Sorry, you must be logged in to use the shoutbox!

Author Topic: Big Ring or Middle Ring?  (Read 6002 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Forum Manager

  • Administrator
  • Ninja Master Cyclist
  • *****
  • Posts: 740
  • Karma: +40/-8
  • Use the big ring!
    • SWAMP Mountain Bike Club
Big Ring or Middle Ring?
« on: October 03, 2006, 11:16:26 PM »
For the multi-speed riders out there.

Do you prefer to ride the flatter trails in your big ring (up front) or your middle ring?

Does riding in the big ring feel better than using the middle ring?  It takes longer to accelerate but it might be easier to keep up the speed once you get there.

What do you think?
Are you a SWAMP Mountain Bike Club member? Ride Guide?
If so, use the Personal Message link to the left, under my name, to send me a PM about upgrading your forum account to SWAMPer or Ride Guide!
Please remember to include your first and last name and when or how you joined SWAMP.

Offline Garry

  • Ride Guide & Club Member
  • Yellow Jersey
  • *****
  • Posts: 2594
  • Karma: +161/-94
  • Gender: Male
    • http://garrybikes.blogspot.com/
Re: Big Ring or Middle Ring?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2006, 08:59:44 AM »
It depends on the trail conditions and your speed.  An unobstructed trail (few sharp turns, roots, etc.) the big ring is good once your in a faster cadence.  This seems easier with the "ankling technique" of toe down/heel up of the up stroke; heel down/toe up of the down stroke. 

If you shift into the big ring at the proper speed, and cog choice in the back, it shouldn't take longer to accellerate.  Done properly you will feel yourself going faster just as shifting to any gear to accellerate.  Oh and, yep, it can be a bit more work - but if you've been riding enough to build strength and endurance you will do fine.

Offline Kevan

  • Assistant Wheel Spinner
  • Forum Moderator
  • Cycling Sherpa
  • *****
  • Posts: 344
  • Karma: +48/-3
  • Gender: Male
  • My Bike: Cannondale Scalpel 29er
Re: Big Ring or Middle Ring?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2006, 10:37:22 PM »
Good timing for this topic.  I was asking Tim about this very thing on Sunday at Morris Bridge. 

I"ve noticed that I like riding Wilderness Park in the big ring up front rather than a similar gear combination using the middle ring up front.  How I judge it is by how easy it is to keep up a good pace compared to riders in front of me.  Tim, because of his excellent pacing, is fantastic to try different gear combinations on. Middle ring up front / 9 in back felt almost the same as big up front / 6th gear in back but it was always easier to keep up with Tim using the big ring.

I thought it was just my imagination or perhaps some bias but Tim seemed to agree with the theory too: Use your big ring when you can.
SWAMP Webmaster.  Have a question about SWAMP or the website?  Please contact me.

Offline Garry

  • Ride Guide & Club Member
  • Yellow Jersey
  • *****
  • Posts: 2594
  • Karma: +161/-94
  • Gender: Male
    • http://garrybikes.blogspot.com/
Re: Big Ring or Middle Ring?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2006, 12:23:27 AM »
I've always felt that riding the strongest gear ratio that you can so you can speed up a little or slow a little without having to switch gears is where you should be at.  For instance, on my road bike if I'm going 20mph or more I'm in my big ring and shifting through the cogs in the back to keep my cadence up so it is easy to accelerate or decelerate back and forth.
On the mountain bike it's usually about 13 or 14mph.  I used to rarely use my big ring except for on paved sections, but now use it quite frequently to make it easier than the too fast spin feeling I get in the middle ring.  You have to be careful not to cross tension from big cog in the back to big ring in the front, or small ring front to small cog back.

