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Need to go faster / New to road bikes



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 5th 03, 11:36 PM
Ken
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Default Need to go faster / New to road bikes

"Ken Bessler" wrote in
:
Herin lies the problem - I'm running out of gear - I mean
on a slight downhill or with a tailwind I top out at
about 23-25 mph and I feel like I need more gearing.
I'm in 10th gear and peddaling like mad and my legs
feel like I'm in 5th gear or so.


Learn to pedal faster and more smoothly. A 52-13 gear is pleanty fast enough
to get you up to 40mph if you pedal at a good cadence. Serious recreational
riders should be able to get up to 200 rpm for short sprints. Even pro
racers use only slightly faster gears than what you have (maybe 1 more tooth
in front and 1 less in back).
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  #2  
Old September 5th 03, 11:42 PM
Rick Onanian
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Default Need to go faster / New to road bikes

On Fri, 5 Sep 2003 16:15:27 -0600, Ken Bessler wrote:
few months. That and a proper diet has dropped my weight
from a high in march of 298 to 231 now.


Congrats! I wish I could lose weight as easily.

for a replacement then stopped in the Salvation Army. I
saw a Bianchi road bike for $35. I figgured if I avoided the


Wow, great find. Maybe I'll start hitting those
Salvation Army stores...

And what wierd handlebars! Shaped like regular road bike
bars but with the brake cables hidden in the wrapping. I


This is the standard now.

thought this was just for looks untill I saw a pic of Lance
Armstrong riding with his hands on the back of the brake
handles. It was then that I realized why they are that way.


The rubber grip on the back of the brake handle is
referred to as the "hood", and you are said to be
"riding on the hoods" when your hands are there. It
is a comfortable, useful, and safe place for your
hands.

It's probably where my hands are most on my road bike.

Nice bike! It's my first road bike, with 700x23 mm tires
rated for 115 psi (Yikes!!!). A local bike dealer suggested
running with 85-90 psi untill I lost more weight - he was
worried that I'd be breaking spokes. He appraised the
bike at $500.00 new and said it was a 1994 model or
thereabouts.


Unless it has exotic, low-spoke-count wheels, or
rotting tires, I'd pump it to the 115 psi max.
I'd be more concerned with pinch flats (when the
tube gets cut between the rim edge and the tire,
due to underinflation) and worse, rim dents from
those potholes.

What gets me is how much faster and farther I can ride


Yup, you have the proper equipment for the
conditions: a road bike for the road. It is
designed for the road, and is significantly
faster for a whole slew of reasons.

Herin lies the problem - I'm running out of gear - I mean
on a slight downhill or with a tailwind I top out at
about 23-25 mph and I feel like I need more gearing.


I have this problem, though at higher speeds, too.

I'm in 10th gear and peddaling like mad and my legs
feel like I'm in 5th gear or so.


In cycling discussions, it's more common to refer
to the size of the individual gears, so in 10th,
you probably mean 52x13. In 5th, you maybe mean
38x13 or 52x29 or something.

Can I change out the gears to get a taller setup? The


Short answer: yes.

For least expensive results, you will need to find
a compatible "freewheel", which is probably the type
of gears you have on the rear (the other type is a
"cassette").

Or, you may be able to replace your large chainring
(the 52) with a larger one (a 53). This may turn out
to be both easier and cheaper, and possibly less
compatibility issues.

See http://www.sheldonbrown.com/ for in-depth
technical info. There are multitudes of other
very useful sites around too.

in the rear is 13 teeth. Is this 52/13 a fast ratio or a
hill climb setup?


That's a controversial question, believe it or not.

There are people here who will tell you that you
can't possibly be strong enough to need a taller
gear than that. Others, like myself, know it's
easy to make use of it for some people.

To say something is a hill climb setup, you would
need to specify it's lowest gear combo, not it's
highest.

52/13, IMO, is a conservative hill descent setup.
I use 52/13 on flat land comfortably, and want for
more when descending (and maybe someday I'll stop
saying that and actually do it).

How do I know which model
Bianchi I have? It just says "Bianchi" on the stickers
and "Limited" stamped into the ends of some of the
frame tubes.
The bike's VIN is JS11101.......


