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So what do you use your 11 speed cog for?

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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

So what do you use your 11 speed cog for?

Old 04-16-12, 07:19 AM
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So what do you use your 11 speed cog for?

I was watching the 1998 Giro (Pantani win) and was amazed to hear Paul reckon that Alex Zulle was using a 46X11 in the time trial. An amazing display of power.
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Old 04-16-12, 07:38 AM
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A 46x11 seems like a low gear for those guys. You sure it wasn't a 56x11?
To answer your question I use my 52x11 on descents and slight descents where there is a tailwind.
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Old 04-16-12, 07:44 AM
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You might mean 56x11? Although that's probably a gear on his time trial bike, you should take their words with a grain of salt. If the chain wasn't all the way to the right then the rider can't be in the 11.

Having said that, a 53x11 or 53x12 is a usable gear in a sprint. In this uphill sprint I jumped in a 53x12, and when I tried to shift into a higher gear I realized that I was already in the 12.

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Old 04-16-12, 08:02 AM
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I only have a 12T as the lowest as that's what came on my CAAD10. I would imagine 11T would really wrap the chain a lot so hope your chain is lubed and not binding in any spots. 53x11 is flying if you can get that around 85-90rpm on the flats.
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Old 04-16-12, 08:07 AM
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My bad, meant to say 56.
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Old 04-16-12, 08:09 AM
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So what do you use your 11 speed cog for?

I have to chuckle everytime I hear someone ask that question, and it happens way too often on this forum.....

It's just another cog so I use it the same way I use all of the others, to propel my bike.
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Old 04-16-12, 08:15 AM
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No 11 here, and I could count with the fingers in one hand the times I've used the 12.
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Old 04-16-12, 08:21 AM
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No 11 here either, 52x12 is plenty.
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Old 04-16-12, 08:23 AM
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It makes a great ninja throwing star. Mine is sharp as heck, as it has never been worn down by a chain. If I am ever dropped out of an airplane and find I need more plummeting speed, i might use it then.
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Old 04-16-12, 08:48 AM
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I can easily spin out a 50x12 on mild descents. I don't see any point in going to a standard crank, though, since 52x11 is a whole lot of gear inches for someone with my ability.
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Old 04-16-12, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by whitemax
I was watching the 1998 Giro (Pantani win) and was amazed to hear Paul reckon that Alex Zulle was using a [5]6X11 in the time trial. An amazing display of power.
If you want to apply serious power in a downhill, you need some serious gearing. In a time trial, there's no pssyfooting around. If there is a significant descent, you slap on the highest gearing you can procure. Goal is to apply 350-450W at 80-100rpm over the entire course; no coasting ever.
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Old 04-16-12, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by whitemax
So what do you use your 11 speed cog for?
There is a difference between 11 speed cog and 11t cog. An 11 speed cog is a cog that belongs to an 11 speed cassette cluster. An 11t cog is a gear that has 11 teeth on it and could be part of any number of cassette combinations. Either way there are numerous occasions to use either.
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Old 04-16-12, 10:03 AM
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What goes up must come down, and we have mountains out here.
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Old 04-16-12, 10:19 AM
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Racing here can often involve some real climbing. As a non-climber I use my 11 (and my ability to block out the fear of death) on decents to get back into the front group.

I occasionally use it in a sprint but only if it is one of those long, wound out sprints where somone's team gets us all on top of the 12T 300m out.
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Old 04-16-12, 10:28 AM
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I only have one cassette with a 11 tooth cog. I use the 11 normally to hold the other 10 gears in place.
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Old 04-16-12, 10:52 AM
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Long downhills w/ a tailwind!
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Old 04-16-12, 12:17 PM
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I have a compact. I need an 11-t cog!

I spin-out on downhills at anything above about 47mph - haven't measured my cadence at 47 on a 50/12, but it must be way high....

I'm looking to change to (or build) an 11-27 to replace my 12-27.


