Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

Gearing advice for Ironman Canada
Quote | Reply
Hello all. First post alert!

I'm an early-30s San Francisco, CA based MOP triathlete. Fairly strong swimmer/runner and relatively weak rider (3.0 watts/kg weighing 70kg) with mediocre bike handling skills.

I'm looking for some gearing advice as I enter the final stages of training for IM Canada this July. This is my second IM, with previous being IM Louisville at 6.5 hour bike leg. Consensus for the old IM Canada course seems to be that a compact + 11/28 is ideal for most riders. I'm not sure if new course announced for Whistler this year changes this guidance.


My bike: Canyon Ultimate 9 SLX Pro, Campy Record 36/52 x 12-27 running Bora 50s.

So question is: What should I do with respect to gearing. Easiest fix is dropping on 12 x 29 cassette. Alternatively, I could swap to a compact and run the 12-29 (or perhaps an 11-29 to get back some of my top end), but that's obviously a bigger upgrade. I presume both options will require a new chain.

At the end of the day, cost isn't really an issue, especially since I could recoup much of the cost of a new new crank by selling my old one. I just want the best setup for least hassle that will leave my legs fresh enough to finish the marathon and be versatile enough for my shorter course races.

Thanks!
Quote Reply
Re: Gearing advice for Ironman Canada [wintershade] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
The climbs are long, but not that steep. They top out around 6%.

I did the old course with a 53/39 and 11-28 in about 6:45, so I'm a similar biking level. I never thought I needed another gear. You could get a 12-30 and see if you like the extra piece of mind.

Oui, mais pas de femme toute de suite (yes, but I am not ready for a woman straight away) -Stephen Roche's reply when asked whether he was okay after collapsing at the finish in the La Plagne stage of the 1987 Tour
Quote Reply
Re: Gearing advice for Ironman Canada [Vincible] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Very helpful thanks. So sounds like I'd be in okay shape without the compact and a 29 granny gear for insurance....

Do you (or anyone) know if the "new" (for 2018) bike course is similar with respect to steepness? It's kind of hard to tell based on course info available at IM website. I http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events ... z5CrUfNPn9

If I do opt for a 29 cassette, any thoughts on 11-29 vs 12-29? Should I be coasting on the downhills, or keep on the pedals at low power to make up some time?
Quote Reply
Re: Gearing advice for Ironman Canada [wintershade] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
wintershade wrote:
Very helpful thanks. So sounds like I'd be in okay shape without the compact and a 29 granny gear for insurance....

Do you (or anyone) know if the "new" (for 2018) bike course is similar with respect to steepness? It's kind of hard to tell based on course info available at IM website. I http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events ... z5CrUfNPn9

If I do opt for a 29 cassette, any thoughts on 11-29 vs 12-29? Should I be coasting on the downhills, or keep on the pedals at low power to make up some time?


The steepest part of the old course was actually on the big descent to Pemberton as I recall, a little curve section that just popped up. The new course contains all of the old course except for a little 5 ish mile section on Alta Lake Road, which I only drove on. There was a steep section but I think the turnaround is before that.

All that to say that I don't recall there being anything "steep" as opposed to just a grind. I recall that the ride from the base of Callaghan back to Whistler Village sort of took me by surprise, I was prepared for two big climbs and that section seemed like a bit of an uphill roller / grind. I think that's going to be the biggest challenge, going up that 3X. On the old course I rode a 50/34 and 12-30, but I'm a bigger guy at 190 ish. Never felt any distress that i recall. Was happy to have the 30 at least for the steep part on the descent, actually not sure if I'll go 11-28 or 12-30. I don't go much faster than 35 -40 downhill so not worried much about spinning out

Shimano, I guess if I could get a 29 it'd be the compromise
Last edited by: ChrisM: Apr 16, 18 13:52
Quote Reply
Re: Gearing advice for Ironman Canada [wintershade] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I did it in 2014 and used a 50/34 with a 11-28. I usually spin with a higher cadence (95-100) and would have welcomed a taller gear on some of the climbs, especially after Pemberton back to Whistler. For me I was doing more mashing than I would have liked. But if my natural cadence was 80-85, I would have been perfectly content.

I never felt like I ran out of gears going down with the 50-11. Plenty of times you’re barreling down at 45+ mph and would be spinning out with a 53 anyways.

For me I’d rather have the gears that let me get up the hills in fresher shape than worrying about running out of gears going downhill.
Quote Reply
Re: Gearing advice for Ironman Canada [wintershade] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
wintershade wrote:
Hello all. First post alert!

I'm an early-30s San Francisco, CA based MOP triathlete. Fairly strong swimmer/runner and relatively weak rider (3.0 watts/kg weighing 70kg) with mediocre bike handling skills.

I'm looking for some gearing advice as I enter the final stages of training for IM Canada this July. This is my second IM, with previous being IM Louisville at 6.5 hour bike leg. Consensus for the old IM Canada course seems to be that a compact + 11/28 is ideal for most riders. I'm not sure if new course announced for Whistler this year changes this guidance.


My bike: Canyon Ultimate 9 SLX Pro, Campy Record 36/52 x 12-27 running Bora 50s.

So question is: What should I do with respect to gearing. Easiest fix is dropping on 12 x 29 cassette. Alternatively, I could swap to a compact and run the 12-29 (or perhaps an 11-29 to get back some of my top end), but that's obviously a bigger upgrade. I presume both options will require a new chain.

