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Gear ratios for the mountians for the average joe?(15 posts)

Gear ratios for the mountians for the average joe?mtbcyclist
Jan 22, 2004 5:01 PM
Was just curious as to what people run for their lowest gear in the mountians. Was most interested in the class of rider, who like myself, ride for fun and can go fairly fast but to not race or try and hang with the fastest guys out there (CAT 1 & 2 racers). You know, the average joe with a full time job and a family to support but loves to ride any free minute he can get away from obligations?

Reason I ask is I want to do some more centuries in the mountians and just switched from a tripple to a double as I picked up a new bike. I did Bridge to Bridge in NC last year on my tripple. Concerned if I can handle a double in the mountians.

Any advice? Any training advice to cope?
re: Gear ratios for the mountians for the average joe?BrokenSpoke
Jan 22, 2004 5:25 PM
Most guys I know run a 39 x 23 for the mountains out here in Colorado
re: Gear ratios for the mountians for the average joe?seyboro
Jan 22, 2004 5:26 PM
Most guys from our club (NC flatlands)riding Bridge to Bridge, use something like a 39/27 up to a 39/34 (with an Mtb. rear derailleur). The last switchback up Grandfather mountain, I used every bit of my 32 and am not ashamed to admit to it.
You could check the gear ratios you were using on the triple and then translate them to a double. That should get you pretty close to your comfort zone.
no simple answercyclopathic
Jan 22, 2004 6:12 PM
depends on your power to weight ratio, grades and distance. Century isn't that long, so you can get by with doubles, and most climbs do not have sustained grades in mid-teens. Must say there's a difference in riding 2mi/15% grade after 40 and 140mi. Generally tripples are safest bet; however I may have used granny 2 or 3 times in last year. If you're planning to do Mountains of Misery or climb to Wintergreen get tripples.
Please, it's "triples" not "tripples"CRM
Jan 23, 2004 10:30 AM
I'm normally not this picky, but for some reason this is driving me crazy. Maybe it's time to switch to decaf.
while we're at it, THERE'S NO 'P' IN THOMSON!!!!!!!!!!! nmJS Haiku Shop
Jan 23, 2004 10:36 AM
correct unless you trip and tripple overcyclopathic
Jan 23, 2004 5:31 PM
or talk about tripple down economy. 8-P

man and I haven't had coffee yet. I went out for ride, slipped on black ice and hit deck pretty hard. Sorry can't laugh, it hurts I might have broken rib.
re: Gear ratios for the mountians for the average joe?penguinitis
Jan 22, 2004 11:42 PM
39-25 seems to be the standard for most dedicated and fit riders where I live. We have some pretty steep and long climbs here. If you are concerned about it, I would err on the side of caution and run a 26 or 27.
re: Gear ratios for the mountians for the average joe?mtpisgah1
Jan 23, 2004 4:54 AM
I use a 39x25 for Mitchell and B@B. The rest of the time I use a 39x23 for training. I have ridden from Marion to Mitchell with the 23 before and was comfortable.
re: Gear ratios for the mountians for the average joe?mtbcyclist
Jan 23, 2004 5:05 AM
Thanks for the feedback. Just a bit concerned. I don't think it will be that big of an issue as my old bike was a 24+ pound steel Tourmelat which has more of a touring geometry with laid back seat and head tube angles. Bike was comfy but the frame felt like it had a lot of flex.

My Litespeed Hyperion weighs in at just over 17lbs and is desgined more for performance and is aluminum/carbon. I could feel a diffence right away even though I am not in shape. This bike feels comfy, but at the same time the frame is vey stiff.

Thanks again!
Gearing for easy daysContinental
Jan 23, 2004 7:14 AM
Easy days are an important part of training and cycling enjoyment. I have triples so that I can easily climb the steepest hills on my easy days, keeping my heart rate in the 120's. I don't see any downside to the average joe having a granny gear. Mine's a 26 tooth so I can climb anything, albeit slowly.
No hard and fast answersaOldMan
Jan 23, 2004 7:46 AM
Mountain rides come in all shapes and sizes. Most riders can easily get by with 39x27 for 99.9% of their rides.

In 2003 there was only one mountain ride that I needed to use the granny ring, and that was when the road turned up to about 30% (I call it the wall). Not your typical road and not even a legal highway. But sometimes I do go to the granny, not because I need it, but because it gives me closer ratios when doing a long climb.

You should not be too concerned about having a double unless you are going to the alps or doing some very steep and long mountain road. Personally I like having the granny gear, it gives me options if I need it. But my riding buddies use doubles and don't complain until I take them to the 'wall'. Then they just look at me and go the other way.
re: Gear ratios for the mountians for the average joe?JPRider
Jan 23, 2004 8:09 AM
My Colorado experience has been that a 25 is a standard cog on everyone's bike. A 25 will take you up and over most stuff, but the post that said having a 27 for 99.9% of the terrain is right on.
re: Gear ratios for the mountians for the average joe?briburke
Jan 23, 2004 8:13 AM
I generally ride a 39x23 combo in Colorado, and it's fine for most climbs out here (which tend to be long but not overly steep). However, I switch out to a 12-27 cassette for centuries or long climbing days (like Mt. Evans). The 39x27 combo gives a pretty low gear, and is a cheap option to try. I don't have the chart in front of me, but I don't think the 39x27 combo is all that much harder than the 42x25 that generally comes on triples.

re: Gear ratios for the mountians for the average joe?jrm
Jan 23, 2004 2:39 PM
Im in Nor Cal. and found that a 50/34 compact crankset and 12/27 cassette gets me up most everything.