Originally Posted by UCIMBZ
There is a difference between 11 speed cog and 11t cog. An 11 speed cog is a cog that belongs to an 11 speed cassette cluster. An 11t cog is a gear that has 11 teeth on it and could be part of any number of cassette combinations. Either way there are numerous occasions to use either.
I assumed the OP was referring to an 11-tooth cog. Asking about where you use an 11-cog cassette would be pretty meaningless.

Last edited by DGlenday; 04-16-12 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 04-16-12, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by DGlenday
...I assumed the OP was referring to an 11-tooth cog. Asking about where you use an 11-cog cassette would be pretty meaningless.
You are not from around here, are you?
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Old 04-16-12, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by UCIMBZ
There is a difference between 11 speed cog and 11t cog. An 11 speed cog is a cog that belongs to an 11 speed cassette cluster. An 11t cog is a gear that has 11 teeth on it and could be part of any number of cassette combinations. Either way there are numerous occasions to use either.
I think a lot of us have seen this question here so many times before, that we just assumed thats what he meant, but you make a good point. DA or Campy are the only 11 speeds I've seen so far.....


Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
What goes up must come down, and we have mountains out here.
Please don't rub it in Seattle. Real mountains are what I miss the most since I moved to Indiana three years ago, after living on and off for about 30 years at the base of Mt. Baldy and the San Gabriel Mountains just east of LA. 6-8k' foot climbs were just part of a normal ride there, and a 40 mile road ride could take in 20-30k' of climbing, and then 20-30k' of descending where the 11t really came in handy.....

Originally Posted by DGlenday
I have a compact. I need an 11-t cog!......
Yeah, I've got a road bike with compact crankset as well, and the 11t is really a necessity for it, and the 11t even gets used quite often on my Serotta T-Max-framed commuter.

Originally Posted by DGlenday
Originally Posted by UCIMBZ
You are not from around here, are you?
...I assumed the OP was referring to an 11-tooth cog. Asking about where you use an 11-cog cassette would be pretty meaningless.

Last edited by Stealthammer; 04-16-12 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 04-16-12, 01:46 PM
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I forgot about this. It's also possible to go fast in the 11, while still in the 39T.


For short periods of time (for me anyway), it's very possible to turn over bigger gears, like an 11 or 12T. I don't think it's something foreign or whatever, it's something that everyone can do if they put their mind to it. When I started racing I had a lot of preconceived notions, like I would be a good climber (I didn't quite weigh 100 lbs), that I would be a good road racer, and that I'd hate those dangerous things called "criteriums". After a few years I realized that at even 98 or 100 lbs I was a good sprinter, a horrible climber, and road races ended up being glorified training rides with marshals at the turns.

A story on me discovering that a lightweight rider who trains a lot in the hills isn't necessarily a climber, and how a friend of mine basically forced me to consider the possibility of going fast up a hill:
https://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...ic-and-me.html

My original reply seems kind of snarky to me. It wasn't meant to be. It was meant to be an illustration that you and me and everyone can turn over sometimes unimaginably big gears at times you least expect it, like going up a 200 meter hill.

I'm not an athletic person in real life. When I do something I try hard. When I apply myself I commit. But I can't run well, I can't swim well, I'm not very coordinated, etc etc etc. But I can ride a bike pretty effectively.
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Old 04-16-12, 01:59 PM
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I use it when I'm in the 12 and hit the shifter for one more gear. I usually don't know what cog I'm in, I just shift when it feels right.
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Old 04-16-12, 02:12 PM
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With a compact and a 12-sprocket I am doing better than 40mph before I spin out. That's fine, thanks.
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Old 04-16-12, 02:23 PM
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that's 120 rpm. I prefer not to descend at sprinting rpms. for me the price of a 11 cog is giving up the 18. done deal.
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Old 04-16-12, 02:25 PM
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Who says you have to be spinning out to be in the 11? Sometimes I just pedal along slowly on a downhill rather than coast.
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Old 04-16-12, 02:43 PM
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I use an 53x11 as I am a sprinter and I can push it.
TT bike has a 55 x 11 as top gear.
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