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Chainring combinations(7 posts)

Chainring combinationsrory535
May 10, 2002 10:35 AM
Those of you that race, what are the crank and cassette rings that you use? Especially interested from those of you in Colorado. I use a 53/39 12/25 and do battle a little with some of the hills around here and wish I had that lower gear.
re: Chainring combinationsbrider
May 10, 2002 11:17 AM
I live in the Seattle area, and while the hills around here are generally not as LONG, they are just as STEEP. For me, the low that you have would get me up about anything. However, on my rig I cobbled together my own cassettes (8-speed) with an 11-tooth high. That was just my taste. A lot of people would go for a triple crank in your situation.
Colorado viewpointlonefrontranger
May 10, 2002 12:08 PM
I'm using the same gearing out here as I did in Cincinnati. 53/39, 12-25. The only difference is I'm running 10-speed, not 7 :-) There were a lot of "leg-breakers" in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, hills of 1/2 mile or less, well into the teens, and a few were legal drinking age gradient-wise.

I use a Mavic 10 cassette for most all-purpose kind of riding, so the cassette on my everyday wheels (Mavic Cosmos) runs:


Note that I drop the 13 in favor of the 18, since 16-17-18 are gears I use a lot whether I'm in the small or big chainring. I also have an 11-27 cassette that I slap on for training or racing on the brutal mountain days:


As I noted somewhere else, it's really nice to have that 11 to keep the legs warm when you're descending a long, long cold canyon for 25-30 minutes straight.

And then there's the cassette that lives on my Zipps, for most criterium racing:


And last but not least, the one that sits in my toolbox awaiting the purchase of a 909 disc wheel for flat TTs:


These cassettes are pretty much interchangeable across my stable, although the Mavic cassette won't work on the Zipps. My 'cross bike has 36/46 chainrings (as if you wanted to know that).

The key to all this is you have to use the gearing that works for you, not some unattainable Euro-pro fantasy. If you aren't a power monger, don't be afraid to go with a 27, 28 or even a triple. I keep a mid-cage rear mech on all my Campy rigs just so I have these options. Some days the only way I can get over the leg-breakers is to spin up 'em.
LFR, you have too many cassettesshirt
May 11, 2002 12:59 PM
and it's sick you know not only the range, but cogs on each one.
gosh, I wish I had that many cassettes. nmweiwentg
May 11, 2002 6:25 PM
you can never be too rich or own too many wheels :-)lonefrontranger
May 11, 2002 7:40 PM
George Mount, a true retro grouch and I believe the first modern American pro to race in Europe (back in the 70's) told me this maxim on the Compuserve cycling forum long, long ago. I've done my best to live by it ever since.

Part of my alleged sickness is also due to the fact that I was a professional wrench in Cincy. Sold a fair amount of these C-10 cassettes @ the Colnago dealer I worked for, installed a fair bit more; hence it's easy for me to rattle off the gearing. Especially on the Mavic; I custom built that one with my own two little hands and didn't even break a nail.
53/38 and 13/26dotkaye
May 13, 2002 8:49 AM
race draft-illegal triathlons, so it's a bit different: tend to concentrate on steady effort, don't have to have that top-end speed to hang with a pack.. hence a 13 is all I need. One benefit of the 38 front with 13/26 at the back is that you can pass people on the hills while still in the middle of the cogs at the back. It messes with their minds.. bwahahah!