50/34 chainsets and the older rider

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Paulatic
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Paulatic » 6 Sep 2019, 10:39am

I like my 50/34 11-30 bike as I ride it most of the summer providing I’m not carrying much weight. I bought it for that job. It got me from LE to JOG without walking.
I also have a £100 couldn’t refuse to buy it bike with Tiagra road triple. I tend to use it in winter and although it’s far from being a "touring bike" I’ve had successful fully laden trips with it.
I’ve just bought a Giant Toughroad with 32/44 11x42 10 speed. I’ve not had it long but this is probably the closest to perfect gearing I’ve had. Giving clean crisp changes from 21” to 115”.
The gearing choices are out there and it’s up to the buyer to find and buy them.
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life

https://stcleve.wordpress.com/category/lejog/

bgnukem
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby bgnukem » 6 Sep 2019, 11:16am

At 47 I find the compact double gearing too high. Usually I have a top gear of around 100" and aim to use my large chainring for normal riding and the smaller 'rings for the hills.

I've resorted to fitting the Spa Cycles triple chainsets to most of my bikes. Only problem is I found they don't really work well with narrower chains 9-speed and above so I've converted a couple of bikes back to 8-speed, but obviously with the hassle of changing shifters (I use Rapidfire pods and straight 'bars) and cassette. My winter bike has a 44/34/24 chainset with 12-28 cassette and summer bike same cassette and 48/36/26 'rings.

Does anyone still make a decent 9-speed compatible triple chainset with can be used with a square taper bottom bracket??

Brucey
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Brucey » 6 Sep 2019, 11:29am

bgnukem wrote:.

Does anyone still make a decent 9-speed compatible triple chainset with can be used with a square taper bottom bracket??


I think that with (say) TA chainrings fitted, there are quite a few chainsets that work well enough at 9s and above. However

a) they are expensive chainrings and
b) the correct spacing is not always easy to achieve on every chainset, (requiring shims in some cases and machining of the cranks in others)

which chainrings have you been using?

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

drossall
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby drossall » 6 Sep 2019, 11:30am

I get on OK with a Stronglight triple from Spa and 9-speed.

LittleGreyCat
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby LittleGreyCat » 6 Sep 2019, 11:56am

On the subject of ludicrously high top gears on eBikes.

Most of the obvious eBike rider here in flatlandia seem to sail along whilst barely pedaling.
I assume that this is because they have a high gear which allows them to use the electric motor without anything as undignified as spinning of the legs.

I have also observed that the riders (of a certain age) of traditional bikes seem to ride at a very low cadence, relying on heaving on the pedals instead of a more mechanically effective higher cadence in a lower gear.
A long time ago but this stirs vague memories of the SA 3 speed gearing of my youth.

So low cadence and heave on the pedals may well suit a certain kind of ageing/returning rider, especially where there are minimal hills.

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Tigerbiten
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Tigerbiten » 6 Sep 2019, 1:29pm

In an ideal world everybody would ride bikes who's gears were individually tailored to suit their riding style.
But there's been so much brainwashing over the last decade or so about the 50/34 compact crankset and 11-?? cassettes being the best gears that they muddle along with them.
The worst thing is a lot of them don't know better.

I started riding at a time when every good LBS had a sprocket board so I knew from an early age that it was possible to go non-standard with my gears.
One of the setups I really liked was a half-step and granny ..... :D
My first bent trike had fairly standard gears as I didn't know better.
But when I upgraded it I've gone very non standard (1800% range) simply because it matches what I want.

As for other riders riding with a slower cadence, that's normal.
If you look at a cadence/efficiency graph then the loss of efficiency for riding with a slightly too slow cadence isn't that much while the loss of efficiency for riding with a slightly too fast cadence is something nasty.
So look at the cadence of most beginners, it's only around 60 rpm because they don't want to hit that drop off in efficiency.
Then as they more experienced and/or fitter then their cadence will tend to slowly increase to what we now consider more normal.
With the older generation it's partially due to not having super low gears.
So you ground your way up all hills, so why learn to spin when you're going to grind uphill anyway.

