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BBC NOT helping cycling

nunnun Posts: 434
edited June 2007 in Campaign
The BBC is following the progress of an "amature" cyclist as he trains for the British Cyclosportive. The guy is a PE teacher so I expect he has good fitness, but he claims to be a relative cycling novice. The issue I have is that for his first long distance ride they put him on a Condor Italia with what looks like 53/39 and probably a 12x23 or 25 cassette (I looked for the Condor group set specs but couldn't find them online). The thing that gets me is that most people starting cycling would find this gearing way too high, so if they follow what the BBC reports suggest I think they'll be put off and think that cycling is really tough and not for them. Let's face it anything over 100" is impractical for 90% of cyclist to push at 80 rpm for extended periods. What do you guys think?
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  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    Novice cyclists always push big gears. Spinning is something people learn to do as they get fitter and more experienced.

    What's worse than raining cats and dogs?
    Idiots who leap out into the road oblivious of their own safety and mine, flailing about with bags and umbrellas in the belief that buses won't stop at bus stops if there are people just waiting there.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • 16mm16mm Posts: 545
    No big deal. Just keep in in the 39 ring surely? It's not like the the bbc were following him with a loudhailer egging him on to use 53*12:)
    or have I just replied to a troll?
  • ArchcpArchcp Posts: 8,987
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by nun</i>

    The BBC is following the progress of an "amature" cyclist as he trains for the British Cyclosportive. The guy is a PE teacher so I expect he has good fitness, but he claims to be a relative cycling novice. The issue I have is that for his first long distance ride they put him on a Condor Italia with what looks like 53/39 and probably a 12x23 or 25 cassette (I looked for the Condor group set specs but couldn't find them online). <b>The thing that gets me is that most people starting cycling would find this gearing way too high,</b> so if they follow what the BBC reports suggest I think they'll be put off and think that cycling is really tough and not for them. Let's face it anything over 100" is impractical for 90% of cyclist to push at 80 rpm for extended periods. What do you guys think?
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I think most people starting cycling won't have any opinion on gears, and many of them won't even know how to use them... I think if they want to take it up, they'll get information from better places - the point of the BBC thing is surely to show what can be done by an 'ordinary' person, not to give specific gear measurements?

    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by 16mm</i>

    No big deal. Just keep in in the 39 ring surely? It's not like the the bbc were following him with a loudhailer egging him on to use 53*12:)
    or have I just replied to a troll?

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    So why even put a 53 on there? The novice may not really understand or be physically capable of using the gears with the 53 ring so why does the bike have them? Surely its better to give a novice a bike that is comfortable and has a good range of gears more suited to their ability rather than the same gearing that's used in the TdF. Hills are always an issue for the beginner and if the lowest gear is 39x23 and they have a long 1:6 hill it can really put them off the whole experience.

    A long time ago I realized that a 53t ring was basically useless to me as I cannot ride for extended periods above 20 mph so I use a 42/26 double with an 11-34 cassette and most of the time I'm in 42x15 doing 17 or 18 mph
  • ChrisLSChrisLS Posts: 2,749
    ...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
    ...all the way...'til the wheels fall off and burn...
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by 16mm</i>

    No big deal. Just keep in in the 39 ring surely? It's not like the the bbc were following him with a loudhailer egging him on to use 53*12:)
    or have I just replied to a troll?

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Why is suggesting that a 53t chainring might be big for a novice cyclist seen as a the act of a potential troll. I'm not trying to inflame any opinions just suggesting that gear ratios are too much influenced by what we see on TV and too high for most cyclists. I've spoken to many cyclists who agonize about going to a compact crank and replacing their 53/39 with a 50/36, they seem to be addicted to the 53. I think they stand back and look at the bike with a 50t ring rather than a 53t ring and feel sort of embarassed, then they see my 42t ring and feel ok again ;-)
  • DescpDescp Posts: 610
    Why are you judging novices' abilities compared to your own. Just because you can't put out the watts doesn't necessarily mean a fit newcomer can't!
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Des</i>

    Why are you judging novices' abilities compared to your own. Just because you can't put out the watts doesn't necessarily mean a fit newcomer can't!
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Sure some novices will like 53/39, what I'm saying is most will not and easing off on the ratios and giving them something in the 30s or high 20s to climb long hills would make cycling more fun for them. There will be some newcomers that can hang with the 20mph plus crowd over a 50 mile run, but I argure that most will not so why not give them gears suited to their ability?

