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What crankset/cassette combo do the pros ride?

I presume 53/39 with 12- 26(?) in mountains and 53/42 with 11-23 on flat.
 

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Horses for courses

spearman said:
What crankset/cassette combo do the pros ride?

I presume 53/39 with 12- 26(?) in mountains and 53/42 with 11-23 on flat.
It depends on the rider and the course. There are stages of the Vuelta where some have used triples, and Tyler Hamilton helped popularize the return of the "compact" crank. Sprinters are heard to use 55 big rings for certain finishes. The pros use a range of ratios, depending on what they need. This stands in sharp contrast to many of the rest of us who insist on having an 11 or 12 in the back when in fact we can't spin out a 53/13 (36+ mph) unless on a downhill. :)
 

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Spinning out vs. terminal velocity

Kerry Irons said:
It depends on the rider and the course. There are stages of the Vuelta where some have used triples, and Tyler Hamilton helped popularize the return of the "compact" crank. Sprinters are heard to use 55 big rings for certain finishes. The pros use a range of ratios, depending on what they need. This stands in sharp contrast to many of the rest of us who insist on having an 11 or 12 in the back when in fact we can't spin out a 53/13 (36+ mph) unless on a downhill. :)
I rarely ride with anything larger than a 53/13, and yet I'm usually the first to the bottom on descents. It's not because I've got a fast spin, but simply because I know when it is faster to coast then to pedal.

A rider can pull into a tighter, more aerodynamic tuck when they coasting then when they are pedaling. Above a certain speed (typically around 40 mph or so), a rider can go faster by pulling into a tight tuck then they could if they loosened their tuck enough to draft. This transition speed is about the speed where my pedaling gets spun-out anyway, so a lack of a higher gear doesn't hold me back.

But of course, this only matters when I'm not drafting other riders. My spun-out maximum speed is generally higher than a pack of rider can ride on flat ground, so even when drafting a group, my 53/13 doesn't slow me down. When going downhill while drafting, by the time the group is going at my spun-out maximum speed, the draft is so strong that I don't really need to pedal at all, even if those at the front have to work hard to maintain their downhill speed - so my gear still isn't slowing me down.

There are very few occassions that my 53/13 is inadequate. One of these is when riding with a howling tailwind - but this doesn't happen too often in New England. The other is in downhill sprints - but I'm not much of sprinter anyway, so my gearing is not the only thing slowing me down (besides which, I can pedal at 45+ mph for short bursts in a 53/13 on downhills if I need to catch on to the draft of a passing rider).

So, even racing with the Master 35+ groups (which generally go faster than the Cat. 3s), I never feel at a loss with a 53/13 top gear.
 

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Larry Lackapants
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I haven't really used the 13 sprocket in 2 years. (and the last time I have used it was for a short while while riding on the flat with backwind and 61 km/h). Also I don't really remember using the 14 in a long time too. So therefore the 12 sprocket is almost untouched.
Mostly the 17 and 19 get worn out on my bike. And the small chainring too:)
But then again I race very seldom.
 

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spearman said:
What crankset/cassette combo do the pros ride?

I presume 53/39 with 12- 26(?) in mountains and 53/42 with 11-23 on flat.
Geez. I'm not a pro, but in contrast to most folks here, I ride an 11-23 because I need the 11 tooth more than I would need a 25. Boulder isn't exactly flat, but 39 x 23 is sufficient for me. I have been in 20-30 minutes downhill pacelines, or with the wind at my back, and the only reason I could keep up is my 11t.
 

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53-39 x 11-23

spearman said:
What crankset/cassette combo do the pros ride?

I presume 53/39 with 12- 26(?) in mountains and 53/42 with 11-23 on flat.
The 53-39 and 11-23 setup is pretty much the standard. If it is flat then 11-21 will get used (also for most TT situations). And for the big mountain days, a 25 is in the mix but most Euro pros will want 11-25 instead of 12-25. Interestingly Campy does not make 11-25 but I'll bet the pro teams make one up with loose cogs 11-12-13-14-15-17 and then the paired 19-21T and 23-25T.
 

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spearman said:
What crankset/cassette combo do the pros ride?

I presume 53/39 with 12- 26(?) in mountains and 53/42 with 11-23 on flat.
There was a pretty good article I read somewhere... or video I saw... I can't remember.

Check out http://www.cycling.tv . There is a pretty good interview with one of the Disco mechanics about how he ended up wrenching for the Disco boys. Theres a small blurb on gearing in the road races and TTs.

In the Uphill TT... 04 TdF, Lance used I THINK it was a corn cob starting on 14. (14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23) Interesting choice, huh? Standard crankset.


and as far as MY gearing is concerned, the only reason I insist on having an 11 for races is the chainline. At a crit pace, or a RR pace, the chain is straigher when there is an 11 at the end of it.
 

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Cruzer2424 said:
There was a pretty good article I read somewhere... or video I saw... I can't remember.

Check out http://www.cycling.tv . There is a pretty good interview with one of the Disco mechanics about how he ended up wrenching for the Disco boys. Theres a small blurb on gearing in the road races and TTs.

In the Uphill TT... 04 TdF, Lance used I THINK it was a corn cob starting on 14. (14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23) Interesting choice, huh? Standard crankset.


and as far as MY gearing is concerned, the only reason I insist on having an 11 for races is the chainline. At a crit pace, or a RR pace, the chain is straigher when there is an 11 at the end of it.
Holy poop!

Disco Boys ride 44,53 in Paris-Roubaix with an 11-19! They said they took off the 21 becuase they don't use it. Mostly for crashing/adjustment purposes. Apparently you can crash more without the der. going into the rear wheel.

53/39 in the Classics with a 11-19(/21... see explaination above)

TT bikes... 11-21... 44/54 (or 55 depending on rider)
 

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I generally don't like to start any p/1/2 races without an 11t cog... I have found that there are many times that the 11t is crucial if the wind is at our back and a strong team goes to the front. But I also have found that having a 25 is often an advantage too, I can stay in the 53 on climbs and avoid shifting to the 39. I run shimano 10, and I just combine an 11-23 cassette with a 12-25 to get an 11-25. It gives the option (because of which cogs are on carriers) of either a 15t or a 16t cog.
 

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Huh?

Cruzer2424 said:
Holy poop!

Disco Boys ride 44,53 in Paris-Roubaix with an 11-19! They said they took off the 21 becuase they don't use it. Mostly for crashing/adjustment purposes. Apparently you can crash more without the der. going into the rear wheel.

53/39 in the Classics with a 11-19(/21... see explaination above)

TT bikes... 11-21... 44/54 (or 55 depending on rider)

According to cyclingnews.com, Hincapie will be running a 12-23, not an 11-19! Don't shoot the messenger

http://www.cyclingnews.com/photos/2006/apr06/roubaix06/index.php?id=hincapie_trek/IMG_9949
 

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Kerry Irons said:
This stands in sharp contrast to many of the rest of us who insist on having an 11 or 12 in the back when in fact we can't spin out a 53/13 (36+ mph) unless on a downhill. :)
But there is a good argument to run a 12-xx cassette even if we're not racers. I find the 39x13 combo quite useful, which I would not be able to use if the smallest cog were the 13 and not a 12. Sure, I rarely use the 12 except on downhill sections, but since we do have hills here, it's not a complete waste.
 
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