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Which gears please?!

dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
edited December 2009 in Road beginners
12-25 cassette gives you a very nice range of gears(11 tooth rear sprockets are basically useless). 170 compact(34-50) will be more than adequate for your needs.
39-53 crank sets are almost becoming old school these days. 170 crank length is pretty much standard unless you have overly short or long legs.
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  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639
    edited December 2009
    9 speed casette
    11-25, 11-23, 12-25, 13-25, 14-25

    Means number of teeth on each sprocket of the rear cassette. Eg an 11-25 has cogs that range in size from the smallest,11, to the biggest, 25.

    Tiagra Double
    Compact 165 34/50, Compact 170 34/50, 170 39/52, Compact 175 34/50 & 175 39/52

    The first figure, 165, 170 etc, gives the length of the cranks in mm. Which one you choose is mainly determined by how long your legs are. The second tells you that it has two chainrings and gives the number of teeth on both, eg 34 teeth on the smallest, 50 on the largest.

    If you're rubbish at hills, get a 34/50 chainset. A 12-25 cassette will be sufficient gearing for most folk. If you have massive leg power, get the 52/39 and 11/23 cassette.

    And do some research into gearing.
  • Hi,

    The first set of figures are explained as follows:

    you have 9 speeds (that is nine cogs) fitted to the back wheel. The numbers are the number of teeth on the cogs - so in the case 0f 11-25, the smallest cog has 11 teeth, and the largest one has 25 teeth. The other seven cogs will be more or less evenly distributed between.
    The other numbers refer to the "big cogs" at the front - the chainset - , to which the pedals are attached.
    The first number eg 165, is the length in millimeters, of the crank arm. Which you choose is down to personal preference, and the length of your legs. 170 is the most common. The other numbers refer, as at the back, to the number of teeth on the chain wheel.

    Which "gear" you are in means "which cog am I on at the front" combined with "which cog am I on at the back" So, for example, if you are on the biggest ring at the front, eg 53 teeth, and the smallest at the back - eg 11 teeth - that's the highest gear, and the hardest to pedal. Vice-versa - if you are on the smallest one at the front, and the largest at the back - that's easiest - and where you would be on a hill. So - which to choose? Depends how fit you are and how hilly it is where you live. A combination of 50/34 and 11-25 will give you a good range of gears, and be OK if it is a bit hilly. If it's dead flat where you live, maybe look at some other combination. Hope this isn't too simplistic an explanation - but it helps to make the decision if you have the background and reasoning!
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  • John C.John C. Posts: 2,113
    Think it's all been said really,
    if you're under 5' go for 165mm cranks 5'-6' 170 and over 6' go for the 175 cranks. Unless you are really fit I'd go for the 34/50 chain rings and I feel the 12/25 is a good compromise cassette,ie reasonably tight but with a 25 bail out gear and high enough to fly down hills. By what you say there isn't a triple option, shame, because I'd recommend that as it offers a lower gear which you may appreciate on the big hills.
    http://www.ripon-loiterers.org.uk/

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
    Hills are just a matter of pace
  • ravey1981ravey1981 Posts: 1,111
    Why is an 11t sprocket useless? :?
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    ravey1981 wrote:
    Why is an 11t sprocket useless? :?

    Other than the occasional downhill what can YOU(and 99% of the cycling world) use it for?
  • ravey1981ravey1981 Posts: 1,111
    Erm....I don't know...It was more of a question really...

    I'm also building up a new bike and going through the whole compact/standard/ratios conundrum...

    Would an 11t sprocket still be too high geared even on a compact setup then?

    Is it higher geared than a 53-12?
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I use an 11 sprocket when racing with a 34/50 chainset, but you won't really need one unless hitting speeds in excess of 60kph
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    edited December 2009
    ravey1981 wrote:
    Erm....I don't know...It was more of a question really...

    I'm also building up a new bike and going through the whole compact/standard/ratios conundrum...

    Would an 11t sprocket still be too high geared even on a compact setup then?

