big gear's

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big gear's

Postby the crazyest vegan » Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:56 pm

i noticed JBC said on another thread he uses big gears, what's a big gear to you?? i believe mine is a 53x11 or it might be 12 i'm not sure, i find that an ok gear when going down hill or charging on the flat and plan to upgrade to a 56 maybe next winter but i'm not to sure yet, i have to think about it a bit more.
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Postby kallefs » Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:03 pm

If you need 56x11 your really really fast or have a cadence that is way to slow. I didn't even know about a bigger then 53. There are tables (right word?) if you google for it that shows which speed you will be going at different gears with different cadence. Check them out first.
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Postby vCLaW » Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:15 pm

For fixed gear, I think what matters more is how big your gear is for the uphills (and you just have to learn to spin on the downhills!).
In terms of gear inches, I'd say something like 60"-80" is sensible for around here, where there's some quite steep hills. About 80" to 100" would be fine somewhere flat. I wouldn't use much more than that, except for something like a completely flat time trial, or a ride that's downhill all the way!
I'm currently using 68", which I think is fine for long and hilly rides.

There's a useful gear calculator on Sheldon Brown's site, which will give you gear inches or speed per cadence etc: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/
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Re: big gear's

Postby JohnBarleycorn » Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:30 am

the crazyest vegan wrote:i noticed JBC said on another thread he uses big gears, what's a big gear to you?? i believe mine is a 53x11 or it might be 12 i'm not sure, i find that an ok gear when going down hill or charging on the flat and plan to upgrade to a 56 maybe next winter but i'm not to sure yet, i have to think about it a bit more.


It takes a long time to gain the strength to use really big gears well.

I use 55-13 and 54x12 in time trials, on fixed gear. I use these for 10, 25 and 50 mile time trials. These would be considered pretty hefty gears. I turn them at about 90rpm average. This suits my body type, which is very muscular. Its taken 25 years to build that strength.

You want to use a 56 ?

I think unless you can manage 20 minutes dead for ten miles, a 56 is too big for you ! You'd have to be a pretty strong bastard ! :lol:

A lot of riders don't need big gears. When I road raced, I never had bigger than 53x12, and rarely used top gear. Spinning fast was the key.

I raced with a guy who trained with Fignon, twice Tour winner. He said Laurent spent a winter on 42x18, doing 120 mile rides every day, flat out. When he went to his first race, his leg speed blew the race to pieces.

Daryl Webster, one of the greatest British riders of the 80's never touched higher than 42-x16 in training, and regulaly beat Boardman, amongst others.

So big gears don't suit everyone. Learn to pedal first ! :lol:
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Postby JohnBarleycorn » Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:31 am

vCLaW wrote:For fixed gear, I think what matters more is how big your gear is for the uphills (and you just have to learn to spin on the downhills!).
In terms of gear inches, I'd say something like 60"-80" is sensible for around here, where there's some quite steep hills. About 80" to 100" would be fine somewhere flat. I wouldn't use much more than that, except for something like a completely flat time trial, or a ride that's downhill all the way!
I'm currently using 68", which I think is fine for long and hilly rides.

There's a useful gear calculator on Sheldon Brown's site, which will give you gear inches or speed per cadence etc: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/


68 inch gear is a sweet gear for long rides ! :lol:
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Postby the crazyest vegan » Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:10 am

you dont have to be going that fast to use a 53x11 (although looking at my bike now i have a sneaky suspicion it might be a 12!) in a through and off session i did a while back i was spinning at about 80rpm in my hardest gear, a chart isnt going to take into acount drafting, terrain, etc etc.
i thought a 56 might be usefull to work up some strength in the initial winter month's, then around the end of jan change it back to a 53 and get some seriouse spinning done to add the speed needed, but i may be wrong :P
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Postby kallefs » Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:08 am

the crazyest vegan wrote:you dont have to be going that fast to use a 53x11 (although looking at my bike now i have a sneaky suspicion it might be a 12!) in a through and off session i did a while back i was spinning at about 80rpm in my hardest gear, a chart isnt going to take into acount drafting, terrain, etc etc.