Somebody else might be able to help with that by
serial number, but you'd probably be better off
putting photos of it on a website so people here
can look at it.

Also, look for details that could identify it,
like exactly what equipment is on it (brands of
parts, etc), then post whatever info you find.

You might try rec.bicycles.tech.

Ken

--
Rick Onanian
  #3  
Old September 6th 03, 05:06 AM
Frederic Briere
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Default Need to go faster / New to road bikes

David L. Johnson wrote:
Lower pressure does not save the spokes. Bigger tires (then at lower
pressures at which a bigger tire can still support you) will help save
spokes.


I still don't understand how tire pressure/size would have any influence
on the spokes life. Could you explain?


--
Frederic Briere *

= IS NO MO http://www.abacomsucks.com =
  #4  
Old September 6th 03, 12:39 PM
Harris
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Default Need to go faster / New to road bikes


"Ken Bessler" wrote:

It's my first road bike, with 700x23 mm tires
rated for 115 psi (Yikes!!!). A local bike dealer suggested
running with 85-90 psi untill I lost more weight - he was
worried that I'd be breaking spokes.


He's insane. Heavier riders should rum higher pressure to avoid pinch flats
from pot holes, etc. Run them at 115 psi. If you replace the tires, consider
700x25 or 700x28 if they will fit the frame. Then you can run a little less
pressure, and enjoy a more comfortable ride.

Herin lies the problem - I'm running out of gear - I mean
on a slight downhill or with a tailwind I top out at
about 23-25 mph and I feel like I need more gearing.
I'm in 10th gear and peddaling like mad and my legs
feel like I'm in 5th gear or so.


How fast are you pedaling? Most experienced cyclists can spin 100+ rpms.
Even with a 52x13 gear ratio, that should get you around 30 mph. That kind
of gearing was standard for years. Today, taller gears (53x12 or 53x11) are
sometimes used. I'd recommend keeping what you've got. Work on developing a
smooth spin.

Art Harris






  #5  
Old September 6th 03, 01:25 PM
Ken Bessler
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Default Need to go faster / New to road bikes


"Harris" wrote in message
. net...

"Ken Bessler" wrote:

It's my first road bike, with 700x23 mm tires
rated for 115 psi (Yikes!!!). A local bike dealer suggested
running with 85-90 psi untill I lost more weight - he was
worried that I'd be breaking spokes.


He's insane. Heavier riders should rum higher pressure to avoid pinch

flats
from pot holes, etc. Run them at 115 psi. If you replace the tires,

consider
700x25 or 700x28 if they will fit the frame. Then you can run a little

less
pressure, and enjoy a more comfortable ride.

Herin lies the problem - I'm running out of gear - I mean
on a slight downhill or with a tailwind I top out at
about 23-25 mph and I feel like I need more gearing.
I'm in 10th gear and peddaling like mad and my legs
feel like I'm in 5th gear or so.


How fast are you pedaling? Most experienced cyclists can spin 100+ rpms.
Even with a 52x13 gear ratio, that should get you around 30 mph. That kind
of gearing was standard for years. Today, taller gears (53x12 or 53x11)

are
sometimes used. I'd recommend keeping what you've got. Work on developing

a
smooth spin.

Art Harris


Thanks, Art - developing a higher spin rate (around 95) seems to
be the general concensus. I'll work on that. At my current fitness
level I'm running about 60-70 but I didn't know about cadence
so I was selecting gears based on effort. This meant I was running
a faster gear selection and lower cadence. I'm going out today
to buy a Cateye Astrale 8 computer with cadence. I was planning
on using my high end ($339.00) GPS unit to tell me speed and
via a chart I made to tell me cadence based on MPH vs gear
selection but I figgured that might be a little distracting. I'll use
the Astrale for cadence and the GPS for speed, distance to
destination, mapping, points of interest and eta. BTW the GPS
unit is a Garmin Etrex Vista. I can look up my local bike shop
and get the range, eta, address, phone # and plot it on the map!

Also, my tube is a 700x23 but I just looked and my tire is a
700x25 - is that a problem?

Ken


  #6  
Old September 6th 03, 01:35 PM
Harris
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Default Need to go faster / New to road bikes


"Ken Bessler" wrote:

Also, my tube is a 700x23 but I just looked and my tire is a
700x25 - is that a problem?


