Q: Lower Gears on Campy Setup



A

Arthur Shapiro

Guest
I'll give a little background to this question, and hope the babbling isn't
irrelevant or boring.

I'm a road cyclist in a club, a little slower than most of the folks strong
and crazy enough to do the club's most difficult rides. The bike is a Campy
Chorus / Record Habanero with standard 39/53 12/25 10 speed powertrain. I go
out of my way to attack the hills, having a little over 200K feet of climbing
this year to date.

While I try and keep a reasonable cadence on the flats, I'm a "masher" on the
hills - standing up for most hills, even as silly as freeway overpasses, and
willing to stand on it in first gear for several miles if that's what's
necessary to get up a significant climb. Maybe that's not ideal in most
folks' book, but that's what has always worked for me and that's just the way
I do business.

The 25 cog has always been sufficient, perhaps with some pain but nothing I
can't handle. In general, I stay out of the small chainring except as climbs
get steep or, rarely, if there are bizarrely strong Santa Ana winds in my
face.

But recent situations lead me to ask about lower gears on this setup. Three
times in July I tackled what's considered one of the more grotesque climbs in
Southern California - the climb to the Mount Baldy ski lifts on top of the
normal Glendora Mountain Road jaunts. For outsiders, picture dead Sherpas and
quivering yaks, hooves up, strewn by the side of the road. It's really a
significant workout, and I'm apparently doing it again this weekend.

Doing it in that 39x25 is almost absurd for someone who's not a finely honed
athlete. My frequent riding partner, one of only 20 women crazy/good enough
to earn this year's "King of the Mountain" title (three centuries, 30,800 feet
of climbing) could barely get up that climb in a 34x30 and nearly cracked. I
realize that if I'm going to earn that same jersey next year, and I'm leaning
toward trying it, that there's no way I'll be able to grind out that many
miles and that many feet of climbing in a 39x25.

Can anyone suggest the best way of getting somewhat lower "emergency only"
gears on that Campy setup? I know there are those "newfangled" compact
cranks, triples (which rub me the wrong way), different clusters, and perhaps
other approaches. Again, I'm in that big ring most of the time and would
prefer to minimize front shifts; the old half-step days are long gone.

Appreciate any "here's what I'd do" advice.

Art
 
Arthur Shapiro wrote:
> I'll give a little background to this question, and hope the babbling isn't
> irrelevant or boring.
>
> I'm a road cyclist in a club, a little slower than most of the folks strong
> and crazy enough to do the club's most difficult rides. The bike is a Campy
> Chorus / Record Habanero with standard 39/53 12/25 10 speed powertrain. I go
> out of my way to attack the hills, having a little over 200K feet of climbing
> this year to date.
>
> While I try and keep a reasonable cadence on the flats, I'm a "masher" on the
> hills - standing up for most hills, even as silly as freeway overpasses, and
> willing to stand on it in first gear for several miles if that's what's
> necessary to get up a significant climb. Maybe that's not ideal in most
> folks' book, but that's what has always worked for me and that's just the way
> I do business.
>
> The 25 cog has always been sufficient, perhaps with some pain but nothing I
> can't handle. In general, I stay out of the small chainring except as climbs
> get steep or, rarely, if there are bizarrely strong Santa Ana winds in my
> face.
>
> But recent situations lead me to ask about lower gears on this setup. Three
> times in July I tackled what's considered one of the more grotesque climbs in
> Southern California - the climb to the Mount Baldy ski lifts on top of the
> normal Glendora Mountain Road jaunts. For outsiders, picture dead Sherpas and
> quivering yaks, hooves up, strewn by the side of the road. It's really a
> significant workout, and I'm apparently doing it again this weekend.
>
> Doing it in that 39x25 is almost absurd for someone who's not a finely honed
> athlete. My frequent riding partner, one of only 20 women crazy/good enough
> to earn this year's "King of the Mountain" title (three centuries, 30,800 feet
> of climbing) could barely get up that climb in a 34x30 and nearly cracked. I
> realize that if I'm going to earn that same jersey next year, and I'm leaning
> toward trying it, that there's no way I'll be able to grind out that many
> miles and that many feet of climbing in a 39x25.
>
> Can anyone suggest the best way of getting somewhat lower "emergency only"
> gears on that Campy setup? I know there are those "newfangled" compact
> cranks, triples (which rub me the wrong way), different clusters, and perhaps
> other approaches. Again, I'm in that big ring most of the time and would
> prefer to minimize front shifts; the old half-step days are long gone.
>
> Appreciate any "here's what I'd do" advice.


