50/34 chainsets and the older rider

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fausto99
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby fausto99 » 5 Sep 2019, 4:30pm

scottg wrote:There is a fine assortment of chainsets were you pick out your chain rings
to fit your fitness.
Sugino OX series, White Industries, Easton EC90 and Rene Herse come to mind.

Provided your wallet is deep :shock: :shock: :shock:

Debs
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Debs » 5 Sep 2019, 4:53pm

IMHO they should equip more new bikes with triple chainsets - in an ideal world...

I rejected my Ultegra 50/34 chainset with a easy swop-out fit Ultegra cyclo-cross 46/36 which i find a huge improvement.
The only caveat being the slight loss of a couple lowest inner gear teeth, however if one rides in terrain that isn't too steep-hilly the 36 inner ring more than often feels low enough and generally more practical than a 34.

Image

Still haven't changed the standard 11-32 block, the 11 & 12 tooth sprockets i never use, not needed, unloved, totally useless :roll:

Valbrona
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Valbrona » 5 Sep 2019, 4:55pm

Cugel wrote:Ha ha - you are preaching to a large number of the converted. Many of us here agree entirely with your sentiments concerning the gearing. And not just for we olepharts. The vast majority of cyclists, of all ages, do not need 53X11 or 12 or even 13. And chainsets other than those employed by riders in Le Tour might well be useful. Well, they are, as we who have them can attest.

Personally I like a low of at least 1:1, often lower for the bikes required to carry loads or perform cycling modes other than racing about. Even the racer-about has a 1:1 (30 ring, 30 sprocket) although it also has a top gear of 1:3.7 (52 ring, 14 sprocket). Even so, it manages to pass any number of MAMILy lads heaving on a 53X11, often when I'm using it's middle 39 toof ring.

There are signs that lower gearing is beginning to be offered again albeit still accompanied by ludicrous top gears now involving 10-toof sprockets. Of course, many frames with braze-on front mech fittings will not allow the front mech to descend far enough to work well with any chain ring below 50 toofs. And the front mechs often lack the correct cage curve for smaller rings. Still, one may always buy a new "gravel bike" on to which the smaller chainsets, front mechs et al will fit; or an old fashioned frame with a round seat tube taking a band-on front mech fitting.

Yes, the new low gears will often need the consumer to also consume a lot of other "new, improved" stuff. Wot a surprise.

But one can always shop at Spa Cycles............

Cugel


Why feel the need to quote the entirety of the original post when it appears just a couple of inches above your own?
I should coco.

thelawnet
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby thelawnet » 5 Sep 2019, 5:03pm

Valbrona wrote:Why feel the need to quote the entirety of the original post when it appears just a couple of inches above your own?


Pot meet Mr. Kettle

mattsccm
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby mattsccm » 5 Sep 2019, 5:33pm

Whilst this slight increase in top gear is rather pointless to many , 52x13 was the norm when I started riding with a club it must be said that looking for lower gears overall isn't a trend for all older riders. Many that I know keep to their older systems and gears with a 42 inner being fine and a 28 at the back being thought of as more than low enough. 4 decades ago that would have been considered an old mans and beginners gear and I for example used my TT wheels much of the time. A 13-17 block did everything apart from loaded touring.
I suspect the trend for much lower gears has come from mountain biking and the huge number of cyclists who started in this way. I bet my club gravel/easy MTB ride this evening will be split. Of those on CX type bikes the roadies will be using a 50/34 with at most a 42 biggest on the back and the MTBers or those who came that way will be on a single chain ring with a 36 or 42 big at the back. Hmmm
I'd love a 11 speed cassette that went from 13 to 30 with no silly gaps at the big end.

scottg
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Location: Highland Heights Kentucky,, USA

Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby scottg » 5 Sep 2019, 5:46pm

Simplex had touring chain rings in the 1950s, here is 44/28,
I have a 46/30 Simplex rings on a Stronglight 49D.
(not my bike, example lifted from Classic Lightweights)


newton-foddering-rb1.jpg
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Why not the best, buy Cyclo-Benelux.

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Cugel
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Cugel » 5 Sep 2019, 5:52pm

Valbrona wrote:
Cugel wrote:Ha ha - you are preaching to a large number of the converted. Many of us here agree entirely with your sentiments concerning the gearing. And not just for we olepharts. The vast majority of cyclists, of all ages, do not need 53X11 or 12 or even 13. And chainsets other than those employed by riders in Le Tour might well be useful. Well, they are, as we who have them can attest.

Personally I like a low of at least 1:1, often lower for the bikes required to carry loads or perform cycling modes other than racing about. Even the racer-about has a 1:1 (30 ring, 30 sprocket) although it also has a top gear of 1:3.7 (52 ring, 14 sprocket). Even so, it manages to pass any number of MAMILy lads heaving on a 53X11, often when I'm using it's middle 39 toof ring.