No, that will work fine. And if the tire really measures 25 mm wide
(sometimes the size on the label isn't accurate), that's an advantage.

Art Harris


  #7  
Old September 6th 03, 07:21 PM
Rick Onanian
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Default Need to go faster / New to road bikes

On Fri, 5 Sep 2003 22:36:13 +0000 (UTC), Ken wrote:
Learn to pedal faster and more smoothly. A 52-13 gear is pleanty fast
enough to get you up to 40mph if you pedal at a good cadence. Serious


37.5 mph @ 120 rpm for 700x23c tires, according to
the Sheldon gear calc. So, 52x13 is sufficient for
40 mph for people who want to spin up to [130?]
rpm or so.

recreational riders should be able to get up to 200 rpm for short


How do you define "recreational"? I can't
imagine 200 rpm at all. My legs feel like
they'll fly off at 150! I certainly am not
(and don't need to be, given tall enough
gears) smooth past 125 rpm.

While he could certainly pedal faster, he could
also enjoy taller gears and put more pressure
on the pedals if he so pleases.

sprints. Even pro racers use only slightly faster gears than what you
have (maybe 1 more tooth in front and 1 less in back).


53x11 is the tallest _common_ gearing, for
racers and recreationalists alike, AFAIK.
Of course, racers have different reasons
to use 53x11 than non-racers...

--
Rick "Didn't we have this thread already?" Onanian
  #8  
Old September 6th 03, 07:44 PM
Rick Onanian
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Default Need to go faster / New to road bikes

On Sat, 6 Sep 2003 05:31:37 +0000 (UTC), Ken wrote:
A track sprinter can probably hit 300 or 400 rpm. I've done over 250 rpm


Wow!

and I'm no racer. Remember that the original poster was talking about
riding down long hills, so you're not going to have much pedal
resistance, even in your big gears.


I find that when I have no pedal resistance, I
am unable to add speed no matter how fast I
crank. Why bother cranking 200 rpm if it's not
going to add speed, or at least feel like it's
adding speed?

--
Rick Onanian
  #9  
Old September 6th 03, 09:36 PM
Ken Bessler
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Default Need to go faster / New to road bikes

Well, I went out and spent some riding time and riding $$$. Looked
up Performance Bicycle in the phone book. 2540 s. Colorado Blvd.

Nice. Looked up that address on my GPS and plotted it. 3.74 miles
each way - nice little ride. Unfourtunatley Murphy's law kicked in - I
forgot to note the "s" in the address - wound up going to 2540
NORTH Colorado! D'oh! Then went to 2540 S. Colorado (6.18
miles away).

Finallly got to the store, picked out a Cateye Astrale CC-CD 100 N II.
$24.95 not bad. Also picked up 2 "Slime" self healing tubes $7 ea.
Went home, tallied up my riding distance with the GPS unit - 18.4 miles!
I had planned on 7. Plus, what's worse, S. Colorado is a roller coaster
of a ride - hills steep enough for 1st gear but not steep enough to stand
up on the pedals. Crested one hill in 1st gear @ 8.4 mph then coasted
down the other side (still in 1st) - hit 31.4 mph! Man I was praying for
no potholes at that speed! I need a helmet......

Got home, installed the Cateye computer - no problems. Went on a
2.41 mile test ride and I was suprised - I found I could keep a constant
cadence of 80-85 pedal rpm. Not too shabby for a begginer! I found
I could keep up the sacred, suggested average pace of 90-95 rpm for
2-3 minute bursts (not bad after such a tough morning ride!) and at
one point I made a speed burst and hit 135.7 rpm! Man, having a bike
computer that measures cadence rocks!

Anyways, that's the activity for Saturday morning - I'm gonna have chili
for lunch.....starved and a little pooped!

Ken



  #10  
Old September 6th 03, 10:09 PM
Benjamin Lewis
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Default Need to go faster / New to road bikes

Ken Bessler wrote:

other side (still in 1st) - hit 31.4 mph! Man I was praying for
no potholes at that speed! I need a helmet......


Perhaps you do, if prayer is your method of pothole avoidance. . .

--
Benjamin Lewis

Although the moon is smaller than the earth, it is farther away.
 




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