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2013-10-14 4:04 PM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: 30 tooth cassette instead of 28?
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by brigby1

What kind of cadence are you working at going up?

I still bounce over 105-110. I wouldn't try to sustain that for extended periods (I settle in around 80), but there are times when one of the guys wants to sprint and a higher cadence would help.

Sorry, uphill. That's the more relevant part to the discussion.




That all depends on the steepness of the hill. There are some hills around here that are so steep that my cadence drops below 40 rpm and I just hope I don't fall over. OTOH, I rode Trail Ridge (3.9% average for 25 miles from Estes Park to the top of the mountain) around 75-80 rpm. BTW, I loved that ride! Everyone should do it.


2013-10-14 4:20 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: 30 tooth cassette instead of 28?

Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by ChrisM

But the question on the table is whether you stand by your comment that riding a compact makes one a weaker rider?   (BTW< you do know that a 50/11 is more or less the same as a 54/12?)

The OP isn't going to change the crank. They said they think they have a compact (and not knowing indicates that they are trying to buy speed instead of training). It is only the cassette that is in question. However, if someone is strong enough to ride without a compact double (I am not) and switches to a compact on the same terrain, they are not doing themselves any favors (unless there are extenuating circumstances like a bad knee. Look at it this way, you don't see pro cyclists riding compact doubles (again, I am not that strong).

A.  We're not pros.   That's a silly argument

B.  Am I just a physiologic anomaly?  I've gone from MOP bike to back of FOP bike, sometimes FOP (so far short course only, unfortuantely  ).  All on a compact.  On both my tri and road bike.  Some of the best riders I know ride compacts. 

Wildflower (olympic and half), Oceanside, IM Canada... I do lots of races with lots of hills.  And compact crank vs. cassette is the same thing.  It's all about gear ratio, etc.  Compact is like getting a larger cassette.  So that's just semantics.  Copact allows you to ride an easier gear.  You said riding an easier gear makes you a weaker cyclist (ignore that we are on beginnerTRIATHLETE and you have to think about running afterwards in a race scenario).  The question stands....

It doesn't really matter what gears you have.  It's how you ride them.   BTW, the only reason I am harping on this as I've read that advice before - compact (or smaller gears makes you weaker) - and I (and many others here) think that is simply an incorrect statement, and furthers the misconception.  Can you gain strength by pushing a bigger gear uphill?   Sure, but not all rides are strength rides, you can still push big gears with a compact (ride steeper hills) and at the end of the day, in a tri, I will pick the guy (all else being equal) that can spin up Beach Hill at Wildflower at 80 rpm than the guy that mashes at 40 for the overall win



Edited by ChrisM 2013-10-14 4:40 PM
2013-10-14 5:31 PM
in reply to: happyscientist

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Subject: RE: 30 tooth cassette instead of 28?

Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by brigby1

What kind of cadence are you working at going up?

I still bounce over 105-110. I wouldn't try to sustain that for extended periods (I settle in around 80), but there are times when one of the guys wants to sprint and a higher cadence would help.

Sorry, uphill. That's the more relevant part to the discussion.

That all depends on the steepness of the hill. There are some hills around here that are so steep that my cadence drops below 40 rpm and I just hope I don't fall over. OTOH, I rode Trail Ridge (3.9% average for 25 miles from Estes Park to the top of the mountain) around 75-80 rpm. BTW, I loved that ride! Everyone should do it.

I will keep that one in mind, sounds like a great ride!

Since you're getting down to 40 rpm at times, that is really low and you could likely benefit from additional gearing. Not to make it easier, but to operate at a more appropriate level. I don't like going below about 60 and if it's more than very briefly, should have used additional gearing. Just looking at it as "making it up the hill" is not quite the best criteria. You want to operate more around where you can produce better power. While you'll still be working quite hard at such low RPM, you won't be putting out as much power, so you're working harder to get less out of it. There is no reason you can't push yourself as hard with the lower gears. If that is an issue, then try to find ways to better motivate and attack these things.

2013-10-14 5:38 PM
in reply to: ChrisM

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Subject: RE: 30 tooth cassette instead of 28?

Originally posted by ChrisM

Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by ChrisM

But the question on the table is whether you stand by your comment that riding a compact makes one a weaker rider?   (BTW< you do know that a 50/11 is more or less the same as a 54/12?)

The OP isn't going to change the crank. They said they think they have a compact (and not knowing indicates that they are trying to buy speed instead of training). It is only the cassette that is in question. However, if someone is strong enough to ride without a compact double (I am not) and switches to a compact on the same terrain, they are not doing themselves any favors (unless there are extenuating circumstances like a bad knee. Look at it this way, you don't see pro cyclists riding compact doubles (again, I am not that strong).

A.  We're not pros.   That's a silly argument

B.  Am I just a physiologic anomaly?  I've gone from MOP bike to back of FOP bike, sometimes FOP (so far short course only, unfortuantely  ).  All on a compact.  On both my tri and road bike.  Some of the best riders I know ride compacts. 

Wildflower (olympic and half), Oceanside, IM Canada... I do lots of races with lots of hills.  And compact crank vs. cassette is the same thing.  It's all about gear ratio, etc.  Compact is like getting a larger cassette.  So that's just semantics.  Copact allows you to ride an easier gear.  You said riding an easier gear makes you a weaker cyclist (ignore that we are on beginnerTRIATHLETE and you have to think about running afterwards in a race scenario).  The question stands....

It doesn't really matter what gears you have.  It's how you ride them.   BTW, the only reason I am harping on this as I've read that advice before - compact (or smaller gears makes you weaker) - and I (and many others here) think that is simply an incorrect statement, and furthers the misconception.  Can you gain strength by pushing a bigger gear uphill?   Sure, but not all rides are strength rides, you can still push big gears with a compact (ride steeper hills) and at the end of the day, in a tri, I will pick the guy (all else being equal) that can spin up Beach Hill at Wildflower at 80 rpm than the guy that mashes at 40 for the overall win

I believe some pros actually have used a compact in the grand tours more recently. Some have also gone to the 30 tooth cassette, even a guy like Contador. I'll come FOP for the bike split, and have had the fastest split several times, and the mountain climbers will have an FTP 50% greater than mine in terms of W/kg. It's just crazy how powerful they are.

2013-10-15 7:56 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: 30 tooth cassette instead of 28?
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by brigby1

What kind of cadence are you working at going up?

I still bounce over 105-110. I wouldn't try to sustain that for extended periods (I settle in around 80), but there are times when one of the guys wants to sprint and a higher cadence would help.

Sorry, uphill. That's the more relevant part to the discussion.

That all depends on the steepness of the hill. There are some hills around here that are so steep that my cadence drops below 40 rpm and I just hope I don't fall over. OTOH, I rode Trail Ridge (3.9% average for 25 miles from Estes Park to the top of the mountain) around 75-80 rpm. BTW, I loved that ride! Everyone should do it.

I will keep that one in mind, sounds like a great ride!

Since you're getting down to 40 rpm at times, that is really low and you could likely benefit from additional gearing. Not to make it easier, but to operate at a more appropriate level. I don't like going below about 60 and if it's more than very briefly, should have used additional gearing. Just looking at it as "making it up the hill" is not quite the best criteria. You want to operate more around where you can produce better power. While you'll still be working quite hard at such low RPM, you won't be putting out as much power, so you're working harder to get less out of it. There is no reason you can't push yourself as hard with the lower gears. If that is an issue, then try to find ways to better motivate and attack these things.




Most of riding isn't for triathlon training. My strength is by far the bike, so I specifically train for running and swimming (In one race, out of 112 women, I was 106th on the swim, 19th on the bike, and 45th on the run--my training focuses on the swim). Most of my riding is just hitting the hills with friends, having friendly sprints, and joking around, so I may not have the same cycling focus as many of the people here.

