Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 146 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,634 Posts
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. ;)
 

·
since 4/10/2009
Joined
·
34,565 Posts
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.
 

·
EAT MORE GRIME
(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
Joined
·
7,869 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,390 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,277 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,053 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,634 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,053 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,481 Posts
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.
 

·
BOOM goes the dynamite!
Joined
·
6,203 Posts
Yes, it's necessary.

No, it's not.

Shut up!

No, you shut up!

I hate you and everything you say!

Me, too! You're crazy!

Grrrrr!

Grrrrrrrr more!

Sorry.

Me, too. Wanna go for a ride?

OK.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,414 Posts
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.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
39,133 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,800 Posts
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.



'Born to ride!'
 
1 - 20 of 146 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top