Standard versus compact gears

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Heating
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Standard versus compact gears

Postby Heating » 13 Nov 2018, 2:15pm

Hi All
I modified my standard from 11t -28t to 11t - 34t. I used to suffer a lot uphill, hence the change. Now, my question is, the dude with a compact version, will he ride better uphill than me or not? Or if there is any other change I should make? I really don't like seeing the other dudes pass me on the uphill.

irc
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Re: Standard versus compact gears

Postby irc » 13 Nov 2018, 3:07pm

Gearing may help but it's the strongest legs and lungs that will go uphill fastest.

whoof
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Re: Standard versus compact gears

Postby whoof » 13 Nov 2018, 3:21pm

The person who is better at cycling up hill will ride the fastest. Gearing is a personal thing at one extreme Chris Froome spins a relative (compared to other pros) low gear whilst Luc LeBlanc seemed to constantly be in a large chain ring.
BTW My understand of compact and standard relating to gearing is the chain-set with standard being 42/52 or 39/53 and compact being 34/50 or now commonly a 36 tooth inner.
11-28 is a closer ratio gearing than 11-34.

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531colin
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Re: Standard versus compact gears

Postby 531colin » 13 Nov 2018, 3:25pm

Heating wrote:Hi All
I modified my standard from 11t -28t to 11t - 34t. I used to suffer a lot uphill, hence the change. Now, my question is, the dude with a compact version, will he ride better uphill than me or not? Or if there is any other change I should make? I really don't like seeing the other dudes pass me on the uphill.

Do you want a lower gear than you have now?

tatanab
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Re: Standard versus compact gears

Postby tatanab » 13 Nov 2018, 3:26pm

Assuming "standard" means" 42 small front and "compact" means a 34. You already have a low gear, going lower will/may make the climbing easier but also slower - unless you put more effort in. So the other guys will pass you just the same. As irc suggests - tend to the engine. If you ride seldom or are a new rider then accept that the strength and experience come with time in the saddle.

cycle tramp
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Re: Standard versus compact gears

Postby cycle tramp » 13 Nov 2018, 11:03pm

Going up is less about your gears & more about your leg strength, fittness and technique. Ages ago when my own bike had a low gear of 18 inches i was beaten up a rather long hill by a rider on a fixed wheeled bike.....

.....fast forward some twelve years, and whilst touring on a 3 speed bike over rolling countryside, i was one of the first riders who made it up the shorter hills before the rest of the group....

....my own technique was to sped up and hit the base of the hill as fast as you can allowing the increase in your momentum to carry you part way up the hill, and only change down when your cadence drops to an uncomfortable level...

With some of the shorter hills, i hit the base in top gear, stayed in top gear part way up, changed down to second gear, stood on the pedals and crested the hill before i need my lowest gear....

mattsccm
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Re: Standard versus compact gears

Postby mattsccm » 14 Nov 2018, 7:13am

Ignoring ideas such as the efficiency of getting up the hill at speed, how to get up there quickest is dead simple. If all else is the same the person pushing the small sprocket will beat the person on the big sprocket. He has a higher gear! However the pedal revolutions per minute have to be the same. Now here is the variable which makes your question impossible to answer conclusively. We can't all pedal at the rate rate with the same strength hence the size of gear cannot decide the speed as you have to include the variables.
If you want to beat your mate work harder.

By the way, the term "compact gears" is used for the chain set. Usually a 34/50 t job rather than the standard 42/52 or slightly newer 39/53. Old standards before compact was invented of course since we now have mid compact with 36/52

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Vetus Ossa
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Re: Standard versus compact gears

Postby Vetus Ossa » 14 Nov 2018, 7:20am

mattsccm wrote:Ignoring ideas such as the efficiency of getting up the hill at speed, how to get up there quickest is dead simple. If all else is the same the person pushing the small sprocket will beat the person on the big sprocket. He has a higher gear! However the pedal revolutions per minute have to be the same. Now here is the variable which makes your question impossible to answer conclusively. We can't all pedal at the rate rate with the same strength hence the size of gear cannot decide the speed as you have to include the variables.
If you want to beat your mate work harder.

By the way, the term "compact gears" is used for the chain set. Usually a 34/50 t job rather than the standard 42/52 or slightly newer 39/53. Old standards before compact was invented of course since we now have mid compact with 36/52


It really is that simple.

thelawnet
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Re: Standard versus compact gears

Postby thelawnet » 14 Nov 2018, 7:33am

Heating wrote:Hi All
I modified my standard from 11t -28t to 11t - 34t. I used to suffer a lot uphill, hence the change. Now, my question is, the dude with a compact version, will he ride better uphill than me or not? Or if there is any other change I should make? I really don't like seeing the other dudes pass me on the uphill.


