A 10 speed cluster; too many choices or not enough?

Les Choix

Les Choix

by / / 156 posts

I’ve never been able to decide if choices are a gift or a curse; a lack of choices introduces simplicity but also with it the risk that the simple choices do not meet the demands of a complex world. An abundance of similar choices, on the other hand, often reduces the impact of getting things a little bit wrong, but also decreases the thoughtfulness in decision making. Finally, having many divergent choices mostly just leads to a lot of planning and ultimately indecision, assuming my experience in Corporate America is anything to go by.

These days, we tend to ride bicycles with 10 or 11 speed clusters made up of sprockets that are closely matched to their neighbors. This development removes the rider somewhat from the art of gear selection, a fact carried further by bar-mounted shifters; as  gradients increase and decrease, we glide from gear to gear maintaining our cadence with hardly any consideration given to the ratios hard at work for us. It is a beautiful freedom to ride like this, but it is also another degree of separation between rider and machine.

I recently read an interview with Sean Kelly, who was discussing his defeat at the hands of Greg Lemond during the 1989 World Championship Road Race. With only seven sprockets at his disposal over a route slightly too hilly for a rider of his ilk, he was faced with a difficult choice: spare the legs on the climb with a 25T at the bottom end, or hamper his sprint with a 13T at the top end.

Kelly faced a tough decision: mount a gear that would carry him over the climb to contend the finale with the handicap of a 13T, or overload the cannons on too big a gear for the climb and never have the chance to go for the win in the first place. He deliberated over the decision while training on the course and finally decided for the low gear. Kelly made it over the climbs to contest the sprint, but his 53×13 was hopelessly outmatched by LeMan‘s monster 54×12.

More recently, the Cycling world was aflutter about Tony Martin’s choice to ride a 58T front chain ring during a time trail. This wasn’t a display of bravado but rather a highly refined choice of chain line: knowing the speeds he wanted to ride, he chose his big ring in such a size that would provide the straightest chain line in the gear he’d be riding in during the majority of the race. The result was less friction, and a Tour de France stage win under his belt.

There is an art to gear and cluster choice that is nearly lost with today’s expanding sprocket ranges, but it remains within our grasp if only we are willing to seek it out. Don’t settle for knowing the maximum and minimum size gears in your block; know exactly which gears you have across the board, and understand what sizes you’ll be missing and gaining when switching between 11-23, 12-25 and 13-26 – there is more to it than just taking one off one end and slapping it on the other.

It might not make any material difference to your Cycling, but it will show the quality of your character.

// Accessories and Gear // Defining Moments // Folklore // Nostalgia // The Hardmen

  1. I’ve learned… I’ve learned that… I should keep this sort of thing between me and my road bike.

  2. @frank

    @Beers

    @frank

    @Beers

    @Mikael Liddy

    @wiscot what, 2 world tour races happening simultaneously isn’t enough for you?

    And with due respect to the Keepers, wtf with no VSP for TDU?

    We only do VSPs for races that don’t suck.

    Fair nuf. Figured it would be all World Tour races, wrong. Good Cadel came out yesterday anyway.

    If it was all WT stuff, then we’d be doing those crap races in China, too. We try to do the races with history at least and strong fields if we can – avoiding even many of the warm-up races like E3 just because we want to focus on the events that people show up to an take seriously.

    Its not a perfect rule; we do the Tour de Suisse and this year we’ll do the Dauphine, but Colorado won’t be there and neither will TOC.

    Grand prix de Montreal this year? It’s a hell of a race. 4000m gain in 205 km. It’s basically a double hillclimb crit. Awesome to spectate as well, as it’s 17 laps in the city’s core.

  3. @frank

    @Jamie

    @frank

    @unversio

    @Rom

    crossing your chain is bad.

    Keeping the drivetrain clean will also let the chain talk to you to let you know you’re cross chaining. 3rd sprocket to the front or back is the limit.

    I’m a habitual crosser – never little-little, but I do ride over as far as the 53×23 on my 25 block. My rule is to stay 2 cogs from the left when possible.

    On the CX bike, I cross completely and am just resigned to chucking out chains and blocks as needed, but I’ll be fucked if I’m chaining to the 38 just for a 20 meter ramp. I’m not afraid of 40rpm; its good for traction.

