Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

New Cassette?

Notices
Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

New Cassette?

Old 02-04-20, 07:56 PM
  #1  
eagletree
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Olympic Peninsula WA
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
New Cassette?

I'm 65 and started riding last year right after my birthday. It was a lark because I was in a bike shop with a friend who was buying something, and they had this very old brand new 2015 Trek Emonda S5 on clearance for half price. Knowing nothing about bikes, it looked cool and the price was quite right. I started slow but ended up now riding 15 to 20 miles every day (except while snow is on the ground and wind blowing things sideways). Well, it's slow going getting my aerobic fitness back but it's working. Still I find the gearing on this to be rather difficult in the Western Washington mountainous area I live in. I was suffering through it just thinking that was how bad off I was (which I am... but). My LBS told me I should not be riding that bike in the hideous weather we've been having, and suggested I start using my antique MTB (an old Giant XTC NRS 3 virtually unused) until they clean up the sand and branches from the roads. I took the advice and could not believe it. I turned 35 again it was so easy to negotiate even the steep hills. That's when I decided to start studying gearing and discovered I bought a bike that is too long legged for my skill level on the terrain I have available. My Giant is probably 15 pounds heavier and full suspension, but it felt light as a feather with the gearing.

I was wondering if anyone else in my age group decided to switch gearing on their bikes. I have an 11-28 rear cassette in this Shimano 105 with 50/34 on the crankset, and was wondering if I should put a 11-32 or 11-34 on it. Has anyone made this switch and if so, what did they select, the 11-32 bottom or the 11-34?
eagletree is offline  
Old 02-04-20, 09:14 PM
  #2  
CAT7RDR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Hacienda Hgts
Posts: 416

Bikes: 1999 Schwinn Peloton Ultegra 10, Kestrel RT-1000 Ultegra, Trek Marlin 6 Deore 29'er

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 135 Post(s)
Liked 127 Times in 87 Posts
i'm 55 y/o and swapped my 11-28 to an 11-34 mated with a 50/34 crankset with a med cage RD-R8000-GS Derailleur. I now have a great light climbing bike that suits me well. I like the fact that the 30-34 cogs give me the ability to spin more and maintain a decent cadence instead of grinding away in the 25-28 cogs.
Welcome aboard!
That Emonda is a great bike for climbing.
CAT7RDR is online now  
Old 02-04-20, 09:58 PM
  #3  
woodcraft
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 4,632
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1204 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 197 Times in 117 Posts
I use both 11/32, and 11/34, and am not happy when I get on the 11/28.

Maybe just getting older and weaker. Anyway, 11/34 is nice & the 1:1 gear ratio handy if you get to fussing with numbers.

Also have 48/34 chainrings, so spend most time in the big ring and still pedal fine over 35 mph.
woodcraft is offline  
Old 02-04-20, 10:18 PM
  #4  
August West
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 187

Bikes: Trek SL6

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 21 Posts
My bike came with an 11-34T which I immediately swapped it out for an 11-32T and go down to an 11-30T if I know I won't be doing much climbing. I much prefer the 11-12-13-14-16 high cog spacing on the 32T to the 11-13-15-17-19 on the 34T. But if I know there will be hills I might struggle on I'll put on the 34T and just live with the wide spacing at the high end. Unless it is really flat an 11-28T is too much for me.
August West is offline  
Old 02-04-20, 10:39 PM
  #5  
eagletree
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Olympic Peninsula WA
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Thanks for the responses, that gives me some confidence that this might be a great solution. My riding choices during the winter are extremely limited, the Olympic Discovery Trail, a few highways that have safe shoulders, the local town that is bike friendly, and if I want to go some distance, Seattle is exceptional for good bike trails and roads. Where I can ride for daily rides is quite predictable. I can probably start with the 11-34 on my winter wheels and by spring, pick up an 11-32 for my summer carbon wheels. I like the idea of being able to mostly stay on the big ring too. It's also interesting to hear there is an 11-30 available but to start with, going more radical seems prudent (the MTB was like I had an electric motor ;-)).

On the cadence, I've monitored it closely with my Roam and the original 28, would never allow me to keep a high cadence even though I practice it in the evenings on my trainer, just too many hills and constant winds.

