Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Pyranees advice

jellikinsjellikins Posts: 153
edited July 2008 in Road beginners
I am doing a ride in the pyranees soon and have a Dawes Giro 500.

If I add a triple chainset to the bike, do members think this frame etc is ok to tackle these rides? We will be doing 18 cols etc or do I look to buy a much higher spec of bike?

Posts

  • geoff_ssgeoff_ss Posts: 1,201
    Any suitably geared reasonably good quality bike is perfectly adequate for the Pyrenees.

    We've cycle camped there in the past and done day rides as recently as this year without anything particularly special. Our cycle camping bikes were Mercian 531 touring bikes with gearing suited to our fitness - which was quite high in those days :)

    You'll enjoy it if the weather behaves. It's a spectacular part of France with fantastic scenery. Don't forget to stop occasionally to enjoy it.

    Geoff
    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    What rear cassette does it have?
    What small inner ring (granny ring) were you going to fit?
    Are you carrying any panniers on the bike or is it a supported ride?

    I'd recommend 30x23 as the minimum bottom gear for the Pyrenees unladen - lower still for laden touring (30x29 or even 30x32) depending on weight. Some of the climbs are devilishly steep (ie 10% or more for 4km :shock: )
  • jellikinsjellikins Posts: 153
    What rear cassette does it have?
    What small inner ring (granny ring) were you going to fit?
    Are you carrying any panniers on the bike or is it a supported ride?

    I'd recommend 30x23 as the minimum bottom gear for the Pyrenees unladen - lower still for laden touring (30x29 or even 30x32) depending on weight. Some of the climbs are devilishly steep (ie 10% or more for 4km


    Hi, it is unladen (we have a support vehicle)

    It is the Raid Pyraneen we are doing.

    At mo, just have a double chainset shimano Tiagra set that is standard on the Giro 500.
    I know I will have to fit a triple.
  • gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    with a triple it will be fine - you might get by with a compact if you are really fit.

    I had my first taste of proper mountains - the french alps - last year. If you've never been before with your bike then prepare to have your breathe taken away

    no really - literally - your breath taken away!

    rewarding, but very hard work.
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    You could probably get by with a 50/34 compact and a 12/27 cassette if you are reasonably fit. I used this but on a lighter bike (19.5lbs plus drinks and tools etc) and it was OK. I was 63 on my ride in 2006. 34/27 is lower than 30/23. If you have any doubts go for a triple with a 12/27 cassette. You don't have to use the low gears but you may be very glad they are there.
    The climbs are different to the Alps. They have more variation in gradient and the roads are not as smooth. Really worth doing though.
  • fluff.fluff. Posts: 771
    gkerr4 wrote:
    with a triple it will be fine - you might get by with a compact if you are really fit.

    ^ Fitness is your guide. But, given the choice now having done these sorts of climbs on different gearing, I'd go with a compact for the long grinding euro style climbs, and a triple for UK style short steep ones. I found that ended up going too slow in a triple when grinding away, and the `right' gear always seemed to be in non existent place between medium and granny rings.
  • jellikinsjellikins Posts: 153
    so not much difference then between riding the dawes giro 500 with carbon forks and sat a new Focus Cayo Expert with carbon frame??
  • gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    hmm - what do you want to hear?

    "Oh yes - of course - you'll probably have a heart attack on that old Dawes thing - you NEED a new carbon framed wonder - probably a new Focus Cayo Expert from Wiggle"

    That better?

    Do you need to justify it to the wife or significant other - you sure don't need to justify it to us on here - go get the new bike if you fancy it!!!

    and post some pics when you get it.
    :D
  • jellikinsjellikins Posts: 153
    lol, very perceptive!!!

    seriously though, would there be much difference?
  • gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    probably not a huge amount but...

    the focus will be lighter which makes it easier to climb with - it will have a stifer frame and wheels which stops you wasting energy in flexing the frame & wheels - this puts more power into pushing you uphill - so yes it will make a difference


    is it a £1300 difference? - well only you can answer that I'm afraid!!
  • Barney 2Barney 2 Posts: 68
    Spent a week IN the Pyrenees and used a 50/34x12/25 and I was o.k but for the raid where you won't have much time to recover I would go for a 12/27 or a triple.

    Who are you doing the Raid with?
  • jellikinsjellikins Posts: 153
    the focus cayo extreme is only in a double, but the focus cayo is a triple.

    £500 difference, what is the main downgrade then to the Cayo from the extreme moidel please?
  • fluff.fluff. Posts: 771
    Cayo Expert (The extreme is the Izalco) has lighter wheels and gearing, probably amounting to under 500 grams lighter for an extra 600 quid. Is that weight saving worth the money? Alot of people think not, which is why the £1000 bikes are popular, but you may decide it is...
  • jellikinsjellikins Posts: 153
    thanks fir that, really useful.

    Is there much of a jump in spec for me if i were to upgrade my Dawes Giro 500 to a Focus Cayo then?

    I suppose the main difference is the carbon frame?
  • fluff.fluff. Posts: 771
    Frame yes (though there's nothing wrong with alu frames, my poshest bike is based on one), but also the fork more than you might think. The 500 looks like it has an alu fork, a carbon one is alot better at soaking up the vibration/ bumps.
Sign In or Register to comment.