50 or 51T Cog: Is It Really Necessary?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    50 or 51T Cog: Is It Really Necessary?

    I demoed a Canyon Neuron for a couple of hours at Sea Otter: it was almost all up and down on narrow, loose single track.

    I wasn't really prepared to go on a ride of this length: I was in street clothes and brought no water, wearing a backpack filled with accessories I had bought or picked up in the expo. I thought I would be ok going for a casual ride. Turns out I got lost repeatedly, so a 30-45 minute casual test ride turned into a several hours ride. Needless to say, less than optimal conditions and I hardly ever ride off road on top of that.

    Nonetheless, I never once touched the last 4 easiest cogs. It seemed like 32x28 was sufficient for just about every climb. I probably could've gotten away with a bigger gear if I was dressed properly and drank some water during the ride.

    The first steep pitch I thought I might have to walk up since I wasn't sure I could keep the front wheel planted. Fortunately, the bike climbs like a champ, and had no problems. I glanced at the cassette, and was very surprised I was in the 24 or 28 cog.

    If a rider like myself who's not in great shape, not accustomed to off road riding, wearing street clothes that bind and don't wick properly doesn't need low gears, would it really be necessary for a more fit rider wearing cycling clothing to have a 50 or 51T cog? I wonder if a 42 or 46T cog might be adequate for almost all riding?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    i wonder if a 42 or 46t cog might be adequate for almost all riding in very close proximity to sea otter?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    I demoed a Canyon Neuron for a couple of hours at Sea Otter: it was almost all up and down on narrow, loose single track.

    I wasn't really prepared to go on a ride of this length: I was in street clothes and brought no water, wearing a backpack filled with accessories I had bought or picked up in the expo. I thought I would be ok going for a casual ride. Turns out I got lost repeatedly, so a 30-45 minute casual test ride turned into a several hours ride. Needless to say, less than optimal conditions and I hardly ever ride off road on top of that.

    Nonetheless, I never once touched the last 4 easiest cogs. It seemed like 32x28 was sufficient for just about every climb. I probably could've gotten away with a bigger gear if I was dressed properly and drank some water during the ride.

    The first steep pitch I thought I might have to walk up since I wasn't sure I could keep the front wheel planted. Fortunately, the bike climbs like a champ, and had no problems. I glanced at the cassette, and was very surprised I was in the 24 or 28 cog.

    If a rider like myself who's not in great shape, not accustomed to off road riding, wearing street clothes that bind and don't wick properly doesn't need low gears, would it really be necessary for a more fit rider wearing cycling clothing to have a 50 or 51T cog? I wonder if a 42 or 46T cog might be adequate for almost all riding?
    Totally depends on what the riders trail condition is. I use my 30/50 just about every ride I ride my Chameleon 27.5+ bike up.
    I'm in pretty good shape, not as good as I have been a couple years back, but I hold my own. I'm much faster on my 29er full suspension than on the 12 speed Chameleon and without the 50t I wouldn't be riding it on all the trails that I do.

    There are comments from folks like yourself every couple months, at least, that mention how strong they are and that the 50t gearing is unnecessary. For what it's worth, the 50/30 combo on my bike is the same as my 2x10 gearing.

    Also, I was doing trail work recently in t-shirt. Blue Jeans and steel toed boots. On the way back from trail work I rode a jump line same speed as I would in bike shoes and shorts.
    Not sure apparel is totally applicable to preform a short ride on just one condition.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    I demoed a Canyon Neuron for a couple of hours at Sea Otter: it was almost all up and down on narrow, loose single track.

    I wasn't really prepared to go on a ride of this length: I was in street clothes and brought no water, wearing a backpack filled with accessories I had bought or picked up in the expo. I thought I would be ok going for a casual ride. Turns out I got lost repeatedly, so a 30-45 minute casual test ride turned into a several hours ride. Needless to say, less than optimal conditions and I hardly ever ride off road on top of that.

    Nonetheless, I never once touched the last 4 easiest cogs. It seemed like 32x28 was sufficient for just about every climb. I probably could've gotten away with a bigger gear if I was dressed properly and drank some water during the ride.

    The first steep pitch I thought I might have to walk up since I wasn't sure I could keep the front wheel planted. Fortunately, the bike climbs like a champ, and had no problems. I glanced at the cassette, and was very surprised I was in the 24 or 28 cog.

    If a rider like myself who's not in great shape, not accustomed to off road riding, wearing street clothes that bind and don't wick properly doesn't need low gears, would it really be necessary for a more fit rider wearing cycling clothing to have a 50 or 51T cog? I wonder if a 42 or 46T cog might be adequate for almost all riding?
    From what I know about Sea Otter, it's not exactly well known for its huge grunts for climbs.

    If your gearing works for you, why do you GAF what's available otherwise? I personally don't use the range of a 10-50 ish cassette. An 11-46 or 10-45 covers my needs just fine. I gear it low enough that I have what I need for the longest, steepest climbs I ride. My ride yesterday wasn't that hard overall, but I was using my lowest gear (30-45) on the 15-17% peak grades of the steepest climbs (smooth granite), and those spots hurt. On some of my rides with less climbing, I don't even use my 45t cog. That's okay, too.

  5. #5
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    it depends. have either spare wheels built with corresponding cogs and chains or just select
    a cluster that works for you. I can name climbs I'd be in the 40 all day, and then others where 20 teeth is fine. I like having a 46 I never use, so it's there when ...well, whatever
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    Running 11-50 and it's great! Using an Oval 36T chainring, so that 50T in the rear is good to have in steep climbs.

    Upgrading to 10-51 XTR next month and keeping the same chainring, it will be bloody fast!

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    Based on your description, the terrain didn't call for the big 50T cassette and was probably overkill for the loop you did. You said you 'hardly ever ride off road'. Lots of us ride off road all the time and there is definitely terrain where those bigger gears are not overkill.
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    Oh "cog" wow, I thought crank LOL
    Lots of new age stuff these days, but gosh I wonder how much them rear gears cost, especially the 11-50's. Crazy!

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    I run an 11-50t cassette which allowed me to increase chainring size which in turn has reduced antisquat and pedal kickback (desirable for me). I rarely use my 50t on regular rides but it's there for those epic marathons as a recovery gear. 50t is actually too low for me on technical climbs.

  10. #10
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    A lot of newer riders try to grind out a knee-wrecking gear at an ultra low cadence.

    You dont need to do that. Clicking down a few years, and speeding up your cadence is more efficient and easier on the knees. 30-28 is definitely not a climbing gear.

  11. #11
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    Also the lower gears come in to play on long days.
    I was dying yesterday on my 34 mile 4,000' day.
    4hr 9minute moving time with elapsed time of 4hr13.
    The climbs at the end weren't too bad but I had clicked down a couple gears due to fatigues. The 20% (and greater) grades at mile 24 had me down in low gears on my 2x system while leaning forward to keep the front weighted. Glad I didn't have my "power only" gears.

    I remember when I first bought a used MTB (first bike since I was a kid). That was uhhhh, 9 years ago maybe?
    I was in my yard, going uphill on the grass. Mind you it's challenging to push up a lawn mower, but possible nonetheless. Anyway, I was in first gear on the 3x9 and it was WAY too low geared to pedal. I was all proud of my bike. Talking to my friends that ride, telling them that it had gears so easy to pedal that I can't imagine gears like that ever being used!

    Then.....then I started riding in the mountains and thought bikes were stupid!
    What made them less stupid was having low gears.

    I climb hills right now on the 1x at 30/50 so slow that it's difficult to keep balance, partially slow because, steep of course, but it's rocky and dry/hard pack and you need to slowly lay down power to prevent wheel spin.

    I watch youtube videos of people saying that the 50t gears are useless for them. But they then go on to say something out "IF" I rode in mountains maybe it would be more useful.

    I understand your struggle, OP, in wondering why such gears are useful. Rest assured, there are a lot of people that are happy for the invention.

    You may also suffer from the syndrome many of us do. We are stronger than we think.
    But yourself a new bike but stop riding for a year and see if the 50 is useful for you on those same Sea Otter hills.

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    Apply some altitude to the equation and youíll drop gears like panties on prom night.

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    Also, that 50t cog isnt really that low when you pair it to a 34 or 36t front ring. It ends up similar to my 28-42 setup, but with a significant amount more top end.

    I tried a 40t cog on a 32/22 double for a couple rides. That was silly low, lower than most eagle setups anyone uses.

    Mostly, eagle just looks enormous, it doesnt mean much until you consider the front ring too, which often isnt that small.

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    A lot of newer riders try to grind out a knee-wrecking gear at an ultra low cadence.

    You dont need to do that. Clicking down a few years, and speeding up your cadence is more efficient and easier on the knees. 30-28 is definitely not a climbing gear.


    Agree except for the last sentence, that depends on the grade and length of the climb. Also fitness.
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  16. #16
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    Pick a low gear, and be a d!ck about it.
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    Perhaps think of an IGH instead or a CVT. Could even throw a 2 gear custom on the IGH, or a multi-front setup. Replacing an expensive 11-51, the IGH look better and better.

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    Of course a 50 or 51 is unnecessary, as long as you can put a front derailleur on the bike .

    32◊50 is about the same as my 24◊36 low gear on my 26er. I use that gear on the steep parts (>20% grade) of every ride. I live in the mountains. My knees get very unhappy when I mash, sitting or standing.

