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Chainset

daviciodavicio Posts: 45
edited August 2013 in Road buying advice
Hello all.
I know this question has probably been answered millions of times. I've been cycling now for 4-5 years, 3 of which have been at a very good standard. My main bike is Colnago with a base Veloce groupset with FSA chainset and Record Cassette.

It is clear as day my strength as a cyclist is punchy type climbs (<5%) and descents which I seem to top everywhere I go. Problem I have is that my chainset is compact and my cadence is not the greatest. I have looked and looked at upgrading to a bigger chainset. I live in Muswell Hill (blessed with Hills) and I worry about doing a 100km cycle and seriously struggling on the hills. Am I being overly concerned? Swains Lane ascent in London on Strava I am around 140th overall - so I'm not totally rubbish, but it's not my strength.

I do spin out and descents regularly and I do wish I had a bigger gear. Meanwhile on the ascents I never go into the smallest. I'm always in the top chain ring.

I've looked at upgrading to Record or Super Record. But the Super Record is 11 speed. What does this mean and do I have to change a load of parts? I know the chain will be a given, but front deraileur perhaps?

Any tips from those in the know would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

Posts

  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Muswell Hill hilly? i guess we'll beg to differ and 5% is an incline not a hill. Not clear whether you want lower or higher gears but suggest you simply need to pedal faster i.e. develop a higher cadence rather than look for bigger gears. BTW spinning out is somewhere about 180rpm - you're likely to be hitting 100rpm. A 50 chainring and 11 sprocket is good for over 60kph - if you're doing that on the flat, better get a race licence!
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    What actual chainrings and cassette do you have? As Monty says, if you have an 11T cog then there's no way you need a bigger gear. If you don't and you really feel you need it, changing cassette is a lot cheaper than changing chainset.
  • daviciodavicio Posts: 45
    edited August 2013
    Hi (Monty). Yes, Doing over 60kph. That's the point.
    And yes, Muswell Hill is hilly. How can you say it is not? Everything around me is 10%+. Not sure what you're getting at.
    I guess Swains Lane isn't either. ^^
  • daviciodavicio Posts: 45
    What actual chainrings and cassette do you have? As Monty says, if you have an 11T cog then there's no way you need a bigger gear. If you don't and you really feel you need it, changing cassette is a lot cheaper than changing chainset.
    I have a 10 speed Record cassette (12-25). The Chainset is compact standard 172.5 and 50/34. I'm spinning out - and this happens several times.
  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    So get a cassette with an 11T cog. 50/11 is a BIG gear, bigger than 53/12.
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    I've gotta say i'm surprised you can spin out a 50-11 gear ratio. I'd be at about 50mph myself in that gear ratio and have gone the other way - taken off my Campag Chorus 11spd chainset (53/39) and fitted a 50/34. I cant see me going back either as i never even get onto the 50-12 and the 34 is handy for the N Wales hills (up to 25%) so have it on ebay in an hour.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 15,247
    you shouldn't spin out below 100 rpm, on 50/12 that's c. 53kph with a road wheel, even 90 would be c. 48kph

    if you can sustain that on the flat, turn pro

    if you can't, work on increasing cadence
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • daviciodavicio Posts: 45
    Thank you everyone for advice. If i did the 100m run, I'd be next to useless. I'm fit; 11 stone and 5ft 10.
    I actually spin out at 55kph and not 60kph.

    I realise I need to improve cadence; but after 5 years I prefer turning a higher gear. It has always been the way. What is the point of a larger chainset then?

    But thank you for the advice, I seriously appreciate it. I will look at the 11 speed cassette. But does this in effect render a 53/39 useless? I am eager to listen because I can see the advantages of the 34/25 ratio(!!!) in the Pyrenees, but as a chap who only does places like Swains Lane and Ditchling Beacon every so often, I'm wondering it I can't just skip. I see more advantages with turning a higher gear.

    I guess the fact I am spinning out at 55kph tells people something. I can't turn, or rather sustain, a higher cadence than that on a 50/12.

