Cassette 11-21 or 12-23?



dq75

New Member
Dec 5, 2004
7
0
0
46
I want to work on my hill climbing a lot more, typically I am a sprinter. When climbing on some of the local hills, I can't keep my cadence above 60 rpm, which has been good for strength training but I tire really quickly. I am wondering if I should change my cassette from a 11-21 to a 12-23 or 12-25. If so, will a higher cadence help me not get so tired and help me climb for longer periods at a time!
 

RC2

New Member
May 21, 2004
905
2
0
This post might fare better in the training forum. But yes, keeping your cadence in the 80-90 range (that's for me anyway) lets your body use more of your aerobic system vs anaerobic (I'm no expert there -- what I mean is you get your heartrate up vs. the lactic acid burn in your legs from trying to mash big gears). Faster cadence means bigger cog (12-25 or similar) or smaller ring (compact double or triple).
 

Powerful Pete

New Member
May 29, 2004
3,866
0
0
53
Yup. Like the other posters are saying, go for lighter gears... why try to ruin your knees with big gears? Get a 23 and seriously consider a compact crank!
 

Lonnie Utah

Banned
Aug 21, 2004
980
2
18
artmichalek said:
Thanks for that, it makes me feel a little better about myself.... ;)

But here's another question. I was talking to a tech about compact cranks and his reply was that there are some problems with the shimano front derailer and that it doesn't function at 100% efficency with a gap in the gearing of more than 14 teeth. Anybody care to comment on this statement?

L
 

wilmar13

New Member
Nov 30, 2003
1,551
0
0
46
Lonnie Utah said:
I was talking to a tech about compact cranks and his reply was that there are some problems with the shimano front derailer and that it doesn't function at 100% efficency with a gap in the gearing of more than 14 teeth. Anybody care to comment on this statement? L
I'll take the bait... You see Shimano designed the front derailuer to accomodate up to 14 teeth on the double, and so it doesn't function at 100% efficency with a gap in the gearing of more than 14 teeth. :D

The problems are that you will have a hard time finding a balance between not shifting, and dropping your chain. It will work though. Campy has a compact specific that should work flawlessly.
 

jitteringjr

New Member
Sep 2, 2003
474
2
0
50
dq75 said:
I want to work on my hill climbing a lot more, typically I am a sprinter. When climbing on some of the local hills, I can't keep my cadence above 60 rpm, which has been good for strength training but I tire really quickly. I am wondering if I should change my cassette from a 11-21 to a 12-23 or 12-25. If so, will a higher cadence help me not get so tired and help me climb for longer periods at a time!

If you are a sprinter, I would think you would want to keep the 11. What about an 11-23 or a custom 11-25 (11,12,13,14,15,17,19,21,23,25)
 

Doctor Morbius

New Member
Mar 15, 2004
1,792
2
0
dq75 said:
I want to work on my hill climbing a lot more, typically I am a sprinter. When climbing on some of the local hills, I can't keep my cadence above 60 rpm, which has been good for strength training but I tire really quickly. I am wondering if I should change my cassette from a 11-21 to a 12-23 or 12-25. If so, will a higher cadence help me not get so tired and help me climb for longer periods at a time!
You could always try a 12/25 (Shimano) or 12/26 (SRAM) and see if that works before plunging down considerably more long green to get a compact crankset. Then there's that 14t difference thing to consider if you go that route.

Keep your 11/21 cassette for when you want to work on your sprints or are on the flats though. That way you have a good tight gear ratio for the flats. Chainwhip and lockring tools won't set you back too much and you can swap the cassette around to suite your needs rather than trying to find a 1 size fits all cassette.

Unless you have a way of knowing for certain which it is you will need, you should always try the least expensive or the least hassle choice first. If you opt for the compact cranks then it'll be more expensive and more of a chore to switch your bike back into "sprinting mode" from "climbing mode."
 

gclark8

Member
Apr 13, 2004
3,522
6
0
72
I just changed to a 13-23 cassette and will be changing the front chainrngs to 26/39/52 next week. This gives me close ratios over all speed ranges, mainly for flat and headwind training, but the spinoff is single tooth changes on the uphills with the 26. I try to maintain a cadence above 85 at all times, this is for over 55s cardio training.

Hope this helps in your decision. IN US$$ this cost about $50 for the cassette and $32 + $49 + $20 for the 2 chainrings and postage. I sperad this over 2 months.
 

rooman

New Member
Mar 11, 2005
1,167
0
0
gclark8 said:
I just changed to a 13-23 cassette and will be changing the front chainrngs to 26/39/52 next week. This gives me close ratios over all speed ranges, mainly for flat and headwind training, but the spinoff is single tooth changes on the uphills with the 26. I try to maintain a cadence above 85 at all times, this is for over 55s cardio training.

Hope this helps in your decision. IN US$$ this cost about $50 for the cassette and $32 + $49 + $20 for the 2 chainrings and postage. I sperad this over 2 months.
some things I've gleaned from the climbing gods:-

*train for climbs, dont rely on ratios in the cassette or chain ring...know your body can do it..Mt Ventoux, Mt Washington, Buller, Hill X.....if you dont do the right training it won't happen...and 25's are for wimps! ( unless your on Alpe D'Huez ) when a triple and 25 is the diff between coming down on a bike or in a box!
* fix your stroke, make all the stroke work for you, not just the down stroke, but the pull back too, use the hammies, glutes and the quads. Practice variation and getting a smooth all round stroke. Saves energy, maximises results
* dont tense up, many riders when the road rises up- in front, get tense and grit their teeth and hang on to the bars tight and get hard in the back and legs...wasting energy...soften up, be loose, find a tempo and ride it...watch LA, he is a master at being loose on a climb...
* Sit further back in the saddle, straighten your back, improves breathing and helps the spin and leg action get smoother.
* breathe long and slow, breathing fast is counter-productive, slow breathing lowers the heart rate and increases your threshold.
* stand in the saddle occasionally, helps rest the major muscles,Hammies and quads, and glutes, and change your toe direction, point down more to help your stroke smooth out. And rock the bike not your body as you stand.
* increase your tempo as you get towards the top and finish strong, hitting hard at the bottom will bonk you, go in easy at tempo and build from there doing all the above and be KOM ....
* find a cadence that works for you, not everyone can ride hills at 90-100 or even 80, and many coaches say the best power to weight is delivered at around 60 anyway, but it helps to spin, sure and this comes from more training, smooth stroking and sensible ratios in the cassette....

25 if you must, sometimes I wish I had one, but I've resigned myself to this....if I have to go to a 25 then its the sag truck and a cool beer likely to be my major focus.....

ride on, ride up....but ride:)