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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    64

    Question Cross Gearing: Just curious

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    What are you typically running?

    I'm in hell with a standard crank but am probably going to get a 46/36 compact crank asap!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    996
    A 42x17 single speed
    Because not every fast cyclist is a toothpick...

    Brick House Blog

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,822
    Andrea - that sounds like an awesome gear ratio! DH just built me a new SS cross bike last night - it's running a 39/19. I haven't given it a go yet, but will let you know how it goes...

    Bboston - on my race bike, I am running a single ring up front - a 40. In the rear, it's an 11/25. This gives me as much gearing as I need on any of our local courses.

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    332
    Last Season -
    34-46 12-27

    This season due to not enough training I went to an 11-34. It took a lot of fiddling with the bike to make it happen but it works well enough.

    I could probably go back to my non wussy (to me) gears but will finish out the season with it and TRAIN HARDER NEXT YEAR!!!

    I don't anticipate buying a new house AND a carer change all in the same month next year.

    Plus I'm parking the car next season and riding to work which includes a 2.5 mile (19%max) hill!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    64
    I'm at 53/39 12/25 but I essentially never get out of the 34 chainring and we've had some brutal hills that I'd like to ride but can't effectively ride without blowing up w/my current gearing.

    I bought an inexpensive compact 50/34 and will probably just keep it in the 34 most of the time. I could run a single chainring up front but I'd just like to keep it simple for now. I'm running a compact on my road bike so at least I'll be more familiar w/the feel of the gearing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    1,628
    It is threads like these that remind me how very little I know about biking.
    You too can help me fight cancer, and get a lovely cookbook for your very own! My team's cookbook is for sale Click here to order. Proceeds go to our team's fundraising for the Philly Livestrong Challenge!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    269
    I put a 46-34 and 11-34 on my new bike and love the gearing. I don't race so my needs may be a little different, but I love the wide range this gives me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    996
    Quote Originally Posted by Possegal View Post
    It is threads like these that remind me how very little I know about biking.
    I used to get confused about the same thing! Maybe this will help...

    The bigger numbers we are talking about are the size of the front chainrings (how many teeth they've got):
    -A standard road bike usually has a 39 tooth small ring and a 53 tooth large ring.
    -A road bike with "compact" gearing will usually have either a 34 or 36 tooth small ring and a 50 tooth large ring.
    -On a bike that goes off-road, you usually want lower (or "easier") gears that allow you to spin faster to get through tough spots (mud and/or hills), so a lot of people go with compact cranks that have fewer teeth than what you'd use on a road bike- like a 34 tooth small ring and a 46 tooth large ring (it's still got a 34 like a standard road-going compact, but the 46 tooth large ring is more useful for riding off road because it's "easier" than a 50 or 53, and it gives you added ground clearance over a 50 or 53).
    -Some CX racers find that they don't use the large ring very often, so they opt to change to a single front ring- no big or small to switch between... just one front chainring of their choice. Usually they go for something a little larger than a 34 but smaller than a 46 (a "medium" sized ring ).

    The other numbers are the sizes of the rear cogs. They are also measured by how many teeth each one has, and you tell someone the size of your rear gears by giving the range from smallest cog to largest cog:
    - A very common road bike gearing would be 11-23 (the smallest cog has 11 teeth, the largest one has 23). This can vary a LOT, though! Other popular ones include 11-25 and 12-27.
    -CX gearing usually errs on the side of larger-toothed gears because, once again, they make it easier to climb hills & get through mud & grass, and you are not likely to need an 11 tooth cog when riding off-road (on road, you only need it for sprinting, descending, or other times when you want to really haul a**)
    - When you hear of someone running a "singlespeed" setup (like mine & shefly's), that means that they've only got one gear in the back (and one chainring in the front). Singlespeeds are all about finding the right gearing that you can tolerate on hills/rough spots, but NOT be left spinning out when you get to a faster section of the course.
    Mine has a 42 tooth front chainring and a 17 tooth gear in the back. I chose it because I can spin on easy, flat sections at about 19 mph, and I can still make it up most hills. I used to have a 20 tooth gear in the back, which made hills much easier, but did not allow me to go fast enough on the easy sections of course.

    Hope this helps you out! I was confused for the longest time about what all those crazy numbers meant, so don't feel bad!
    Because not every fast cyclist is a toothpick...

    Brick House Blog

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Maynard, MA
    Posts
    145
    45/39 and an 11-28 8-speed. I almost never use the small ring, and it's been racing great.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    1,628
    Thank you Andrea!!! Yes, that did help, and I'm slightly less dumb today. Though only slightly.
    You too can help me fight cancer, and get a lovely cookbook for your very own! My team's cookbook is for sale Click here to order. Proceeds go to our team's fundraising for the Philly Livestrong Challenge!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Suitcase of Courage
    Posts
    557
    Andrea: Thank you for your explanation, it was helpful for me.

    Sorta OT, now the gearing part that confuses me is when riders start talking about the different combinations within the gears they have. For example, on a triple, they talk about how much they may like the largest front and the 3rd smallest rear gear as opposed to the medium front and smallest rear gear. Hope that makes sense. I just find the combo that feels good.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To stay balanced, one must keep moving. - Albert Einstein

    In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured. -Gordon B. Hinckley

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    146

    My gearing

    39/42 with 12-26

    This has worked well for the wide variety of courses I've been on this season, including the nationals course, which has a bunch of climbing.

    /s
    -------------------------
    http://sydspinnin.blogspot.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    996
    Quote Originally Posted by Lifesgreat View Post
    Andrea: Thank you for your explanation, it was helpful for me.

    Sorta OT, now the gearing part that confuses me is when riders start talking about the different combinations within the gears they have. For example, on a triple, they talk about how much they may like the largest front and the 3rd smallest rear gear as opposed to the medium front and smallest rear gear. Hope that makes sense. I just find the combo that feels good.
    Thanks! Glad I could help.

    Don't sweat the in-between gears thing. A lot of people make a big deal about certain combos, but I think along the same lines as you... just ride what feels right... who cares what the number is!
    I ride an 11/26 set of rear gears (on my road bike), which doesn't include a 16t cog. I've never felt at a disadvantage without it, but some people won't buy the 11/26 cassette because they want the 16t!!! Madness!
    Because not every fast cyclist is a toothpick...

    Brick House Blog

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Middle of the mitten
    Posts
    109
    34*46 up front, most often a 12-27 cassette. I like to be able to spin so opted for the 'easy' gear.

 

 

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