Re: [CR]odd cogs only?

(Example: Racing:Jean Robic)

Date: Thu, 22 May 2008 10:11:49 -0500
From: "John Wood" <>
To: "Jan Heine" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]odd cogs only?
In-Reply-To: <a062309bfc45b498171a3@>
References: <>
cc: Classicrendezvous <>

On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 11:03 AM, Jan Heine <> wrote:
> At 2:33 AM -0400 5/22/08, Tim Victor wrote:
> What seems relevant to this list is the question that someone
>> posed regarding this quote and how common the attitude was:
>> "For a mountain stage I would do 23, 21, 19, 17 etc. or 25, 23,
>> 21, 19, 17. If there was something nuts in Italy like the Tre Cime
>> Lavaredo or the Mortirolo then I would go to a 28. I never used
>> even-numbered climbing cogs other than the 28. Never. Not
>> that I am superstitious; I just hate how every time I looked at
>> even numbers for climbing cogs my palms would get sweaty.
>> Odd only."
>> That's interesting to me because my favorite cluster by far has
>> long been a Regina 23/21/19/17/15/13. I've been using it forever
>> (and it's just as quiet coasting as while pedaling) but never
>> guessed that there might be some kind of old racer thing about
>> never using even-toothed cogs for climbing.
>> Is anyone familiar with this tradition?
> If it is a tradition, it is a relatively new one. Many a Tour de France has
> been won on even-toothed cogs. A typical racing freewheel in the 1950s was
> 14-16-18-20-22. Hugo Koblet used that (and many others, he changed gear
> ratios almost daily) to win the Tour de France in 1951 - see the article on
> his bike in Vintage Bicycle Quarterly Vol. 2, No. 2.

A guess on my part, but seems to me that this is most likely a factor of the smallest cog in use - when 13's became available racers quickly swapped out their 14-22's for 13-21's. Again, just a guess.

John Wood
Washington Island, Wisconsin, USA