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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    The point is, I've never dropped a chain shifting in front, not never. Ok, 20 years ago I had the inner limit screwed out too far and dropped the chain once on a spastic shift that made the chain jump. Used to work on these wimpy 16 tooth jumps all the time at the shop. Customers were always dropping chains. They had to design those ramps and sh!t to compensate.
    Com'on Fred, really. If you worked at a bike shop, you should know that pins and ramps do nothing for shifting to a lower ring. They only help you go up to a higher ring. Pins and ramps have nothing to do with chain drops.

    FWIW, I have seen plenty pf people with triples (less than 10 tooth drops) drop their chains. I am not aware of any more people dropping chains since compacts with 16 tooth drops became the norm. So this is a silly argument.
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  2. #52
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    It is not an argument.
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  3. #53
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    If I needed a low gear of 33.4 inches, I'd go with a 52x36 with a 12-28 11 speed cassette. (34.7 inches)....There is no need for an 11. A 12 will get you close to 40mph on the flats, in a sprint, and gravity will take it from there going down hills.
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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Com'on Fred, really. If you worked at a bike shop, you should know that pins and ramps do nothing for shifting to a lower ring. They only help you go up to a higher ring. Pins and ramps have nothing to do with chain drops.

    FWIW, I have seen plenty pf people with triples (less than 10 tooth drops) drop their chains. I am not aware of any more people dropping chains since compacts with 16 tooth drops became the norm. So this is a silly argument.
    Ok, you're right, the ramps and pins are to lift the chain up onto the bigger cog.

    But guys were dropping chains when the bumps and wedged teeth came out with the 39, presumably to correct for the inherent instability of the further drop, largely induced by the rear derailleur having to take up more slack. Adjusting the shifters complicated the issue. The chain would shift great with the limit adjusters too loose. Looking at the teeth at the time, I wondered if those pins sticking out would bump the chain as it slides off the large ring and destabilize the shift. Guess not.

    I've also seen riders dropping chains off of triples. They're wide and gangly, more complicated to adjust correctly to hit the middle ring right and not over shift into the "granny gear," or off into the frame.

    Just saying if the jump is less than 10 teeth, it works nice and smooth without loss of power. TT guys like the close shifting. Its nice on the legs across the freewheel range, so rider doesn't have to double shift to find the right gear. It's right there, the close spaced cogs in back ready to make fine adjustments. The rear derailleur doesn't have to take up much chain slack, lack of which is another great way to derail a chain, and you're on your way.
    Last edited by Fredrico; 12-03-2017 at 11:00 PM.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Ok, you're right, the ramps and pins are to lift the chain up onto the bigger cog.

    But guys were dropping chains when the bumps and wedged teeth came out with the 39, presumably to correct for the inherent instability of the further drop, largely induced by the rear derailleur having to take up more slack. Adjusting the shifters complicated the issue. The chain would shift great with the limit adjusters too loose. Looking at the teeth at the time, I wondered if those pins sticking out would bump the chain as it slides off the large ring and destabilize the shift. Guess not.

    I've also seen riders dropping chains off of triples. They're wide and gangly, more complicated to adjust correctly to hit the middle ring right and not over shift into the "granny gear," or off into the frame.

