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What Sort of Gearing Works Best for your Needs?

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What Sort of Gearing Works Best for your Needs?

Old 11-17-21, 03:15 PM
  #426  
ZHVelo
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
34/32 is a good useful gear and should get you up most hills.

i have 39/53 and 12-25 on my road bike. I find that anything higher than 53/13 isn't necessary for my needs as I'm already going about 55km/h.

39/25 actually isn't as bad as it sounds; i can climb some fairly decent hills with this gear and don't mind walking the rest of the way up if it is just too steep/long.

my 12-25 cassette is in good shape - would it be a good idea (for my needs at least) to change to a 34/50? I've used 34 before; its useful for climbs, but I hate spinning out in 34t and then needing to face too big of a jump at 50t when riding on flat pavement. Im thinking 36/50 should solve this? I can order a 36/52 from my supplier.

If I'm using a 52t, I'd likely end up using a 13 or even 14t final gear cassette.
It isn't just about getting up though, but about how. You can get up with 34-28, too, but at what cadence? For pros that's fine, they output a lot more power, but for amateurs or hobby riders, do you want to be in the 60s, 70s, or 80s when climbing? Or even walking as you say.

I would use one of those gear ratio calculators online. You can input the gears and the power and it tells you the cadence. That should help to figure out what crank and cassette would fit.
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Old 11-17-21, 03:16 PM
  #427  
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
very similar to my riding experience with 42:10 and 42:42 as my range, even though i only wish i was riding in the alps!! (california hills seems to have similar grades though.) i can’t do the climbs without something close to 1:1, which thankfully is achievable with both compact 2x and “gravel” 1x.
I don't remember where but someone maybe from a discord was riding near LA, and yes! there are proper climbs there, and I looked at a topographical map of the region and it is indeed just very hilly if not mountainous even. I never knew that. Though personally, I think the heat would kill me.
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Old 11-17-21, 03:25 PM
  #428  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
I don't remember where but someone maybe from a discord was riding near LA, and yes! there are proper climbs there, and I looked at a topographical map of the region and it is indeed just very hilly if not mountainous even. I never knew that. Though personally, I think the heat would kill me.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Gabriel_Mountains https://pjammcycling.com/zone/322.Cy...iel-Mountains- Apparently pro teams train there because it is temperate during the off-season. At altitude i didn't notice the heat (in May.) The climbs were really hard, and I didn't do any of the hard ones. These are real mountains with heights on 9- and 10 k feet ..... lots of pitches I couldn't even walk today.

If I were ever to get back in shape I would hope to maybe get a chance to ride there some more. Who knows?
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Old 11-17-21, 04:18 PM
  #429  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Best gearing ever 66x13 perfect for all conditions all the time unless you are just a puddle of weakness. If you cannot push that gearing up a hill you should literally not be allowed to ride a bike. Also I will crush shelbyfv in race even ole' drippy won't be able to catch up heck put them both on a tandem with a motor and 8 derailleurs and I will smoke them like Snoop Dogg and Tommy Chong smoke weed. There is only one answer for gearing threads it is HTFU.

























Not even with a gun to my head.
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Old 11-17-21, 05:44 PM
  #430  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
It isn't just about getting up though, but about how. You can get up with 34-28, too, but at what cadence? For pros that's fine, they output a lot more power, but for amateurs or hobby riders, do you want to be in the 60s, 70s, or 80s when climbing? Or even walking as you say.

I would use one of those gear ratio calculators online. You can input the gears and the power and it tells you the cadence. That should help to figure out what crank and cassette would fit.
Great post. Couldn't have put it any better.

Until quite recently a lot of performance road bikes were over-geared for the majority of riders, even at pro level! But they have got a lot better with compact chainsets and the option of wide-range cassettes. I certainly appreciate a 1:1 lowest gear for sustained climbing at a comfortable cadence. It makes life a lot easier in the mountains.
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Old 11-17-21, 09:49 PM
  #431  
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39/53 works fine. Most good bikes can climb most hills with 39/27. Why bother when you can comfortably produce the same amount of watts (or more..) at a higher, comfortably more efficient cadence?