Offline CrazyWhiteGuy

  • Cycling Sherpa
  • ***
  • Posts: 462
  • Karma: +42/-18
  • Gender: Male
  • Caution: May cause temporary blindness
  • Favorite Trail: The kind you ride a bike on.
  • My Bike: 2012 Trek RumbleFish
Re: Big Ring or Middle Ring?
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2006, 06:06:13 PM »
At flatwoods, i can go all day in my mid ring up front and 6 of 8 in back, I rarely every use the big ring unless im on a paved section. Then its large and 8 the whole way.
Rolling on the RumbleFish

Offline Kevan

  • Assistant Wheel Spinner
  • Forum Moderator
  • Cycling Sherpa
  • *****
  • Posts: 344
  • Karma: +48/-3
  • Gender: Male
  • My Bike: Cannondale Scalpel 29er
Re: Big Ring or Middle Ring?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2006, 08:12:52 PM »
After checking it out myself on a few setcions of trail, I do like the big ring better than the middle ring.  Once you get going it seems so much easier to keep the speed up using the big ring.  I'll ride Wilderness Park mostly in the big ring, some of the lower trails (Indian, Techno Pig and Gator Bait) ride better in the middle.
SWAMP Webmaster.  Have a question about SWAMP or the website?  Please contact me.

Offline dashreeve

  • First Bike
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Karma: +4/-0
  • Gender: Male
    • homepage
Re: Big Ring or Middle Ring?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2006, 01:46:58 PM »
I stay middle ring and 6 in the back. Stay there for most everything, but I ride pretty slow and relaxed pace (I'm and old fat person).

Offline RiskEverything

  • Ninja Master Cyclist
  • ****
  • Posts: 586
  • Karma: +56/-44
  • Gender: Male
  • My Bike: '06 Cannondale Rush, '96 Cannondale Super V
Re: Big Ring or Middle Ring?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2007, 03:09:46 PM »
I stay in the middle up front and around the middle of the rear. This is at Alafia doing blue square and black diamond trails. On some trails there are large enough straight-a-ways that if I'm not using them to cool down I'll go faster and get into the big ring.

On the whoop-de-doos in Bridges I've tried big-ring going down and shifting to center ring coming up with mixed success. I need more practice.
We see the world not as it is, but as we are.

Offline Kevan

  • Assistant Wheel Spinner
  • Forum Moderator
  • Cycling Sherpa
  • *****
  • Posts: 344
  • Karma: +48/-3
  • Gender: Male
  • My Bike: Cannondale Scalpel 29er
Re: Big Ring or Middle Ring?
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2007, 04:02:08 PM »
Key points to remember when you shift up front:  Make sure your shift from any ring up front is not loaded.  That is let up on the pedal pressure before you shift.  If you are going downhill and about to go back up make sure your front ring shift is finished before you start back up hill.

For best results shift just before you reach the base of the hill.  The smaller you are in the rear will also give you more flexibility going up.  You CAN shift the rear gears under load although for best performance a slight let up in pedal pressure helps here too.

Good Luck with your practice!
SWAMP Webmaster.  Have a question about SWAMP or the website?  Please contact me.

Offline FACTORe

  • Yellow Jersey
  • *****
  • Posts: 4092
  • Karma: +25/-477
  • Gender: Male
  • team - independent self supported
Re: Big Ring or Middle Ring?
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2007, 04:30:09 PM »
i tweaked my big ring at alafia yesterday on a rock and road all of boyette today in middle ring - i took my bike to get a new big ring at AJs after my ride and Darren talked me into getting a bash gaurd instead of a big ring.  i never use the big ring anyway and by taking it off and adding the bash gaurd, i have way more clearance over obsticles now.

Offline Homer 2-Niner

  • Hardtail Monkey
  • Ninja Master Cyclist
  • ****
  • Posts: 863
  • Karma: +79/-15
  • Gender: Male
  • ride it rigid..
  • My Bike: ninER one9 rigid singleSPEED
Re: Big Ring or Middle Ring?
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2007, 09:05:32 PM »
I think your going to regret that..