I never said don't use a compact double. That is what I have on my road bike, and I would not consider changing it. Like I said, I can spin for hours on a shallow grade. Yes, at 20+%, my cadence does drop below 40, and I am happy to just make it up the hill. Not all hills are created equal. But most rides don't have hills with a 20+% grade. Most top out in the 10-12% range, and I can still spin 60 rpm there. The OP is talking about changing the cassette, not the chainrings. Those are two completely separate issues. In my experience, a 28t cassette was a waste of money and adversely affected my shifting.

The OP doesn't know what gears they have. That tells me that instead of training, they are trying to buy speed. Get to know your bike, train with what you have, then, if things don't work, experiment with new equipment. I just don't think people should start throwing money at gear that they don't understand, especially when a few hill sessions will fix the problem.
2013-10-15 12:31 PM
in reply to: happyscientist

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Northern IL
Subject: RE: 30 tooth cassette instead of 28?

Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by brigby1

What kind of cadence are you working at going up?

I still bounce over 105-110. I wouldn't try to sustain that for extended periods (I settle in around 80), but there are times when one of the guys wants to sprint and a higher cadence would help.

Sorry, uphill. That's the more relevant part to the discussion.

That all depends on the steepness of the hill. There are some hills around here that are so steep that my cadence drops below 40 rpm and I just hope I don't fall over. OTOH, I rode Trail Ridge (3.9% average for 25 miles from Estes Park to the top of the mountain) around 75-80 rpm. BTW, I loved that ride! Everyone should do it.

I will keep that one in mind, sounds like a great ride!

Since you're getting down to 40 rpm at times, that is really low and you could likely benefit from additional gearing. Not to make it easier, but to operate at a more appropriate level. I don't like going below about 60 and if it's more than very briefly, should have used additional gearing. Just looking at it as "making it up the hill" is not quite the best criteria. You want to operate more around where you can produce better power. While you'll still be working quite hard at such low RPM, you won't be putting out as much power, so you're working harder to get less out of it. There is no reason you can't push yourself as hard with the lower gears. If that is an issue, then try to find ways to better motivate and attack these things.

Most of riding isn't for triathlon training. My strength is by far the bike, so I specifically train for running and swimming (In one race, out of 112 women, I was 106th on the swim, 19th on the bike, and 45th on the run--my training focuses on the swim). Most of my riding is just hitting the hills with friends, having friendly sprints, and joking around, so I may not have the same cycling focus as many of the people here. I never said don't use a compact double. That is what I have on my road bike, and I would not consider changing it. Like I said, I can spin for hours on a shallow grade. Yes, at 20+%, my cadence does drop below 40, and I am happy to just make it up the hill. Not all hills are created equal. But most rides don't have hills with a 20+% grade. Most top out in the 10-12% range, and I can still spin 60 rpm there. The OP is talking about changing the cassette, not the chainrings. Those are two completely separate issues. In my experience, a 28t cassette was a waste of money and adversely affected my shifting. The OP doesn't know what gears they have. That tells me that instead of training, they are trying to buy speed. Get to know your bike, train with what you have, then, if things don't work, experiment with new equipment. I just don't think people should start throwing money at gear that they don't understand, especially when a few hill sessions will fix the problem.

Well, the compact part was hard to tell with the comment on pros supposedly not using them. If you're still seeing 60 rpm on a number of hills and have the potential to drop quite a bit more, then would tend to suggest considering another gear or two. But that's for you to decide what works best in your situation. The OP is trying to figure out what's best to do in their situation and may or may not know what to all to ask. I don't think anyone was suggesting to just throw money at the problem, and that it is a good idea to understand what one has before making changes. Gearing is not "buying speed", but adjusting the tool for the situation. Just surviving getting up a hill is not very good criteria for whether the ratios are appropriate. The notion that having more lower gears is somehow lesser is just silly.