I wasn't aware there was a medium cage, possibly I should look into that too with a new chain and cassette. I assume I need a new chain for the 11-34 or 32. To go to the 32, I calculated I would need a 54 inch rather than the 53 that came on the bike.

Thanks again all three. I really appreciate information from people who have actually made the swap. It's pretty easy to throw money at something without improvement when you are new to this.
eagletree is offline  
Old 02-05-20, 02:56 AM
  #6  
Miele Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,852

Bikes: Miele Latina, Miele Suprema, Miele Uno SL, Miele MTB, Bianchi Model Unknown, Fiori Venezia, VeloSport Adamas AX

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 634 Post(s)
Liked 244 Times in 170 Posts
I'm 69 years young come this summer. My belief about gearing range is use what suits you. On one of my road bikes I have a 30 - 42 -52 crankset. I only went with the 42 and 52 rings instead of 40 and 50 because the shop wanted me to pay the cost of the 40 and 50 teeth rings if I swapped them out.

I figure it's far better to have low enough gearing for any steep hills I ride on hot and humid summer days than have a heart attack trying to gdet up them.

My gearing on different bicycles I have varies and some of those bicycles I don't ride on routes I know there are steep hills on.

Cheers
Miele Man is offline  
Likes For Miele Man:
Old 02-05-20, 03:50 AM
  #7  
delbiker1 
Senior Member
 
delbiker1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Sussex County, Delaware
Posts: 1,257

Bikes: 2003 Lemond Poprad, 1991 Ochsner steel frame, 2002 Airborne Zeppelin titanium, Schwinn DBX SS aluminum, Orbea MD 40 carbon fiber

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 344 Post(s)
Liked 199 Times in 127 Posts
I switched cassette from 12-26 to 12-32 cassette and large charge ring from 50T to 46T. This is no my somewhat heavy do-all Schwinn Super Sport DBX. Makes a big difference for climbing, mostly flat where Ilive, and for riding into a high head wind, a frequent occurrence hear on the Delaware coast.
delbiker1 is offline  
Old 02-05-20, 05:09 AM
  #8  
bruce19
Senior Member
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Posts: 6,795

Bikes: CAAD 12, MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1043 Post(s)
Liked 301 Times in 182 Posts
I'm 74. My road bikes are all 50/34 with 11x28 cassettes. I ride in eastern CT where we have some good climbs. A typical 30 mile ride will have around 2,000 feet of climbing. FWIW I am a mediocre climber but I do just fine with that set up.
bruce19 is offline  
Old 02-05-20, 06:13 AM
  #9  
mr_bill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 3,955
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1731 Post(s)
Liked 224 Times in 175 Posts
I belive you have a 105 RD-5800-SS (short cage) 11 speed derailluer on your bike?

By the book, the low sprocket max for that derailure is 28. So, you are techincally at your limit now. (You MAY, emphasis, MAY be able to push to 30, maybe.)

To go the larger sprockets you want, you may need a medium cage derailleur.

If you swap in a 105 RD-5800-GS (medium cage) you can by the book go to a low sprocket max of 32.

If you swap in a more recent 105 RD-R7000-GS (medium cage) you can by the book to to a low sprocket max of 34.


So don't be surprised when you go to buy your CS-HG700-11 11-34 cassette, your local bike shop tries to "sell" you a derailleur to go with it. They probably are right.


Techincal crap out of the way, YES, strongly consider getting a cassette that makes YOU feel good on the bike. With the deal you got on the bike, chump change to swap out a couple of components so that you LOVE the bike.

The reality check for me was kind of sort of noticing I would "go around" hills that I struggled with on an 11-25 ten speed cassette. (Our hills are short, but they can have some stupid gradients.) But the day came when I was confronted with a hill that could not be gone around, and had to admit to myself that it was time for a change.

After the reality check that I swapped to an 12-30 ten speed cassette. (Technically only up to 28 should have worked but the 30 worked just fine.) No longer went around hills.