    Just saying if the jump is less than 10 teeth, it works nice and smooth without loss of power. TT guys like the close shifting. Its nice on the legs across the freewheel range, so rider doesn't have to double shift to find the right gear. It's right there, the close spaced cogs in back ready to make fine adjustments. The rear derailleur doesn't have to take up much chain slack, lack of which is another great way to derail a chain, and you're on your way.
    The 39 came out years before pins and gates. And no one has raced less than 10t difference in chainwheels for 40 years. So what are you talking about?
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    But guys were dropping chains when the bumps and wedged teeth came out with the 39, presumably to correct for the inherent instability of the further drop, largely induced by the rear derailleur having to take up more slack.
    Seriously? How much slack difference is there between a low ring of 42 and a low ring of 39 - given the same size large ring? My mountain bikes have 22/32/44 triples with wide 11-34T gearing in the back. I can tell you that while shifting in the rear can at times be sloppy, the only time I ever drop a chain in front is if I am in one of the two largest cogs in back when I drop to the granny gear. This one is easy to prevent - drop to the granny before you go to the larger cogs! Oh, and this method also works for my one road bike which still has a 52/39/30 triple and an 11-32T. No sloppy shifting on this one at all!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    I've also seen riders dropping chains off of triples. They're wide and gangly, more complicated to adjust correctly to hit the middle ring right and not over shift into the "granny gear," or off into the frame.
    Dropping a chain is one thing. I have never had a problem where I went from big to small bypassing the middle ring.
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  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Seriously? How much slack difference is there between a low ring of 42 and a low ring of 39 - given the same size large ring? My mountain bikes have 22/32/44 triples with wide 11-34T gearing in the back. I can tell you that while shifting in the rear can at times be sloppy, the only time I ever drop a chain in front is if I am in one of the two largest cogs in back when I drop to the granny gear. This one is easy to prevent - drop to the granny before you go to the larger cogs! Oh, and this method also works for my one road bike which still has a 52/39/30 triple and an 11-32T. No sloppy shifting on this one at all!



    Dropping a chain is one thing. I have never had a problem where I went from big to small bypassing the middle ring.
    Ahah, so you do certain things to prevent chain jumping, and you have to double shift to get in the right gear! Extra work that would be totally unnecessary with closely spaced chain rings. I stand by my argument.

    Sure, the pins and ramps came after 39s became the norm. This was a fine tuning to get 14 tooth click shifts with 8-9 speeds in back to work well. Didn't need those when 42s were standard, as I explained above. Separating the inner and outer ring gear ranges with the major shift right where you don't want it, in the 14-16 mph speed range, requires a double shift over 2 cogs in back, totally unnecessary in closely spaced rings, 52-42, 50-42 or 52-44 even better, as found on TT bikes. I would prefer quick shifts in front and overlapping gear ratios, than having to shift the back two cogs every time I shift the front. That's extra work that'll slow you down!

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Ahah, so you do certain things to prevent chain jumping, and you have to double shift to get in the right gear! Extra work that would be totally unnecessary with closely spaced chain rings. I stand by my argument.

    Sure, the pins and ramps came after 39s became the norm. This was a fine tuning to get 14 tooth click shifts with 8-9 speeds in back to work well. Didn't need those when 42s were standard, as I explained above. Separating the inner and outer ring gear ranges with the major shift right where you don't want it, in the 14-16 mph speed range, requires a double shift over 2 cogs in back, totally unnecessary in closely spaced rings, 52-42, 50-42 or 52-44 even better, as found on TT bikes. I would prefer quick shifts in front and overlapping gear ratios, than having to shift the back two cogs every time I shift the front. That's extra work that'll slow you down!
    Fred, you're about as old as dirt, how fast can you go that you hafta worry about slowing down on a double shift?
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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    Fred, you're about as old as dirt, how fast can you go that you hafta worry about slowing down on a double shift?
    Heck, at this point, having to triple shift, once in front, twice in back, is enough to get dropped off the back. No fun working my a$$ off each time trying desperately to close the gap!

    Much prefer to shift in front to the right gear, then worry about shifting the back if I need to. It may be old school, but works really well.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Ahah, so you do certain things to prevent chain jumping, and you have to double shift to get in the right gear! Extra work that would be totally unnecessary with closely spaced chain rings. I stand by my argument.

