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L'Eroica CA Gearing??

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L'Eroica CA Gearing??

Old 03-02-16, 11:02 PM
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L'Eroica CA Gearing??

You guys that rode the CA Eroica last year.........do you suggest any specific cassette or crank chainring changes??

I'm running a pretty standard 12-28 cassette and a 53x39 crank with 175 arms. Any benefit of changing the big ring to 52?
I live up in Truckee CA at 6500ft, so nothing flat around here and this setup works fine......but all the photos of last years ride show alot of gravel riding and many people walking their bikes up the gravel roads has me spooked.
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Old 03-02-16, 11:34 PM
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It really depends on your legs and which route you are riding! I rode a 38/28 low gear on the long route last year and still had to walk some sections. I saw others with taller gearing who rode it all though. I know the Truckee area very well and have ridden every road in that region, and I do not recall anything around there being as steep as L'Eroica California. L'Eroica is steeper than you think, mainly because many of the roads used are not public roads or are not well traveled routes. Some of them do not meet common road standards for grade etc. and some are quite rutted. I do not think that you will find that your gearing is too low for this ride, just saying...

Also, don't be spooked, if you are walking your bike you will be in good company. It is a great ride! On the plus side, L'Eroica California is an easier route than L'Eroica Italia!
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Old 03-03-16, 12:21 AM
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I rode the 65 mile route last year with 54/42 chainrings & 13-30 on the back. High gears really aren't necessary unless you plan to hammer the paved downhills.

I had to walk a couple of the dirt climbs, partly due to my lack of gravel experience but also because of a hidden health problem that should now be under control. "Killer" Canyon Road was steep & rutted and I'm not sure I saw anyone ride up it without walking.
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Old 03-03-16, 12:28 AM
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From my experience last year mountain bike gearing would be appropriate. Go as low as you can. Many of the climbs are not just steep but quite rutted, it really is more like mountain biking in a lot of sections, at least on the longer courses. If you get stopped mid climb for any reason getting started again will be very difficult. It is much different from long climbs on the road.

Another thing I learned (the hard way) is that a lot of shoes with stiff soles do not take well to long periods of pushing a bike up hill. My soles came unglued from the uppers on a particularly long push, pretty much putting an end to my day.
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Old 03-03-16, 01:07 AM
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Thanks for all the info guys. I'm signed up for the 100 miler.

So since I can't do that much to change the chainring sizes, sounds like I need an 8 speed 11x34. I have never seen a Dura Ace larger than 12x28....so any suggestions as to what 11x34 cassette will fit my Eddy Merckx Team 7-Eleven Dura Ace rear wheel!! I thought about Shimano 600, Ultegra....but no luck.

Hey....speaking of Team 7-Eleven ....what happened to Andy Hampsten being the guest rider this year? I don't see anything on the website about him now and now their pushing the Breaking Away movie and guest speaker/actor?? Anybody got an update???

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Old 03-03-16, 05:48 AM
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Do they allow cassettes to be used in L'Eroica? I thought it was a freewheel only sort of ride. I ask because I just serviced a 7 speed Regina for a L'Eroica rider. His is a 14-28 but I don't know what the crank chainrings are. I'm guessing 42T is the small ring since it is on an early '80s Grandis which usually sports a Campagnolo Record crankset.
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Old 03-03-16, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Bjbusa View Post
...So since I can't do that much to change the chainring sizes, sounds like I need an 8 speed 11x34. I have never seen a Dura Ace larger than 12x28....so any suggestions as to what 11x34 cassette will fit my Eddy Merckx Team 7-Eleven Dura Ace rear wheel!! I thought about Shimano 600, Ultegra....but no luck....
I might be able to build you a custom geared cassette using whatever existing cassette you have. Can you post some pictures?
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Old 03-03-16, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Bjbusa View Post
8 speed
They had those in 1987?
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Old 03-03-16, 07:48 AM
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Cassettes are permitted as long as the rest of the bike fits in the general rules: friction downtube shifting, non-aero brake levers, spoke count, no SPD's etc. In fact, the Bianchi Eroica bike is a 10 speed with a cassette.

