Double or Triple?

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Postby David R » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:21 am

Chuck,

You truly have mountain gears on that bike. Your 42/34 combo is a 1.25 ration which is about the same as a 30/25 which is the most common low gear for today's triples. Your 30/34 is less than 1 to 1 so its even slower than walking. You probably could have stoped at 28 on the back but no one ever complained about having to low of gear.

A standard double running a 39/34 would be lower than the normal triple set up of 30/25. The point I want to get across here is that one shouldn't assume that one has low enough gears just because they have a triple, one needs to know if they have the right cogs on the back. While I think Chuck's 34 is alittle excessive(for most people), I think he has the right idea. Most riders on CO are running an inadequate rear cog set even when they have a triple on the bike.
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Postby Chuck B. » Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:24 am

David R wrote:Chuck,

You truly have mountain gears on that bike. Your 42/34 combo is a 1.25 ration which is about the same as a 30/25 which is the most common low gear for today's triples. Your 30/34 is less than 1 to 1 so its even slower than walking. You probably could have stoped at 28 on the back but no one ever complained about having to low of gear.


The rear cassette is a Shimano XT. I had a choice of 32 or 34 for the biggest cog and elected to go with the 34. The original smallest cog was 11, but we used the 12 from my road cassette so I'd have the same high gear I was used to...

We did have to use a derailleur with a longer cage than OEM in order to reach the biggest cogs. The OEM derailleur wouldn't reach far enough. So far I really like it, especially for climbing hills...
The voices tell the stories. I just record them for posterity.

And the voices have some good ideas sometimes!
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Re: Oh, I'm so glad you mentioned it

Postby aktiv » Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:22 am

There's wisdom in your efforts John - taking the time out to see how steep are the hills is the first way to go. I'm sticking with my 52/39 - 12/26 double partly out of economy (why buy another crank), partly out of pride, partly out of wanting the challenge, but mostly out of knowing that I can do grades like that. At least I think I can - I'm doing about 4.5 miles of 8% this Sunday. Mashing here I come.

I still all comes down to knowing your strengths and limits and accomodating them.

Cheers

Keith.
John A Campbell wrote:I've got a couple thousand miles of training and I live in a place where 10 mile climbs aren't uncommon. So I was pretty confident I could do the ride on my normal 53-39 double. I wasn't even thinking about my compact until someone mentioned it here. Can you say overconfident? I went back and looked at some of the grades (day 4, 2 miles,
7.8%, day 5, 2 miles, 8.8%). Compact here I come!
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Re: Oh, I'm so glad you mentioned it

Postby Don Bolton » Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:06 am

It really is your confidence level and what you are used to. Because its seven days in a row and there is some significant altitude along the way, having a triple for bailing out here and there is not an unreasonable thing and the triple (the newer 52/39/30 not the older 52/42/30) is essentially a double with 2 more lower gears and a few intermediary ones when on the granny ring than your 53/39 double.

I tried the mountain bike rear derailer and cassette one year and hated the gaps between ratios when I wasn't on the hills. And after a long grade takes hold (for me at least) whatever low I'm using gets feeling like too much work anyway. That 32 tooth low felt just as difficult as my normal 27 does.

At this date it's getting too late to make changes. I made my gearing changes that year within a month of the ride. Had I made it sooner I likely wouldn't have used it on the ride. That drivetrain now sits on my touring bike.

With only some shorter minor exceptions, this years route isn't overly taxing grade wise.

Don "enjoy the adventure" Bolton
aktiv wrote:There's wisdom in your efforts John - taking the time out to see how steep are the hills is the first way to go. I'm sticking with my 52/39 - 12/26 double partly out of economy (why buy another crank), partly out of pride, partly out of wanting the challenge, but mostly out of knowing that I can do grades like that. At least I think I can - I'm doing about 4.5 miles of 8% this Sunday. Mashing here I come.

I still all comes down to knowing your strengths and limits and accomodating them.

Cheers

Keith.
John A Campbell wrote:I've got a couple thousand miles of training and I live in a place where 10 mile climbs aren't uncommon. So I was pretty confident I could do the ride on my normal 53-39 double. I wasn't even thinking about my compact until someone mentioned it here. Can you say overconfident? I went back and looked at some of the grades (day 4, 2 miles,
7.8%, day 5, 2 miles, 8.8%). Compact here I come!
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This week

Postby John A Campbell » Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:39 pm

This week I'm leaning toward my normal (53/39) double. I did back to back hard climbs last weekend and during the week I noticed that that 53 gets pretty well used on the flats. Oh decisions decisions.

John
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Postby Alex from Eugene » Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:33 pm

To paraphrase our late and not lamented SecDef, you're going to do the ride with the bike you have, not the bike you wish you had. I don't think there's anything on this year's route that can't be done on a double with alpine gearing. My wife who doesn't like cycling enough to train did Diamond lake to Crater lake and back on a double 2 weeks ago, BUT here is a cautionary tale.....

When I was younger but probably no more foolish than I am now, I thought I could do any hill on my Trek 2100 with a double, just stand up if it gets steep (I also thought that 190+lbs was not too heavy to be jumping cattle guards on that bike, which was also proved false).

On CO 2001, I took the option ride WAY up to a ranch above French Glen (this was a century option - I was young and foolish and hope I would now be wise or at least old enough pass on the option).

As I recall it was one mile at 16% and I ground up it and wound up with a nagging case of patellar tendonitis that bothered me for years afterwards; I haven't done the CO week ride in Sept since then, just some of the weekends (having 9/11 happen in the middle of that ride, stuck in the outback near Steens away from my family kind of weirded me out, too).

Anyway, now I live on the top of a 1300' hill and the road going up is 19%. I got a Trek OCLV bike with a triple and that STILL wasn't low enough so I put mountain bike gearing on it and once again, I think I can go up anything (as long as my low speed balance holds)

My knee is definitely good enough now for two days of riding and one of these years you may see me on the CO week ride again - y'all have fun and take good care this year.
Alex from Eugene
"work to eat, eat to live, live to ride, ride to work"
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Postby Chainstays » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:10 am

Well, I decided to take my double (the bike I've been training all season on) but I did put a 12-27 cassette on it.

We're getting so close I can taste it!
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Shipped my bike on Friday

Postby John A Campbell » Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:19 pm

Yes, I decided to use my normal double (53/29) with a 12-26 on the rear. I can always stop to take pictures (pant, pant).

I shipped my bike Friday. It's just around the corner.

John
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