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Bigger chainring?(8 posts)

Bigger chainring?Jeff Rage
Jul 20, 2003 8:20 PM
I went for my third ride on Saturday. Some of my friends talked me into putting in 50 miles! One thing I noticed was that I was often in the highest gear on the downhills and even on some of the flats. On some of the downhills, I wanted to shift higher. Does this mean I may want a larger chainring?
re: Bigger chainring?rwbadley
Jul 20, 2003 8:36 PM
Maybe. It's hard to tell without knowing the gearing you have. Is it a roadbike? 52 or 53 front ring with 13 or 12 rear cog? These are pretty standard gears. What kind of hills do you have in your area? Long steep?

Try working on pedaling faster. If you run out of gear, just tuck low and cheat the wind to go faster. Have fun and be careful at those high speeds.
53/12Jeff Rage
Jul 20, 2003 9:03 PM
53/12 is the highest gearing. I wouldn't think that any of the "hills" near Baltimore are that steep at all. It could be that some of the sections that I thought were flat were on a slight decline. It was weird that I found myslef wanting a higher gear and realzing that I was maxed out when I went ot shift.

I do have strong legs.
strong legs or a slow cadence or both.dzrider
Jul 21, 2003 5:34 AM
If I spin out my 53x12 on a down hill I'm going faster than 35 mph. Nobody I know goes that fast on flat land or even very slight grades.
maxed at what speed?C-40
Jul 21, 2003 7:58 AM
There are two parts to "maxed out", cadence and power. In a 53/12 you will be riding at 38 mph at 110 rpm. 120 rpm will get you over 41 mph. Most folks don't have the power to maintain higher speeds for long. If gravity is pulling you faster, coast until your speed drops below 40.

A bigger chainring is not the answer. You only gain 1-2 mph with 55. A 11 tooth cog will give you an additional 3 mph at the same cadence.

You can gain more speed by developing the ability to spin 130-140 rpm for brief periods.
maxed at what speed?Jeff Rage
Jul 21, 2003 8:21 AM
Our max spped was 38. As a weightlifter, I'm used to doing heavy squats and leg presses, so maybe that's why I like the faster gears. So, maybe i need to work on my spinning?
re: Bigger chainring?Fredrico
Jul 21, 2003 6:00 AM
53 is about optimum for all-round riding. That 12 cog will keep you in contact with the fastest pacelines--going downhill, in a nice tailwind, drafting in a paceline lead by riders churning rapidly in 53-16. Nobody I've known in 19 years of riding has been able to push a 53-12 on a flat for very long.

So don't let your lust for speed carry you away. Work on leg speed instead. That will save your knees, develope your heart and lungs, stimulate your aerobic system, and build up the slow twich muscles in your legs. Learning how to pedal fast will also enable your legs to turn that 3-12 smoothly and efficiently when the opportunity arises.
Smaller Chainringchar
Jul 21, 2003 1:31 PM
It's all about leg speed. Work on increasing you cadence (rpm), I have no trouble following most folks using a 46 chainring.