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Compact gearing vs standard chainset

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Moderator: Pricey_sky

Compact gearing vs standard chainset

26 May 2015 10:09

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwYCdNm7f0k

So he says that's one of the reasons (compact gearing) that guys from the present come close to the climbing times of the 90's.

I'm not really educated on this so would like to know some of your opinions on this on how much riders from the present benefits from this? And if this can explain guys like froome being close to doped times (i don't believe that)

Of course other factors play in too, i just wonder how much of an effect compact gearing has.
User avatar Miburo
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Re: Compact gearing vs standard chainset

26 May 2015 11:12

Miburo wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwYCdNm7f0k

So he says that's one of the reasons (compact gearing) that guys from the present come close to the climbing times of the 90's.

I'm not really educated on this so would like to know some of your opinions on this on how much riders from the present benefits from this? And if this can explain guys like froome being close to doped times (i don't believe that)

Of course other factors play in too, i just wonder how much of an effect compact gearing has.


I think it is something where nearly everyone agrees it helps, it takes less energy to keep your butt in the saddle, but I think you find widely conflicting information when you look to put a number on it.

And it's not just compact chainsets, the cassette range now helps a lot. Remember Dowsett joking before the Zoncolan that his mechanic asked if he wanted to use a compact chainset or a 28 tooth sprocket. "Both please"
Tommy79
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26 May 2015 11:38

on angliru, yes it helps
that was the reason in 1999 they rode so slow in fact. on ventoux and alpe d'huez not so much
User avatar jens_attacks
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26 May 2015 11:42

If they are going slower than about 16km/hr yes. Otherwise, no. You can easily do 16km/hr on standard 39x23 and x25 for higher cadence.

Consider the recent Tour of Japan where 4 Iranian riders climbed it at over 16km/hr - that's an 11km climb that averages 10%.

Pros don't need compact cranks except for stupid climbs.
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User avatar Dear Wiggo
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26 May 2015 11:44

Alright makes sense, so only for the really ridiculous ones it matters. Thanks!
User avatar Miburo
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26 May 2015 14:56

And this is doping related ...how?
User avatar StyrbjornSterki
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26 May 2015 14:57

Because Brailsford et al say the times up climbs are due to improved training and higher levels of PR puffery, and now this guy says because they have compact cranks.

We say it's due to better doping.
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User avatar Dear Wiggo
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Re:

26 May 2015 14:57

StyrbjornSterki wrote:And this is doping related ...how?


Because it's apparently a reason doped times are being beaten by "clean" riders, so the discussion will invariably turn to whether this it true or not.
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Re: Compact gearing vs standard chainset

28 May 2015 00:55

This comes down to asking if a rider from 20 years ago would be better with today's equipment: OF COURSE! Does it explain anything as far as doped beating cleans beating doped? I don't think it does.
1. If the subject is used to smaller gears, he found the compact easier. That's what he knows, trains with.
2. Although it would have provoked chuckles, pros 20 years ago could have used a triple and get those smaller gears. Weight disadvantage: insignificant if the benefit is real. Or they could have asked Campy nicely and got it custom for free. Some did: they knew the benefit of a smaller gear since the cadet/junior years when they are purposely limited: spin it vs. drag your a$$ up the hill. Nothing new. And I doubt the riders of the past were facing the Mortirolo with a standard 53-39, 11-25...
3, And even then, how about getting down the hill or on the flats before or after a mountain with a 50X11 vs 53X11? Irrelevant in a MTF, but worth mentioning.
This video argument is flawed on many levels IMO.
When I woke up and saw the yellow jersey that I had left by my bed the night before, I asked myself: "what are you doing in Merckx's bedroom?" I couldn't believe it - Bernard Thevenet
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Re: Compact gearing vs standard chainset

28 May 2015 23:18

So in a nutshell, if you go to a bike store, get the bike of the shelf, the one with the smallest gear is better to tackle a big climb. Duh.
When I woke up and saw the yellow jersey that I had left by my bed the night before, I asked myself: "what are you doing in Merckx's bedroom?" I couldn't believe it - Bernard Thevenet
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