    If I did upgrade to a 11speed cassette, what does this involve?
  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    I said 11T, NOT 11 speed. You want a cassette where the smallest cog is 11T, e.g. an 11/25. Changing to 11 speeds would involve replacing most of your drivetrain.
  • daviciodavicio Posts: 45
    I said 11T, NOT 11 speed. You want a cassette where the smallest cog is 11T, e.g. an 11/25. Changing to 11 speeds would involve replacing most of your drivetrain.
    Introducing an 11t cog, I would presumably need to sacrifice an existing one? Would this not mess up the gearing transition? Willing to give this a go because I am also able to keep the 34/25 as opposed to the higher 39/25 for the horrors out there.
  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    The lower gears (bigger sprockets) will have slightly different/bigger gaps in their ratios, but I doubt you'll notice.
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,726
    Just get an 11-25 like people are saying. Job done. (10 speed if you're running 10 speed).

    You won't notice anything much but the fact the top gear will be higher, and like has already been said, a 53/39 running a 12-25 will actually not give you as high a gear as running 50/34 on an 11-25
  • daviciodavicio Posts: 45
    I will be doing that - just need to decide which cog I use least to do a swap. Going to bet it's a 15/16.

    Anyhow - if we can do this, why on earth is there the 53/39 out there? It makes no sense if the cassette can cover this. What am I missing?
  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    We weren't suggesting buying individual cogs - you can't easily obtain them. Just get a new cassette and the ratios will make sense.

    If are very powerful or don't do hills then 53/39 can make a lot of sense. And you can get a pretty good range on a standard with 12-28 cassette or similar. There are lots of ways to achieve usable gearing.

    I think my ideal would be something like a 52/36 and a 11-28. The new Ultegra offers that...
  • By all means change to a 53-39t chainset, but it will cost you a LOT more money than just changing the cassette.
    50 - 53 t chainset = 6.0% difference.
    12- 11t cassette = 9.1% difference.

    Without doing a google search for you, I can see the following prices on Wiggle..
    11-25 Veloce cassette = £44.45 http://www.wiggle.co.uk/campagnolo-velo ... te-11-25t/
    53-39 Double chainset = £110.24 http://www.wiggle.co.uk/campagnolo-velo ... -chainset/
    By changing the small ring from a 34 - 39t, you will find a 14.7% difference. Don't kid yourself that if you go out of London to ride a proper hill you will find it so easy on the 53-39


    For info on speed from a given chainset/cassette combination look here... http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/

    Up to you whether you want to spend the money, or learn how to improve your cadence. :wink:
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    Is this a wind up?
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • daviciodavicio Posts: 45
    ^ I'm not sure what you're getting at, but what I do know is some of you lot are the most unhelpful bunch of self-pretentious people going. It's shame and not one you want to associate with other cycling enthusiasts.

    My only question, which is a valid one, was what is the requirements for altering a compact to a standard crankset. Instead it's like trying to get blood out of a stone.

    Moreover, the suggestion of me changing my cassette is hardly that much more feasible when you consider it cost £200 to begin with. With my current crankset scratched, it's looking like more of a financial option.

    Remind me not to ask any further questions on this website.
  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    I'm sorry the free advice wasn't what you'd expected. :roll:

    If you insist on converting to a standard, you'll need to raise your front mech. You may also need a longer chain. If you fit a new chain you may also need a new cassette anyway since a worn cassette won't work with a new chain. Depending on how many parts you have to change it could get expensive.

    Your original cassette may have cost £200 but as has already been pointed out you can get a perfectly decent alternative for under £50. (Of course that may also require a new chain.)
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,726
    The Record cassette would have cost a fair amount, but if you go for a Chorus cassette it will be about £85.

    Chorus would still be higher specced than the rest of your Veloce gear, you could go for a Centaur one at £50 and it would still be higher than Veloce.. and a Veloce one itself would be about £31.