Your gears are supposed to comfortably.help you maintain an ideal cadence over a variety of most your riding conditions. If a good cadence is not a priority for you, you don't understand rat's ass about anything but your massive ego and that horrifically narcissistic, putrid, condescending tone with which you attempt to publicly spew your alleged self-dominance livedarklions
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Old 11-17-21, 09:54 PM
  #432  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Most good bikes can climb most hills with 39/27.
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Old 11-17-21, 09:55 PM
  #433  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
39/53 works fine. Most good bikes can climb most hills with 39/27. Why bother when you can comfortably produce the same amount of watts (or more..) at a higher, comfortably more efficient cadence?

Your gears are supposed to comfortably.help you maintain an ideal cadence over a variety of most your riding conditions. If a good cadence is not a priority for you, you don't understand rat's ass about anything but your massive ego and that horrifically narcissistic, putrid, condescending tone with which you attempt to publicly spew your alleged self-dominance livedarklions
I'm flattered that I've reduced you to complete incoherence, but you bore me to tears and we've gone around this tired subject more than enough..
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Old 11-17-21, 10:08 PM
  #434  
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I am in the old and no longer strong catagory. All my bikes are steel. All my bikes are set up about the same because it is harder for me to adapt to different settings. Over the years they have evolved into Franken Bikes kinda on the Gravely side of things cause I ride old torn up asphalt roads. I use Geezer Gears and really only about 3 to 4 combinations as my routes are short up and downs. I use a Shimano Z30 6 speed 11-34 Freewheel. Up front I use a compact crank 30-42 120mm. There are allot of things I have adjusted on my bikes for my bad back, arthritis, vision, proprioception and other things. I am still ridding...

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Old 11-18-21, 08:29 AM
  #435  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
39/53 works fine. Most good bikes can climb most hills with 39/27. Why bother when you can comfortably produce the same amount of watts (or more..) at a higher, comfortably more efficient cadence?
Dude, when you post nonsense like this, people see immediately that you have no clue about anything bicycle.

First off .... "most good bikes"? The BIKE doesn't climb anything. The rider does. A "good' or a "bad" bike (what, is that a bike that curses?) with a 39x27 has .... a 39x27 gear ratio. The Rider can either climb a given hill in that ratio or cannot.

Some people carry huge loads. Some people ride 19,000 feet of elevation gain in 100 miles. Some people only ride occasionally and on the flat, and a ten-mile, ten-percent climb is impossible for them.

You Yourself admitted that you have to walk up some hills. And in another thread, you say you are switching to a 50-34 crankset because the hills around Ontario are too steep for you.

Are You Insane? (Nothing against insane people ... I have quite a few mental/emotional issues myself. I recommend meditation, exercise, and total honesty, compassion and tolerance towards oneself (towards others, too, but that is also hard.)))

Further .... the gearing you use does not increase or decrease your wattage. Yes, you can probably sustain higher overall output with certain ratios/cadence .... but that is part of why the whole "Most good bikes can climb most hills with 39/27" sounds so stupid.

Then you go after Livedarklions .... but do it badly .....

Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Your gears are supposed to comfortably.help you maintain an ideal cadence over a variety of most your riding conditions. If a good cadence is not a priority for you, you don't understand rat's ass about anything but your massive ego and that horrifically narcissistic, putrid, condescending tone with which you attempt to publicly spew your alleged self-dominance livedarklions
yeah .... first you explain that a "good " bike only needs a low of 39x27 .... and then you talk about why there are gears .... and "ideal" cadence.

Yeah .... do you get that every person has a different "ideal" cadence in every situation? My "perfect" cadence (pressure and rpm, actually) varies day by day. Some days I can power up a short climb in about 50x17, the next day I might be down in 34x25 or something and only going half as fast or slower .... "Ideal" cadence matches your optimal pressure, breathing, and heart rate to the terrain you are on At That Moment.

Livedarklions rides a lot of miles at a very low cadence in very big gears. Most people would find this impossible or damaging. But he does not.

I look back to when Drugmaster Lance used to climb at 130 rpm (probably 39x27, for what it is worth) while behind him Lars Ulrich or Ivan Basso were in the big ring (52 or53) and 23, 25, or 27 .... grinding out huge power, and making the same climbs .... Those guys were climbing almost as fast as the EPO-fueled Armstrong (yeah, they were on drugs too, but lance had the better program and better-integrated program) and using an entirely different method.

