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Gearing (way) down

Old 05-27-19, 03:14 PM
  #26  
sch
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I recently resurrected a 2001 Lightspd that was semi-retired when the OEM Ultegra triple R brifter began skipping the 25t cog on
an 11-28 cassette (10spd). Started looking at 48/32 double CW and the 11-34 CS800 11spd cassette and finally pulled the
trigger a few months ago with an R7000 105 group. This gets me a low of ~25, compared to ~29 on the other road bike, which
will eventually be transitioned to the 11-34 cassette when the 11-32s spares I have run out.

And now Shimano has seen the light and come out with their gravel GRX chain sets with 48/31 options that are even better
than the FSA 48/32 I have now, for potential upgrades to the other road bike, which is still 50/34, in a few years.

Last edited by sch; 05-27-19 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 05-27-19, 06:43 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Wheever View Post
I "everested" in 300 miles last summer!
29,000 in 300 miles. Impressive! Is this southern VT?

I'm just over 400 miles for this year with 22,000 ft. so far - rolling/hilly without being demoralizing.
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Old 05-27-19, 06:51 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12 View Post
I ride vintage racers with almost all Campagnolo NR/SR equip. Unfortunately , the 144BCD crank arms don't give us older guys much room for low(small) front chain wheels. I found a NOS Avocet 41 that I mounted on my ItalVega and had a Regina 14-28 freewheel that I mounted on the bike and that helps a bit. A lot less walking now , but I would still like to knock it down a bit. I had to back off the axle stops to get the NR derailleur to shift right , but it works well. I have often thought about a tripler thingy but I don't want to have to change the bottom bracket spindle. Joe
You should check out red clover components; they sell a triplizer for a campy.

Red Clover Components - Red Clover Components - Bicycle Triplizers and Chainrings

Personally, I'd opt for a stronglight 93. It's a beautiful vintage racing crank and you can run a 37 on the inside.

VeloBase.com - Component: Stronglight 93
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Old 05-27-19, 06:59 PM
  #29  
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I find as time marches on, I tend to ride a bit larger size bike. I raced a 56 cm but now I prefer a 57 or a 58. This makes it easier to get the bars up. I prefer randonneur bars for the same reason as they curve up nicely.

I like mountain bike triples a lot or compact cranks. I don't tend to run an outside ring larger than a 48.

I find I'm liking older bikes as time goes on as well, . They have lots of room for fat tires and I've been gravitating towards lightweight 32c tires.

Old school racing bikes (generally from the 70s) can nearly always takea 32c tire. Plus they have eyelets. I've been experimenting a bit with 86 bcd cranks on my vintage bikes (like a stronglight 99) as you can run them as a double or a triple and they go as low as 28 teeth. Chainrings are still available but you have to hunt for them.

Last edited by bikemig; 05-27-19 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 05-28-19, 07:00 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
29,000 in 300 miles. Impressive! Is this southern VT?

I'm just over 400 miles for this year with 22,000 ft. so far - rolling/hilly without being demoralizing.
Oddly enough, no, North Stamford, CT. It's nothing but climb after climb after climb. (unless you want to head down towards the water, but that's where traffic gets really bad.) My area of Vermont is flat compared to this place. Heck, so are the catskills! It's a ~400' climb just to get off my road. It's crazy and, yes, demoralizing. No such thing as a nice easy ride, or recovery ride. It's all just work.
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Old 05-28-19, 10:00 AM
  #31  
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My main bike is a 2013 Trek 520. It came with mountain bike gearing: 48-36-26 rings and an 11-32 9-speed cassette. I walked some hills on the cross NY state ride that summer, so I swapped out the cassette for a 12-36 and the small ring for a 22. That's a low of about 17 gear inches. I can get up many more hills now! By the way, turned 73 this month.
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Old 05-28-19, 10:48 AM
  #32  
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After a couple of years riding solo and slow, I returned to riding with the fast group. This fast group has mostly 60+ with some artificial knees, fused discs, open heart surgeries, and some youngsters and they ALL have compact 50/34s and rear cog minimums of 28. They convinced me to abandon my 12-23 and get a 28. The result is some days I am a little faster for the same effort and maybe I am a little fresher for the third climb of the day but I am still the last one up the hill. It was fun before and it is fun now.

