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Gearing n shit...1x?

jonKranked

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Nov 10, 2005
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bump since this is already a gearing topic.....

with the road riding i've been doing, i'm actually starting to run out of gears. i'm pretty happy with the range on my cassette (11-26 or 28 i think), so i'm more leaning towards upping chainring size(s). its currently a 30/42 (basically a double ring setup on triple cranks, ghetto i know). trying to decide if i should jump to 34/50 or 36/52. 36/52 is what's on my trainer, so i'm leaning more towards that. but that is also a trainer, so yea. looking for some feedback / input.
 

6thElement

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Jul 29, 2008
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bump since this is already a gearing topic.....

with the road riding i've been doing, i'm actually starting to run out of gears. i'm pretty happy with the range on my cassette (11-26 or 28 i think), so i'm more leaning towards upping chainring size(s). its currently a 30/42 (basically a double ring setup on triple cranks, ghetto i know). trying to decide if i should jump to 34/50 or 36/52. 36/52 is what's on my trainer, so i'm leaning more towards that. but that is also a trainer, so yea. looking for some feedback / input.
Compact 50/34 has always been fine for me on the road. 100 cadence in 50/11 is ~36mph.
 

Sandwich

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May 23, 2002
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bump since this is already a gearing topic.....

with the road riding i've been doing, i'm actually starting to run out of gears. i'm pretty happy with the range on my cassette (11-26 or 28 i think), so i'm more leaning towards upping chainring size(s). its currently a 30/42 (basically a double ring setup on triple cranks, ghetto i know). trying to decide if i should jump to 34/50 or 36/52. 36/52 is what's on my trainer, so i'm leaning more towards that. but that is also a trainer, so yea. looking for some feedback / input.
I think this might be a "it depends" kind of answer.

If you find yourself climbing big mountains or like to spin at a faster cadence, i might go with the smaller rings. If you typically crush gears or your roads are mostly flat, I'd stick with the 36-52. My understanding is that a lot of people prefer the "mid compact" (36/52) because it offers a top end similar to a 39/53 standard but a lower gear for climbing.

I have a compact (34/50) on my commuter (it came on my second endurance road bike) with 11-40 (old MTB cogset) and a mid-compact on my TT bike with now an 11-23. The Strada I built above has a 44x10-33. The most interesting thing to me in regards to gearing recently is how much the shift from a 12-30 to 11-23 forced me to change the front chainrings that I use on the TT bike. I now find myself in the smaller ring much more often whereas before it felt like 40% of the cogset was way too light... (which it was).

Anyways, that kind of loops me back to saying if you have a bigger/wider cogset in the rear, then I would consider going with larger chainrings unless this is like a climbing specific bike. If it's more like an 11-26, I might stick with the smaller chainrings. From what I know of you, you are a taller/stronger rider and you train pretty consistently, so I imagine you can push a 36x28 pretty easily up most anything, and since you aren't doing pacelines, you don't need perfect cadence or maintenance of speed. I can grind up most anything on my 44x33, but my cadence is in the 60s.

I hope any of that is helpful. On my diamondback, I ended up with the mid compact and 12-27. If i were doing more mountainous terrain, I would want to go for a 12-30 or a compact crankset so I could spin more efficiently going up, but it was pretty well spaced for flat/rolling terrain.
 

Sandwich

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Compact 50/34 has always been fine for me on the road. 100 cadence in 50/11 is ~36mph.
is it just me, or does doing 100RPM cadence at 36mph seem a bit crazy? not saying you can't or don't do it, just that your legs must be flying when your bike is flying too. I typically want to spin a little slower when things get smooky.
 

6thElement

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Jul 29, 2008
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is it just me, or does doing 100RPM cadence at 36mph seem a bit crazy? not saying you can't or don't do it, just that your legs must be flying when your bike is flying too. I typically want to spin a little slower when things get smooky.
Most stuff near me is sufficiently steep that I'm rarely pedaling hard over 30mph because I'm likely being helped by gravity to 40mph+ for an extended downhill.
 

Sandwich

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Most stuff near me is sufficiently steep that I'm rarely pedaling hard over 30mph because I'm likely being helped by gravity to 40mph+ for an extended downhill.
That has been my attitude as well. It's pretty rare that I want moar speed when I am out of gears, but there are plenty of times I'd love another cog or two to go up. Been thinking of changing the road bike to a 42t to get that, but out here there are no long climbs, just short ones so the feeling goes away pretty quick.
 

jonKranked

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I think this might be a "it depends" kind of answer.

