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In a crit race are you always in the big chainring?

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In a crit race are you always in the big chainring?

Old 10-14-07, 03:01 AM
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fff
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In a crit race are you always in the big chainring?

Just wondering if there's any reason to switch to a smaller chainring for a level ground crit race? I've always only changed rear gears but maybe I might be doing something wrong.
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Old 10-14-07, 03:34 AM
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I had one race where it was particularly advantageous to go big ring to small ring just before a hairpin turn, then as you made 110 or so RPM's, changing straight up into the big ring kept you moving. This wasn't flat though, it was on a really tight descent. (9 lap circuit)
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Old 10-14-07, 05:16 AM
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For your everyday crit, I'd say yes.
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Old 10-14-07, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by NomadVW View Post
I had one race where it was particularly advantageous to go big ring to small ring just before a hairpin turn, then as you made 110 or so RPM's, changing straight up into the big ring kept you moving. This wasn't flat though, it was on a really tight descent. (9 lap circuit)

Same thing here...had hairpins on either end, both and the top of a moderate climb, so I dropped down, but only for about 10 seconds on the climb and then it was back. On most flat courses, there's no need to drop down.
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Old 10-14-07, 11:01 AM
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There are several area crit courses around here that have climbs of significant enough length and steepness that nearly everyone switches to the small ring. One in particular, many will be in the largest rear cog as well. The corner just before the hill is usually littered with guys who dropped their chains.

On the other hand, there are several dead-flat courses where you rarely need to shift at all.

So I guess the answer to the question is, "it depends on the course." Use gears that are appropriate for your ability and the course. That may or may not be what everyone else is doing.
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Old 10-14-07, 11:37 AM
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Yes. Big Cookie all the time. A 55 tooth chainring when I was younger.

I raced Elk Grove, and I never dropped it to the small. And that course had a tight 180 on it.
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Old 10-14-07, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by fff View Post
Just wondering if there's any reason to switch to a smaller chainring for a level ground crit race? I've always only changed rear gears but maybe I might be doing something wrong.
Unless the turn is more than 90 degrees with bricks/cobles/rain that requires you to slow to avoid going down, not really.
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Old 10-14-07, 11:49 AM
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yes, always big chainring. dont risk dropping a chain just pedal harder.
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Old 10-14-07, 11:58 AM
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Yes
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Old 10-14-07, 12:29 PM
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Yes.

Only exception I can think of is Cat's Hill.
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Old 10-14-07, 12:31 PM
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I don't think I've ever used the small chainring in a crit.
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Old 10-14-07, 01:05 PM
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I've never been on a crit course where a small ring made sense. I'm fine cross-chaining the start, and any near-stops that might happen on turns. I can see how a course with a really nasty climb would modify that behavior.
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Old 10-14-07, 01:07 PM
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For 99% of crits yes
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Old 10-14-07, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by travis200 View Post
For 99% of crits yes
The only exception I've ever seen/done was the Snake Alley Criterium, in Burlington, IA.

And, to be honest, I forgot to shift down a couple of times and hit it in my 53-23 the last time I raced it, two years back.
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Old 10-14-07, 05:31 PM
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During a warmup lap I use the small ring, but NEVER in the actual race.
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Old 10-15-07, 11:44 AM
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Most of the crits here are pancake flat. I could probably do them with a SS.
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Old 10-15-07, 08:48 PM
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For flat crits, always the big ring. But then my big ring is only 50T.
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Old 10-15-07, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by elgalad View Post
For flat crits, always the big ring. But then my big ring is only 50T.
Yep, on my new setup, thats how I roll. On my older triple setup, I was always in my center 38T ring. It depends on the rider. I spin like crazy. Other guys that I ride with have a 54T ring and their cadence is extremely low. It's 2 ways to do the same thing.
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Old 10-15-07, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by asmallsol View Post
Yep, on my new setup, thats how I roll. On my older triple setup, I was always in my center 38T ring. It depends on the rider. I spin like crazy. Other guys that I ride with have a 54T ring and their cadence is extremely low. It's 2 ways to do the same thing.
54x14 or 15 at 90-100rpm puts me right where I want to be. Maybe a few revs above that for good measure. I like to be in the middle of my cassette most of the time. This is with a 12-25.

In smaller races where I anticipate sprinting for a V, I use the 53t and the appropriate cassette for the course. The 54t is more efficient with the "smaller" 12-25 as compared to the 11-21 or 11-23, so I use that for days where I anticipate pain, meaning working in a break, dragging people up to the front, or leading out. 53 and the corn cob when I want to get mean and blow people out of the water in 250m.
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Old 10-15-07, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent View Post
53 and the corn cob when I want to get mean and blow people out of the water in 250m.
This is my problem at the moment with the 50/34 and 12-25. I spin out my 50x12 before I run out of power in the sprint. Time to switch to an 11-23 I think.
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Old 10-16-07, 06:55 AM
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For most crits, even with a hill, I try and keep it in the big ring - the reason is that if you never shift your front derailleur, it's one less thing that can go wrong. It's agonizing to watch someone drop their chain - no free lap (dropping a chain is not a "mechanical" just like rolling a tire isn't a mechanical) and the racer just wasted their entry fee, drive time, everything.

I used to use a 51T for courses with a little hill (11-2x in the back) and a 54T for the flatter stuff but I lent the 51T out (and never got it back - and it was a real Campy ring even) and I've decided the 54T doesn't help me anymore so I stick with the stock 53T.

cdr
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Old 10-16-07, 09:41 AM
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Depends. I was in a race where one leg of a rectangle was a short climb that consisted of a series of switchbacks. You had to get up as much speed as you could and then go into your smallest gear. Guys were consistently falling over on the hill in 42/21, just coudn't turn over the gear.
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Old 10-18-07, 11:52 AM
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NO BRAINER HERE......Big Ring.. All the time.. If I need to I just shift my rear to the 29 tooth in the back....
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