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Old 04-30-07, 03:44 PM   #90
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes: 2008 Pedal Force ZX3, 2006 Jamis Eclipse, 1997 Marin Indian Fire Trail
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Originally Posted by knobster
My newest build is a Eddy Merckx Titanium AX. It's a light one at 17 lbs and doesn't take fenders or racks, but damn it's fast. Very comfortable over the long distances. Will be doing a majority of my centuries on this bike this year.
Frankly speaking, you probably won't need racks for anything up to a double metric. I've done all of my centuries (flat, hilly, you name it) on the same bike: my 2002 LeMond Tourmalet

It has a triple crank (52/39/30), but I haven't had to use the granny much at all. I'm very likely to swap it out for a 50/34 compact double sometime this summer. I have two rear cassettes that I use: a 12/25 for general use, and a 12/27 for the more gnarly mountain climbs.

Originally Posted by knobster
Question: My Eddy Merckx has a compact double (50/36) with a 13/26 cassette. I haven't ridden it on any long rides yet or over any large hills. Most of the centuries that I've got planned are mountain centuries this year. Does this gearing make sense?
Two things you could do without changing your rear derailleur:
  1. Swap out the rear cassette for a 12/27 (better high and low end)
  2. Swap out the 36T small ring in the front for a 34T

I've seen people around here who do some of the crazy centuries (e.g. Mountains of Misery) swap out their rear derailleur for a mountain unit (e.g. Shimano XT or XTR) and throw on a mountain cassette, like a 12/30 or 13/32. Even with a standard double (53/39), you get some decently low gearing. With a 50/34 or 50/36 compact double, you get gearing that's good for almost anything.
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