I'm trying to choose a right gears for the Venge that I'm building and I think I might need some help. I live in relatively flat area (not super flat, but nowhere near to call it hilly - at most around 600m of elevation per 100kms of riding or 1km per 140km on the "steepest" part around that I know).
I'm currently using the 11-28 cassette with the 52x36 chainset. Two things to note:
- I'm not using 28 ring at all. I'm not using 25 either UNLESS I'm after super hard interval and just want to recover a bit.
- I'm rarely using 11-12 rings. I am using them when I'm doing some Z5+ intervals but I can't really spin them more than 70RPMs
Now, I've been playing around with the Gear Calculators and I think I'm set on the 12-25 cassette - it has some nice progress - 12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23-25 - it eliminates the cogs I'm not really using and gives me something more to play with in between.
What I'm not sure of are the chainrings - I think I want to change to compact/standard, just to try it. I think it would be good to improve my average cadence (it's around 82RPM average per month, much more if I'm riding on turbo trainer). I don't feel bad with it (I don't really "struggle", my knees don't hurt), I just feel like experimenting. Besides, if I get 5RPMs more I can basically offset the chainset change (in most cases).
I made a list to compare these; I think if I had a compact I'd be able to use the whole cassette (although I'd probably not be using the 25 cog with 34 in the front), and if I had a standard I'd use most of the bigger cogs but not the 12 (at least not that often). What do you guys think? Where do I start?
Hi. Don't get hung up on increasing your cadence. Your cadence is a personal thing based on your physiology and strength.
Usually the less strength you have the lower cadences you will push in an untrained individual.
Have you trained strength intervals already? They are usually done after 8 weeks of endurance training when you start the season. If you skipped strength training in your training block (must people do since it is the hardest) your cadence will be affected.
After you have done your strength training block you should be training long intervals. Here is where you hon that cadence and maintain strength by doing hill repeats or grinding once or twice a week plus fast group rides or races.
I live in south FL miami and here everyone that rides pretty much uses 53/39-11-23/25. Its flat as hell here.
Your gear ratios will depend also on the max speed you can attain at a sprint.
In a fast group ride or a race sprint 52/12 or 53/12 is not enough down here. You need the 53-12 to get up to 36+ mph and then the 53-11 to sprint at a cadence that allows you to generate power.
Again don't kill your self over the cadence. Aim for 80+ for efficiency. Anything below that has been proven to be inefficient. I used to race and shift at 110rpms. I'm a big guy that generates a lot of power. later I discover that my best cadence is 85-90rpm.
The whole argument over higher cadence is that you require less power to move at the same speed. But alas we are all different and our muscle fibers configurations are different.
So do what feels best and if you really want to get into it get a power meter. That will tell you your power output at any given time. Play with different cadences, set ups , Analyze it and then draw your own conclusion.
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