    Sure, the pins and ramps came after 39s became the norm. This was a fine tuning to get 14 tooth click shifts with 8-9 speeds in back to work well. Didn't need those when 42s were standard, as I explained above. Separating the inner and outer ring gear ranges with the major shift right where you don't want it, in the 14-16 mph speed range, requires a double shift over 2 cogs in back, totally unnecessary in closely spaced rings, 52-42, 50-42 or 52-44 even better, as found on TT bikes. I would prefer quick shifts in front and overlapping gear ratios, than having to shift the back two cogs every time I shift the front. That's extra work that'll slow you down!
    That's all great - if you never have an actual hill to climb.
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  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
    That's all great - if you never have an actual hill to climb.
    This. Remember that Fred lives in Flatlington, VA in the DC area. He should come up to VT and NH where there are some hills.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Ahah, so you do certain things to prevent chain jumping, and you have to double shift to get in the right gear! Extra work that would be totally unnecessary with closely spaced chain rings. I stand by my argument.

    Sure, the pins and ramps came after 39s became the norm. This was a fine tuning to get 14 tooth click shifts with 8-9 speeds in back to work well. Didn't need those when 42s were standard, as I explained above. Separating the inner and outer ring gear ranges with the major shift right where you don't want it, in the 14-16 mph speed range, requires a double shift over 2 cogs in back, totally unnecessary in closely spaced rings, 52-42, 50-42 or 52-44 even better, as found on TT bikes. I would prefer quick shifts in front and overlapping gear ratios, than having to shift the back two cogs every time I shift the front. That's extra work that'll slow you down!
    More like 55-42. Ask me how I know.
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  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    More like 55-42. Ask me how I know.
    Ok, these tri guys are real macho men!

    Eddy did the hour record on 48-13 or 14 looks like, on a 13 pound drilled out single speed on a track a mile above sea level. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    And yes, the 42 is good for the hills on a close ratio freewheel, although if your legs were strong enough to TT along in the big 55, they could handle a 44 just fine. Why do you suppose these guys wouldn't prefer a 39 or 34?

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Ok, these tri guys are real macho men!

    Eddy did the hour record on 48-13 or 14 looks like, on a 13 pound drilled out single speed on a track a mile above sea level. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    And yes, the 42 is good for the hills on a close ratio freewheel, although if your legs were strong enough to TT along in the big 55, they could handle a 44 just fine. Why do you suppose these guys wouldn't prefer a 39 or 34?
    People who use 55-42s use them for TTs on non-mountainous terrain. People who use track bikes use them on level tracks. Your odd ideas about gearing will only screw someone who needs to get up an actual hill or mountain.

    And Merckx set the record in Mexico city because the ratio of air drag to VO2 max is increasingly better than sea level up to 3700 meters. Not because he's a tough guy.
    Last edited by Kontact; 12-08-2017 at 11:11 PM.
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  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
    That's all great - if you never have an actual hill to climb.
    By the time the road starts upward, rider should already be in the small ring, and if he's gotta shift in back too, he's under geared and instantly losing momentum that could ease his legs into the sweet spot.

    Legs would pick up the cadence in a 10 tooth jump, 52 to 42, just fine. 14 t. is pushing it. 16 t. is tempting fate. You don't know how many times I've adjusted over shifting 53-39s, probably twice as much as the tried and true 52-42s. Almost impossible to accidentally over shift from 52-44. The rear derailleur has to take up almost no slack at the moment the chain drops off onto the smaller cog. Its smooth as silk.

    Climbing mountains is a matter of apportioning out energy so it stays aerobic. If one doesn't lose his form, usually from making frequent excursions beyond AT, he'll make it to the top and the legs will recover. The higher the gear, the slower the cadence, but at no time does it have to go anaerobic if rider imitates the aerobic muscular sequences of his "spin," only in slow motion. That worked for Hinault, anyway, in 53-13 as well as 42-21. Eddy liked 44s. His knees were fine leading a group ride a few years ago out in CA setting a 25 mph pace.

    Ok, there are a few climbs out of the Potomac River that are pretty steep. By the time you're up the two lane winding road from Chain Bridge to Military Rd. in NVA, you're beyond AT. So cool, put on that 34-30. You'll beat me to the top and have energy to spare, right?

