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 Post subject: Gear Ratios -
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:29 am 
Old School Hero

Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Posts: 209
Location: Midlands, UK
I'm fairly new to road bikes but have been riding mtbs since 1992, I've always preferred pushing a big gear rather than spinning.

I'm interested to know what rations you guys use, currently I have 52 - 13 top end and I find I'm spinning this out all too often, I just want to go faster.
:D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:35 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:49 am
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Location: A veritable floating palace
With the normal cries of "you'll blow up your knees!", you could go to 54/11.

If you're spinning out regularly with what you have, someone ought to be paying for your bikes though!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:59 am 
Old School Hero

Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Posts: 209
Location: Midlands, UK
:D
I might try 52 - 11 to start, I'm not very quick, I don't really train at all just regular commutes to work over a few climbs but there are a few miles where I reach for that extra gear and I don't have any! I should really learn to spin better I guess.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:57 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8222
Location: New Forest, UK
52-12 is pretty much normal, very few people can push much more.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:13 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
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Location: new forest
depends on where you're riding really as to what is normal, and whether you are running 8, 9 or 10 speed etc

i'm in flat hampshire so i can run the most common race gearing which is 39/53 with 12-23 (on 9 speed) and 11-23 (on my 10 speed)

i do however have my cougar set up with a compact chainset 34/50 with 12-25 10speed rear end, the reason for this was coz it's nice for winter spinning and also coz if i go to the alps not as fit as i want then i have an easier gear choice.

in your case i would suggest a 12 sprocket atleast. but i would also suggest you need to spin a little more. i always compare this to car gears, you wouldn't sit in 5th gear in your car at 25mph so why would you do the equivalent on your bike? i'm not suggesting you're riding your bike wrong but pushing gears isn't great for your knees and can leave you with no ability to accelerate (out of corners, at the bottom of a climb, away from your mates, to keep up etc)

i used to push gears alot, the guy i first started regularly riding with rode like this, he ended up always one gear up on me but every time we came to a hill or one of us launched a sprint i could always beat him because i could wind up my gear quicker than him.

these days i don't push but i don't spin furiosly either, just nicely in the middle which seems to work for me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:27 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Posts: 209
Location: Midlands, UK
Thanks for the tips, its useful to know what is 'standard' in the roadie world!
I currently run an old 7 speed set up and have only used the smaller ring up front once when cruising in wintery/icy conditions.

I ride 7/8miles to work (Northants countryside), a few climbs on the way nothing over half a mile though so short blasts where I tend to ride a combo of in and out of the saddle. I think learning to spin a hire cadence will help, as I often find I'm caught out in too high a gear. (normally after a car pulls out in front of me and I have to slow down and then accelerate again).

I don't really want to wear my knees out, I hopefully have a good few years of riding left in them!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:29 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:51 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Kingston
Certainly worth working on your cadence. If you keep the speed the same and up the cadence, you'll transfer the work from your legs to your CV system. It recovers quicker and is easier to train.

Your top gear will give you 28mph at 90rpm. If you're cruising around at 28mph all the time, then you should be on the pro tour :shock:

I seem to spend a lot more of my time at the lower end of my gears :oops:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:58 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 8:42 pm
Posts: 783
Location: Brighton
My commuting/training bike has 38/50 and 12/21 (8 speed).

That's I think the smallest inner ring you can fit to a standard chainset.

My posh bike is 34/50 and 12/24 (10 speed)

That one's a compact.

Both bikes I spin out at about 40MPH. It doesn't happen often.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:16 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
My winter bike has 38/48 rings and I hardly ever use the 48. Most of the time for general riding I'm in 38x16 or so.

You should aim for an average 90-100 rpm cadence for flat steady riding. 100 rpm with an 84" gear (eg 50x16) is 25mph so if you can keep that up without any trouble you're a wasted (or latent) talent!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:08 am 
Old School Hero

Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Posts: 209
Location: Midlands, UK
RE: Your top gear will give you 28mph at 90rpm. If you're cruising around at 28mph all the time, then you should be on the pro tour

Ha yeah I don't think so! I just find there are a few times on my daily ride where I feel I could push a larger gear BUT I'm not riding around like this all of the time! Tomorrow I'm going to try spinning faster in a lower gear and see how I get on.

Really useful stuff - thanks all.


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