    Is it higher geared than a 53-12?

    a 50-11 is 1/2 gear higher than a 53-12.
    try downloading gear calc pro (32bit) its free.
    http://www.machinehead-software.co.uk/b ... lator.html
  • Nope!
    ______________________

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  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    ravey1981 wrote:
    Erm....I don't know...It was more of a question really...

    I'm also building up a new bike and going through the whole compact/standard/ratios conundrum...

    Would an 11t sprocket still be too high geared even on a compact setup then?

    Is it higher geared than a 53-12?

    Sorry about that response. Bad day at work. Yes, an 11 tooth is to high of a gear for even a compact(50-34). Lots of claims by people that they CAN use them but I have my doubts. It won't hurt anything but you probably won't ever use it either, so a 12 makes much more sense. A 50-11 IS higher than a 53-12(by a little bit).
  • This is all good advice. Also have a look at Sheldon Brown's gearing pages.
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  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    The 12/25 is better than the 11/25 because it includes a 14 tooth sprocket which is a lot more use than an 11. Personaly I would try to get a 12/27 fitted as it gives all the same higher gears but the bottom 2 are lower giving better hill flexibility. If you do not intend to race just yet I would also go with the 50/34 compact chainset. You can always fit bigger chainrings later if you need to. The 52/39 will not take smaller rings so you could not fit them if you wanted.

    Sheldon Brown on gears. http://sheldonbrown.com/gearing/index.html
    Sheldon Brown home page. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/ Bookmark this one. Most questions are answered here.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    170mm with 34/50 and 11-25 is what I'd get. You might not use the 11t a lot, but you might find it useful sometimes.
    I like bikes...

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  • rokkalarokkala Posts: 649
    Glad i have an 11tooth sprocket on my compact. I used to have 52/12 on triple i had on my first road bike and definately felt like i needed a bigger gear. Don't regret it.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    Rokkala wrote:
    Glad i have an 11tooth sprocket on my compact. I used to have 52/12 on triple i had on my first road bike and definately felt like i needed a bigger gear. Don't regret it.

    When do you USE this 50-11?
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    I would much rather have the 14 than the 11. I have raced with a 50/12 and hardly ever needed that. It is over 30mph at 90rpm and over 35 at 100. You need to be a strong rider to get that on the flat or even slightly downhill. If it is any steeper you will get those speeds for free. To much macho talk (or wishfull thinking) on here. We are not talking to high level racers on Beginners.
  • rokkalarokkala Posts: 649
    Rokkala wrote:
    Glad i have an 11tooth sprocket on my compact. I used to have 52/12 on triple i had on my first road bike and definately felt like i needed a bigger gear. Don't regret it.

    Not trying to act macho or anything, i use it on just about any decent length of flat/slope and downhills. Different people have different priorities. I'm still young so maybe less risk-averse than yourself, i love going as fast as possible down hills, and i prefer the feel of actually pushing a gear for as long as possible rather than just spinning fresh air.

    So for me, i'm happier with that. And to be fair, i'm running 10speed so i still have a 14t sprocket, forgot OP only has 9sp available.
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    i thought about going 13-26 on a 52 tooth. better chainline.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    Rokkala wrote:
    Rokkala wrote:
    Glad i have an 11tooth sprocket on my compact. I used to have 52/12 on triple i had on my first road bike and definately felt like i needed a bigger gear. Don't regret it.

    Not trying to act macho or anything, i use it on just about any decent length of flat/slope and downhills. Different people have different priorities. I'm still young so maybe less risk-averse than yourself, i love going as fast as possible down hills, and i prefer the feel of actually pushing a gear for as long as possible rather than just spinning fresh air.

    So for me, i'm happier with that. And to be fair, i'm running 10speed so i still have a 14t sprocket, forgot OP only has 9sp available.

    Just out riding around and pushing a 50-11 on "ANY DECENT LENGTH OF FLAT" ....road???? :roll: :roll: :roll:
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    Rokkala wrote:
    Rokkala wrote:
    Glad i have an 11tooth sprocket on my compact. I used to have 52/12 on triple i had on my first road bike and definately felt like i needed a bigger gear. Don't regret it.

