-27? Smokehouse is arguing that the 4% difference between a 27 and a 28 is make or break. This corresponds to a 2-3rpm difference at <10mph

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
    How can you say he is correct and then follow up by saying you could use either a 12-28 or 12-27? Smokehouse is arguing that the 4% difference between a 27 and a 28 is make or break. This corresponds to a 2-3rpm difference at <10mph
    I agree with him that the 11-32 is too low of a gear for me and that I prefer the spacing found on the 11-26, 12-27 (essentially the same thing shifted down by a gear) or the 12-28. In mountains I'd go a low as a 28 but I wouldn't need it. I don't have a lot of plans to climb stuff with grades much over 10%.

    J.

  15. #65
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    I have a compact with 12-30. I find hills of 10% or more for longer than a half mile or so very hard. I'm darn glad I have that 30 even though I don't use it that much. I'm 50, 175 lbs with bad knees. Gotta spin, can't mash.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
    So what happened with your HR, cadence and speed comparing the 27 and 28 for the same climb?
    There's always one in the bunch...and you are it this time.

    Look up Illini drive climb on strava. My name is Jonathan Lovelace and I'm sitting at a mediocre #5 on that climb. It is a super short, really steep sucker and stinks. I've taken it MANY times due to the fact it is so close to my house.

    I've taken it enough times to know I can spin in 36-28, downshift 1 to 36-24 and get out of saddle.

    Try as I may...the 36-30 was just to much spin for my liking and 27 was making my ass burn to a crisp. 28, although tough, seems to be a better spot for the "sit and spin" portion of that hill. I also liked the single jump to 24 for out of saddle vs the 2 clicks it takes to get there on the 12-30. Call BS all you like, I've ridden it enough to know what I prefer.

    You can poke at me all you want...I never said it was "make or break"...I said I prefer 28 over 27 and I do. If 1 tooth made no difference why do so many sets stair step in 1-tooth increments?

    I didnt drop good $$ on a 12-30 6700 cassette just to ride it once and shelve it...good grief, I did try.

    in other words...that's all the explanation I'm going to give so poke at me all you like, I'm not going answer in depth again.

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    Senior Member martinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadandmountain View Post
    Serious question: what were people doing 20-25 years ago when 53/42 and 12-23 gearing were the norm?

    Were cyclists just avoiding certain hills? Did people of a 'certain weight' simply not ride bicycles before?
    Good, question...

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    I prefer to spin. 11-32 with a compact works well for me.

    And to answer the standing part, I don't know - I just stand when I feel like it. As others have mentioned it's good to get up out of the saddle on long hills.
    Last edited by megalowmatt; 05-19-14 at 11:15 PM.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    I'm not noticing an issue. But thanks for trying to make one up on my behalf.

    I would say that racers probably won't like the wide gaps. But they'll also avoid triples, so there you go.

    By the way, I've got a bike with a 9sp triple and a 11-34, and I can say that the gaps on the 11sp 11-32 really aren't bugging me. Srsly.



    Meaning what, I'll burn through a $35 chain a month early?



    I've used triples. I'd really rather not have one with STI. I seriously doubt 11sp will wear all that much faster than 10sp or 9sp.

    I'd also guess people made similar complaints about the transition from 9sp to 10sp, or 8sp to 9sp....

    I say "use what you like." If you want to use a triple, go ahead. But I for one have no issues with a wide 11sp cassette. It works fine, I rarely need to use the 32, and it's there when I need it.
    Yep different strokes for different folks. Sounds like you've explored the options thoroughly and have decided what you like, so fair enough. I think a lot of people go through contortions trying get a double to work, because they just assume they don't want a triple, or a triple isn't manly enough. I'd say running a cassette with a huge spread is a symptom of that, although I admit that as speeds have continued to jump up 9 to 10 to 11, the drawbacks of the huge spread cassette decline - but not disappear. I think that a lot of folks especially in mountain areas would be well served by the triple with the low gearing for spinning up hills without losing the tight gear spacing for tuning your cadence in the flats.

    A couple other points:

    Racers don't like wide gaps, but they avoid triples because, well, they're elite cyclists with the wattage to be able to do whatever climbing they need on a double. A lot of the rest of us don't have the wattage if we're being honest so the third ring is helpful. Also a lot of crits for example are run flat out on fairly flat courses so you don't need the gearing to climb a 10% grade for miles. But you will want that 17 (or whatever) cog you're missing on the wide range cassette. But even for non-racers, if you ride long distances, or in pacelines on group rides, having tight gaps is nice.

