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Old 04-24-12, 10:49 PM   #26
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I hear you. I just missed out on a nice SRAM crank today on fleabay. Dangit! They're really cheap right now but slightly less cheap than I am. Ha ha.
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Old 04-25-12, 08:46 AM   #27
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I use a 50-34 up front, 11-28 out back. Anything over 10% grade is still a chore...
I'm finding this Spring that a 50-34 / 12-28 is working pretty well on the hills I ride. It's good for up to a short/middle length 10-11% grades. I've pretty much retired my triple bike and will only use it when I know that I'll be doing more than that. (I'm 60 and it would serve me well to lose about 30 pounds. I'm also "pretty slow" when climbing, the proof is on Strava.)
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Old 04-25-12, 04:08 PM   #28
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I hear you. I just missed out on a nice SRAM crank today on fleabay. Dangit! They're really cheap right now but slightly less cheap than I am. Ha ha.
Ha ha - that's funny. I may go with an Ultrega 11/28 since it costs less than half of the Dura Ace and yet weighs about 40 gr more. Given my current weight, I doubt the few grams saved will help too much going up the mountain. But then again...
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Old 04-25-12, 04:48 PM   #29
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used to run 53/39 and 12-25, but switched over to compacts 50/34 and 11/23. Great for group rides and feels about the same going up palomar or GMR. BTW i'm about 210lbs if it matters...
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Old 04-25-12, 05:07 PM   #30
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I have chicken legs, run 50/34 12-32 up the hills. Getting better though, only drop down to 28 on rear lately, even up a 10 % grade.
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Old 04-25-12, 05:09 PM   #31
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I would do a 32 in back but I'm told it wouldn't work with my Dura Ace set up (?). The 53 was great for hauling ass on a decline, but I haven't missed it.
i think you can swap a longer cage from another derailleur, not sure which one, xtr or ultegra long cage. also you can typically go more than shimano specs as the limit. adjusting the 'b' screw can get you a few more teeth range in the back. it's the one that sets the angle that the derailleur hangs at

i would borrow a few parts and see if you can make it work. try a 9 speed 11-32 mtn cassette (if you've got one lying around)on a road wheel with your bike on a stand and grab the cable with your hand to shift and see if the derailleur has the range to reach the big cogs. you've got to experiment to see if it works, shimano's (and any other manufacturer) recommendations are always going to be on the conservative side, you won't now til you try...
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Old 04-25-12, 09:07 PM   #32
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30 some post and not one mention of gear inches. That is the true gauge as to what gear ratio you are in,Goggle it.
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Old 04-25-12, 11:27 PM   #33
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30 some post and not one mention of gear inches. That is the true gauge as to what gear ratio you are in,Goggle it.
You obviously missed the original post.

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Just wondering what people use for their drive train. I currently have a 53/39 and 12/26 which requires a fair amount of pedal pressure to get up a big hill.

For some of the hillier centuries around here, do folks use compact cranks or is this just a matter of needing to HTFU?

My current line of thinking is that a 50/34 and 11/28 (I think a normal SRAM RD will accommodate 28 but not 32) will improve my success rate with hills. That nets me a low gear of 31.9 inches instead of my current 39.5 inches.

Thoughts?
Honestly though, I know what 39/26 feels like, I have no idea what 32 gear inches feels like.
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Old 04-26-12, 08:25 AM   #34
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My triple is a 30-42-52 paired with a 12-26 rear. The gives me about 31 gear inches for climbing. Living in the Conejo, I ride the SM's nearly every weekend and honestly, I wouldn't mind having a 27 in the cassette! If I replace my almost 10 year old bike in the next year, I think I'll opt for the triple again, rather than deal with a compact and the larger gear jumps. Okay, there is a little weight penalty....but my knees don't care!
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Old 04-26-12, 03:54 PM   #35
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Thanks zzzzwillzzzz, I'll look into it. I may also google the info bob mentioned because, although i hate to admit it, I have no idea what gear inches factor means... I just know that I'd like a little, or a lot more leverage when trying to climb up the mountain. I'm in for BA this year, but I am getting real nervous.
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Old 04-26-12, 05:46 PM   #36
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A 39/28 will get you most places in Socal. If you are thinking Orange County. But yah, as most people said, Mulholland, Mt. Laguna, Big Bear, Baldy, you'll need a 34/28 at the min. Depends how strong you are. And a 50/11 ain't too shabby either for the flats. Its like 119 inch gear which is bigger than a 53/12. I think once you go lower than a 28 in the rear, you may have to change the derailleur, really depends on what you got there. I'll just grind it out on a 34/28 instead of buying a medium cage rear derailleur.
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Old 04-26-12, 08:49 PM   #37
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You obviously missed the original post.



