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

Need Advice for a new Drivetrain Set Up

Notices
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

Need Advice for a new Drivetrain Set Up

Old 02-18-10, 05:58 PM
  #1  
7bmwm3gtr
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
7bmwm3gtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Daly City, California
Posts: 858

Bikes: Trek 2.1, CAAD10

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Need Advice for a new Drivetrain Set Up

I'm a Junior Cyclist, i am going to do to some races, mostly after april through september.

However due to restrictions specifically for juniors, it is required that I have a downgraded set up for my drive train.

I have two options which I personally prefer. I can have a 52-teeth chainring with a 14-25 cassette in the back, or I can have a 45-Teeth chainring with a standard 12-26/etc.

Outside of racing, i do a lot of climbing, and i like to stay in my 50-teeth chainring during long stretches of flats. I do practice sprinting a lot as well.

Can anybody tell me what gear set-up would most likely be suitable for sprinting (out of the two) and what do you think would be best for just riding on flats?

Also: I want to know if i need to alter my chain. My current drivetrain includes a triple crankset 50-39-30, and cassette is 12-26. Would i need add/remove links to the chain for a 52-39-30, with a 14-25, or a 45-39-30 with a 12-26?


Thanks, Dom
7bmwm3gtr is offline  
Old 02-18-10, 06:32 PM
  #2  
mike868y
Senior Member
 
mike868y's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 9,284
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 248 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Why not just keep your current chainring set up and block out 2-3 gears depending on your current cassette? Cheapest and easiest option.

As far as the chain, it depends on what the chains current length is. If the chain is already on the long side it should accommodate the 52 no problem, but try it out and see (see park tool's website for instructions on how to tell if it is too short/long.)
mike868y is offline  
Old 02-18-10, 06:52 PM
  #3  
umd
Banned
 
umd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 28,387

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL2, Specialized Tarmac SL, Giant TCR Composite, Specialized StumpJumper Expert HT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
This has been asked and answered a million times in the racing forum. Why do you keep making things so hard on yourself? It's not like this is a new thing that nobody else has had to deal with before.
umd is offline  
Old 02-18-10, 06:55 PM
  #4  
mzeffex 
Senior Member
 
mzeffex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 9,458

Bikes: Something Canadian, something Italian, something American, and something German

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 9 Posts
I'm just gonna block out the few bottom gears on my cassette. I have a 39/53 DA crank, and don't want to spend $80 on a 52 tooth chainring (that's at wholesale mind you)
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Are they talking about spectators feeding the cyclists? You know, like don't feed the bears?
mzeffex is offline  
Old 02-18-10, 07:25 PM
  #5  
7bmwm3gtr
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
7bmwm3gtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Daly City, California
Posts: 858

Bikes: Trek 2.1, CAAD10

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by umd View Post
This has been asked and answered a million times in the racing forum. Why do you keep making things so hard on yourself? It's not like this is a new thing that nobody else has had to deal with before.
I've skimmed through the racing threads concerning Junior gearing, and it helped somewhat but most of the advice given was to block the gears, and the reason why I'm asking for advice for this situation is because i refuse to block out the gearing. I'm also asking for experience from any riders who use at least only the 45 chainring, or maybe an individual who has a complete Juniors Drivetrain. I've also made an aspect of the question distinct to me, when i asked which set up might be good for flats and for sprinting. And i haven't found a thread like this which includes the triple crankset in the gearing restriction. Now if it seems i am becoming a bit paranoid, i admit that I am. And if someone has a problem with that then whoop-dee-doo there's nothing I can do. I just asked for advice, and some help on which choice seems best for me.