    You could do as that little fucker Nick does on his cross bike. (You remember him Frank, that was his skinny ass receding into the distance on the climbs of the VtoV ride last summer) Nick runs a single ring. Can’t cross chain that.

    Lots of CXers ride a single front, or just fix the chain on one of the two rings, which is the same as crossing but without the guilt because you don’t have a choice. I can take the guilt, and my bikes are well-maintained so I don’t see the need to fool with that sort of thing when I can also just not shift the front.

    On bike 1 the last model Red front derailleur protests loudly when in small front and about 3 cogs from the 11 because of poor design without trim. The new Red fixed that but it’s not compatible with old Red shifters.

    Bike 2, the TT, doesn’t have that problem because it sensibly has a friction shifter on the Ultegra FD.

    Bike 3 has full friction Campa NR circa 1980, so no problem there but has only 5 out the back. Anyone know where to source old 5/6 speed chains and cassettes?

  4. There’s rumors floating around bike shops that engineers at the drivetrain companies are working on 12, 13, maybe 20 speed stuff. Ya, 20 cogs in the back. How much is too much? 11. That’s how much.

    I don’t get too wrapped up in “the middle” of the block, instead focusing on the wether the route requires a 11/19 or a 12/25. The big one is always the “bail out” gear for the big climbs. If it comes home dirty, I’ve failed.

  5. @Nate

    @Ron I suspect the jump from the 28 is not to a 27 or 26, but to a 25 or 24. That could be part of the problem right there.

    Holy cannoli. Yes, it’s a 28 to a…24. That ain’t right. Jeez, just when you thought you knew your bike, it reveals it’s wearing that crazy set-up.

    Likely the culprit? Anything I can adjust to make it hiccup less?

    Strong work, Nate!

  6. @Rom

    @frank

    @Jamie

    @frank

    @unversio

    @Rom

    crossing your chain is bad.

    Keeping the drivetrain clean will also let the chain talk to you to let you know you’re cross chaining. 3rd sprocket to the front or back is the limit.

    I’m a habitual crosser – never little-little, but I do ride over as far as the 53×23 on my 25 block. My rule is to stay 2 cogs from the left when possible.

    On the CX bike, I cross completely and am just resigned to chucking out chains and blocks as needed, but I’ll be fucked if I’m chaining to the 38 just for a 20 meter ramp. I’m not afraid of 40rpm; its good for traction.

    You could do as that little fucker Nick does on his cross bike. (You remember him Frank, that was his skinny ass receding into the distance on the climbs of the VtoV ride last summer) Nick runs a single ring. Can’t cross chain that.

    Lots of CXers ride a single front, or just fix the chain on one of the two rings, which is the same as crossing but without the guilt because you don’t have a choice. I can take the guilt, and my bikes are well-maintained so I don’t see the need to fool with that sort of thing when I can also just not shift the front.

    On bike 1 the last model Red front derailleur protests loudly when in small front and about 3 cogs from the 11 because of poor design without trim. The new Red fixed that but it’s not compatible with old Red shifters.

    Bike 2, the TT, doesn’t have that problem because it sensibly has a friction shifter on the Ultegra FD.

    Bike 3 has full friction Campa NR circa 1980, so no problem there but has only 5 out the back. Anyone know where to source old 5/6 speed chains and cassettes?

    Try here: http://agreatvintage.com

  7. Thought you guys might appreciate this.  I made a spreadsheet of all my bikes to calculate the exact gear ratios.  Of course I know from experience that I reach terminal velocity on the 53-12 at 58kph and on the other end that I have trouble on anything above 23% grade with the 39-27.   I can only attach a pic but I’d be happy to send anyone the excel file.  Frank is there a way to post the excel?

    VLVV!

  8. @frank

    @Gianni

    @frank

    @unversio

    @Rom

    crossing your chain is bad.

    Keeping the drivetrain clean will also let the chain talk to you to let you know you’re cross chaining. 3rd sprocket to the front or back is the limit.

    I’m a habitual crosser – never little-little, but I do ride over as far as the 53×23 on my 25 block. My rule is to stay 2 cogs from the left when possible.

