Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

when do you use the 52 crank?

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

when do you use the 52 crank?

Old 06-04-04, 12:35 PM
  #1  
jonny wong
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
jonny wong's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 122

Bikes: Huffy

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
what is the combination do you usually use 52 chainring with? and in what application?
Thanx!
jonny wong is offline  
Old 06-04-04, 01:53 PM
  #2  
demoncyclist
Senior Member
 
demoncyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Medway, MA
Posts: 2,728

Bikes: 2011 Lynskey Sportive, 1988 Cannondale SM400

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
When the road is flat and I want to go fast!!! My shift pattern is based on cadence. I'm comfortable in the mid 90's, so when it gets higher than that, I shift up, when it gets lower due to an incline, or traffic, I downshift.
demoncyclist is offline  
Old 06-04-04, 01:58 PM
  #3  
Don Cook
Senior Member
 
Don Cook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Memphis TN
Posts: 816

Bikes: Raleigh, Benotto, Schwinn, Trek

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Generally speaking, and only for myself, I let the expected lowest speed determine whether or not to use the big chainring and the expected highest speed determines if I shift into the 42 or 39 chainring. Most all of my rides are done over routes that I've ridden dozens of times, this makes it easy to select the chainring. For any of my routes where the speed seldom falls below 15 mph, I select the 52 chain ring (or 53 chainring when on my double). If I'm doing a route where my expected speeds won't be above 23-24mph I select the 42 or 39 ring.
Don Cook is offline  
Old 06-04-04, 02:26 PM
  #4  
brunning
Senior Member
 
brunning's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,519

Bikes: 1999 Serotta Csi Custom, ~1984 Pinarello track bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
depends what you're going for. i find much of my moderate speed distance riding on flat terrain tends to happen on the 53 and one of the larger cogs in back, 22, 23, 24. whatever.

strength training and muscle building as well - try shifting into 53x12 or whatever your toughest gearing is and riding by only pulling up on the pedals. feel those quads burn!
brunning is offline  
Old 06-04-04, 09:46 PM
  #5  
dexmax
road siklista
 
dexmax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Perlas ng Silanganan
Posts: 1,469

Bikes: Custom Knolly Chilcotin Limited Edition Orange, Dartmoor Wish, KHS 7500, Custom built Specialized Camber, S-Works Road, Cannondale Trail mtb, Polini MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Like Don Cook, I do the same..

If my ride would be generally fast, less or no road traffic and flat, I would use the big ring since I can ride and maintain my speed at the 18~25mph (29~40kmh). Likewise, I would maintain a cadence of 90~95rpm.. I do the fine tuning at the rear

If my ride is has lots of hills with painful grades, I'de use my 42 or 39 even if I would go up to 20mph(32kmh) at some point if there is a short decent..
dexmax is offline  
Old 06-04-04, 10:01 PM
  #6  
jim-bob
hateful little monkey
 
jim-bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: oakland, ca
Posts: 5,274
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jonny wong
what is the combination do you usually use 52 chainring with? and in what application?
Thanx!
Whoa. You're looking at dropping a thousand bucks on a new pair of wheels, but you don't grasp the basics of gearing yet? No offense, but you might want to just ride a bit more before you go for the fancy new wheels.
jim-bob is offline  
Old 06-05-04, 12:04 AM
  #7  
SteveE
Veni, Vidi, Vomiti
 
SteveE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Republic of Anaerobia
Posts: 3,582

Bikes: Serotta Legend Ti, Romani Columbus SL, Soma Doublecross

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Boy, I don't even consciously think about what chainring I am in. If I am in the big chainring and I start to slow down, I automatically shift to a larger rear cog to keep my cadence up. When I get to somewhere in the middle of my cogs, I will shift to the smaller chainring. If the slope isn't too steep, I might do a double shift -- small chainring, one smaller cog.
SteveE is offline  
Old 06-05-04, 01:10 AM
  #8  
pacesetter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Desert
Posts: 271

Bikes: Colnago, GT Team

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jim-bob
Whoa. You're looking at dropping a thousand bucks on a new pair of wheels, but you don't grasp the basics of gearing yet? No offense, but you might want to just ride a bit more before you go for the fancy new wheels.

