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Gearing Question for 6 Gap Riders(10 posts)

Gearing Question for 6 Gap Ridersastrobiker
Dec 25, 2003 5:17 PM
I had a great time this September riding N Ga's 6 Gap Century on a borrowed triple chainring. My own has also been a triple, but for Thanksgiving I bought myself a new TCR0 with double chainring and a 12x23 cassette. Been doing fine on our Texas hills, but I wonder about the mountains.... Do you regular riders use 12x25 or what?
re: Gearing Question for 6 Gap RidersMike P
Dec 25, 2003 6:45 PM
I find a 12x27 with a double to be good. Some folks do ride with ?x25 or even ?x23 but you need some serious legs for either. I don't race but I do try to ride in the area at least once a month. Yes, I would suggest 12x27.

re: Gearing Question for 6 Gap Riders12x23
Dec 25, 2003 6:59 PM
I normally ride the hills here (NE Al) with a 12x23, but pull out my trusty 12x27 for Six Gap. I pretty much only use the 27t on Hogpen. I don't know if I'm a "regular rider" but do know I'm an old, skinny dude that likes to ride hills. At least I was an old, skinny dude 'til I got into the Christmas feeding obligations.

Flashback .. I rode Six Gap a couple of times with 8sp Dura-Ace before 9sp was introduced. The max rear gear with 8sp Dura-Ace was 25t and that made Hogpen hard for me.
another optionSadlebred
Dec 25, 2003 8:05 PM
If you want to use a double, you can also put a mountain bike rear derailleur on the road bike and put a 12-34 or 12-32 cassette on the back. There are many riders that do that. The lowest gear ratio with a 39-39 is about the same as a 32-27 assuming you have a triple and run a 12-27 cassette.

I am fine with a 39-27 on Six Gap. I race but am not a climber. Most of my friends that are strong recreational riders are fine running a 39-37 as their lowest gear. Some racers I know will run a 25, but you won't find many running anything under a 25.
I meantSadlebred
Dec 27, 2003 5:57 AM
oops. Just reread my post. I meant 39-27 as a lowest gear! (not a 37)
re: Gearing Question for 6 Gap Riderscrankset
Dec 25, 2003 10:52 PM
I vote for a higher gearing than 39x27. I rode 6 gap with a triple and did not regret it. A couple of friends went with the 39x27 and finished more than 30 minutes behind me. We are all pretty even so I think it was the gearing. Also the mountain bike cassete with the longer derailleur, I think would work. It has big jumps but who cares. Remember when all we had were 6speed freewheels? They had big jumps and it all worked fine.

I guess if you want to go the cheap route and you already have Shimano, do the mtn cassete. If you have campy, then a triple or rigging a mtn cassete would work.
Dec 26, 2003 6:46 AM
12x23 and Mike P (i've never ridden with Sadlebred) are not "regular riders". they are both very fit with extremely low bodyfat %, and will ride the legs off the majority of the 3state/3mountain or 6-gap fields.

my lowest combo for 2002 6-gap was 30x32 (triple w/xt), and i didn't want for lower until wolfpen, when i was getting a little sore (mostly between the ears). climbed the backside of hogpen last month with Mike P on a heavy 'cross bike with 30/27 and had no problems, except with poor form. fwiw i'm 6' and around 200#, routinely cover long distances in training, and did several 200+ mile rides last year, but nothing mountainous worth mentioning. i can ride strong all day and pull a train into the wind for most of it, until the roads go up.

I think the whole 6gap ride is do-able with a 39/27, but i would not enjoy a bit of it, and i'd walk a stretch or two on the frontside of hogpen.

go with the xt rear and a 34, and enjoy the experience. mashing low RPMs is ultimately more enjoyable than walking.
Thanks for the Advice!astrobiker
Dec 26, 2003 9:20 AM
OK, you guys have erased any aspirations to try it on my 39x23 next year (And probably saved my knees as well as my pride)! Looks like at least a spare 12x27 cassette is in my future. Thanks!
one other thoughtSadlebred
Dec 27, 2003 5:58 AM
As I sit here eating breakfast, I had another thought. You can also run a 38 inner chainring and a 12-27. That will give you a slightly lower smallest gear than a 39-27 and is cheaper than having to buy a new rear derailleur. (referring to my earlier post).
re: Gearing Question for 6 Gap Ridersjrm
Dec 26, 2003 4:58 PM
What about a compact crankset? 50/34T