    On the CX bike, I cross completely and am just resigned to chucking out chains and blocks as needed, but I’ll be fucked if I’m chaining to the 38 just for a 20 meter ramp. I’m not afraid of 40rpm; its good for traction.

    Sorry, I have to say that is crap. I’ve never heard this line of thinking in many years of cycling. I don’t cross on the extreme ends but anything else is fair game. What wears chains out is bad lubrication and what wears out the cassette is bad chains.

    I had understood the issue was bending the chain, and the additional wear of the chain rubbing along the side of the teeth on both the front and back.

    I’m happy to hear this is bullshit, because now I can remove my little ring altogether.

    My experience with old chains and cassettes confirms Frank’s view, that the bent chain wears out the sides of the cogs and also creates greater lateral play in the chain itself. This translates into sluggish shifting, as some lateral stiffness in the chain aids in crisp shifts. Old chains on worn cassettes are perfectly happy to stay on the cog you just tried to shift from,  and will merrily ignore cursing, regardless of your vehemence. This shit manifests itself long before the chain skips over cogs: ample warning that the end is nigh.

    As for ratios, I’m partial to a 12-23, because my particular power/cadence band makes the 53×18 indispensable. I hate the jump from 17 to 19. When I’m not fit and hills abound, fuck that. Give me a 12-27. When I’m ‘really’ fit and it isn’t too hilly, pull out the 12-21. Rode STP with that in 2010 and the 21 was easily low enough gearing for the hilly bits.

  9. @Ron I don’t know if it’s the culprit but it can’t help.  I hate to say it but I think the premise of an 11-28 is a bit absurd.

  10. @xyxax

    @Frank

    It was one of the details I loved about The Rider: his pre-race worry over what gears to run, how long he might manage to keep going in his current cog before risking his race to an up-shift.

    Yeah, me too. That talk about so-and-so with his new 12T; allez la douze. It is a masterpiece.

    And how he keeps talking to himself, “And his 19T was clean as a whistle.”

    Meyrueis, Lozere, June 26, 1977. Hot and overcast.  I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together.  Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes.  Non-racers.  The emptiness of those lives shocks me.”

    Boutonnet read that the Pros were using a 12 and went to Italy to buy one for himself.

    Krabbe ran a 14-15-17-18-19-20 with a 43 chainring.  Strongman Lebusque ran a straight 13-18.

    The Rider is masterfully written (and ridden).  Any cyclist who hasn’t read it should do so without fucking delay.  Krabbe’s 20 truly is clean as a whistle.

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    Thought you guys might appreciate this. I made a spreadsheet of all my bikes to calculate the exact gear ratios. Of course I know from experience that I reach terminal velocity on the 53-12 at 58kph and on the other end that I have trouble on anything above 23% grade with the 39-27. I can only attach a pic but I’d be happy to send anyone the excel file. Frank is there a way to post the excel?

    VLVV!

    Nice effort but I usually understand Gear Inches better. It would also be helpful to include cadence. I have this as a spreadsheet if anyone would like it.

  12. @brett WHAT!?!?

    I have no idea what this conversation has to do with me. 53-39 and a 12-25 cassette. That’s the bottom line on everything that’s been discussed here. I ran a straight block on the courier bike till it wore out and just got really slow legs.

  13. Blimey, to late an entrance in this thread, the scientists have whipped out the spreadsheets….

    Why doesn’t someone come out with an11-19, and 28 10 speed sproket cluster, as I can’t find one thus reducing you to a choix of two – in the right gear, or blown out the back door and riding to the top alone?

  14. @frank

    have you still not fitted an edit button to this site for the carefree typists to take the bad look off their post on reflection?

  15. 53-39 and 12-23 for me. It’s fairly flat around me so it’s not often on the 39 (short steep bits only). I’ve got a couple of other cassettes kicking around that I can chuck on if I go somewhere hilly on holiday, a 12-25 and an 11-25 which goes well for really hilly holidays when the compact is also needed.

    I tend to spin at a fairly high cadence – 100+ probably because I don’t have the leg strength (major target for this year) which also means that I change gear a lot to maintain the cadence rather than push the same gear through the rollers as Frank describes above. Ideally I’d get a 12-21 as I hate the gaps especially when my legs are cooked but Dura Ace doesn’t really fit the budget.

