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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Long Tom View Post
    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.

    I live in the river valley in Illinois...so we don't have a ton of long climbs. We do have a few that are 1-1.5mi long at 4-5% grade but they're few and far between. We do have some nasty stinkers that can hit 20-35% grade with averages of 16-18%. Some of those are out of saddle even at 36-28 LOL...

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokehouse View Post
    I live in the river valley in Illinois...so we don't have a ton of long climbs. We do have a few that are 1-1.5mi long at 4-5% grade but they're few and far between. We do have some nasty stinkers that can hit 20-35% grade with averages of 16-18%. Some of those are out of saddle even at 36-28 LOL...
    If I'm standing on my 34-34 then chances are walking is easier. Thats exactlyvwhat I'll do. I ride for the fun not the suffering. If walking is faster I walk.

  3. #78
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    Someone asked about this so here is what I had back in the good old days. In the early 1970's I rode a lot in Germany in the mountains and my set up was 14x28. I never had or saw any 32 tooth freewheels. I ran 14-28 freewheels most of the time My big gear chainring was 40-54 not a 52. I was young and strong and used what I had. Lowland gear was a 12x26. I still have a 12x26 and I can not clime even small hills now with it.

    Above I said 1970 but I meant 1960's Fifty years ago.
    Last edited by EddyR; 05-22-14 at 09:02 AM.

  4. #79
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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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.
    With John on this one. I just ordered a 28-11 Ultegra cassette for a mix DA/Ultegra build. I will run it with 50-38 and when I need more climbing inches up the steep stuff near the end of a century will paste on 34t inner ring in advance to replace the 38t.Just like big gaps in back is the pits, 50-34 in front is a bigger PITA unless you absolutely need the climbing gears. I suppose some may need a 34-32 gear for getting up the real steep stuff but most of the real steep stuff isn't long and I get up this stuff out of the saddle in particular if my legs are toast. I prefer the tighter gear spacing of the 28-11 and even with 11 cogs that isn't as tight as say a 25-12 for tuning cadence on flat riding.
    Gearing is all about tradeoffs. No free lunch. If you want a big gear inch spread you pay for it in bigger gaps which just don't give you the capacity to dial cadence as precisely.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    With John on this one. I just ordered a 28-11 Ultegra cassette for a mix DA/Ultegra build. I will run it with 50-38 and when I need more climbing inches up the steep stuff near the end of a century will paste on 34t inner ring in advance to replace the 38t.Just like big gaps in back is the pits, 50-34 in front is a bigger PITA unless you absolutely need the climbing gears. I suppose some may need a 34-32 gear for getting up the real steep stuff but most of the real steep stuff isn't long and I get up this stuff out of the saddle in particular if my legs are toast. I prefer the tighter gear spacing of the 28-11 and even with 11 cogs that isn't as tight as say a 25-12 for tuning cadence on flat riding.
    Gearing is all about tradeoffs. No free lunch. If you want a big gear inch spread you pay for it in bigger gaps which just don't give you the capacity to dial cadence as precisely.
    I mentioned it earlier.. but this is coming from SRAM.. sounds like a great cassette for the 28T/32T tweeners ..XG-1190 so it's very light, but not cheap


    • 11-30: 11,12,13,14,15,17,19,21,24,27, 30 (available July 2014)

  6. #81
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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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 didn't know, either. I found this 2008 article that covers the history.

    Basically, when 9 and 10 speed cogs were produced, it allowed the same close gearing from 12-19 that the old 6 speed freewheels had, with additional larger cogs. And the shaped teeth and chain lift pins on the chainring allowed a larger difference in chainring sizes while still having good front shifting. Oh, and 11 tooth cogs were too small for the old freewheel bodies, but worked fine with cassettes.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 05-21-14 at 09:07 PM.

  7. #82
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
    I didn't know, either. I found this 2008 article that covers the history.

    Basically, when 9 and 10 speed cogs were produced, it allowed the same close gearing from 12-19 that the old 6 speed freewheels had, with additional larger cogs. And the shaped teeth and chain lift pins on the chainring allowed a larger difference in chainring sizes while still having good front shifting. Oh, and 11 tooth cogs were too small for the old freewheel bodies, but worked fine with cassettes.
    rm, thanks for the link to the article. I learned a lot by reading it.
    Last edited by eja_ bottecchia; 05-22-14 at 12:57 AM.
    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)

  8. #83
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
    rm, thank for the link to the article. I learned a lot by reading it.
    Same here. I've got a lot to learn. Thanks @rm -rf
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  9. #84
    laf
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    The 50-34 and 11-32 seems to be frowned upon I will have it installed in a few days.

    I would like to have a tight gearing too, but its not just possible where i live. To get out of my village, I have a choice of two climbs.

    The easiest one is about 2km. It starts with a 10% for 600m followed by a 18% for another 600m and finally a 14% to get to the top.

    The other one is a killer. Its 2.7km long and starts with a 20%. There is a peak of about 22% near the middle and there is no real break.

    Even if I get to the top with a more difficult gearing, the energy level wont be the same at the top.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by laf View Post
    The 50-34 and 11-32 seems to be frowned upon I will have it installed in a few days.

    I would like to have a tight gearing too, but its not just possible where i live. To get out of my village, I have a choice of two climbs.

    The easiest one is about 2km. It starts with a 10% for 600m followed by a 18% for another 600m and finally a 14% to get to the top.

    The other one is a killer. Its 2.7km long and starts with a 20%. There is a peak of about 22% near the middle and there is no real break.

    Even if I get to the top with a more difficult gearing, the energy level wont be the same at the top.

    Those are the type of climbs that I occasionally deal with and the 50/34 with 11-32 combo works great for that. Gear spacing doesn't matter too much on my mountain rides because I'm either riding 50-11 or 34-28/32.

    I really don't understand the stigma either, it's not as if the cassette is welded on...I have a separate cassette when I'm not expecting to do 8k ft/2.5k m in a single ride.

  11. #86
    laf
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    I agree, i will have several parts available after this.

    At the front 50-34 and 52-36. At the rear 11-25, 11-28, 11-32 and both 6800 rear derailleurs.

  12. #87
    laf
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    Update: After riding the compact + 11/32 a bit, Im finding that I can go to about 20% without standing, but my cadence just drops terribly.

    And you cannot really stand on the 11:32 its too slow, there is not enough resistance.

  13. #88
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    do you find the 32 useful?

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    It's impossible to answer this question specifically, unless we specify the weight and power output of this "normal person"

    However, its not difficult to calculate the power out put necessary. 34/32 at 50rpm (about as low as you'd want to seated) is right at 4mph.

    For a combined rider/bike weight of 180lbs, it takes 222 watts to do 4mph up a 15% grade. 292 watts for a 20% grade.

    I would say that most "normal" somewhat trained recreational riders can put out 222 watts for at least a few minutes, and likey 292 watts for a short burst.

    It would be a stretch for many average recreational riders to put out that sort of wattage for an extended, hour long climb.

    So, I'd say your "normal person" could likey do 10% grades for extended climbs, 15% grades for shorter climbs, and could manage short walls of 20%.

    All depends on the w/kg we assign this "normal person"
    ^^ this /end of thread.

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