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Gear ratio for cliaming mountains

noodles1210noodles1210 Posts: 13
Hi all,

I have a Carbon road bike with a standard 53/39 front crank, and as it is a challange riding up some steep mountain claimbs in my lowest gear setting, I am hoping to make these ride a little easier on myself. Could I keep the standard 53 big ring and maybe a 36 small ring as I use a high gear on flater roads, or do I have to change the bigger crank.

Many thanks

Tired Legs


  • What's the range of your rear cassette? It may be worthwhile checking that first as if your largest rear is 25 then you will find it a struggle. A 27 on the back should go some way to sorting you out.

    A 53/36 would be a big jump and I'm not sure how it would affect your chain tension as it could get a bit sloppy.

    My winter bike is 53/39 and my 'posh' one is a compact 50/34. To be honest I find the compact more of a jolt when jumping to the small ring and the range of gears I have on both is similar due to the varying sizes of the rear cassette.

    There are lots of threads on here regarding compact set-ups so have a look for those.

    If you are really struggling then I would suggest initially changing the rear cassette for something with a 27 (or larger). Failing that, go for a compact on the front.

    Good luck!
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    What mountains are you climbing?

    A 53/39 chainset probably has a BCD of 130mm or 135mm, so you won't be able to fit a ring smaller than 38t.

    You'll probably have to change to a compact.
    I like bikes...

  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    Out of curiosity, will a mtb cassette 11-30 work on a road bike if you get a long cage rear mech (and change the chain)?

    If it works then isn't this a cheaper option than buying a new type of chainset?

    I know there's a concern over the jump in gears, but you could bastardise two cassetes, perhaps loose the 11 and replace with a 12, then tighten up the smaller gears, say
    12,13,14,16,18,21,24,27,30 or something similar depending on what gears are welded together. Eg you could buy two of these and play with it :oops: ... 360013884/

    Saying that if you've got 10sp I see ultegra do a 11-28 and sram.

    Why don't they make a 12-30 (or even a 13-30)? for people like the op?
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    Oh and since you posted in the training forum, you could just go out and train harder.

    2x20 done with a cadence of MAXIMUM 50, or do training rides where you only use the 53x12 (or similar) combo.

    Might sound harsh but it's the cheapest option. :wink:

    <sit here and wait for the 'you'll get bad knees' bs brigade to jump in.> :lol:
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    try mtb mech or medium length road derailer. a new chain is a good idea on a new block for wear. the trouble with mtb block youl have big jumps between gears. compacts a better option with a 25 block.
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