2013-10-15 2:06 PM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: 30 tooth cassette instead of 28?

Lots of gearing questions these days.  Interesting.

To ME, it's not that hard.  It's simply a matter of getting the right tool for the job.  You need a hammer, but do you use a sledghammer to drive a tack or something smaller?

I GUESS you can extrapolate that if you use easier gearing, you get lazy instead of training to use a harder gearing?  That's just silly.  That's a YOU problem, not a gearing problem.  If you are pushing a gear at an RPM that get's your effort/HR to a level to get stronger, it doesn't matter AT ALL what gear you are using.

As for going from the 28 to 30?  I don't know if it's worth it if you have to change other components to get it to fit.  In my experience, if I'm on a climb that I need to hang out in my 28 and looking for another gear?  Then getting ONE MORE usually won't help.  In those instance, you probably are always looking for "that last gear" and it's more of a fitness thing.  You took on something above your current fitness level so change the route or get more fit.

I typically only think about changing anything if there seems to be a significant amount of time on a ride I wish for something a little smaller or bigger.  If it's only on one flat or one climb?  I gut it out/deal.

As a side note, I would never argue about getting several different cassettes.  Again, tool for the job.  I typically run my 11-23 at IMAZ since it's flat.  Leave the 12-25 on for most of the year, and got a 12-28 or something for Silverman and IMSG (when it was around).  I could probably use any of the three at any time, but again, it's picking the exact tool to get the most benefit.

As a warning before throwing money at new gears.  I like to think it's similar to golf clubs.  You can get new stuff but it usually won't make nearly as much of a difference as you hope.  It's the rider more than the gears and it's the swing, not the clubs.  BUT, with properly fit gearing for your fitness level or properly fit clubs, you can squeeze out a little more performance.

2013-10-15 5:11 PM
in reply to: happyscientist


291
100100252525
Arden, North Carolina
Subject: RE: 30 tooth cassette instead of 28?
Originally posted by happyscientist

Originally posted by Kenny-A

Originally posted by happyscientist

I live in WV and recently replaced my 25t with 28t. When I did it, the sales guy at the LBS shook his head and told me not to train in it. He was right, I don't really need it, but I wanted it because in a race, it is death before dismount and I had a hilly race coming up. Outside of a test ride, I have yet to use it, and the adrenaline of the race meant I didn't even need the 25t. Also, a 30t cassette will almost guarantee that you will need a new rear derailleur.

I wouldn't do it. If you are making it up the hills now, the easier climbing gear will just make you a weaker rider. The 11t will only help you on the descents if you are still pedaling. If you are still pedaling going downhill, the uphills aren't steep enough for you to need a special climbing gear. Save your money.


This year the 2nd place Savageman finisher used an 11-32. I would definately not call him a weak rider. If the smaller gear helps save your legs more for the run, I would go ahead and use it.


I got the 28t for Savageman Oly, which wasn't nearly as steep as advertised (I think a lot of people conflate the 70 mile race with the 30 mile race). With the steepest climb of only 14%, I didn't come anywhere close to needing the gear. I am actually going to switch back to my old cassette because the closer gearing is smoother and requires less trimming. I stand by what I said--if your hills are shallow enough that you are pedaling going down them, they aren't steep enough to need a special climbing gear. Train more on hills.

The last statement regarding whether I'm coasting or pedaling down, doesn't make sense to me. Where I live, there are plenty of hills that are steeper on one side than another. I'm thinking of one in particular, where one side is a really tough climb, yet after cresting it it's a very long descent, so that doesn't seem like the best method of determining whether it's needed or not.
I was more thinking about using this gearing for races since a lot of the local races have some a lot of climbs and I thought the extra gearing would help with my legs afterwards.
2013-10-15 5:18 PM
in reply to: happyscientist


291
100100252525
Arden, North Carolina
Subject: RE: 30 tooth cassette instead of 28?
Originally posted by happyscientist

Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by brigby1

What kind of cadence are you working at going up?

