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Help with Hill climbing

QuakerQuaker Posts: 3
edited August 2008 in Road beginners
Hello

I currently use a standard 53 39 chainring but am struggling with my climbs. I cannot really afford a compact and was looking at maybe changing the cassette (I currently have a 10-speed 11-28t) What size should I go for? Is it easy to fit for a total novice and will it make hill climbs much easier?

Thanks

Posts

  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    If you use the search function of the forums there's loads of similar threads asking the same question as yours.
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  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    Quaker wrote:
    Hello

    I currently use a standard 53 39 chainring but am struggling with my climbs. I cannot really afford a compact and was looking at maybe changing the cassette (I currently have a 10-speed 11-28t) What size should I go for? Is it easy to fit for a total novice and will it make hill climbs much easier?

    Thanks

    You are probably at the rear mech's limit with a 28 tooth cog, meaning it won't shift to anything bigger.
    If you're running a Shimano crank you can mount a 38 tooth small ring on the front. It's
    not much but "every little bit...". With Campy the smallest front is a 39. You can mount a
    MTB rear mech on the bike and it will handle up to a 34 tooth rear cog but you will need to find a manufacturer or supplier of loose 10 speed cogs(I once bought some from Harris
    Cyclery here in the states). If you're running Shimano you can buy MTB cassettes up to
    34 teeth, only problem is they are 9 speed. Compact is the way to go. If you look, there
    are bunches of them out there and quite a few with reasonable pricing.

    Dennis Noward
  • topdudetopdude Posts: 1,557
    Hi, if you have 53/39 chainrings then you most likely have a short cage rear mech, this means you cannot go bigger than a 28 tooth cassette.
    You could either fit a long cage MTB mech, MTB cassette and new chain for about £45 at a guess or a compact chainset for the same money.
    My advice would be go compact.
    He is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy !!
  • QuakerQuaker Posts: 3
    Thanks for your replies.

    My bike was a gift and is way beyond my price range so anything I change on it will be for a far lower spec. I think I will just suffer and try and get fitter and save up for a good compact.

    I'm doing the Helvellyn triathlon on 7th September and I'm starting to worry about "the struggle"

    Cheers
  • fizzfizz Posts: 483
    How long have you've been cycling for, if you've only just started just get some practice in to start with, I used to struggle up climbs on my 39 x 27, now its only the really steepest ones that beat me. Also practice is cheaper than components :wink::D

    Failing that as the others have said look at going compact.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    When I was young (70's-80's) there wasn't much choice in crank sets and the ones we all had were 52-42 up front with a 13-26 rear, 6 speed, steel bikes. Somehow, someway, we used to make those really hard, steep climbs on 100 mile, 2 day, hilly rides. Now I use a compact, censored a lot, and swear I will never do this or that ride/tour again. Then again
    that's what I used to say way back when. So, suck it up. :):)

    Dennis Noward
  • beverickbeverick Posts: 3,461
    dennisn wrote:
    When I was young (70's-80's) there wasn't much choice in crank sets and the ones we all had were 52-42 up front with a 13-26 rear, 6 speed, steel bikes. Somehow, someway, we used to make those really hard, steep climbs on 100 mile, 2 day, hilly rides. Now I use a compact, ***** a lot, and swear I will never do this or that ride/tour again. Then again
    that's what I used to say way back when. So, suck it up. :):)

    Dennis Noward

    6 speed, luxury.

    My first serious road bike had 52-42 / 11-25 (I seem to remember) five speed set up. So you either learned to climb efficiently or walked a lot cycling in West Yorkshire.

    Interestingly my father had a 1930's cycling map of the north of England. The word AVOID is written across many roads. But he only had a three speed Sturmy Archer gear set to rely on.

    Bob
  • LeighBLeighB Posts: 326
    I live in the South Lakes and have been up the Struggle, Gummers Howe Rd, Kirkstone from Ullswater, Honister, Newlands, Hardknott, Wrynose and many other un-named hills. The bike I use in the winter for these rides currently has 40 front chainring and 28 on the back. The first time I went up Kirkstone from Ullswater I thought my heart was coming out of my chest but with time I manage them ok. They are never easy but with practice the gearing you have should be ok. My summer bike has 36 chainring and 26 back and is not a huge lot different to the winter bike.
  • dennisn wrote:
    When I was young (70's-80's)

    Jeez Dennis...........how old are you now?? :shock:

    90 or even 100!! :D
    Tarpaullynn
  • If you use the search function of the forums there's loads of similar threads asking the same question as yours.
    Change the record
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    dennisn wrote:
    When I was young (70's-80's)

    Jeez Dennis...........how old are you now?? :shock:

    90 or even 100!! :D

    60 this December
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    If you use the search function of the forums there's loads of similar threads asking the same question as yours.
    Change the record

    It's basic forum etiquette, and for a start it's a common thread type - "I'm weak and need smaller gears - HELP!"
    I like bikes...

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  • If you use the search function of the forums there's loads of similar threads asking the same question as yours.
    Change the record
    i like to help . dont go spending money on new cassettes , gearing ect . the best way is hill repetitions . go to your nearest big hill , and ride up and down it , using different speeds and gears , increase this week by week . see how you get on .
  • If you use the search function of the forums there's loads of similar threads asking the same question as yours.
    Change the record
    i like to help . dont go spending money on new cassettes , gearing ect . the best way is hill repetitions . go to your nearest big hill , and ride up and down it , using different speeds and gears , increase this week by week . see how you get on .
  • FSR_XCFSR_XC Posts: 2,258
    Quaker wrote:
    Thanks for your replies.

    My bike was a gift and is way beyond my price range so anything I change on it will be for a far lower spec. I think I will just suffer and try and get fitter and save up for a good compact.

    I'm doing the Helvellyn triathlon on 7th September and I'm starting to worry about "the struggle"

    Cheers

    It's quite unusual to have any steep climbs in a triathlon.

    You should be able to download the route, including elevation changes.

    Good luck - they are fun! :oops:
    Stumpjumper FSR 09/10 Pro Carbon, Genesis Vapour CX20 ('17)Carbon, Rose Xeon CW3000 '14, Raleigh R50

    http://www.visiontrack.com
  • nasahapleynasahapley Posts: 717
    FSR_XC wrote:
    It's quite unusual to have any steep climbs in a triathlon.You should be able to download the route, including elevation changes.

    Good luck - they are fun! :oops:

    The Helvellyn's quite an unusual triathlon! The bike section has two main climbs - Matterdale End which isn't too bad, and the Struggle which is a 1-in-5 b***ard. It is funny to see folks on flash bikes who save a bit of time via the use of clip-on tri bars lose it all and more by walking up the Struggle, should've swallowed their pride and gone for lower gears!

    Oh and once you've done that, it's a jolly run up to the top of Helvellyn, the third highest mountain in England, and back down again. Good luck Quaker!
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