The perfect Audax bike?

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
Looking at chainrings and cranksets and think when things next need changing my summer road bike may be going from a 50-34 to a 46-34. My current winter bike, the Raleigh Maverick which is on a 50-39-30 I'd like to drop to a 42-30 or even a 38-28.

Definitely not using the higher gears enough on my current set ups.
Why 46/34 when you could go 46/26 or 28 or 30 for more bottom end?
 

Ajax Bay

Guru
Location
East Devon
maybe I'll stick with a triple.
Never missed my triple. In fact having no front derailleur is very nice on the longer rides. Gears up or down on the rear cassette and thats it.
On the 1x11 with a 10-42 cassette, don't you find the percentage change between gears rather greater than with a triple and (say) a 12-27? 7% plays 16% (average).
Why 46/34 when you could go 46/26 or 28 or 30
Most FDs are not very happy with a 20t difference in chainrings, perhaps.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
I flipped the stem this week to bring the handle bars up and a little closer, been out on it for a two hour ride and definitely more comfortable.
I am pretty inflexible and tended to suffer from lower back pain on long, hilly rides. For years I had a medium length stem on my Cannondale CAAD5, flipped for the same reasons that you did it.

Then a couple of years ago I was on holiday in Scotland and borrowed my cousin's bike. It is also a CAAD5, the same size as mine, but it has an unflipped longer stem and about 1 cm less spacers under it. I thought that I would struggle with the longer, lower position but in fact I much preferred it. I have now replicated the position on my bike and found it a big improvement.

I think the reason is that my body proportions are a bit odd. I am 6' 1" tall but don't have particularly long legs (32" IL). (There are plenty of men 3 inches shorter than me with legs that long.) I make up the height with a long torso.

My former short, upright position was putting unwanted curvature on my lower back. Now I am stretched out I am more comfortable. It just goes to show how individual correct bike fit is.
 

maxap

Well-Known Member
On the 1x11 with a 10-42 cassette, don't you find the percentage change between gears rather greater than with a triple and (say) a 12-27? 7% plays 16% (average).

.
The differences between the gears on a 10-42 doesn't really bother me. Very occasionally when riding with a fast group finding a comfortable gear can be a bit difficult but, to me, this is a minor problem. On climbs its always fine. I think you get used to it as well. If my 1X bike was a bit lighter I wouldn't ride my other (lighter) bike at all.
If you know someone with a 1X bike, have a go. Difficult to know if its for you or not.
However, as this is about Audax riding, there is not contest for me. Loosing the front derailleur means no shifting with the left hand. On longer rides this is a big plus for me. Less to go wrong as well
 
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Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
Differences between rings are 10 and 12t.
Yebbut the mech can cope with a total of 22t difference.
Can it be done in one jump? There used to be 10 speed set-ups on TA chainsets with a large main ring and a tiddly granny gear and a big tooth difference.

In any case, the point is, that if you’re dropping the number if teeth on the big ring, why not decrease the teeth on the granny ring accordingly.
 
OP
burntoutbanger

burntoutbanger

Über Member
Location
Devon
Yebbut the mech can cope with a total of 22t difference.
Can it be done in one jump? There used to be 10 speed set-ups on TA chainsets with a large main ring and a tiddly granny gear and a big tooth difference.

In any case, the point is, that if you’re dropping the number if teeth on the big ring, why not decrease the teeth on the granny ring accordingly.
On a compact double 50-34 I hate the 16 tooth jump from small ring to big ring, as I rarely use the 50 tooth big ring with my two smallest cogs at the back (11 and 13) I figure a 46 big ring would solve both issues.

All that relates to my summer bike which is a little lighter than the winter/audax one, rarely does rides over 100km.
Current thinking on the winter/audax bike is change the 50 to a 48 and go from a 11 tooth smallest cog to a 12, using the various online gear calculators I was surprised at how much this would lower my top end.
 

Ajax Bay

Guru
Location
East Devon
Ditching the 11t and going for a cassette starting at 12t is a cheap way of matching your gearing requirement better. Cassettes are consumable after all, especially for those of us doing a fair distance over the months. It would be great if more 13t-xx cassettes were produced/marketed, but they aren't - I don't understand why. 50/13 would still give one a gear over 100".
 
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Banjo

Fuelled with Jelly Babies
Location
South Wales
I have recently switched to a 48 32 chainset from a 50 34.
Its noticeable that I am staying on the big ring more in undulating rides so less front end changing.

My average speed on rides I do often is much the same.

The cassette is 11 32.
I often find myself rolling downhill tucked down at the same speed as others pedalling furiously.
 

Aravis

Here for the ride.
Location
Gloucester
Ditching the 11t and going for a cassette starting at 12t is a cheap way of matching your gearing requirement better. Cassettes are consumable after all, especially for those of us doing a fair distance over the months. It would be even great if more 13t-xx cassettes were produced/marketed, but they aren't - I don't understand why. 50/13 would still give one a gear over 100".
I couldn't agree more. I made exactly this change a couple of years ago, switching the supplied 11-30 for a 12-32. Although the difference seems fairly subtle, with six of the eight cogs being the same, throwing away the superfluous 11-tooth and shifting everything else outwards by one position made a world of difference, with my most-used gears being in the best places.

On the face of it, using something like 42/32/22 with an 11-25 would produce a similar result. That risks heading us towards the fruitless "is 48/16 really the same as 42/14?" argument, and I wouldn't want to do that...
 
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