If you only use one chain ring most of the time and need really low
gears: <http://www.schlumpf.ch/md_engl.htm>.

--
Tom Sherman - Holstein-Friesland Bovinia

--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
 
Arthur Shapiro wrote:

> Appreciate any "here's what I'd do" advice.


Get a compact crank and a lower-range cassette. Do you really need that
53/12 any longer? Come on, now. Get a 50/34 crankset and a 13-29
cassette, and breathe.

--

David L. Johnson

Arguing with an engineer is like mud wrestling with a pig...
You soon find out the pig likes it!
 
Arthur Shapiro wrote:
> I'll give a little background to this question, and hope the babbling isn't
> irrelevant or boring.
>
> I'm a road cyclist in a club, a little slower than most of the folks strong
> and crazy enough to do the club's most difficult rides. The bike is a Campy
> Chorus / Record Habanero with standard 39/53 12/25 10 speed powertrain. I go
> out of my way to attack the hills, having a little over 200K feet of climbing
> this year to date.
>
> While I try and keep a reasonable cadence on the flats, I'm a "masher" on the
> hills - standing up for most hills, even as silly as freeway overpasses, and
> willing to stand on it in first gear for several miles if that's what's
> necessary to get up a significant climb. Maybe that's not ideal in most
> folks' book, but that's what has always worked for me and that's just the way
> I do business.
>
> The 25 cog has always been sufficient, perhaps with some pain but nothing I
> can't handle. In general, I stay out of the small chainring except as climbs
> get steep or, rarely, if there are bizarrely strong Santa Ana winds in my
> face.
>
> But recent situations lead me to ask about lower gears on this setup. Three
> times in July I tackled what's considered one of the more grotesque climbs in
> Southern California - the climb to the Mount Baldy ski lifts on top of the
> normal Glendora Mountain Road jaunts. For outsiders, picture dead Sherpas and
> quivering yaks, hooves up, strewn by the side of the road. It's really a
> significant workout, and I'm apparently doing it again this weekend.
>
> Doing it in that 39x25 is almost absurd for someone who's not a finely honed
> athlete. My frequent riding partner, one of only 20 women crazy/good enough
> to earn this year's "King of the Mountain" title (three centuries, 30,800 feet
> of climbing) could barely get up that climb in a 34x30 and nearly cracked. I
> realize that if I'm going to earn that same jersey next year, and I'm leaning
> toward trying it, that there's no way I'll be able to grind out that many
> miles and that many feet of climbing in a 39x25.
>
> Can anyone suggest the best way of getting somewhat lower "emergency only"
> gears on that Campy setup? I know there are those "newfangled" compact
> cranks, triples (which rub me the wrong way), different clusters, and perhaps
> other approaches. Again, I'm in that big ring most of the time and would
> prefer to minimize front shifts; the old half-step days are long gone.
>
> Appreciate any "here's what I'd do" advice.
>
> Art
>

You have been presented what I think are the only available choices.

I have two bikes with triples on them, so I can use a 30 x 26 when I
need it. No matter how it "rubs" you, even the pros have used triples
(the Vuelta a couple of years ago comes to mind). Many people are
surprised to see that I have triple chainrings - a lot do not notice.

Because I've lost 20 pounds since mid-March, and improved my core
fitness, I'm contemplating changing one bike to a compact double
chainring and a 12 - 23 cassette. (I'll also get a lighter pair of
wheels than that bike has now.) That will suffice for many of the So
Cal climbs I do regularly - Turnbull Canyon, Santiago Canyon, and the like.

You could go to the compact chainrings and a 26 or even a 29 cog in the
rear, if that gives a low enough gear for your fitness. Several of my
riding buddies use the compact drivetrain (and they include women who
climb like mountain goats) with success.

