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8spd vs 11spd

Old 10-20-19, 07:34 PM
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Staci87
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8spd vs 11spd

Hey everyone,
I am fairly new to cycling and I have a question but first some backstory I guess.
I bought a used Giant defy 8sp a couple years ago and put an 11/32 cassette on the back. The front is 50/34 and I have loved this bike. I am more of what they call a masher when it comes to bike riding. I am most definitely not a spinner. I recently wanted to upgrade so I bought a carbon fiber Specialized ruby and it has all the same components (50/34 up front and 11/32 in back) except that it is 11spd instead of 8. However, I keep finding myself taking my Giant out to ride instead of the Specialized bc I feel like I have so much more power while riding it vs the Ruby and I have no idea why. I feel like I have to spin a lot while riding the Specialized to stay with my group and I don't understand why. So please, if anyone can help me out and explain why I have to spin so much more on the Ruby vs the Defy eventhough the have the same size crankset and same 11/32 cassette in the back (besides the Ruby having 3 extra cassettes in the back) I would greatly appreciate it. I want to love my Specialized as much as my Giant!
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Old 10-20-19, 07:51 PM
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Apparently you are riding the Specialized in a different cog than you ride the Giant.
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Old 10-20-19, 08:01 PM
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Well the difference between gears every time you shift on the 11 speed is going to be smaller. When shifting from a lower gear to next higher gear (bigger cog to smaller) on the 11 speed, you are probably in most cases dropping 1 or two teeth, where on the 8 speed you may be going down as much as 3 or 4. So, for example, on 11 speed if you are riding along in the 50/18 combo and you shift one gear, you may only go down to a 17 or 16 cog, where on the 8 speed you drop all the way to 15tooth so are in a higher gear and therefore spinning less.

The advantage of 11 speed in more gear combos mean more options to get into a gear best suited to the cadence you want to ride; also smaller differences in cog sizes mean smoother shifting.
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Old 10-20-19, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by DOS View Post
Well the difference between gears every time you shift on the 11 speed is going to be smaller. When shifting from a lower gear to next higher gear (bigger cog to smaller) on the 11 speed, you are probably in most cases dropping 1 or two teeth, where on the 8 speed you may be going down as much as 3 or 4. So, for example, on 11 speed if you are riding along in the 50/18 combo and you shift one gear, you may only go down to a 17 or 16 cog, where on the 8 speed you drop all the way to 15tooth so are in a higher gear and therefore spinning less.

The advantage of 11 speed in more gear combos mean more options to get into a gear best suited to the cadence you want to ride; also smaller differences in cog sizes mean smoother shifting.
Thank you for replying. So maybe when I am shifting to a harder gear, I should try shifting down 2 gears to feel more of a difference? I just feel like when I'm in the big chainring and smallest cog in the back, I am having to spin a lot to maintain 22 to 26mph whereas on the Giant, in the same gearing, I can maintain a 25 to 28mph and not feel like I have to have a 100rpm to maintain it.
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Old 10-20-19, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Apparently you are riding the Specialized in a different cog than you ride the Giant.
Thank you for replying. I go through all my gears on the Ruby and it just seems like I have to spin a heck of a lot more even in the big chainring and hardest cog on the back vs the same hgearing on the Giant. Idk, maybe it's all in my head but my heartrate says otherwise
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Old 10-20-19, 08:33 PM
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First thing I wonder is the fit/positioning being the same, or not. Next is the general tuning of the bike, brake rub/bearing freedom/chain friction. There's the wheels/tires too and many say they contribute more then weight difference to efficiency. Lastly on my short list is the mental aspect, maybe you just try harder on the Giant but don't know it. Andy
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Old 10-20-19, 08:42 PM
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Shift 2 gears at once a few times if you want to simulate the 8 speed.
Don't you still mash at a desired force/speed. You just have smaller increments to keep your power maximized.

After a bit of thought I think we have a similar "problem".
9 speed is just right for us and those 2 extra gears kind of get in the way.
I like a narrow range because of my medical issues where you want wide range.
We both want the same number of shifts.

Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 10-20-19 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 10-20-19, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Staci87 View Post
Thank you for replying. So maybe when I am shifting to a harder gear, I should try shifting down 2 gears to feel more of a difference? I just feel like when I'm in the big chainring and smallest cog in the back, I am having to spin a lot to maintain 22 to 26mph whereas on the Giant, in the same gearing, I can maintain a 25 to 28mph and not feel like I have to have a 100rpm to maintain it.
Hmm, even with frame differences, when riding in the same gear combo, you shouldn’t be noticing a big difference in cadence, although,as @Andrew R Stewart said, frame differences and other issues could make a differences. Are you sure the cassette on tne ruby is 11-32? A lot of newer model bikes, particularly since Shimano introduced their redesigned rear derailleur, come with 11/34 casettes.
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Old 10-20-19, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
First thing I wonder is the fit/positioning being the same, or not. Next is the general tuning of the bike, brake rub/bearing freedom/chain friction. There's the wheels/tires too and many say they contribute more then weight difference to efficiency. Lastly on my short list is the mental aspect, maybe you just try harder on the Giant but don't know it. Andy
I'd add seat height, which has a profound effect on efficiency.
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Old 10-20-19, 10:55 PM
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Are the crank arms the same length? I had a bike rebuilt and the guy had to use shorter crank arms than before. This was a 3x8 bike and the chain rings and cassette gears were the same before and after. The bike felt a little harder to spin in equivalent gears after the rebuild. I adapted to it after a few weeks I guess. I don’t really notice much difference now.
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Old 10-20-19, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Staci87 View Post
I just feel like when I'm in the big chainring and smallest cog in the back, I am having to spin a lot to maintain 22 to 26mph whereas on the Giant, in the same gearing, I can maintain a 25 to 28mph and not feel like I have to have a 100rpm to maintain it.
Perhaps a stupid question, but are you sure that you're actually in the big ring and the small cog when experiencing this? Like, are you basing this off of shifter feel, or did you look down and make sure that the chain was actually on the big ring and the farthest-outside cog?

Like, if you're in the small ring instead of the big ring, and in the 11-tooth cog, you would crack 100rpm right around 25mph.

Last edited by HTupolev; 10-20-19 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 10-21-19, 01:58 AM
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Figure out which gear combos are different and what position they are in. So for example a thirteen tooth might be in the 14 position on the old cassette.
You could probably remove those with a bit of tinkering.
Likely it is you are not used to the new bike.
Different position, bars s,tyres and such like and it will take time.
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Old 10-21-19, 06:51 AM
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Maybe you are just going faster on the new bike.
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Old 10-21-19, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Staci87 View Post
I just feel like when I'm in the big chainring and smallest cog in the back, I am having to spin a lot to maintain 22 to 26mph whereas on the Giant, in the same gearing, I can maintain a 25 to 28mph and not feel like I have to have a 100rpm to maintain it.
This almost has to be a fit issue or an adjustment problem. Both bikes are drop bar road frames, both have 700c wheels and you say both have a 50x11 highest gear. So, at the same cadence, the bike speed HAS to be the same.
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Old 10-21-19, 07:25 AM
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I can see many advantages of having 8 gears over 11 gears on the cogset but those advantages are related to cost, shifting accuracy, reduced shifting while riding but surely the one clear advantage of 11 gears on the cogset is you can optimise your gearing for the perfect cadence for your fitness level which is better to enhance your performance. I suspect the explanation is somewhere else on the bike and not related to the gearing itself.