BIG Ring.. as you get more and more into the sport you will realize that the big ring is good for all types of situations including climbs sometimes.. 

most riders will not use the big ring unless they can get away with it for a mile or so..  but Kevan eluded to it earlier.. (I THINK) big ring is good for short bursts, good for some straightaways, and good for some short climbs, where you can get some big strokes before or on a downhill before the climb, like the whoops on bridges..

just my 2 cents....

-Bob  ;D
the world should ride a rigid singlespeed!

Offline BeerCan

  • Forum Moderator
  • Ninja Master Cyclist
  • *****
  • Posts: 891
  • Karma: +142/-34
  • Gender: Male
  • My Bike: Turner Sultan (V1)
Re: Big Ring or Middle Ring?
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2007, 09:41:03 PM »
I think your going to regret that..

BIG Ring.. as you get more and more into the sport you will realize that the big ring is good for all types of situations including climbs sometimes.. 

most riders will not use the big ring unless they can get away with it for a mile or so..  but Kevan eluded to it earlier.. (I THINK) big ring is good for short bursts, good for some straightaways, and good for some short climbs, where you can get some big strokes before or on a downhill before the climb, like the whoops on bridges..

just my 2 cents....

-Bob  ;D
+1
"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." Frank Zappa
------------------------------------

Offline Gregg

  • Forum Moderator
  • Yellow Jersey
  • *****
  • Posts: 3130
  • Karma: +263/-205
  • Gender: Male
  • obsessed...............
  • My Bike: A Kouple of Kool Konas....and a new plastic Titus....
Re: Big Ring or Middle Ring?
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2007, 09:44:08 PM »
 I had gotten to the point where I was riding places like Flatwoods, and Santos yellow and blue, and most of Alafia, and Boyette in the big ring. That is until this injury I am nursing.
 I found that I was able to moderate my heart rate and therefore my stamina by getting to the point where my legs were strong enough to use the big ring primarily. I used to use the middle and small ring all of the time, I was spinning myself silly. This was making me tired and fall behind my friends. This stuff is no fun when all you are doing is trying to catch up.
While riding technical sections I would use the middle and little ring and frankly, shift constantly.
The whoops on bridges, in my opinion are best ridden in one gear. Pick one that gives you plenty of torque for climbing but is not to easy. For me that is the middle ring and two or three in the back. Those whoops are the best when you are barely pedaling. Get some speed up after you complete the climb up to them. That first one is the best if you just roll up the hill, after a fast descent. If you can hit that one right you will come out at the end just smiling from ear to ear.

That section rocks! It just happens to be the last trail that I rode just before the fateful Rabbit Ears attack. Bob will vouch for it! we were flying through it!





Oh God I miss the dirt!!!!!

Gimpy


  

Offline RiskEverything

  • Ninja Master Cyclist
  • ****
  • Posts: 586
  • Karma: +56/-44
  • Gender: Male
  • My Bike: '06 Cannondale Rush, '96 Cannondale Super V
Re: Big Ring or Middle Ring?
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2007, 08:42:33 AM »
The whoops on bridges, in my opinion are best ridden in one gear. Pick one that gives you plenty of torque for climbing but is not to easy. For me that is the middle ring and two or three in the back. Those whoops are the best when you are barely pedaling. Get some speed up after you complete the climb up to them. That first one is the best if you just roll up the hill, after a fast descent. If you can hit that one right you will come out at the end just smiling from ear to ear.

That is usually how I go through it, though I've seen people launch themselves an honest four feet into the air coming off that first climb. They, too, were smiling from ear to ear. I've also seen people rip up it at speed without going airborn and transition straight to the next set. It was impressive to watch them churn through all the whoops at such a fast pace.
We see the world not as it is, but as we are.

Offline Gregg

  • Forum Moderator
  • Yellow Jersey
  • *****
  • Posts: 3130
  • Karma: +263/-205
  • Gender: Male
  • obsessed...............
  • My Bike: A Kouple of Kool Konas....and a new plastic Titus....
Re: Big Ring or Middle Ring?
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2007, 10:36:33 AM »
did i mention i love those whoops?

 

Advertisement: