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Weird, why does climbing seem easier with the standard double?

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Weird, why does climbing seem easier with the standard double?

Old 08-16-12, 04:20 PM
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jamesdak
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Weird, why does climbing seem easier with the standard double?

So, I normally ride a 2011 Madone 5.9 with a compact double and some sub 1400 gram Zen Cycles wheels. This bike without the bottles or my saddle bag weighs in at 17.04 lbs. I run a 12-27 cassette.

I recently saw a really good local deal on a 2009 Scott CR1 Pro equipped with a standard double running a 11-25 cassette. Swapped my Williams System 30s onto it and it now weighs 18.36 lbs without bottles or my saddle bag.

Just for a lark I decided to use the Scott yesterday for a ride that included a 12 mile climb at around a 8% average grade. I expected to struggle as I pretty much suck at climbing yet it was not hard at all and I actually seemed to get up to the top faster than normal. Then today I went out for a 40 mile ride that had a more moderate 5 mile climb that I do alot. This time I certainly did post my fasted time ever to the peak. What gives?

Is the standard double more conducive to my masher hill climber? Can the frame or wheel's be stiffer allowing me to get more power down, or is it just all in my head? For some reason it seemed easier to spin at a higher rate than normal which is weird giving the "taller" gearing.

I bought the Scott mainly to use for the flatter rides but now am wondering if I should set it up as my climbing rig. One thing is for certain. I no longer have need for the Lemond Zurich. Time to clean it up and move it on.

Oh and both bikes running the same size crank arms and the fit measurements are all within a 1/4 between the two bikes.
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Old 08-16-12, 04:23 PM
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Tailwind? Gear inches should be gear inches.
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Old 08-16-12, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Oh and both bikes running the same size crank arms and the fit measurements are all within a 1/4 between the two bikes.
Within 1/4 of what?
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Old 08-16-12, 04:45 PM
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It doesn't seem easier to me!
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Old 08-16-12, 04:48 PM
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Because you are a cycling GOD.
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Old 08-16-12, 04:55 PM
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Is the Scott red?
Maybe you can't take a break and spin in a low gear with the Scott and it adds up after 5 miles?
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Old 08-16-12, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Within 1/4 of what?
1/4 inch or less. Fit is pretty much identical.
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Old 08-16-12, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
a 12 mile climb at around a 8% average grade. I expected to struggle as I pretty much suck at climbing yet it was not hard at all
Someone who is able to climb a 12 mile hill with an average grade of 8% and call it easy is still considered to "suck" at climbing? Wow... I have a LONG way to go.

Is that for real? What can be expected of someone who is considered good at climbing?
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Old 08-16-12, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Parson View Post

Is that for real? What can be expected of someone who is considered good at climbing?
Pro tour climbers can climb 7% at 15 mph all.day.long.
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Old 08-16-12, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Parson View Post
Someone who is able to climb a 12 mile hill with an average grade of 8% and call it easy is still considered to "suck" at climbing? Wow... I have a LONG way to go.

Is that for real? What can be expected of someone who is considered good at climbing?
20+mph up that same climb.
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Old 08-16-12, 05:04 PM
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I don't know. I climb whiteface pretty regularly. It's 8 miles at 8.5% and it's never easy. While there are aspects of the sport I'm better at I certainly don't suck at climbing and faired well enough in the 2011 edition of their hill climb to place 7th in my age group.
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Old 08-16-12, 05:28 PM
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Old 08-16-12, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
Is the Scott red?
Maybe you can't take a break and spin in a low gear with the Scott and it adds up after 5 miles?
I vote this. Your gearing made you HTFU.
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Old 08-16-12, 05:52 PM
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Nobody's going to take a dig at the Trek frame?

I've never ridden either bike but perhaps the Scott just suits you better.

