Gearing set ups

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Gearing set ups

Postby DynoDon » October 3rd, 2019, 5:31 am

When I ride in events I get to hills an the people in front of me are going so slow I have to walk up the hill, it seems a lot of people are not gearing their bikes for riding Michigan, just riding what the bike came with, bikes come geared for all states not nessesarly Michigan. We really don't have those long climbs that may require 50t in the rear and 28t/32t chainring. People like water going downhill want the easy way, so naturally go to first gear going up a hill, with a 28t/50t thats probably slower then walking, spinning like Yolanda Neff, making a lot of RPM may be easy, but not really effecent for most people, or Michigan. Torque is what pulls your vehicle/bike up a hill, if you try second, or third gear your bike will go up more effecently, more control with the front end staying on the ground an even more steerable with the front wheel planted, oh yeah an less tire spin in the rear on loose ground.
The reason I have to walk up hills behind people in first gear is, I geared my bike for Michigan, and my power, I took off the 32t chainring on my Eagle 12 speed with a 50t in the rear, I went up to a 34t, and now I'm running a 36t, (up north I may go back to the 34t), so its more like 2nd or 3rd gear when riding the 32t/50t my bike came with, it works way more efficient in lower Michigan. Now I'm not fast, I'm well past 70 yrs old, I should not be passing so many people going uphills, they fly by me on flat areas..LOL With the bigger chainring you'll have more space between gears, and a higher top speed too, so your lap time may improve too. its a win, win when you take the time to gear your bike for you an the trails you ride. (if you're riding a 2x or 3x just try a higher gear going uphill to ride on torque, instead of RPM, you may be suprised at the differences.)
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Re: Gearing set ups

Postby b_b » October 3rd, 2019, 12:23 pm

Agree but it's a head issue not a gearing issue. Shifting too low to soon also kills momentum. I prioritize momentum and suck it up if the gear gets hard. Worst case you have to jump off and run the rest still probably faster than spinning going slow the whole way.
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Re: Gearing set ups

Postby DynoDon » October 3rd, 2019, 1:44 pm

b_b wrote:Agree but it's a head issue not a gearing issue. Shifting too low to soon also kills momentum. I prioritize momentum and suck it up if the gear gets hard. Worst case you have to jump off and run the rest still probably faster than spinning going slow the whole way.


We don't need those super low gears, thats the head game, gear it right an you can't go too low.I don't have a problem with my set up cuz' I can't get too low, with a 36t chainring, I'm grunting like a single speed on some hills. When I had a 32t chainring I was not using the 50t cuz' it was way to low, the 50t is just an expensive dork disk on a 12 speed if you don't use it. I did Triple Trail this year and people were crawling up the hills, I had to walk or go off the trail to get around them. Those super low gears are useless in SE Michigan. They see a hill and grab first gear, well so do I, but mine is like their 2nd or 3rd gear, I don't spin or lift the front wheel, I don't have to look to see what gear I'm in, there are some places like the rock climbs on Clockwise Kame I use 2nd, or 3rd gear up the rock climbs on the way back from Winn.. zoom, even my first gear is too low there. If people would use bigger gears they wouldn't be walking up those climbs. I've been using the 36t for almost 2 years now. Nino was using a 38t and experimenting with a 40t.. I know I won't be going up to one of those but the 36t works for me. If mine was still geared with the 32t, I'd probably go there too,, I'm glad it isn't.
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Re: Gearing set ups

Postby b_b » October 3rd, 2019, 2:14 pm

Running 32 x 11-36 (1x10) does all I need for SEMI from hills to gravel. I used to run all Maybury on old 26 3x in big ring 40+. SS guys got this figured out have no choice.:) Rode with my sons friend dropped to granny for every little hill and spun like a hamster wheel going nowhere drove me crazy. Said he was saving his knees (20 something) lol. My buddy doing the velodrome said his instructor runs 60x12!
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Re: Gearing set ups

Postby bikeguy4life » October 4th, 2019, 8:36 am

I agree w/ what the OP is saying and have always thought that with the advent of 11sp/12sp drivetrains that the 32t or smaller chainrings paired to the pie-plate cassettes are massive overkill in the Midwest for most riders. East coast, rockies, west coast, yes, they probably work awesome in those areas & quite frankly, those are the areas those were designed for. I've been running 1x since before clutch derailleurs were a thing - 1x9 (36 x 11x34 on my 1st setup!!), 1x10 34 and 36 by 11x36) and now 1x11. I have liked running 36t up front in the past, but am not in as good of shape as I once was and found myself lugging the bike a lot, which for me, isn't very efficient. I have found the sweet spot for the NW MI riding I do (everything from single track to XC and downhill ski trails) to be a 34t matched to a Shimano 11x40 cassette - if I ever do Lumberjack again, I might go w/ a 32 by 11/40 setup as the 34T was a bit much late in the day. My current bike is a 2017 Giant XTC hardtail and the first thing I did was to ditch the new drivetrain and go w/ NOS, but proven Sram XO 11sp w/ the Shimano 11x40 cassette. Bonus is that parts are cheap - up here, one good, wet ride in the sand can destroy a chain/cassette - I'd much rather replace a $70 (on the high end) cassette than have to pay $200+ for eagle. Quite frankly, I think prices for the 12sp high wear items (and I hear the 12sp stuff wears faster than 10 & 11sp) are absolutely ridiculous and I'm a little surprised that it doesn't bother more people. With 12sp, one thing to keep in mind too, is a lot of the new bike frames can't fit anything bigger than a 34t up front, or if they can, clearance is very tight. Anyway, cool discussion here, I've always wondered why more people in MI haven't figured out that 12sp is such overkill.
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Re: Gearing set ups