After achilles surgery, I happened to get a new bike, but knew that an 11-34 11 speed cassette was going to be needed when I got approved to climb again. A surprisingly nice side effect, I can now "keep down" with one of my friends when we climb steep hills together. (Used to have to drop them when they were in the small chainring of their triple on the way up hills because I would struggle to spin slow enough to match their speed. We'd meet again at the top.)


Finally, the cadence that you like to climb matters. If your climbing power comes at low cadence than that sends you toward a smaller cassette. If your climbing power comes at a higher cadence then that sends you toward a larger cassette.

Don't worry about what works for anyone else, worry about what works for you.

-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 02-05-20 at 08:22 AM.
mr_bill is offline  
Likes For mr_bill:
Old 02-05-20, 07:33 AM
  #10  
BobbyG
Senior Member
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 4,678

Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 967 Post(s)
Liked 390 Times in 209 Posts
When I acquired my 1984 Nishiki 12-speed in 2009 I ("only" 47) immediately put a smaller small front ring on it to deal with the hills of Colorado Springs. Ten years later at 58 I put a wider spread of gears in the back and also on my daily commuter, a 2015 Charge Plug. My knees are much happier.

My other bike, my 1997 Nishiki Blazer 3x7 mountain-bike has always had a large spread of gearing. When I bought it I put the largest large gear that would fit in front to gain higher gearing for commuting on the road.

Tight gearing ratio may make sense for specific types of riding/racing, but a wider spread of gears lets me enjoy a wider range of riding conditions.

The downside of a wide spread is not always having the perfect gear ratio every situation, but the older I get, the more my knees appreciate having lower gears available.
BobbyG is offline  
Old 02-05-20, 08:05 AM
  #11  
eagletree
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Olympic Peninsula WA
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Once again, thanks for the responses. The Shimano diagrams were enlightening. I missed those when I went to their page because I didn't know the older model numbers and mine does not match what they show through their menu system (too old). Using the link provided and swapping in GS, mine appears to match the RD-5800-GS which would mean I'm good to go on the deraileur length.

I was avoiding some hills. The reason is that I don't like being on the road on a hill and having my attention focused on knees and heart rate while cars are moving fast by me. One hill in particular, this seems very dangerous and I'd find myself always stopping near the top at an intersection where I had right of way. This was just to catch my breath enough to be cognizant of the traffic situation before entering the intersection (which just happens to be the summit of the hill).

I did think about changing the smaller front ring but didn't know if that would mess with the front derailuer and pulling the crank seemed it would be a harder swap. Plus with two sets of wheels, I can do some back to back testing by having the wider range cassette and a spare chain. It seems less permanent. From a fitness standpoint, since I'm experiencing noob gains right now, it may be that eventually the 28t bottom end will be good enough. For now, it doesn't make riding near as fun or safe though. I'm convinced to try this. My LBS has Powertap P2s coming in for me on Friday and I'll see if he has a cassette and chain. There are a few on EBay too.

Thanks a lot.
eagletree is offline  
Old 02-05-20, 10:58 AM
  #12  
Ogsarg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Hollister, CA (not the surf town)
Posts: 818

Bikes: 2019 Specialized Roubaix Comp Di2, 2009 Roubaix, early 90's Giant Iguana

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 317 Post(s)
Liked 188 Times in 99 Posts
My new bike has an 11-34 and compact crank and I'm not embarrassed to say that I use the low gear on occasion. Lots of 10-20%+ grades around where I live and its nice to have it available. I am no racer and don't mind not having the closely spaced cogs of an 11-28.

The previous bike had a triple with 12-25 and 30T small ring in front and there were certain hills that were a real struggle.
Ogsarg is online now  
Old 02-05-20, 12:07 PM
  #13  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 15,609

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 96 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2093 Post(s)
Liked 199 Times in 155 Posts
It's a trueism that the more you pay for a bike, the taller the gearing. Meaning you have to spend still more on it just getting it rideable. When I was 65 and in very good shape, I rode a 30 X 27 on the south climb of Cayuse Pass and on Sunrise. It's actually really simple (in a way) to select your perfect climbing gearing, at least for this year, though it'll keep changing. Nine years later, I ride a 26 X 30 on those same climbs.

