Granny gears needed or not?

Moonbiker
Moonbiker Posts: 1,706
edited November 2013 in Road general
Have a standard 52 38 crank & 12-23 casssette. Not had a problem so far with hills such as Pen Y Pass & Crimea Pass but want to attempt Bwlch Y Groes sometime will it be loads harder do you reckon?

Comments

  • farrina
    farrina Posts: 360
    In a word "yes" (assuming you are referring to the one near Bala).

    Read about it here http://100hillsforgeorge.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/hill-no-88-91-bwlch-y-groes.html

    IMHO (unless you are superman) the lower the better. The killer feature of the ByG is there is no where to recover (and it's length).

    Good luck!

    Alan
    Regards
    Alan
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,471
    Absolutely not. Stick a xx-28 cassette on it, or if you really need to, install a compact crank. Granny rings are for grannies.

    Have you ridden the Bwlch y Groes? Yes, it should be doable with a compact and large cassette but even then I suspect most 'average' cyclists will find it tough (on the classic side from Dinas Mawddwy). It sounds like the OP is a reasonable climber though to do the other climbs on 38 x 23.
  • I think so. Depends where you live. Mine is currently a compact chainset with 11-25. I live in Lancashire so Pennine trails, fells and the frequent small but steep climb are a common feature on a normal ride. I go up to the Lakes and Yorkshire dales too.

    On the flats I do often wonder if a Standard chainset would give a little more speed but flats are rare. I wouldn't call 25 or 28 a granny gear really.
  • Moonbiker
    Moonbiker Posts: 1,706
    The 50-11 on your a compact is a faster gear than my 52-12. :)

    This is my excuse if someone drops me on fast desecent anyway as everyone else seems to have compacts now. :)
    Absolutely not. Stick a xx-28 cassette on it

    This is what i was thinking would be the sensible thing to do.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,471
    38 x 28 will be tough IMHO unless you are a good climber but give it a go.
  • Granny rings are for grannies.

    Or MTB'ers'
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • barrie h
    barrie h Posts: 102
    Granny rings are for grannies.[/quote]

    I have to laugh ! Peter Pan never gets old, but it will come

    Barrie
  • gozzy
    gozzy Posts: 640
    Absolutely not. Stick a xx-28 cassette on it, or if you really need to, install a compact crank. Granny rings are for grannies.

    And get the same low gear as with a granny ring? I think the world needs differentiation between low compact gears and low triple gears. Granny and Great Granny gears ought to do it.
  • My bike has a low of 34 front 28 back which I normally hardly ever use, even living in the hilly Scottish Borders. Just back from a week in the Yorkshire Dales where I experienced the hardest climbs I have ever done, and that includes many of the famous big cols in the Alps. Some truly ridiculously steep climbs there of 25%+ - yup, 1 in 4, on a tarmac road - mental :shock: . I got up them all, just, but I was longing for a lower gear. Anyone who says you never need a really low gear on a road bike hasn't seen proper hill! A Sram WiFlii 11-32 cassette now seems like a good idea after all :)
  • stu-bim
    stu-bim Posts: 384
    Not to hijack the thread but I have a 46/36-11/28 on CX bike and 50/34-12/25 on new road bike

    Would it make sense to swap the cassettes (both 105 cassette and chain)

    I would like the bigger range on the road bike or is it not necessary?
    Raleigh RX 2.0
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  • gozzy
    gozzy Posts: 640
    It's necessary if you need the lower gears.
  • gozzy
    gozzy Posts: 640
    Gozzy wrote:
    Absolutely not. Stick a xx-28 cassette on it, or if you really need to, install a compact crank. Granny rings are for grannies.

    And get the same low gear as with a granny ring? I think the world needs differentiation between low compact gears and low triple gears. Granny and Great Granny gears ought to do it.

    It's more a case of getting the bike to work as well as possible, and IME doulbles always work better. Also, you could never admit to succumbing to the triple :wink:

    Why not? Why could you never admit to using the inner ring? You're using the same gears as a 34/28 with a 30/25? What's the problem?
    If you're going to say that then how can you advise an xx-28 cassette?
    If you want the bike to work as well as possible then it stands to reason you use all the gears available to you, which includes the inner ring of a triple.
  • gozzy
    gozzy Posts: 640
    You advised using granny gears, on a compact with xx-28 cassette, then suggested granny gears are for grannies. So are granny gears fine or not? You're contradicting yourself.

    So much bad advice given by cyclists regarding low gear use sometimes. It seems it's fine to use a low gear as long as you use a compact crank, but to use the near identical low gear on a triple is treated as some kind of sin.
  • carrock
    carrock Posts: 1,103
    a 30 tooth cassette will be fine if your RD will cope.