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  19. #19
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    I say it doesn't depend much on the terrain or riding conditions, it's the same amount of work and different gears don't really change much, that's how SSers are able to climb stuff. Now, you won't just go and hop on high-gear bike and just nail the climbs right away, you won't have the power to turn those gears, but I maintain that if you only had that bike, in a couple of weeks you'd be riding 95% of all the climbs as before and the remaining 5% would come in another few weeks. In races, it's not really so much about what gear you are in, it's how fast you are pedaling that gear that defines how fast you'll be. So many people think they have to "have a certain gear", whether higher or lower. You might think having the higher gear makes you go faster on downhills, but if you are pedaling the lower gear a lot faster, you might be actually going faster with that lower gear. Humans are amazingly adaptable and IME, gearing doesn't really make the huge difference that people think it does. It's more of a mental hurdle and it's important to say that the terrain and rider DO play into this, just far far less than I think most people think that they do.

    Or a simpler way to put it, being able to make a climb in different gears is more about conditioning, which you can pick up pretty fast.

    Speed on a climb is far more about fitness, which takes a lot of hard work.
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    Usually 30/42-46 is enough for me...

    One of my bikes has the Eagle out back.

    On real punchy, short stuff - I'll go 50t

    Doesn't usually last king though & before I know it I'm back in 42.

    A bit like extra travel, nice to have JIC.



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    I could (and did for years) get by without the 50, but like it for either the beginning of a big ride when I'm trying to conserve or the end of a long ride when I realize I did a shit job conserving.

    I've done three hundred mile races before, with over 10,000 feet of climbing in a day. On those days, I'd probably have used a 100 tooth cog if I'd had it.

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    It's difficult to say what's right for another person on a forum. I do make recomendations to my friends based on whether they struggle or not. For me at age 60 on heavier 29ers, 28 11-42 is more than I need on most days. A different sized chainring is a cheap option compared to going 12 speed though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
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    50t = granny gear?

    Triple and double cranks are out of fashion, but granny still needs to get up those hills.

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    sounds like OP should singlespeed and STFU

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    Pick what you like.
    ...except when you can't because it's not manufactured anymore because the manufacturers are all caught up in the race to the lowest gearing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne View Post
    ...except when you can't because it's not manufactured anymore because the manufacturers are all caught up in the race to the lowest gearing.
    Sure u can. 10 and 11 speed is still available and hell you donít even need a dropper if you donít want one.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    Sure u can. 10 and 11 speed is still available and hell you donít even need a dropper if you donít want one.
    Seriously. How hard is it to just run a bigger chainring if having low gears available to you is somehow bothersome?

    It's actually very possible to not put things on your bike you don't want - like you mention, I don't use a dropper. Don't see how other people using them affects me at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne View Post
    ...except when you can't because it's not manufactured anymore because the manufacturers are all caught up in the race to the lowest gearing.
    What? I bought a 7 speed cassette for my kids bike last year. I cant think of any older gearing that you cant get anymore. 8 and 9 are all over. 10 is still everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    What? I bought a 7 speed cassette for my kids bike last year. I cant think of any older gearing that you cant get anymore. 8 and 9 are all over. 10 is still everywhere.
    Singlespeed is always an option too. Running 4 or 5:1 should cure the whole 'my gear range is too wide' issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I say it doesn't depend much on the terrain or riding conditions, it's the same amount of work and different gears don't really change much, that's how SSers are able to climb stuff. Now, you won't just go and hop on high-gear bike and just nail the climbs right away, you won't have the power to turn those gears, but I maintain that if you only had that bike, in a couple of weeks you'd be riding 95% of all the climbs as before and the remaining 5% would come in another few weeks. In races, it's not really so much about what gear you are in, it's how fast you are pedaling that gear that defines how fast you'll be. So many people think they have to "have a certain gear", whether higher or lower. You might think having the higher gear makes you go faster on downhills, but if you are pedaling the lower gear a lot faster, you might be actually going faster with that lower gear. Humans are amazingly adaptable and IME, gearing doesn't really make the huge difference that people think it does. It's more of a mental hurdle and it's important to say that the terrain and rider DO play into this, just far far less than I think most people think that they do.

    Or a simpler way to put it, being able to make a climb in different gears is more about conditioning, which you can pick up pretty fast.

    Speed on a climb is far more about fitness, which takes a lot of hard work.
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    I buy all this new stuff (50, 51, 36, 11, everything else) because I cannot keep up with my friends on the trail.

    At least when I am all alone, the deer get to see my bling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I say it doesn't depend much on the terrain or riding conditions, it's the same amount of work and different gears don't really change much, that's how SSers are able to climb stuff. Now, you won't just go and hop on high-gear bike and just nail the climbs right away, you won't have the power to turn those gears, but I maintain that if you only had that bike, in a couple of weeks you'd be riding 95% of all the climbs as before and the remaining 5% would come in another few weeks. In races, it's not really so much about what gear you are in, it's how fast you are pedaling that gear that defines how fast you'll be. So many people think they have to "have a certain gear", whether higher or lower. You might think having the higher gear makes you go faster on downhills, but if you are pedaling the lower gear a lot faster, you might be actually going faster with that lower gear. Humans are amazingly adaptable and IME, gearing doesn't really make the huge difference that people think it does. It's more of a mental hurdle and it's important to say that the terrain and rider DO play into this, just far far less than I think most people think that they do.

    Or a simpler way to put it, being able to make a climb in different gears is more about conditioning, which you can pick up pretty fast.

    Speed on a climb is far more about fitness, which takes a lot of hard work.
    I wonder if there is any evidence that SS riders experience any more injuries or pain, or that narrower gear ranges more generally speaking are inherently more "dangerous"?

    Were knee injuries any more common when 53/42 or 53/39 rings with 12-21 or 13-23 freewheels were standard gearing as opposed to the compact road gearing of today (50/34 and 11-32)?

    On the road side, wider gear ranges were introduced as shimano and campy and later sram, introduced more and more gears: so instead of a 21 or 23 tooth low cog, it become 24, then 27, then 30, and now 32 or 34 as 8, 9, 10 and 11 speed cassettes were introduced.

    I don't think anyone is complaining about the combination of close steps and much wider gear ranges. But with each new iteration, there was always a large and rather vocal group saying "I don't need it."

    It makes you wonder: how did we climb the same hills before on a 26/30 low gear on multi-hour rides without suspension? It was certainly possible, since at one point that was the lowest gear option available.

    Also, since the advent of the mountain bike back in the 80's, the average adult has become significantly heavier. The average adult male is probably 25 lbs heavier now than say in the mid 80's, so that may be a factor as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I say it doesn't depend much on the terrain or riding conditions, it's the same amount of work and different gears don't really change much, that's how SSers are able to climb stuff. Now, you won't just go and hop on high-gear bike and just nail the climbs right away, you won't have the power to turn those gears, but I maintain that if you only had that bike, in a couple of weeks you'd be riding 95% of all the climbs as before and the remaining 5% would come in another few weeks.
    I have heard that one before. Great that it works for you. It sure didn't work that way for me. Pushing big gears didn't make me stronger, just made my knees hurt. After over a year of NO progress AT ALL, I geared way down and then was able to climb (slowly) without hurting my knees.

    Obviously, most riders are not as adaptable as you are. Singlespeed only accounts for a very small niche of bike sales, while Eagles (and bikes equipped with them) fly off the shelves.



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  35. #35
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    I can ride just about any climb on any mountain bike trail with a 32x36. But I don't always feel like going hard. It is really nice to have some easier gears that allow me to go up steep climbs without breathing out my eye balls.
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    Our main climb is 9% average with 25-30% sections and is 1.5 miles long. I spin my 30x50 at around 65 rpms and according to Strava ranked 4th out of 1151 riders. I could use an even easier gear to maintain closer to 75 rpms and that would keep me fresher when I'm not hammering the climb.

    The right gears for the terrain you ride will keep your legs fresh and make you faster overall.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

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    here the billy goat gearing lets the older/fat cats spin instead of walk the 20+% grades at over 10k'. Yes walking is the same speed, but pedaling is less tiring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UtahJohn View Post
    here the billy goat gearing lets the older/fat cats spin instead of walk the 20+% grades at over 10k'. Yes walking is the same speed, but pedaling is less tiring.
    I resemble *1/2* of that comment!
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  39. #39
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    I prefer a one speed, but gears are more practical for long adventures or group rides.

    I find 11-42 is totally sufficient, 10-42 would be even better though. I find the limiting factor on a couple of my bikes is chainring clearance. I can't get more than a 32t chainring up front. I don't need anything lower, but I'd like a little more top end if I could get it.

    What I really don't understand is the 28-30t chainrings with Eagle. It's such a low gear. I would want a 36-38t chainring for that setup. Not too many frames will clear that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    On the road side, wider gear ranges were introduced as shimano and campy and later sram, introduced more and more gears: so instead of a 21 or 23 tooth low cog, it become 24, then 27, then 30, and now 32 or 34 as 8, 9, 10 and 11 speed cassettes were introduced.

    I don't think anyone is complaining about the combination of close steps and much wider gear ranges. But with each new iteration, there was always a large and rather vocal group saying "I don't need it."


    Kom's that were established back when 11-23 cassettes were the norm are now being crushed by guys running 32t cogs. Pro riders used to be overgeared and most amateur road riders today probably still are.


    Chris Froome has won a bunch of races spinning a 32t cog.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    What I really don't understand is the 28-30t chainrings with Eagle. It's such a low gear. I would want a 36-38t chainring for that setup. Not too many frames will clear that.
    The Eagle cassette has the same gearing as the 11sp 10-42...up to the 42. SRAM just basically tacked on a 50T cog to the 11sp cassette. I'm using a 30T right now with a 10-44 (OneUp X-cog) 11sp X01 cassette. If I was to ever go Eagle...I'd still use the 30T up front. If I went bigger on the front with Eagle...I'd be making using the rest of the cassette harder than it is now. The extremely low gear would only be in the 50T.