But when I see you on GMR, I'll still be on that triple, just in case I
decide to turn up the hill when I reach Mt Baldy Road.
 
In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] (Arthur Shapiro) wrote:

> I'll give a little background to this question, and hope the babbling isn't
> irrelevant or boring.
>
> I'm a road cyclist in a club, a little slower than most of the folks strong
> and crazy enough to do the club's most difficult rides. The bike is a Campy
> Chorus / Record Habanero with standard 39/53 12/25 10 speed powertrain. I go
> out of my way to attack the hills, having a little over 200K feet of climbing
> this year to date.
>
> While I try and keep a reasonable cadence on the flats, I'm a "masher" on the
> hills - standing up for most hills, even as silly as freeway overpasses, and
> willing to stand on it in first gear for several miles if that's what's
> necessary to get up a significant climb. Maybe that's not ideal in most
> folks' book, but that's what has always worked for me and that's just the way
> I do business.
>
> The 25 cog has always been sufficient, perhaps with some pain but nothing I
> can't handle. In general, I stay out of the small chainring except as climbs
> get steep or, rarely, if there are bizarrely strong Santa Ana winds in my
> face.
>
> But recent situations lead me to ask about lower gears on this setup. Three
> times in July I tackled what's considered one of the more grotesque climbs in
> Southern California - the climb to the Mount Baldy ski lifts on top of the
> normal Glendora Mountain Road jaunts. For outsiders, picture dead Sherpas and
> quivering yaks, hooves up, strewn by the side of the road. It's really a
> significant workout, and I'm apparently doing it again this weekend.
>
> Doing it in that 39x25 is almost absurd for someone who's not a finely honed
> athlete. My frequent riding partner, one of only 20 women crazy/good enough
> to earn this year's "King of the Mountain" title (three centuries, 30,800 feet
> of climbing) could barely get up that climb in a 34x30 and nearly cracked. I
> realize that if I'm going to earn that same jersey next year, and I'm leaning
> toward trying it, that there's no way I'll be able to grind out that many
> miles and that many feet of climbing in a 39x25.
>
> Can anyone suggest the best way of getting somewhat lower "emergency only"
> gears on that Campy setup? I know there are those "newfangled" compact
> cranks, triples (which rub me the wrong way), different clusters, and perhaps
> other approaches. Again, I'm in that big ring most of the time and would
> prefer to minimize front shifts; the old half-step days are long gone.
>
> Appreciate any "here's what I'd do" advice.


Get a third chain wheel. 30-39-53 or 30-42-53.
Everything stay the same exactly as you please.
No surprises.

--
Michael Press
 
Arthur Shapiro wrote:
> I'll give a little background to this question, and hope the babbling isn't
> irrelevant or boring.
>
> I'm a road cyclist in a club, a little slower than most of the folks strong
> and crazy enough to do the club's most difficult rides. The bike is a Campy
> Chorus / Record Habanero with standard 39/53 12/25 10 speed powertrain. I go
> out of my way to attack the hills, having a little over 200K feet of climbing
> this year to date.
>
> While I try and keep a reasonable cadence on the flats, I'm a "masher" on the
> hills - standing up for most hills, even as silly as freeway overpasses, and
> willing to stand on it in first gear for several miles if that's what's
> necessary to get up a significant climb. Maybe that's not ideal in most
> folks' book, but that's what has always worked for me and that's just the way
> I do business.
>
> The 25 cog has always been sufficient, perhaps with some pain but nothing I
> can't handle. In general, I stay out of the small chainring except as climbs
> get steep or, rarely, if there are bizarrely strong Santa Ana winds in my
> face.
>
> But recent situations lead me to ask about lower gears on this setup. Three
> times in July I tackled what's considered one of the more grotesque climbs in
> Southern California - the climb to the Mount Baldy ski lifts on top of the
> normal Glendora Mountain Road jaunts. For outsiders, picture dead Sherpas and
> quivering yaks, hooves up, strewn by the side of the road. It's really a
> significant workout, and I'm apparently doing it again this weekend.
>
> Doing it in that 39x25 is almost absurd for someone who's not a finely honed
> athlete. My frequent riding partner, one of only 20 women crazy/good enough
> to earn this year's "King of the Mountain" title (three centuries, 30,800 feet
> of climbing) could barely get up that climb in a 34x30 and nearly cracked. I
> realize that if I'm going to earn that same jersey next year, and I'm leaning
> toward trying it, that there's no way I'll be able to grind out that many
> miles and that many feet of climbing in a 39x25.
>
> Can anyone suggest the best way of getting somewhat lower "emergency only"
> gears on that Campy setup? I know there are those "newfangled" compact
> cranks, triples (which rub me the wrong way), different clusters, and perhaps
> other approaches. Again, I'm in that big ring most of the time and would
> prefer to minimize front shifts; the old half-step days are long gone.
>
> Appreciate any "here's what I'd do" advice.
>
> Art