  16. @Nate

    @Ron I don’t know if it’s the culprit but it can’t help. I hate to say it but I think the premise of an 11-28 is a bit absurd.

    Got it. This is my main cross bike that I use for many applications, from racing to just hitting the woods and trails when I need a quick, spirit-enlivening spin and the weather is tough or it’s a busy time for drivers and I want to avoid the roads. With a 12×26 I often found myself near the biggest cog. It’s a 42×39 in the front. The 26 was fine when I was training, but if I’m just out for some fresh air and fun, I thought I’d try the 28 to provide a broader range of gears to suit many different riding needs.

    Noted. Thanks for the input! Looks like this means I need a dedicated race cx bike and a dedicated cruiser cx bike. Thankfully I do have my eye on a full carbon frameset at a great price!

  17. Many years (and many pounds ago), I suffered so much to Look Pro: 52/42 175mm cranks with a 6-speed 13/19 rear. The jump to 19 was for the inclines around Washington, DC, the wimpy equivalent of today’s Triple!

  18. @David Booth Beers We understand each other then. Found the beauty (efficiency) of 52/42 175mm cranks with 10s 11-21. 21 as the escape gear if and when escape was imminent with no where to go. 19 was all that was needed.

  19. @frank

    As a hard-core MTBer in the 90″²s who is tempted to get an updated machine, I have to say I agree with what I believe your thesis is: most of the innovation in MTBing over the past 20 years has had more to do with going downhill than uphill.

    I made a bit of a smarmy, roundabout way of it, but yes, pretty much. I’ve nothing against downhill racing per se. But I really have a problem with a bike that’s great at going downhill and lousy at going up. The reasoning behind a single ring is sound – remove one of the worst performing bits on a MTB and clean up an area that tends to get jammed with mud – but in practice it’s just far too limited, at least for the kind of riding I do. If it won’t go up a loose wash like a trials bike with fist-to-bowlingball-sized rocks in my path, then I’m not buying it. And if it encourages the proliferation of XTREME sports douchenozzles that ride the chairlift half the day… well, I hope they stay up a Crystal.

  20. @Ron

    @Nate

    @Ron I suspect the jump from the 28 is not to a 27 or 26, but to a 25 or 24. That could be part of the problem right there.

    Holy cannoli. Yes, it’s a 28 to a…24. That ain’t right. Jeez, just when you thought you knew your bike, it reveals it’s wearing that crazy set-up.

    Likely the culprit? Anything I can adjust to make it hiccup less?

    Strong work, Nate!

    That is a monster gap, my friend. Basically, the broader the jumps between cogs, the worse the shifting…Unless you can find a way to alter the laws of physics, you will have this to some extent no matter how masterfully you adjust it. The only solution is to buy a 12-27 or 12-25 to replace what is likely an 11-28.

    This is why when I swap to my climbing cassette, I choose a 13-26 over 12-27 because the gaps are smoother between cogs.

    @Nate

    @Ron I don’t know if it’s the culprit but it can’t help. I hate to say it but I think the premise of an 11-28 is a bit absurd.

    This.

  21. @Dr C

    @frank

    have you still not fitted an edit button to this site for the carefree typists to take the bad look off their post on reflection?

    I like making all you idiots stand by your drunken gibberish the next morning.

  22. @Ron

    Noted. Thanks for the input! Looks like this means I need a dedicated race cx bike and a dedicated cruiser cx bike. Thankfully I do have my eye on a full carbon frameset at a great price!

    Cheaper might be just getting a spare wheel…

  23. The biggest of my eight cogs is a 28, which serves an important purpose by remaining unused (remembering I live in the hilliest, as well as the rainiest, city in Germany): I may go into the small (42T) ring as I weakling my way up some hills, but at least I didn’t bloody well end up in bottom gear.  Win.

  24. 12-25 all the way and I have no intention of moving to 11 spd.  Luddite?  Not really, I just cannot see the point.   It’s like disc brakes, electronic shifting etc etc, they just want to sell us more stuff.

    Good article though.