Luck .......... :D

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Cugel
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Cugel » 6 Sep 2019, 3:10pm

Tigerbiten wrote:In an ideal world everybody would ride bikes who's gears were individually tailored to suit their riding style.
But there's been so much brainwashing over the last decade or so about the 50/34 compact crankset and 11-?? cassettes being the best gears that they muddle along with them.
The worst thing is a lot of them don't know better.

I started riding at a time when every good LBS had a sprocket board so I knew from an early age that it was possible to go non-standard with my gears.
One of the setups I really liked was a half-step and granny ..... :D
My first bent trike had fairly standard gears as I didn't know better.
But when I upgraded it I've gone very non standard (1800% range) simply because it matches what I want.

As for other riders riding with a slower cadence, that's normal.
If you look at a cadence/efficiency graph then the loss of efficiency for riding with a slightly too slow cadence isn't that much while the loss of efficiency for riding with a slightly too fast cadence is something nasty.
So look at the cadence of most beginners, it's only around 60 rpm because they don't want to hit that drop off in efficiency.
Then as they more experienced and/or fitter then their cadence will tend to slowly increase to what we now consider more normal.
With the older generation it's partially due to not having super low gears.
So you ground your way up all hills, so why learn to spin when you're going to grind uphill anyway.

Luck .......... :D


Slow cadence becomes inefficient over longer periods of pedalling at higher thrust pressure (i.e. when you're fit) because it stresses the muscles and tendons to a state of fatigue; or even the micro-damage sought by bodybuilders. The result is larger quads (which may themselves be more efficient) but it takes time to get them - many rides. In general, racing lads who employ a low cadence with high energy output tire much more quickly than the spinners, even if each individual pedal thrust may be more efficient at lower than at higher revs.

All this was understood a long time ago; and formalised in a book about bicycle racing fitness written by Edmund R Burke. The book also went to great length to explain the process and need for recovery from high intensity efforts that do fatigue the muscles. That's how all we racing lads of yore got them big quads - heaving about for half a day on 42X21 up some monster hills then lying legs-up on a sofa the next day eating lots of protein. :-) I believe that Graham Obree had a similar method for growing his thrusters.

But e-bike riders who are of the ambling kind probably don't output high thrust pressures, so pedalling at a low cadence with motor assistance may well be most-efficient for them, as they have far less risk of developing fatigue of muscle and sinew.

On the other hand, some e-bike motor software, such as that on the ladywife's Fazua-motored racey bike, take cadence as well as pedal pressure into account when calculating how much motor help to give. She discovered that low cadences result in only small motor help, even if she's pressing as hard as she can on the pedals. When she ups her cadence to around 90rpm, the motor seems to give more power for the same effort by the rider for high cadence than it does when pedalling slowly.

I suspect that many e-bike motor systems of the kind found in the more sit-up & beg style e-bikes are not like that but simply give a standard - perhaps constant - assist for the level selected, no matter what the cadence or pedal pressure of the rider.

Cugel.

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Mick F
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Mick F » 6 Sep 2019, 3:14pm

Tigerbiten wrote:In an ideal world everybody would ride bikes who's gears were individually tailored to suit their riding style.
But there's been so much brainwashing over the last decade or so about the 50/34 compact crankset and 11-?? cassettes being the best gears that they muddle along with them.
The worst thing is a lot of them don't know better.

I started riding at a time when every good LBS had a sprocket board so I knew from an early age that it was possible to go non-standard with my gears.
One of the setups I really liked was a half-step and granny ..... :D
My first bent trike had fairly standard gears as I didn't know better.
But when I upgraded it I've gone very non standard (1800% range) simply because it matches what I want.

As for other riders riding with a slower cadence, that's normal.
If you look at a cadence/efficiency graph then the loss of efficiency for riding with a slightly too slow cadence isn't that much while the loss of efficiency for riding with a slightly too fast cadence is something nasty.
So look at the cadence of most beginners, it's only around 60 rpm because they don't want to hit that drop off in efficiency.
Then as they more experienced and/or fitter then their cadence will tend to slowly increase to what we now consider more normal.
With the older generation it's partially due to not having super low gears.
So you ground your way up all hills, so why learn to spin when you're going to grind uphill anyway.

Luck .......... :D
Spot on.

