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CX Gear Ratios

bukowski102bukowski102 Posts: 88
edited September 2016 in Cyclocross
Hi there

Looking to start cyclocross racing this month, I have a 10 speed groupset with 46/33 and 12/30 cassette.

Am I correct in thinking the 33 will be too small? should I go 36 inner or something else?

Race courses seem to be mostly flat and grassy.

Many thanks

J 8)


  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,950
    Depends on your fitness as to whether any gearing is correct for you or not. My CX gearing is 42/34 with 12-28 and unless the course is particularly soft or has a particularly long climb, I tend to stay in the 42 and use the full range at the back.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    Also depends on your riding style. I started with a 33/46, and in my first season the only time I used the big ring was on the road, riding to/from training sessions. I now have a single 38, and spend the vast majority of my time in the bottom half of the cassette. The only time I ever use the top few gears in a race is towards the end of the start line sprint, and then only if it's on tarmac.

    I'd stick with what you have, for the full season, and then re-evaluate based on what you actually used. Even "mostly flat" courses can have short, sharp climbs where you need lower gearing, and when things start to get muddy it's a whole new ballgame. If traction's limited on a steep climb, you're often better staying in the saddle to keep smooth and control your weight distribution, and that needs lower gearing.

    Don't believe the people who tell you that you don't need low gearing "because you'll be just as quick running". That's the right thing to do some of the time; other times, staying on the bike can save energy, or allow you to stay ahead of another rider. One of the best aspects of cross is having to make those decisions on the fly.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • I agree; try racing with what you have first before worrying.
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