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Etappe gearing

RadsmanRadsman Posts: 122
edited June 2007 in Pro race
Okay probably not the first time for this question. I currently have a compact 50, 34 and a rear cassette 12x23. In doing some long alpine days, I have noticed by the second pass my legs are pretty broken down. Cadence is quite low if it is 7%+. I am thinking of switching out the rear cassette. Any recommendations on what gearing would make sense. I have 10 speed cassette. Should I be seeking a 12x27 (if that is possible) or some other combination. I know it is somewhat personal but any help would be useful.

Posts

  • terongiterongi Posts: 318
    I am riding the etape course tomorrow.

    Until last week, I had exactly the same gearing as you (except 9 speed)

    Last week, I changed my cassette to a 13-26. I chose 26, because if you go any larger, you have to change your rear derailleur for a longer one.

    I reckon if I really struggle with 34x26, I can always change again in time for July.

    I will let you know how I get on tomorrow.
  • I've ridden it and had a 34-50 on the front and a 13 - 29 on the back.

    From memory I used the 26 a fair bit and when I get tired later in the weeks it was nice to be able to go to the 29. I try to keep my cadence between 70 - 75. If it goes lower, I'll change down into the 29.

    Having said that, I rode Alpe d'Huez and Col de Glandon/Croix de Fer on Saturday and spent the majority of those climbs in the 29.

    Vive les All Blacks!!! [:D]

    Vive les All Blacks!!! [:D]
  • bigbazbigbaz Posts: 538
    Assuming you`re running Shimano,you could fit a 12/27 cassette without having to change your rear mech,and you would really feel the benefit as your legs start to tire.I really wouldn`t like to do an etape with 34/23 as my lowest gear.
  • mandiemandie Posts: 218
    Advice from a tourist:
    You may reject this out of hand without upsetting me, they're your legs not mine.

    On 30 km climbs with sections up to 15% in them (ie alpine climbs):
    <b><font color="blue">There is no such thing as a bottom gear that is too low.</font id="blue"></b>
    I would suggest a triple with a 22 tooth granny and a 32 or 34 on the back.

    On the way back down, if you are spinning out on a 48 x 12 you really should be thinking about braking.[:)]

    We'll kick against the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight
    We\'ll kick against the darkness \'till it bleeds daylight
  • leguapeleguape Posts: 986
    I ran 30/27 as my lowest last year but this year will probably be running 34/26 or 27 as I'm in better shape. Last year I used 30/24 or 25 a lot but rarely the 27. I'd say alway allow yourself one gear more than you think you'll need. Better to have too many low gears that you don't need than to worry about spinning out on the descents.

    http://www.atomicecho.com/cycling/index.shtml - My cycling blog. From commuting to crits and sportives.
  • sylvanussylvanus Posts: 1,125
    It does all really rather depend on your power (sustained over 6-10 hrs) and your weight. If you weigh 70kg and can kick out 400W at threshold like Mr Armstrong then 39x25 would be fine if you want 90rpm. If like me you weigh 90kg and struggle to kick out 250W at threshold then go for 34x25 or lower.

    if you're fatter (which seems unlikely) and weaker then reduce accordingly. You can easily test your choice by climbing a UK hill and then repeating it or others 10-15 times so you've done 2000-3000m of climbing. If you're still coping with the gearing then you should be fine.
  • sylvanussylvanus Posts: 1,125
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">There is no such thing as a bottom gear that is too low<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    Actually that is completely untrue. Climbing is all about kicking out a lot of power over a long period of time and suffering some fairly intense pain. Assuming you want a cadence of 80-90 rpm then too low a gear can very easily be a route to physically and psychologically bottling out. Too low a gear is the hill-climbing equivalent of a packet of hobnobs in the cupboard and it sits there tempting you, nagging away at your mind until you gorge on it. If you want to get thin and / or climb well then avoid temptation - your enemy is the 29 sprocket / choccy hobnobs

    [:)]

    [snotty] Also to be a bit of a snotty roadie, the Etape (French for stage) is not spelt Etapppppppe nor is it a race so this thread should really be under ride or training [/snotty]
  • RadsmanRadsman Posts: 122
    I have enough spelling problems in English, let alone French. For some it is a race.
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by sylvanus</i>

    [snotty] Also to be a bit of a snotty roadie, the Etape (French for stage) is not spelt Etapppppppe nor is it a race so this thread should really be under ride or training [/snotty]
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">What makes you think it isn't a race? It is.
  • bigbazbigbaz Posts: 538
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by andyp</i>

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

    [snotty] Also to be a bit of a snotty roadie, the Etape (French for stage) is not spelt Etapppppppe nor is it a race so this thread should really be under ride or training [/snotty]
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">What makes you think it isn't a race? It is.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    It`s a bit like the London Marathon.For the vast majority,the aim is to finish but for a select few,it`s definitely a race.
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by bigbaz</i>

    It`s a bit like the London Marathon.For the vast majority,the aim is to finish but for a select few,it`s definitely a race.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">Or the Giro or the Tour, i.e. a select few aim to win, the vast majority hope to finish, maybe with some personal or team glory along the way.
  • ricadusricadus Posts: 2,379
    It owes its existence to a certain race, therefore there's a connection whether or not the participants actually race or not.

