When riding with a fast group does crank and cassette size matters? Like its weird that when I ride with someone fast like on their wheel, usually when I shift on gear up it would feel really light and lose speed and couldn’t keep up with the pace. If shift down to a bigger gear, it would feel heavier, too heavy that I couldn’t sustain it. I have a 50-34crank 11-34cassette.
11-34 is quite a wide range, so that means the jumps between gears will be larger than on, say, an 11-28 cassette. So that’s probably why you’re finding you feel the need for a gear which you can’t actually find.
I see. So it wasn’t just my imagination. Would you know if I can use the same RD If I were to switch to 52-36 11-28?
Should work fine, but in case this only bothers you in Zwift and not in the outside world you can experiment with the “trainer difficulty” setting first and set it to a lower value. That might solve the issue for you without having to spend money and mechanics time. But you really need to try - if you “miss” a gear in your “sweet spot” speed you need another cassette.
I run 10 speed and when I’ve been training for a ride with serious climbing I’ve fitted an 11-30.
I normally ride a 11-25.
I hate the 30. I spend all the time going up and down a gear as the gap is just that bit too much between gears. With a 34 this would be even worse.
I actually find I climb better with a shorter ratio as it forces me to put the effort in when I’ve run out of gears rather than relying on having a bail out gear that I can just spin up with.
I used to also look upon using the inner (granny) ring as a sign of weakness but I’ve long since grown up on that front.
It’s amazing how quickly you can wreck a big chainring climbing in it.