Old 07-13-19, 06:31 AM
Frozen Solid.
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 4,852

Bikes: Roadie: Seven Axiom Race Ti w/Chorus 11s. CX/Adventure: Carver Gravel Grinder w/ Di2

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Originally Posted by medic75 View Post
46/36 was the go-to setup for cyclocross bikes. Having never raced cyclocross, I have no experience with how well it worked. When gravel bikes started to become a thing, bike manufacturers took what was available and used it. My bike came with 46/36 and an 11-32 cassette. It was not ideal at all. My LBS managed to find a 32t inner chainring for me that got me down to 1:1 gearing. This was an improvement, but still left me wanting more on some larger climbs. RD capacity also comes into play here. The release of 46/30 subcompact cranks will max out the 37T capacity of an ultegra RD. The release of the GRX groupset, with a 40T capacity, is very welcoming.
If you needed a lower gear than a 36T in CX....you were always best served by dismounting and running up. Either due to the gradient, or due to mud and lacking traction.

A CX race is all of 45 minutes to an hour with a few laps, at basically your redline. Not a gravel grinder that is 6 to 12 hours long.
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