Anyway . . .You start by going to a relatively long and familiar climb, something long and ~7%, on your MTB, but using slicks. Or you can do it on the Emonda, either way. Emonda's probably better, just more painful. Well warmed up, ride the climb hard and note your speed. Then bring up this calculator: Bicycle Bike Gear Ratio Speed and Cadence Calculator

At the top, put in the gearing you are contemplating purchasing. Click "do the math". Then click on the Cadence tab. On the chart find your mph on the climb and see if it matches a cadence in the 75 to 85 range. Experiment with your candidate gearing until that works. Plus you probably want one cog even lower as a bailout gear. I still ride to Sunrise and you can too. Cassettes are available all the way up to 42, though if you need really low gearing, you're better off reducing the size of your chainrings, probably meaning an new BB but maybe not. Big cassettes also probably mean new rear derailleur and an Wolftooth extension or similar.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 02-05-20, 12:44 PM
  #14  
bikeme
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sunny so. cal.
Posts: 758
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 12 Posts
Aside from gearing (great advice above, btw) keep your knees warm via knee or leg warmers or tights. Older joints really kneed that
bikeme is offline  
Old 02-05-20, 12:56 PM
  #15  
Miele Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,852

Bikes: Miele Latina, Miele Suprema, Miele Uno SL, Miele MTB, Bianchi Model Unknown, Fiori Venezia, VeloSport Adamas AX

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 634 Post(s)
Liked 244 Times in 170 Posts
On a 700C or 27" wheel a 52 chainring and a 14 teeth rear cog gives you just over 100 gear inches. I find that plenty for flatland riding and moderate downhills. Thus on some of my bicycles I have 14 -32 teeth cassettes. I often use two different cassettes to make up the cassette I want.

Cheers
Miele Man is offline  
Old 02-05-20, 01:46 PM
  #16  
Moishe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Guilford, CT
Posts: 87

Bikes: Trek doughmain SLR6

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 33 Posts
I'm 68 and I've been averaging 4,000 miles a year for the past five years in the modest rolling hills of southern Connecticut. I bought a new Domane a year ago with cyclocross cranks 46/34 and with a hybrid cassette: 14-15-16-17-18-19 from a 14-28 R8000 cassette and 20-22-25-28-32 from an 11-32 R8000 cassette. For me, it is best gearing I have ever had on a bike. No big jumps, and I am in the middle 5 cogs most of the time. The lowest gear combination, 34 chainring / 32 cog, is low enough for me to climb steep hills, and the highest gear combination, 46 / 14, is higher than I would ever spin out on. Yeah, I'm old and weak, but if I'm going faster than 30 mph, I am not pedaling. Shimano said I needed to get the larger cage derailleur for the 32, but I'm told I could have gotten away with the short cage that came with the bike.

By the way, in case you're interested, here is an image of an Excel spreadsheet (Bikeforums won't allow Excel files) that I created to compare various gear combos. It's not too user friendly, but you may find it useful.


I can send the Excel file to anyone who wants it.

Last edited by Moishe; 02-05-20 at 02:04 PM.
Moishe is online now  
Old 02-05-20, 02:04 PM
  #17  
eagletree
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Olympic Peninsula WA
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
This is a great forum, info just keeps coming out. That is a good link on the gearing too. It's pouring rain but I am planning to attack one of those hills on the MTB and see if a new PR is possible. Should be interesting to crank that into the calculator (still trying to get up the nerve to brave this deluge). Never pondered splitting a cassette, but playing with that sounds intriguing and fun. Maybe I'll ride by the bike store and see what cassettes he has in his junk drawer.

Yes on keeping the knees warm, I've gone to tights underneath and insulated rain pants over. It's only the top half that gets too cold on the days near freezing (was out in the snow and wind day before yesterday and that was too much, had to toss in the towel, I'm sure CarbonFiberBoy is putting up with the same patterns, weather is running between cold one day and wet the next).

