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  1. #1
    Live Deliberately. davidmcowan's Avatar
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    Will it get better?

    Background: I've been riding 42x16 for about a year on 27 inch, thicker tires on old heavier wheels. I recently purchased a new wheel set (700c and MUCH lighter and thinner). I decided that I should buy a 15t cog because 16 had gotten so I was spinning more than I would like to and couldn't get past a certain speed. So I've switched out the wheel set and I'm riding this gear and it feels like I'm pushing really hard up hills and from starts. My question is: How long should I expect this transition to last? Will it get better? Will my legs get stronger, is this a gear I should be able to run in a hilly neighborhood?

    You are smarter than I am. Tell me.

  2. #2
    Senior Member TimArchy's Avatar
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    your legs will get stronger. It does take time to adjust to a new ratio. Will it get easier?
    Greg LeMond said it best:
    "It never gets any easier, you just go faster"
    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Frank
    I will derive power from their cries of despair. My crank a speedy dervish, spinning and spinning through the darkest night that anyone with the audacity to try and suck my wheel will ever see...

  3. #3
    Good for Business koyman's Avatar
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    yes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcowan
    So I've switched out the wheel set and I'm riding this gear and it feels like I'm pushing really hard up hills and from starts.
    well, are you pushing harder to maintain your usual time, or are you pushing harder and making better time? Folk often subconsciencely push harder when they get new parts or a lighter bike.

    regardless, the latest WC research indicates that heavier wheels may actually make climbing easier!

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    A week or so. If you feel like you are having to push too hard up hills gear back down. In the long term improving your ability to spin will make you a better cyclist then improving your strength some. It also is much less likely to injure you.

    Quote Originally Posted by stevo
    regardless, the latest WC research indicates that heavier wheels may actually make climbing easier!
    link? this is something I have hypothesized for years.

  6. #6
    Live Deliberately. davidmcowan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevo
    well, are you pushing harder to maintain your usual time, or are you pushing harder and making better time? Folk often subconsciencely push harder when they get new parts or a lighter bike.

    regardless, the latest WC research indicates that heavier wheels may actually make climbing easier!
    Oh, I'm going much faster. I'd like to install a computer to know but it feels like 2-3 miles per hour faster on a regular flat. The thing is I need to spin up to a certain speed (on flats) before it gets close to the same exertion I'd apply on flats. I think this is because it is harder to push that I need to pick up some speed to not be mashing.

    I'd be interested in the wheel theory. I used to cruise up hills and now it seems a little slower and more difficult. I hope this changes, as this speed is much more my speed.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TimArchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevo
    the latest WC research indicates that heavier wheels may actually make climbing easier!
    I haven't heard that theory. Is it something to do with a fly-wheel affect? There is a lot of cycling experience out there that says the opposite, but the world of cycling have been known to be wrong on many occations.
    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Frank
    I will derive power from their cries of despair. My crank a speedy dervish, spinning and spinning through the darkest night that anyone with the audacity to try and suck my wheel will ever see...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimArchy
    I haven't heard that theory. Is it something to do with a fly-wheel affect? There is a lot of cycling experience out there that says the opposite, but the world of cycling have been known to be wrong on many occations.
    well, total weight matters on a climb I don't think anyone will deny that.

    However, rotational weight climbing at a steady speed is completely meaningless. Rotational weight while accelerating on a climb is much much less important then rotational weight while accelerating on flats since the speeds are substantially lower.

    Therefore it seems like at the least wheel weight is not very important for climbing. Since the flywheel effect seems to be useful in some tt situations it also seems likely that a bike with heavy wheels would be a better climber then a bike that weighed the same amount but with light wheels.

    Weight weenies really hate to hear this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mueslix's Avatar
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    You also end up going faster because your spinning propels you farther.

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    I'm curious to see if I'll notice any difference between Aeroheads (405g) to some Deep Vs (520g) I'm about to lace up. My guess is no, but I'm confident they will be more durable, and that's the main concern for Philly roads.

  11. #11
    Spawn of Satan
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    Have you tried the new wheelset with the 16T or did you go right to the 15T?

    I would put a computer on and get an average speed from both sets of wheels om the same course. Then convert the speed to cadence based on the gearing. That will tell you your average cadence for the ride.

  12. #12
    Live Deliberately. davidmcowan's Avatar
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    I went straight to 15t but I did it because the 16t on the old wheelset was getting to the point where I was spinning TOO MUCH on the flats and I didn't want to buy two seperate cogs. (my old wheelset still has the 16t loctite/jbwelded on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mueslix
    You also end up going faster because your spinning propels you farther.
    That doesn't sound right...weight isn't gonna change your wheels circumfrence
    this bike is a pipecleaner

  14. #14
    pavement+face=<3 scott77's Avatar
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    distance != velocity anyway !

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    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    A week or so. If you feel like you are having to push too hard up hills gear back down. In the long term improving your ability to spin will make you a better cyclist then improving your strength some. It also is much less likely to injure you.



    link? this is something I have hypothesized for years.
    WC = Walnut Creek; subtle reference to RBW, RR#39. Very unscientific observation of a potential flywheel effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevo
    WC = Walnut Creek; subtle reference to RBW, RR#39. Very unscientific observation of a potential flywheel effect.

    ohhh that's too bad.

  17. #17
    Spawn of Satan
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    You have lighter wheels and a bigger gear. You are going to go faster on the flats and short bursts. If you want too climb fast, or increase your speed over a longer distance with a variety of terrain then the lower gearing MAY be the answer. You should experiment and get a bike computer to get some hard data.

    I see you live in Denver. From my experience, if you are considering two gears for hills, go with the lower one.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Mueslix's Avatar
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    I'm saying, because he is spinning a bigger gear, he ends up pushing himself farther with one revolution than he did before. So it will take him less time to pedal the same distances, though it will also take more effort.

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