Ardiden Velos Bike Rentals, Luz St. Sauveur, France - Tel +(33) 609 553102 -

Road Bike Gearing

Road bike gearing chart - Do I really need a compact 50/34, 11x32 cassette?

Road bike gearing


Road Bike Gearing:

If you're reading this, hopefully you've already booked your trip to the Pyrenees and are looking forward to climbing a few of the most famous cols of the Tour de France ... And if you're feeling even slightly intimidated by the prospect of riding a bike up to 2115m elevation, then no doubt you'll want to have the right gearing on your bike!

The good news is that the cols around Luz St. Sauveur are not actually that steep, not in comparison to the super steep pitches you'll find in the Italian Dolomites or Yorkshire for example, but they are LONG … VERY long ... Hence, it's important to have the right gearing so you're not grinding your way up the cols and expending energy unnecessarily, or worse having to stop or give up before you get to the top!


We get a lot of questions about the gear ratios on our rental bikes. Some of the questions are from Cyclists who have been to the Pyrenees before, know what to expect and want to make sure that our bikes have the right gearing for them, but most are from Cyclists who have never been here before and want the lowest bottom gear possible to make sure they get to the top of the cols.


So, with that in mind we have prepared a table showing the gearing and gear ratios of all of the bikes we have for rent (and for sale).

Scott Addict 10 gearing

Compact or Triple:


As you can see, ALL of our 2019 rental bikes have compact cranksets and 11 speed Shimano gears with an 11x32 rear cassette. The 32 is not absolutely necessary, but about 99% of our renters who say they don't need it end up using it!


We always have a few Cyclists asking for triples, but nowadays they're not so poupular and not really necessary. The current trend is for Compact cranksets to save weight and reduce complexity. Usually a 50/34 teamed with a big rear sprocket, a 28 or 32. To put this into perspective, a Compact crankset 50/34 and a 32 rear cassette is more or less equivalent to a standard triple with a 28 rear cassette, very slightly lower actually. So, no triples, sorry ...