If you find yourself climbing big mountains or like to spin at a faster cadence, i might go with the smaller rings. If you typically crush gears or your roads are mostly flat, I'd stick with the 36-52. My understanding is that a lot of people prefer the "mid compact" (36/52) because it offers a top end similar to a 39/53 standard but a lower gear for climbing.

I have a compact (34/50) on my commuter (it came on my second endurance road bike) with 11-40 (old MTB cogset) and a mid-compact on my TT bike with now an 11-23. The Strada I built above has a 44x10-33. The most interesting thing to me in regards to gearing recently is how much the shift from a 12-30 to 11-23 forced me to change the front chainrings that I use on the TT bike. I now find myself in the smaller ring much more often whereas before it felt like 40% of the cogset was way too light... (which it was).

Anyways, that kind of loops me back to saying if you have a bigger/wider cogset in the rear, then I would consider going with larger chainrings unless this is like a climbing specific bike. If it's more like an 11-26, I might stick with the smaller chainrings. From what I know of you, you are a taller/stronger rider and you train pretty consistently, so I imagine you can push a 36x28 pretty easily up most anything, and since you aren't doing pacelines, you don't need perfect cadence or maintenance of speed. I can grind up most anything on my 44x33, but my cadence is in the 60s.

I hope any of that is helpful. On my diamondback, I ended up with the mid compact and 12-27. If i were doing more mountainous terrain, I would want to go for a 12-30 or a compact crankset so I could spin more efficiently going up, but it was pretty well spaced for flat/rolling terrain.
first off - thanks, this is exactly the kind of feedback i'm looking for.

i definitely am not doing a lot of big mountains, or even big hills for that matter. what i ride locally is very flat, most of my rides are under 500' of climbing total over the entire ride. i don't spin a super crazy cadence, my avg tends to be around mid-70's rpm. now that i think about it, i can't remember the last time i used the small ring on my road bike (maybe when i was towing my daughter in the burley trailer?), so i'm riding in the 42 ring almost exclusively, even on the climbs i do. i've also noticed that lately i'm spending more time in harder gears. today's lunch ride i paid close attention and spent almost the entire time between gears 5-7 on a 9 speed cassette. on some of the climbs i back off to maybe 3-4, or get out of the saddle (sometimes both).

some stats for recent road rides just to give an idea:

1658945266617.png


just for reference, what i'm "training" for is a 75 mile charity ride from just over the state line from philly in NJ to ocean city NJ. its got just shy of 1200' of climbing over the entire distance, with a max grade of 2.8%. so a lot of shorter rolling climbs. zooming in on the elevation profile it looks like the longest sustained climb is like 100' vertical. full stats on the route are here:

 

amishmatt

Turbo Monkey
Sep 21, 2005
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My road bike is my only bike with a front derailleur. I run a 50/34 with an 11-32 cassette and almost never use the small chainring. I also almost never run out of top end - only on a downhill sprint section of a fast group ride, if I care to be at the front.

My gravel bikes are both 1x. One has a 40t with 11-40 cassette, the other a 42t with 11-36. Even the 42x11 can do a fast group ride and stay in the front.

For reference, my regular after work ride is about 32 miles and 2000' of climbing. Any of those bikes are fine for that ride, and none of them require a front derailleur. IMO, front derailleurs are stupid. If you can avoid using one, even on a road bike, do it. Slap a wider range cassette on there and with the 44t ring and call it a day.
 

Sandwich

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My road bike is my only bike with a front derailleur. I run a 50/34 with an 11-32 cassette and almost never use the small chainring. I also almost never run out of top end - only on a downhill sprint section of a fast group ride, if I care to be at the front.

My gravel bikes are both 1x. One has a 40t with 11-40 cassette, the other a 42t with 11-36. Even the 42x11 can do a fast group ride and stay in the front.

For reference, my regular after work ride is about 32 miles and 2000' of climbing. Any of those bikes are fine for that ride, and none of them require a front derailleur. IMO, front derailleurs are stupid. If you can avoid using one, even on a road bike, do it. Slap a wider range cassette on there and with the 44t ring and call it a day.
Agree but I think you need to be comfortable with the big steps or get spendy with 12-13 gears. There are times I wish the strada had closer steps, though rare. My next bike will likely be back to 2x, but I’d keep this as a crit crusher
 

amishmatt

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Sep 21, 2005
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Meh, I think that issue is totally overblown. Unless you’re racing, or riding in a pack at pace, it’s a non issue. Happens to me less than 1% of the time, and the trade off is totally worth it. All my bikes are 11 speed, FWIW.
 

