Author Topic: Modified standard versus compact gears  (Read 2235 times)

Modified standard versus compact gears
« on: November 13, 2018, 02:10:20 pm »
Hi All
I modified my standard from 11t -28t to 11t - 34t. I used to suffer a lot uphill, hence the change. Now, my question is, the dude with a compact version, will he ride better uphill than me or not? Or if there is any other change I should make? I really don't like seeing the other dudes pass me on the uphill.
Your underfloor heating guy.

PaulF

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Re: Modified standard versus compact gears
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2018, 02:22:37 pm »
It's not about the bike!

But what I think you're asking is will you climb better with a compact chainset than with what you have? The answer will depend on your fitness, strength, preferred cadence etc.. I'd say the difference would be marginal

Re: Modified standard versus compact gears
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2018, 05:52:35 pm »
If you don’t like people going past you need to learn to climb faster;)

Re: Modified standard versus compact gears
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2018, 06:14:30 pm »
Lower gearing works by allowing you to travel more slowly at a given comfortable cadence – slower being easier.

If you want to get faster up hills you need to do some training in higher gears.  No pain, no gain.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Modified standard versus compact gears
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2018, 06:17:24 pm »
Gearing can give you a more comfortable cadence, make you wobble less, or prevent you from hurting your knees.  Get it sufficiently wrong and it can slow you down.  But it won't make you climb any faster.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Modified standard versus compact gears
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2018, 09:42:30 pm »
The same gear ratio in either standard or compact is the same gear ratio. Getting up the hill faster is about power to weight ratio and your preferred cadence.

Some people love a low cadence and more standing, others , sitting and spinning. Personally I do hills at about 60-70 cadence but can go to 50 on my compact and 34 cassette.

I will go faster for same power and cadence when I lose weight!!

Re: Modified standard versus compact gears
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2018, 10:16:29 pm »
With apologies for my earlier response - it's true, but not entirely helpful.

Most of us have a 'lowest comfortable cadence'TM - if your gearing and power to weigh ratio allow you to climb at that or above you'll be fine. If not then lower gears or an improved poewr to weight are called for.

This evening I was reduced to 38rpm standing on the turbo, thanks to a hill and riding singlespeed. It didn't feel very efficient, and my power was down on a higher cadence effort.

Re: Modified standard versus compact gears
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2018, 10:31:15 pm »
I did a quick 42km this afternoon, taking in several hills and long drags, on the fixed-wheel.  So I was alternately graunching up a 20%, spinning madly downhill, or trying to maintain something above 50rpm on about 4 miles of 8% (ish).  Fairly hard work, but it will pay off in climbing ability and increased aerobic threshold.

Re: Modified standard versus compact gears
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2018, 10:41:54 pm »
I did a quick 42km this afternoon, taking in several hills and long drags, on the fixed-wheel.  So I was alternately graunching up a 20%, spinning madly downhill, or trying to maintain something above 50rpm on about 4 miles of 8% (ish).  Fairly hard work, but it will pay off in climbing ability and increased aerobic threshold.

I'm sure it will. What gearing do you run?

My SS is on 48:18, but I think the turbo is actually harder for that sort of thing than the real road.

Re: Modified standard versus compact gears
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2018, 11:39:36 pm »
With apologies for my earlier response - it's true, but not entirely helpful.

Most of us have a 'lowest comfortable cadence'TM - if your gearing and power to weigh ratio allow you to climb at that or above you'll be fine. If not then lower gears or an improved poewr to weight are called for.

There's a huge psychological component though. As you say, lower gears just mean you can get by if you need to go slower, but it soon gets to the point that walking is faster.

I've done the same big long ride with big long hills (The Elenith 300km Audax) on both gears and fixed. I had to walk pretty much exactly the same really steep sections of the ride (Devil's Staircase, road out of Pont-Rhyd-y-Groes, some other bit that I can't remember) whether I was on fixed (67") or gears (despite having a lowest gear of 30x29).

The human body is still efficient enough at 25rpm, so the choice of gears isn't that important; if you can push out x00W of power then, at that slow speed, it doesn't really matter what cadence you're doing. If you ride fixed regularly then you get used to putting out near that power at very low cadence as the alternative is a (marginally) slower walk.