LOL, on a thousand dollarbike.
pacesetter is offline  
Old 06-05-04, 01:30 AM
  #9  
pacesetter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Desert
Posts: 271

Bikes: Colnago, GT Team

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jonny wong
what is the combination do you usually use 52 chainring with? and in what application?
Thanx!
You shouldn't be thinking about the big ring yet don't hurt your self, you gota spin before you can fly get some hours on them legs.
pacesetter is offline  
Old 06-05-04, 02:15 AM
  #10  
fogrider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: fogtown...san francisco
Posts: 2,276

Bikes: Ron Cooper, Time VXSR, rock lobster, rock lobster, serotta, ritchey, kestrel, paramount

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by pacesetter
You shouldn't be thinking about the big ring yet don't hurt your self, you gota spin before you can fly get some hours on them legs.
In my old age...I'm 42 now...I've decided to get rid of the 53! I have gone compact, with a 48/34 with a 11/23 in the rear. This gives me a high gear that is the same as a 52x12, but I can keep the chain on the 48 on most of my ride. I like to spin and I also like to power the small hills. The 34 is great on the longer hills, the 34x23 gives me the same as a 39x27 or about the same as a 30x21.
fogrider is offline  
Old 06-05-04, 07:24 AM
  #11  
shokhead
05 Roubaix Comp Double
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: So Cal
Posts: 4,665

Bikes: 2012 Trek Madone 6.2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I stay in the 39 and have enough speed for me when i need it but i dont need it much. I dont need 25 mph.
shokhead is offline  
Old 06-05-04, 07:31 AM
  #12  
TrekRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Gambrills, Maryland
Posts: 2,717
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jonny wong
what is the combination do you usually use 52 chainring with? and in what application?
Thanx!
I usually shift to the 52 ring at about the 16 cog level on a 12-25 set up. Which means, as other have pointed out, I am on pretty much of a flat, level surface and accelerating. Personally, I found that in learning my bike's set up, I would upshift right after I started "pogoing." It takes a while to learn this, but after a while - I am told, as I am still learning - it becomes second nature.
TrekRider is offline  
Old 06-05-04, 07:40 AM
  #13  
Phatman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: NC
Posts: 3,411
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I almost never touch the 52. I'm the 39T 90% of the time. I'm just really comfortable with higher cadences. I'm think of going with a 50T big ring, but I'm not sure...
Phatman is offline  
Old 06-05-04, 10:13 AM
  #14  
sorebutt
Über member!
 
sorebutt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Sunnyvale, CA.
Posts: 993

Bikes: 2004 Albert Eisentraut

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It leave a very nice scar..
sorebutt is offline  
Old 06-05-04, 04:55 PM
  #15  
pacesetter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Desert
Posts: 271

Bikes: Colnago, GT Team

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fogrider
In my old age...I'm 42 now...I've decided to get rid of the 53! I have gone compact, with a 48/34 with a 11/23 in the rear. This gives me a high gear that is the same as a 52x12, but I can keep the chain on the 48 on most of my ride. I like to spin and I also like to power the small hills. The 34 is great on the longer hills, the 34x23 gives me the same as a 39x27 or about the same as a 30x21.

42 is not old, high spinners most times stay in no mans land. nothing is wrong with spinning it just shouldn't be an every ride routine if one is serious about training. pushing big gear at low cadence builds power.
pacesetter is offline  
Old 06-05-04, 05:21 PM
  #16  
fogrider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: fogtown...san francisco
Posts: 2,276

Bikes: Ron Cooper, Time VXSR, rock lobster, rock lobster, serotta, ritchey, kestrel, paramount

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by pacesetter
42 is not old, high spinners most times stay in no mans land. nothing is wrong with spinning it just shouldn't be an every ride routine if one is serious about training. pushing big gear at low cadence builds power.
As I said, with a 11 cog mated to a 48 chainring, its pretty much the same gearing as a 52x12. I find that the 48 gives me a better range with the other cogs most of the time. I can push a big gear without a problem, but on long hilly rides, the 48 chainring works really well for me. I find that I recover much better the next day from long rides too.
fogrider is offline  
Old 06-05-04, 07:12 PM
  #17  
Grampy™
Geezer Member
 