One of these days, I'll get serious about going to the gym. I'm only 61.
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Old 05-29-19, 10:17 AM
  #33  
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I'm not getting rid of my triples as long as I can get parts for them. My lowest gear this year is 26 X 30. I run 53-39-26 up front. Kept up with the fast boys and girls on the 4000' Sunday ride. As I alluded to above, coming into a climb, when my cadence drops to 90, I gear down, though I'll let it settle at 85-90. Compared to the others, I'm a lot more competitive on the last climb than the first. Although . . . I felt good on Sunday and led the first climb. Maybe I was sitting on them, or maybe they were just shocked to silence.
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Old 05-30-19, 08:19 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by PhoenixBiker View Post
As much as I don't want to admit it, I'm not as young as I used to be. I'm finding it more and more difficult to push gears that used to give me no trouble at all...

Has anyone else made similar concessions to advancing age?
There are a couple of hills that were making my knees unhappy. I swapped the three-speed hub for a five, keeping the same top gear but lowering low gear from 34g.i. to 25g.i. This turned out to be quite a bit more involved a project than I had scoped but I'm happy with the results.

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Old 06-02-19, 11:57 AM
  #35  
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I have been running 46/30 chainrings on my road bike and gravel bikes for a few years now. On the road bike I pair that with an 11-30 cassette while the gravel bike gets an 11-36 cassette. The road bike runs on 32mm tubeless tires while the gravel bike currently has 42mm tubeless tires.

Manufacturers have not made it easy to get gearing this low. In my case it required an expensive White Industries VBC crank for the road bike and a lucky eBay find for a Sugino OX601 crank. There have been a few other options out there for people who know how to find them, but nothing readily available. Shimano has finally announced their GRX gravel component groups which will include reasonably priced 46/30 cranks. https://bike.shimano.com/en-US/produ...-RX600-11.html
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Old 06-06-19, 08:14 AM
  #36  
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I switched to a 50-34 a few years ago and don't really miss the 53 ring. I don't think I'm any slower overall but I got to the point that I almost never used the 53-11 or 12 so I guess that's a concession to age. For people like me who didn't start cycling until late 40's it's hard to say - I have no idea what it would have been like in my 30's or younger.
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Old 06-06-19, 10:43 AM
  #37  
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A question for the group. I want to go from a 52/40 chain ring to a 50/34. I think this would allow me to keep my freewheel to a min 28 and pull any hill within reason. I'm just getting back into this after a 25 year vacation and I'm 61.

So my question is for those of you that have done this, if I change the crankset/chainwheels on my mid-80 Asian steel is it a given that I need to change bottom bracket/spindle or is this one of those things you have to trial and error? Thanks thanks thanks.

ON EDIT: Or would it make sense to hunt up inner/outter chain rings and keep everything else as is?

Last edited by Thomas15; 06-06-19 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 06-06-19, 11:17 AM
  #38  
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Nothing at all wrong with gearing down and spinning more. Especially as we get older. I have changed the gearing on my trike to 28 38 48, with a 11--34 cassette.
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Old 06-06-19, 12:03 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
A question for the group. I want to go from a 52/40 chain ring to a 50/34. I think this would allow me to keep my freewheel to a min 28 and pull any hill within reason. I'm just getting back into this after a 25 year vacation and I'm 61.

So my question is for those of you that have done this, if I change the crankset/chainwheels on my mid-80 Asian steel is it a given that I need to change bottom bracket/spindle or is this one of those things you have to trial and error? Thanks thanks thanks.

ON EDIT: Or would it make sense to hunt up inner/outter chain rings and keep everything else as is?
If you currently have a square-taper crank you should be able to find an alternative square-taper crankset that will meet your needs. Take the existing crankset off and take a photo of the spindles. This will help to determine if there are any issues doing this.

On the other hand, threaded BBs are pretty cheap (assuming your bike takes a commonly-available threaded BB). You could simply buy a new crankset and the companion BB - lots of options.

Are you sure that a 34-28 low gear will be low enough? I like at least a 1:1 ratio or a little lower.
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Old 06-06-19, 01:47 PM
  #40  
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Brompton M3L15t; 54t mountain drive crank, double reduction gears , internal , it's about a 17" gear..


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Old 06-06-19, 02:56 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
So my question is for those of you that have done this, if I change the crankset/chainwheels on my mid-80 Asian steel is it a given that I need to change bottom bracket/spindle or is this one of those things you have to trial and error? Thanks thanks thanks.

ON EDIT: Or would it make sense to hunt up inner/outter chain rings and keep everything else as is?
Mine needed the same size BB as I had. Check the size that you have, a mm or two away from what the crankset needs is not critical IMO
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Old 06-06-19, 05:15 PM
  #42  
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My road bike 50/34 11 speed 11-40 handles everything I encounter on the road.
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