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Changing Gear Under Load

Escher303Escher303 Posts: 342
edited June 2012 in Road general
How do different groupsets stack up regarding changing gear under load? I hear that electronic shifting allows you to do this but what about mechanical?

I'd like to improve my ability to change gear going up hill without losing momentum and currently have 105, I have to take the pressure off to change.

Would Ultegra, Dura-Ace, Sram or Campag improve over 105? Anyone able to change gear when out of the saddle?

Cheers

Posts

  • slowondefy2slowondefy2 Posts: 348
    Do you have to take pressure off under load? I mean, it still changes gear doesn't it? Of course, it's a pretty horrible thing to do and no doubt is pretty wearing on the drive train, but I wonder how bad it actually is.
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    edited June 2012
    There's rarely any need to change gear under load. Easing off very slightly can almost always be done. Changing gear under load in a bunch sprint in a race may be worth doing though. SRAM Red has something called zero loss shifting at the rear so should shift well under load (other SRAM groupsets are zero loss at the front only).
    More problems but still living....
  • MartinB2444MartinB2444 Posts: 266
    Ultegra compact with 11-28 cassette - no problems changing when sitting, generating up to 300W on a sustained climb. Sprinting over a short hill I would ease up momentarily to avoid crunching noises. Standing up, have tried it once, it changed but it really wasn't nice. The time I'm most tempted is when pushing hard towards the top of a concave hill. I think sitting down briefly to change and upping the cadence at the same time doesn't really loose any time though

    Martin
  • morstarmorstar Posts: 2,817
    I do it quite frequently on short sharp climbs. Press the pedal hard at the top of the stroke and for a split second on the down stroke, stop pushing down but keep rotating and change.

    Takes a fraction of a second and only the slightest adjustment to your rhythm.
  • rdtrdt Posts: 866
    Escher303 wrote:
    How do different groupsets stack up regarding changing gear under load? I hear that electronic shifting allows you to do this but what about mechanical?

    I'd like to improve my ability to change gear going up hill without losing momentum and currently have 105, I have to take the pressure off to change.

    Would Ultegra, Dura-Ace, Sram or Campag improve over 105? Anyone able to change gear when out of the saddle?

    Cheers

    Technique (and practice)? The key is to apply a bit more pedal pressure (to increase momentum slightly) just before backing off and performing the change. That extra momentum balances out the loss when changing for no overall drop in speed, while still achieving a smooth change. Same if standing. Works for me.
    ----
  • rdtrdt Posts: 866
    morstar wrote:
    I do it quite frequently on short sharp climbs. Press the pedal hard at the top of the stroke and for a split second on the down stroke, stop pushing down but keep rotating and change.

    Takes a fraction of a second and only the slightest adjustment to your rhythm.

    Beat me to it!
    ----
  • Escher303Escher303 Posts: 342
    Ah, cheers, it'll be my technique then, something to work on for sure. I'd always assumed you had to take off quite a bit of load but was watching some old tour climbs yesterday and noticed Lance was changing gear standing up when battling with Pantani and Ulrich so I either thought it was more expensive equipment or much better style and technique. At the moment I either make horrendous crunching noises or need to sit down! Cheers for your help.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,367
    I'm with most others on this subject. Ease up just a bit to shift and no problems. As for DA electronic being able to do it under heavy load, well, that's the claim that is made and for the price I would expect it to be true.
  • morstarmorstar Posts: 2,817
    They did a feature on electronic shifting during the Tour series.

    Kristian House was running through the gears on a set of rollers. He clearly stated that changing under load was one of the big benefits.

    I'm ambivalent about electronic shifting. I don't doubt for one second it's better and in a few years will be pretty much standard. I am just left with the feeling that, like moderns cars, it will be something else you can't home service (not that I ever could service my own car).
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,959
    Escher303 wrote:
    Ah, cheers, it'll be my technique then, something to work on for sure. I'd always assumed you had to take off quite a bit of load but was watching some old tour climbs yesterday and noticed Lance was changing gear standing up when battling with Pantani and Ulrich so I either thought it was more expensive equipment or much better style and technique. At the moment I either make horrendous crunching noises or need to sit down! Cheers for your help.

    If you want to realise how straightforward shifting gears on a climb under load whilst standing is, try it on a bike with down tube shifters. That's the one situation where STI shifters really, really make a difference!
    Faster than a tent.......
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