    I say this from personal experience of being sold a Bianchi Volpe with 52/42/30 rings. I found myself rarely using the 52 ring so changed the rings to a 48/36/26 (Volpe's are now sold with a similar set of rings)
    and began to enjoy my cycling more. Singlespeed riding showed me that my all day riding sweet spot was at 75" so I put a gear combo together with that in mind and with plenty of low end when I go touring.

    I love cycling and think more average fitness people could benefit from it and enjoy it if we eased upon the ratios
  • snorrisnorri Posts: 2,981
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by nun</i>

    What do you guys think?
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    I think this should be in Race.[:(]
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Pretty certain that my first road bike had a 52/42 chainset on and a low ratio block at the back. And I was a schoolboy.

    Did it put me off or do any harm to me ? Nope ? Still riding 25 years or more on.

    Now most of my rides are on a fixed wheel with a medium gear. I really dont think the gearing ratio is a big a problem as say, a comfy seat or the right fitting of the bike.

    Really not worth wasting pixels over....
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by cougie</i>

    Pretty certain that my first road bike had a 52/42 chainset on and a low ratio block at the back. And I was a schoolboy.

    Did it put me off or do any harm to me ? Nope ? Still riding 25 years or more on.

    Now most of my rides are on a fixed wheel with a medium gear. I really dont think the gearing ratio is a big a problem as say, a comfy seat or the right fitting of the bike.

    Really not worth wasting pixels over....
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I think the fact that you were a schoolboy would have been an advantage. I'd like to see the numbers of cyclist increase and just pointing out that newcomers aren't going to be as fit as most of the posters here,looks like I'm running into wattage and ring machismo.

    Maybe we can address shops putting people of bikes that are inches too small for them as well.
  • 16mm16mm Posts: 545
    I it's not fair to blame the BBC for this either! Surely it's Condors fault... Damn nice bike too.
    Anyhow isn't part of riding a stage of the tour about looking the part?
    If you want to ride 120 miles on granny gears do an audax, but if you're going to be doing a stage of the hardest bike race in the world then you should at least own a big ring:-)
    Mike
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Why is it an advantage to be a puny schoolboy with the 'big gears' as you call them. If I'd raced they would restrict the use of the bigger gears.

    The BBC are at least featuring cycling. It matters not a jot what gears condor have put on the bike. Thats one guy and entirely up to him if he carries on. If he doesnt - you cant blame a bike !

    Moser revitalised cycling with his hour record - and he had a whopping gear on that.

    As someone once said - 'Its not about the Bike'
  • gaterz1981gaterz1981 Posts: 503
    i started out with a 53/39 12-21 casette on my first road bike. Was hard, i am still into cycling and it just means when i go out on my summer frame i am quicker as got better gearing.

    Cats have nine lives. Which makes them ideal for experimentation.
    http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p67/ ... 81/MTB.jpg
    http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p67/ ... rFrame.jpg
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  • nunnun Posts: 434
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by 16mm</i>

    I it's not fair to blame the BBC for this either! Surely it's Condors fault... Damn nice bike too.
    Anyhow isn't part of riding a stage of the tour about looking the part?
    If you want to ride 120 miles on granny gears do an audax, but if you're going to be doing a stage of the hardest bike race in the world then you should at least own a big ring:-)
    Mike

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I agree that Condor gave him a nice bike, but I'd have liked it to be an Audax type of bike as those are more comfortable bikes for most non racers to ride and I bet he'll do the 120 miles in 8 or 9 hours so why would he need a race machine. Also I think we've lost an opportunity to show that an average cyclist on an audax type bike with 28 or 32 mm tyres can easily do 120 miles in a day and you don't have to be wearing lycra on a race machine to do it.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Whats more suited than lycra for cycling ?

    I reckon he'll do it under 8 hours.
  • Eat My DustEat My Dust Posts: 3,965
    Take it up with Condor, they fitted the bike for him!!

    SNAPS
  • DuduDudu Posts: 4,637
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by nun</i>

    for his first long distance ride they put him on a Condor Italia with what looks like 53/39 and probably a 12x23 or 25 cassette<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    The problem is that most off-the-peg bikes (and chainsets) have this sort of setup. This, of course, hacks off newbie riders because it makes them think cycling is a lot harder than it is.