There are signs that lower gearing is beginning to be offered again albeit still accompanied by ludicrous top gears now involving 10-toof sprockets. Of course, many frames with braze-on front mech fittings will not allow the front mech to descend far enough to work well with any chain ring below 50 toofs. And the front mechs often lack the correct cage curve for smaller rings. Still, one may always buy a new "gravel bike" on to which the smaller chainsets, front mechs et al will fit; or an old fashioned frame with a round seat tube taking a band-on front mech fitting.

Yes, the new low gears will often need the consumer to also consume a lot of other "new, improved" stuff. Wot a surprise.

But one can always shop at Spa Cycles............

Cugel


Why feel the need to quote the entirety of the original post when it appears just a couple of inches above your own?


One cannot know that one's response will appear just below what is being responded to, as others post in the same time frame. It can be very confusing when a poster fails to indicate who or what he is replying to and his post is 5 or 7 posts down the thread.

Also, the post auto-format indicates clearly what is original and what is reply, so start reading from where you see fit.

Cugel

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Cugel
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Cugel » 5 Sep 2019, 6:01pm

Brucey wrote:
thelawnet wrote: ….In any case it doesn't seem unreasonable to have bigger gearing on an e-road bike than a normal bike; yes, the rider is likely putting out less power, but on the other hand if you've got potentially 400W on tap, there's no particular reason NOT to have a big gear, as total available power is reasonable. ...


if said bike is legal, you only get the power up to 15mph.

cheers


That is so.

The ladywife's e-bike, which is racing bike style, is a wunnerful thing in all but the wasted teeny sprockets, which could be rendered as more in-the-middle sprockets instead, on an 11-speed 11-34 cassette in which there are two or three ratio gaps that are too great. 15-36 would have been better, as even with full power she must make a significant pedal thrust to add to the motor when going up the numerous West Welsh super-steeps. And she likes to spin.

Since the power switches off at 15.5mph, as you mention, she would still need the thrust-power of a Geraint or similar to employ her 50X11 ratio. Happily she is less vigorous than a Geraint, as if she weren't I might be dead of trying too hard by now, trying to follow her back wheel!

Cugel

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Cugel
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Cugel » 5 Sep 2019, 6:12pm

thelawnet wrote:
Brucey wrote:
thelawnet wrote: ….In any case it doesn't seem unreasonable to have bigger gearing on an e-road bike than a normal bike; yes, the rider is likely putting out less power, but on the other hand if you've got potentially 400W on tap, there's no particular reason NOT to have a big gear, as total available power is reasonable. ...


if said bike is legal, you only get the power up to 15mph.

cheers


(snip)

To be clear, Shimano's own e-bike system uses chainrings between 34t and and 47t, and only one chainring. The 50/34 stuff using Shimano components is not a 'Shimano e-bike', it's a bike using standard Shimano (non e-bike) components.

(snip)


Not entirely the case with all the road racey style e-bikes. Many of those employing the Fazua motor system, for example, have a special e-bike chainset and gearbox from FSA that is (in my view) foolishly provided as a 50/34. If one needs an e-bike to ride about, even if it is in racey configuration (which has advantages other than being more speedy) one does not need high gears, so a 42/27 MTB-style double might have been better, especially with its 11-34 cassette..

You can argue such an e-bike doesn't need low gears either, because the motor does all the work. But the motor doesn't do all the work. Such bikes are configured to (via strain gauge detectors) put out power proportional to the power put out by the rider. They are intended to make you work hard even under motor power as the intent is to use the racey bike to keep fit, rather than just to go to the shops. To get max power going up a hill, you too have to give your own max pedal thrusts. Going up 500M of 1 in 5 with a dollop of 1 in 4 in it is still a testing experience.

Cugel

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Cugel
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Cugel » 5 Sep 2019, 6:26pm

mattsccm wrote:Whilst this slight increase in top gear is rather pointless to many , 52x13 was the norm when I started riding with a club it must be said that looking for lower gears overall isn't a trend for all older riders. Many that I know keep to their older systems and gears with a 42 inner being fine and a 28 at the back being thought of as more than low enough. 4 decades ago that would have been considered an old mans and beginners gear and I for example used my TT wheels much of the time. A 13-17 block did everything apart from loaded touring.
I suspect the trend for much lower gears has come from mountain biking and the huge number of cyclists who started in this way. I bet my club gravel/easy MTB ride this evening will be split. Of those on CX type bikes the roadies will be using a 50/34 with at most a 42 biggest on the back and the MTBers or those who came that way will be on a single chain ring with a 36 or 42 big at the back. Hmmm
I'd love a 11 speed cassette that went from 13 to 30 with no silly gaps at the big end.


This is true. But when I was a racing lad, 163 years ago, it was a 52/42 with a 13-17 5-speed; then a 13-19 6-speed; then a 13-21 7-speed. I did have a touring bike also, with a Sugino (I think) 48/30 (or something like that) and a 14-28 block.

We struggled on the hills when racing. One needed to go up the steeper routes with a degree of heaving, perhaps at 60 or even 55rpm. If I look at photos of me and other racing cyclists of the time, most of us had immense quads - like those of bodybuilders, since that's what were doing when heaving up the hills in our high lowest gear. The skinny lads (often given the name "narra") were not so muscular because they didn't have 12 stone to lift up the hill but only 9 or even 8 & 1/2.

