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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Location: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
>20% gradients pop up in pro road racing only occasionaly. I don't know about you, but if I were a pro I would maybe want something lower than a 34x27/28. This reminds me of the first time the Vuelta went up the Angliru and a good number fitted triples. You could of course do that more easily then, but that is not the case with modern electronic shift systems.

My ideal gear for a >20% is about a 26 chainring x 29 sprocket.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:27 pm 
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Location: UK
there's a couple of 20-25% short hills near me the gradient only stays fierce fo 50-150m max. I would rather avoid them all together to be honest!

The lowest gear I have on my bikes is 39-29, and you can grind up it, but I'd take a 36 upfront if I could

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:27 pm 
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I have the 2010 Worlds course literally on my doorstep, you can Challambra with a standard. God, Gilbert went up it in the big ring! :shock:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:28 pm 
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We have plenty of 20% gradients out there and even with a 36-25 I can't do them at over 45 RPM at 350w or so. There's a reason Cobo went with a 34-32 last year....

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:34 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles / Glendale, California
34-28 is good for me up to 24%.

After that it becomes very interesting. :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:57 pm 
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I have just recently put a Sram 12/32 on the rear with a 34/50 upfront. Its opened a whole load more roads around my local area! (Yorkshire Dales). (However I am 6'3" and weigh approx 220lbs!!)

Sram WiFli ROCKS! :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:22 pm 
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Ride an awful lot of 20% gradients on my local loops ( edge of Dartmoor ), with the occasional 25% thrown in for good measure.
Used to ride a 39-25, but saw the light and now ride a 34-28 and certainly wouldn't want to go back!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:29 pm 
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I've got 34/29. Mind you it's slinky Chorus, i havn't used the 29 yet, hope it's enough for the 'nees.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:40 pm 
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Location: Glossop UK
Tinea Pedis wrote:
I have the 2010 Worlds course literally on my doorstep, you can Challambra with a standard. God, Gilbert went up it in the big ring! :shock:



When I watched it on TV it didnt really look that steep. I really didnt know it was that bad. The pros make it all look so easy.
I rode the Tourmalet a few years ago on a compact and I remember seeing a few pros in the big ring on the TV.
:unbelievable:


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:55 pm 
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Location: Hungary
I had tried some 25%+ gradients, where actually having the front wheel on the road was a challenge, and at the same time I could hear the rear tires slipping (squeaking) too.
All at very slow speeds, of course and very low cadance.

It's just silly. No fun. I say 10-15% is hard enough to race on.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:02 am 
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Location: Geelong
UKpaul wrote:
When I watched it on TV it didnt really look that steep.

Would seem I don't know what I'm on about then.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:07 am 
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ave wrote:
I had tried some 25%+ gradients, where actually having the front wheel on the road was a challenge, and at the same time I could hear the rear tires slipping (squeaking) too.
All at very slow speeds, of course and very low cadance.

It's just silly. No fun. I say 10-15% is hard enough to race on.


You're doing it wrong.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:25 am 
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The grade is one part of the equation, how long said grade means more to me. I can struggle but retain some dignity on a 22 percent for perhaps 1/2 mile. I did one that was approx 1 mile at 22 percent but went to 24 for the next mile. and suffered like a pig, almost lost my lunch in fact, I was using a 36x25. Going to a 34x29 was better, left something in my legs for the next climb. Average speed was better as well. Still not close to being easy

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:39 am 
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UKpaul wrote:
Tinea Pedis wrote:
I have the 2010 Worlds course literally on my doorstep, you can Challambra with a standard. God, Gilbert went up it in the big ring! :shock:



When I watched it on TV it didnt really look that steep. I really didnt know it was that bad. The pros make it all look so easy.
I rode the Tourmalet a few years ago on a compact and I remember seeing a few pros in the big ring on the TV.
:unbelievable:


I think the Tourmalet is ~10%

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:31 pm
Posts: 1048
With modern gearing it's becoming less and less of an issue to be honest.

Witness Contador running SRAM WiFli and others running compacts with 32's on the back.

On the Zoncolan in 2010 Basso rode 36/29.

With pro's running 34/30 and smaller this year, it should not be a surprise that lesser mortals are best served by MTB gearing.

On the Tre Cime earlier this Summer, I was running a 34/25. Riding tempo, I was putting out 4 w/kg and my cadence was down to 35 rpm. Not efficient.

Modern gearing means that pros seem to be able to ride more or less anything in France like a flat TT with the correct bike setup. We need gradients that make a difference IMHO, and anything above 20% sure does that!


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