/ Gearing for steep climbs !!

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Newbuild100 26 Jun 2018

Folks, I think i may know the answer to this but can someone confirm for me  . . . .

Probably three times in the last few years, I have ascended Honister, Newland and Whinlatter passes in one ride (ie, steep!).

The first twice i got up all the above relatively easy, on an old ish alloy bike, with a front 38 tooth chainring and a 26 tooth rear.

Yesterday, i tried the same hills on a new carbon bike with a 34 chainring and a 32 rear sprocket. I struggled like hell. Ouch indeed !!

Given that both the above ratios give about 28" (looking at gear tables/charts), can I presume that yesterdays struggle was due to the newer bike having less efficient hill climbing (front to back) gearing and my skinny legs simply couldnt push those gears (even on a far lighter bike) ???

 

Thanks all

Siward 26 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

Ist tha just getting old?  

LastBoyScout 26 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

38 seems an odd soze for a front chainring - they're usually 39, but hey.

At first glance, I immediately thought your measurements were wrong, as no way are those ratios both the same - 38-26 would give you 38.40" and 34-32 would give you 27.88", assuming it's a 700c road bike, so not sure where you're getting the 28" for both from.

Hence, your new carbon bike should climb much easier - must be other factors at play.

 

webbo 26 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

34 x 32 is a smaller I.e. easier gear than 38 x 26. So you should have found it easier or did you leave it in the big ring by mistake.

Hardonicus 26 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

If you can't manage on a 34 x 32 you probably need an electric bike.

Newbuild100 26 Jun 2018
In reply to webbo:

Guys, first of all, those teeth "measurements"are spot on. According to the charts i looked at, the alloy bike gearing gives me 28.40", the newer bike gearing gives me 27.88".

Yes, I could be less fit BUT does the difference between  27.88 and 28.40 make ssssoooo much difference to cadence (ie, that much difference that I have an easy ride on the 28.40 and a tough one on the 27.88) ????

 

Bob Hughes 26 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

Without looking at a chart, first impression is that there must be something wrong with the gear calculations. 

Old bike: 38 chain ring; 26 rear sprocket

New bike: 34 chain ring (smaller = easier); 32 rear sprocket (bigger = easier)

 

 

Escher 26 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

your calculations are either wrong of you've supplied wrong numbers for chain ring or sprocket. They aren't anywhere near the same

 

GrahamD 26 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

I'm with others.  It sounds as though you have looked up your ratios incorrectly.

Newbuild100 26 Jun 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

Guys, i messed up big time (its been a long day).

You are right, the older bike has 28 tooth chainring, not a 38 as first broadcast  !!

Apologies . .and back to you guys  . . .!!??

GrahamD 26 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

Most likely the bike set up in that case - saddle height, reach etc.  Were both bikes set up identically ?

Newbuild100 26 Jun 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

Both bike set up's are the same

abr1966 26 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

Aside from the gearing issues it could be other factors contributing....fitness, temp, wind, position, weight etc....

Also it depends on what type of riding suits at any one time period.....for example on all but the steepest hills at the moment im staying in the big ring and just mashing out on hills.....spinning just isn't suiting me, which I'm putting down to hayfever and my lungs just not working efficiently...

Post edited at 18:39
nniff 26 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

Given that they're roughly the same, and assuming that the wheels are the same size, and the cranks are the same length - you're getting older and less fit, maybe carrying a little extra personal baggage....

 

Crank length will make a difference.

Yanis Nayu 26 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

38 x 26 is a lot harder gear than 34 x 32!

2
Stig 26 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

If you can't get up those hills on 34x32 you are weak.

2
In reply to LastBoyScout:

> 38 seems an odd soze for a front chainring - they're usually 39, but hey.

 

As long as it’s not a keyser soze- that’s when you’re problems really start...

Jon Greengrass 27 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

No bike is light enough to compensate when you've even eaten all the pies. 

GrahamD 27 Jun 2018
In reply to Jon Greengrass:

> No bike is light enough to compensate when you've even eaten all the pies. 

Oh bugger. 

ChrisJD 27 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

Do you want to borrow my bike with 32 x 46?

Alan Breck 27 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

Ah the joy of a mountain bike with a 24 chainring and a cassette with a 46! Does tend to spin out a lot but who cares on the downhill. AND YES old age disnae help much.

subtle 28 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

Have you thought about an electric conversion kit then - will make all those hills much more enjoyable to spin up

Rigid Raider 28 Jun 2018
In reply to Newbuild100:

Position and technique has a lot to do with it as I discovered one recent hot day when I set out to ride up The Struggle. For the fist steep section out of the town things were not going well; I felt unfit and began to wonder if I would even make the crux zig zags up to the pub. My cycling mitts quickly became soaked in sweat and my hands were squirming all over the hoods so I stopped at the quarry gate and removed them. The transformation was remarkable; I was able to grip the hoods a lot more securely and adopt a more relaxed, more upright "stair climb" position and the second half of the climb felt much less difficult.  

malk 28 Jun 2018

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