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  1. #1
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    52x17 on flat road

    I am putting a 52t chainring on my Casseroll. I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. That means little to no climbing. I am doing it to build some strength and get some good fitness. Is that gear huge (83 gear inches)? I can't wait. I am actually over winter, even though I have a Mukluk. Thanks.

  2. #2
    PSC
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    At 90 rpm's you'll be doing about 21 mph or so. When I select a gear, I figure out what speed and rpm I want to maintain and go from there. I ride a 42/17 and at 17.5-19.5 mph, I am doing 90-100 rpm, which is ideal for me. Eastern shore can have some pretty strong winds which is something to keep in mind.

  3. #3
    eRacer
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    That is a fairly large gear. I would probably start with a 70 inch gear and move up slowly as my knees and legs get used to it. Trying to mash a large gear hoping for strength may actually be stressful. There are better ways to gain strength.
    john
    John Lapoint / San Diego
    God is Great, Beer is Good, and People are Crazy!

  4. #4
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    Pretty high gearing, what are you riding on now? How that is working for you will be your best guide but it's not about the numbers, it's more about how you are feeling.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I ride 48:16 (equivalent of 51:17) with all kinds of climbing, so your gear seems very reasonable for flats. It is 80.5 inches, btw.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SL singlespeed
    KHS Team 29
    S-Works Roubaix SL3 Dura Ace
    Pake French 75 track

  6. #6
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    It shouldn't be too bad. I ride 48x15 and hit hills all the time. I say it's doable. Get those beastly legs!

  7. #7
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    I have the 52x17 set up now. It's not too bad. May go to 52x16 in a couple of months. Again, it's pretty flat where I live and ride this bike. The headwinds make things interesting, however.
    Thanks for the comments.

  8. #8
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    Yeah, the wind is the killer. I live in the rockies so I'm geared 48x18. Thought I could go up 48x16 last year and did a couple of rides. Felt (over) confident, so did a longer 60 mile ride. The ride almost did me in, as I was fighting a pretty severe headwind. In hindsight, I should have just gotten off and walked! A mile of that and I was sidelined for a few, trying to get some feeling back in my legs.

    I've gone back to the old gearing, however, what has worked for me is shorter cranks. I went from 172.5 to 170's. I found that I didn't lose much leverage, but gained some extra upper RPM range. I've also got 165's, which I might end up going to. It's incredible how a few mm can help spin that much faster.

  9. #9
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    I think that will be fine - even if you've been off the bike a while. As others have said, keep an eye on your cadence:speed ratio. After a while, you may decide to swap that 17 for a 16, or even 15.

    Atlanta's very hilly. And, I found that while the 52:18 was good for much of the route, I was struggling to keep pace with the group (rides a few times/week) the descents. I swapped the 18 for a 16, and love it. Hills are tough, but not as bad as I anticipated. I spin out in the low 30s... just about when everyone else stops pedaling and assumes the tuck.


  10. #10
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    I have the 52:17 working now. It's not bad at all. A good stiff headwind reminds me that I can't shift down, but all in all I love the feel of being a good piece away from home and I only have that one biggish gear to get me there. I think I'm going to get a 16 in a month or so to make for some summer fun. I have this on a Salsa Casseroll. I also have a Salsa Vaya that has been seeing little action cause I am stoked on the SS.

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