13-29..with a properly sized chain, no need for a medium cage rear
derailleur and 53/13 is still a tall gear. Veloce cogset, maybe a new
chain if the other is getiing old.
 
On Tue, 21 Aug 2007 01:32:03 GMT, [email protected] (Arthur
Shapiro) wrote:

>Can anyone suggest the best way of getting somewhat lower "emergency only"
>gears on that Campy setup? I know there are those "newfangled" compact
>cranks, triples (which rub me the wrong way), different clusters, and perhaps
>other approaches. Again, I'm in that big ring most of the time and would
>prefer to minimize front shifts; the old half-step days are long gone.


You can Shift Shimano 9sp cassettes fine. When torture comes, I use a
Shimano 9, 12/27. I replace the 12 with a 13 and add a 32. You can
use the std. cage Campy rear derailleur and may not even have to add a
link of chain.
 
On Aug 20, 8:32 pm, [email protected] (Arthur Shapiro) wrote:
> standard 39/53 12/25 10 speed powertrain.> Can anyone suggest the best way of getting somewhat lower "emergency only"
> gears on that Campy setup? I know there are those "newfangled" compact
> cranks, triples (which rub me the wrong way), different clusters, and perhaps
> other approaches. Again, I'm in that big ring most of the time and would
> prefer to minimize front shifts; the old half-step days are long gone.
>
> Appreciate any "here's what I'd do" advice.


Triple.

Point being, you get to keep the gears you use, plus add a low low.

If this is something you only need once or twice a year, it might be
possible to keep say, a Veloce triple plus BB in reserve, maybe incl.
pedals, and do the switch when needed.

(Said as a longtime "42" user who still isn't used to that much-
appreciated 39 I've had on for years now): A compact setup, for riding
with fast groups? Might work fine, or you might not like it-- "always
in the wrong gear". --D-y
 
> [email protected] (Arthur Shapiro) wrote:
>> standard 39/53 12/25 10 speed powertrain.> Can anyone suggest the best way of getting somewhat lower "emergency only"
>> gears on that Campy setup? I know there are those "newfangled" compact
>> cranks, triples (which rub me the wrong way), different clusters, and perhaps
>> other approaches. Again, I'm in that big ring most of the time and would
>> prefer to minimize front shifts; the old half-step days are long gone.
>> Appreciate any "here's what I'd do" advice.


[email protected] wrote:
> Triple.
> Point being, you get to keep the gears you use, plus add a low low.
> If this is something you only need once or twice a year, it might be
> possible to keep say, a Veloce triple plus BB in reserve, maybe incl.
> pedals, and do the switch when needed.
> (Said as a longtime "42" user who still isn't used to that much-
> appreciated 39 I've had on for years now): A compact setup, for riding
> with fast groups? Might work fine, or you might not like it-- "always
> in the wrong gear".


For an 'event' gear format change, Veloce and Centaur square taper
series cranks use the same spindle length for double or triple. So it is
perhaps just a right arm with rings, depending on your opinion of shift
response. A double front may be useful if you remember to use the inside
ring only with the largest few cassette cogs.

Simply changing your gear train over to a triple setup isn't a bad idea
either. Cranks, FDer, maybe RDer. Chain length doesn't change for double
to triple as your largest combination is the same.
--
Andrew Muzi
www.yellowjersey.org
Open every day since 1 April, 1971
 
Well, I appreciate everyone's input. Not sure what I'm going to do, but
you've presented some nice suggestions.