    My first grown-up bike was 52/42 with 13-26 at the back and I soon changed the chainset to a triple so that I could actually enjoy riding it in the countryside. Is it to do with economies of scale or are all bike manufacturers advised by Jan Ullrich? (and I've even seen him using a triple to ride up the Angliru).

    I'm very surprised an outfit with the reputation of Condor let him out of the shop with a bike with these gears. A bike off the peg should surely have a set-up any newbie could cope with, with a bottom gear of 1:1 and a top around 4:1 - hence the huge sales of cheap mountainbikes, which always come with usable gears (even if they fall apart after 100 miles)..


    <font size="1">*** Have you got rock salmon?
    No, but we've got soul ***</font id="size1">
    ___________________________________________
    People need to be told what to do so badly they'll listen to anyone
  • DuduDudu Posts: 4,637
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Des</i>

    Why are you judging novices' abilities compared to your own. Just because you can't put out the watts doesn't necessarily mean a fit newcomer can't!
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Yes it does. Putting out the power is a much to do with technique as strength besdies which, even the fittest newbie will have his fitness in all the wrong muscles.


    <font size="1">*** Have you got rock salmon?
    No, but we've got soul ***</font id="size1">
    ___________________________________________
    People need to be told what to do so badly they'll listen to anyone
  • ian_oliian_oli Posts: 763
    Should he have a beard, toe-clips, plus fours and a brooks saddle as well?.

    I do Audax's in Lycra on a race bike (with some bits added) on 23mm tyres with none of the above, as do lots of others. It's all a matter of personal preference.
  • DuduDudu Posts: 4,637
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ian_oli</i>

    Should he have a beard, toe-clips, plus fours and a brooks saddle as well?.

    I do Audax's in Lycra on a race bike (with some bits added) on 23mm tyres with none of the above, as do lots of others. It's all a matter of personal preference.


    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    No, Ian, it's a matter of personal ability and fitness, and the terrain. I do Audaxes in lycra (because anything else would be stupidly uncomfortable and could even lead to serious injury or at least hypothermia), on a short wheelbase touring bike with 50/39/26 at the front and 12-26 at the back and no unnecessary junk attached. I don't race, and have no urge to ride at race speed on a ride with a time limit that allows a 15kph average!


    <font size="1">*** Have you got rock salmon?
    No, but we've got soul ***</font id="size1">
    ___________________________________________
    People need to be told what to do so badly they'll listen to anyone
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ian_oli</i>

    Should he have a beard, toe-clips, plus fours and a brooks saddle as well?.

    I do Audax's in Lycra on a race bike (with some bits added) on 23mm tyres with none of the above, as do lots of others. It's all a matter of personal preference.


    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Exactly it's a matter of personal preference, I'm just saying it didn't seem that the amature guy doing the Cyclosportive had much choice; he got a race bike and lots of lycra, that's ok and works well for a lot of cyclists, but it would have been nice to see a segment that showed the range of bikes and equipment he could have used
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Dudu</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by nun</i>

    for his first long distance ride they put him on a Condor Italia with what looks like 53/39 and probably a 12x23 or 25 cassette<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    The problem is that most off-the-peg bikes (and chainsets) have this sort of setup. This, of course, hacks off newbie riders because it makes them think cycling is a lot harder than it is.

    My first grown-up bike was 52/42 with 13-26 at the back and I soon changed the chainset to a triple so that I could actually enjoy riding it in the countryside. Is it to do with economies of scale or are all bike manufacturers advised by Jan Ullrich? (and I've even seen him using a triple to ride up the Angliru).

    I'm very surprised an outfit with the reputation of Condor let him out of the shop with a bike with these gears. A bike off the peg should surely have a set-up any newbie could cope with, with a bottom gear of 1:1 and a top around 4:1 - hence the huge sales of cheap mountainbikes, which always come with usable gears (even if they fall apart after 100 miles)..