As most of us gradually discovered, lower gears and the ability to spin them seemed to make us climb more easily and significantly faster. Nowaday professionals, amateurs and, of course, the tourist all seem to agree. 30 tooth sprockets are now commonplace in the professional peloton on the mountainous days.

Cugel

PS My racey bike currently has a cobbled-up 15-30 10-speed at the back and a 52/39/30 at the front. I can thrust it up or down all roads so far come across, even though I am now ancient and (relatively) fat compared to yesteryear. No nasty big jumps in the ratios, neether.

Cugel

thelawnet
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby thelawnet » 5 Sep 2019, 6:44pm

Cugel wrote:
thelawnet wrote:
Brucey wrote:
if said bike is legal, you only get the power up to 15mph.

cheers


(snip)

To be clear, Shimano's own e-bike system uses chainrings between 34t and and 47t, and only one chainring. The 50/34 stuff using Shimano components is not a 'Shimano e-bike', it's a bike using standard Shimano (non e-bike) components.

(snip)


Not entirely the case with all the road racey style e-bikes. Many of those employing the Fazua motor system, for example, have a special e-bike chainset and gearbox from FSA that is (in my view) foolishly provided as a 50/34. If one needs an e-bike to ride about, even if it is in racey configuration (which has advantages other than being more speedy) one does not need high gears, so a 42/27 MTB-style double might have been better, especially with its 11-34 cassette..


Not sure what you are disagreeing with here; Fazua is not Shimano, and neither is FSA. The bike may however be marketed as 'Shimano Ultegra' based on its derailleur & shifters.

A 'Shimano e-bike' uses Shimano's Steps mid-drive motor.

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Cugel
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Cugel » 5 Sep 2019, 7:14pm

thelawnet wrote:
Cugel wrote:
thelawnet wrote:
(snip)

To be clear, Shimano's own e-bike system uses chainrings between 34t and and 47t, and only one chainring. The 50/34 stuff using Shimano components is not a 'Shimano e-bike', it's a bike using standard Shimano (non e-bike) components.

(snip)


Not entirely the case with all the road racey style e-bikes. Many of those employing the Fazua motor system, for example, have a special e-bike chainset and gearbox from FSA that is (in my view) foolishly provided as a 50/34. If one needs an e-bike to ride about, even if it is in racey configuration (which has advantages other than being more speedy) one does not need high gears, so a 42/27 MTB-style double might have been better, especially with its 11-34 cassette..


Not sure what you are disagreeing with here; Fazua is not Shimano, and neither is FSA. The bike may however be marketed as 'Shimano Ultegra' based on its derailleur & shifters.

A 'Shimano e-bike' uses Shimano's Steps mid-drive motor.


I was commenting on your "The 50/34 stuff using Shimano components is not a 'Shimano e-bike', it's a bike using standard Shimano (non e-bike) components" remark. Not a disagreement, just an observation - that a chainset other than the non-ebike standard shimano chainset can and is used on some e-bikes; and could be something other than a 50/34 if the makers ignored fashion and followed function.

Cugel

Whippet
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Whippet » 5 Sep 2019, 7:42pm

Another vote for triples here too.

drossall
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby drossall » 6 Sep 2019, 9:48am

scottg wrote:Simplex had touring chain rings in the 1950s, here is 44/28,
I have a 46/30 Simplex rings on a Stronglight 49D.

That's the thing that baffles me. What are laughingly described now as "compact" chainsets are nothing of the kind. For those who don't want triples, something like the above would be sensible at least as an option, but it's relatively hard to get.

Jamesh wrote:What I find most annoying is the drop from 50 to 34 is too big and I loose momenteum, or worse still loose the chain as I try and step up a gear to compensate at the rear.

A triple is ideal as I'm generally on the triple middle ring most of the time. Where as I'm on inner / small or outer / big on a 50/34....

Cheers James

I suppose that there is an effect from the widening of gear ranges on cassettes, which is sufficient to cause a come-back for single rings. Given that front changers effectively provide two, or three, ranges, if those ranges widen then they need to be moved further apart - not much point if the overlap in ranges is quite substantial.

geocycle
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby geocycle » 6 Sep 2019, 10:13am

drossall wrote:
scottg wrote:Simplex had touring chain rings in the 1950s, here is 44/28,
I have a 46/30 Simplex rings on a Stronglight 49D.

That's the thing that baffles me. What are laughingly described now as "compact" chainsets are nothing of the kind. For those who don't want triples, something like the above would be sensible at least as an option, but it's relatively hard to get.

.


I have a Spa super compact with those ratios and it really does the job. In hindsight I’d probably have been better with a triple but the Spa does the job. As well as age, location is also really important. There are lots of locations where 50/34 would have been fine for me but here in the NW of England a low bottom gear is important. I was also driving myself mad with shifting from big to little front cogs on all the undulating terrain. Having a big front cog that allows me to stay in that except for proper hills is an improvement.