I should shoot a photo of it, but the deraileur appears to be medium length. Center to center, the arm is 2 1/4 inches between the roller sprockets.
eagletree is offline  
Old 02-05-20, 07:50 PM
  #18  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 15,609

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 96 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2093 Post(s)
Liked 199 Times in 155 Posts
Originally Posted by eagletree View Post
This is a great forum, info just keeps coming out. That is a good link on the gearing too. It's pouring rain but I am planning to attack one of those hills on the MTB and see if a new PR is possible. Should be interesting to crank that into the calculator (still trying to get up the nerve to brave this deluge). Never pondered splitting a cassette, but playing with that sounds intriguing and fun. Maybe I'll ride by the bike store and see what cassettes he has in his junk drawer.

Yes on keeping the knees warm, I've gone to tights underneath and insulated rain pants over. It's only the top half that gets too cold on the days near freezing (was out in the snow and wind day before yesterday and that was too much, had to toss in the towel, I'm sure CarbonFiberBoy is putting up with the same patterns, weather is running between cold one day and wet the next).

I should shoot a photo of it, but the deraileur appears to be medium length. Center to center, the arm is 2 1/4 inches between the roller sprockets.
It is pretty damp out even for here. Ridiculous, though this evening it's way warm, I have 44 and pouring. My lower limit is 40 and raining. I don't go out if it's frozen the night before and the daytime temp doesn't go over 40. Luckily it's been "warm" down low lately. It should be nice this coming Sunday.

Another interesting thing to do is to plot gear-inches on a spreadsheet, several iterations with different rings and cog sets. Easy to do, just copying the formulas into a new block.

Bright lights at both ends in the rain, day an night! Bright enough to be seen a mile away is about right.

In what areas do you mostly ride? I'm in Everett and ride mostly Eastside ridges and valleys and on up past Arlington
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 02-05-20, 08:23 PM
  #19  
eagletree
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Olympic Peninsula WA
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
It is pretty damp out even for here. Ridiculous, though this evening it's way warm, I have 44 and pouring. My lower limit is 40 and raining. I don't go out if it's frozen the night before and the daytime temp doesn't go over 40. Luckily it's been "warm" down low lately. It should be nice this coming Sunday.

Another interesting thing to do is to plot gear-inches on a spreadsheet, several iterations with different rings and cog sets. Easy to do, just copying the formulas into a new block.

Bright lights at both ends in the rain, day an night! Bright enough to be seen a mile away is about right.

In what areas do you mostly ride? I'm in Everett and ride mostly Eastside ridges and valleys and on up past Arlington
I do Port Townsend, Chimacum, Sequim and any road that is safe in between. Was going to extend further up the ODT soon but haven't yet. There are not many here, most roads are deadly. When I ride in town, I have to ride by a memorial on a street corner where a girl was killed by a car turning right as she headed into the intersection. PT has done a lot to try and improve their bike friendliness so I give them credit, but the outlying areas are terrible, 3 and 6 inch shoulders. The Larry Scott Memorial Trail is pretty good, a nice workout, but this time of year, maintenance is suffering because of branches and mud. The ODT is fantastic but does have some roads linking various parts. With in a couple of weeks, I plan to ride on the ferry and experience the Burke-Gillman trail. This summer I was planning to come over and ride with a friend of mine up towards Sedro-Wooley. Another is to head over to Mazama/Winthrop. Did that last year and the riding, both road and MTB, was beautiful, it was heaven.

Weather is nasty. I'm due west of Everett almost directly. I just took a short 8 mile ride and was soaked and hands frozen when I finally gave up, glasses were impossible to see through (plus I have no fenders on any bike, so shoot rooster tails front and rear). Plus all the rain had started some landslides on the LS Memorial Trail, boulders and all. I thought there was a bear laying down in the middle of the trail and as I got closer, I realized it was a boulder, then looked up and realized the bluff had slid down about 10 feet. I didn't tarry long. The weather service has flood warnings for us through Friday I think, and that means slide danger.