    <font size="1">*** Have you got rock salmon?
    No, but we've got soul ***</font id="size1">
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Dudu, I thought I was the only one out there for a few moments....however, I'm not surprised at Condor "letting him out of the door with these gears", most stores are heavily influenced by the seasoned cyclist's and race needs not the novice and non-competition ethos.
  • ticklersticklers Posts: 132
    No stabilizers neither ,
    or a bell !!!!!!!!
    oh and none them nice reflector thingy's on the wheels.
  • 16mm16mm Posts: 545
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">[
    I agree that Condor gave him a nice bike, but I'd have liked it to be an Audax type of bike as those are more comfortable bikes for most non racers to ride and I bet he'll do the 120 miles in 8 or 9 hours so why would he need a race machine. Also I think we've lost an opportunity to show that an average cyclist on an audax type bike with 28 or 32 mm tyres can easily do 120 miles in a day and you don't have to be wearing lycra on a race machine to do it.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    But he entered for the tour de france stage ride, not an audax. It would have been great if the BBC had chosen to follow someone training to do an audax, on an audax bike, growing a beard, and breaking in their brooks saddle, but they're not. At least not this program.
    He's riding a participation stage of the hardest *race * in the world. A racing bike and clothing are the tools of the trade. And he'll manage with the 39. It's not like he'll have panniers on.
    ta
    Mike
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"> But he entered for the tour de france stage ride, not an audax. It would have been great if the BBC had chosen to follow someone training to do an audax, on an audax bike, growing a beard, and breaking in their brooks saddle, but they're not. At least not this program.
    He's riding a participation stage of the hardest *race * in the world. A racing bike and clothing are the tools of the trade. And he'll manage with the 39. It's not like he'll have panniers on.
    ta
    Mike
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    Its not a race,its not an audax or randonnee its somewhere in between. Are there some bike type or clothing entrance requirements just becasue it follows the TdF route? It sounds like a nice day out to ride it in a wool top, with cycling knickers (+4s) and a saddlebag, I have this image of lycra cycling next to wool and both just enjoying the cycling.
  • alexjricealexjrice Posts: 2,511
    Oh come on, 39*23 is a perfectly reasonable low gear for an unladen bike on most terrain.

    ---
    http://www.ajjrice.plus.com
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by nun</i>
    So why even put a 53 on there? The novice may not really understand or be physically capable of using the gears with the 53 ring so why does the bike have them? Surely its better to give a novice a bike that is comfortable and has a good range of gears more suited to their ability rather than the same gearing that's used in the TdF. Hills are always an issue for the beginner and if the lowest gear is 39x23 and they have a long 1:6 hill it can really put them off the whole experience.

    A long time ago I realized that a 53t ring was basically useless to me as I cannot ride for extended periods above 20 mph so I use a 42/26 double with an 11-34 cassette and most of the time I'm in 42x15 doing 17 or 18 mph
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    The guy is a PE teacher - he's fit. I started out with 53/42 and a 13-19 straight through block and didn't have any problems riding round the Peak District. Some people like the challenge of riding up hills - if you fit 26*34 then there is no challenge - other than trying to balance at such a slow speed I suppose.

    Dave Hinde - probably the worst bike shop in the world.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by alexjrice</i>

    Oh come on, 39*23 is a perfectly reasonable low gear for an unladen bike on most terrain.

    ---
    http://www.ajjrice.plus.com
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Yes thats true 39x23 is a good low gear for most regular cyclists, my main point is that 53x12 or even 50x12 are only useful to those entering races and that most of the recreational and club cyclists don't need them because they can't maintain 27mph at 80rpm for long.
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Tom Butcher</i>

    The guy is a PE teacher - he's fit. I started out with 53/42 and a 13-19 straight through block and didn't have any problems riding round the Peak District. Some people like the challenge of riding up hills - if you fit 26*34 then there is no challenge - other than trying to balance at such a slow speed I suppose.

    Dave Hinde - probably the worst bike shop in the world.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Yes he looks quite fit, averaging 16mph over 50miles is good for a beginner, but as he's not racing I don't really see why he needs gear ratios above 100". He might spin out down some of those "kentish mountains" I suppose. My 26x34 is for the end of a long loaded touring day in serious mountains. Regular riding is done on the 42t from the 11 to the 23 cog. Looking at the British Cyclosportive route it looks like a nice one for singlespeed, although I'd make a concession to the distance and do it on 42x17 if I was entered.[:(] long distance in 42x15 kills my knees.
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