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
    People who use 55-42s use them for TTs on non-mountainous terrain. People who use track bikes use them on level tracks. Your odd ideas about gearing will only screw someone who needs to get up an actual hill or mountain.

    And Merckx set the record in Mexico city because the ratio of air drag to VO2 max is increasingly better than sea level up to 3700 meters. Not because he's a tough guy.
    I was hoping you'd read Merckx's hour record ride as a vindication of lower gearing, 48-13! Pictures show he was doing a good 90 rpm, if not faster. The guy was mentally tough as hell, or he wouldn't have won so many races. Do not question the man's toughness!

    Just trying to put some perspective on what I consider current odd ideas on gearing, to sell more bikes to unsuspecting buyers who think they need these climbing gears, then find out pretty much the 28 and below only serve as a kind of insurance that rider will never have to get off his bike and walk it. I did Mt. Wilson, CA, twice, and climbed all over the Hollywood Hills, in 44-22 many year ago. My knees are fine.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    By the time the road starts upward, rider should already be in the small ring, and if he's gotta shift in back too, he's under geared and instantly losing momentum that could ease his legs into the sweet spot.

    Legs would pick up the cadence in a 10 tooth jump, 52 to 42, just fine. 14 t. is pushing it. 16 t. is tempting fate. You don't know how many times I've adjusted over shifting 53-39s, probably twice as much as the tried and true 52-42s. Almost impossible to accidentally over shift from 52-44. The rear derailleur has to take up almost no slack at the moment the chain drops off onto the smaller cog. Its smooth as silk.

    Climbing mountains is a matter of apportioning out energy so it stays aerobic. If one doesn't lose his form, usually from making frequent excursions beyond AT, he'll make it to the top and the legs will recover. The higher the gear, the slower the cadence, but at no time does it have to go anaerobic if rider imitates the aerobic muscular sequences of his "spin," only in slow motion. That worked for Hinault, anyway, in 53-13 as well as 42-21. Eddy liked 44s. His knees were fine leading a group ride a few years ago out in CA setting a 25 mph pace.

    Ok, there are a few climbs out of the Potomac River that are pretty steep. By the time you're up the two lane winding road from Chain Bridge to Military Rd. in NVA, you're beyond AT. So cool, put on that 34-30. You'll beat me to the top and have energy to spare, right?
    Everyone doesn't need to "beat you". Everyone isn't you, everyone doesn't have your legs, power to weight ratio, the roads you ride or an interest in being the self-reported toughest man on RBR.

    Gearing is there solely to provide the appropriate leverage to ride the bike where it is being ridden. It is not there to express machismo or act as spontaneous strength training. You select gearing based on the grades, pedal rpm and max speeds. You select gearing configuration on the ratios you'll use most and the shift patterns you'll actually use to move between them. That's all.

    If you want to be a hard man, just don't shift. And put one of those cool No Fear stickers on your bike.



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  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    And yes, the 42 is good for the hills on a close ratio freewheel, although if your legs were strong enough to TT along in the big 55, they could handle a 44 just fine. Why do you suppose these guys wouldn't prefer a 39 or 34?
    Fred, you need to stop and remember that people coming onto these forums looking for advice are not "these guys" So please stop comparing things the average rider should do with guys like Merckx.
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  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Ok, these tri guys are real macho men!

    Eddy did the hour record on 48-13 or 14 looks like, on a 13 pound drilled out single speed on a track a mile above sea level. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    And yes, the 42 is good for the hills on a close ratio freewheel, although if your legs were strong enough to TT along in the big 55, they could handle a 44 just fine. Why do you suppose these guys wouldn't prefer a 39 or 34?
    No, those are the rings used by the women on the team I work for. Some of them actually do weigh more than 120lbs, so they're pretty burly.
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  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    On a sub 20# bike and rider under 200#, you'll never use the 34, hardly ever the 30.
    15.8lb disc bike, 135lb rider. I use my 34x32 all the time and have pondered going with the Ultegra 11-34t for days with long climbs of >11% grades. You live in a wildly different reality than I do.