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    3 more teeth and we're at the MX bike rear sprocket size!

    Wider bars than an MX bike, same size rear sprockets.
    I find this fascinating for some reason

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Kom's that were established back when 11-23 cassettes were the norm are now being crushed by guys running 32t cogs. Pro riders used to be overgeared and most amateur road riders today probably still are.


    Chris Froome has won a bunch of races spinning a 32t cog.
    TdF results show a steady increase in average mph from 15 to 25 mph since the turn of the century.

    However, there has been no systematic increase in average speed for the past 12 years or so (17 and 18 winners averaged 25 mph).

    Also, my question was not about speed: I asked about rates of injury with bigger vs lower gears. In the absence of any evidence, I assume no systematic difference until proven otherwise.

    50 or 51T Cog: Is It Really Necessary?-tourspeed_604x461.png

    50 or 51T Cog: Is It Really Necessary?-hgche40qazj01.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 50 or 51T Cog: Is It Really Necessary?-fi3qo.png  


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    TDF performance leveled off when the contenders all reached dopemax?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    Were knee injuries any more common when 53/42 or 53/39 rings with 12-21 or 13-23 freewheels were standard gearing as opposed to the compact road gearing of today (50/34 and 11-32)?
    Its a popular myth. There isn't much to confirm it. Which makes sense - the relentless conditioning makes the body adapt. It is not a coincidence that powerlifter, oddly, have the least spine and knee injuries. And those guys lift 400-500lbs off the ground.

    On the road side, wider gear ranges were introduced as shimano and campy and later sram, introduced more and more gears: so instead of a 21 or 23 tooth low cog, it become 24, then 27, then 30, and now 32 or 34 as 8, 9, 10 and 11 speed cassettes were introduced.

    I don't think anyone is complaining about the combination of close steps and much wider gear ranges. But with each new iteration, there was always a large and rather vocal group saying "I don't need it."
    That has much more to do with ergonomy then with anything else. The more gears there are in a given range, the more fruitless double-triple shifting it causes. 13-21 freewheels in 6 speed ( the 1975 golden standard ) are still there, but extended both ways, into 11-32 in 11 speed now. In 1975 one had to adapt to hard gears, because in order to have close ratios low gears suffered. On the competetive road you _want_ close ratios. But 11-speed 11-21 is a very niche market. Even I, who rode 11-18 ( in 8 speed ) for years found that steps smaller then 5% are largely unnoticable.

    It makes you wonder: how did we climb the same hills before on a 26/30 low gear on multi-hour rides without suspension? It was certainly possible, since at one point that was the lowest gear option available.
    When riding uphill at the speed of X, one produces power of Y. If power of Y is within one's capability, then if they can spin the pedals, they can ride up. That is why old road cyclists could power through alpe'd'huez on 42/21 lowest gear. If that was what they trained for, they would adopt to it through CNS adaptations.

    That however, does not make such riding most efficient. It turns out that having proper low gears allows for more efficient training. The difference is not overwhelming, but it is there. This could not be done in the age of 6 speed, because having close ratios is more important, but nowadays, with 12 speed on the horizon - it is no accident that even 11-25 cassettes are going the way of the dodo on the road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    TdF results show a steady increase in average mph from 15 to 25 mph since the turn of the century.

    However, there has been no systematic increase in average speed for the past 12 years or so (17 and 18 winners averaged 25 mph).

    Also, my question was not about speed: I asked about rates of injury with bigger vs lower gears. In the absence of any evidence, I assume no systematic difference until proven otherwise.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Wrong forum; take your road bike chit-chat over here...https://forums.roadbikereview.com/forum.php?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 101 View Post
    Apply some altitude to the equation and youíll drop gears like panties on prom night.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    TdF results show a steady increase in average mph from 15 to 25 mph since the turn of the century.

    However, there has been no systematic increase in average speed for the past 12 years or so (17 and 18 winners averaged 25 mph).
    ]
    Isn't that nearly the same thing? or really big jump in 7 years

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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    What I really don't understand is the 28-30t chainrings with Eagle.
    The LARGEST ring I run is a 32 with Eagle. I go down from there. I need to get a new 28, my big climbing days use it. A 36 would be virtually useless. I spin out the 32 at about 30 MPH. On downhill paced roads, I am basically tucking in at that point.

    When are you going that fast, and how often?

    In the specific event where I was spinning out on that road downhill, I was running a 10-42x32. The first climb was 2200' in 3 miles, average speed of 4 MPH (and the first one to the top). At the finish I was doing 35 MPH at 130 RPM, though I was alternating between tucking in and pedaling, so I was mostly in the 12 area at 32 MPH (I was trying to run down the guy who passed me when I got lost, self navigation course).

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    I wonder if there is any evidence that SS riders experience any more injuries or pain, or that narrower gear ranges more generally speaking are inherently more "dangerous"?
    Um NO. I ride/race singlespeed and ride/race geared bikes. Singlespeed has never given any knee pain ever. I have also run my geared bike with a 10-42 cassette and both 34t chainrings as well as 28t chainrings. Both have their places depending on the grades, distances and altitude. My Singlespeed runs 34x19 most times, but also 18t as well as 20t. Again depending on terrain and distance. This entire idea of knee issues is garbage. It has nothing to with gearing and everything to do with poor technique. My older 29er HT used to have a 3x9. 11-34 rear with 20/30/38 chainrings. The 20-34 was lower than my 28x42. It was used from time to time to good effect.


    If I had a 50t then I would run 34t and be done with it, but 10-42 cassette is lighter than 10-50. However since my max is 42 out back I run the 34t for the winter season where desert riding is most common. Climbs are shorter and not as steep the 34t gets me more comfortable top end. I can spin casually to 24 mph with a 34x10. With 28x10 I can only get to 20 before and "overspinning" and the legs are turning so fast I am not putting as much power. For the summer season where I hit elevation and longer sustained climbs this year I have gone with a 30t, but for Breck Epic I will go back to my 28t. 6 days at 10k+ ft and 40- and 6000ft of climbing per day and that 28 is gold. Going up a 10% average grade for 2 miles over 10k feet I have jump off my bike and walked at the same pace other were riding. Then when local grade relaxed a bit jumped back on the bike and rode past those in front of me. So for me 28x42 is really all I need unless I am bike packing. I have 26t chainring for that just in case.


    My road bike has 52/36 chainrings with 11sp 11-28 cassette. Wide range and lots of gearing options. Most rides I do in the 52t, since most of my climbs on the road are short. However I have 36t for longer climbs. When I max out the 36x28 I simply stand like I do on my singlespeed. You also have to remember road bike gearing is different from mtn bikes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    Its a popular myth. There isn't much to confirm it. Which makes sense - the relentless conditioning makes the body adapt. It is not a coincidence that powerlifter, oddly, have the least spine and knee injuries. And those guys lift 400-500lbs off the ground.
    A lot of the times I pass people spinning up the hills with some 28x50+ combo with the seat WAY too low. For sure you are going to get knee problems doing that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    A lot of the times I pass people spinning up the hills with some 28x50+ combo with the seat WAY too low. For sure you are going to get knee problems doing that.
    Seat way too low is something I see more and more often these days. Some of these people look like they are on a beach cruiser.

    And itís not their dropper being lowered; they decided that was going to be their normal pedaling height.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Seat way too low is something I see more and more often these days. Some of these people look like they are on a beach cruiser.

    And itís not their dropper being lowered; they decided that was going to be their normal pedaling height.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    There is no reason to have the seat too low if you have a dropper. Max height should be set for optimum pedaling and then you used the drop when you need room. I can see a somewhat compromised seat height on a fixed post.
    Joe
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    There is no reason to have the seat too low if you have a dropper. Max height should be set for optimum pedaling and then you used the drop when you need room. I can see a somewhat compromised seat height on a fixed post.
    Oh, I know.

    But I see it more and more these days. I donít get it. I also see far more people pushing their bikes up hills than I have before.

    Itís almost like people are thumbing their noses at things like efficiency for the sake of looking cool.


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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    This entire idea of knee issues is garbage. It has nothing to with gearing and everything to do with poor technique.
    It's hard to say which is why I asked, instead of assuming, like others have.

    There's just no evidence pointing one way or the other, aside from anecdotal.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    My road bike has 52/36 chainrings with 11sp 11-28 cassette. Wide range and lots of gearing options. Most rides I do in the 52t, since most of my climbs on the road are short. However I have 36t for longer climbs. When I max out the 36x28 I simply stand like I do on my singlespeed. You also have to remember road bike gearing is different from mtn bikes.
    My point is that in both road and mtb, we have far lower gears than ever before. There's no evidence that it's allowing us to ride any faster, however, again as others have claimed with no evidence.

    That's a consistent theme here: people buying whatever's new, then rationalizing it ass backwards as if it were faster and/or safer with zero proof, then tucking tail when questioned.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    My point is that in both road and mtb, we have far lower gears than ever before. There's no evidence that it's allowing us to ride any faster, however, again as others have claimed with no evidence.

    That's a consistent theme here: people buying whatever's new, then rationalizing it ass backwards as if it were faster and/or safer with zero proof, then tucking tail when questioned.
    Not True on lower gears now.