  25. I suspect that no one is truly educated on gear philosophy until they have done the Devil Mountain Double a few times. When you get to the top of Sierra Road, look at the route sheet and discover another 5000′ of climbing, your perspective changes a bit.

  26. @Rom

    On bike 1 the last model Red front derailleur protests loudly when in small front and about 3 cogs from the 11 because of poor design without trim. The new Red fixed that but it’s not compatible with old Red shifters.

    that’s just what sram wants you to believe! i’ve got 2011 force (so, 10s) working with the new force 22 yaw FD (which, btw, is half the price of the 10s red yaw FD). and i’ve read reports of people using rival with the yaw derailleurs with no problems. the yaw is awesome, seriously. always hated my force FD and even changed to an ultegra one for a bit, but the yaw is much better; perfect, actually.

    as for me, gearing-wise, i’m very happy with 11-25 and 50/36.  i changed to this last summer after having basically always been on 53/39 and hated having to use a 27 or 28 in the back (needed occasionally for some of the 20+% gradients around here).  now i have essentially the equivalent of 53/39 and 12-27 (although 50×11 > 53×12), but it weighs less and i have a better chain-line for flat riding.  i tried 52/36, btw, but i hated the 16-tooth jump between rings and 50 allows me to stay in the big ring longer.

  27. @Rom

    On bike 1 the last model Red front derailleur protests loudly when in small front and about 3 cogs from the 11 because of poor design without trim. The new Red fixed that but it’s not compatible with old Red shifters.

    I keep hearing this, but my Red shifters have trim so I don’t understand where this rumor comes from. You do, however, have to adjust it correctly.

  28. Only trim in the big ring. You need to adjust the stopper screw to be microns away from the inner face when in small big. While I don’t do it often, I can ride all 10 in the little with no noise.

  29. Gentlemen. It is as always inspiring and interesting to read the various views on a topic that only very few outside the cycling world would know the significance of. While I understand that some select their gears following complicated formulas involving fitness and terrain, my simple approach is trying to deny the fact that 15 years has passed since I rode my last race on the UCI calendar. 53/39 and 12-23 is still my setup, and 39 is never used in public. The consequence is of course that my guns from time to time feels like overheated 5.56’s and not like the 12.5’s like they once were.

    _______
    I’m new around here – been lurking for a year or so. Couldn’t find an intro thread, so not sure where to make the introduction. In short I can answer yes to the following:
    * Have you lived by the rules?
    * Do you think that the “V” mentioned in the “Da Vinci Code” refers to this site?
    * Do you shave your guns?

  30. @frank

    @Nate

    @Ron I don’t know if it’s the culprit but it can’t help. I hate to say it but I think the premise of an 11-28 is a bit absurd.

    This.

    I was shocked and appalled to see that Shimano offers an 11-32 cassette at the Ultegra level.  2x hill repeats for anyone with such an abomination on their steed.

  31. @bear

    Gentlemen. It is as always inspiring and interesting to read the various views on a topic that only very few outside the cycling world would know the significance of. While I understand that some select their gears following complicated formulas involving fitness and terrain, my simple approach is trying to deny the fact that 15 years has passed since I rode my last race on the UCI calendar. 53/39 and 12-23 is still my setup, and 39 is never used in public. The consequence is of course that my guns from time to time feels like overheated 5.56″²s and not like the 12.5″²s like they once were.

    _______
    I’m new around here – been lurking for a year or so. Couldn’t find an intro thread, so not sure where to make the introduction. In short I can answer yes to the following:
    * Have you lived by the rules?
    * Do you think that the “V” mentioned in the “Da Vinci Code” refers to this site?
    * Do you shave your guns?

    Welcome, and obviously you are going to fit in perfectly. The bolded phrase highlights this fact. Denial is a lifestyle.

    And, since you’ve stuck around for a year, I assume you would also answer yes to this question: Is the movie Team America funny?

  32. @paolo

    @frank

    Also, hashtags are as repellant as emoticons, FYI.

    When you’re right you’re right. Spot on. Only maybe more so!

    #Disagree ;-)

  33. @frank

    @wiscot

    Of course, I’m an old fart who rode 12 -18 straight through blocks in the 80s when you could simply replace whatever sprocket you used the most individually instead of the whole friggin cassette. That’s a pure scam right there. Let’s face it, most of us probably ride in the same 2 or 3 sprockets. It would be nice to be able to buy them individually.