BTW ....... I live in the ideal world.
I have the gears individually tailored for what I want.
Mick F. Cornwall

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TrevA
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby TrevA » 6 Sep 2019, 3:32pm

I’ve noticed a lot of newer riders use massive gears, even when riding at a sedate pace. It’s not unusual to see riders using 50x13 on a club ride when riding along at 14mph.

The difference seems to be between those of us who cycled in a club as youngsters and those who came to cycling later in life. The former were taught how to spin a gear by our elders from a young age, even riding a low fixed gear in the winter months, where you had no choice but to learn how to spin a gear. Newer riders seem to view pedalling as a strength exercise and push the highest gear that they can manage. Being adults, they won’t be told that what they are doing is “wrong”.

Riding a big gear can lead to a jerky pedalling style, especially on rolling terrain. If you are a lone rider, then this doesn’t matter, but on a group ride it can be dangerous as the rider struggles to keep their big gear rolling by getting out of the saddle and their bike slowing dramatically as they do so, leading to a chance of them being rear-ended by the rider following.

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Tigerbiten
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Tigerbiten » 6 Sep 2019, 4:11pm

TrevA wrote:I’ve noticed a lot of newer riders use massive gears, even when riding at a sedate pace. It’s not unusual to see riders using 50x13 on a club ride when riding along at 14mph.

It's not new.
I was riding like that 30 odd years ago ....... :D

It come down to experience.
Once you start doing +5 hour/+50 mile back to back days you will naturally alter your style to match your physiology so saving energy..
Mick F has a natural slow cadence, he's tried to up his speed but if he does then he tires quicker.
I've bad knees and it hurts if I put to much pressure on the pedals, so I've upped my cadence to reduce the pressure and keep the pain at bay.
The last I got on a fancy exercise bike in a gym it wanted me to spin along at 60 rpm.
I couldn't spin that slow because at the time my natural cadence was around 80-85 rpm.
And as soon as it ramped the resistance up I went looking for the gears ...... :lol:
It's like you never truly appreciate/want silly low gears until you're completely knackered at the end of a long ride and you know there's one more ******** hill to go.

YMMV .......... :D

Debs
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Debs » 6 Sep 2019, 9:01pm

After my ride this afternoon my Average cadence was 98.
A brisk 16 mile ride on easy going course with 80m total of climbing,
A slightly gusty north westerly wind probably pushed up my cadence rate, it's usually around 93 to 96.

NetworkMan
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby NetworkMan » 6 Sep 2019, 9:22pm

Debs wrote:After my ride this afternoon my Average cadence was 98.
A brisk 16 mile ride on easy going course with 80m total of climbing,
A slightly gusty north westerly wind probably pushed up my cadence rate, it's usually around 93 to 96.

Blimey you must live on a pancake. Around here there would be 320 metres of climbing!
Edit: I misread 16 miles as 16 km during a late night session and that meant my 320 metres was wrong. I usually find that I climb 20 metres per km. so over 16 miles I'd expect to do 515 metres not 320!
Last edited by NetworkMan on 7 Sep 2019, 11:20am, edited 1 time in total.

Debs
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby Debs » 6 Sep 2019, 10:50pm

NetworkMan wrote:Blimey you must live on a pancake. Around here there would be 320 metres of climbing!


no i use a Garmin, and they don't tend to exaggerate :D

NickJP
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby NickJP » 7 Sep 2019, 2:08am

Out of the dozen or so bikes in our garage, the only one that has a larger chainring than 42t on it is our tandem, which has 54/44/30 rings and 11-28 cassette.

When I started racing as a young bloke about 45 years ago, standard top gear on a road race bike was 52-13. That's exactly the same gear as 44-11, and it's pretty hard to find a cassette these days that starts with a cog bigger than 11t. If team managers aren't beating on your front door wanting to pay you to ride a bike for them, you're deluding yourself if you think you need anything bigger.

NetworkMan
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Re: 50/34 chainsets and the older rider

Postby NetworkMan » 7 Sep 2019, 3:44am

Debs wrote:
NetworkMan wrote:Blimey you must live on a pancake. Around here there would be 320 metres of climbing!


no i use a Garmin, and they don't tend to exaggerate :D

Actually they can. We discussed it on here and although I have one I use a Ciclo altimeter. :D :!: