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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening this is my first post and also new to the site, any help would be greatly appreciated, I ride a Merida carbon 93 I have a rear cassette of 12-28 and crankset of 50-34 10 speed the problem I have is that on up hills with a fairly steep gradient I don't have sufficient sufficient gearing to make it up comfortably, on the other side of it on the down hills although I could go faster I am restricted as my legs are just spinning out, is there any bike savy people out there who could recommend how to change it.


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Good evening this is my first post and also new to the site, any help would be greatly appreciated, I ride a Merida carbon 93 I have a rear cassette of 12-28 and crankset of 50-34 10 speed the problem I have is that on up hills with a fairly steep gradient I don't have sufficient sufficient gearing to make it up comfortably, on the other side of it on the down hills although I could go faster I am restricted as my legs are just spinning out, is there any bike savy people out there who could recommend how to change it.
You can get wider range cassettes but then you will have a bigger jump between cogs and that may be an issue for other parts of your ride. You will have to share information on the rear derailleur on your bike as to whether it can handle a larger cog (the upper idler pulley has to be low enough so that it will go "under" the biggest cog).

As to your spinning out on downhills, think about this: "spun out" (say 110 rpm) in a 50/12 is nearly 36 mph/58 km/hr. At that speed, you will nearly always be faster in a tight tuck (knees and elbows on the frame, hands on the bars next to the stem, chin as low as you can comfortably get it). A tight tuck is a 33% reduction in aero drag, and at 35 mph that is a huge gain in speed.
 

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There are untold numbers of threads on this forum regarding gearing. If you're having trouble both climbing AND descending you need a cassette that starts with an 11 tooth cog. You also need to learn how to pedal faster.

On the climbing/easy gear side you need a cassette w/ probably a 32 large cog, but you'll also need a new rear derailleur mostly likely. If your bike came w/ a 28t large cog it most likely has a short cage derailleur but you'll need a derailleur w/ a medium cage that's designed to work w/ larger than 28t cogs. Your bike is 10 speed so you could get a long cage mountain bike derailleur (NOT 10 speed, it won't work, needs to be 8, or 9 speed) and you could go to an 11-36 cassette. I'm basing all of this on the Shimano drivetrain. If your bike has SRAM get back to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the prompt reply I'm running a Shimano tiagra derailleur set


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You can get wider range cassettes but then you will have a bigger jump between cogs and that may be an issue for other parts of your ride. You will have to share information on the rear derailleur on your bike as to whether it can handle a larger cog (the upper idler pulley has to be low enough so that it will go "under" the biggest cog).

As to your spinning out on downhills, think about this: "spun out" (say 110 rpm) in a 50/12 is nearly 36 mph/58 km/hr. At that speed, you will nearly always be faster in a tight tuck (knees and elbows on the frame, hands on the bars next to the stem, chin as low as you can comfortably get it). A tight tuck is a 33% reduction in aero drag, and at 35 mph that is a huge gain in speed.
I agree with Kerry. Why expend energy pedaling down hill when you can save it for going up the next hill?
 

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the problem I have is that on up hills with a fairly steep gradient I don't have sufficient sufficient gearing to make it up comfortably
Hills aren't something you are supposed to go up comfortably, they should be hard or you aren't pedaling hard enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok what I should have explained is with out the obvious comments of "get fitter" and "pedal faster" is the fact I have psoriatic arthritis in my knee and right ankle, hence it's hard for me to get out the saddle and put massive stress on my ankle and knee, I'm physically fit and could handle many a strenuous rides however on certain climbs I'm having to come out of the saddle as the gear ratio isn't exactly right for my personal needs.


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There are untold numbers of threads on this forum regarding gearing.
mods, please remove the 'post new thread' button. everything has already been asked and answered. thanks.
 

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The obvious answer is an 11-32 cassette. I run the ultegra 11-32 on my bikes with either the 50/34 (gravel/all road) or 52/36 (road bike).

Alternatively, you might be able to find a triple front crankset that will work, but again, I have no knowledge of the compatibility with your existing set up.

Have you discussed this with the mechanics are your local bike shop? That seems like it might be a good place to start.
 

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I would think since out of the saddle climbing is an issue, you should explore a triple crankset, maybe even a mtb triple with a 28 or 30 tooth small ring.
 

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I would think since out of the saddle climbing is an issue, you should explore a triple crankset, maybe even a mtb triple with a 28 or 30 tooth small ring.
I agree completely. With the OP's knee issues, that's the way to go (even if roadies still too often reject triples as uncool).
 
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