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Advice needed for the Pyrenees(5 posts)

Advice needed for the PyreneesPS
Jun 9, 2003 9:23 AM
Hi all--

A group of us will be in the Pyrenees in July for the you-know-what.
Most of us are moderately strong club riders (we'll average 15-16 over hilly Connecticut terrain for 40 miles).

Can some of you WHO HAVE BEEN THERE offer an opinion on how we should set our gearing up for the grades? (We have doubles, not triples)

Should I just stick a 12-27 rear cogset on and the hell with it? (I usually ride with a 12-25).
Or should I go with a 12-29, putting a mountain bike rear derraileur on to handle it?


Peter Serratore
Fairfield, CT
re: Advice needed for the Pyreneesmapei boy
Jun 9, 2003 1:54 PM
I have driven, not ridden, through the Pyrenees. It can get steep, but not insanely steep. (The infamous Angliru, as far as I can tell, is in Galicia out west, not in the Pryenees.) The 27 would probably be fine. Keep in mind, though, that the climbs will likely be considerably longer than the ones you face in Connecticut. And if you're prone to cramping or some such, it's always nice to have a 29 tooth insurance policy.
re: Advice needed for the PyreneesPS
Jun 9, 2003 2:35 PM

Thanks for that. I was just talking my bike shop's owner, and he feels that I can keep a better cadence on the grades with a 29, and says, too, that I don't have to use it (interesting--we don't always remember that). He knows that I tend to push big gears, even on hills, but still says I should do the 29.

I guess Lance doesn't have to worry about me this year!

re: Riden there 3 times...teoteoteo
Jun 9, 2003 4:33 PM
I have to say go for the 29. The 27 would be ok for day one but subsequent days you'll be a little more fatigued. I'll run a 12-29 Campy this year which was the same as last.

As for strength level I am pretty strong climber but feel like so many people are geared wrong that can't keep the right cadence and kill themselves early. The pure duration of the climbs is what you can't plan for. I can ride crazy leg breakers in Austin(my home) on a 23, but nothing gets your legs ready for 1.5 hours of one climb.

I have only seen one guy pull off a 25 and he was from Telluride--he was so strong he dropped Neil Stephens who was a former Festina Pro.
re: Advice needed for the Pyreneesphilippec
Jun 10, 2003 1:07 AM
The climbs are long and some of them quite steep. As mentioned above, if you haven't ridden 1-1.5 hr.s of constant climbing at 6-8%, bring the 29. Also, the roads are often in worse condition than the alps and the pavement is more granular which also plays in favour of the 29. If you race and feel comfortable with a certain level of pain bring on the 27!