Which is easier for a beginner 11-26 or 12-21 cassette?

jay197
jay197 Posts: 196
edited October 2012 in Workshop
I never have understood the ratios :?

Thanks in advance :)

Jay.

Comments

  • Mr Dog
    Mr Dog Posts: 643
    The 11-26. The 12-21 would suit very flat terrain. I live in a hilly area and use a 11-25 and I often wish for a 26 sprocket. Try to choose ratios suited to your cadence, don't chew on massive gears.
    Why tidy the house when you can clean your bike?
  • I agree with mrdog , 11-26 must be the way to go unless you live in an area with no hills or inclines
    2010 Trek Madonne 4.7
    2011 Bmc Promachine SLC01
    2013 Wilier Cento 1SR
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    The bigger the sprockets on the rear, and the smaller the chainring on the front, the lower the gear (you pedal faster, its gets easier, use low gears for going up hill).
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • farrina
    farrina Posts: 360
    jay197 wrote:
    I never have understood the ratios :?

    Thanks in advance :)

    Jay.

    Ball park to work out gearing

    Divide the number of teeth on the front chainring by the number of teeth on the back sprocket and multiply by 27

    So by way of example (assuming your smallest chainring at the front has 39 teeth)

    39/21 x 27 = 50.14 inches
    39/26 x 27 = 40.50 inches

    Therefore your lowest bottom gear would be 40.50 inches

    One rotation of your cranks should equate to your wheel moving 40.50 inches forward (it wont be exact as I have assumed for ease of calculcation that you are using 27 inch wheels when it will no doubt be 700c)

    Lower gearing means less rotation of your wheel per crank rotation and is easier on the legs, although there comes a point (unless climbing a cliff!) where you would be pedalling furiously just to move along.

    Easiest way to consider your overall gearing is a spreadsheet with your ratios front and back on X/Y axis's and you can pencil in the actual inches calculations.

    Regards

    Alan
    Regards
    Alan
  • jay197
    jay197 Posts: 196
    farrina wrote:

    Ball park to work out gearing

    Divide the number of teeth on the front chainring by the number of teeth on the back sprocket and multiply by 27

    So by way of example (assuming your smallest chainring at the front has 39 teeth)

    39/21 x 27 = 50.14 inches
    39/26 x 27 = 40.50 inches

    Therefore your lowest bottom gear would be 40.50 inches

    One rotation of your cranks should equate to your wheel moving 40.50 inches forward (it wont be exact as I have assumed for ease of calculcation that you are using 27 inch wheels when it will no doubt be 700c)

    Lower gearing means less rotation of your wheel per crank rotation and is easier on the legs, although there comes a point (unless climbing a cliff!) where you would be pedalling furiously just to move along.

    Easiest way to consider your overall gearing is a spreadsheet with your ratios front and back on X/Y axis's and you can pencil in the actual inches calculations.

    Regards

    Alan

    ah thanks Alan, that is a nice way to work it out, cheers.
  • Mad_Malx
    Mad_Malx Posts: 5,093
    But a beginner probably won't use the 11 (or a lot of more experienced riders for that matter).
    I would recommend a minimum of a 12 tooth (which is the highest gear), coupled with something between 25 and 28. The advantage of starting at 12 is that their are smaller gaps elsewhere on the block, and more useable gears.

    The bigger the number on the back cassette, the lower the gear, so a 28 will give a low gear, 25 not quite so low. If you have a compact front chainring (something like a 50-34) a 25 will get you up most things, but it's nice to have a bailout for the steep stuff. If your smallest front chainring is 39 then you will probably need at least a 27 on the back to cope with mixed terrain.

    Any minute now someone with a huge wang will be along to tell us all to man-up.
  • Mad_Malx wrote:
    But a beginner probably won't use the 11 (or a lot of more experienced riders for that matter).
    I would recommend a minimum of a 12 tooth (which is the highest gear), coupled with something between 25 and 28. The advantage of starting at 12 is that their are smaller gaps elsewhere on the block, and more useable gears.

    The bigger the number on the back cassette, the lower the gear, so a 28 will give a low gear, 25 not quite so low. If you have a compact front chainring (something like a 50-34) a 25 will get you up most things, but it's nice to have a bailout for the steep stuff. If your smallest front chainring is 39 then you will probably need at least a 27 on the back to cope with mixed terrain.

    Any minute now someone with a huge wang will be along to tell us all to man-up.

    Agree although would suggest a 25 max so that you get less of a jump between gears and with a compact chainset will get you up pretty much anything.

    Easy gears don't exist, I've been looking for them for years!
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    I'm using a compact 50-34 with 7 speed 13-14-16-18-21-24-28 so not too much gap between gears. The 34-28 combo will get me up anything in Surrey including Barhatch which is 21% max gradient. Some times I could do with a lesser jump between the 21-24, 2 teeth difference would be ideal, and achievable with a 10 speed.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava