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Chorus 10s (39/29) or Ultegra Triple, back to roadbiking!(9 posts)

Chorus 10s (39/29) or Ultegra Triple, back to roadbiking!Spunout
Aug 11, 2002 5:19 PM
Greetings, I'm a newbie but have been viewing for awhile, what a great site for information! I raced road 18 years ago, and after a few mountain bikes, some bad lifestyle choices, have come around back to the road. I have a Lemond Zurich frame that I wish to build up, and am stumped for an affordable climbing solution.

Present: I am using a mountaing bike (Kona Kiluea), no shocks, road slicks, on some great rides. My climbing gear is a 32/24 (1.33) on the Killerwhale. This is a heavy, flexy bike, and I'm improving constantly and losing weight (185 from 195, 6', 34 years). Considering the lighter bike, thinner tires, healthier me, do you think I can climb the same ratio on 700c tires?

A Chorus 10 offers 39/29 (1.34). I rode Colnago and Super Record in High School, and love Campy feel. Record triple is too expensive right now. Or, Ultegra triple can take me to a much smaller ratio, but not Ultegra double (okay, I could go the MTB casette route).

Bottom line: Does the bike change make up for the longer effective gear? I ride some steep climbs, one with a 'kicker' in the last 500m, although not longer than 5km total climbing. The tires, BB and crank stiffness, position(which is much more effective on the Lemond vs. MTB) have to make some difference, but will it be enough? I don't live in a mountain range, so triples are not common around here.

Any assistance greatly appreciated,

You probably won't need the 29Kerry
Aug 11, 2002 5:39 PM
The Lemond will be a much better climber than your MTB. A whole bunch of factors contribute to this, but you should consider something like a 13-26 10 speed cluster: you'll have the climbing gear and a 13-19 "straight block" in the cassette for the rest of your riding.
Gearing ChoicesKillerQuads
Aug 11, 2002 7:49 PM
First of all, how old is that Lemond frame? Does it have 130 mm rear spacing or 126 mm? 130 mm is needed for the Campy 10 spd and Shimano 9 spd. A good frame mechanic could cold set (bend) 126 mm steel stays to 130 mm and then bend the drop outs parallel.

Second, compared to mountain bikes, road bikes are much more efficient for climbing road hills since road bikes are 10 lbs lighter, have less rolling resistance, absorb less energy (no suspension), and have smoother tires. So you do not need the same low gear on your road bike as you do on your mountain bike. Modern road bikes are lighter, stiffer, and more efficient than bikes 18 years ago. But if you are getting older I would take it easy on your knees by avoiding really tall gears.

9 or 10 speeds are great, but I think most bikes waste the top gears with 53T big chain rings and 11T and 12T small cogs. Shimano does not have many chainring options and cassettes with 13T small cogs are harder to find. On my commuter bike I have 50/38 Sugino chain rings on the Shimano crank and a 24/13 cassette. On my fast training bike I have 53/42 rings and a replacement 25/13 cassette. The stock 23/11 cassette on the fast bike was way over geared.

You should use a spread sheet program to create a gear table and try different combinations. Shimano road rear derailleurs have a 27T max rear sprocket limitation and a 130 mm BCD crank has a 38T small chainring limitation. That is your low gear limit for a Shimano road double. I think you should stick with a double since you are not in the mountains. Once you are fit enough you can stand on the pedals to climb the steepest parts.
Gearing Choices <Reply>Spunout
Aug 12, 2002 3:43 AM
It is a 2001 Lemond Zurich, I am safe for 10 speed axles I believe.

Looks like Campag has the edge for range in a double, plus it is re-buildable. Looking at Campagnolo's tech sheets for the Chorus cogset, it is easy to switch between both should 29 be unnecessary, or 26 not be enough.

Agreed, 53/11 is sooo overgeared. I rode 50/14 as a junior (those were the rules) and was fine, boy could we spin though! But, the old campagnolo bikes had 42/19 for the smallest gear, and if you weren't in top form you got killed in the (real big) hills.

Re: STanding: Killer, standing on the pedals puts me right into heavy lactic pain. I climb seated, spin 60-80 usually.

Thanks all for your assistance, I will post results!
re: Chorus 10s (39/29) or Ultegra Triple, back to roadbiking!tarwheel
Aug 12, 2002 4:19 AM
I got a new bike last year and had a Chorus 10 group installed so I could use the 13-29 cassette and avoid a triple. The 39/29 combination gave me all the climbing gears I could ever want and I didn't regret going that route. However, when it came time to change the cassette, I installed a 13-26 because I don't use the 29 very often and I'm in better shape than I was a year ago. To be honest, I don't really notice the extra mid-range gear with the 13-26 cassette and will probably install another 13-29 when it comes time for another change -- that 29 gear is awful nice to have in the rare occasions when you hit really steep climbs or are particularly tired.
re: Chorus 10s (39/29) or Ultegra Triple, back to roadbiking!capnjim01
Aug 12, 2002 4:46 AM
Tarwheel, by you name i would gues you live in North Carolina. Have you ever had the chance to do Bridge to Bridge or Mt. Mitchell, and if you did what gearing did you use
Aug 12, 2002 8:07 AM
I do live in NC, but have done neither of these rides. I know plenty of cyclists who have, however, and from their comments I would not attempt without a 12-27, 13-29 or a triple.
re: Chorus 10s (39/29) or Ultegra Triple, back to roadbiking!MP
Aug 12, 2002 7:18 AM
You didn't say where you live, or how steep the climbs are. In my case, I live in California and do a lot of climbing. I, too wanted to avoid getting a triple, so I went with the Campy 13-29 cassette. I'm 51 and have no probelem climbing even the biggest mountains in the Sierra with it. I've been riding for six years, and am not by any means considered a hammer. I have a feeling the 13-29 will work fine for you too.
re: Chorus 10s (39/29) or Ultegra Triple, back to roadbiking!Spunout
Aug 12, 2002 1:29 PM
Thanks Guys,

I live in Ottawa, Ontario. Quick ride to Gatineau Park(Quebec) which is considered the 'Laurentians', but not mountains like anyone in the West would call them. The climbs can be steep, and you can do them all day in loops, but nothing over 3km long. More like natural intervals, for I believe that real cycling happens in the hills.

Anybody here local? Riding from downtown, I ride out the park, do the Camp Fortune loop and then hit the Champlain lookout before heading back to the city.

Glad I checked here first, the 13-29 Chorus 10 speed bike is cheaper, lighter, (and heck, it's Campag) and sexier than any other option!