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Which gear are you spinning when you're doing 20mph+ ?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Which gear are you spinning when you're doing 20mph+ ?

Old 03-02-18, 07:38 PM
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Which gear are you spinning when you're doing 20mph+ ?

Everyone has different cadence but just wondering which gear do you spin when you're going >18mph, >20mph?

I almost never use my biggest 2 gears while on the big chainring so am wondering if I need to do more squats or what
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Old 03-02-18, 07:40 PM
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53x18? I dunno. Whatever’s comfortable.
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Old 03-02-18, 07:48 PM
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75 gear inches at 90 RPM = 20 MPH.

'74 Raleigh Internat'l. '77 Trek TX900 FG. '90 Vitus 979. '10 Merckx EMX3. '13 Soma Stanyan
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Old 03-02-18, 08:11 PM
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Old 03-02-18, 08:23 PM
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Bicycle Gear Calculator
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Old 03-02-18, 08:24 PM
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20 mph is not that fast so, just don’t think about it, whatever’s comfortable for you
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Old 03-02-18, 08:25 PM
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39/15 or 39/14. You do know I hope that it is not something that is open to choice. I mean if you have a preferred cadence there are only two possibilities. One on the big ring and one on the small ring. At 95 rpm you need a gear ratio of about 2.7. I’m too lazy to do the calculation right now, but that is close. I mean you can choose to pedal slower or faster, but your preferred cadence pretty much selects the gear combination.

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Last edited by rpenmanparker; 03-02-18 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 03-02-18, 08:30 PM
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This is one thing I kinda paid attention to while on the rollers last weekend. While I made it a point at the beginning of the session to work up to a cadence of 90, I found that it was much easier to sustain speeds of 20+ with lower cadence - it was sort of a substitute for hills. So I was on 53 and just put it down on the 12 or 13 (that bike didn't have an 11). I also found it was easier - certainly more fun - to go faster if I start from a lower cadence. Starting from a higher cadence and relying more on shifting gears just seems frantic compared to the thrill of accelerating by powering through the 80-120 rpm range.

This feeling of powering through the sort of ideal cadence range - and how it actually feels easier to go faster - is one of the things I love about riding fixed. I'm not very good at it, but with 48 and 17, 90 rpm puts me almost at 20 mph. Also, inclines and little hills are manageable, and I can survive a 30 mph downhill without my feet flying off.

Meanwhile, I have ridden around maintaining a cadence in the 100-110 range, but it wasn't much fun; we were probably doing 18-19 on the flats. Not difficult, but not much fun. I think the only time a high cadence was ever fun was racing, but even then I was usually among the least 'spinny.'

But back to how the original question was posed: If you are on the big ring and doing 18-20 on flat segments, it's normal to be in the middle of the cassette, so you have room to actually go fast. You may need to do more squats if you can't climb hills or go really slow on the big ring.

Last edited by kbarch; 03-02-18 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 03-02-18, 08:43 PM
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50x17 works for me on the FG bike, but 50x18 or 50x19 are the JRA ratios on my road bike.
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Old 03-02-18, 08:49 PM
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For me it depends on the situation. It is different for down hill, in a group, uphill, flats, flats into the wind. Different circumstances will change what gear I’m in.

Last edited by Bmach; 03-04-18 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 03-02-18, 08:53 PM
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Old 03-02-18, 08:57 PM
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50xsomething. I never thought about it. Usually doing a cadence between 90-110 on flats.
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Old 03-02-18, 09:34 PM
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Around 70" at 20 MPH. Like the OP, I rarely go fast enough to use my top gear or two.
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Old 03-02-18, 10:33 PM
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Usually 42x15 or 42x16, but can be from 42x17 to 52x17.
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Old 03-02-18, 11:25 PM
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52-18 on the one, usually 42-15 on the other.
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Old 03-02-18, 11:27 PM
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42x15 for me.
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Old 03-03-18, 12:20 AM
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39/14, although the jockey wheel is clattering a bit on that combo, so probably 52/17 or 19 instead until I adjust the rear derailleur. Whatever suits my glass cranking pedaling non-effort.
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Old 03-03-18, 12:55 AM
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It depends.
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Old 03-03-18, 06:42 AM
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53 11 all the time.
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Old 03-03-18, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
53 11 all the time.
Oh the Rigoberto Uran.

I need to work on cadence I suppose, I'm between 75 to 85 RPM so the 52x18 gives me a great chain line and usually runs me 18 to 20 comfortably.
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Old 03-03-18, 08:44 AM
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TBH I don't pay much attention to which specific gear I'm in at 18-20. 50-16 probably, plus or minus what my legs feel like doing. My fixed gear is 46-16, which feels just about perfect at 18 or 19 mph.
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Old 03-03-18, 08:46 AM
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53x17, 19

Last edited by mackgoo; 03-03-18 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 03-03-18, 12:06 PM
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It always depends on the conditions. Which way and at what speed is the wind blowing? What's the grade of the road, upwards or downwards? What's the road surface like? My gearing at a given speed will vary from ride to ride and from minute to minute within a ride.
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Old 03-03-18, 03:17 PM
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Whatever gear results in 90 - 100 rpm.
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Old 03-03-18, 03:49 PM
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