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Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
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triple
compact
Standard Double
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2010-04-09 9:57 AM

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Elite
3471
200010001001001001002525
Evergreen, CO
Subject: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
I've been riding a triple chainring on my road bike since I started riding in CO.  I am test riding a bike that is lighter and has a compact crank, but riding the hills near home I had to stop my heart was beating so fierce.  These are not small hills and I had to stop on them when I 1st started riding them on my triple.  I don't know if I'm just preseason out of shape or if I can't ride a compact in these hills.

What's on your road bike and how does it fare on Deer Creek/High Grade?  If anyone rides the Hatch/Snowshoe loop in Evergreen, or even Witter Gulch, how does it go there?

Thanks for your help!



2010-04-09 10:13 AM
in reply to: #2779877

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Expert
606
500100
Lakeville, MN
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
I use a 50/34 w/ a 25/12 cassette for most of my hill riding out here, and I do alot of riding in the areas you mentioned (DC, Left Hand, St Vrain, P2P, etc). The only time I'm in the 34/25 is on things like "the wall" coming in to Ward (15%+). However, what works for one person may not work for another.

If you're concerned about running the compact up the steeps, you may want to consider a 27 or even a 28 cog in the cassette (most derailleurs can run up to a 28, but anything bigger than that may need a longer cage). That can net you a bailout gear that is very similar to a triple w/ a 23 or 25 cog.
2010-04-09 11:53 AM
in reply to: #2779877

Regular
122
100
Denver, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
I am NOT a strong climber, and have not had any issues with a compact (50/34 on my road bike and 50/36 on my tri bike) and an 11/28 cassette. Got me through the Triple Bypass last year without too much difficulty.
2010-04-09 12:19 PM
in reply to: #2779877

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Littleton
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
I love my compac crank set. I refuse to ride a standard anymore. What nice is that a compac crank has almost the same gear ratio as a tripple. I like an idea I saw on here that you should change out your cassette. Rock the 12-27 and you'll be golden with a compac. Just my thoughts though.
2010-04-09 12:37 PM
in reply to: #2779877

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Elite
3471
200010001001001001002525
Evergreen, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
Tnx all!  Hubby said my compact isn't much different from my triple, so I was surprised I had to stop on a steep hill yesterday.  I'm doing the same route tonight with my old bike to see if I have the same issue, then I'll know whether it's the gears or the engine

If it's the gears, I'll look into trading out cassettes.

I had envisioned flying up hills on my lighter stiffer bike -- oh well. 
2010-04-09 1:58 PM
in reply to: #2779877

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Master
2946
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Centennial, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)

I've never run anything but a double.  I think 53/39 and 11/25 on my tri bike.  (can't remember on my road bike.  I'm not a fan of compact cranks.  I think you'd be better off with the triple.  Just my $.02.



2010-04-09 2:05 PM
in reply to: #2779877

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Extreme Veteran
458
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Denver, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)

Ditto what Todd (TriCO) said. That's what I have on my tri bike and I can climb anything. The only problem you may run into is running out of the big gears on downhills/flats. But it sounds like that's a sacrifice you're willing to make since you're mostly riding in the mountains.

2010-04-09 2:17 PM
in reply to: #2779877

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Pro
4277
20002000100100252525
Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
I don't ride with a compact but I know a lot of people that do.  I agree with the others that recommend the compact...seems to work great for everyone I know that use them.
2010-04-09 4:59 PM
in reply to: #2779877


175
100252525
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
I've only ever ridden with a compact, but I haven't had problems climbing at all.

It's the downhills I suffer on - I run out of big gears and can't keep up with my friends who have triples.

But I'm a chicken anyway about high speeds, windy mountain roads, and imaginary gravel patches, so it's probably for the best.
2010-04-09 7:16 PM
in reply to: #2779877

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Expert
1116
1000100
Thornton, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
I used to have a triple on my main bike, got a new one at the end of last year with a compact and won't ever go back to a triple again.  My backup bike still has all the old triple components on a new frame, but that's now just a commuter so if it gets stolen I won't cry quite as much as if it was my new one.