    Back in 2002 I build a 26" bike with 9spd 11-34 cassette. and 22/32/44 chain rings. That 22x34 on a 26" wheel is lower than and of my 11speed setups 30x42 (on 27.5) and 28x42 (on 29). Yet I am going faster. Changing from 3x9 to 1x11 or 1x12 does not make one faster for the most part. It does make the riding simpler since you don't have to plan out your chainring. Chain drops are pretty rare these days and being the wrong gear is less common. Overall the move to wide range 1x is good because it also allows frame designers more latitude to design the bikes and not need place for the FD. I resisted 1x for a long time, but having gone with it simply like it better. My times did not decrease, but won't go back to 2x or 3x on a mtn bike. Now if you want to find something that has decreased my time is is my singlespeed. Learning how to ride that bike fast has been a very big change and make me faster rider all around. There is so much less hiding when riding a SS and you can't using gearing as a crutch for lost momentum and there is no soft pedaling on hills.
    Joe
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    My point is that in both road and mtb, we have far lower gears than ever before. There's no evidence that it's allowing us to ride any faster, however, again as others have claimed with no evidence.

    That's a consistent theme here: people buying whatever's new, then rationalizing it ass backwards as if it were faster and/or safer with zero proof, then tucking tail when questioned.


    Mountain bikers aren't using lower gears than ever, just 1x instead of 2 or 3 chainrings. 24/36 is the same as 34/51.

    As mentioned road bikers were often under-geared in days gone by and pedaling ridiculously slow cadence's up steep climbs. Kom's are now continually toppled by strong riders using 32t cogs and a more reasonable cadence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Not True on lower gears now.

    Back in 2002 I build a 26" bike with 9spd 11-34 cassette. and 22/32/44 chain rings.
    The lowest gearing I've ever run on a bike was a 26er with this exact gearing arrangement. The low gear is 16.8 gear inches. My current bike setup on my 29er, 30t chainring, and 10-45 cassette is 19.7 gear inches. Even if I used the 10-51 cassette, the low gear is still 17.4 gear inches, which is still not as low as the 3x9 drivetrain I used to run. If I put a 28t chainring on my 10-45, I'd be at 18.4 gear inches. A 28-51 would be 16.2 gear inches, which would actually be lower than my old 3x9, but only a little bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I prefer a one speed, but gears are more practical for long adventures or group rides.

    I find 11-42 is totally sufficient, 10-42 would be even better though. I find the limiting factor on a couple of my bikes is chainring clearance. I can't get more than a 32t chainring up front. I don't need anything lower, but I'd like a little more top end if I could get it.

    What I really don't understand is the 28-30t chainrings with Eagle. It's such a low gear. I would want a 36-38t chainring for that setup. Not too many frames will clear that.
    What don't you understand. 30/50 (my bike) is same gear ratio as 22/36 (my other bike).

    It's very evident who the strongest riders on the forum are from the posts saying low gears are unnecessary.

    I feel like I should be embarrassed to say I use the 50t after reading threads like these. :sniff sniff:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Oh, I know.

    But I see it more and more these days. I donít get it. I also see far more people pushing their bikes up hills than I have before.

    Itís almost like people are thumbing their noses at things like efficiency for the sake of looking cool.


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    Since I do a lot of steep, alpine rides in the summer months, I tend to set the upper limit of my dropper to be as high as I can absolutely ride it. On level ground, I would lower it 2 or 3 inches for optimal pedaling, but when you front wheel is consistently ~1-3 feet higher than your rear wheel, you can get away with additional seat height for additional leverage. Give up that leverage, especially the ability to drive down with your hips, glutes and even a little bit of hamstring involvement (aka the largest muscles you have) and itís all on the inferior strength of the quads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    There is no reason to have the seat too low if you have a dropper. Max height should be set for optimum pedaling and then you used the drop when you need room. I can see a somewhat compromised seat height on a fixed post.
    My opinion on the seat height is they are a user that isn't really using a dropper, but came stock on their bike. And they prefer seat height set to 'touch the ground' height.
    I know, have known, people that want a lowered seat for confidence in touching the ground flat footed when they stop.
    Basic skill that beginners sometimes lack until they become confident.

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    However, my legs are 17 years older than my last 3x9...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    What don't you understand. 30/50 (my bike) is same gear ratio as 22/36 (my other bike).

    It's very evident who the strongest riders on the forum are from the posts saying low gears are unnecessary.

    I feel like I should be embarrassed to say I use the 50t after reading threads like these. :sniff sniff:
    I'm by far not the fastest guy around, and not the fastest on MTBR (probably not even this thread). But the racing license I earned hints that I am not the slowest around either. And I still have races where I think "damn, should have put a 28 or 30 up front" with my Eagle. And I know people who are WAY faster than me running similar gearing.

    I wouldn't worry about what gearing other people say they use or need. Just run what you need.

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    Ok, so people get offended because I want a different drivetrain than they use. Sorry if I hurt feelings, but you really shouldn't be self conscious about what drivetrain you prefer.

    We all live in different terrains, some of you likely have way bigger mountains to climb than I do. I also spend a large percentage of my time on a SS so I'm used to standing on climbs and pushing a bigger gear. That's just how I prefer to climb.

    I just personally don't want any part of Eagle. The expense, weight, long cage derailleur, etc. I don't need that much range. That's all.

    If you want to take that as "my stick is bigger than yours" then go right ahead.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Ok, so people get offended because I want a different drivetrain than they use. Sorry if I hurt feelings, but you really shouldn't be self conscious about what drivetrain you prefer.

    We all live in different terrains, some of you likely have way bigger mountains to climb than I do. I also spend a large percentage of my time on a SS so I'm used to standing on climbs and pushing a bigger gear. That's just how I prefer to climb.

    I just personally don't want any part of Eagle. The expense, weight, long cage derailleur, etc. I don't need that much range. That's all.

    If you want to take that as "my stick is bigger than yours" then go right ahead.

    Well then hopefully this will not be an offensive question: how are your knees know, and how do you think your knees will be 10-20 years from now after climbing hills on a single speed? Do you think everything will be fine with them after abusing them like that?
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    Yes, it is necessary, unless:

    1. You don't have steep hills/mountains in your area you ride.
    2. You are a tough guy that prefers to stand up on the pedals all the way up the hill.
    3. You don't mind walking the bike up steep sections.
    4. You buy a rear wheel with an XD driver and than buy an E-thirteen 9-44 or 9-46 cassette.


    I was reading one of the new MTBR articles about a Spanish 13-speed hydraulic drivetrain, unfortunately it's $2800. The cassette however is 11-52t. Does a couple of teeth make all the difference? In a way, yes.

    My low end needs to be at around 0.62 or below, my top end needs to be 2.9 or above. For 11-50t, which Sunrace and SRAM NX make, 0.60 would mean a 30t chainring, which is a bit too low of a top speed. However, if a cassette had 11-52t, then I could do a 32t chainring, and the range would be 0.62 low and 0.29 high, just barely the minimum range I need.

    Personally #4 above, e-thirteen cassette 9-46t with a 28t chainring is best: 0.61 low end and 3.1 top end. That seems to be the best set of gear ratios for 1x, and you can even use a 'generic' Shimano 11-speed drivetrain (shifters, crankset, chain, rear derailleur), just need to change the rear wheel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    Well then hopefully this will not be an offensive question: how are your knees know, and how do you think your knees will be 10-20 years from now after climbing hills on a single speed? Do you think everything will be fine with them after abusing them like that?
    I don't abuse my knees on singlespeed. I ride with alot of singlespeeders. None have had any knee issues. I will have zero issues related to it. This knee thing is simply myth.
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    I'm not a single-speeder. But as I dropped down to 6 gears and started mashing, the knee pain I had when running a triple slowly disappeared. Certainly when I would feel any pain, I'd back off, but eventually I could mash very hard with zero pain. Last thing I expected.

    I'm in Texas, so my comment is specific to the knee pain aspect. If you have a long sustained climb up, it becomes about weight, aerobic fitness and endurance vs. the sustained grades and the length of the ride.

    I'd say run whatever gear you want. And then also humbly suggest trying to make do with a little taller gear than you are comfortable with, and see where it takes you. I got faster until my lowest gear went taller than 34 - 34. Again that is TX, YMMV.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    Well then hopefully this will not be an offensive question: how are your knees know, and how do you think your knees will be 10-20 years from now after climbing hills on a single speed? Do you think everything will be fine with them after abusing them like that?
    Riders make do with whatever gearing is available to them. With road bikes, 53/42 and 12-21 was standard gearing. Why did road riders ride with 42x21 as their low gear? It's because that was their only option. Eventually, 53/39 and 13-23 became available, and then even lower gearing than that. Now, 50/34 and 11-32 or 11-34 is available: sram offers slightly lower gearing. Shimano has a new gravel groupset with lower gearing.

    46/36/26 and 13-30 gearing was standard on mountain bikes. The lowest gear was 26x30. Now, 30x50 is the lowest gear.

    Are Ned Overend, Johnny Tomac and Juli Furtado on crutches now? Have all of the racers from decades past had knee replacements? Did they suffer chronic knee injuries? No. As a matter of fact, juli furtado turned to bicycling since she had suffered knee injuries in skiing and bicycling was a knee friendly alternative.

    In road riding, I find 34x19, 34x21 and 34x23 to be very easy and comfortable climbing gears. A 30x28 off road therefore, is a good climbing gear. I like to spin, too, so I don't grind out climbs in unnecessarily high gears.

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    did you watch the women's XC world cup this weekend by chance? did you see Jolanda Neff's cadence on those climbs?