Sandwich

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Meh, I think that issue is totally overblown. Unless you’re racing, or riding in a pack at pace, it’s a non issue. Happens to me less than 1% of the time, and the trade off is totally worth it. All my bikes are 11 speed, FWIW.
I was inclined to agree until I started riding more outside. I see how much you ride and I know you do more group rides than I do, so I know you know what you're talking about, but I seem to be getting more sensitive to the steps on the higher range of my 10-33. I also swapped my 12-30 to 11-23 on my TT bike, and I love the small steps. Different strokes I guess.
 

Sandwich

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also confirmed 26t cassette, not 28t.
Based on what you've said before and the small cluster you've got, I'd be more inclined to stick with a compact chainset 34-50. I'd preserve some climbing ability for reduced top end. My 36-23 is a little tough to climb with on the TT bike, but it just scrapes by. I wouldn't want to do a longer climb with a similar setup. As mentioned above, dropping 5mph of top end sprinting isn't a big deal on non-competitive rides, but forcing yourself to grind up climbs is a bummer.
 

jonKranked

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Nov 10, 2005
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My road bike is my only bike with a front derailleur. I run a 50/34 with an 11-32 cassette and almost never use the small chainring. I also almost never run out of top end - only on a downhill sprint section of a fast group ride, if I care to be at the front.

My gravel bikes are both 1x. One has a 40t with 11-40 cassette, the other a 42t with 11-36. Even the 42x11 can do a fast group ride and stay in the front.

For reference, my regular after work ride is about 32 miles and 2000' of climbing. Any of those bikes are fine for that ride, and none of them require a front derailleur. IMO, front derailleurs are stupid. If you can avoid using one, even on a road bike, do it. Slap a wider range cassette on there and with the 44t ring and call it a day.
i'm generally down with 1x, but in this case agree with sandwich. to properly do 1x i would need an entire new drivetrain, and honestly that's more money than i'm willing to put into this bike. if you saw it you'd laugh. it's a nashbar frame/fork, and a mix of mtb and road components. if i keep riding road i could probably justify buying an actual proper road bike in the next couple years. but for what I'm doing right now what I have is suitable.
 

jonKranked

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Based on what you've said before and the small cluster you've got, I'd be more inclined to stick with a compact chainset 34-50. I'd preserve some climbing ability for reduced top end. My 36-23 is a little tough to climb with on the TT bike, but it just scrapes by. I wouldn't want to do a longer climb with a similar setup. As mentioned above, dropping 5mph of top end sprinting isn't a big deal on non-competitive rides, but forcing yourself to grind up climbs is a bummer.
good point. while I am spending more time lower on my cassette now, I'm not sure how much farther down i'd be going, so to speak. and 42t to 50t is still a pretty big jump. i'll go with the 34-50.
 

Sandwich

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I think that should work. I was in a 36-27 minimum gear on the diamondback and it was OK for everything around here, but would not have been good for prolonged climbs nor would it be great for spinning....so I think a 36-26 would be kind of tough. 34-26 should be OK, and you may find that as you ride more road, you start spinning more than smashing. That was the case with me- I liked big gears on the MTB and now I average like 90-95rpm on the roadie. Plus, if you consider resale and who might buy this bike from you, I think a compact might be a better idea.
 

jonKranked

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I think that should work. I was in a 36-27 minimum gear on the diamondback and it was OK for everything around here, but would not have been good for prolonged climbs nor would it be great for spinning....so I think a 36-26 would be kind of tough. 34-26 should be OK, and you may find that as you ride more road, you start spinning more than smashing. That was the case with me- I liked big gears on the MTB and now I average like 90-95rpm on the roadie. Plus, if you consider resale and who might buy this bike from you, I think a compact might be a better idea.
nobody would ever want to buy this bike :rofl:

it's like frankenstein's monster. plus the rear end is a 130mm spaced disc hub, that nobody makes anymore.
 

