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getting the most out of a double(5 posts)

getting the most out of a doubleluv2spin
Jul 21, 2003 2:22 AM
i just got my first road bike. i am finding that the 53 39 chainrings are a bit too much for some of the hills in my area. aside going to a triple, what else can i do to to make those hills a little less painful?
re: getting the most out of a doubleRusty Coggs
Jul 21, 2003 7:45 AM
Well,besides getting rid of any extra Krispy Kremes,eating more spinach and wheaties,and training harder, you could go with a 27 large cog if you don't have one already. your RD will probably handle a 30 cog,and if that is not enough there are mtb cogs and RD that will get you to a 34 tooth. Another possibility is a crank/BB switch to a 110 BCD that will allow a smaller ring than the 38 you can run with the Shimano 130 BCD.
Oooh, oooh! One of my favorite subjects!retro
Jul 21, 2003 7:47 AM
If people would admit it, 53/39 is too much for most of us. I've been riding for 30 years, and even when I was in my 20s, I couldn't turn a 52/42 (the standard in those days) over the hills of the San Francisco Peninsula.
All my road bikes have triples now, but that doesn't help you. Cheapest thing to do is to swap the cassette for one with the largest big cog the derailleur will handle, probably about 28 (somebody will be able to tell you, depending on what components you have). Your crankset probably won't accept a ring smaller than 39, so that's as low as you can go there. You might be able to swap the big ring for something like a 46 (you'd have to move the front derailleur down a bit).
A more expensive possibility: Rivendell ( has a Sugino crankset with a smaller bolt circle and 46/34 (around there, anyway) rings. It's fairly cheap, $85, and there might be solvable installation problems.
You're bound to get recommendations to nut up and get tough, and that's fine if you want to do it. You WILL get stronger as you ride. But I still say most people never get strong enough to need a 53-11 high gear.
I used to really admire people who rode on doubles.niteschaos
Jul 21, 2003 12:35 PM
Now I'm one of those people. I just committed to doing hill intervals and ride more and rest better. When I lost 15 pounds and got 5000 miles under my butt I had a crash the destroyed my crank. Got a double instead of a triple to replace it and haven't looked back.
re: CassetteChen2
Jul 22, 2003 8:59 AM
What's your tooth count in the back? It's generally easier to change the cassette than the chain rings.