All about bicycles, electric-assisted bikes, technology and safety in the press

The most common safety risks that we come across in our daily work around bicycle safety, technology and operating instructions are also published by us in articles in the leading German special-interest magazines TOUR (Europe's road bike magazine no. 1), BIKE (Europe's mountain bike magazine no. 1), MYBIKE and EMTB in order to make this information, which is important for the industry, available to a wider public.

For many years now, the Eurobike Show Daily, trade fair magazine of the annual Eurobike Show, has also given us the opportunity to publish our view of major developments in the cycle industry in full-page articles.

We also speak regularly in independent expert presentations about all areas of bicycle technology and the bicycle market. In addition, we are quoted by further special-interest magazines of the industry and the trade as well as increasingly by radio and television in their media reports, which shows us that we are spot on with our advice. The section "News" informs you about the latest news from our specialist areas. The reports and publications of this section are listed chronologically or according to areas of interest.

TOUR 11/2015
Reading time 1:30 minutes

Is the standard gear ratio 53/39 outdated?

Reader’s question

It occurs to me that most of the bicycles presented in your magazine have the new gear ratio 52/36. Is the standard gear ratio 53/39 outdated or is this the decision of the manufacturers, because they don’t want to replace the complete crankset when you want to have a compact crankset with a gear ratio 50/34?

Reply by Dirk Zedler, TOUR technology expert and bicycle expert

With regard to gear ratios on bicycles a lot things have changed for the better. In former days pros as well as hobby cyclists had 52/42 cogs in the front making hill climbing rather challenging. In the past years there have been significant improvements in this field and there are more and more gear ratios suitable also for normal hobby cyclists. The gear ratio should always be adapted to the own capacities – and when climbing hills you reach your limits. Pedalling cadences with less than 60 rotations per minute are very inefficient. Small chainrings in the front and large sprockets in the rear are therefore a must for hobby cyclists heading for the uplands as well as the alpine area. Fortunately there is a uniform bolt circle design on current 11-speed groupsets for all thinkable chainring combinations so that the crankset does not need to be replaced. The 53/39 gear ratio is only suitable for well-trained cyclists in flat to undulating terrains. The 50/34 gear ration – the classic compact crankset – is first choice for riding mainly over hilly terrain. But for many athletes who prefer cycling over flat terrain this combination is too small. For them the 52/36 gear ration has therefore developed into an addition option. The manufacturers assemble the version fitting best with the cycle concept. After all, the fact that so many options are available is to be welcomed.

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