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what cassett do you run(12 posts)

what cassett do you runbike_rider81
Jul 19, 2001 7:25 AM
just wanted to know what cassetts people are runing in the mountains especially colorado(front range). i am fairly new to road cycling and just got a 5900 and it has a 11-23. i haven't had time to take it into the mountains yet and i am starting to think i will be hurting, but i keep telling myself that my youth(age 20) will get me through it. anyway, just say something so i can have new posts to read(i am sitting in my cube right now, blaaaa)
12-25 or even a 27 to start with for the high mtns.lonefrontranger
Jul 19, 2001 7:57 AM
You'll do fine on the 23 in the mesas (I live in Boulder, BTW), but for doing the big canyon climbs, you'll need a relief gear - a 25 or 27 would be my recommendation, especially if you're not racing yet and want to make it all the way up to pass level without feeling like you're gonna die (well, you'll feel that way anyhow, but it's really cool getting to the top!).

For what it's worth, I've been climbing the big stuff (St. Vrain, Coal Creek, Lefthand Canyon) up to Peak to Peak on a 'cross bike that has a 50/38 - 13/26 (8-speed) all year - but then I'm emphatically not a climber and am only doing this for fun (?). Even with that low a gear, I STILL feel like I'm gonna die. Just got a new fancy Colnago with a 39/25 granny, and we'll see if the 10-lb bike weight difference makes up for the bigger gears (probably).

If you can afford to, get a 2nd wheelset (or at least a 2nd back wheel) and keep a couple different ranges handy on them - the 23 max will be great for flat races (and there's actually quite a few of those here), and the 25 or 27 will work for those days when you're doing lots of altitude or just wintertime when you're out of shape and not feeling studly. Ride 'em both and see what you think.
12-25 seems to work wellMarlon
Jul 20, 2001 4:55 AM
No major elevation gain in my area (biggest hill would be around 650 ft. for a little over a mile), but if you climb such little guys say around 10 times for interval training, I can say from experience that the 25 at the back helps around interval #6 :-)

In all seriousness, my rule of thumb is to get a cassette with one bigger cog than you think you'll normally need, but only if you're a guy. Why? If you're male, that stupid, dumb, idiotic thing called "macho-ism" or "male pride" won't let you use the granny gear anyway, so having the 12-25 will be like having an 8-speed 12-23. In this way, by getting a cassette with one larger cog than you think you'll use will actually save your butt one of these days when you tackle something over your head (pardon the double meaning).
12-25 or even a 27 to start with for the high mtns.CarbonRide
Jul 21, 2001 5:57 PM
Lonefrontranger, do you know of some good mountain rides around Estes Park?
sort oflonefrontranger
Jul 25, 2001 1:37 PM
Sorry I'm late on posting this - believe it or not, I sometimes have to WORK at work :)

I only moved here last December, and I'm not a climber, so I tend to cop out on the big climbing stuff. Estes is utterly overloaded with tourists this time of year, and the camper clan will annoy the heck out of you. RMP is awful IMO - you'll die of exhaust fumes from all the Winnebagos idling up Trail Ridge at 5mph before you reach the top. A good ride is to ride from Estes to Nederland (or Black Hawk, or Idaho Springs) and back - there's quite a bit of climbing along Peak to Peak and it has a good shoulder on it.

Personally, I'd stick to the less-traveled canyon climbs, all of which access the Peak to Peak (Hwy 72). Avoid climbing up 36 or Canyon (119), since both are extremely busy and don't have enough shoulder. The good climbs (from the Boulder area) are South St. Vrain, Left Hand Canyon, Jamestown, Sunshine, Sugarloaf, Flagstaff, and Coal Creek Canyon. I'm sure someone will mention something I've missed. Any of these climbs can be combined as a loop, and you can easily get 4-5 hours' worth of ride in. Get a good map of the area - the DeLorme Colorado Topo map ( is well worth the cost.

Be prepared to ride on dirt roads. Most of the safer (quieter) climbs turn to dirt at the top - hence no Winnebagos. They do a pretty good job of maintaining the dirt roads, so (for dirt) they're smooth and safe.

If you want the most hellacious leg-breaking climb of your lifetime, go up 119 about 5 miles, then turn left (south) onto Magnolia. Have fun. You'll hate me for life if you do try it, but if you make it all the way up to Peak to Peak (with a witness), I'll buy you the meal of your choice in Boulder.

If you're not from the area, remember that traffic law in CO is very restrictive to cyclists. Stay well to the right, get over on the shoulder when there is one, and obey the single file law whenever there isn't one. Carry plenty of flat-fixing equipment, the roads and road shoulders are littered with grit and debris. The drivers here are generally pretty tolerant in comparison to Ohio (where I come from), so they don't scream / swear / throw stuff / flip you off, etc... However (this takes some getting used to) they drive very fast out here and they WILL habitually pass cyclists within the lane with oncoming traffic, something Ohio drivers rarely did. It helps that the roads are wider out here, but it's still a bit nerve-wracking the first few times it happens.
12-23 in the OzarksCanidraftyou
Jul 19, 2001 9:15 AM
12-23 in the Ozarks, most run something like 12-27.
Any Dead show from 77', usually Shoreline amphitheatre <nm>Old Guy
Jul 19, 2001 10:21 AM
I agree with a 77 but favor climbing with Red Rocks <nm>michael
Jul 20, 2001 5:53 AM
Oct. 9, 1989. Hampton, Va. People were weeping. nmbill
Jul 20, 2001 7:51 AM
Oct. 9, 1989. Hampton, Va. People were weeping. nmmichael
Jul 20, 2001 1:03 PM
Ah, the Warlocks shows - yes they were special. Came SOOOOO close to going too. :-( I get goose bumps whenever I throw them on.

But I got to see 5 or so shows in a row in NYC (actually the meadowlands) in the days to follow :-) Check out the Bobby B-Day fiesta!!!
Actually, I've got a Berlin 90' with an amazing space... <nm>Old Guy
Jul 20, 2001 1:17 PM
just ordered a 12-27Duane Gran
Jul 23, 2001 3:48 AM
I just ordered a 12-27 after experiencing the hardest climb of my life this weekend, which will be in a race next weekend. (For those interested, it is Harp Hill Road in the Giro di Coppi race) Basically I was throwing the bike right and left and plodding up the steepest sections at 6mph! My 12-25 just wasn't giving me the spin I need for this hill and I'm hoping a few more teeth will help me to stay seated longer on the climb. I don't have any specific advice for Colorado hills, but maybe this description gives some insight into how one concludes to go for more teeth.