    Perhaps you are thinking 'I have to replace my Record cassette for £200 again', but it's really quite odd to want a Record cassette on an otherwise Veloce bike which is a good few groupsets lower down.

    The advice you are getting is solid advice, and the solution is one a lot of people have done before... you said "I worry about doing a 100km cycle and seriously struggling on the hills"... the proposed solution will NOT sacrifice any lower gears at all, so you're in the exact same gearing for the hills BUT it solves the "I do spin out and descents regularly and I do wish I had a bigger gear" too, in fact, a touch higher gear than a swap to a Double Chainset would. Going to a Double your lowest gears for the hills will not be as low, and you were worried about "seriously struggling on the hills".

    Now, giving people a bit of criticism when in fact there's great advice that actually SOLVES everything you require, UNLIKE purchasing a Double which wouldn't solve everything you require (plus the fact the cassette option is cheaper) is a bit off??

    Good luck with your purchasing, advice over.
  • 2oldnslow2oldnslow Posts: 313
    probably just me but Veloce groupset with a record cassette ? Why ? But then if the existing cassette is in good condition could be worth advertising it on here for instance.
  • daviciodavicio Posts: 45
    2oldnslow wrote:
    probably just me but Veloce groupset with a record cassette ? Why ? But then if the existing cassette is in good condition could be worth advertising it on here for instance.
    Bought new wheels and wanted to swap them about whenever I wanted; i.e. one for commuting I use my R5's and one for bigger training days and tri's I use my R1's. I use the Record on this.
    mfin wrote:
    The Record cassette would have cost a fair amount, but if you go for a Chorus cassette it will be about £85.

    Chorus would still be higher specced than the rest of your Veloce gear, you could go for a Centaur one at £50 and it would still be higher than Veloce.. and a Veloce one itself would be about £31.

    Perhaps you are thinking 'I have to replace my Record cassette for £200 again', but it's really quite odd to want a Record cassette on an otherwise Veloce bike which is a good few groupsets lower down.

    The advice you are getting is solid advice, and the solution is one a lot of people have done before... you said "I worry about doing a 100km cycle and seriously struggling on the hills"... the proposed solution will NOT sacrifice any lower gears at all, so you're in the exact same gearing for the hills BUT it solves the "I do spin out and descents regularly and I do wish I had a bigger gear" too, in fact, a touch higher gear than a swap to a Double Chainset would. Going to a Double your lowest gears for the hills will not be as low, and you were worried about "seriously struggling on the hills".

    Now, giving people a bit of criticism when in fact there's great advice that actually SOLVES everything you require, UNLIKE purchasing a Double which wouldn't solve everything you require (plus the fact the cassette option is cheaper) is a bit off??

    Good luck with your purchasing, advice over.
    The second posts was 'Muswell Hill hilly?' - hardly helpful. Followed by you must be '60kph' - I wasn't. I spin out at 53kph like I said in my first post. I asked what parts were required when converting to a standard crank - didn't get that answer. Yes the 11t cog is a better idea - naturally and one I think is definitely the better way to go, but seeing as I can't get an individual cog, why do I want to scrap my Record Cassette instead of replacing my scratched Crank? I could get a Centaur crankset cheaper than my cassette! http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/camp ... -prod86103

    And I'm upgrading further components. But, I still prefer the thought of having a compact - it is a better idea, although I can't ever remember a time when I was ever in the lowest gear - not even close. The lowest on a standard crank is still seemingly low - equivalent to a 34/21.

    And then we have 'is this a wind up' - so apologies for being a bit taken aback at some of the shitty remarks. It's all good sitting behind a keyboard saying this stuff.

    //rant over. done with shitty remarks.
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,726
    davicio wrote:
    More stuff

    I don't get some of your logic myself, but I'm sure it makes sense to you.

    You started the thread saying "I worry about doing a 100km cycle and seriously struggling on the hills", but NOW you're saying "although I can't ever remember a time when I was ever in the lowest gear - not even close" ...those two comments are completely conflicting really.