The best way to go uphill is to make sure you have a BMI of around 20. If you're overweight, then it's disastrous for hill climbing.

If your bike is a few kg overweight (let's say it weighs 12kg), reducing that will also help, but personal body weight is first and foremost.

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Mick F
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Re: Standard versus compact gears

Postby Mick F » 14 Nov 2018, 8:45am

I'm lighter now than I have been for decades.
For years, I was 13st as well as being a fit fast cyclist. I have Garmin records dating back to 2004 and if I compare my speeds and times to now - same bike, same gearing - I'm much slower even though I'm just under 12st.
Maybe I'm less strong as I've become older.



As for Compact, it is to do with the chainset.
The old days the smallest cog was 14t, then 13t came out, and then 12t. Having smaller cogs at the back allows you to have smaller chainwheels. These days, 11t is the norm, and 10t or even 9t are not unheard of.
Mick F. Cornwall

thelawnet
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Re: Standard versus compact gears

Postby thelawnet » 14 Nov 2018, 10:50am

Mick F wrote:I'm lighter now than I have been for decades.
For years, I was 13st as well as being a fit fast cyclist. I have Garmin records dating back to 2004 and if I compare my speeds and times to now - same bike, same gearing - I'm much slower even though I'm just under 12st.
Maybe I'm less strong as I've become older.


Well it's power to weight, so if weight is down, power must be down even more.

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Cugel
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Re: Standard versus compact gears

Postby Cugel » 14 Nov 2018, 10:54am

Heating wrote:Hi All
I modified my standard from 11t -28t to 11t - 34t. I used to suffer a lot uphill, hence the change. Now, my question is, the dude with a compact version, will he ride better uphill than me or not? Or if there is any other change I should make? I really don't like seeing the other dudes pass me on the uphill.


Wot are these "dudes" of which you speak? Did you means "duds"? Possibly not if they are passing you on the hills. :)

Despite what others have said or implied about it being all down to "the engine" (you) lower gears will make a difference to your hill climbing if they enable you to move from a lowest-gear cadence that's too slow (so you're "heaving") to a cadence that's more efficient (for you) so you're "spinning". The exact revolutions that will make your lowest gear cadence up the hill most efficient for you is personal .... but most will go better at 65-90rpm than they will at 45-60rpm.

Personally I like to have a very low gear available on all my bikes, even the fast club-run summer bike.

Last time I measured it (over a year ago) my FTP was 220watts. So, I can normally go along in most circumstances at a fair pace. However, I also weigh 13st 1llb so the steepest hills can be a challenge. I am also 69 and old scrotes aren't as resilient as young ones, even if their FTPs are the same. Moreover, on longer rides (the club goes up to about 80 miles and very occasionally a bit more) I yam often knackered for the last 10 miles home, which miles generally include some unavoidable hills and even a valley that tends to funnel a nasty headwind!

In short, a very low gear is a great thing for those circumstances where either the route or you are not optimum.

In addition, you might consider getting rid of the 11, 12 and even 13 sprockets in favour of some bigger ones at the other end. Unless you can habitually do 30+ mph that is. The latest Shimano shadow-style road derailleurs will accommodate a sprocket of up to 40 toofs!

Meanwhile, a chainset with a small ring of 34 rather than 39 might help.

Cugel

Jamesh
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Re: Standard versus compact gears

Postby Jamesh » 14 Nov 2018, 11:57pm

Low gears are essential at the end of the 100 miler and the route takes you up a 1/5 grit bin hills over and over again - don't you love n York Moors!!

And that's without panniers!

I would want something less that 1:1 cassette to small ring. I'm putting 44 / 34 / 24 on my new touring bike which with a 32 will be mighty low!

Cheers James

Heating
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Re: Standard versus compact gears

Postby Heating » 21 Nov 2018, 1:35pm

Cugel wrote:<SNIP>Meanwhile, a chainset with a small ring of 34 rather than 39 might help.
Cugel


Hi Cugel
I will try the chainset with small ring of 34.

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bigjim
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Re: Standard versus compact gears

Postby bigjim » 21 Nov 2018, 2:13pm

I think spinning is the answer to hill climbing. Once the weight and fitness have been sorted. 34/34 is not low enough for me on some 15% hills. I weigh 14.5 stone at 6'2" and hills are my enemy. I get up them but only because I have big powerful legs. I just wish I had big powerful lungs to match. :) The bigger you are, the bigger, stronger, heavier bike you need, Can't win. I'm not a natural spinner. I have to stop myself grinding away. I'm always overtaken on hills by the lightweight spinners. Armstrong had to be taught to spin to deal with Ulrich who was a Grinder.
I've only got better at hill climbing by constantly finding local hills to climb. It does work. Like most things. The more you do it, the better you become.
Nothing left to prove.