Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Durham NC
Bikes: Kilo TT, Felt z85, Kona Unit 2-9, 90s Schwinn 9.3 with Noleen fork
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Gearing question: to downgear or no
I'm out of shape (getting back, tho) and riding my 2012 Kilo TT with the stock gearing, 44x16. This post is not about gear inch charts -- found those, no prob there -- but "feel" of riding different gearings. FYI i'm 6'1 and 270, down from 280 a few wks ago, so believe me when i say i'm out of shape. Without the bike i'd be 100 percent sedentary (IT job, yadda).
Debating about going up to a 44x17 or 18 for the following reasons...
PRO (go to a 17 cog):
-When i'm tired, which i frequently am, commuting daily and trying to get a night ride in (see: legs out of shape), i can't really get into the cadence i want without killing myself to get there and stay there. And we are not talking about major hills, either. When I do, i am moving pretty well (>20 mph) but can't sustain it for more than 2-3 miles.
-Would make braking/skidding easier (I run a brake and use it, but i am trying to slow myself with resistance pedalling, skipping or skidding whenever possible to build up my legs)
-On the rare occasions where my legs feel good, i really like being on a faster cadence. I just can only do that a few times/wk currently (skip a day commuting, etc).
-I would like to ride farther without cashing my legs as early. I did a loop 2x tonight and found that i was MUCH weaker on the second trip, and i can't help myself from trying to ride fast/hard/on the cadence i want on the first leg of the loop... and then i'm draggin on the second trip.
-Taller gear ratio -- smaller cog (relatively speaking) -- is making my legs demonstrably stronger faster (could not skip or skid when i got the thing, now can. Can climb hills that used to require me to stand, now climbing seated). "Just be patient and you'll get there," in other words.
-If i do stand up, i don't feel the need to sit as soon as i probably would with a smaller cog. I find myself kind of trapped between standing up and sitting... if i stand and sprint my legs are spent when i try to spin seated. This may just be i'm out of shape. Well hell, it all is, but i'm sayin.. . I hate being out of the saddle on this thing because i feel like my legs are done in 15 sec.
-If i downgear (upsize cog) i will be limiting my speed on the flat.
What say you guys?