Tom, I'm sorry, but I don't think that Schlumpf product is intended for a
light road bike.

Let's see: the compact crank might be the simplest solution, but I could never
live with a 50x12. No, I don't use it all that much, but it doesn't take much
of a hill to get into the 30 mph+ range where it's useful, and if I can hang
for a while with the faster riders in the club they'll routinely get into the
low thirties on even a slight grade. I could go with the 11 tooth cluster,
which would be fine, but then I'd be limited to a 23 biggest cog, which
defeats the whole purpose of this exercise.

Triple: Chorus and Record seem to be 175mm only; I ride a 172.5. *Major*
cost - the whole powertrain. The 42 vs. my 39 might actually be an advantage
- it would probably get used more and there would always be the small cog.
Satisfies all the requirements. Seeing how poor front shifting is already, it
would probably be worse news with the triple. More weight to drag around.
Fred factor to some degree, although I accept your assertion that even the
pros are using 'em now. Would probably let me power up to the ski lifts
sitting down and whistling a happy tune.

Bigger cluster: satisfies requirements, simplest solution, far less cost than
the triple. Could live with a 13 cog smallest gear for the times I use it.
Would require two chains (and thus "masterlinks") and ideally two derailleurs
to not use the medium cage derailleur with the 25 cluster for best peformance
(I assume.) If I go that way, what's the best connecting link for a Campy
Record chain? That would also maximize cleaning ease - easily take off the
chain and toss it in the ultrasonic cleaner like the "good old days".

I'm not willing to swap out cranks - they're simply not intended for frequent
removal.

Other option: leg transplant with world-class cyclist. Allows use of current
setup. Disadvantage- time off bike for healing, difficulty procuring donor,
company insurance probably will balk at paying.

Art
 
On Aug 22, 3:00 pm, [email protected] (Arthur Shapiro) wrote:
> Well, I appreciate everyone's input. Not sure what I'm going to do, but
> you've presented some nice suggestions.


> Let's see: the compact crank might be the simplest solution, but I could never
> live with a 50x12.


50/12=112.5" 53/13 (you said might be a possibility) =110".

If you search this ng, you'll see reference to successful use of short
rear derailleurs with 29t cogs, and also with triples. IMS, both of
those combined will also work. IOW, the only component you'll "have"
to change besides the rh crank and possibly the BB would be the front
derailleur. There's a lot more inner cage on those triple fronts.

Hey, a triple, with a 42t middle, and a triple front derailleur might
be an improvement all the way around for you. A low low, a more
usable, 42t inner ring, compared the to the 39 you don't use much, and
better (presumed) shifting from a triple front derailleur.

Um, "Fred" uses big gears he can't turn. Or stomp, either. <g> --D-y
 
Arthur Shapiro wrote:
> Well, I appreciate everyone's input. Not sure what I'm going to do, but
> you've presented some nice suggestions.
>
> Tom, I'm sorry, but I don't think that Schlumpf product is intended for a
> light road bike.
>
> Let's see: the compact crank might be the simplest solution, but I could never
> live with a 50x12. No, I don't use it all that much, but it doesn't take much
> of a hill to get into the 30 mph+ range where it's useful, and if I can hang
> for a while with the faster riders in the club they'll routinely get into the
> low thirties on even a slight grade. I could go with the 11 tooth cluster,
> which would be fine, but then I'd be limited to a 23 biggest cog, which
> defeats the whole purpose of this exercise.
>
> Triple: Chorus and Record seem to be 175mm only; I ride a 172.5. *Major*
> cost - the whole powertrain. The 42 vs. my 39 might actually be an advantage
> - it would probably get used more and there would always be the small cog.
> Satisfies all the requirements. Seeing how poor front shifting is already, it
> would probably be worse news with the triple. More weight to drag around.
> Fred factor to some degree, although I accept your assertion that even the
> pros are using 'em now. Would probably let me power up to the ski lifts
> sitting down and whistling a happy tune.
>
> Bigger cluster: satisfies requirements, simplest solution, far less cost than
> the triple. Could live with a 13 cog smallest gear for the times I use it.
> Would require two chains (and thus "masterlinks") and ideally two derailleurs
> to not use the medium cage derailleur with the 25 cluster for best peformance
> (I assume.) If I go that way, what's the best connecting link for a Campy
> Record chain? That would also maximize cleaning ease - easily take off the
> chain and toss it in the ultrasonic cleaner like the "good old days".
>
> I'm not willing to swap out cranks - they're simply not intended for frequent
> removal.
>
> Other option: leg transplant with world-class cyclist. Allows use of current
> setup. Disadvantage- time off bike for healing, difficulty procuring donor,
> company insurance probably will balk at paying.