With a 53x11 at 80rpm you would be going at about 47 kph, no matter what the terrain, wind, drafting etc. If you put a 56 on it will change to about 51 kph. Both examples are with 172.5mm cranks and 25-622 tires and taken from the link a few posts up.


the crazyest vegan wrote:i thought a 56 might be usefull to work up some strength in the initial winter month's, then around the end of jan change it back to a 53 and get some seriouse spinning done to add the speed needed, but i may be wrong :P


You may be right, I don't know much about training techniques. But if you want the higher resistance for building muscles it would probably be easier to just find a hill and do an hour of charging up and down. I can almost guarantee that your 53x11 (or 53x12) will be enough to make you a bit tired, otherwise you'll just have to put your brakes on a little :)
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Postby JohnBarleycorn » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:29 am

the crazyest vegan wrote:you dont have to be going that fast to use a 53x11 (although looking at my bike now i have a sneaky suspicion it might be a 12!) in a through and off session i did a while back i was spinning at about 80rpm in my hardest gear, a chart isnt going to take into acount drafting, terrain, etc etc.
i thought a 56 might be usefull to work up some strength in the initial winter month's, then around the end of jan change it back to a 53 and get some seriouse spinning done to add the speed needed, but i may be wrong :P


You really are the craziest vegan !!!

80rpm isn't spinning ! Thats pushing. You aren't spinning unless its over 100rpm, at least ! If you are turning it at 80rpm, its way to big !

If you try road racing and expect to get by on 80rpm, you'll be blown away in the first few miles. If you only riding at 80rpm in that gear, you aren't strong enough.

Yup....you are wrong !

You don't build strength by pushing a 56 ring. Pushing a 56 ring is the result of building strength, not strength building.

You don't need absolute strength, you need sustainable strength. Thats different. You need to build your FTP level.....

Keep gears low, and do killer rides, spinning at high levels.

My strongest year ever, I rode a tiny 63 inch gear all winter, riding at 130rpm everywhere. Nobody could stay with me. Won a road race at xmas by smashing it to bits.

Upped gear to 67, then 70 inch in new year, kept spinning. When it came to racing, I could easily handle the big gears. Won eight road races in a row.

I had a friend I trained with that winter, Cayn. He rode a 57 inch gear. Tiny something like 42x20 ? Even I couldn't stay with him when he spun it fast. He was a first year pro with Fagor. Won the Tour of Portugal that year. Awesome. Legs like tree trunks. Built on spinning and a high FTP.

Training is far more complex than that. But its an example.

Forget the 56 ring !

Learn to spin ! Then build strength through specific intervals.

:lol:
I eat to nourish my compassion, not my greed

I'm the man they couldn't kill ! I cannot be destroyed with conventional weapons !

And probably the former fastest British Vegan 10, 25 and 50 mile TT rider. Probably.
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Postby the crazyest vegan » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:02 pm

i do tend to spin at about 100+ rpm everywhere, i know 80 rpm isnt spinning but it's faster than 40rpm :P
so what would you advise i train on, if i want to train in wale's next winter, bearing in mond it's v hilly.
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Postby JohnBarleycorn » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:14 pm

Well, it all depends what you want to do with your racing ?

Time trials, or road races ?

And what your strengths are ?

Sounds like you need to improve muscular endurance.

A good indicator is.......

What sort of training do you enjoy most ?

What sort of training do you hate most ?

I was a brilliant climber, so constantly did five hour rides in the hills. I enjoyed it. But it did me no good at all. I had a crap sprint, and hated sprint training. Would rather do five hour hours in the hills, than one hour sprint training. But I would have won twice the races with a sprint. A coach would have identified my stupidity.....but it took me years to work it out !

Its the training you hate most that will do you most good. It sounds like power training is what you struggle with, so thats where you need to focus.

But thats about increasing your power output, not increasing muscular strength. So, sorry to say, its killer intervals that are the answer !
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And probably the former fastest British Vegan 10, 25 and 50 mile TT rider. Probably.
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Postby Dave Noisy » Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:03 am

I pursuit in a 47 or 48x15 typically..pushing 115+ rpm. I'm not nearly so muscular, so this utilizes my cardio system much more..i'm at the opposite end of this from JBC (although he's also significantly stronger than me too!!)
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Postby JohnBarleycorn » Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:58 am

But if I get into pursuiting I will have to gear down too, as it will take me ages to wind up the big gear ! I'll have been caught by the time I am rolling !

Think Obree was the only one who pursuited on big gears ?

Even Wiggins uses a smaller gear for pursuiting, I think ?
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And probably the former fastest British Vegan 10, 25 and 50 mile TT rider. Probably.
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Postby Dave Noisy » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:22 pm

Unfortunately i know little about what people ride/rode. =(
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