    Yes, but those were also freewheels and weighed more than most modern wheels. My cassettes all wore out in the same week last summer, which meant I dropped about a grand on new ones all at once. But that’s the first time I’ve had to change them out. I normally just maintain my drivetrain and replace the chain ever season or so and the blocks last a while.

    Campa has a number of spiders and you can get them separately if you really only ride in a few and wear those out. (I am blessed to ride in a town where the terrain variety means I cover almost all of them pretty equally – except maybe the 12 because most of my descents land on a stop sign.

    Imagine my surprise when I cleaned my new 11-speed Ultegra cogs for the first time tonight…

  34. @SloKenny 16-20 wooh! Juvi gearing.

    Dug this out from deep in the man cave,

    Campagnolo 13-18 six speed aluminium straight block, double butted SS spokes laced to 28 hole Dura-Ace track hub and Mavic GEL280 rims. Tied and soldered, hence the broken spokes. The wheel-n-cluster weighs in at 903 grams with out skewers and tyres. Use to run Panaracer Comp 21’s.

  35. When I started riding again in 2010 I rode up to a gut who was test riding a bike with 11 speed. Pissed me off all the gear changing he was doing to find the right gear.

    Flipping 16-15-16-17-18-15-17-16-15-19. I asked him “Gears OK?” he replied shifts Ok, but I can’t find a comfy one!

    Too many choixes!

  36. @frank

    @bear

    Gentlemen. It is as always inspiring and interesting to read the various views on a topic that only very few outside the cycling world would know the significance of. While I understand that some select their gears following complicated formulas involving fitness and terrain, my simple approach is trying to deny the fact that 15 years has passed since I rode my last race on the UCI calendar. 53/39 and 12-23 is still my setup, and 39 is never used in public. The consequence is of course that my guns from time to time feels like overheated 5.56″²s and not like the 12.5″²s like they once were.

    _______
    I’m new around here – been lurking for a year or so. Couldn’t find an intro thread, so not sure where to make the introduction. In short I can answer yes to the following:
    * Have you lived by the rules?
    * Do you think that the “V” mentioned in the “Da Vinci Code” refers to this site?
    * Do you shave your guns?

    Welcome, and obviously you are going to fit in perfectly. The bolded phrase highlights this fact. Denial is a lifestyle.

    And, since you’ve stuck around for a year, I assume you would also answer yes to this question: Is the movie Team America funny?

    Thanks Frank. If “Team America” is considered funny by the majority of Velominati, then I probably also will enjoy it – so yes. I haven’t seen it (have been busy memorizing the rules) but will find it on Netflix asap.

  37. @bear

    @frank

    @bear

    Gentlemen. It is as always inspiring and interesting to read the various views on a topic that only very few outside the cycling world would know the significance of. While I understand that some select their gears following complicated formulas involving fitness and terrain, my simple approach is trying to deny the fact that 15 years has passed since I rode my last race on the UCI calendar. 53/39 and 12-23 is still my setup, and 39 is never used in public. The consequence is of course that my guns from time to time feels like overheated 5.56″²s and not like the 12.5″²s like they once were.

    _______
    I’m new around here – been lurking for a year or so. Couldn’t find an intro thread, so not sure where to make the introduction. In short I can answer yes to the following:
    * Have you lived by the rules?
    * Do you think that the “V” mentioned in the “Da Vinci Code” refers to this site?
    * Do you shave your guns?

    Welcome, and obviously you are going to fit in perfectly. The bolded phrase highlights this fact. Denial is a lifestyle.

    And, since you’ve stuck around for a year, I assume you would also answer yes to this question: Is the movie Team America funny?

    Thanks Frank. If “Team America” is considered funny by the majority of Velominati, then I probably also will enjoy it – so yes. I haven’t seen it (have been busy memorizing the rules) but will find it on Netflix asap.

    You need to get that movie dialed in and numerous quotes memorised asap….Welcome!

  38. Team America??? Look out, here comes “The Fry Guy”!

  39. @minion

    @brett WHAT!?!?