Can't help with your decision but take a look at a 2mm spoke. That's
about the crank length difference you note. If it matters, buy the
Record triple 172.5 which we have, as will any competent LBS. Campagnolo
offers several lengths as always.
--
Andrew Muzi
www.yellowjersey.org
Open every day since 1 April, 1971
 
On Aug 22, 4:26 pm, A Muzi <[email protected]> wrote:
> Arthur Shapiro wrote:
> > Well, I appreciate everyone's input. Not sure what I'm going to do, but
> > you've presented some nice suggestions.

>
> > Tom, I'm sorry, but I don't think that Schlumpf product is intended for a
> > light road bike.

>
> > Let's see: the compact crank might be the simplest solution, but I could never
> > live with a 50x12. No, I don't use it all that much, but it doesn't take much
> > of a hill to get into the 30 mph+ range where it's useful, and if I can hang
> > for a while with the faster riders in the club they'll routinely get into the
> > low thirties on even a slight grade. I could go with the 11 tooth cluster,
> > which would be fine, but then I'd be limited to a 23 biggest cog, which
> > defeats the whole purpose of this exercise.

>
> > Triple: Chorus and Record seem to be 175mm only; I ride a 172.5. *Major*
> > cost - the whole powertrain. The 42 vs. my 39 might actually be an advantage
> > - it would probably get used more and there would always be the small cog.
> > Satisfies all the requirements. Seeing how poor front shifting is already, it
> > would probably be worse news with the triple. More weight to drag around.
> > Fred factor to some degree, although I accept your assertion that even the
> > pros are using 'em now. Would probably let me power up to the ski lifts
> > sitting down and whistling a happy tune.

>
> > Bigger cluster: satisfies requirements, simplest solution, far less cost than
> > the triple. Could live with a 13 cog smallest gear for the times I use it.
> > Would require two chains (and thus "masterlinks") and ideally two derailleurs
> > to not use the medium cage derailleur with the 25 cluster for best peformance
> > (I assume.) If I go that way, what's the best connecting link for a Campy
> > Record chain? That would also maximize cleaning ease - easily take off the
> > chain and toss it in the ultrasonic cleaner like the "good old days".

>
> > I'm not willing to swap out cranks - they're simply not intended for frequent
> > removal.

>
> > Other option: leg transplant with world-class cyclist. Allows use of current
> > setup. Disadvantage- time off bike for healing, difficulty procuring donor,
> > company insurance probably will balk at paying.

>
> Can't help with your decision but take a look at a 2mm spoke. That's
> about the crank length difference you note. If it matters, buy the
> Record triple 172.5 which we have, as will any competent LBS. Campagnolo
> offers several lengths as always.
> --
> Andrew Muziwww.yellowjersey.org
> Open every day since 1 April, 1971


Another Habenero owner here with almost the same set up. It also
sounds like you and I are in the same boat as far as who we ride with
and the style and type of riding we do. I can hang with the cat 3/4
guys on a flat course with my compact double. Think about your
reasoning on this one. How long would you spend in the 50x12 compared
to the amount of climbing you are going to do in the 34x26? Now, ask
your knees the same questions and see what they have to say. I went
from a triple on my old bike to the compact double on the Habenero and
frankly, I don't want a triple any more. If you really need to have
that much speed on the downhill, learn to tuck and daft. You can still
get to 31 or 32 without spinning out. OK, you will have to quit
pedaling a mile an hour or two before the others. Is that really going
to cause you to get dropped? Your knees will love the bit higher RPM's
you can do and still maintain a decent speed along the flats. A
compact double is the only way to fly.