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What size casette should I run for a real hilly ride?

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What size casette should I run for a real hilly ride?

Old 05-20-04, 08:49 AM
  #1  
nikos
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What size casette should I run for a real hilly ride?

I havent looked to see what ratio my casette is on my litespeed, but if there is a standard that comes with road bikes at the purchase, well than that would be it. Im trying to find out if I should put a different casette in for a ride that Im doing in the next month. Very long climbs, its 100 miles of mostly all climbs (Horribly Hilly Hundred). Im in solid biking shape, but since its not a race, would I be more comfortable with a easier climbing combination? I run a double not triple. Thanks /
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Old 05-20-04, 09:31 AM
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Hello Nikos.

Love the hat.

It seems like many road bikes came with 11 - 21 or 12 -21 cassettes up until 9 speed came out and then it seems like many came with 12 - 23 or 11 - 23. Just my perception.

I recently installed a 12 - 26 on my bike, replacing an 11 - 21 that I've used for years, hills and all. The 26 T is much better for long climbs. I've added a climb into my training that the UCI rated as category 3 for the Tour De Georgia.

I think I may be in a similar situation as you. Next month, I'm doing the Cherohala Challenge that claims 9,000 ft of climbing in the Smokies. I'm a fairly good climber, but not yet race worthy. I run a double (53/39) and have no plans to go to a triple.

Good luck.
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Old 05-20-04, 09:39 AM
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I've never met a climb a 12-25 would not tame. Ive ridden all over the southern Appalachians and ground my way up some grades of 15-20%.

A 39/25 is a good gear for climbing for conditioned cyclists, a 39/27 is better if you feel you may be in questionable shape for the climbs.
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Old 05-20-04, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by nikos
I havent looked to see what ratio my casette is on my litespeed, but if there is a standard that comes with road bikes at the purchase, well than that would be it. Im trying to find out if I should put a different casette in for a ride that Im doing in the next month. Very long climbs, its 100 miles of mostly all climbs (Horribly Hilly Hundred). Im in solid biking shape, but since its not a race, would I be more comfortable with a easier climbing combination? I run a double not triple. Thanks /
I've got a 12-27 on my ride and I use every bit of it on some of these Mountains around here. I don't like to get out of the saddle on climbs and I find too that recovery rides when you live in the mountains are almost impossible with out a low gear. I do wish I had an 11 though. I'm doing a century next weekend called Mountains of Misery and its got 13K ft of climbing so the 27 will come in handy esp on the final 5 mile 10-15% climb. I'd go with a 27 but thats just my op.
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Old 05-20-04, 10:02 AM
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Unless the pitch goes above 10%, I'm comfy in a 42-23. Unlike jfmckenna, I actually enjoy getting out of the saddle (mostly to break up the pace). I usually gear down (harder) one gear and use my body weight to help move the pedals.

-mark
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Old 05-20-04, 10:59 AM
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Oy, Madison reprazent!

I forget what my current roadie has. My old Trek had a 13-24 and 40/52. I think I remember using the 24 maybe once, ever. The 40+21 seemed to handle most everything.
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Old 05-20-04, 11:21 AM
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Keep in mind that depending on how much use your old cassette/chain have gotten, you might want to replace the chain if/when you replace the cassette.

Good luck!
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Old 05-20-04, 11:25 AM
  #8  
originalbart
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I've got the 12-25 cassette as well.

If you haven't seen it already, you should check out the course description on the Hilly Hundreds website. The organizers are saying; "We recommend a minimum of a 27 tooth rear cassette. Many successful completers of the HHH have used a rear MTB derailleur with a 32 or 34 tooth, or a triple crank." It looks like the 200 k ride has a 10,700 foot elevation gain, and the 100 k ride has about half that. http://www.horriblyhilly.com/course.html
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Old 05-20-04, 11:46 AM
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You may have read this already...

http://www.silentsports.net/horribly..._hundreds.html

I've never ridden HHH, but have ridden in the area (training on the Ironman Wisconsin bike course). I used 39x53 and 12-25 and while that was good enough for 40-50 miles, I struggled on the longer rides I did. And the Ironman course doesn't even hit the worst climbs of HHH! So I personally would go with at least a 12-27.
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Old 05-21-04, 07:54 AM
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Ah! to be in the shape you young guys are!
30/42/52 14-34 for me.
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Old 05-21-04, 10:26 AM
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12-27
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Old 05-21-04, 10:27 AM
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You won't regret having a 12-27.
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Old 05-21-04, 10:48 AM
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Yeah, tall gears are nice for the mountains.

However, when I'm mostly riding the rolling hills around here I appreciate the tightness of the 12-21 and I'll go back to that after I complete the Cherohala Challenge next month.
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Old 05-21-04, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Moonshot
Yeah, tall gears are nice for the mountains.

However, when I'm mostly riding the rolling hills around here I appreciate the tightness of the 12-21 and I'll go back to that after I complete the Cherohala Challenge next month.
Amen ... for those of you with triples, I see no reason not to buy a really tight cassette. One of the major advantages is the "stepwise" shifting. For example, on an up or downshift, I can absolutely anticipate the new resistance level.

13-23 is perfect in this regard.


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Old 05-23-04, 11:52 PM
  #15  
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Nikos, since you live in Madison, have you ridden the course? I drove out to Blue Mounds State Park about a month ago and drove the course in my car (it was raining). I only cycled about 20 miles, but they were tough. I don't think I will be able to do the last hill into the park after riding 100 miles. I am planning on riding Wisconsin Hell Week, the week before HHH, and my legs may be dead by Saturday, but I am signed up.
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Old 05-24-04, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by outashape
Nikos, since you live in Madison, have you ridden the course? I drove out to Blue Mounds State Park about a month ago and drove the course in my car (it was raining). I only cycled about 20 miles, but they were tough. I don't think I will be able to do the last hill into the park after riding 100 miles. I am planning on riding Wisconsin Hell Week, the week before HHH, and my legs may be dead by Saturday, but I am signed up.
I have done a back to back 100 miler from Madison out near Spring Green last season, both days hitting the 3 mile climb up to the State Park. I can do the ride, however Im running a double this year instead of the triple I had last year. Are you riding with others, my buddy backed out and I have no one really to connect with for the ride. 100 miles on my own doesnt sound all that fun!
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Old 06-12-04, 06:06 PM
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Nikos, how did your ride go? I couldn't get the time off work. I trained someone, and they split to another shift. The other backup got sick, so my week vacation was cancelled. Hope you had good weather. Debbie
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Old 06-13-04, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by outashape
Nikos, how did your ride go? I couldn't get the time off work. I trained someone, and they split to another shift. The other backup got sick, so my week vacation was cancelled. Hope you had good weather. Debbie
Ended up that I couldnt find coverage for my kids. My wife had to work a day shift at the hospital! I called up a buddy who jumped at the opportunity, but didnt have many miles in. So Ill find out from him how it went, but it must have been a long day for him.
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Old 06-13-04, 08:37 PM
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I'd switch to a 12-25 or 12-26, but try it before the ride because you'll certainly need to add some chain and your short cage rear derailleur may struggle with the larger cog. Keep in mind that a lot of strong riders use compact cranks/chainwheels (Like FSA's 34/50) and there's a lot of difference between a 39 & a 34 inner chainwheel. Good luck!
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