There are lots of variables of why one bike seems better to you than another and someone else may have the completely opposite opinion so don't be surprised if your older bike feels better than your newer bike. I've had cheap bikes feel better than more expensive bikes but people will still insist that the more expensive bike is better even if you actually own the two bikes and you tell them you prefer the cheaper or older model. The industry is driven by sales like any industry and bikes are presented as if every new model is better than the last model but I've often found the reverse to be true especially if the manufacturer is trying to keep exactly the same price point and has had to cheap out on a few components to keep that price point.
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Old 10-21-19, 07:44 AM
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Tires?
Some tires simply suck.
Specialized Armadillo Flak Jacket that came on my hybrid were horrible. Rolling resistance like a knobby.
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Old 10-21-19, 08:29 AM
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When you say you have to pedal faster to go the same speed, how do you KNOW you are going the same speed? You sure you are getting accurate speed readings for both bikes?

like I said in my previous response, maybe you are spinning faster because you are, in fact, going faster.
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Old 10-21-19, 10:50 AM
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About 4 months ago, I checked my saddle height to my down pedal and they are both the same. The saddle to the handlebars are the same. The tires are the same and same tubes. Only difference is that on the Ruby I have some armadillo liners. And the wheelsets are different. On the Giant I have some 60mm deep dish wheels and the ruby I just have the set that came with the bike. Both bikes have been fitted to me. There is not any brake rub or derailleur misalignment rub. I use garmin sensors for speed and cadence and my cadence is always higher on the ruby vs giant.
Thanks everyone for their input.
I will try elevating my seat on the Ruby just a tad to see if that helps.
And yes, i know when I'm in the big chainring up front.
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Old 10-21-19, 11:18 AM
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If we are taking about the same sized wheels with similar sized tires, then one of the following MUST be true:

1- The gear ratios are not the same....either you are mistaken about the size of one of you big rings or one of your small cogs.. or are not actually in your smallest cog on the newer bike.

2- You are going the same speed, but NOT actually spinning faster.... you just think you are for some reason.

3- you are going faster on the newer bike and don’t realize it. Perhaps the garmin is programmed wrong.

Unless I am missing something, one of these three things MUST be true.
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Old 10-21-19, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Staci87 View Post
I use garmin sensors for speed and cadence and my cadence is always higher on the ruby vs giant.
If your ride with the same gears, then your speed must be higher on the ruby as well.

You may want to ride a measured mile while recording your ride(s) and compare cadence/speed/distance readings on both bikes. If you find discrepancies (e.g. cadence higher on one bike yet same verified speed), then take a hard look at your drivetrains. "Second gear from the last" may very well not be the same on an 8 vs 11 cassette.
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Old 10-21-19, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Staci87 View Post
Thank you for replying. So maybe when I am shifting to a harder gear, I should try shifting down 2 gears to feel more of a difference? I just feel like when I'm in the big chainring and smallest cog in the back, I am having to spin a lot to maintain 22 to 26mph whereas on the Giant, in the same gearing, I can maintain a 25 to 28mph and not feel like I have to have a 100rpm to maintain it.
This doesn't make sense. 22 to 26 mph range with 50x11 gearing corresponds to a very slow cadence: roughly between 60 to 70 rpm. Are you sure that you are actually on a big ring?
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Old 10-21-19, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Oso Polar View Post
This doesn't make sense. 22 to 26 mph range with 50x11 gearing corresponds to a very slow cadence: roughly between 60 to 70 rpm. Are you sure that you are actually on a big ring?
I agree, my 700 bike with 28s and 50/11 spins out to about 70kph (45ish mph ) at what must be 120+rpm, which lines up with your estimate.
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Old 10-21-19, 04:18 PM
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[QUOTE=Oso Polar;21173432]This doesn't make sense. 22 to 26 mph range with 50x11 gearing corresponds to a very slow cadence: roughly between 60 to 70 rpm. Are you sure that you are actually on a big ring?[/QUOTE
Yes, I am a masher, not a spinner so my average cadence is usually in the 70s
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Old 10-21-19, 04:56 PM
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What they said, crank length, seat height, fore/aft seat location, tires, etc etc. Or if you think its the 8 that works for you, get a spacer and run your old cassette. Sure fire way to find out.
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Old 10-21-19, 05:19 PM
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Your bike is clearly possessed. Ship it to me for exorcism and proper disposal.
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