    <font color="black">london</font id="black"><font color="red">phoenix</font id="red"><font color="black">.co.uk</font id="black">
  • RadsmanRadsman Posts: 122
    The question has as much to do with racing as training. we can create another sub-fora, cycling events or the such.
  • Last time I checked there was a clock that kept ticking and if you weren't at point X by time Y then you were out. To me, this means it's a race against the clock ... so it's a race.

    By the way Sylvanus, I disagree. You can't replicate a col by doing a hill over and over again. You get so much recovery time on the descent, that by the time you get to the bottom to start again, your HR has recoved and you're already feeling stronger. You don't get to do that on a Col.

    I'm not saying climbing hills as you suggest isn't good training, I'm just saying it doesn't accurately reflect a Pyrenean col.

    Vive les All Blacks!!! [:D]

    Vive les All Blacks!!! [:D]
  • monty_dogcpmonty_dogcp Posts: 382
    I do find it a bit tedious that the Race section gets clogged-up with people asking the same questions about sportives - it might be a race for the first 100 or so riders, but for the majority of the people asking these questions, they're only there to not get swept-up by the broom wagon. I'd rather have 2 seperate sections - how about Racing and Sportives?
  • ricadusricadus Posts: 2,379
    I find it a bit tedious that the Race section gets clogged-up with people having the same debate about doping. But there you go, you can't please everyone. [:)]

    <font color="black">london</font id="black"><font color="red">phoenix</font id="red"><font color="black">.co.uk</font id="black">
  • A compact with a 12/27 will get you up anything on the Etape. You might say a 27 is to big but doing the Bales after the others it comes in pretty handy.

    Also you can fit a 30 on a shimano cassette with out having to change out the derailler - I have it on a Durace and Ultegra bike (not that I use it anymore [:D])
    Anyone riding over the Bales becareful, they have dug the road up and starting to prepare if the tour.
    Sejours Triathlon et Velo dans les Pyrenees
    www.pyreneesmultisport.com
  • RadsmanRadsman Posts: 122
    Thanks everyone, I have decided on the 12/27, just in case I need it on the last couple climbs...as I live in Switzerland, I am lucky enough to be able to test myself ....and with the 12/23, I could make it up the climbs but by about 2,000 meters of climbing in a day my legs are in pain in the 23. I suppose more training would overcome this but not sure I can get there in six weeks.
  • TomFTomF Posts: 494
    Hmm. This is making me worry that having a triple (granny: 30) and a 12/27 is too much and not enough at the same time.

    Well, like the others only racing the broom wagon, let's hope I can get to the end and then eat some hobnobs.
  • cq20cq20 Posts: 207
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by TomF</i>

    Hmm. This is making me worry that having a triple (granny: 30) and a 12/27 is too much and not enough at the same time.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Using a triple doesn't seem to have worried a number of the riders spotted using them in the Giro. Somebody should tell them that they can't be "proper" racers.[:)]
  • sylvanussylvanus Posts: 1,125
    Its not too much of that is what you need given the power / weight you have. I will ride with a triple as I grow older and I could have done with one on Alpe D'Huez last year when I was engaged in a slow-motion cycling competition with thousands of middle-aged Frenchmen in 40 degree heat. My lowest was 34x25 and that was too high since I had recently been injured in a crash, was overweight and undertrained as a result!

    This year I hope I'm OK with 34x25 but all this discussion is making me wonder whether I should slip into Condor for a crafty 13x29 cassette! It is as they say "horses for courses" an only you can judge what sort of horse you are!
  • a 12 strait block/cassette using a 42 x 53 chainset will get you round the etape course in a few days [:D]
  • normanpnormanp Posts: 279
    30/42/53 + 13-29! I intend to enjoy this ride - as I thoroughly enjoyed last year's etape (sorry sylvanus). So this post should be in ride not race...
  • leguapeleguape Posts: 986
    The thing with going lower and lower is that the benefits become increasingly marginal when you are turning the pedals at less than 80rpm. Anything bigger that a 27 cog and you are looking at tenths of a kilometre an hour. I was considering getting a 12/27 over my existing 12/26 block and the difference just wasn't worth it. Likewise my lowest ratio will be 34/26 this year compared to 30/27 last.

    TomF, 30/27 will be more than adequate. Anything lower and I think you are in danger of bouncing down to a pace where you'd be quicker to get off and walk.

    Radsman, six weeks is still plenty of time to do some beneficial work. If you've got some distance in your legs already this year, try mixing in some shorter, more intense sessions (1 hour or so of 3x20mins blocks at 85% of your max effort) to build up a bit of power for the hills.

    Me I'm starting to worry, but tomorrow's Highclere sportif should tell me where I am for fitness. Hopefully much up on last year when I was less prepared than I could have been.

    http://www.atomicecho.com/cycling/index.shtml - My cycling blog. From commuting to crits and sportives.
  • Legaupe - everyone worries about their form. I've been riding for the best part of 20 years and I still get worried by it. I'm sure the likes of Zabel and Bettini are the same. [:)]

    Hopefully I'll see you at Highclere - I'll be on a dark blue steel De Rosa.
  • leguapeleguape Posts: 986
    I'll be on the red, black and silver Merckx with SRAM in London Dynamo kit. Yes there is something of a kit/bike colour clash but it's a similar clash hasn't bothered quickstep yet so I can live with it. It's going to be a long day - I'm staying in Newbury and am a non-car driver so will be pedalling down at some ungodly hour.

    http://www.atomicecho.com/cycling/index.shtml - My cycling blog. From commuting to crits and sportives.
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