    I have no idea what this conversation has to do with me. 53-39 and a 12-25 cassette. That’s the bottom line on everything that’s been discussed here. I ran a straight block on the courier bike till it wore out and just got really slow legs.

    They were making sheep jokes… your department.

  40. @brett Fuck they  must have been subtle.

  41. There is a lot of disdain on this site for low gearing. Quintana ran an 11-29 last Thursday. For most people high cadence riding uphill produces more power that grinding, burns more fat and less glycogen, allows quicker recovery and puts less stress on the knees and hip flexors. I’d rather spin a dinnerplate and last a few more years on the bike than succumb to a macho fantasty based on misunderstood biomechanics. Not advice, just my opinion.

  42. @geoffrey

    Just like I am not Ullrich, you are not Quintana. You should ride the cadence that suits your physiology.

    You’re not wrong, but keep in mind that while I’m not accusing Quintana of anything because spinning could well be his magic way of riding especially considering his size, spinning for big riders is an artifact of blood-doping where it is more important to save the muscles than the cardiovascular system knowing you could just stock up on new blood every few weeks.

    Side note: there’s no disdain around here for low gears; we’re just taking the piss. We only joke about it because we’d rather spin a 53×11 up a wall at 100rpm than a 22×28. That is all.

    @minion

    @brett Fuck they must have been subtle.

    It had to do with mispelling and people smarter than me. I had to google it before I got the joke. 

  43. @frank

    You’re not wrong, but keep in mind that while I’m not accusing Quintana of anything because spinning could well be his magic way of riding especially considering his size, spinning for big riders is an artifact of blood-doping where it is more important to save the muscles than the cardiovascular system knowing you could just stock up on new blood every few weeks

    EPO also has a huge impact on endurance, but not so much on power, so spinning putting the load on the cardio-vascular system makes the most of this, too — I think David Millar wrote about this in his book.

    @geoffrey

    Don’t forget to pack your sense of humour!

  44. @geoffrey

    Don’t forget to pack your sense of humour!

    @andrew

    @frank

    You’re not wrong, but keep in mind that while I’m not accusing Quintana of anything because spinning could well be his magic way of riding especially considering his size, spinning for big riders is an artifact of blood-doping where it is more important to save the muscles than the cardiovascular system knowing you could just stock up on new blood every few weeks

    EPO also has a huge impact on endurance, but not so much on power, so spinning putting the load on the cardio-vascular system makes the most of this, too “” I think David Millar wrote about this in his book.

    @geoffrey

    Don’t forget to pack your sense of humour!

    In a jersey pocket or EPMS.

  45. At 42 years old(43 in march, ouch), 15kg over(at least, though should be down 8-10kg by summer), and with the last 133km of Ronde van Vlaanderen, the whole 167km of the La Chouffe Classic in the Ardennes, and a week with my club in Bormio with the last day climbing the Stelvio all on tap for April through June….I am definitely not too proud to admit my new build is going with 50/34 11/28.

    I wish I could front as say I was going to do it all with a Flemish Double….but eff that. I got to this game way to late.

    John(the American in Belgium)

  46. ^^^^^^^

    Have to remember to log in before posting =)

    John(the American in Belgium)

  47. @John

    At 42 years old(43 in march, ouch), 15kg over(at least, though should be down 8-10kg by summer), and with the last 133km of Ronde van Vlaanderen, the whole 167km of the La Chouffe Classic in the Ardennes, and a week with my club in Bormio with the last day climbing the Stelvio all on tap for April through June….I am definitely not too proud to admit my new build is going with 50/34 11/28.

    I wish I could front as say I was going to do it all with a Flemish Double….but eff that. I got to this game way to late.

    John(the American in Belgium)Good for you John. I’ve only been on the road bike for a couple of years and I feel the same way. Contador sometimes uses a compact and an 11-32. He says he likes the wide range cassette as it allows himto stay in the big ring for longer. That’s what I’m going to say from now on.

  48. So my 50/39 with an 8 speed 11-28 turns out to be an 11-26. I have been researching 10 speed cassettes and was thinking that since I rarely if ever use the 28t I’d go with a 26 or 27. Guess I’ll go 12-25 with a 53/39.

    Could’ve sworn I had a 28t. Weird.

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