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Back Road Biker
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a 2008 bike with a compact crank. I'm not sure I need the compact but I'm not getting any younger and the hills are getting bigger so I'd like to keep it for that reason. My problem is I can't get enough power from the highest gear on the flats, 50 front 11 back.
Do they make compacts with different size gearing? If so, where can I buy them?
Any other options would be appreciated.
Thanks
 

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Different gears won't help.

Power is a product of pedal force and leg speed (cadence). If you can't generate huge amounts of pedal force, make up for that by increasing your leg speed—that is, shifting to a smaller gear. IMO, the 122 gear inches you're pushing in the 50 x 11 is just too large, so you're unable to get much power from it. Try turning a 50 x 14 (96 gear inches) at a higher cadence for more power on the flat.

/w
 

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Do you mean that you're running out of gearing? ie, you can't pedal fast enough to put power on the ground, even in the highest gear?

If that's the case and you want to keep that low gear option, I think your only choice is a triple.
 

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More power

jimijoe43 said:
I bought a 2008 bike with a compact crank. I'm not sure I need the compact but I'm not getting any younger and the hills are getting bigger so I'd like to keep it for that reason. My problem is I can't get enough power from the highest gear on the flats, 50 front 11 back.
Do they make compacts with different size gearing? If so, where can I buy them?
Any other options would be appreciated.
Pedaling 100 rpm in a 50/11, should be around 35 mph. If you can sustain that kind of speed on the flats, then you should be signed up to race professionally. On the other hand, the most likely problem is that you have not learned how to ride at a high cadence, and that is where you should focus your efforts.
 

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More climbing power you have 3 options...
Longer cranks
lower gears
bolt a Harly V-Twin in your frame :D
 

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Kerry Irons said:
On the other hand, the most likely problem is that you have not learned how to ride at a high cadence, and that is where you should focus your efforts.
Problem? Why is this a problem, because it is not typical? He might enjoy smashing a higher gear at lower cadence, and he can't achieve the rhythm he likes with his current gearing. He doesn't have a problem, because he doesn't need to conform to cadence's that you prefer.

This is the components section, not coaching forum.
 

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Kestreljr said:
Problem? Why is this a problem, because it is not typical? He might enjoy smashing a higher gear at lower cadence, and he can't achieve the rhythm he likes with his current gearing. He doesn't have a problem, because he doesn't need to conform to cadence's that you prefer.

This is the components section, not coaching forum.
The OP obviously assumes that he can get more power (watt) from pushing a gear larger than 122 inches. It seems reasonable to point out that this is highly unlikely for an amateur rider, even if exceedingly strong.
 

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Your main problem is that you need stronger legs.
You also need to work on your spin.
When I ride solo or with friends on endurance rides, I use a wheel with a 13 top end. I find that I can take that gear up to about 38 mph, before I have to let gravity take over, on downhills.

PS One never uses their highest gear on the flats unless they are some sort of animal.
 

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Back Road Biker
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've been riding low cadence on a higher gear on the flats.
I'll try working a higher cadence at 50/14.
I've been riding since 2005 and never taught - just try things out. I thought that being an animal and smashing hard was the way to keep up with the group, only to tire and fall behind after a while. I have strong legs but never cared too much for spinning.
My eyes are opened now. Thanks for all your replies.
 

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naranjito
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Depending on how much you're mashing the gears now, you might need to try a lower gear than 50x14... anywhere between 80 and 120 revs per minute is usually pretty good, but it's a personal thing. I usually use 39x16 or 17 for training at about 20mph. 50x14 is almost the same as 53x15 (I'm comparing to a 53 ring here because that's what I use), and I can only think about turning that gear at about 35mph, depending on the conditions. Higher cadence stresses the leg muscles less, but requires more aerobic capacity. Practice the spinning and you'll find that you don't get tired so quickly and will be able to stay with the group for longer.
 
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