    --

    if you spin, ill take that as >85+ rpm.

    on a 30x28 on 29 inch wheels, that means you're not climbing anything under 7.8 miles per hour.

    sounds legit...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FactoryMatt View Post
    did you watch the women's XC world cup this weekend by chance?

    if you spin, ill take that as >85+ rpm.

    on a 30x28 on 29 inch wheels, that means you're not climbing anything under 7.8 miles per hour.

    sounds legit...
    On road ride climbs, I like to stay at 75+ rpm. On off road rides, it's almost certainly lower. Probably around 65 or a bit higher. My tendency is to ride in as high a gear as feels comfortable, meaning one where I don't feel any knee pain or discomfort. On road rides, that's probably just under 80 rpm. Off road, I would have to guess. I'd say it's closer to 65 or 70.

    On flats is where I spin. I'm usually well over 90 rpm. As I said previously, I just ride in whatever gear and at whatever cadence feels comfortable. I don't race and have no particular motivation to max out efficiency or power numbers.

    https://www.bikecalc.com/speed_at_cadence

    30x24 with 29x2.6 at 65 rpm is 7 mph (5 mph with 30% efficiency loss)
    30x28 with 29x2.6 at 65 rpm is 6 mph (4 mph with 30% efficiency loss)
    30x32 with above is 5 mph (3.5 mph with 30% efficiency loss)
    30x50 with above is 3 mph

    34x21 with 700cx25 at 75 rpm is 9.5 mph.

    All of those figures sound about right, at least ballpark anyway.

    Actually, the off road numbers seem a little high. These gear/speed calculators assume perfect traction and you never get that off road. Your tires are always sliding out a little bit and you're certainly not moving forward in a perfectly straight line: you're losing a lot of efficiency because you're riding in dirt.

    I'd feel comfortable assuming a bare minimum of 10% lower speed offroad than what the gear calc site predicts, and probably 30% lower (or more) when the terrain is really blown out, loose and sketchy (sandy).

    The sea otter trails in particular felt very sandy and sketchy. I didn't feel like my tires were hooking up at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FactoryMatt View Post
    o. ok. just wanted to see what your average VAM is. o well.
    Have you ridden the trails at sea otter? I didn't take note of the particular trails. I saw a ton of signs when I reached the crest, heading downward for various races. I got lost a bunch of times taking wrong turns even though I received directions from several other riders.

    Gearing aside, the views were absolutely spectacular. It was so quiet, too. Quite a stark contrast from the hustle and bustle of the expo. The open grassy fields, flowers and mountains were just awe inspiring.

    I nerd out on teach features too, but in such gorgeous terrain, measuring power output and obsessing over strava seems rather strange.

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    As far as the women's race, there is zero chance they AVERAGED 85 rpm cadence. Nowhere near that. They looked to be in the low 60's (and lower) in the switchbacks and loose sections. On the straighter sections, some of the riders like rissveds and neff were spinning at higher cadence; others were grinding it out a far lower cadence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    As far as the women's race, there is zero chance they AVERAGED 85 rpm cadence. Nowhere near that. They looked to be in the low 60's (and lower) in the switchbacks and loose sections. On the straighter sections, some of the riders like rissveds and neff were spinning at higher cadence; others were grinding it out a far lower cadence.
    From a power file directly from the race women's race.

    Average cadence for the race 79.
    On the steepest climb: 76rpm with a 34T Front, 51 Rear. Average power: 5.7 watts/kg

    And for reference from the mens race:
    Average cadence for the race 74.
    On the steepest climb: Average cadence 83 with a 34T front, 50 rear. Average power for the climb 6.4 watts/kg

    Both riders had cadences below what they normally race at.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    From a power file directly from the race women's race.
    Confirms my point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    Show the evidence.
    Well in road racing because of lower gearing they are now doing climbs that use to be considered too steep.

    The tour and racing in general isn't the best example of the benifits of lower gearing. They are climbing so freaking fast that they are rarely anywhere near their easiest gear.

    Consider the climb I have to finish every ride on, it is nothing special 600m at 8%. On my road bike going full gas I can turn a 50x28 up it. But that is going full gas, usually at the end of the ride I am in full survival mode. That 34x28 is pretty sweet when I am just trying to make it home before collapsing.

    Same thing on the mountain bike, if I am absolutely pinning it on my XC bike I don't use the 51T very often. But I actually enjoy riding at pace where I am not breathing out my eye balls, the 51 really helps with that.

    Ultimately having an "easy" gear, out side of extreme grades, is probably not going to make you any faster. But having a gear that allows you to maintain a comfortable cadence at a comfortable intensity is going to make riding a lot more fun.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    I don't have a 50x28; I have a 50 x26 and x30, but 34x19 is the same as a 50x28, which is not a bad climbing gear. 50x26 gets very noisy which is why I tend not to use it. Otherwise, it's very convenient not to have to shift chainrings.

    I haven't had use for the 34x26 or x30 combinations yet. I suspect my road climbs are generally in the 6 to 8% grade territory, but this is just a guesstimate. My ride home (last mile or so) is probably half that grade. I usually use a low gear to warm down, but now always: sometimes I like to sprint at the very end just for fun.

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    There has been a lot of input, some people have given opinions, and I have shared some real world data the question is:

    If you were buying a Shimano spec'd bike right now, would you get the 10-45 cassette or the 10-51 cassette? (SRAM only offers the 10-45).
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    There has been a lot of input, some people have given opinions, and I have shared some real world data the question is:

    If you were buying a Shimano spec'd bike right now, would you get the 10-45 cassette or the 10-51 cassette? (SRAM only offers the 10-45).
    SRAM offers 10-50 not just 10-45.

    I would absolutely choose Shimano 12 speed 10-51 as my first choice, no questions asked. I think wireless is cool, but Shimano has historically offered much smoother shifting. I haven't ridden their 12 speed systems yet, but if the reviews are accurate, they should offer very smooth and precise shifts.

    XT Di2 11-46 shifted well, but the gears had small (-er) steps, plus one big jump to 46. It was clearly a stopgap to buy time before rolling out their new system.

    Cost no object, xtr. Realistically, SLX with upgraded xt shifters and maybe an xt crank for more chainring choices. An XTR chain if I wanted to be really extravagant.

    Although it probably shouldn't, probably some modest aspect of my antipathy towards eagle in particular is due to my experiences with sram shifting in general: slow, noisy, grinding. Eagle does work, but that's not to say it works smoothly or with the precision we've come to expect.

    I have a 12-30 cassette on my road bike; no I don't use the 3 lowest cogs, but it's nice that they're there. In reality, I wouldn't mind having a 32 or even 34 low cog, even though my rides don't really call for it. However, if I travel and ride elsewhere, it would be nice to have.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    SRAM offers 10-50 not just 10-45.

    I would absolutely choose Shimano 12 speed 10-51 as my first choice, no questions asked. I think wireless is cool, but Shimano has historically offered much smoother shifting. I haven't ridden their 12 speed systems yet, but if the reviews are accurate, they should offer very smooth and precise shifts.
    Dope: meant to write for 10-50 SRAM

    Well if you are patient and rich, rumour has it that Shimano has a wireless Di2 on the way.

    On my main bike right now I have Di2 with an XTR 11-40 cassette with gear expander on it up to a 45. The 11-45 range works for me 99% of the time. I am really only wishing for more when I am deep into a race and running out of gas, or when doing long climbs at elevation. Oh and when I am doing a spin with the dog and I am trying not to break a sweat. Probably the biggest frustration with the 11-speed stuff is not having a tall enough gear on the road. It does not take much of grade for me to be spun out in the 32x11.

    I am not sure if you have ever taken a road bike to Europe (highly recommend it if you haven't) but if do put on easy gears. I spend a month in Nice last year, the typical ride was just over 100km with over 3000m of climbing. Amazing roads, but so much climbing.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    3 more teeth and we're at the MX bike rear sprocket size!

    Wider bars than an MX bike, same size rear sprockets.
    I find this fascinating for some reason
    If only my legs could spin 9k rpm. Then I'd be in business!

    Sadly, there are more than a few e MTBs with internal gearing on the cranks, and really tiny chainrings that obviously could not work if not for that gear multiplication. They are headed towards dirtbike territory even faster.

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    I have cleanup up this weird pissing match. Keep it on topic, if you don't like the topic don't participate, if you don't like a users comments put them on your ignore list. Needless back and forth is not warranted. Just move on to one of the other numerous threads we have here.

    FWIW I have ridden Singlespeed and I ride 31T x 12x34t nine speed on my bike for a long long time. The rub is that I don't put any value on speed up hill, just on making it and I find I can make it up most hills that I want to make it up. When I singlespeed in arizona, I often rode 32t x 20t but even had a 22t for the epic climbs I would roll up as I rode out there. It was spun out at 11mph on descents but I just tucked and went with it.

    There is no metric that can say whether something is good on not when you are talking about toys and these are toys. Unless you are paid to race your mountain bike is just an expensive toy. If you like having a red toy there is no reason to defend yourself for having a red toy or call out those that don't have red toys because it is just a toy. Get over it.
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    Some places you are pedaling up very steep short rocky & loose pitches that take all out effort in the lowest gears possible. These places also require grippy but poor rolling tires.

    And of course different tire sizes, fitness levels, heck even the current 97 degrees in 84% humidity in Austin effects the gear I can push, greatly.

    I find a 32 front combined with an Eagle rear on 29er tires allows me to remain in the middle section of the cassette most of the time and never has me searching for another gear on either side of the cassette.

