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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Playing with gears and wondering what you are running.

I currently run a 53/39 on the road.

Work in progess...I am a small guy, and although I can diesel a 53/13. I prefer running on the smaller chain ring on the 11 and spinning in the 110s and can hold 120s for short intervals.

On flat road I can push the 53 in higher gears but cannot run the high cadence. I drop into the 80s. I imagine this is because I don't have the beef to push the big gear.

I am considering going to the 50 teeth. Should I suck it up and work harder? Your thoughts?
 

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When I lived in completely flat coastal Virginia, I commuted with a 39/50 setup with a 12-23 cassette. I liked the setup since I could stay in the big ring and accelerate away at lights. These days I commute with a 38/48 since my commute has several climbs and really no flat.

If you like spinning high cadences then a 50 makes sense for you. The small-small combination you mention will cause accelerated chain wear.
 

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53/42 and 11-21 in the back.

Around here, we call our overpasses 'Cols'.
 

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50/39 - 11/23 here. I can push a 53 but I prefer to spin more then push a big ring.
Shifting the RD is faster then the front. With 39 I never need to use the 23 on the rear.
Make for faster traval for me.

Ekh.
 

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Perhaps you should run the gear you need to for the situation you're in, and stop worrying about which one it is.

The question is probably less about 53 vs 50, but why on earth you have an 11 on the back.

You should never be running the 39/11. Exceptions for getting caught coming over the top, I suppose, though I can't imagine why.

Nothing wrong with heading for the compact - I use one - but I don't hear you discussing any problem that they're particularly aimed at.
 

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Nurse_Flash said:
and although I can diesel a 53/13. I prefer running on the smaller chain ring on the 11 and spinning in the 110s and can hold 120s for short intervals.

On flat road I can push the 53 in higher gears but cannot run the high cadence. I drop into the 80s. I imagine this is because I don't have the beef to push the big gear.
I thin you answered your own question. You like to spin, and the high gears with the 53 get you a cadence that's no good for you. Smaller ring makes sense.

BTW, 39/11 (nasty cross-chain) is equivalent to 53/15 (or 50/14), not 53/13.
 

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although I can diesel a 53/13

You diesel along at 30 mph???????????

Non-racers do not need anything larger than a 50 X 14.
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
although I can diesel a 53/13

You diesel along at 30 mph???????????
If he had a cadence of 75 (my idea of really diesel) it's less than 25.

Still, most people posting on RBR can apparently sustain 35 mph while twittering. :p
 

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For once I agree with Mr. Grumpy. Why do so many of us Joe Blows have the same gearing on our bikes that the pros do? My rule is, you need one gear higher than your sprinting gear. If you're not winding out your chosen gear in a sprint, then it's too high. You should be able to figure out what you need from this information. Don't fee the pressure to have the same gear as your riding buddies; gear size doesn't equate to manhood.

Assembling your gears in this fashion makes for more USEABLE gears on your bike. I'll bet most of us spend way too little time in a 53x11, 12, or 13 for these gears to be practical.

I ride a 48x12 top gear, equivalent to a 52x13.
 

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I have a 50/34 - 12/25 on my winter bike and a 53/39 - 12-27 on my summer bike. We ride lots of hills. Today I did 37 miles, 2500 ft. climbing, gradients to 14%, all in the 50 tooth ring of my compact. Last week we did a 26% gradient hill in PA and I really needed the 34-25 gearing. It just depends... I spin out of my 50 - 12 all the time.

I do use my 53 - 12 on my go-fast bike in the summer. When you go up big hills, you go down big hills. My top speed last summer was 52 mph - coasting. :)
 

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A 12 will take you up to 40 mph. On a downhill, over 40 mph, you do better by coasting in a modified tuck. The only time you really need a 12 is on a long downhill, or tailwind section, before a finish, to rest your legs before the sprint. Pedaling along at 35 mph, for a few miles, in a 13 will tend to take the snap out of your legs.
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
although I can diesel a 53/13

You diesel along at 30 mph???????????

Non-racers do not need anything larger than a 50 X 14.
Every ride is a race and 30 is a lead out.

Get a big one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Terrapin said:
If he had a cadence of 75 (my idea of really diesel) it's less than 25.

Still, most people posting on RBR can apparently sustain 35 mph while twittering. :p
Guess I have to choose my words carefully here. Diesel...yes about 70 - 75 cadence...21 - 25 mph.

I am trying to find some speed here until I can grow some more muscle. I am a mountain bike rider gone roadie hoping to use my lungs and leg speed to compensate until I figure out how you guys manage 25mph averages on off-day "group rides". Slow down, would ya? :)

Anyway...I'm obviously not a pro, and I can't twitter at 35mph. :)

I'm hoping to learn something from a great knowledge base...thats you guys...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Let me try it this way...

Does chain ring size really matter? :)

Seriously...

If the final ratio works out to be the same does it matter if I run a 47, 50, or 53?

I.e.: 53/14 is about equal to a 50/13 ... a 50/13 is about equal to a 47/12 ... at 90 cadence thats about 27mph no matter how you shake it...right?

Before you answer think "Regular Joe" ...

I'm not going to pedal around the subdivision at 40mph ... and realize that your talking to a guy that has been pedaling a 32 chain ring connected to an 11-32. On a twisted single track as wide as your bars 21mph is flying...at least for me...and I can't twitter at 21mph either! :)

Anyway...just wanted to know your thoughts and hear about your experiences.
 

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Nurse_Flash said:
Let me try it this way...

Does chain ring size really matter? :)

Seriously...

If the final ratio works out to be the same does it matter if I run a 47, 50, or 53?

No. It doesn't matter. No. It doesn't matter. (screw you "your message is too short" error-message).
 
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