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Old 08-24-10, 10:51 PM   #1
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Max Grade for Average Rider with Compact Double?

I'm in Colorado and I think the steepest public roads around here are around 12-13%. The steepest road I've ridden is I think about 17-18% (North Table Mountain). On that on my MTB I was in the lowest gear, but it was more than enough to make it up. What would you say the steepest grade would be that an average rider with a compact double would be able to climb up?
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Old 08-25-10, 02:19 AM   #2
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OK, that out of the way... I use a compact double 50/34 with an 11/28 cassette, and I've ridden up plenty of 11 and 12% grades for 2 or more miles, and 18 to 22% grades for shorter distances.
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Old 08-25-10, 12:36 PM   #3
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On long grades, I like using a triple. That way I can just gear down and spin no matter what the stinkin grade.

Here in Central Florida, the steepest grades are up to about 14% and that not very far. I can get up the steepest hills in the area even when I am bonked in a 53/39 with a 12-24. I have even gone up some short 20% grades in that gearing in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan.
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Old 08-25-10, 12:42 PM   #4
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with a 34 tooth cassette and the 34 tooth on the crank Its a unicycle gear 1:1x wheel diameter ..

I heard colorado's grades are engineered to not be so steep ,as they are snow covered part of the year , chains less desirable to put on than studded tires in that case..

so cannot be as steep as Roman roads in the south of England that just go over the terrain as is.

Pushed my tour bike over a steep road on the south side of Loch Ness .. bet its a bear in the winter ..
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Old 09-04-10, 08:15 PM   #5
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I did a ~32% grade with a 34t in the front and 25t in the rear. It was about 0.04 miles, so very short, but a 72ft vertical. I measured with veloroutes ( and gmap-pedometer to confirm. Granted, both use google maps, but I'd say it's pretty accurate based on eye-balling it. I'll have to bring a protractor next time.

The hill was very steep and led immediately into Lake Michigan, so going down was very scary. I can't believe cars can do it. The way up was basically me mashing the pedals and trying to maintain enough speed not to fall over. I had to lean forward as to not lift the front wheel up. Probably not great for the bike with the high torque, but someone had challenged me so I had to do it.
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