At the end of the day, cost isn't really an issue, especially since I could recoup much of the cost of a new new crank by selling my old one. I just want the best setup for least hassle that will leave my legs fresh enough to finish the marathon and be versatile enough for my shorter course races.

Thanks!

The new course doesn't compare well to the old course, even it it overlaps between the Village and Callahan. The old course accumulated a lot of elevation gain on the climb to the top of Callahan and the climb back from Pemberton. These are gone from the 2018 course. The new course has upped the elevation gain without the long, fairly steady climbs from the prior course where you could generally drop down to the biggest cogs for long periods. With 3 loops and lots of up and down to accumulate the elevation I wouldn't just focus on a bailout gear. You are going to be shifting a lot more often than was necessary on the prior course.

I'm not very familiar with Campy's offerings, but it appears the latest Record cranks have standardized BCD across all chainring offerings. If this is the case then swapping for 50-34 along with a climbing cassette may prove most versatile for this new Whistler course.
Quote Reply
Re: Gearing advice for Ironman Canada [blueapplepaste] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Thanks guys.

I'm with you both on prioritizing the gears to get me up the hills, rather than being able to accelerate downhill. So I guess the real question is do I swap to the compact crank for the 34x29 (tallest gear I can run on Campy Record without hacking my RD) vs chancing it with the 36x29. And if I stick with the 36/52, do I run a 11-29 or 12-29, with the difference being the 12 has a 16T which is great for flat/rolling cources, and the 11 doesn't.

For what it's worth, I did an Olympic race this weekend (pancake flat) and averaged 85 rpm, with last 10 min around 95-100 to flush legs before run. So I'm 1/2 way between a "spinner" and a "grinder." My coach has me do a low of max cadence and low (45-65 rpm) work so I'm pretty comfortable across a wide cadence range.
Quote Reply
Re: Gearing advice for Ironman Canada [wintershade] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Not sure if this helps people, but I tried to make the route in RideWithGPS. I'm not sure if it's perfect... but my plan is to load this into my Wahoo for some training rides. Perhaps it will help some of you training for same event. Seems like you could load it into Zwift.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27255042
Quote Reply
Re: Gearing advice for Ironman Canada [wintershade] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
It's a generalization, but for an Ironman (especially a very hilly IM), my motto has been "better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it." But I'm an MOP completer.

I have to admit, having mapped in Strava, I've done a lot of hilly races and never really worried about cutoffs. Given my training rides to date with lots of climbing, my mph is looking a lot like an 8 hour bike split, which I can't wrap my head around. First time in a long time I've been a little freaked about beating the cutoffs.
Last edited by: ChrisM: Apr 16, 18 15:33
Quote Reply
Re: Gearing advice for Ironman Canada [wintershade] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I'm planning on bringing a 36x32. I determined that based on throwing my race plan into bestbikesplit and looked at the speed of my slowest interval. Based on that speed, I used a gear calculator to find my cadence in a variety of gears and the 32 was needed to keep my legs spinning at a cadence I deemed acceptable.

You may want to try a similar exercise.
Quote Reply
Re: Gearing advice for Ironman Canada [bearlyfinish] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
bearlyfinish wrote:
I'm planning on bringing a 36x32. I determined that based on throwing my race plan into bestbikesplit and looked at the speed of my slowest interval. Based on that speed, I used a gear calculator to find my cadence in a variety of gears and the 32 was needed to keep my legs spinning at a cadence I deemed acceptable.

You may want to try a similar exercise.

How exactly does one do this? Sounds VERY illuminating.

To run a 32 in the rear, I'd have to swap to a longer cage RD and run a lower end 11/32 Potenza cassette -- all the bigger gears and extra chain links would have a weight penalty and result in bigger shift jumps making it harder to find that perfect cadence, so I don't want to over gear on a whim.

I'd definitely appreciate pointers on how to do the analysis you did. Seems like the best way to answer this question for myself, with data in hand.
Quote Reply
Re: Gearing advice for Ironman Canada [wintershade] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Go to bestbikesplit.com, make an account and put in your weight, bike weight, FTP, yadda yadda yadda. For CDA, you can leave the default for now if you don't have data. Create a race and the IM Canada course is in there. You can specify at what speed you'll be on the bullhorns vs aero's and you can specify a max descent speed and power caps for your race.

Then it'll spit out 100+ power segments with estimated speeds. You can then use something like bikecalc or Sheldon Brown's website to calculate speeds in different gear ratios with varying cadence.

As for your drag coefficient in bbs, you can get something close by plugging in old races you've done with power numbers and seeing how close the time is to your actual race time.

For what it's worth- there was only one 3 minute segment that showed I needed the 32 and I probably could grind up that hill using a 30 or 28. But I feel like on lap 3, I'm going to want a tall gear to spin a little more. Also, a 34/30 is really close to a 36/32.
Quote Reply
Re: Gearing advice for Ironman Canada [wintershade] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
You live where it is hilly. In fact, you have many climbs that are much steeper than what you will encounter at IM CAN. You have plenty of time to test your current setup to see how it feels. Find a 6% hill and climb it at the end of a hard ride. If it's a struggle, you know you need some more gear. If the climb is easy, ride faster (to paraphrase Greg LeMond).

Oui, mais pas de femme toute de suite (yes, but I am not ready for a woman straight away) -Stephen Roche's reply when asked whether he was okay after collapsing at the finish in the La Plagne stage of the 1987 Tour
Quote Reply