Gear Combinations

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Michael Kent, Jun 22, 2003.

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  1. Michael Kent

    Michael Kent Guest

    As a newby to road cycling (well on a road bike anyway) I'm just curious as to the diversity of road
    bike frame gear combinations.
    E.g. My frame is a 60cm with 180mm cranks running 52/39 front chainwheel. and a 12/23 rear. Can
    anyone see any advantages downfalls to this set-up. Cheers Michael
     
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  2. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Michael Kent wrote:
    > As a newby to road cycling (well on a road bike anyway) I'm just curious as to the diversity of
    > road bike frame gear combinations.
    > E.g. My frame is a 60cm with 180mm cranks running 52/39 front chainwheel. and a 12/23 rear. Can
    > anyone see any advantages downfalls to this set-up. Cheers

    Those gears are good for serious fast riding, but high for more "normal" recreational or transport
    road biking - where something like a 13-26 or 13-28 cassette should be more helpful. The minimum
    inner chainring size is bound to be 39 or 38 (depending on make) so there's not a lot you can do
    there except convert to triple if wanted even lower gears. An MTB-style cassette with larger
    sprockets will fit, if Shimano, but the jumps between gears are rather big for road bikes (and a
    long cage rear derailleur would probably be needed as well). But gears are very much a personal
    thing so ignore all the above if you don't find the climbs a struggle.

    180mm cranks for very long legs only, IMO - but I guess that's what you've got :) Frame size
    *generally* has nothing to do with gears required or crank size.

    ~PB
     
  3. Niv

    Niv Guest

    I ride a 'Roberts' 20.5" custom frame with 53/39 & 12/21 cassette. I find I get up most thing OK
    with this combo; (I live in the Chilterns, a lot of hills, some quite steep). I will usually put on
    a 12/19 for the summer, but resort to 13/23 when I visit Wales or Peaks because the hills ae
    generally longer but not steeper). If your coming from MTBs, you'll soon get used to it. My old
    'lightweight' Marin Rift Zone is a LOT heavier than either of my road bikes, & the gloopy mud, even
    on the flat, requires much lower gears to make forward progress, if at all! In case you're
    wondering, I'm 48 & try to ride at least 100 miles a week, time permitting. It sounds a lot at
    first, but is only about 6 hours riding time (I'm not that fast), so 2 or 3 rides a week normally
    cover it. ( I used to do a lot more miles, but chronic neck injury flares up when on bike, bloody
    computer induce RSI).

    Anyway, enjoy the road, it's very different to MTBing but offers fun just the same.

    Niv.

    "Michael Kent" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > As a newby to road cycling (well on a road bike anyway) I'm just curious
    as
    > to the diversity of road bike frame gear combinations.
    > E.g. My frame is a 60cm with 180mm cranks running 52/39 front chainwheel. and a 12/23 rear. Can
    > anyone see any advantages downfalls to this set-up. Cheers Michael
     
  4. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Niv wrote:
    > I ride a 'Roberts' 20.5" custom frame with 53/39 & 12/21 cassette. I find I get up most thing OK
    > with this combo; (I live in the Chilterns, a lot of hills, some quite steep). I will usually put
    > on a 12/19 for the summer, but resort to 13/23 when I visit Wales or Peaks because the hills ae
    > generally longer but not steeper). If your coming from MTBs, you'll soon get used to it.

    ...used to it if you are a naturally strong climber, I would add. *I* couldn't (for Chilterns-like
    hills) - well, at least not without *serious* training and effort.

    ~PB
     
  5. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Mon, 23 Jun 2003 09:58:47 +0100, "Niv" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I ride a 'Roberts' 20.5" custom frame with 53/39 & 12/21 cassette. I find I get up most thing OK
    >with this combo; (I live in the Chilterns, a lot of hills, some quite steep).

    I ride in the Chilterns a lot as well, and I use 30/40/50 with a 12-26 rear, which gets me up
    everything less than double-chevron. I am strong but not a roadie.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com Advance
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  6. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? <[email protected]> wrote:

    : I ride in the Chilterns a lot as well, and I use 30/40/50 with a 12-26 rear, which gets me up
    : everything less than double-chevron. I am strong but not a roadie.

    Is that on the bent though? You need lower gears on a bent IME since you have to keep the gear
    spinning rather than hoofing it round out of the saddle (NB this doesn't mean slower, it just means
    spinning faster..)

    Arhtur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org Power is delightful. Absolute power is absolutely delightful -
    Lord Lester
     
  7. Peter B

    Peter B Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > An MTB-style cassette with larger sprockets will fit, if Shimano, but the jumps between gears are
    > rather big for road bikes (and a long cage rear derailleur would probably be needed as well).

    It's not just the cage that's longer on an mtb type mech, the main body is longer too which is what
    prevents the top jockey engaging large sprockets, the longer cage takes up more slack chain to
    increase the drive trains "capacity".

    I used to use 42/21 then 42/23 for the rolling lanes of south Leicestershire/Rutland <1> and never
    had a problem, now I use 39/25 which is sheer luxury but there again I'm an old(er) git now :) For
    the Peaks I use an mtb cassette with a 32 which is overkill, but in all cases I travel light.
    <1> Although some hills are quite steep they're not drawn out.

    Pete
     
  8. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On 23 Jun 2003 14:17:54 GMT, "Arthur Clune" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >: I ride in the Chilterns a lot as well, and I use 30/40/50 with a 12-26 rear, which gets me up
    >: everything less than double-chevron.

    >Is that on the bent though?

    No, a wedgie.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com Advance
    notice: ADSL service in process of transfer to a new ISP. Obviously there will be a week of downtime
    between the engineer removing the BT service and the same engineer connecting the same equipment on
    the same line in the same exchange and billing it to the new ISP.
     
  9. Nick Kew

    Nick Kew Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, one of infinite monkeys at the keyboard of
    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote:
    > Michael Kent wrote:
    >> As a newby to road cycling (well on a road bike anyway) I'm just curious as to the diversity of
    >> road bike frame gear combinations.
    >> E.g. My frame is a 60cm with 180mm cranks running 52/39 front chainwheel. and a 12/23 rear. Can
    >> anyone see any advantages downfalls to this set-up. Cheers
    >
    > Those gears are good for serious fast riding, but high for more "normal" recreational or transport
    > road biking - where something like a 13-26 or 13-28 cassette should be more helpful.

    Nah. In a flat area, that'll do fine.

    My first bike with gears had 52/42 chainring and 14/22 at the back. It was ideal as a student in
    Cambridge, and served later for some serious touring, up to and including lugging my gear over some
    of the lake district passes.

    --
    Axis of Evil: Whose economy needs ever more wars? Arms Exports $bn: USA 14.2, UK 5.1, vs France 1.5,
    Germany 0.8 (The Economist, July 2002)
     
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