I ride Deer Creek/High Grade relatively often (once or twice a month during the summer) and ride up Lookout Mountain twice a week.  I found that not having those two slightly lower gears has actually made me a much stronger rider and I never felt like I really wished I still had them.  I've yet to take the compact up the wall at Ward, but I'll be making my way up there more than just once or twice this summer... but triple or compact... you're suffering either way on that thing
2010-04-09 11:53 PM
in reply to: #2779877

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Elite
3471
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Evergreen, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)


This is the elevation chart of the little hilly ride we did around our neighborhood.  It was around mile 3.5 that my heart exploded.  Hubby says it's steeper than Deer Creek or High Grade -- similar to High Drive off N. Turkey Creek would be my guess.  Didn't get out of work early enough tonight ride the triple to see if it was me or the compact.


2010-04-10 12:19 AM
in reply to: #2779877

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Elite
3477
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Lakewood, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
I was missing my 25 the other day and will probably add another cassette to the arsenal (the 12-27 sounds intriguing), but otherwise and rather happy with my compact.
2010-04-10 7:33 PM
in reply to: #2779877

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Elite
3471
200010001001001001002525
Evergreen, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
You were right -- compact was fine for Deer Ck and High Grade. 

Now the Triple Bypass -- who's done it w/ a compact?  How painful was it?
2010-04-10 8:57 PM
in reply to: #2779877

Regular
100
100
Denver
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
As a clydesdale, I appreciate my triple when doing hills like deer creek or 74 to evergreen.  It was also very nice when doing the Hilly Hundred in southern Indiana where there were hills as steep as 9%.

http://www.hillyhundred.org/elevations/elevations_09.pdf
2010-04-11 10:48 AM
in reply to: #2779877

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Elite
3471
200010001001001001002525
Evergreen, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
I put my little neighborhood route on http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/.  Steepest grade was 18%. 

It created this for me:


Very quick and easy to create route maps and elevation charts.


Edited by skarl 2010-04-11 10:52 AM
2010-04-11 11:12 AM
in reply to: #2779877

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Elite
3471
200010001001001001002525
Evergreen, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
More cool stuff, to me anyway: Sheldon Brown's Gear Calculator.

Apparently I have a bigger high gear on this compact than I did on my triple.  Change out the cassette so I get a 28 cog and it'll be the same as my triple (assuming I can keep the 11 cog).  Cool!


2010-04-12 11:33 AM
in reply to: #2779877

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Veteran
582
500252525
Golden, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)

Started out with triple.  When I upgraded bikes, I went with a compact that came with a 12-25.  I missed the extra gear on the low end and changed out the cassette to a 12-27.  This was perfect for me but then I like to spin at a high rate even on the steepest climbs.  I had no trouble with this setup on Deer Creek, Old Stage or Squaw Pass and everything in between.  I would never go back to a triple.  This spring I am fat and out of shape, and I just changed to an 11-28 and love it.

2010-04-12 11:36 AM
in reply to: #2779877

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Elite
3471
200010001001001001002525
Evergreen, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
Tnx Moneyman -- Squaw Pass is my next concern.  Will have to try it this weekend.
2010-05-12 10:48 AM
in reply to: #2779877

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Elite
3471
200010001001001001002525
Evergreen, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
Finally got to ride using my new 11/28 cassette and it was easy peasy getting up to Echo Lake!  Even made it up Floyd Hill w/o dying.  Tnx for the help everyone!!  Look out Triple Bypass

eta: hubby warned me about being in the big chain ring and big cassette and guess what I did within 5 minutes of the start?  Yes, the crankarm does come to a complete stop.

Edited by skarl 2010-05-12 10:54 AM
2010-05-18 5:44 PM
in reply to: #2779877

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Elite
3477
20001000100100100100252525
Lakewood, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
Sweet.  I may need to go shopping
2010-05-18 8:45 PM
in reply to: #2779877

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Elite
3471
200010001001001001002525
Evergreen, CO
Subject: RE: Crankset for CO foothills/mountains (attempt #2)
Ultegra was $70 @ Excel and Colorado Cyclist -- don't know if they still have it on sale.


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