    If you now are saying you don't even come close to using your lowest gear then fine, get a Double now that you're saying completely the opposite about lowest gears. You'd have to raise the front mech (as has been said) and you might need a new chain as it might have to be a little longer (as has been said).

    If you want to know about 11 Speed, you effectively need the whole groupset except the brakes, but you might as well have them as well cos the deal on the lot wouldn't be reduced too much if you left the brakes out and kept using the ones you had.

    Why not change the criteria a bit with another little bit of conflicting information? ...that'd be nice :)
    why do I want to scrap my Record Cassette instead of replacing my scratched Crank? I could get a Centaur crankset cheaper than my cassette! http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/campagnolo-centaur-carbon-compact-10sp-chainset/rp-prod86103

    ...the answer to that bit is that you can get a Centaur cassette in 11-25 for £50 which is £159.99 cheaper than that chainset (£209.99 - £50 = £159.99). You could spend part of that £159.99 on a nice shiny new Calculator like this one http://www.rebelofficesupplies.co.uk/prod/Casio-Calculator-Desktop-Battery-Solar-power-8-Digit-4-Key-Memory-103x137x31mm-Black-Ref-MS-8TV-MS-8S_41140X_google, and you'd still have £150 (and a few spare pence to spend on a bag of crisps).

    Oh, while we're on the subject of:
    why do I want to scrap my Record Cassette instead of replacing my scratched Crank? I could get a Centaur crankset cheaper than my cassette! http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/campagnolo-centaur-carbon-compact-10sp-chainset/rp-prod86103

    ...the same website you used for your example has your Cassette for £174.99 http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/campagnolo-record-10-speed-road-cassette/rp-prod52931?_$ja=tsid:46412|cgn:Campagnolo+-+Cassettes|cn:Chain+Reaction-UK-PLA-PLA-All-DT-SE|kw:81189UK_Campagnolo+Record+10+Speed+Road+Cassette&gclid=CJ6Iicrt7rgCFdHMtAodxxgAsg which actually makes the crank £35 more expensive not "cheaper than my cassette!", but that's just me being picky, I assume you bought it for a 'bargain' price that was over £209.99.
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,175
    I guess the timbre of the replies is due to the inference that you don't seem to do much riding far outside of London. So the frame of reference of most forum contributors is different to yours; the Lake District, for example, is what most of us would describe as hilly!

    If I were you I'd keep my money in my pocket for a little while and try a few rides on more challenging terrain before deciding whether I needed taller gearing. Of course, if you are 100% sure that you won't ever do that then you may as well go for a single ring at the front.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    davicio wrote:
    Hello all.
    I know this question has probably been answered millions of times. I've been cycling now for 4-5 years, 3 of which have been at a very good standard. My main bike is Colnago with a base Veloce groupset with FSA chainset and Record Cassette.

    It is clear as day my strength as a cyclist is punchy type climbs (<5%) and descents which I seem to top everywhere I go. Problem I have is that my chainset is compact and my cadence is not the greatest. I have looked and looked at upgrading to a bigger chainset. I live in Muswell Hill (blessed with Hills) and I worry about doing a 100km cycle and seriously struggling on the hills. Am I being overly concerned? Swains Lane ascent in London on Strava I am around 140th overall - so I'm not totally rubbish, but it's not my strength.

    I do spin out and descents regularly and I do wish I had a bigger gear. Meanwhile on the ascents I never go into the smallest. I'm always in the top chain ring.

    I've looked at upgrading to Record or Super Record. But the Super Record is 11 speed. What does this mean and do I have to change a load of parts? I know the chain will be a given, but front deraileur perhaps?

    Any tips from those in the know would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

    The "Is this a wind up" comment is because your first post is contradictory in content. One minute you struggle on hills and the next you never go into the small ring. You then proceed to argue against the sound advice given about improving cadence or changing the cassette to give you a higher gear for descents whilst retaining the the lower gear for those hills you do/don't struggle on.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
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