4xBoy

Turbo Monkey
Jun 20, 2006
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i'm generally down with 1x, but in this case agree with sandwich. to properly do 1x i would need an entire new drivetrain, and honestly that's more money than i'm willing to put into this bike. if you saw it you'd laugh. it's a nashbar frame/fork, and a mix of mtb and road components. if i keep riding road i could probably justify buying an actual proper road bike in the next couple years. but for what I'm doing right now what I have is suitable.
That sounds like a friends bar/commuter bike nashbar mismatch.
 

jonKranked

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that's just a little stretch from being totally normal!

My commuter is a combination of a nashbar road frame and old mtb/road parts!
That sounds like a friends bar/commuter bike nashbar mismatch.
it really started out just to have something to ride the local (paved) rail trails when the trails were muddy (especially in the winter) and for cross training, and was on a mega budget (and was largely a parts bin build).
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
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I put a ton of miles on my gravel bike. The typical ride is 20-25 miles and 1800ft of vert. They take about 2 hours and involve little to no pavement.

It turns out those are critical base miles that help my summer riding fitness immeasurably. It's great stuff.

New gravel bike is going to be 1x12 w/ a 38t or 40t chainring up front. Hunting for chainrings all over the place. The only Shimano DM 38 and 40t chainrings I can find are made by Csixx. There's gotta be something else out there but I'm not against trying a Csixx ring.
 

amishmatt

Turbo Monkey
Sep 21, 2005
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Lancaster, PA
I was inclined to agree until I started riding more outside. I see how much you ride and I know you do more group rides than I do, so I know you know what you're talking about, but I seem to be getting more sensitive to the steps on the higher range of my 10-33. I also swapped my 12-30 to 11-23 on my TT bike, and I love the small steps. Different strokes I guess.
I think my "riding style" if you can call it that, comes from years on an mtb riding shorter, punchy, power climbs, followed by some time on a single speed road bike. I just don't shift as much as most people. I still maintain a reasonable cadence in the low-mid 90s though.

On group rides, when I'm on the front, I consistently pull a little gap (without intending to) on false flats/small rises/rollers. I tend not to shift to an easier gear to maintain the same power, I just stay in my current gear and increase my power for that short section. My regular riding buddy knows this about me, and has learned to adapt so he stays on my wheel, but for everyone else who's a true roadie, it's probably annoying.

I had a tighter spaced cassette, and/or maybe electronic shifting, I'd probably start shifting more. I just really hate the front derailleur...
 

Sandwich

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I think my "riding style" if you can call it that, comes from years on an mtb riding shorter, punchy, power climbs, followed by some time on a single speed road bike. I just don't shift as much as most people. I still maintain a reasonable cadence in the low-mid 90s though.

On group rides, when I'm on the front, I consistently pull a little gap (without intending to) on false flats/small rises/rollers. I tend not to shift to an easier gear to maintain the same power, I just stay in my current gear and increase my power for that short section. My regular riding buddy knows this about me, and has learned to adapt so he stays on my wheel, but for everyone else who's a true roadie, it's probably annoying.

I had a tighter spaced cassette, and/or maybe electronic shifting, I'd probably start shifting more. I just really hate the front derailleur...
It's pretty interesting to me how people self-sort or just figure out what they are happy on. I thought myself to be pretty insensitive to cadence, and certainly a masher, but the more road I rode, and the more training I did, the more I found myself spinning than mashing, and suddenly I get pissed when my cadence drops below 80RPM. I finally got back out on the TT bike on the local TT loop, and was much happier to have gears to keep my legs happy compared to the 12-30 I was originally in (now an 11-23).

Still can't figure out if I love or hate the front derailleur. It's nice to have the range, but I get anxiety when I'm toward the top end of the small ring and am not sure whether I need to shift or not. I need to buy a smaller front ring and swap next time I'm in the mountains for longer climbs. I have one on the TT bike and feel like I'm in and out of it all the time lately.
 

two-one

Chimp
Dec 15, 2013
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a friend of mine developed that Classified hub, and for me that would be the only thing that could get me away from 1x drivetrains on my gravelbike. If only it didn't have the expensive proprietary cassettes...

Pretty cool stuff:
 
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jonKranked

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a friend of mine developed that Classified hub, and for me that would be the only thing that could get me away from 1x drivetrains on my gravelbike. If only it didn't have the expensive proprietary cassettes...

Pretty cool stuff:
i've seen that before... pretty intriguing.
 

Sandwich

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It sounds like they have licensed the tech to other companies. I'm real excited for that if it can get the price down a bit. Would be an ideal setup for the Strada.