I still bounce over 105-110. I wouldn't try to sustain that for extended periods (I settle in around 80), but there are times when one of the guys wants to sprint and a higher cadence would help.

Sorry, uphill. That's the more relevant part to the discussion.

That all depends on the steepness of the hill. There are some hills around here that are so steep that my cadence drops below 40 rpm and I just hope I don't fall over. OTOH, I rode Trail Ridge (3.9% average for 25 miles from Estes Park to the top of the mountain) around 75-80 rpm. BTW, I loved that ride! Everyone should do it.

I will keep that one in mind, sounds like a great ride!

Since you're getting down to 40 rpm at times, that is really low and you could likely benefit from additional gearing. Not to make it easier, but to operate at a more appropriate level. I don't like going below about 60 and if it's more than very briefly, should have used additional gearing. Just looking at it as "making it up the hill" is not quite the best criteria. You want to operate more around where you can produce better power. While you'll still be working quite hard at such low RPM, you won't be putting out as much power, so you're working harder to get less out of it. There is no reason you can't push yourself as hard with the lower gears. If that is an issue, then try to find ways to better motivate and attack these things.




Most of riding isn't for triathlon training. My strength is by far the bike, so I specifically train for running and swimming (In one race, out of 112 women, I was 106th on the swim, 19th on the bike, and 45th on the run--my training focuses on the swim). Most of my riding is just hitting the hills with friends, having friendly sprints, and joking around, so I may not have the same cycling focus as many of the people here.

I never said don't use a compact double. That is what I have on my road bike, and I would not consider changing it. Like I said, I can spin for hours on a shallow grade. Yes, at 20+%, my cadence does drop below 40, and I am happy to just make it up the hill. Not all hills are created equal. But most rides don't have hills with a 20+% grade. Most top out in the 10-12% range, and I can still spin 60 rpm there. The OP is talking about changing the cassette, not the chainrings. Those are two completely separate issues. In my experience, a 28t cassette was a waste of money and adversely affected my shifting.

The OP doesn't know what gears they have. That tells me that instead of training, they are trying to buy speed. Get to know your bike, train with what you have, then, if things don't work, experiment with new equipment. I just don't think people should start throwing money at gear that they don't understand, especially when a few hill sessions will fix the problem.


Good god, I just love the attitude from people on BEGINNER Triathlete. Right, I don't train. Not at all. I just go out and somehow managed a 5:17 in a HIM, finished a full IM 2 years go, but no, I never train. I'm not bragging about an amazing time, however that's not someone who "doesn't train" would say. I know I have a 12-25 on the back, and I said I'm pretty sure I have a compact up front, I'm sorry I haven't looked at it recently, season's over. I also know that on really hilly races my legs are shot for the run, and I thought increasing the tooth count would help. For the record, when I first got into the sport I didn't know the first thing about tooth counts. So someone who doesn't train isn't likely to know that's even an option. But thanks for the "kind" advice.
2013-10-15 6:27 PM
in reply to: TriDadinAsheville

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Subject: RE: 30 tooth cassette instead of 28?

Originally posted by TriDadinAsheville
Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by brigby1

What kind of cadence are you working at going up?

I still bounce over 105-110. I wouldn't try to sustain that for extended periods (I settle in around 80), but there are times when one of the guys wants to sprint and a higher cadence would help.

Sorry, uphill. That's the more relevant part to the discussion.

That all depends on the steepness of the hill. There are some hills around here that are so steep that my cadence drops below 40 rpm and I just hope I don't fall over. OTOH, I rode Trail Ridge (3.9% average for 25 miles from Estes Park to the top of the mountain) around 75-80 rpm. BTW, I loved that ride! Everyone should do it.