I'll post separately about my findings on the ride. I didn't capture the hill for the calculator as I intended but I did find some interesting stuff about using the lower gearing on a more moderate hill (9% max) that I had some comparison figures on.
eagletree is offline  
Old 02-05-20, 09:01 PM
  #20  
eagletree
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Olympic Peninsula WA
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
I identified that I do have a Short Cage and have suggested the LBS order a 7000 Medium which will accommodate the 11-34 as suggested in the posts previous. I am pretty sold on the low gearing. The MTB ride today was enlightening. I only took a moderate climb, but one I had stats for the Emonda (the 11-28) on the 31st or so. The ride today showed higher speed (5.6 MPH Average vs 5.1), Higher wattage (145 vs 119), better cadence (61 vs 52), and the HRM showed 139 vs 129 so I was apparently working a bit more aerobically. All my figures were extremely low of course, but I am a noob (I will point out if I work at a hill, I always get in the 150s for BPM). Still the difference between the two bikes and their gearing was intriguing and I didn't drop to the granny gears the MTB has, but just went a little lower than the Emonda could go, trying to make the hill similar, even though still technically grinding. The feel perception was that it was way easier, no comparison in fact. It was a small 9.9% and possibly 1/2 to 3/4 mile. But I did recall disliking the hill last time I went up it, and feeling like I could have pushed much harder this time. I think I'll enjoy having a lower gear option. Maybe the biggest surprise was that I could go faster with a lower gear for what felt like the same effort.

I emailed the LBS and suggested he order the cage, chain and cassette (he's suggesting the 32 rather than the 34 and I will leave it to him as to what he can get quickly). I'm figuring that since I have the 11-28, I might mix and match as suggested above.

Lotta good info from you all. I feel a lot more comfortable with the ratios and finally understand how this 11 speed system works. Certainly a great forum.
eagletree is offline  
Old 02-05-20, 11:35 PM
  #21  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 15,609

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 96 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2093 Post(s)
Liked 199 Times in 155 Posts
Originally Posted by eagletree View Post
I identified that I do have a Short Cage and have suggested the LBS order a 7000 Medium which will accommodate the 11-34 as suggested in the posts previous. I am pretty sold on the low gearing. The MTB ride today was enlightening. I only took a moderate climb, but one I had stats for the Emonda (the 11-28) on the 31st or so. The ride today showed higher speed (5.6 MPH Average vs 5.1), Higher wattage (145 vs 119), better cadence (61 vs 52), and the HRM showed 139 vs 129 so I was apparently working a bit more aerobically. All my figures were extremely low of course, but I am a noob (I will point out if I work at a hill, I always get in the 150s for BPM). Still the difference between the two bikes and their gearing was intriguing and I didn't drop to the granny gears the MTB has, but just went a little lower than the Emonda could go, trying to make the hill similar, even though still technically grinding. The feel perception was that it was way easier, no comparison in fact. It was a small 9.9% and possibly 1/2 to 3/4 mile. But I did recall disliking the hill last time I went up it, and feeling like I could have pushed much harder this time. I think I'll enjoy having a lower gear option. Maybe the biggest surprise was that I could go faster with a lower gear for what felt like the same effort.

I emailed the LBS and suggested he order the cage, chain and cassette (he's suggesting the 32 rather than the 34 and I will leave it to him as to what he can get quickly). I'm figuring that since I have the 11-28, I might mix and match as suggested above.

Lotta good info from you all. I feel a lot more comfortable with the ratios and finally understand how this 11 speed system works. Certainly a great forum.
Your findings agree with the usual bro science. Lower is faster, up to a point, which is different for everyone. Try going even lower, climbing at a 75-80 cadence and 90 on the flat. Takes some getting used to but it works better for most folks. There are outliers with physiology which enables them to climb fast at 60 cadence, but they're rare. Lower gearing will run your HR higher, but makes the legs feel better. As you noticed.

Riding on the Peninsula is tough. I know what you mean. If you like, I can give you a couple RidewithGPS routes out of Logboom Park at the north end of Lake Washington, Good intro to low traffic riding in this area. The Burke Gilman isn't much, other than as a study in sociology. Pretty busy.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 02-06-20, 12:42 AM
  #22  
eagletree
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Olympic Peninsula WA
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Your findings agree with the usual bro science. Lower is faster, up to a point, which is different for everyone. Try going even lower, climbing at a 75-80 cadence and 90 on the flat. Takes some getting used to but it works better for most folks. There are outliers with physiology which enables them to climb fast at 60 cadence, but they're rare. Lower gearing will run your HR higher, but makes the legs feel better. As you noticed.