    The dream set up however was that 500% range 11 speed that Shimano offered, then removed before release. That had the range, less weight, more ground clearance, a bit wider gaps between gears (which I prefer), and would also allow a 30 or even 28 front chainring improving anti-squat and further reducing weight. Shame they pulled that XTR product option (apparently it's what the Pros use) before they even released it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    The dream set up however was that 500% range 11 speed that Shimano offered, then removed before release. That had the range, less weight, more ground clearance, a bit wider gaps between gears (which I prefer), and would also allow a 30 or even 28 front chainring improving anti-squat and further reducing weight. Shame they pulled that XTR product option (apparently it's what the Pros use) before they even released it.
    The ONLY difference between that cassette and the 10-51 that DID make it to market is that the 11spd version omitted the 51t cog.

    Because that one didn't make it to market (it's the one I originally wanted), I got the 12spd 10-45 and I'm finding that I actually do like the cog spacing on it, but that I do shift more. I'm definitely using the xtr shifter's ability to upshift 2 cogs at once. and then I can fine tune my shifts a little later to optimize my cadence on longer stretches. I do miss that the 11spd version would have a slightly better chainline, though.

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    I'll bite.

    This is the drivetrain on my Cube:

    50 or 51T Cog: Is It Really Necessary?-cube_drive.jpg

    Top gear is 35/12 - ratio of 2.91
    Bottom gear is 21/29 - ratio of 0.72

    Total range is approx 410%

    My bottom is equivalent of 37/51. My top is equivalent of 29/10. While I could use a lower gear, from time to time, I don't really miss it. Although I did, at one point, run 21/39 lowest gear. Technically, I could get 21/42 lowest within an hour of making this post. But after riding with this setup for a while, I don't feel like I _need_ anything lower. So, OP, obviously, since I don't need it, then "we" don't need it as well.

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    Those large cog sizes are not necessary for me because I am OK with using a front derailleur. 90% of my riding is done with a 1x9 (32 front and 11x32 rear), but I'll sometimes ride a bike with a front derailleur and a double chainring to give me some extra range for loaded bikepacking, an extra long day, or a 5+ hour endurance race. I don't mind the extra shifter and the weight difference between 2009 XT run as 2x9 and 2018 XT 1x11 is only 105g.

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    Thanks rockcrusher. I'm still baffled as to why people get so emotionally invested and enraged by discussion of a cassette? Even the people ostensibly trying to be polite such as LMN seem really agitated by the question I asked. I can tell you it definitely discourages people from asking simple questions such as the one I posed.

    Guys: it's a CASSETTE! An inanimate object such a cassette cannot possibly be worth getting upset about!

    Let's try to be discuss these things rationally instead of forcing a cult-like silence on any dissenters. It's a bad look, y'all!

    I suppose some people on here are sponsored by SRAM and feel a little threatened by even the slightest hint of criticism. I say those people should be transparent and mention that they are sponsored. Or, perhaps conversely, they've invested a fair bit of dough in their latest rig, and become enraged that someone might think the expenditure unnecessary? I'm completely speculating. I really don't get it, quite frankly.

    As far as Sea Otter, there are definitely some extremely steep pitches. I watched a portion of an mtb race last year, and while the riders were very fit (thin), they struggled to get up the steepest climbs. They were at or below walking pace. Probably around 2-3 mph. These sections are certainly rideable, but you'll be grinding it out at very slow speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    Those large cog sizes are not necessary for me because I am OK with using a front derailleur. 90% of my riding is done with a 1x9 (32 front and 11x32 rear), but I'll sometimes ride a bike with a front derailleur and a double chainring to give me some extra range for loaded bikepacking, an extra long day, or a 5+ hour endurance race. I don't mind the extra shifter and the weight difference between 2009 XT run as 2x9 and 2018 XT 1x11 is only 105g.
    And a 2x should solve any issues with gearing range, although the latest xtr only offers the lower range cassette with a 2x. A double (say, 28/38) with 10-51 should definitely solve all gear range issues. Even 34 ring with 10-51 should be sufficient for the overwhelming majority of riders.

    As I said previously, the lowest gear available for a triple when hyperglide was introduced was 26x30! Even factoring in bigger wheels, 32x50 is extraordinarily generous.

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    My average cadence at Sea Otter was 99. I was racing an Epic FS with Eagle on a 32t ring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    Let's try to be discuss these things rationally instead of forcing a cult-like silence on any dissenters. It's a bad look, y'all!



    How about some people appreciate low gears and want 1x drivetrains and others don't? Done deal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post

    As I said previously, the lowest gear available for a triple when hyperglide was introduced was 26x30! Even factoring in bigger wheels, 32x50 is extraordinarily generous.



    24/32 was common on old triple cranksets, which is the same gear as 32/50 on a 29'er. Mtb gearing is pretty much the same as it ever was.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    24/32 was common on old triple cranksets, which is the same gear as 32/50 on a 29'er. Mtb gearing is pretty much the same as it ever was.
    It depends on how far back you are willing to go. At the beginning of the 90s it was much closer to 28/28 and budget mtbs could get just a double front ( 2x6 FTW ) with something like 48/38 and 14-28 freewheel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    How about some people appreciate low gears and want 1x drivetrains and others don't? Done deal.
    I thought we already tried that approach back early in the thread. LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    It depends on how far back you are willing to go.

    Yep, 100 years ago single speed front drive fixies (ordinary's) were still common. 24/32 was commonly in use as soon as it was available, which was pretty early on in the mountain biking world.
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  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Yep, 100 years ago single speed front drive fixies (ordinary's) were still common. 24/32 was commonly in use as soon as it was available, which was pretty early on in the mountain biking world.
    Well. Shimano microdrive - and subsequent 24T granny was 1995-ish. 32 cog is 8 speed or above, so 1992 or thereabouts. I mean, its not like it was yesteryear, but it took half a decade for those to trickle down to lower tier groups. People did manage to ride mountains then as well.

    OP has a point. Those low gears are more of a convenience, not a necessity.

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    I think that wide range cassettes have really help sort out some the issues with mountain bikes drivetrains. The ability to run a single ring up front and have a cassette in the back that covers all the ranges of speed I typically mountain bike is great.

    For me at least the biggest issue with wide range cassettes is cost. Over the past couple of years if you wanted to run a SRAM cassette you needed to take out a second mortgage on your house. I don't mind paying a lot for items that last, but a cassette is wear item. I have issues with having to spend 800 (canadian) to bring a drivetrain back to life. I will admit that the life span of high end Eagle cassettes has been really good. Unfortunately the low end Eagle cassettes are not great, GX wears quick, and NX is heavy enough that if you put in space the earth would orbit around it.

    Shimano on paper seems to have made some solid budget friendly cassettes. I look forward to hearing some long term usage reports.
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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    OP has a point. Those low gears are more of a convenience, not a necessity.


    You could say the same thing about having any more than one gear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    I think that wide range cassettes have really help sort out some the issues with mountain bikes drivetrains. The ability to run a single ring up front and have a cassette in the back that covers all the ranges of speed I typically mountain bike is great.

    For me at least the biggest issue with wide range cassettes is cost. Over the past couple of years if you wanted to run a SRAM cassette you needed to take out a second mortgage on your house. I don't mind paying a lot for items that last, but a cassette is wear item. I have issues with having to spend 800 (canadian) to bring a drivetrain back to life. I will admit that the life span of high end Eagle cassettes has been really good. Unfortunately the low end Eagle cassettes are not great, GX wears quick, and NX is heavy enough that if you put in space the earth would orbit around it.

    Shimano on paper seems to have made some solid budget friendly cassettes. I look forward to hearing some long term usage reports.
    I'm getting a lot more life out of these steel SRAM cassettes than I got out of 11-36 shimano XT cassettes. The latter would last me about a year with a few chain swaps. The SRAM 11spd X01s are going on 3-4 seasons. I have a couple and they are both somewhere between 3-4 seasons, with normal chain swaps. So at $200-250 a pop, it's well justified IME. The key is to find that sweet-spot of value though. Before this, it was Shimano XT for me. Now, it's X01. So yeah, it depends.
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  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    You could say the same thing about having any more than one gear.
    Yes. I could. Your point?

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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    Yes. I could. Your point?

    I thought it was self evident. Just saying that pretty much all bike tech is for convenience and not necessity, and that gearing is no different.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I'm getting a lot more life out of these steel SRAM cassettes than I got out of 11-36 shimano XT cassettes. The latter would last me about a year with a few chain swaps. The SRAM 11spd X01s are going on 3-4 seasons. I have a couple and they are both somewhere between 3-4 seasons, with normal chain swaps. So at $200-250 a pop, it's well justified IME. The key is to find that sweet-spot of value though. Before this, it was Shimano XT for me. Now, it's X01. So yeah, it depends.
    I know we are a bit off topic here, but I think that this cannot be overlooked. I really want to like the new XTR stuff. The lack of durability in previously used cassettes that have employed excess aluminum cogs has me fixated on X01 and XX1 cassettes.

  102. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    How about some people appreciate low gears and want 1x drivetrains and others don't? Done deal.
    Apparently not.

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    Is it also unnecessary for a 2x drivetrain to have a 36t cog as the largest?

    I'm really amazed at how many strong people there are here that feel the low gears aren't necessary.

    I've said it before, but I feel so inadequate having to use '1st' gear so often. Including the mile long climb from the other week. Came off a downhill segment and had a mile long road climb to get back to the top. I guess realistically only the last 1/2 mile was 'that' steep but I sure was going slowly. Staving off a cramp in one calf. Tight lower back. And overall fatigue. Not sure what I'd be up against if I couldn't use the 36t 1st gear on my 2x system.
    Eek.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    Is it also unnecessary for a 2x drivetrain to have a 36t cog as the largest?

    I'm really amazed at how many strong people there are here that feel the low gears aren't necessary.