Psychologically you may think you need lower gears, but when you have them you only want even lower gears. When you don't have them you just get on with it.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Modified standard versus compact gears
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2018, 12:17:53 am »
There's a huge psychological component though. As you say, lower gears just mean you can get by if you need to go slower, but it soon gets to the point that walking is faster.

Indeed.  Really low gears are mostly about not having to walk, or to make it possible to get started again after stopping on a steep climb, rather than getting you to the top faster:  Think fully loaded touring/cargo bikes, recumbents that are awkward to push, silly shoes, disability, etc.  Otherwise the 24" gear[1] may be just as good, and a welcome change of leg muscles.


[1] Two feet.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Modified standard versus compact gears
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2018, 02:35:16 pm »
With apologies for my earlier response - it's true, but not entirely helpful.

Most of us have a 'lowest comfortable cadence'TM - if your gearing and power to weigh ratio allow you to climb at that or above you'll be fine. If not then lower gears or an improved poewr to weight are called for.

There's a huge psychological component though. As you say, lower gears just mean you can get by if you need to go slower, but it soon gets to the point that walking is faster.
Yes, this is true. I just thought it would make a difference. Reading everyone's response has cleared things up for me. Thank you.

I've done the same big long ride with big long hills (The Elenith 300km Audax) on both gears and fixed. I had to walk pretty much exactly the same really steep sections of the ride (Devil's Staircase, road out of Pont-Rhyd-y-Groes, some other bit that I can't remember) whether I was on fixed (67") or gears (despite having a lowest gear of 30x29).

The human body is still efficient enough at 25rpm, so the choice of gears isn't that important; if you can push out x00W of power then, at that slow speed, it doesn't really matter what cadence you're doing. If you ride fixed regularly then you get used to putting out near that power at very low cadence as the alternative is a (marginally) slower walk.

Psychologically you may think you need lower gears, but when you have them you only want even lower gears. When you don't have them you just get on with it.
Your underfloor heating guy.

Re: Modified standard versus compact gears
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2018, 01:24:41 pm »
Lower gearing works by allowing you to travel more slowly at a given comfortable cadence – slower being easier.

If you want to get faster up hills you need to do some training in higher gears.  No pain, no gain.
You absolutely right. No pain no gain. However have a look at this short vid.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S9qeEPR3UU
Your underfloor heating guy.

Re: Modified standard versus compact gears
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2018, 04:26:56 pm »
Lower gearing works by allowing you to travel more slowly at a given comfortable cadence – slower being easier.

If you want to get faster up hills you need to do some training in higher gears.  No pain, no gain.
You absolutely right. No pain no gain. However have a look at this short vid.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S9qeEPR3UU

I run a triple on the touring/audax iron.

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Modified standard versus compact gears
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2020, 08:34:33 pm »
I'm running a semi-compact 50-36 with an 11-34 on the rear, which has been okay for Audax rides - the only hill that has beaten me is the 12% at the top of the Bonette - but its more likely that the 2800m altitude was a factor there.  Later on that trip the 36-34 was fine for a sustained 4km @ 12% (the little known Col du Bois) - the only UK hill with anything like that sustained steepness is Bwlch y Groes.  Having said that, I still prefer a triple as it gives me a bigger choice of low gears.
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Re: Modified standard versus compact gears
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2020, 11:13:56 am »
Hi All
I modified my standard from 11t -28t to 11t - 34t. I used to suffer a lot uphill, hence the change. Now, my question is, the dude with a compact version, will he ride better uphill than me or not? Or if there is any other change I should make? I really don't like seeing the other dudes pass me on the uphill.

Zwift is a great way to find out what's going on power-wise.  I have recently switched from a semi-smart turbo to full-on smart.

With the smart turbo I get all the live stats in real time.  Currently using a tourer with a triple and a big gear range and I like to do hilly Zwift routes.

It's quite obvious that the rather large gaps between the gears are a handicap when it comes to climbing.  As soon as I change down I lose a lot of power before having to really up my cadence to get it back, if I do get it all back.  It was fine for touring but if you don't want to be overtaken on hills, no good.

Using a semi-smart turbo i.e. it sent data to Zwift but didn't receive gradient data back, I could stay in one gear all the time and so didn't have power gaps.   

I too dislike being overtaken on the hills and am looking at compact as an option!

In real life I use a double which is quite adequate for day rides on the North York Moors.

Sic transit and all that..