Honestly though, I know what 39/26 feels like, I have no idea what 32 gear inches feels like.
Your right I did miss your mention of gear inches, sorry. To answer your other question, 32 gear inches can feel great when things get steep for many mile like Horseshoe Meadows or a number of other climbs in the Sierra's, Baldy too.
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Old 04-26-12, 09:01 PM   #38
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Your right I did miss your mention of gear inches, sorry. To answer your other question, 32 gear inches can feel great when things get steep for many mile like Horseshoe Meadows or a number of other climbs in the Sierra's, Baldy too.
Well, that's what I'm looking for. Now if only evilbay would cooperate. People seem to be dumping SRAM Red compact cranks right now - they're cheaper than Force.
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Old 04-27-12, 10:39 AM   #39
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I use a 50-34 up front, 11-28 out back. Anything over 10% grade is still a chore.

I don't think I've ever wished I had a 53 up front, and the only time I use the 34 chainring is on climbs so I don't know why I'd ever want to make that harder with a 39 (unless I somehow gained 200w of power).
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Old 05-02-12, 11:13 PM   #40
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50/34 x 11/28 installed and ready for BA, hoping I don't need one more gear as that is it with my current set up!
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Old 05-03-12, 09:54 AM   #41
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interesting. I landed a crank with two sets of chainrings, so 52-36 is on there right now and that's pretty swell. I ordered a 11-28 for the back and it just arrived last night, so I think I'll stick it on and go find a hill.
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Old 05-03-12, 10:26 AM   #42
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50/34 with an 11-34 on the back. I plan to spin my way through the tough parts.
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Old 05-03-12, 02:23 PM   #43
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38/26 low gear gets me up everything I've come across so far, although climbing out of Barrett Junction heading east on Hwy 94 says a triple isn't such a bad idea. My randonneuse has a 46-34 with a 12-32 cassette. Perfect gearing for the long haul, plus a few on the low end "just in case".
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Old 05-03-12, 04:08 PM   #44
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34/28 gets me up almost anything in San Diego. I'm doing the Alpine Challenge this Saturday, so hopefully I won't eat my words.
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Old 05-04-12, 01:15 AM   #45
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One day I'll need something smaller than my 39-28, but I'm hoping that day is far, far away.
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Old 05-04-12, 10:21 AM   #46
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I use a 50-34 up front, 11-28 out back. Anything over 10% grade is still a chore.

I don't think I've ever wished I had a 53 up front, and the only time I use the 34 chainring is on climbs so I don't know why I'd ever want to make that harder with a 39 (unless I somehow gained 200w of power).
I thought that as well. I have a triple 52-39-30 and prior to Mulholland I was using a 12-25 in back. I swapped to the 11-28 for Mulholland. Now I love having that 52-11 combo. Coming down Highway 38 from Angelus Oaks last weekend, I didn't spin that gear out until I was close to 40mph. I think it actually helped my recovery to be able to spin my legs with some resistance on the downhills.

I was thinking of switching to a compact crank so that I could upgrade to Ultegra Di2, but now I'm thinking that giving up that 52-11 would be a bad thing.
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Old 05-04-12, 01:53 PM   #47
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I was thinking of switching to a compact crank so that I could upgrade to Ultegra Di2, but now I'm thinking that giving up that 52-11 would be a bad thing.
go with a 52/36 compact as opposed to the more standard 50/34, almost as low as a 34 and you'll keep the 52 big ring
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Old 05-04-12, 03:24 PM   #48
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go with a 52/36 compact as opposed to the more standard 50/34, almost as low as a 34 and you'll keep the 52 big ring
But then my low goes from a 30x28 to 36x28. Besides, Di2 is limited to 16 tooth difference in front with a max 28 tooth in back according to the Di2 shop manual. More training can probably allow me to use a 34x28, but not the 36. No way I finish Mulholland this year without that 30x28. If the Ultegra Di2 system could handle an 11/28 in back with a 52/32 in front I'd be all over it. If they could just push the FD to 18t, I'd probably make the jump.

90% of my riding is done in hills and mountains, so I'll just stick with what I have until they make a triple compatible Di2 system.
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Old 05-04-12, 03:43 PM   #49
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But then my low goes from a 30x28 to 36x28. Besides, Di2 is limited to 16 tooth difference in front with a max 28 tooth in back according to the Di2 shop manual. More training can probably allow me to use a 34x28, but not the 36. No way I finish Mulholland this year without that 30x28. If the Ultegra Di2 system could handle an 11/28 in back with a 52/32 in front I'd be all over it. If they could just push the FD to 18t, I'd probably make the jump.

90% of my riding is done in hills and mountains, so I'll just stick with what I have until they make a triple compatible Di2 system.
I wouldn't hold my breath for a triple compatible Di2. Chances are equally good that Shimano will go the other way and start dropping triples from their mechanical groups too. They are already paving the way for that, by extending ranges of their RDs to 30T.

At best, we might see electronic versions of their mountain bike drivetrains some time soon, and those may or may not support triples. (And even then, the first groupset will be the electronic XTR, and it will cost way more than Ultegra Di2.)

Have you seen this? http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/...ossible_199407

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Old 05-04-12, 04:02 PM   #50
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That was very interesting...

(old)52x11=124gi
(new)50x11=119gi I think I could live with that because it's still better than 52x12(114gi).

(old)30x28=25gi
(new)34x32=28gi I'm not sure I would notice that difference.

Hmmm... might be getting some new components this fall.
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