Riding on the Peninsula is tough. I know what you mean. If you like, I can give you a couple RidewithGPS routes out of Logboom Park at the north end of Lake Washington, Good intro to low traffic riding in this area. The Burke Gilman isn't much, other than as a study in sociology. Pretty busy.
I had read about cadence and have been practicing it on the trainer, but it is surprising to experience it first hand with some numbers to convince.

Yes, I would be interested in routes. I tend to be overly polite and if a route is crammed with people, I don't get a workout. Part of the impetus for the Seattle run is just to see my daughter and grandkids, I was impressed with Seattle's biking advocacy using the street view of bike routes.

The peninsula has real potential, but it is mitigated by having connections between biking areas being high speed highways with inadequate shoulders. The ODT is advertised as being from PT to the ocean, but it includes several 55 MPH roads with 6 inches to two feet of shoulder.
eagletree is offline  
Old 02-06-20, 06:07 PM
  #23  
eagletree
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Olympic Peninsula WA
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
I finalized what I'm getting and the LBS ordered it. I'm getting the older medium cage because it will support the 11-32 and is far less expensive, plus the 11-32 itself was less expensive. He also felt my chain was too good to abandon and just wants me to add some links in. We also talked it over, he felt I'd be satisfied with it having two lower gears (the 30 and 32) because I'm so new at this, that I'm only going to improve. That would make some sense since at my age, it should be about 4 months before I see significant gains in physiological ability. I've been riding for under a year, but it has been only the last 2 months that I've been going seriously at it. So I'll have an 11-32 next week and we'll see what happens, though I already know I'm going to like it.

Buying the cheaper stuff might sense, because as soon as I put in a worthy number of miles, I'm going to upgrade to something newer with disc brakes. Maybe next year, so spending too much on this one might not be a good idea.

I also want to post back to Carbonfiberboy that I am unable to see the private message with the routes, because of the new user restrictions. I will have to post twice more before I can use PMs. It's a prudent move by the admins to stop new users from registering and immediately spamming everyone on the forum in a way that is difficult to track. Maybe I'll go take a picture of my bike and post it to the "show us your bike thread", and find another thread to post to. Then I'll get the routes ;-).
eagletree is offline  
Old 02-06-20, 06:44 PM
  #24  
DeceptivelySlow
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 108

Bikes: Two wheels; multiple gears

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by eagletree View Post
I finalized what I'm getting and the LBS ordered it. I'm getting the older medium cage because it will support the 11-32 and is far less expensive, plus the 11-32 itself was less expensive. He also felt my chain was too good to abandon and just wants me to add some links in. We also talked it over, he felt I'd be satisfied with it having two lower gears (the 30 and 32) because I'm so new at this, that I'm only going to improve. That would make some sense since at my age, it should be about 4 months before I see significant gains in physiological ability. I've been riding for under a year, but it has been only the last 2 months that I've been going seriously at it. So I'll have an 11-32 next week and we'll see what happens, though I already know I'm going to like it.

Buying the cheaper stuff might sense, because as soon as I put in a worthy number of miles, I'm going to upgrade to something newer with disc brakes. Maybe next year, so spending too much on this one might not be a good idea.

I also want to post back to Carbonfiberboy that I am unable to see the private message with the routes, because of the new user restrictions. I will have to post twice more before I can use PMs. It's a prudent move by the admins to stop new users from registering and immediately spamming everyone on the forum in a way that is difficult to track. Maybe I'll go take a picture of my bike and post it to the "show us your bike thread", and find another thread to post to. Then I'll get the routes ;-).
Congrats on the new bike. I am riding an 11-28 rear with a 50-34 front. Switched from an 11-25 a few years ago; the 11-28 was the max I could get with my current short cage. I think the 11-32 should work well and I wouldn't mind having one myself. Have fun!
DeceptivelySlow is offline  
Old 02-06-20, 07:00 PM
  #25  
tankist
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 34
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
I have 50/34 front and went from 12-27 to 11-32 in the back. I had to change the rear derailleur (small - medium), but it was worth it. Now I can comfortably climb up to 12% steep slopes. Here in California we have a lot of these.
tankist is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.