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gearing questions(8 posts)

gearing questionsgs6769
Aug 26, 2002 10:10 AM
What's your favorite combo and why. I'm pretty fond of 53x19. So much so that save for dead stops I seldom downshift once I'm there.
Doing what I can to 'graduate' to 53x17 as my 'running' gear. Any suggestions on getting there? (other than "just ride it") would be appreciated.
suggestionDougSloan
Aug 26, 2002 11:26 AM
Focusing on what gear you are in might be sort of looking at things from the wrong end. I'd focus on speed and cadence, then whatever gear it takes to acheive that.

Before "graduating" to a harder gear, I'd focus on raising your cadence in the present gear, and being able to sustain output in a wider range of cadences, say from 80 to 110.

Doug
suggestiongs6769
Aug 26, 2002 11:44 AM
Good points. As far as 53x19 I've focused pretty hard on this. On flats I'm quite comfy for long stretches at 105-110 and seldom downshift to climb smaller hills, bridges, lengthy rises in the road. I'm well able to manage 80 rpm up some reasonably long grades in 53x19. Not that I've 'mastered' this combo or anything but I do feel as though I'd like to try some more programmed work to strengthen my ability in 53x17. Any thoughts?
hmmDougSloan
Aug 26, 2002 12:07 PM
I never even think about what gear I'm in, unless it's at one end or the other. I couldn't tell with any degree of confidence what gears I use for what, except for 40 mph descents or 8 mph climbs. I just think it's totally irrelevant. The things to focus on are speed and cadence, to me, and whatever gear makes it work at that point in time is what you use. I never would even consider trying to improve in any certain gear. I just think that's the wrong focus.

Seems it must be pretty flat where you are. Around here, I'm almost always going up or down, changing gears almost constantly. If I do a flat ride across the valley, then it's table top flat, but even then I'm mostly focusing on cadence and heart rate. Everything else is secondary.

Sorry, can't be more help.

Doug
hmmgs6769
Aug 26, 2002 12:18 PM
Very helpful. I do live in the flatlands and hence spend a lot of time, if not riding flat out, at least at the high end of my cadence. Not a whole lot of extended climbs so I suppose my impulse is to crank higher gears. Thanks for your suggestions.
53x16 RAWKS! (nm)ColnagoFE
Aug 26, 2002 11:59 AM
I agree that the gear is misplaced emphasis.dzrider
Aug 26, 2002 12:56 PM
When your cadence feels quick and the pedaling easy, shift to a harder gear. Hold it for as long as you can, when it becomes labored or your cadence slows down, shift back down. Let your legs tell you when to shift rather than your mind telling your legs what gear you want them pedaling in.
stay on top of the gearFredrico
Aug 26, 2002 4:10 PM
Others have noted the importance of keeping up cadence, and being able to handle the gear you're in. You can now go forever in 53-19. If you concentrate on a good spin, as you can now do in 53-19 presumably, your legs will get strong enough to do the same in higher gears. The key is to keep pedaling fast, not get bogged down in a gear that is hard to push, being impatient to get stronger. Work the heart and lungs, as you will pedaling fast, and you will get fitter and be able to handle 53-17 as well as 53-19.

Believe me, this works. Pedal as fast as you can in a gear your legs can handle, and after awhile, they will be able to push a larger gear with greater intensity at the same cadence.