Postby b_b » October 4th, 2019, 10:34 am

Yep and the big cassettes are not only expensive but heavier too. I considered 40 Sunrace for little extra if I go somewhere like Mohican but I don't think my short cage will handle it so sticking to 36 (xt) for now. I wouldn't mind 11x but have no desire for 12x although may be great for mountains.
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Re: Gearing set ups

Postby DynoDon » October 4th, 2019, 10:37 am

bikeguy4life wrote:I agree w/ what the OP is saying and have always thought that with the advent of 11sp/12sp drivetrains that the 32t or smaller chainrings paired to the pie-plate cassettes are massive overkill in the Midwest for most riders. East coast, rockies, west coast, yes, they probably work awesome in those areas & quite frankly, those are the areas those were designed for. I've been running 1x since before clutch derailleurs were a thing - 1x9 (36 x 11x34 on my 1st setup!!), 1x10 34 and 36 by 11x36) and now 1x11. I have liked running 36t up front in the past, but am not in as good of shape as I once was and found myself lugging the bike a lot, which for me, isn't very efficient. I have found the sweet spot for the NW MI riding I do (everything from single track to XC and downhill ski trails) to be a 34t matched to a Shimano 11x40 cassette - if I ever do Lumberjack again, I might go w/ a 32 by 11/40 setup as the 34T was a bit much late in the day. My current bike is a 2017 Giant XTC hardtail and the first thing I did was to ditch the new drivetrain and go w/ NOS, but proven Sram XO 11sp w/ the Shimano 11x40 cassette. Bonus is that parts are cheap - up here, one good, wet ride in the sand can destroy a chain/cassette - I'd much rather replace a $70 (on the high end) cassette than have to pay $200+ for eagle. Quite frankly, I think prices for the 12sp high wear items (and I hear the 12sp stuff wears faster than 10 & 11sp) are absolutely ridiculous and I'm a little surprised that it doesn't bother more people. With 12sp, one thing to keep in mind too, is a lot of the new bike frames can't fit anything bigger than a 34t up front, or if they can, clearance is very tight. Anyway, cool discussion here, I've always wondered why more people in MI haven't figured out that 12sp is such overkill.


I've run 10x for years before going to the 12 speed Eagle, I had it since they came out, I replaced the chain with just over 50% wear at 3000 miles all the other stuff is still going strong at 4,000 miles, I agree the 12 speed would be overkill if I didn't run the 36t chainring, there are times I still would like to have more top end on the long straits and gravel roads.. I've go the 11 speed on my gravel bike but its the newer Shimano with a 48/32t chainrings, that thing hauls but on gravel.. gearing is not easy for many people to understand, they just run what the bike comes with and we all wind up trying to find ways around them on climbs, cuz' they go to first gear when they see a hill. Iceman was won last year on a 46t chainring and he never used the smaller gear in front... while the Mountain bikes had 36 to 38t at best..
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Re: Gearing set ups

Postby c0nsumer » October 4th, 2019, 10:39 am

I really like my 30t chainring with a 10-50 cassette, both here in SE MI and up in the UP. Did my fastest Poto with a setup like this (28t x 10-42).

I'd consider going to a 32t x 10-50 if I built up a new bike, but would only want bigger if I was doing Iceman or so...
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Re: Gearing set ups

Postby DynoDon » October 4th, 2019, 11:45 am

c0nsumer wrote:I really like my 30t chainring with a 10-50 cassette, both here in SE MI and up in the UP. Did my fastest Poto with a setup like this (28t x 10-42).

I'd consider going to a 32t x 10-50 if I built up a new bike, but would only want bigger if I was doing Iceman or so...


Some people like spinning more then grunting, but I'm a clyde so grunting is my choice, I call myself a big block not a small blocks..I run on torque, not so much RPM,, LOL.. I tear up those shimano splined freewheels quick, I really like she XD drivers, the threads haven't given me any problem yet,,
When was the first bicycle race?
When the second one was built !!!
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Re: Gearing set ups

Postby bbender785 » October 4th, 2019, 12:33 pm

yeah the 12 speed in LP michigan thing baffles me too.. not to sound cynical, but i'm making a broad assumption that a lot of people running it around here are doing it for show/status. and that's totally ok, it's their money.

10-42 11 speed on my mtb, with a 34 up front has been a great do-all down here; i briefly use the 42 coming up the steep, loose climb at yankee in the yellow direction, and the 10 on gravel into the upper 20mph's. i've yet to want/need more gear on either end.

11-40 Sunrace 10 speed with a 32 up front on the fat bike has been a great setup as well. sometimes i wish i had a 36 up front or a 10 in the rear, but generally when using a fatbike to actually do fatbike things it's fine.

sidebar,
b_b wrote:I considered 40 Sunrace for little extra if I go somewhere like Mohican but I don't think my short cage will handle it so sticking to 36 (xt) for now.

i run a short cage X9 with no issues.


it is interesting to see the company Box Components pumping the brakes on cogs stacking up by rekindling the 9 speed drivetrain:

https://www.pinkbike.com/news/first-look-box-one-prime-9-drivetrain.html
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Re: Gearing set ups

Postby DynoDon » October 4th, 2019, 5:08 pm

This is all good info, it may help people with thier gearing, we are all different motors, so we need diffent gearing, and even different gearing for different trails, I have a friend from Cost Rica that raced Enduro's for Husqvarna motorcycles, he now rides mountian bikes, in Costa Rica he said he has 12,000 foot mountains, he damaged his knee riding motorcycles, he now rides with basicly one leg, he runs a single 26t up front and 11 in the rear, he still rides 26 in bikes too, I've ridden with him many times here, he is still very fast, he adapted and overcame, his favorite trail here is Highland.
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