    I've said it before, but I feel so inadequate having to use '1st' gear so often. Including the mile long climb from the other week. Came off a downhill segment and had a mile long road climb to get back to the top. I guess realistically only the last 1/2 mile was 'that' steep but I sure was going slowly. Staving off a cramp in one calf. Tight lower back. And overall fatigue. Not sure what I'd be up against if I couldn't use the 36t 1st gear on my 2x system.
    Eek.
    I am a sit and grind away person. If I have an easy gear I will take it. However I never used my granny ring on my triples as it was never a place I wanted to be nor did it match my chosen cadence with is molasses slow. I did size down on my current bike from the 32t chainring that came with the cranks to a 30t and it works for most of what I ride. Again as you noted I don't know what I would do if I came across a hill that this was too tall for. Probably walk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    Well. Shimano microdrive - and subsequent 24T granny was 1995-ish. 32 cog is 8 speed or above, so 1992 or thereabouts. I mean, its not like it was yesteryear, but it took half a decade for those to trickle down to lower tier groups. People did manage to ride mountains then as well.

    OP has a point. Those low gears are more of a convenience, not a necessity.
    At one time there was something called the mountain tamer quad which allowed one to add a 4th gear to their cranks and place freewheel, then cassette cogs, on there allowing something like a 12T capacity up front.

    The issues with anything like this is the fact that to have it usable you needed to shift all over the crank and cassette to get logical jumps in the ratio. The pancake cassette with the single ring gets you 12 ratios that are easily accessible, the quad was the most extreme bail out gear for an era when a 26t chainring was the smallest you were going to match to your 30t cassette.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I'm getting a lot more life out of these steel SRAM cassettes than I got out of 11-36 shimano XT cassettes. The latter would last me about a year with a few chain swaps. The SRAM 11spd X01s are going on 3-4 seasons. I have a couple and they are both somewhere between 3-4 seasons, with normal chain swaps. So at $200-250 a pop, it's well justified IME. The key is to find that sweet-spot of value though. Before this, it was Shimano XT for me. Now, it's X01. So yeah, it depends.
    i have found the 11-speed stuff (Shimano and SRAM) has been super durable. The cassette I am running right now has probably taken it last chain, but it has in excess of 4000km on it, which is pretty remarkable for a MTB cassette.

    I am yet to really see a high milage 12-speed shimano cassette. My wife has about 1500km on hers and it still takes a fresh chain no problems. But 1500km on a 115lb rider isn't a lot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I thought it was self evident. Just saying that pretty much all bike tech is for convenience and not necessity, and that gearing is no different.
    I don't think that we are discussing philosophical meaning of the word "need", but rather the severity of added convenience versus the cost of obtaining it.

    Take a look here:

    50 or 51T Cog: Is It Really Necessary?-ground_clearance.jpg

    On the left is my Cube. On the right is my friend's Canyon with 8100 XT. Both roll on 27.5" wheels with 2.3"ish tyres. The cost of getting that elusive 510% range is, for him, is greatly reduced ground clearance. I set up my bike to maximize it. That is because most of the trails I ride these days look like this:

    50 or 51T Cog: Is It Really Necessary?-thick_gravel.jpg

    ...or worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    At one time there was something called the mountain tamer quad which allowed one to add a 4th gear to their cranks and place freewheel, then cassette cogs, on there allowing something like a 12T capacity up front.
    I know. To this day I wonder what was the logistics of using it - after all - shifters of the era were 3-speed and even thumb shifters would, eventually, lack the range to move the FD cage all that far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    I don't think that we are discussing philosophical meaning of the word "need", but rather the severity of added convenience versus the cost of obtaining it.

    Take a look here:



    On the left is my Cube. On the right is my friend's Canyon with 8100 XT. Both roll on 27.5" wheels with 2.3"ish tyres. The cost of getting that elusive 510% range is, for him, is greatly reduced ground clearance. I set up my bike to maximize it. That is because most of the trails I ride these days look like this:



    ...or worse.
    What is the gear range of the cassette on the Cube?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    I'm really amazed at how many strong people there are here that feel the low gears aren't necessary.
    There is a little bit of placebo effect when it comes to low gearing. Because in the end, you have to get the watts to push a given hill, gears or not. Sure - lower gearing allows to go slower, but at certain point its impossible to keep your balance.

    According to: Bicycle Speed (Velocity) And Power Calculator

    175lb rider on a 30lb bike, going up 10% incline at 5mph requires 220 watts of sustained effort. That is _brutal_ for most people. Up that to 12% and you are looking at 270 watts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    I don't think that we are discussing philosophical meaning of the word "need", but rather the severity of added convenience versus the cost of obtaining it.

    Take a look here:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    On the left is my Cube. On the right is my friend's Canyon with 8100 XT. Both roll on 27.5" wheels with 2.3"ish tyres. The cost of getting that elusive 510% range is, for him, is greatly reduced ground clearance. I set up my bike to maximize it. That is because most of the trails I ride these days look like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    ...or worse.
    makes you wonder how racers on high range gear sets get to the end of any given course. they must be riding smoother lines or swapping to shorter derailleurs mid race, then swapping back for the finish. i mean, after all, they do get paid to finish, and finishing near the top sells bike parts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    There is a little bit of placebo effect when it comes to low gearing. Because in the end, you have to get the watts to push a given hill, gears or not. Sure - lower gearing allows to go slower, but at certain point its impossible to keep your balance.

    According to: Bicycle Speed (Velocity) And Power Calculator

    175lb rider on a 30lb bike, going up 10% incline at 5mph requires 220 watts of sustained effort. That is _brutal_ for most people. Up that to 12% and you are looking at 270 watts.
    Total work is the same. (Work = Force x Distance) But you put out less force (watts), but you do it for longer (distance). That's why it's easier, most can go longer at less watts. It's not 'placebo' that's it's easier to pedal, it is easier. Just have to do it longer.
    Falling over shouldn't be a problem for most cyclist, at this point you should be able to comfortably stall out completely without losing your balance. I'd encourage you to work on your bike balance because it's a useful skill.
    Lastly, I ride lots of chunk but personally rarely wack my AXS derailleur. Never been an issue with any of them for me, but some might have way more skinnies to navigate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    Total work is the same. (Work = Force x Distance) But you put out less force (watts), but you do it for longer (distance). That's why it's easier, most can go longer at less watts. It's not 'placebo' that's it's easier to pedal, it is easier. Just have to do it longer.
    Are you trying to convince me that you can, in fact, do sustained 2 mph on a bike? Because if you do, then vid, or it didn't happen.

    Falling over shouldn't be a problem for most cyclist, at this point you should be able to comfortably stall out completely without losing your balance. I'd encourage you to work on your bike balance because it's a useful skill.
    I'm going to file this under "things people on the internet claim they do, but actually can't".

    @Forest Rider - its 12-29.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    Are you trying to convince me that you can, in fact, do sustained 2 mph on a bike? Because if you do, then vid, or it didn't happen.



    I'm going to file this under "things people on the internet claim they do, but actually can't".

    @Forest Rider - its 12-29.
    There are folks that can do a sustained track stand all day long, pointed uphill, at 0mph. Your theory may have a hole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    There are folks that can do a sustained track stand all day long, pointed uphill, at 0mph. Your theory may have a hole.
    Yes. Danny Mcaskill does, in fact, exist. And that is relevant to the discussed topic precisely how?

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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    Yes. Danny Mcaskill does, in fact, exist. And that is relevant to the discussed topic precisely how?
    Sustained balance on a bike. If it can be done at 0mph, it stands to reason that it can be done at 2mph...likely even easier

  117. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    Sustained balance on a bike. If it can be done at 0mph, it stands to reason that it can be done at 2mph...likely even easier
    Sustained 30mph on a bicycle. It can be done for quite some time. Literally hours. So 25mph just makes it easier. It is also just as relevant to our discussion.

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    32/50 @70rpm is nearly 4 mph.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  119. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    Are you trying to convince me that you can, in fact, do sustained 2 mph on a bike? Because if you do, then vid, or it didn't happen.



    I'm going to file this under "things people on the internet claim they do, but actually can't".
    You've obviously never spent any time bikepacking or riding tech trails.
    I've spent tons of time at 2mph, and am no stranger to stall moves in the rocks.
    Super basic stuff; I can't believe someone who has been posting about MTBs for 15 years considers that sort of riding uncommon. Kind of shit you see on a daily basis around here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    Sustained 30mph on a bicycle. It can be done for quite some time. Literally hours. So 25mph just makes it easier. It is also just as relevant to our discussion.
    I'm not the one who claimed a 2mph pace is not sustainable. Now you would like to talk about 25 and 30mph?

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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    Sustained 30mph on a bicycle. It can be done for quite some time. Literally hours. So 25mph just makes it easier. It is also just as relevant to our discussion.
    Why did you change the quote to my name for this comment?
    I'm not involved in that conversation.

  122. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    Why did you change the quote to my name for this comment?
    I'm not involved in that conversation.
    I didn't. I anwered your question about the cassette on my cube in post #113. Apparently forum software interprets the '@' as a quote sign of some sort.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    32/50 @70rpm is nearly 4 mph.
    Yes. That is still 180 watts at 10%/smooth road. 32/50 on 29" inch wheel ( as you pointed out, that is what you ride ) is almost the same as I have at 21/29 on 27.5". Low gears kind of work like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    You've obviously never spent any time bikepacking or riding tech trails.
    Yes. Please tell me more about what I do. Its always entertaining to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by tdc_worm View Post
    I'm not the one who claimed a 2mph pace is not sustainable. Now you would like to talk about 25 and 30mph?
    I am pointing out that it is _equally_ unlikely to hold a 30mph average then it is to do 2mph sustained uphill using almost continous track-stand. Both are unreasonable expectations.