Larger problem is the RD. No DA RD will shift a rear cog that large (biggest I've ever done is a 28, YMMV). If you really intend to go that big, you'll need a Deore RD (if keeping your 8 speed configuration, any 6-7-8-9 speed Deore RD will do fine), which will play nicely with the friction setting on your downtube shifters. Since you have a 130 size cassette body, you could just buy a Shimano 11/34 10 speed cassette and the Deore RD, friction shift it, and be done with it. Gonna need an awfully long chain, however.

Here's your alternative: change the crankset to a 110 BCD. Lots of them out there, they often use the same 115-ish BB on your bike now, and with a 48/34 you'd be good to go with the 11/28 cassette on there now.
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Old 03-03-16, 09:50 AM
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Here is a Strava file on last year's long route:
https://www.strava.com/activities/284357576
My 1981 race bike has a 52/42 and right now a 7 speed cassette with a 13/23. I've long ago cold set it to 130 so I'll probably leave it as is. I'll experiment a little next week with 13/24 and 13/28 FWs if the threading is cooperative.
I didn't do the ride last year but I would suggest that you ride between now and then with BIG gears and do lots of climbing.
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Old 03-03-16, 10:06 AM
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Hey Dr. C

Love your moniker.....for what it's worth, my daily driver is the oem 2014 Synapse Hi Mod, Di2, Disc with Enve wheel set....love it!

So what is a 110 BCD crankset?. Got a linky for 110 BB, 48/34 with 175 arms??
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Old 03-03-16, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Bjbusa View Post
Hey Dr. C

Love your moniker.....for what it's worth, my daily driver is the oem 2014 Synapse Hi Mod, Di2, Disc with Enve wheel set....love it!

So what is a 110 BCD crankset?. Got a linky for 110 BB, 48/34 with 175 arms??
See : https://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...et-34x48t.html

or : https://smartbikeparts.com/search_det...m=SBPXD500T175
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Old 03-03-16, 10:48 AM
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I rode it last year with a 13-28 and 52-42-30 triple. That was perfect gearing and I didn't have to walk any of the hills, though they were still tough. I did bounce off a big rock which required me to jump off my bike at one point on Kiler Canyon. It was a bit difficult getting restarted again but it was manageable after a few tries. The uphill dirt stretches are definitely a challenge for those used to pure road riding, and with a standard setup like 13-28/52-42 I think you'd be doing a lot of walking. However, bear in mind that Eroica California is a piece of cake compared to L'Eroica in Gaiole.
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Old 03-03-16, 11:24 AM
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Bjbusa, in addition to the links sent in response to your PM, you can also do an eBay search for 'deore crankset'. There are a bunch of five arm 110/74 cranks out there, some of them with chainring bolts. Likely you will still have to buy a pair of rings. 'Speeds' of rings not important as you will be friction shifting, if the big one's pinned that's great but the small one not needed.
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Old 03-03-16, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Bjbusa View Post
Hey Dr. C

Love your moniker.....for what it's worth, my daily driver is the oem 2014 Synapse Hi Mod, Di2, Disc with Enve wheel set....love it!

So what is a 110 BCD crankset?. Got a linky for 110 BB, 48/34 with 175 arms??
an old mtb square taper triple crank is your best bet if looking for a 110 BCD crank; the smallest chainring you can run is a 34.

Sugino still makes them if looking for a new one:

Sugino XD500 Swiss Cross(48-34t) Double Crankset
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Old 03-03-16, 01:23 PM
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For those who did the ride last year, how did the first climb up to the first rest stop compare to the Kiler Canyon climb? I did most of the medium route by myself about a month prior but was not able to make it on event day. When I did the route, the gates were closed and I did not want to tresspass or get stuck coming back onto the main roads, so I skipped that first climb. I was riding 38x25 and did walk the last couple hundred meters of the Kiler climb. I'll be using 36x26 this year, and hoping to avoid walking if I can. I'm curious what to expect on that first climb since I didn't have a chance to ride it my first go 'round.
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Old 03-03-16, 01:42 PM
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I just fitted the Velo Orange crankset and BB to the bike I'll ride this year and I can say it's very nicely made, good finish, a pinned outer ring and the BB is very smooth.
Rings are 48 and 34.
With a 13-28 FW it should be plenty, giving a 33 inch bottom gear, although the 48-13 doesn't give much top end.
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Old 03-03-16, 01:57 PM
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I didn't have a lot of miles in my legs last year - I ran a 36/48 with a 13-30 and still walked a few places. This year I plan on using a 30/40/50 with a 13-28 or 13-26.

Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
an old mtb square taper triple crank is your best bet if looking for a 110 BCD crank; the smallest chainring you can run is a 34.
A clarification; the smallest size for a middle ring, which would be the small if running it as a double, is 34 (actually 33 will fit but only TA makes one AFAIK). If you run it as a triple then you can go down to 24T.

Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
For those who did the ride last year, how did the first climb up to the first rest stop compare to the Kiler Canyon climb?
I think they had to change some of the route at the last minute so I'm not sure what climb you're talking about. The first climb after the first rest stop was pretty tough - very loose dirt and I didn't see anyone ride all the way up but that was as much a traction problem as anything.
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Old 03-03-16, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
an old mtb square taper triple crank is your best bet if looking for a 110 BCD crank; the smallest chainring you can run is a 34.

Sugino still makes them if looking for a new one:

Sugino XD500 Swiss Cross(48-34t) Double Crankset
Concur. I put a 48-45-34 Sugino on my PKN-10. I used a 6-speed 13-23 freewheel with a Cyclone II, but the original Simplex rear w/ a long cage could easily do 32T in back.
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Old 03-03-16, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by lenos View Post
... Another thing I learned (the hard way) is that a lot of shoes with stiff soles do not take well to long periods of pushing a bike up hill. My soles came unglued from the uppers on a particularly long push, pretty much putting an end to my day.
The old Avocet touring shoes would have been perfect.
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Old 03-03-16, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Choke View Post
I think they had to change some of the route at the last minute so I'm not sure what climb you're talking about. The first climb after the first rest stop was pretty tough - very loose dirt and I didn't see anyone ride all the way up but that was as much a traction problem as anything.
Maybe I'm confused. I thought that at about mile 10, the route was supposed to turn off Linne Rd. (just past Rockin' One Rd.), go up a dirt road climb to the first rest stop, then back down Geneseo Road. I don't see that section included on the map of this year's route, so maybe it did get cut out.
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Old 03-03-16, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
Maybe I'm confused. I thought that at about mile 10, the route was supposed to turn off Linne Rd. (just past Rockin' One Rd.), go up a dirt road climb to the first rest stop, then back down Geneseo Road. I don't see that section included on the map of this year's route, so maybe it did get cut out.
You are close. We pulled into the winery for the rest stop first; then on leaving the rest stop through the vineyard up the steep dirt climb I referred to, then a right to Geneseo and back down. I'm not positive which road we made the right on though I'm pretty sure it was the second.

ETA: It may not show on the route map because part of it is through private property.
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Old 03-03-16, 04:51 PM
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This topic has given me much stress as I am a coward when it comes to hills. I've appropriately slapped a Sugino AT 46/36/28 up front to a 14-32 6-speed freewheel in the back. Shimano Stag Head RD-M700 and matching FD to manage it all. Suntour Power ratcheting shifters to make sure it doesn't slip. Did I mention I'm a coward when it comes to hills? I'll probably still walk some =)
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Old 03-03-16, 09:06 PM
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Well, all those fixes seem pretty invasive to me.......so I'm just gonna Man Up and go up to 27's in Vittoria Open Pave tires and drop down to a 38 chainring up front............that should give me close to 13x31 gearing....and get some comfortable walking shoes!!

The hills aren't my concern as I've done all the hard Centuries from Santa Cruz to Mt. Shasta on my old Centurion Lemans with a 12x 26 and standard crank.........but on GRAVEL! E'GADS!
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Old 03-05-16, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Straightblock View Post
I rode the 65 mile route last year with 54/42 chainrings & 13-30 on the back. High gears really aren't necessary unless you plan to hammer the paved downhills.

I had to walk a couple of the dirt climbs, partly due to my lack of gravel experience but also because of a hidden health problem that should now be under control. "Killer" Canyon Road was steep & rutted and I'm not sure I saw anyone ride up it without walking.
I rode up Kiler Canyon at 2015 Eroica Calif without walking. It takes a low gear IMHO because in sections you have to pick your path on a two wheel tracks road with a creek rut running down it, and crossing across that rut occasionally from one track to another. Plus avoiding the poison oak along the side of the narrow road.

Not sure I would ride the whole thing ahead. Kinda poops the legs out, since it is long.
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