    Not trying to act macho or anything, i use it on just about any decent length of flat/slope and downhills. Different people have different priorities. I'm still young so maybe less risk-averse than yourself, i love going as fast as possible down hills, and i prefer the feel of actually pushing a gear for as long as possible rather than just spinning fresh air.

    So for me, i'm happier with that. And to be fair, i'm running 10speed so i still have a 14t sprocket, forgot OP only has 9sp available.
    I am not averse to a bit of speed. My best recorded max is 66mph during the White Rose Classic a couple of years ago. My comments had taken the 9sp into account also.
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    what sort of hill was that. thats horrenduss.
    just dont get campig gears they explode apparently.
  • rokkalarokkala Posts: 649
    dennisn wrote:
    Rokkala wrote:
    Rokkala wrote:
    Glad i have an 11tooth sprocket on my compact. I used to have 52/12 on triple i had on my first road bike and definately felt like i needed a bigger gear. Don't regret it.

    Not trying to act macho or anything, i use it on just about any decent length of flat/slope and downhills. Different people have different priorities. I'm still young so maybe less risk-averse than yourself, i love going as fast as possible down hills, and i prefer the feel of actually pushing a gear for as long as possible rather than just spinning fresh air.

    So for me, i'm happier with that. And to be fair, i'm running 10speed so i still have a 14t sprocket, forgot OP only has 9sp available.

    Just out riding around and pushing a 50-11 on "ANY DECENT LENGTH OF FLAT" ....road???? :roll: :roll: :roll:

    I can only conclude that you are weak =']
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    are you a pro? you must be travelling at least 30mph minimum. a regular ben-hur.
  • rokkalarokkala Posts: 649
    rake wrote:
    are you a pro? you must be travelling at least 30mph minimum. a regular ben-hur.

    I live in close proximity to some valleys. So yes, on every ride i am reguarly travelling at 30mph+ and also going up hills at under 10mph.

    are you a wannabe troll?
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    thats not flat road as you said.
    i live under a bridge.
  • John C.John C. Posts: 2,113
    The only time I've used an 11 tooth was when I used a micro triple set (22/32/42) and this gave me a top gear of about 100 inches
    http://www.ripon-loiterers.org.uk/

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
    Hills are just a matter of pace
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    Speaking as someone who has never taken part in a bunch sprint and has no desire to, I probably cover more distance in 52/11 than any other gear - every uphill has a downhill, and I find there are few downhills that aren't improved by pedalling. My regular commute has several gentle downhills that are a bit slow if you freewheel but zip along at 35-45 if you pedal, nice and easy in a high gear. There's one hill where 50 mph is standard (PB is 56), of course I would get to about 40 frewheeling, but why do 40 when you can do 50? On easier slopes, a tailwind can also change everything.

    When I acquired a new bike with a compact (and much lighter too), I suddenly found that I was struggling to keep up the speed downhill - what I had been doing at 45 was a push at 35 in 50/12.

    Of course the high gear isn't necessary, but I use it and in the circumstances I'm talking about here it's the gear I'm most comfortable in - just 'cos I can't push it on the flat doesn't make it useless.
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    why not.
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    Stanley222 wrote:
    Thanks
    Should I be ordering a short or medium cage - or does it not make much difference?!!!
    The bike should come with the correct length cage for the gears fitted. A short cage mech is suitable for all the options you quoted in the OP. Shimano do not make a medium cage road mech. They are either SS (short) or GS (long) for double and triple respectively. The widest range a short cage will take is 50/34 with 12/25 (Shimano specs). This can be pushed to 27 or even 28 with care. Fitting a long cage mech does not enable the use of larger sprockets as it is the geometry of the upper part of the mech that limits this.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    bompington wrote:
    ..... I probably cover more distance in 52/11 than any other gear - .........

    Good one. :lol::lol::lol::lol:
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