Gearing questions.... Q rings....

OK, I want to get “the bike” climbing a bit better. Quick background: I’m 5’ 10" and between 73 - 77 Kgs depending, I can crack along on the flat, love decending but struggle a bit on the climbs at times and would be happy to spin it a bit more in the saddle. I know I’m not the only one in this boat so am after some suggestions.

I’m running Sram 10sp 53/39 and a 11/27 cassette. I don’t really want anything bigger than an 11 at that end of the cassette.

  • Not worth the $ for a new cassette just to get to a 28.
  • Little reading tells me 53/36 is “possible” but really not a viable option. Thoughts/ experience?
  • Here we go… Q-Rings in 53/39 to try n’ pull out that flat spot (cheap used set on fleabay atm is all)
  • F’it just get a 50/34 ring set and loose a bit of top end descending speed action?
  • What else you got?

I reckon fit a 50/34.

IMO you won’t lose any noticeable “top end descending speed”. Highly unlikely you’ll manage to spin out an 11/50 going down a hill, unless it’s a VERY long straight and you’re doing about 95kmh (which let’s face it, doesn’t happen often). If anything, you’ll lose some top end in a sprint. How often do you get out of the saddle and max out your 11/53 on the flat? If the answer is not often, you prob won’t miss the bit top end you’ll lose, and you should install a compact.

You’re running SRAM too, so you could also get a Wi-Fli set up (mid cage rear derailleur and an 11-32 cassette). I’ve got one on my daily/wet weather roadie and I like it (although I run a compact on that bike too, so the example isn’t directly applicable). Maybe study some gear charts and see if the ratios will work for you. The bike I have the Wi-Fli setup on climbs like a beast despite weighing a ton. The ability to stay seated with a high cadence on a steep pinch is pretty handy.

Alternatively you could always just keep what you’ve got and get some better legs, but if you were keen on doing that, you prob wouldn’t have made the OP in the first place!

disclaimer- This post is based on nothing scientific whatsoever. Just personal opinion/experience

If you wanna go the new chainring option, I have some Sram Powerglide chainrings. They’re 52/36. They look like this (without the crank). They’re 110bcd.

50/34 x 12 on the CAAD10 and can’t say I have ‘spun out’ yet, although felt close sometimes.

I’m sorry to say this Dougy but there is nothing that can be bought in a bike shop that will make you climb better.
Pharmacy yes but honestly its just time on the bike and lots of climbing.
The big thing is also technique, look up some info on ankling techniques and try climbing and cycling one footed drills and work on that.
I too also am shit at the moment my best was when i was 62kg but now im a bit unfit and closer to 70 i feel it.

Oh and compacts wont make you better they will just make it easier it’s a false economy.

36/52 is meant to be good. Compact 34 is too small for a road bike in flat areas

And 11-25.

I had a 50:34 and found I really noticed it in the little ring. Would not recommend.

What are you doing in the small ring in flat areas?

Yeah I know man :frowning: Easier is kinda what I’m going for for this upcoming overnighter that is going to have some bulk climbing for a decent period at the end. Don’t really want to slog 30K out of the saddle in the nanna gear ya’know… would rather sit down and slowly spin it out. I’ll have a look into climbing tech for sure.

@ JLN > Cheers for the offer but those “solid-ish” outer rings don’t do it for me aesthetically. But I think I’m going to give the 52/36 set up a shot.

Basically I need to go on a “speed /ice” diet for a month is what your all saying right :wink:


That’s exactly what he’s looking for though right? Noticeably easier spinning in the small ring?

52/36 could be a good middle ground. TBH I didn’t even know this combo existed.

There is two ways to climb Strength, cadence, pick what you think your better at.
Scott for instance is no spinner and is a big guy but can climb with the smaller guys no problem he can just grind it out I guess all though one time at nebo I did hurt him with Tom,
It was great some thing about a hangover and pie for breakfast.

So what I’m getting at is if you want to climb better make the others hungover and poorly fed.

Yes but how often do you spend climbing bergs? The fact is, most of the time, on the flat, the smaller ring is much less versatile, because you spend most of your time in the bottom three or four gears.

36 is a good option if that’s the way you wanna go.

Hate to seem argumentative, but this is effectively a moot point, as you shouldn’t be using the small ring on the flat anyway. That’s what the big ring’s for.

Argue away, but if you are in the big ring on the flat and not in a race you’re doing it wrong. Ultimately you can do what you want but riding in the big ring gives you a shit cadence and shit form. Again, the exception is racing/particular training.

Meh, also a moot point, as you’re not taking into account variables such us compact or non-compact, ratio spread on cassette etc


oi dug go on the casually employed student dropout diet and become a climber by default. srs tho buy them q rings and let me try your bike when you do, maybe no one can weigh in cause they haven’t tried them.

I dunno about that maaaaaaaaan. To rock on at 40kmh in the little guy I’d have to cross chain to the 11 and hold 90rpm… that be shit form hey :slight_smile:

Here here, well said!