Originally Posted by mzeffex View Post
I'm just gonna block out the few bottom gears on my cassette. I have a 39/53 DA crank, and don't want to spend $80 on a 52 tooth chainring (that's at wholesale mind you)
I actually want to buy a Chainring and cassette because I have two wheelsets and i can switch on and off during the off season and my LBS should help me with the chain-gear compatibility. I did read about blocking but I have a 9 speed and i don't want to convert it to a 6 or a 7 speed and I feel it can be more beneficial (to me) to just have either a 52/ 14-25 or 45/ 12-26. Thanks though, i saw your posts about sort of the same problem as me, and honestly i am dissapointed after all the training i did sprinting on my 50...good luck with you and your races!
7bmwm3gtr is offline  
Old 02-18-10, 07:39 PM
  #6  
umd
Banned
 
umd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 28,387

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL2, Specialized Tarmac SL, Giant TCR Composite, Specialized StumpJumper Expert HT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by 7bmwm3gtr View Post
And i haven't found a thread like this which includes the triple crankset in the gearing restriction. Now if it seems i am becoming a bit paranoid, i admit that I am. And if someone has a problem with that then whoop-dee-doo there's nothing I can do. I just asked for advice, and some help on which choice seems best for me.
Triple is not relevant, it's only the highest gear that matters.
umd is offline  
Old 02-18-10, 07:41 PM
  #7  
7bmwm3gtr
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
7bmwm3gtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Daly City, California
Posts: 858

Bikes: Trek 2.1, CAAD10

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by umd View Post
Triple is not relevant, it's only the highest gear that matters.
Yes but i still want to know it's affect on the chain length plus the reaction with the 14-25 cassette. And if there's any compatibility issues I should know of.
7bmwm3gtr is offline  
Old 02-18-10, 07:46 PM
  #8  
umd
Banned
 
umd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 28,387

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL2, Specialized Tarmac SL, Giant TCR Composite, Specialized StumpJumper Expert HT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by 7bmwm3gtr View Post
Yes but i still want to know it's affect on the chain length plus the reaction with the 14-25 cassette. And if there's any compatibility issues I should know of.
It's the same as for any other gearing. You just need to make sure that you don't exceed your chain wrap capacity of your RD, and that's usually only an issue if you are increasing the spread of your gears, not reducing them. You may need a chain that is a few links shorter, but nobody can say for sure because we don't know how your bike is set up right now. Put the cassette on, and if you need to remove some links, then remove them.
umd is offline  
Old 02-18-10, 07:48 PM
  #9  
7bmwm3gtr
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
7bmwm3gtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Daly City, California
Posts: 858

Bikes: Trek 2.1, CAAD10

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by umd View Post
It's the same as for any other gearing. You just need to make sure that you don't exceed your chain wrap capacity of your RD, and that's usually only an issue if you are increasing the spread of your gears, not reducing them. You may need a chain that is a few links shorter, but nobody can say for sure because we don't know how your bike is set up right now. Put the cassette on, and if you need to remove some links, then remove them.
Thanks!
7bmwm3gtr is offline  
Old 02-18-10, 09:04 PM
  #10  
mike868y
Senior Member
 
mike868y's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 9,284
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 248 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by 7bmwm3gtr View Post
i refuse to block out the gearing.


May I ask why?
mike868y is offline  
Old 02-18-10, 11:02 PM
  #11  
ptle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,454
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
I would check Sheldon Brown's gear calculator and see which gear ratios looks best for you.

I'm building a bike and decided to go with a compact up front because of the hilly areas and surrounding mountains. Took me a while to decide on the rear cassette though. I did some research and asked people I rode with what they thought.
ptle is offline  
Old 02-19-10, 06:47 AM
  #12  
carpediemracing 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,379

Bikes: Tsunami road bikes, Dolan DF4 track

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 379 Post(s)
Liked 166 Times in 92 Posts
First off I wouldn't call it "downgraded", just "gear limited". You can have very nice gear-limited equipment.

For limits, if possible, I'd run a regular chainring with the larger cassette, i.e. 52 with a 14. The bigger ring gives you smaller steps between gears (like 52x14 to 52x15 versus 45x12 to 45x13). It's a small difference but in a TT effort it can help, if just a bit. Also you'll wear out your cassettes long before your chainring so you may be able to time it so you can use bigger gears when you wear out a cassette or two.

