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  1. #1
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    Component Choice Help!

    Today I did a climbing ride. Not sure why, but I wanted to get in some climbing. I did a little over 13k feet in about 80 miles. My knees are sore and my cadence was lower than I wanted. My current gearing is 52/36 and 11-30. I'm considering buying a compact chainring and a long cage rear derailleur for an 11-30 cassette to use for the off season and for big mountainous events. I am really liking the idea of being able to run a 34 tooth in the rear for any known events with mega hills. I know how to change over the parts and adjust them myself, so that's not an issue. I figure I'd use the compact and an 11-30 for most of my rides, which are just solo training rides or occasional casual group rides in the hills, and the mid-compact and 11-28 for any racing or big events with very little climbing. It could be a bit of a hassle changing parts around a few times a season, but would the end result be worth it?

    Have any of you done something similar, and did you find it to be worth the time and effort? How does a 34-34 gearing even feel? I imagine it'd be amazing about 4 hours into a giant climb or while tackling a 20% grade...

  2. #2
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDFbound View Post
    Today I did a climbing ride. Not sure why, but I wanted to get in some climbing. I did a little over 13k feet in about 80 miles. My knees are sore and my cadence was lower than I wanted. My current gearing is 52/36 and 11-30. I'm considering buying a compact chainring and a long cage rear derailleur for an 11-30 cassette to use for the off season and for big mountainous events. I am really liking the idea of being able to run a 34 tooth in the rear for any known events with mega hills. I know how to change over the parts and adjust them myself, so that's not an issue. I figure I'd use the compact and an 11-30 for most of my rides, which are just solo training rides or occasional casual group rides in the hills, and the mid-compact and 11-28 for any racing or big events with very little climbing. It could be a bit of a hassle changing parts around a few times a season, but would the end result be worth it?

    Have any of you done something similar, and did you find it to be worth the time and effort? How does a 34-34 gearing even feel? I imagine it'd be amazing about 4 hours into a giant climb or while tackling a 20% grade...
    You haven't told us what components you're using so I'm just gonna guess it's 11 speed, probably Shimano.

    There are no 'long' cage road rear derailleurs. It's semantics but they're all referred to as 'medium'. None of them are designed to work w/ 34t big cogs. Not saying none of them will work but it's going to be a try-and-see deal.

    Your big issue is going to be two-fold. One, your front derailleur is spec'd to work w/ a max of 16t difference in c-rings. If you go 52-34...guess what. You're 2 teeth over. Second, the medium cage rear derailleur has a chain wrap capacity of 37t. If you go over on the cassette AND the chainrings you won't be able to have a chain long enough to go big/big.

    Stick w/ the specs and don't f up your bike. The GS medium cage will go up to a 32 and 16t difference up front. If you think going from 36 to 34 will make a life changing difference (it won't) then you need to run a 50 w/ the 34. 34/32 will get you up pretty much anything. If it won't you're probably gonna be walking.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    You haven't told us what components you're using so I'm just gonna guess it's 11 speed, probably Shimano.

    There are no 'long' cage road rear derailleurs. It's semantics but they're all referred to as 'medium'. None of them are designed to work w/ 34t big cogs. Not saying none of them will work but it's going to be a try-and-see deal.

    Your big issue is going to be two-fold. One, your front derailleur is spec'd to work w/ a max of 16t difference in c-rings. If you go 52-34...guess what. You're 2 teeth over. Second, the medium cage rear derailleur has a chain wrap capacity of 37t. If you go over on the cassette AND the chainrings you won't be able to have a chain long enough to go big/big.

    Stick w/ the specs and don't f up your bike. The GS medium cage will go up to a 32 and 16t difference up front. If you think going from 36 to 34 will make a life changing difference (it won't) then you need to run a 50 w/ the 34. 34/32 will get you up pretty much anything. If it won't you're probably gonna be walking.
    Sorry- I've got Ultegra 6800. The new Ultegra 8000 series is designed to work with up to a 34 tooth cassette, and is compatible with 6800 shifters. I'd be running a 50/34 and 11-34 for the rare mega-hill rides, and likely a 50/34 and 11-30 for casual/training rides, and swap to 52/36 and 11-28 for races or time trials. I know a lot of bikes come stock with 50/34 and 11-30, and I've seen a few stock 50/34 and 11-34 as well, so it's definitely a viable gear combo. My old bike had 50/34 and 12-27, which is an almost identical low gear as my current 52/36 and 11-30, so it's not like I'm missing gears I used to have, I just would like the option to have lower gears for the times I know I'll want them. I'm a decently strong rider for group rides and sportives, and can grunt up any hill you show me, but sometimes a less painful option might be a good thing- I ain't getting any younger! I may have just talked myself into saying screw it and just buying the stuff.

  4. #4
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDFbound View Post
    Sorry- I've got Ultegra 6800. The new Ultegra 8000 series is designed to work with up to a 34 tooth cassette, and is compatible with 6800 shifters. I'd be running a 50/34 and 11-34 for the rare mega-hill rides, and likely a 50/34 and 11-30 for casual/training rides, and swap to 52/36 and 11-28 for races or time trials. I know a lot of bikes come stock with 50/34 and 11-30, and I've seen a few stock 50/34 and 11-34 as well, so it's definitely a viable gear combo. My old bike had 50/34 and 12-27, which is an almost identical low gear as my current 52/36 and 11-30, so it's not like I'm missing gears I used to have, I just would like the option to have lower gears for the times I know I'll want them. I'm a decently strong rider for group rides and sportives, and can grunt up any hill you show me, but sometimes a less painful option might be a good thing- I ain't getting any younger! I may have just talked myself into saying screw it and just buying the stuff.
    Ah yes, the 8000 GS derailleur will work for you.
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  5. #5
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    Why not get the 8000 RD and an 11-34 to see how that goes? If 36/34 works as your superlow gear, it means all you need to do is swap cassettes. Much less of a PITA than swapping cranks or chainrings.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by riccardo123 View Post
    Why not get the 8000 RD and an 11-34 to see how that goes? If 36/34 works as your superlow gear, it means all you need to do is swap cassettes. Much less of a PITA than swapping cranks or chainrings.
    Lol I hadnít thought of that. I think thatís what Iíll try first, as it is definitely cheaper and easier than screwing around with the front derailleur. The 6800
    FD is way more finicky than my old 9-speed...

  7. #7
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    I've got one bike setup with climbing gearing, almost touring-like with a 45t ring with a 13t smallest cog. I really see little need to pedal down steep hills anymore, but then I'm not riding in pacelines, either. Sure makes climbing easier, though.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

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