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Santa Monica Mountains and Triple

Old 09-16-07, 10:58 AM
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Santa Monica Mountains and Triple

Hi all. I just moved out here from the flat lands of Ohio. I've been doing some rides in the Santa Monica mountains and can't imagine climbing the hills (such as Stunt Road, Encinal Cyn rd etc) without a triple chain ring. So if you ride up these hills do you use a triple or standard double? Just curious.
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Old 09-16-07, 11:09 AM
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You'll see people using standard doubles, compacts, & triples on their road bikes on these parts. I guess it all depends on your fitness level. I personally run a compact double 50/34 with a 26T largest cog cassette......but sometimes I wish I had even lower gearing....
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Old 09-16-07, 11:14 AM
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Welcome Mukluk. How do you like those canyon roads, so far, compared to your old Ohio terrain? I can't imagine ever living anywhere flat again. Anyway, I use a standard double, but I do have a 29 in back which comes in handy when doing multiple climbs, ending in, say, Los Flores. I think you will find that leg strength and climbing ability will increase rapidly if you ride in those canyons on a regular basis.
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Old 09-16-07, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by VanceMac
Welcome Mukluk. How do you like those canyon roads, so far, compared to your old Ohio terrain? I can't imagine ever living anywhere flat again. Anyway, I use a standard double, but I do have a 29 in back which comes in handy when doing multiple climbs, ending in, say, Los Flores. I think you will find that leg strength and climbing ability will increase rapidly if you ride in those canyons on a regular basis.
I like the hills though they pretty tough for me right now. I'm from the west originally and used to ride lots of hills as a young'un but that was long ago. So far I've really only been on three rides in the mountains so I'm starting from square one with hill climbing. I think I will get stronger pretty fast- or at least I hope so! At this point, I'm just happy to make it up the hill even if I am in my lowest gear with my triple. The scenery out here is very impressive, it's really cool to ride along the ocean on PCH.
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Old 09-16-07, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Mukluk
The scenery out here is very impressive, it's really cool to ride along the ocean on PCH.
True. PCH is also a death trap / gauntlet - so do what you can to ride safe!
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Old 09-16-07, 11:58 AM
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I use a compact double with a 26 rear tooth like Roadfix. I started out with a Triple years ago and weened myself off the small ring totally before I moved to a double.

Keep climbing and pushing yourself and in short order you will find yourself climbing in larger gears as your body adapts.

Don't let the small rings handicap you if you can spin 1 gear bigger, do it for as long as your able. This will help your conditoning.
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Old 09-16-07, 05:23 PM
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My bike computer has cadence so I've been trying to go by cadence/feel. When I can shift into a higher gear I try to but I'm also trying to keep my cadence at least 80 on the climbs which often means the lowest gear. Also I have had some knee problems in the past so I don't want to stress my knees with too high a gear. I think it's a matter of just getting used to climbing hills after living in the flatlands for so long. There are some hills right in my neighborhood and I should be able to get out and practice hill repeats on those between my longer rides. Someday I hope to wear a Hill Queen Tiara!
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Old 09-16-07, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Mukluk
Hi all. I just moved out here from the flat lands of Ohio. I've been doing some rides in the Santa Monica mountains and can't imagine climbing the hills (such as Stunt Road, Encinal Cyn rd etc) without a triple chain ring. So if you ride up these hills do you use a triple or standard double? Just curious.
You did good on Saturday up Encinal- certainly not the toughest canyon around but a good, long, mostly 4-5% grade. I ride a compact 34/50 double with a 12-25 casette and it works well for me on all the climbs but sometimes descending I wish I had an 11. I don't think spinning at 80rpm on a steep climb is realistic without a mtb setup...maybe a 22 small ring with a 32 casette?- just guessing here
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Old 09-16-07, 10:09 PM
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I currently use a 50/34 compact with a 12-27 cassette for those mountains. They are indeed very steep.
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Old 09-16-07, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Mukluk
Hi all. I just moved out here from the flat lands of Ohio. I've been doing some rides in the Santa Monica mountains and can't imagine climbing the hills (such as Stunt Road, Encinal Cyn rd etc) without a triple chain ring. So if you ride up these hills do you use a triple or standard double? Just curious.
you can do encinal with a standard double. I did it in the 42(middle ring) on my triple, with a 23 on the back.

It isn't that bad. Get a 25 or a 27 and you should be fine. Stunt hurts but 39/27 should be just fine.
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Old 09-16-07, 10:17 PM
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I've got a bike with a triple (30-32 easy gear with a MTB cassette) and a new bike with a compact double (34-28 easy gear). I'm just starting to be able to do the steep climbs with my compact that I could do on my triple setup.

I don't know why there's a stigma w/ triples. If I get stronger and I get another bike in a few years or put a new group on my new bike, it'll probably be a triple. I'd just climb in the middle ring and have the small ring as a bailout or use a narrower cassette range. Triples are a lot more flexible and only add a tiny amount of weight. I don't really care if Lance doesn't use one.
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Old 09-16-07, 11:37 PM
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there are many 12-15%+ grades in the santa monicas, and for some reason, I continue to torture myself with a 53-39. Even with a 12-27, some of these roads are simply too steep without a triple or a compact double.
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Old 09-17-07, 06:57 AM
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I think triple is overrated. I can climb most terrain in the 30/23, and you can get similar gear inch with a double and a bigger cassette
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Old 09-17-07, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ronjon10
I don't know why there's a stigma w/ triples. If I get stronger and I get another bike in a few years or put a new group on my new bike, it'll probably be a triple. I'd just climb in the middle ring and have the small ring as a bailout or use a narrower cassette range. Triples are a lot more flexible and only add a tiny amount of weight. I don't really care if Lance doesn't use one.
+100000000000

I know I can easily lose the weight difference between a compact and triple...and my knees will be happier!!
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Old 09-17-07, 09:00 AM
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Standard double.
Most are reasonably comfortable in a 24 but I need a 26 for Las Flores and Decker these days.
Ride a few, they look worse than they are.
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Old 09-17-07, 09:59 AM
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You can't really climb in the middle ring too often, although I try to. The 42 is a pretty big gear, whereas the standard(the new standard) is 39
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Old 09-17-07, 10:06 AM
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Well, the easy answer is of course that people are different, and some are stronger than others. I regularly use a compact 50/36 with an 11-26 and can climb pretty much anything with that. I switched out my 36 with a 34 to give myself some lower gearing for Everest Challenge, but some people I know use standard gearing (53/39 w/11-23) for all their local climbing and only a slightly lower casette for Everest. I've used a standard double myself for about a week when I was borrowing someone's bike and I managed all my regular climbs but it definately wore me out more.
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