Boardman Hybrid Comp - is the double chainset a problem on hills

Discussion in 'Components, Accessories and Clothing' started by max1234, 11 May 2010.

  1. max1234

    max1234 Active Member


    I am on the verge of buying a Boardman Hybrid Comp but there is just one frustrating issue in the way.

    The Boardman Hybrid Comp only has a double chainset.

    From time to time I like to go on cycle holidays which involve very hilly routes (the lake district for example) and so I will kick myself if I buy a bike that isn't suited for this.

    Can anybody that has this bike tell me how good it is on hills? Does the fact that it is a double chainset and not triple cause any problems?

  2. GrasB

    GrasB Veteran

    Nr Cambridge
    It depends on the rider really. When combined with a 11-32 cassette I'd say that the range would be more than wide enough for me to deal with all but the steepest (1:3) inclines with ease.
  3. yello

    yello Legendary Member

    :smile: Yep, you should be able to climb pretty much anything with that!

    Max1234; the little gear on the Boardman is 36x32 I think. Depending on your level of fitness/strength that should be okay for most stuff... but it really is difficult to say without knowing you or your strengths etc.
  4. GrasB

    GrasB Veteran

    Nr Cambridge
    oops! :laugh:
  5. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry Here for rides.

    you just develop bigger quads tis all.
  6. OP

    max1234 Active Member

    Thanks Yello,

    Has anyone compared the boardman to another Hybrid in the same price range (£500) but with 3 chainsets instead of 2, and was there a noticeable difference in the bikes ability to handle hills?

    I know that different fitness levels will make it easier, but I am interested in pure bike performance here regardless of fitness. I am pretty fit as I do a lot of running, but I don't do any bike riding at the moment.

    Also if someone can explain what 36x32, 11x32 means etc then that will be an added bonus.

  7. yello

    yello Legendary Member

    Sure. And sorry I assumed that you knew.

    The first number is the number of teeth on the big sprocket on the front (aka the chainring). Road going triples have something like a 30, a 40 and a 50 tooth chainrings. Compact chainsets (like the Boardman Hybrid) have 2 chainrings; in the Boardman's case a 50 tooth and a 36 tooth. There are other variations, and mountain bike triples normally have smaller chainrings (eg 46,34,24), but hopefully you get the gist.

    The 2nd number is the number of teeth on the rear cog/sprocket. There can be any number of cogs on the rear cassette ('cassette' being the name given to the collection of sprockets), but generally these days it's between 8 and 11... 11 cog cassettes are relatively new. The Boardman has 9 cogs ranging from the smallest of 11 teeth to the biggest at 32 teeth.

    So when someone says a gear of 36x32 they mean when the chain is on the 36 tooth front chainring and the 32 tooth rear sprocket. The smallest front to the biggest back gives you the easiest gear to climb in.

    36x32 is a little gear, littler than many road going triples littlest! I don't know if the Boardmen Hybrid comes as a triple but my road bike has a little gear of 30x23... that is BIGGER than the Boardman's! You can measure gears in inches, which makes comparison a bit more simple. The Boardman's little gear of 36x32 is around 30", my triple's 30x23 is about 34"... and I can climb pretty much anything on that.

    I reckon the compact spec of the Boardman will be okay for fit young bloke like yourself!
  8. OP

    max1234 Active Member


    Thanks Yello for an excellent explanation.

    I think I just need to pull my finger out and get on with buying the bike!
  9. Captain

    Captain New Member

    I have that bike and ride it every day on my commute.

    The very last 200m or so of my ride gets pretty steep, really steep! around 1:4/1:3 ish. I find on the boardman that if you drop to the small chainring a little way into the climb you find 5-6 lower gears are still available and at the very steepest parts of my ride I like to stand up in my 3-4 gear.

    I would definately reccomend this bike, I love it. looks good too.
  10. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    1 in 3 is ludicrous steep surely?
  11. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Triple chainsets / compacts..... oh how I weep...... get a double 53 x 39....:sad:


    PS the Boardman is fine.....honest !
  12. bauldbairn

    bauldbairn New Member

    I've got the Boardman Pro(same set up as the Comp) - no problems with the gearing. :sad:
  13. Plax

    Plax Veteran

    I'd say. I have one on my Tesco route and if I've overloaded my panniers with beer have trouble keeping the front wheel down if I'm not careful! I am in the granny ring on that though (28x34).
  14. Shorinjidude

    Shorinjidude Über Member

    Dare I say when you buy go clipless? Great for hills, although I do only commute on my hybrid.
  15. Cubist

    Cubist Still wavin' Moderator

    Ovver 'thill
    I have one. The last hill on my ride home is steep, and is the last half-mile of a six mile climb.
    After an enforced lay-off I struggled on the steepest part of the last hill, but I wasn't really very fit so I fitted a 34 tooth small chainring. It made just enough differenceto be worth it.

    You can play with the gearing by fitting a 34 tooth smaller chainring, or swapping the rear cassette for a 11-34 tooth one. giving a ratio of 1.18 :1 either way, or both for a 1:1

    It'll take a triple too, but you'll need to change the BB to suit.
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