    Why do you have an 11-34 on a triple? I assume we're talking about a road bike. Seems like you could cut that down to at least say a 12-27 with no loss of usable range and get tighter gearing.

    I don't have a problem with shifting my triple with Ergopower, it's indexed though I wish it was just friction for easier trimming. I think there are some models that have friction.

    I don't have any personal experience with the wear issue, but I've had mechanics tell me (who nothing to gain from it) that 10 and especially 11 speed wears faster. One said about twice as fast. Makes sense right, everything is thinner. Also isn't indexing 11 spd finicky b/c everything is so close together? Hence electronic shifting? Don't get me started on that.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
    +1. 11/28 sucks for me, even 50/34 sucks. Looks like all 3 of us are from Seattle so probably ride similar conditions. My everyday setup is 50/36 with a 12-27. Heck, I did Zoo Hill last weekend with my 36x27 low gear. If you ride fast in groups tight gears are nice to have. Jumps in cadence with wide cassettes are annoying to me.
    When I do Zoo Hill I'm glad of my 30t inner ring! I was able to ride away from a companion who had a double pretty close to your set up, I think because I could sit and spin for longer. He was either lugging along at a low cadence or standing. Believe me I did some standing too, even with my triple. Of course you just may be fitter than either of us.

  21. #71
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I agree with him that the 11-32 is too low of a gear for me and that I prefer the spacing found on the 11-26, 12-27 (essentially the same thing shifted down by a gear) or the 12-28. In mountains I'd go a low as a 28 but I wouldn't need it. I don't have a lot of plans to climb stuff with grades much over 10%.
    It probably depends upon how fit the rider is. I ride in Seattle like @redlude97, and I'm not sure if I could survive Zoo Hill without my 32T cog. I need to use the 25T on Roosevelt Way south of Northgate Way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinus View Post
    Good, question...
    I've got my own suspicions (which I've posted multiple times), but what's odd is that others aren't puzzled by what I consider to be a fairly obvious question.

    I know that a lot of people on this board got into cycling a lot earlier than I did, and could post their own anecdotal evidence, but so far haven't.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadandmountain View Post
    Serious question: what were people doing 20-25 years ago when 53/42 and 12-23 gearing were the norm?

    Were cyclists just avoiding certain hills? Did people of a 'certain weight' simply not ride bicycles before?
    I would also like to know the answer to this.

    Just what prompted the advent of compact cranks?
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
    1999 Cannondale F400 mountain bike
    2012 Bianchi Infinito (Campy Record 11s)
    2012 Colnago C59 in PR99 color scheme (Campy Record 11s)

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    Quote Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
    I would also like to know the answer to this.

    Just what prompted the advent of compact cranks?
    I couldn't ride where I live now on the gears I grew up riding. As a kid I'd read how the pros were riding 39x26 in the Alps and be jealous that I only had a 42x24.

    At a guess of the history, I'd say mountain bikes came in and became popular in the 80s and 90s. Triples became cool. People started wanting triples on road bikes as their friends on mountain bikes started going up steep hills faster than them (I know it happened to me).

    Then as cassettes got as wide as 9 and 10 speed, and front derailleurs that could cover a 10-12 tooth gap before, could now cover a 16 tooth gap, somebody realised they could have as wide a range of gears as most triples with a double, and not sacrifice the close together speeds in the middle of the cassette.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokehouse View Post
    I will start that here in Central Illinois...most "climbs" are very short but very steep. No mile long climbs.

    With that said, I run a 52-36 sub compact and went to a 12-30 rear this year. I hated it. I was spinning too much most of the time...heart exploding RPM up hills and was averaging much slower speeds than I did with a 12-28 rear. I slapped the 12-28 back on last week.

    So...long story short...with the OP's 50-34 coupled to a 32 rear...you're damn near in mountain bike territory there. You can go up some seriously long climbs...but you'll be doing it at 95 rpm and 8 mph...
    It's all in how steep. Some of my hills are slo-mo mashing with that gearing. Maybe 4 mph... I prefer standing when it gets that steep; easier on the knees.

    Short hills are different, too. You can attack and power over them. A long steep climb needs to be treated with respect. If you hit it too hard too early you could find yourself in real distress later on. Like "am I gonna keel over and die right here on this stupid hill?!" type distress. Anyway, I love to climb steep hills, and I love my 34-32 granny gearing.
    Last edited by Long Tom; 05-20-14 at 03:40 AM.
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