Gears for hills

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by lastpubrunner, 18 Mar 2008.

  1. I intend to do a (first group ride) 50 mile reliability ride in a few weeks and I know it is going to be hilly; my front chainset is 52/42 and the largest 'sprocket' on the back has 28 teeth, should that be sufficient for me ?

    Thank you very much
  2. 4F

    4F Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby

    Surely that depends on your level of fitness. I run on a 52 - 40 front and 13 - 23 rear and not found anything yet that I have not been able to get up however I do live in nice and flat Suffolk.
  3. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    if you can stretch to putting a 38 on instead of the 42, you should be fine. depending on how fit and used to climbing you are, you might be ok anyway.
  4. Cycling Naturalist

    Cycling Naturalist Legendary Member

    You would not be posting this if you lived in North Wales. There're several 1 in 4's within three miles of where I'm sitting.
  5. OP

    lastpubrunner Guest

    Hi Patrick,

    I know your area very well indeed, so I can verify your comments. There is a particularly steep climb up out of Glyn Ceiriog that I've been down, but never up - I think that's 1 in 4.

    (I live just to the West of Oswestry in a small village called Trefonen). There are quite a few steep climbs by me, since it is so close to the Berwyns.

    Are you doing the Oswestry Paragon 50 mile Reliability Run on the 6th of April ? It goes out towards Penbontfawr and Llanfyllin. I've heard that there is slightly over 5,000ft of climb. I've ridden no more than 10 or 12 times in the last 30 years; and the only cycling that I did before that was going to school ! It is certainly going to be a test of my character and resolve !

    Regarding Reliability Runs, I am quite accepting of the fact that I'll be towards the back of the bunch, but I know nothing of cycling etiquette. Is it customary to stop on such rides for a cafe or to take a leak ? Do such rides have a time limit ?

    Believe it or not, the descents worry me nearly as much as the ascents - any tips for descending safely at a reasonable speed ? The last time that I went down a steep hill, it was very difficult to resist the urge to hold the brakes on all the way down . . . . . . . . I couldn't !

    Out of interest, how difficult is it to replace the inner 42 chainring with a 38 ? Assuming I did try to change it, which would be the best chainring for my bike ? Are they all much the same ?

    I very much appreciate all the information that I've received - "Thank You All"
  6. simonali

    simonali Guru

    Depends how long they are, doesn't it? I used to ride up a 1 in 4 at Blissford in the New Forest when I lived there for a while on 39x23, but it was only around 200 metres or so long. Bit of a lung-buster! :smile:
  7. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    probably a job for the lbs if you're having to ask. more a case of having the right tools as much as anything so you won't get charged much on top of the cost of the chainring. also consult the lbs on which chainring you need. if you're running shimano, there are loads of compatible ones to choose from (stronglight are recommended, so i've heard), as long as the pitch circle diameter is right (the lbs will advise). if you're running campag, the same more or less applies, but some lbss don't stock campag stuff.
  8. Crackle

    Crackle Pah

    What chainset have you got. I happen to have a new Stonglight 38, 130BCD going spare?
  9. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Did my first group ride back in January and it was 48 miles. Riding in a group is hugely different, so make yourself known to who ever is in charge(i emailed the guy before i went) and they slowed it all down to gauge my fitness levels, and also told me where to ride. After a couple of weeks i was told to move closer and i will now ride within a few inches from the guys back wheel if it is safe. So look for someone to tell you where to ride, is not then i like to sit behind the front person on the left.
    Decending i always look behind before i go into a courner and dont just sweep across, i try to keep my line pretty much the same if i can and try and follow the guys line in front of me. I also go for trying to keep up with the group, but often on long decentsi get left behind. You will soon get very confident at it and be going 40+mph down a hill wanting more speed. :smile:
    Going up hills, the people should move round you if your slow, but if you find you want to go faster then look behind and check there is no-one there before you go to overtake. If someone is there wait and if they dont go then i point to go out and see if they move back slightly. If they do then go for it.
    Dont worry about going up the hills, you might find that someone slows down with you to give you some help getting up them, and that the whole group might stop at the top of a big climb for everyone to relax some more.
    And if its on a club ride then you will find you stop at a cafe just over half way. I try not to stop for a pee, but if i do then i do it when other people do, or if someone has a puncture. As for time limits most of the rides i have been on havent had them, a few have been speeded up because people have needed to get home for work or other things.
    Not sure about the size of the chainrings, they are the normal ones on the Giant SCR4, thing i found was when people are on a triple and i'm using a double i find it harder to go at their pace up some hills.
  10. RedBike

    RedBike New Member

    Beside the road
    It doesn't matter what gearing you use so long as you can keep up with the group.

    42x28 doesn't sound too bad; but if it's hilly you will probably be much better off with a 39 chainring giving you 39x28.
  11. OP

    lastpubrunner Guest

    My bike has

    I'd certainly be interested in your Stronglight 38 if I could ascertain that it might fit. My outer ring is 52; presumably a 'jump' from 38 to 52 would be okay ?

    Thank you all for such comprehensive replies; slowly, you are beginning to 'educate' me !!!
  12. Crackle

    Crackle Pah

    You need to know the BCD aka:-

    Mine's 130BCD with 5 bolts. If it's the same and you can remove the inner on yours, it'll work.

    Also look up your front derailleur on the interweb. Somewhere there'll be some specs telling you it's maximum/minimum tooth difference between chainwheels.

    Depending on the shape of your spider you might need to remove the crank or you might just be able to wiggle it off if you remove the outer ring as well.

    Do some research and let me know. It cost me £20 and has never been used except for a few miles on the turbo, so if it fits make me an offer.
  13. simonali

    simonali Guru

    Blimey, I had one of those in the 80s!

    That bike was nicked from college. :sad:
  14. Hi
    I have been trying to sort an easier way of getting up hills myself (see "supergranny" post) but I am a real weed compared to you lot.
    I have a triple on the front which I have just dropped down to a 26t from a 30t. With 28t biggest on the back I am set for anything. Bike now has a sort of Mountain bike Mode when I put it on the Granny ring and up she goes!

    Problem I see with you running on two rings and messing about with the inner is: what about the rest of the time? If you are mostly on the bigger ring then no problem, but if you mostly run on the smaller ring then by putting a smaller one on you may run out of steam at the other end too soon and need to keep juggling between the two at the front and adjusting down on the back to get the ratio you want. With a big difference between the two that may be of a problem.

    Try Ebay for rings - I got just what I needed for £2 plus £2 post. For that it is easy just to try it out to see how it goes.
  15. RedBike

    RedBike New Member

    Beside the road
    39/52 is pretty standard for road bikes; there's plenty of overlap between the ratios. You don't juggle between the two as often as you'd think.

    Irronically, on a triple there's fewer useable gears per chainring than there is with a double. Which means that with a triple you have to change gear at the front more often than with a double.
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