For training, unless you do a lot of bombing descents in groups (like over 5 minutes at a time where you need to pedal a lot at 40-45 mph), I'd use the same gearing as you do for racing.

Although part of the reason for junior gear limits is to save some fragile still-developing knees, a huge (huge!) benefit is learning how to pedal. When you can hang with regular geared riders using an easier gear, you end up learning to pedal fast and fluently.

This is how I view Juniors when I first see them.

"Aw, poor kid, has Junior gearing. Look at him spin, his legs look like a sewing machine. Crap he has good form. He's gonna kick my butt when he gets old enough to use regular gearing."

And a few years later that Junior will be kicking my butt.

When I raced as a Junior the limit was 53x15, and although I could use Senior gears in Senior races, I found that the bigger gears were a bit big. I went to big gearing (at that time a 13T, later a 12T) only just before I started my first Senior year of racing. In the prior fall, on Junior gears, I won a Cat 4 race and placed in a Junior one. I also won a collegiate race that fall (no gear limits). Then, in my second race as a Senior, the following spring, I won that one too.

I can't say that riding Junior gearing for 3 years was responsible for all that winning but it certainly didn't hurt.

Now, to be fair, if you're doing flat out descents or "false descents" at 40-45 mph, Junior gears are a pain. It's really frustrating. But there is an upside, it just take a year or three to realize.

cdr
carpediemracing is offline  
Old 02-19-10, 05:43 PM
  #13  
7bmwm3gtr
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
7bmwm3gtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Daly City, California
Posts: 858

Bikes: Trek 2.1, CAAD10

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
First off I wouldn't call it "downgraded", just "gear limited". You can have very nice gear-limited equipment.

For limits, if possible, I'd run a regular chainring with the larger cassette, i.e. 52 with a 14. The bigger ring gives you smaller steps between gears (like 52x14 to 52x15 versus 45x12 to 45x13). It's a small difference but in a TT effort it can help, if just a bit. Also you'll wear out your cassettes long before your chainring so you may be able to time it so you can use bigger gears when you wear out a cassette or two.

For training, unless you do a lot of bombing descents in groups (like over 5 minutes at a time where you need to pedal a lot at 40-45 mph), I'd use the same gearing as you do for racing.

Although part of the reason for junior gear limits is to save some fragile still-developing knees, a huge (huge!) benefit is learning how to pedal. When you can hang with regular geared riders using an easier gear, you end up learning to pedal fast and fluently.

This is how I view Juniors when I first see them.

"Aw, poor kid, has Junior gearing. Look at him spin, his legs look like a sewing machine. Crap he has good form. He's gonna kick my butt when he gets old enough to use regular gearing."

And a few years later that Junior will be kicking my butt.

When I raced as a Junior the limit was 53x15, and although I could use Senior gears in Senior races, I found that the bigger gears were a bit big. I went to big gearing (at that time a 13T, later a 12T) only just before I started my first Senior year of racing. In the prior fall, on Junior gears, I won a Cat 4 race and placed in a Junior one. I also won a collegiate race that fall (no gear limits). Then, in my second race as a Senior, the following spring, I won that one too.

I can't say that riding Junior gearing for 3 years was responsible for all that winning but it certainly didn't hurt.

Now, to be fair, if you're doing flat out descents or "false descents" at 40-45 mph, Junior gears are a pain. It's really frustrating. But there is an upside, it just take a year or three to realize.

cdr
Thanks you so much, this really helped.
7bmwm3gtr is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
masi61
Bicycle Mechanics
15
11-13-19 12:21 PM
DarKris
Bicycle Mechanics
1
05-05-19 07:32 AM
cicliced
Bicycle Mechanics
9
07-28-13 12:13 AM
bmills313
General Cycling Discussion
2
08-10-12 02:30 PM
Phil Roadster
Bicycle Mechanics
3
12-22-10 09:11 AM

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 - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.