I recall Alberto Contador climbing at a high cadence out of the saddle, while others competed with him grinding lower gears in or out of the saddle, or high ratios while seated .... different strokes for different folks.

If you read through Livedarklion's posts .... he isn't bragging about how macho he is .... in fact usually people are attacking him for "doing it wrong ... " but if the old guy can ride a 65 cadence up a steep hill, in the middle of a 100+ mile ride, and do it weekly .... it doesn't sound wrong to me.

Wrong For me ... I couldn't do it and wouldn't try--but he does it and does it regularly.

Sorry if that bothers you.

Maybe some of what bothers others .... is some of your posting habits.

You have said that cycling is not good for the knees---when in fact it is one of the most prescribed exercise routines for people with knee-replacements because it is low-impact and can be done seated, with precise control over load.

You claim to have--or pretend to have--a ton of knowledge about cycling, but then reveal the paucity of your knowledge in your posts.

You tell people about "proper" gearing in a couple threads, then in yet another thread ask everyone's opinion about what gearing to use .... and suggest that you are going to 50-34 while here you are telling everyone that 53-39 is all anyone needs.

Don't do that stuff. No one is fooled, no one is impressed. Most of the posters here have been riding longer than you have been alive. We know when someone is trying to BS his/her way through a post.

I have nothing against you, and you seem like a decent person .... but maybe try to calm down before you post ... maybe re-read your post, pretending you are one of the other posters, before you post.

It has taken me years to learn how to control myself on this forum ... years, and many bans. I have learned to control myself, and to express myself, without running afoul of too many other posters or the mods. Forget bike advice .... I have some useful insight into interacting on BF.

You are new here ... you can make your reputation as an obnoxious person with an over-inflated sense of self-wroth and a dearth of bike knowledge ... or a quirky guy (or girl--don't know or care) who has a unique viewpoint and some interesting experiences and observations.

So ... have you installed the 50-34 chainrings on your KHS 720? Have you taken some other advice and considered installing a wider-range cassette instead? (https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycl...ite-720-a.html) You said you had a 53-39 paired with a 12-25 (so I assume you have that magic "good bike" 12-27 on another bike?) and needed lower gearing for the Ontario hills .... no irony here, folks, just move along .... and I suggested that a new cassette might be a better investment .... unless, of course, you would also need a long-cage derailleur ..... then it becomes a process of price-matching.

Personally I find that I am happy with a high gear of 50x11 (or 50x12 on one bike) and I like having the lower gearing---I'd rather wear out the middle and top gears of an 11-28 cassette than do all my riding in the lowest three cogs .... but you are stronger than I, so whatever suits you.

Last edited by Maelochs; 11-18-21 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 11-18-21, 08:38 AM
  #436  
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Moisty, you've had to eat a lot crow here over the past year but you've been mostly a good sport about it. Snark isn't a good fit for you.
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Old 11-18-21, 08:51 AM
  #437  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post

while behind him Lars Ulrich or Ivan Basso were in the big ring (52 or53) and 23, 25, or 27 ....
Jan Ulrich. LeMond was also a big gear masher.
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Old 11-18-21, 08:54 AM
  #438  
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Oops .... I must be doing "50+" this morning.

Lars Ulrich definitely pounded out some power with some rad gear though ... still does as far as I know.
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Old 11-18-21, 02:47 PM
  #439  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Gabriel_Mountains https://pjammcycling.com/zone/322.Cy...iel-Mountains- Apparently pro teams train there because it is temperate during the off-season. At altitude i didn't notice the heat (in May.) The climbs were really hard, and I didn't do any of the hard ones. These are real mountains with heights on 9- and 10 k feet ..... lots of pitches I couldn't even walk today.

If I were ever to get back in shape I would hope to maybe get a chance to ride there some more. Who knows?
You should, riding in the mountains is liberating. Even if it is tough. Once you reach the top, it is amazing.
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Old 11-18-21, 02:49 PM
  #440  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
39/53 works fine. Most good bikes can climb most hills with 39/27. Why bother when you can comfortably produce the same amount of watts (or more..) at a higher, comfortably more efficient cadence?