    I can get up Honister and Newlands Passes (25% gradients ) on a 39/30 at 16 stone.
  • gozzy
    gozzy Posts: 640
    Absolutely not. Stick a xx-28 cassette on it, or if you really need to, install a compact crank. Granny rings are for grannies.

    Ok, so which part of "granny rings are for grannies" do you forget writing?

    Granny rings will produce the same gears as xx-28 with a compact. So it follows that both sets of low gears can be described as granny gears.

    You're advising using low gears, but only if they're not on a granny ring. Which makes no sense.
  • gozzy
    gozzy Posts: 640
    All I'm trying to do, basically, is make people think about gears, how there's no difference between low gears and that it's stupid not to use some low gears because you have to use a 30 tooth ring to access them.
    The whole "granny rings are for grannies" thing is silly.
  • Moonbiker
    Moonbiker Posts: 1,706
    Im not gonna switch to a compact im happy with the standard just was thinking of buying a spare xx-28 cassette . Will probably try first using the current xx-23 first but not sure I will make it.

    Why are compacts with cassettes than go up 30 etc the new standard theese days the hills haven't got any bigger?

    Is it something to do with your suppose to spin at alot higher cadences than previously was the norm?

    Notcied my old touring bike has 42-25 as low gear same as the road bike 38-23 as ratio is 1.7

    EDIT: I think I caused confusion with using the term "granny gears" . I wrongly thought it meant any lower ratio gearing but it seems it means the small cog on a triple crank?
  • Moonbiker
    Moonbiker Posts: 1,706
    UPDATE: Didn't get up Blwch y groes with the 38-23 gear, had to walk for about a 50m section were it ramps up in gradient were there is a the bend to the left, after the long straight bit.

    So do need to get some stronger legs & better lungs or different gears for second attempt. :oops: thought I would just mash the pedals up it :roll:
  • A 11-28 cassette should be fine for bwlch y groes, were about is that? As im local and go up pen y pass when i head toward llanberis, stwlan pass is another climb that should test your lungs,
  • Moonbiker
    Moonbiker Posts: 1,706
    :D Its loads tougher than Pen Y Pass its near Dolgellau

    Here is the profile see the bend abit before the T juction:

    http://www.strava.com/segments/1147400

    Will look up were stwlan is now thanks. :)
  • farrina
    farrina Posts: 360
    Moonbiker wrote:
    UPDATE: Didn't get up Blwch y groes with the 38-23 gear, had to walk for about a 50m section were it ramps up in gradient were there is a the bend to the left, after the long straight bit.
    Well done on getting that far - in my fitter days that was the bit that always used to get me as well, as it ramps up once again and cramp (and lack of oxygen kicks in).

    Regards

    Alan
    Regards
    Alan
  • Moonbiker wrote:
    :D Its loads tougher than Pen Y Pass its near Dolgellau

    Here is the profile see the bend abit before the T juction:

    http://www.strava.com/segments/1147400

    Will look up were stwlan is now thanks. :)

    Thanks for that, stwlan is very hard from what i have read, but i think the 2 climbs i did in the cambrian sportive will be the toughest i ride both hills were 30% and were tough, if you get the chance to do the cambrian sportive down in aberdyfi you will see what i mean,
  • Well I am no expert, but the gear you need surely depends on how strong a rider you are.

    I have 50/34 on the front and 11-34 on the back, so my lowest ratio is 1.0

    I tend to end up using that on anything over 10% or even less if I am knackered.

    As far as I am concerned the right lowest gear is the one that just allows you to keep pedaling. I don't give a monkeys what anyone else uses, or what their opinion of my setup is. They may be younger, thinner and fitter (probably all three in my case) but I ride for fitness and fun and stressing mind and body in the wrong gear just to achieve some macho ratio is the folly of youth.
  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    Well I am no expert, but the gear you need surely depends on how strong a rider you are.

    I have 50/34 on the front and 11-34 on the back, so my lowest ratio is 1.0

    I tend to end up using that on anything over 10% or even less if I am knackered.

    As far as I am concerned the right lowest gear is the one that just allows you to keep pedaling. I don't give a monkeys what anyone else uses, or what their opinion of my setup is. They may be younger, thinner and fitter (probably all three in my case) but I ride for fitness and fun and stressing mind and body in the wrong gear just to achieve some macho ratio is the folly of youth.

    Don't get the wrong end of the stick repeatedly like the other guy did - there's nothing wrong with your set up, you've done it right. Triples do not work as well as doubles, so instead of just sticking a 24t granny ring on and decrease the function of your machine, why not have a big rear cassette (like yours) and a compact chain set (like yours)

    It is a very sensible approach if you need it for the hills where you ride. You don't see moutain bikers boasting about this kind of thing they just choose what fits best and get on with it.