Grampy™'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
Posts: 1,384

Bikes: Airborne, LeMond, Bianchi CX, Volae Century, Redline 925 (fixed) and a Burley Tandem.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've found it much easier to get the rear wheel off if I'm in the 52/11.
Grampy™ is offline  
Old 06-06-04, 04:34 AM
  #18  
orguasch
riding a Pinarello Prince
 
orguasch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Downtown Toronto,Canada
Posts: 2,409

Bikes: Pinarello, Prince and an FP5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jonny wong
what is the combination do you usually use 52 chainring with? and in what application?
Thanx!
I seldom use the 53 on my bike, coz, I like to spin, this way I built a lot on my leg muscle and my lungs and my heart, out on a weekend ride, (club Ride) would used the 53 once I notice that I am being drop on the ride, otherwise I would stay on my 39, its another story if I will be competiting, then I will be using the 53.................
__________________
"Racso", the well oiled machine;)
orguasch is offline  
Old 06-06-04, 04:39 AM
  #19  
orguasch
riding a Pinarello Prince
 
orguasch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Downtown Toronto,Canada
Posts: 2,409

Bikes: Pinarello, Prince and an FP5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jim-bob
Whoa. You're looking at dropping a thousand bucks on a new pair of wheels, but you don't grasp the basics of gearing yet? No offense, but you might want to just ride a bit more before you go for the fancy new wheels.
Jim,
dude give him a break, he might just be thinking aloud,
oscar
__________________
"Racso", the well oiled machine;)
orguasch is offline  
Old 06-06-04, 06:10 PM
  #20  
lovemyswift
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Lakewood, Colorado
Posts: 500

Bikes: Aegis Swift, Titus Racer x

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had a Specialty TA 51X38. I only used the 51 on flats and on downhills. When I used it for too long a time it caused pain under my kneecaps. About a month ago I changed the 51 to a 46 and it's awesome. I rarely use the 38 except for hill climbing. Small hills I can climb in the 46. I have a greater range of gears to use and best of all my avg speed has increased 1-2 mph. Also, no kneecap pain.
Kathi
lovemyswift is offline  
Old 06-07-04, 06:04 AM
  #21  
itschris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Clearwater, FL
Posts: 145
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jim-bob
Whoa. You're looking at dropping a thousand bucks on a new pair of wheels, but you don't grasp the basics of gearing yet? No offense, but you might want to just ride a bit more before you go for the fancy new wheels.
Let the man get fancy new wheels. It's all about what's in your head. The more you like your bike, the better you ride. It's a mental thing. Besides, you can always move a choice wheelset to a better bike down the road.
itschris is offline  
Old 06-07-04, 06:52 AM
  #22  
RiPHRaPH
Don't Believe the Hype
 
RiPHRaPH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: chicagoland area
Posts: 2,668

Bikes: 1999 Steelman SR525, 2002 Lightspeed Ultimate, 1988 Trek 830, 2008 Scott Addict

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
my training for fast group rides and on these fast group rides, i begin in the 39 on rides and only use the larger 53 when either there is a tailwind, the road turns downhill, both tailwind & downhill, or i am getting a good draft.
on a typical 50+ mile fast ride, i'll go 39 on the first 1/3 of the ride then use the larger gears when i am fully warmed and have a good rhythm going.

i use a 11-21 cassette, so even a 53-19 is a big gear.

i also find it more comfortable to use the larger 53 when the road is hilly (rolling) so i can stand intermitantly. obviously on steeper or longer climbs, a 39 is in order.
RiPHRaPH is offline  
Old 06-07-04, 04:55 PM
  #23  
Avalanche325
Senior Member
 
Avalanche325's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 3,162

Bikes: Litespeed Firenze / GT Avalanche

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I usually go to it at around the 20 - 21 mph point. I shift for cadence, but that is where it work out.

On my group rides, if your not on the big ring in the first mile, you have been dropped.
Avalanche325 is offline  
Old 06-07-04, 11:11 PM
  #24  
Dutchy
We drive on the left.
 
Dutchy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 1,096
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by shokhead
I stay in the 39 and have enough speed for me when i need it but i dont need it much. I dont need 25 mph.
The old saying is "Life begins at 40" they are right, 40 kph! Sitting in a paceline holding +50 kph is what cycling is all about for me.

CHEERS.

Mark
Dutchy is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

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