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-   -   Is 10 speeds enough for mountain highways? (https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycling/1025812-10-speeds-enough-mountain-highways.html)

Kertrek 08-20-15 02:39 PM

Is 10 speeds enough for mountain highways?
 
I've seen road bikes up to 30 speeds, and I really doubt I'd need a bike with that many gears. I found a carbon fiber 10 speed at an OK price. Is 10 speeds enough for the intense mountain-road climbs? I'm in a valley, so I'm surrounded by mountains.

Bunyanderman 08-20-15 02:43 PM

The spread of the gears is really all that matters for climbing/descending. Mostly carbon bikes aren't 10 speed, but most likely 10 speed in the back, with 2 rings up front for 20 gears.

Seattle Forrest 08-20-15 03:08 PM

Yes.

Assuming you mean 2x10.

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8602/...494ebc_o_d.jpg

Sy Reene 08-20-15 04:17 PM

Actually 1 speed is enough, getting down the hill you don't need any.

Kertrek 08-20-15 04:23 PM

My bad. The guy at the bike shop said it was 10 speed, and I didn't look that closely, cause I was just in for a derailleur alignment, but I looked online and the bike I saw is 18 speed. KWH 700 carbon for $1200. More than adequate.

Sy Reene 08-20-15 04:26 PM


Originally Posted by Kertrek (Post 18094714)
My bad. The guy at the bike shop said it was 10 speed, and I didn't look that closely, cause I was just in for a derailleur alignment, but I looked online and the bike I saw is 18 speed. KWH 700 carbon for $1200. More than adequate.

You need to concern yourself much more with the gearing range than the number of gears. Starting with a basic question, since getting up a mountain is more of a concern with getting down it.. how many teeth does the small chain ring in the front have, and how many teeth are on the largest cog on the rear wheel?

Drew Eckhardt 08-20-15 04:48 PM


Originally Posted by Kertrek (Post 18094368)
I've seen road bikes up to 30 speeds, and I really doubt I'd need a bike with that many gears. I found a carbon fiber 10 speed at an OK price. Is 10 speeds enough for the intense mountain-road climbs? I'm in a valley, so I'm surrounded by mountains.

It depends on the specific grades, your power to weight ratio at various intensities, and how sensitive you are to gaps between gears.

If you weigh under 2 pounds per inch of height (140 pounds at 5'10) and train at least 10 hours a week 2x10 is usually fine with a 39 small ring and tight cassette when you're willing to stay out of the mountains on your endurance ride days or don't care about the physiological shifts from harder efforts.

OTOH, even Alberto Contador used 34x32 on the steepest climbs in the Giro d'Italia. His power to weight ratio is probably 50% better than yours if you're in great shape and 100% for merely good shape. You probably can't sustain a lower cadence then he can, and they don't make the 48 or 64 cog you'd need to.

Once you need a 34 small ring which increases front shifting or introduce 2 tooth gaps that are annoying on flat terrain it's time for a triple crank.

Homebrew01 08-20-15 06:24 PM


Originally Posted by Sy Reene (Post 18094725)
You need to concern yourself much more with the gearing range than the number of gears. Starting with a basic question, since getting up a mountain is more of a concern with getting down it.. how many teeth does the small chain ring in the front have, and how many teeth are on the largest cog on the rear wheel?

Yes. Cassettes are fairly inexpensive, and need to be replaced aver now & then, so it's not a big deal to get a lower gear if you need it. If you need drastically lower gears, then it gets more complicated.

Tim_Iowa 08-21-15 10:46 AM

As others have said, gear range is more important than the number of gears. You could get the same total gearing range on a 5-speed bike or a 30-speed bike.

SRAM (wifli) and Shimano (GS) offer mid-cage RDs that can fit a 32t cog.

Mixed with a compact crank (34t chain ring), you can climb just about any road grade, and some off-road as well. 34 x 32 = 28 gear inches.

With a standard 39t chain ring and 32t cog, you have 32 gear inches.
34t chain ring and 28t cog = 32 gear inches
39t chain ring and 28t cog = 37 gear inches


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