I will keep that one in mind, sounds like a great ride!

Since you're getting down to 40 rpm at times, that is really low and you could likely benefit from additional gearing. Not to make it easier, but to operate at a more appropriate level. I don't like going below about 60 and if it's more than very briefly, should have used additional gearing. Just looking at it as "making it up the hill" is not quite the best criteria. You want to operate more around where you can produce better power. While you'll still be working quite hard at such low RPM, you won't be putting out as much power, so you're working harder to get less out of it. There is no reason you can't push yourself as hard with the lower gears. If that is an issue, then try to find ways to better motivate and attack these things.

Most of riding isn't for triathlon training. My strength is by far the bike, so I specifically train for running and swimming (In one race, out of 112 women, I was 106th on the swim, 19th on the bike, and 45th on the run--my training focuses on the swim). Most of my riding is just hitting the hills with friends, having friendly sprints, and joking around, so I may not have the same cycling focus as many of the people here. I never said don't use a compact double. That is what I have on my road bike, and I would not consider changing it. Like I said, I can spin for hours on a shallow grade. Yes, at 20+%, my cadence does drop below 40, and I am happy to just make it up the hill. Not all hills are created equal. But most rides don't have hills with a 20+% grade. Most top out in the 10-12% range, and I can still spin 60 rpm there. The OP is talking about changing the cassette, not the chainrings. Those are two completely separate issues. In my experience, a 28t cassette was a waste of money and adversely affected my shifting. The OP doesn't know what gears they have. That tells me that instead of training, they are trying to buy speed. Get to know your bike, train with what you have, then, if things don't work, experiment with new equipment. I just don't think people should start throwing money at gear that they don't understand, especially when a few hill sessions will fix the problem.
Good god, I just love the attitude from people on BEGINNER Triathlete. Right, I don't train. Not at all. I just go out and somehow managed a 5:17 in a HIM, finished a full IM 2 years go, but no, I never train. I'm not bragging about an amazing time, however that's not someone who "doesn't train" would say. I know I have a 12-25 on the back, and I said I'm pretty sure I have a compact up front, I'm sorry I haven't looked at it recently, season's over. I also know that on really hilly races my legs are shot for the run, and I thought increasing the tooth count would help. For the record, when I first got into the sport I didn't know the first thing about tooth counts. So someone who doesn't train isn't likely to know that's even an option. But thanks for the "kind" advice.

 

LOL

2013-10-15 6:50 PM
in reply to: ChrisM

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Subject: RE: 30 tooth cassette instead of 28?

 

Good god, I just love the attitude from people on BEGINNER Triathlete. Right, I don't train. Not at all. I just go out and somehow managed a 5:17 in a HIM, finished a full IM 2 years go, but no, I never train. I'm not bragging about an amazing time, however that's not someone who "doesn't train" would say. I know I have a 12-25 on the back, and I said I'm pretty sure I have a compact up front, I'm sorry I haven't looked at it recently, season's over. I also know that on really hilly races my legs are shot for the run, and I thought increasing the tooth count would help. For the record, when I first got into the sport I didn't know the first thing about tooth counts. So someone who doesn't train isn't likely to know that's even an option. But thanks for the "kind" advice.

 

LOL

 

TriDad....don't give up on BT based on this thread. Wait for one that really blows up. FWIW I switched out to a 12-30 cassette. I have Shim 105 compact and it only required a minor RD adjustment. I'm NOT a fast cyclist but was training for a GranFondo that had 9000' of climbing over 104 miles. I was freakin' glad I had that extra gear and passed a LOT of big guys who were grinding up the hills in 11-23/25's. I don't think I'm going to change back to the 12-28...don't really see the point right now. Frankly, having the extra gear gives me the confidence to tackle some hills I would have avoided otherwise.  What's the harm in trying it out? Perhaps a bit of $ outlay but we do plenty of that with less potential upside. 



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