I've also found that I have a tendency to settle into the lowest gear on any protracted climb, so if the lowest gear isn't that low... giddyup!
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Old 08-16-12, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
I don't know. I climb whiteface pretty regularly. It's 8 miles at 8.5% and it's never easy. While there are aspects of the sport I'm better at I certainly don't suck at climbing and faired well enough in the 2011 edition of their hill climb to place 7th in my age group.
I spent 2009 in Wilmington and did Whiteface several times and I had a triple and I never thought it was easy. Now granted I am an old fart but even the people there for the USA triathlon never spoke if it as being easy. By the way that area has got to be the best place in the country to spend the summer cycling.
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Old 08-16-12, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SCochiller View Post
Pro tour climbers can climb 7% at 15 mph all.day.long.
Not clean they can't.
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Old 08-16-12, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil85207 View Post
I spent 2009 in Wilmington and did Whiteface several times and I had a triple and I never thought it was easy. Now granted I am an old fart but even the people there for the USA triathlon never spoke if it as being easy. By the way that area has got to be the best place in the country to spend the summer cycling.
I don't know.I love being there and riding there, but moderate and recovery routes are kinda hard to find. It's pretty well all damn hard.
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Old 08-16-12, 06:22 PM
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IMO is the frame... and maybe the gear too. Unless you are one of those riders that can ride better with chainrings in un-even numbers. I ride better with even numbers for example. The other factor is that with the 39 (making up the numbers here), to keep the same ratio you are using larger cogs, larger cogs make your life easier all the time. Is the cog the one that commands not the chainring, larger the cog larger the torque or lever the chain does (please dont kill me because of the words im using is just to keep it simple for everybody), with the compact probably you are going all the way to a 14 or a 15 while with the 39 you have to go all the way to a 18, the 39x18 will fell easier to pedal, the compact will feel like you are draging it because the gear feeling comes from small cogs and small chainring, smaller cog, you need to put more force to move it because has less lever or torque.

You have to add that scott machines are pretty fast, I dont want to say that treks are bad bikes because arent not bad at all but their bikes handle like a darn 18 wheeler, all of them. Nice rides but their wheel base is too long, wouldnt surprise me that radio shack trek is using a custom made fork to shorten the bike a tiny bit. Looking at the geometry of the trek and the scott, the scott is way more aggressive than the trek... probably the trek rides better in rides over 4 hours but to me at least the scott has to climb better...
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Old 08-16-12, 06:37 PM
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What a load of gibberish. Gear inches are gear inches. Using larger sprockets causes a very small decrease in chain friction, but it's very small as in difficult to measure in the lab and totally inconsequential in the field.

The OP went faster because he was having a good day, or the new bike fits better, or the lack of low gearing made him push harder. If it was the latter, he could mentally HTFU and use a smaller cog on the compact crank bike and get the same effect. Just because you have low gears doesn't mean you have to use them.

My bet is on the new bike having a better fit. It's not that easy to make two bikes match, especially if they have different seat tube angles. Most people don't take that in to account but it makes a big difference.
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Old 08-16-12, 06:54 PM
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12 miles at 8 percent is 5000+ feet of climbing. That's comparable to Onion Valley in the Sierra mountains here in California (also rated the hardest climb in the state (12 miles 7.8 percent avg)). If rides like this are being routinely done it's not hard to understand that a compact might not be required.
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Old 08-16-12, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by budmol3 View Post
12 miles at 8 percent is 5000+ feet of climbing. That's comparable to Onion Valley in the Sierra mountains here in California (also rated the hardest climb in the state (12 miles 7.8 percent avg)). If rides like this are being routinely done it's not hard to understand that a compact might not be required.
What Cat of climb does that work out to?
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Old 08-16-12, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by SCochiller View Post
What Cat of climb does that work out to?
HC, if we are reducing climbs to categories for some reason.
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Old 08-16-12, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by SCochiller View Post
Pro tour climbers can climb 7% at 15 mph all.day.long.
Yeah, and I'm happy at half that speed. Hence, I suck at climbing.
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Old 08-16-12, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
1/4 inch or less. Fit is pretty much identical.
1/4" is very roughly half a centimeter, which is not identical, "pretty much" or otherwise. Don't know if that's responsible, but I bet the fits aren't the same at all.
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Old 08-16-12, 08:37 PM
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Check the Strava times for Onion Valley. KOM is 9.8 MPH - 7.5 would be close to top 20. Pros are dedicated to training for races and may or may not be able to do 15 MPH on such a climb but just being slower than professionals doesn't equate to 'suck'.
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