Need advice about group upgrade

mindanalyzer
mindanalyzer Posts: 9
edited May 2013 in Road general
I need your advice. I am a 5' 8" 40yo flatlander (Miami FL) and have been riding for a couple of years a compact 50/34 172.5mm and 11/23 [shimano 105]. This last year I have been riding with a very fast group (Larios/Don pan group that averages 25-30 mph for around 60 miles) and although sometimes it gets really hard mostly I can keep up. I consider myself in a good shape (not so skinny but muscular) but I am a spinner and I hate mashing so I feel the most comfortable when my cadence is above 93

I am planning a groupset upgrade and I am considering an Ultegra group in standad (53/39 170mm maybe with the same casette I have now (11/23) or maybe with a 12/25).

Can anyone advise about the switch? pros and cons?
thanks

Comments

  • Good luck with keeping the high cadence pushing a 53/11
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • ck101
    ck101 Posts: 222
    I don't see why you would ride a Compact in FL. Get a standard with the 12-25 and your speeds will improve.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    If you want to keep your cadence high with no mashing, then the last thing you want to be doing is fitting higher gears?!
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    If you want to keep your cadence high with no mashing, then the last thing you want to be doing is fitting higher gears?!

    Yes, but if it is flat he can always offset the higher gearing on the chainrings with lower gearing on the cassette. Point is about a flat county is that you want narrow gaps between the gears - a compact is just going to be annoying there.

    So much easier getting the gearing on the flat - probably you only need to gear up for speeds between 15 mph and 35 mph. In the hills you need to cover 5mph to 50mph :lol:

    Mind you, I doubt that the change is actually going to increase the OPs speed by any significant amount unless he is spinning out on 50-11 all the time.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • edhornby
    edhornby Posts: 1,780
    if you look at a gear ratio calculator you'll find that 53-12 is actually lower than 50-11 so it doesn't always mean that higher gears are faster...

    if you want to try out higher ratios you could get a 52 tooth chainring and put it on the current set up and see how you get on before splashing out a lot of cash on a full groupset
    (110 BCD chainring will be needed for the crankset on your current bike)
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • t4tomo
    t4tomo Posts: 2,643
    Its highly unlikely that you are spinning out your current set up (i.e. need a higher gear) if your riding is mainly flat. You need a decent downhill to spin out a 50-11.

    For (marinally) closer ratios stick with 11-23 or if you do go to at standard vs compact then go with a 12-23 cassette.

    Doubt you'll notice much difference from 105 to Ultegra other than bling /shiny factor, but it does look a little nicer and the hoods were slightly comfier on Ultegra I think - if you have the cash go for it.

    also why are you altering crank length - is there a problem with current length?

    However none of the above will make you faster. The only thing that will help you keep up with your mates is to get fitter and /or younger! :D
    Bianchi Infinito CV
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  • southdownswolf
    southdownswolf Posts: 1,525
    How much of your riding is done in the big/small chainrings? If most is done in the big, (which I would imagine in Miami, certainly if you are doing 25mph...) then maybe changing the small ring is the only change necessary to maybe a 36/39? This would give you more options of gears midrange, which is propably all you need. I can't imagine many places in Florida that you really need a 34.
  • How much of your riding is done in the big/small chainrings? If most is done in the big, (which I would imagine in Miami, certainly if you are doing 25mph...) then maybe changing the small ring is the only change necessary to maybe a 36/39? This would give you more options of gears midrange, which is propably all you need. I can't imagine many places in Florida that you really need a 34.

    I notice that above 20 mph (90% of these rides I mentioned) I generally use the big ring (havent checked the tables for gear/speed/cadence to see if this figure is right). Sometimes when riding solo in windy days or when going easy I notice that I am right in between the small and big ring, changing constantly for comfort.

    From what I remember I have used the ratio 50/11 only in some sprints when I feel particularly strong or a few times in the group rides when drafting at insane speeds. The idea of having more extra midrange gears sound good because I have noticed at times the lack of them.

    I have been considering switching to 170mm because of my height (and 29.5" inseam length), so using these measurements according to some tables 170mm is recommended over 172mm. If we add the fact that I am a spinner then 170 seems a logical choice ... or not?

    PS: My whole group is 105 but the crankset (non-serial shimano FC-R600) so I believe the upgrade to Ultegra will be meaningful, apart of the bling factor which is also a plus
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Given the terrain of Florida and the only categorised climbs are freeway flyovers then switching to a 53/39 chainset with a close-ratio cassette seems like a natural choice. Don't however believe you'll get faster, just you'll find it easier to ride at your optimum cadence. If you want to make it easier to spin faster, also consider 165mm cranks.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • an update ... bad one

    I crashed badly on the weekend (sideways). Luckily my carbon bike didnt suffer much (I took most of the impact in my left hip, forearm and shoulder including torn non-repairable jersey and bib). It hurts but nothing is broken, only big scratches that look bad and require antibiotics and silver sulfadiazine plus a big hit to my ego. The left side lever is functional but does not look good. Now the upgrade is a MUST!!! :)