Your gears are supposed to comfortably.help you maintain an ideal cadence over a variety of most your riding conditions. If a good cadence is not a priority for you, you don't understand rat's ass about anything but your massive ego and that horrifically narcissistic, putrid, condescending tone with which you attempt to publicly spew your alleged self-dominance livedarklions
I see that my decision to block him was a good one.
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Old 11-18-21, 03:03 PM
  #441  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Most good bikes can climb most hills with 39/27.
That would not be a popular lowest gear choice today for hilly terrain. Most people would be on at least a 34/30 these days and more likely a 34/32 or even 34/34 for the mountains or steep climbs.
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Old 11-18-21, 04:15 PM
  #442  
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Lol. Dude's had his road bike for like a week, it still has a trainer tire on the rear wheel, he speaks of having to walk up hills and he's got the balls to "educate" people on gearing?
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Old 11-18-21, 05:42 PM
  #443  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
That would not be a popular lowest gear choice today for hilly terrain. Most people would be on at least a 34/30 these days and more likely a 34/32 or even 34/34 for the mountains or steep climbs.
Yes, 39/27 would be a little difficult on some climbs for a lot of people, my self included. Currently my lowest gear is a 36/32. It was 36/30 which was good but when I was swapping out the 11 speed rear cassette they were all out of 11-30 and 11-34 so I just went and got a 11-32 which they had in stock. I guess if I was going to be riding a really long steep grade I could ride my triple (52/42/30) that has a 9sp rear cassette of 12-25. 30/25 would be the lowest it could go. Not sure how a 30/25 compares to a 34/34.
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Old 11-18-21, 05:55 PM
  #444  
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6:5 vs 1:1 .... 1.2:1 VS 1:1 ..... For heavy climbing you'd want a lower low on the triple, I think.

That's an old-school triple ... I'd definitely go At least 48-38-28 for flatland .... and if I needed to climb mountains loaded, like Indyfabz, I'd go with MTB gears.

I actually have a 48-38-28 with a 14-34, where the high is too low but the low in never too low. I can haul a loaded bike with 34x32 for a shortish steep hill., but for a real haul ..... to be honest, it hurts even on the shortish steep climbs.
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Old 11-18-21, 06:17 PM
  #445  
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I remember my first road bike, a Schwinn Le Tour that weighed in at 25 lbs with a 52/42 crank and a 12-23 6 speed cog set.

Long sustained climbs like the San Gabriels aforementioned were not fun, and frankly even at 175 lbs and 6'2", I needed more lower gearing.
I really struggled.

Flash forward 30+ years and now the same climbs are fun, but still work, because a 17 lbs bike and 50/34 crankset with a 11-34 cassette allows me to find a cadence and rhythm that works for me. There is a useful gear range rather than bottoming out at 42-23 and grinding and hating life.
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Old 11-23-21, 09:53 PM
  #446  
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Lots of gearing. The terrain around here varies a lot, from Iowa-like flatness in the Musashino area to Alpine-like climbs if I am riding out to Niigata or Kanezawa.
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Old 11-23-21, 11:57 PM
  #447  
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Not too many Japan-based riders on the site. Always interesting to hear from far-away places.
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Old 11-24-21, 08:01 AM
  #448  
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^^^Yes, with the exception of "Life Under a Bridge in Manila." We've all heard way too much about that.
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Old 11-24-21, 09:56 AM
  #449  
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The USA is far away…for me.
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Old 11-24-21, 12:27 PM
  #450  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Not too many Japan-based riders on the site. Always interesting to hear from far-away places.
During the northern winter I like to relocate to warmer climates and Thailand fits the bill for that. Around the Bangkok area it is pretty flat so gearing isn't that big of an issue. Head north to the mountains and there are some very steep climbs but not excessively long. Here's a couple of them and you will definitely need some lower gearing.
I haven't climbed Doi Inthanon but I have climbed Doi Suthep.

Doi Suthep (pjammcycling.com)

Doi Inthanon Cycling Resource Guide | PJAMM Cycling
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