If you’re an avid cyclist, what gears do pro cyclists use for climbing? You may already know that the correct gearing ratio is essential to your success as a cyclist—but what should those ratios be? This blog post will break down the gear options and explore why some pros choose certain combinations over others.
What Is Gear Ratio?
Gear ratio refers to the relationship between the number of teeth on your front and rear chainrings. A higher gear ratio means more torque, which means more power when climbing hills. Conversely, the lower gear ratio reduces the amount of torque but increases your speed when pedaling on flat ground.
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The Basics of Gearing Up for Climbing
Selecting the correct gear ratio for a climb requires understanding two fundamental concepts: cadence and torque. Cadence is simply how fast your legs are spinning, while torque is how much power you apply to each pedal stroke.
The idea is to find the best balance between these two elements so that you don’t burn out too quickly while still having enough speed to efficiently make it up the hill.
For most climbs, professional cyclists will opt for a low gear ratio (a small front chainring and large rear cassette), which helps them maintain a higher cadence with less effort.
This makes sense, as most climbs aren’t particularly long—so conserving energy is critical. However, on longer climbs or those with steeper grades, pros may opt for even lower gear ratios than usual to maintain a more effortless cadence over extended periods.
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Why Gears Are Important for Climbing Hills
Gears are an essential tool for cyclists when it comes to tackling steep climbs. The lower the gear ratio, the easier it is to pedal up a hill because each turn of the pedals will move you further than it would if you were using a higher gear ratio.
This means that more energy can be saved while still allowing you to progress up the hill faster than if you were trying to tackle it without gears.
What Gears Do Pro Cyclists Use for Climbing
When it comes to climbing hills, professional cyclists typically opt for two main types of gearing: compact cranksets and cassettes with large ranges. Compact cranksets feature smaller chainrings that provide more leverage when pedaling uphill while reducing strain on your legs.
Cassettes with large ranges offer more options when shifting between gears, allowing you to increase or decrease your pedaling resistance as needed to keep your momentum going uphill.
Professional riders often opt for 11-speed cassettes ranging from 11t (easiest) to 32t (hardest). This gives them access to various gear ratios, which can be used depending on the terrain being tackled or personal preference. Some cyclists even opt for 12-speed or 13-speed cassettes if they’re looking for a more comprehensive range of ratios.
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How Should I Choose My Gears?
Choosing the right gear for your rides can be tricky, but with some experimentation, you’ll soon figure out which combination is the perfect fit. Start by trying a 39/11 combo and see what you think of it.
Take your bike on an uphill or downhill challenge and see how well it works for you – this will give you an idea of what works best in different terrains and conditions. Then try a 52/11 combo and see how that responds to your efforts – is there an improvement you can feel? Keep tinkering, and soon enough you’ll find the right gears for your style!
Now you have an idea of what gears do pro cyclists use for climbing. Choosing the correct gear ratios can make all the difference in cycling performance, whether you’re a professional or just getting started.
While most pros tend toward smaller chainrings with larger sprockets for hill climbs and bigger chainrings with smaller sprockets for flats, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to gear ratios—so experiment until you find what works best for you!
Regardless of which combination you choose, having quality components is essential if you want optimal performance from your bike setup. With the proper gear ratios and quality parts, there’s no limit to where cycling can take you!