Ok, So I climb hills. But I also like speed.
I currently run standard front chainrings, but they are being replaced this week.
So do I stick with the old or go with the new ?
Im running an 11-28 but I'm thinking that I can get a tighter cluster using compacts.
Then there is this Dirty Dozen ride coming up.Is it Madness to try that on standards? Maybe....
Will my top end speed really suffer with the change ?
Who has tried both ? What do you prefer & why ?
The answers obvious, you need another bike, a mountain road bike.
S-1. Im already at my limit !
Funny you should say that. I have a triple set up on my cyclocross (50/39/30) which I run an 11-23. I never go into the baby ring, but I do like 50 and 39 in my more moderate climbs.
I took a ride up the steep side of Snake Gully on it on Sunday and only used the 21 tooth, which surprised me, as I usually use my 28 on the cervelo.
I've never understood this fascination with compacts. Mind you, I run a triple and am quite happy to carry the horrendous weight of that 30 tooth front ring ... while I enjoy my 50/? front rings. I've got an 11-25 rear cassette and there are only two gears between my big ring and my middle ring. I love the nice, close ratios with a decent top end (I regularly ride at 70km/hr going down Flagstaff Hill) and, when hit with a real climb, can just drop onto that third ring and climb relatively easily.
Mind you, I'm not a roadie so what would I know. Also, my bike is made of steel, has a leather saddle and a carrier so it's horrendously heavy and thus unable to climb or go fast ... then there is the aerobulge around my middle, also adding weight.
Mate, I've had people try to convince me to use compact cranks in the past and every time, the result has been a larger gap between the two working rings (either large/small with a double or large/middle with a triple) and larger gaps between the rear gears. I really can not see the point of a compact when a triple will give you all the climbing you need while retaining close set gears, no stupid overlaps and 2 gear steps between the rings.
Of course, I don't have the cache of a 'real road racer' ... I just have a nicer bike to ride.
Gus, I just did a quick fact-check.. They're exactly the same until you get to the 21 sprocket. Then they go 21, 23, 25 (for the 11-25 Cassette) and 21, 24, 28 (for the 11-28 cassette) . So, no big jumps until the end of the range. I'll let you know how I like it after I change over.
I reckon my compact with 11-28 is probably too low but there is a nice fairly new 11-25 sitting in the shed which I will put=on next time I change the chain I think.
Admit defeat Pete, you ain't getting any younger.
45 is still young ! isn't it ???
I suppose I could go for a lighter bike ...
Pete, 45 is only a baby (I just turned 56 and there are plenty of older riders than me getting around). The weight of your bike is damned near irrelevant outside of bragging sessions in the coffee shop because the difference in weight between your bike and my bike is only a few percent of the total package once you put a decent sized rider on the saddle. What IS important, is whether you like the bike or not and whether it fits you and whether it does the job you ask - if that's achieved by a carbon fibre race replica, go for it, they're stupid for my needs and so I ride steel, more relaxed geometry and can carry a pannier.
As far as climbing goes - I used to have a 26 tooth granny up front tied to a 32 tooth rear cog. I could climb cliffs with that gear, but my strength wasn't going anywhere. One of the benefits of riding everywhere at 48x16 (I spent 18 months riding fixed gear only) was that when I finally fitted gears to the Europa, I was able to to an 11-25 on the back and a 30 tooth granny, simply because I was stronger.
How well you climb has most to do with your attitude - I'm lousy at hills because I get bored climbing the sodding things. Your physical strength and technique is the next most important. The kit itself (bike, pedals, gears, bar tape, etc) is the least important.
If you'll feel happier fitting a compact groupset, for whatever reason, go for it. Sure, I might tease you, but that's just me having a bit of fun - I've been teased for riding my Hillbrick.
The ONLY measure of success that matters is the size of your smile ... and it really doesn't matter how you achieve that (but people will argue with me)