    Keep in mind 34x32 at 80rpm is 6.7mph. At 90rpm it's 7.5mph.

    At my weight, 6.7mph up an 11% grade is 250W. 7.5mph is 285W.

    My street averages 15% for 200ft of elevation. If I tried to pedal 80rpm up that, I'd be doing 340W.

    Now consider the fact that my system weight is considerably lighter than most and yeah, I think you're pretty wrong about whether people want/need the range of an 11-34t cassette.

    As for the OP...Yeah I don't get that either. Stick with a standard set-up or even go compact.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    I was hoping you'd read Merckx's hour record ride as a vindication of lower gearing, 48-13!
    Merckx used 52x14.
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  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    No, those are the rings used by the women on the team I work for. Some of them actually do weigh more than 120lbs, so they're pretty burly.
    You're a lucky guy!

    Hear tell women have plenty of aerobic muscles in their legs, can achieve awesome strength to weight ratios, cycling being the perfect means. A couple of the women on DC and ETX club rides could beat the heavier guys up the hills and stay at the front the whole ride.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
    Merckx used 52x14.
    I thought so too, but one reviewer said 48 tooth, and sho nuff the pictures of the bike show a 48 tooth. Yeah, 14 in back. 48-14. Maybe he changed to 52 for the event, or the pictures are of several fakes floating around pretending to be the hour record bike.

    52-14 is a wonderful gear if ya wanna go flat out. It won't ruin your knees. How many riders get strong enough to ride an hour in 52-13, 12, 11? Don't see the pros in those gears much. They're up in the 14. Why have 'em if you'll never be strong enough to use them? Learned the folly of pealing down hills after discovering going into a full tuck instantly increased speed 1 mph. Pedaling actually slowed me down. I needed a fairing.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceugene View Post
    15.8lb disc bike, 135lb rider. I use my 34x32 all the time and have pondered going with the Ultegra 11-34t for days with long climbs of >11% grades. You live in a wildly different reality than I do.

    Keep in mind 34x32 at 80rpm is 6.7mph. At 90rpm it's 7.5mph.

    At my weight, 6.7mph up an 11% grade is 250W. 7.5mph is 285W.

    My street averages 15% for 200ft of elevation. If I tried to pedal 80rpm up that, I'd be doing 340W.

    Now consider the fact that my system weight is considerably lighter than most and yeah, I think you're pretty wrong about whether people want/need the range of an 11-34t cassette.

    As for the OP...Yeah I don't get that either. Stick with a standard set-up or even go compact.
    Thanks for posting some quantifiable data.

    The question remains, pedaling up the same grade, does rider burn less watts in 34-32 at 80 rpm than the same speed at 60 rpm in 42-28?

    I'll never have a watt calculator, so would have to go by heart rate. Reasonable to conclude: apportioning the energy output in smaller chunks is always more efficient than in bigger chunks. However, there's a point above 90 rpm, that the heart has to work harder to keep up cadence, and slowing down cadence to what is sustainable, IME 60-70 rpm, ends up being the default power output. Do you sustain 80-90 rpm going up mountains? That would disprove my argument. Kudos if you can do that up a mountain, Alberto Contador, indeed!

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Thanks for posting some quantifiable data.

    The question remains, pedaling up the same grade, does rider burn less watts in 34-32 at 80 rpm than the same speed at 60 rpm in 42-28?

    I'll never have a watt calculator, so would have to go by heart rate. Reasonable to conclude: apportioning the energy output in smaller chunks is always more efficient than in bigger chunks. However, there's a point above 90 rpm, that the heart has to work harder to keep up cadence, and slowing down cadence to what is sustainable, IME 60-70 rpm, ends up being the default power output. Do you sustain 80-90 rpm going up mountains? That would disprove my argument. Kudos if you can do that up a mountain, Alberto Contador, indeed!
    It doesn't matter, because people don't all have the same kinds of muscle or fitness. That's why you dictating people's gearing is silly.
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