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    I did an event with a 1.4 mile climb that I was taking as slow as I possibly could (endurance race in the desert). My cadence sensor wasn't working and I didn't have a power meter yet, but I was spinning SLOW. Average speed was 4 MPH, most of it was 3 MPH with dips to 2 MPH. That was 32/50. Most others were walking.

    Another event with a 1.8 mile climb I was going maxed out (endurance race, but better weather conditions). AVG cadence of 65, no power. Average speed of 4 MPH that was far more sustained with less low speed dips and high speed jumps. That was 32/42. I would guess half the people were walking.

    I'm thinking most people who can't sustain 4 MPH are walking. People who can continue to spin at 2-3 MPH are using a lot of energy just to maintain balance, let alone forward progress. When I look at any of my memorable difficult climbs, all of them have an average speed of 3.5 MPH or above. Those sub 4 MPH climbs required effort just to stay upright. I won't claim to be an expert level track stand kinda guy, but I am far above average, at least in my area (your area might be different).

  124. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    Yes. Please tell me more about what I do. Its always entertaining to know.
    Judging by the fact you think only top level trials riders can trackstand and that it's impossible to ride slowly without falling over, whatever it is you're doing, it would seem to bear little resemblance to mountain biking as I know it.
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  125. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    Yes. That is still 180 watts at 10%/smooth road. 32/50 on 29" inch wheel ( as you pointed out, that is what you ride ) is almost the same as I have at 21/29 on 27.5". Low gears kind of work like that.


    I guess I'm confused, I thought you were agreeing with the op about low gears not being necessary?

    I agree that they're not really necessary though, just helpful and appreciated by many. It's the same with dropper posts, disc brakes, wide tires, etc.

    Probably most people would find my 28 inch low gear unacceptable but thankfully for them they have options.
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    I'm no master bike handler but I ride with my 7 year old girl and she goes very slowly at times and stops often. So when I'm behind her I practice wheelies, stoppies, and track stands.
    And you know, I have my moments. I went from being pretty bad at all 3, to sometimes not too shabby. To where a 3-5 second track stand, with a wheel hop for a change of direction, can be pulled off pretty consistently these days.
    I have no idea what speed I'm traveling when I'm in my lowest gear but it feels really slow And when I started riding about 5 years ago I commonly had entire rides that only averaged 4.7mph or thereabouts.
    Ps. My wheelies are still pretty bad though.

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  127. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I'm no master bike handler but I ride with my 7 year old girl and she goes very slowly at times and stops often. So when I'm behind her I practice wheelies, stoppies, and track stands.
    And you know, I have my moments. I went from being pretty bad at all 3, to sometimes not too shabby. To where a 3-5 second track stand, with a wheel hop for a change of direction, can be pulled off pretty consistently these days.
    I hear ya. I'm no great bike handler either, but I can trackstand pretty much as long as I want. Definitely through a full red light cycle anyway. My son has been able to do the same since he was like 7 or 8. I don't know where this wacky notion that it's something only pros can do came from; I think someone is projecting...
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    It's actually very possible to not put things on your bike you don't want - like you mention, I don't use a dropper. Don't see how other people using them affects me at all.[/QUOTE]

    You know what they say ( if you don't use what I use or like it exactly like I do you are on the black list.)

  129. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I guess I'm confused, I thought you were agreeing with the op about low gears not being necessary?
    I don't know wether I agree with OP or not, because I don't know what OP is for. I merely pointed out that it is very possible to go _too low_ as people, especially beginners, tend to think that low gears ( and sometimes, absurdly low ) somehow negate the need to have the lungs to ride up.

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    I like my 22/36 and I like my 30/50.

    I can ride without those 1st gears but it sure is nice at times.

    Also, I can probably ride a 2mph. I see my speedometer displaying 3mph at times, that's not far from 2 if I remember my counting skills from kinder garden.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uzurpator View Post
    I don't know wether I agree with OP or not, because I don't know what OP is for. I merely pointed out that it is very possible to go _too low_ as people, especially beginners, tend to think that low gears ( and sometimes, absurdly low ) somehow negate the need to have the lungs to ride up.
    I've said this a million times: I WAS ASKING A QUESTION!

    A bunch of man children came in whining claiming I was turning it into a dick measuring contest and felt emasculated. You've got some people with serious mental health problems if they're crying over a cassette.

    I'd like a Round Two though at sea otter. I'll come prepared with actual cycling kit and shoes next time. A bottle of water would be nice too. I'll probably wind up getting lost again though unless I go on an organized ride.

    Bike riding is so much more comfortable in actual cycling gear. My shirts and shorts were binding like crazy, and those comfy walking shoes were terrible for pedaling efficiency.

    It was all worth it though. The views were absolutely spectacular and I got a great workout in.

  132. #132
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    I did a 13 mile ride the other day and spent 80% of my time in the 50t. It was either straight up or strait down and the downs where strictly hang on and recover before it went straight friggen up again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    I've said this a million times: I WAS ASKING A QUESTION!

    A bunch of man children came in whining claiming I was turning it into a dick measuring contest and felt emasculated. You've got some people with serious mental health problems if they're crying over a cassette.

    I'd like a Round Two though at sea otter. I'll come prepared with actual cycling kit and shoes next time. A bottle of water would be nice too. I'll probably wind up getting lost again though unless I go on an organized ride.

    Bike riding is so much more comfortable in actual cycling gear. My shirts and shorts were binding like crazy, and those comfy walking shoes were terrible for pedaling efficiency.

    It was all worth it though. The views were absolutely spectacular and I got a great workout in.
    Right, you were asking a question. Just comes off the wrong way.

    Your "is it necessary" comment started off, and has continued, to state you are were unprepared, shouldn't have been doing it, clothes are bunching you up. You're tired, etc. blah yet continued to say how unnecessary a low gear is (making it sound as if you are SO strong that you don't need the easy gears that come stock on a bike, all the while you are 'suffering' by being so ill prepared.

    Just telling you how it reads, even if that is not how you intended it to read.

    I was wearing blue jeans and steel toed work boots and chased a few kids who had gotten onto our fireworks launch site the other day. My feet were sore from walking all day in boots that aren't fitting too well. Now I have a bruised toe. It was about 95 degrees. I had to jump over a large cooler during lunch to run after kids.
    I mean I'm not bragging or anything but some of the people said "I've never seen anybody run that fast in my life". Or "you move like a Gazelle."
    I'm just your average person doing a fireworks job. I really can't run that fast but they thought I was.
    But man, can you imagine how those people would have reacted to me if I were wearing running shoes, running shorts and no shirt. I mean seriously......


    I still say I like my 22/36 and my 30/50.


    Comments like "well it's hot in Arizona and you people can't understand what heat is" or "I live in Houston and people drive fast" or I live in Florida so you don't understand it's so humid"
    People that never experience things outside of their tunnel vision state of mind feel that the hardships they personally experience are the worst ever. People forget that the word is the same all over. People don't drive fast in only one city. It's hot in more than one city in the U.S. And people who ride hills and say how easy it is perhaps do not know what a steeper hill to is like to climb for 8 miles.
    I first bought a mountain bike 8 or 9 years ago, whatever. First time I put it in first gear and climbed up the 'steep' hill in my front yard, the gear was way too easy and was a waste of space on a bike to be that easy. Over the years I became more experienced. A better rider. Stronger. Yet I relied on 1st gear countless times. I got better, the mountain got bigger.

    As mentioned countless times in the early stages of this thread to "is it really necessary".... yes it is depending on the local conditions each individual rides.
    For you, at Sea Otter, the answer is obviously no it isn't necessary. For me in the mountains, yes it is necessary.

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    solipsism is at epidemic levels. sea otter trails are generally bunny trails.

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    Obviously depends where you ride. I am on Garbaruk 28 x 1048 11 speed, and while I very rarely use the 48 I do enjoy having the lowest gear for doing silly things, or go ultra-slow in the bushes off the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    50 or 51T Cog: Is It Really Necessary?
    You could use a 11-36 with a 3x on almost every trail. That was done years ago by all or most of us.
    So the short answer to your question is: No!
    get fresh air and stay fit :thumbsup:

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    Quote Originally Posted by las-palmas View Post
    You could use a 11-36 with a 3x on almost every trail. That was done years ago by all or most of us.
    So the short answer to your question is: No!
    a 3x with 11-36 gives you a crawl ratio of .67 (22/36)
    a 1x12 with 10-51 gives you a crawl ratio of .67 (34/51)

    So the short answer to his question is: Yes!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdc_worm View Post
    a 3x with 11-36 gives you a crawl ratio of .67 (22/36)
    a 1x12 with 10-51 gives you a crawl ratio of .67 (34/51)

    So the short answer to his question is: Yes!
    Absolutely.
    Do not forget 44/11 is a bit wider than 34/10. What many used before.
    And even without Wolftooth 11-40 is no problem, with Wolftooth 11-46 is possible.
    Donít worry. Soon there may come a 9-60 and that will give ????? Problems??? Maybe/maybe not!
    I ride 11-40 and am weak enough to appreciate my granny 22 and strong enough to love my 44 though most of my time is spent on the 32.
    Another thing is that with 3 rings front you do not need to treat your chain so rough that it must travel 6 or 7 cogs side warts in order to cover the whole range..

    So the short answer could be: Maybe!
    get fresh air and stay fit :thumbsup:

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