proper chainset or compact double, warning road bike content

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  • proper chainset or compact double, warning road bike content
  • Compact doubles are for ladies and old men right?

    So I should mtfu and get the 53/39, yes?

    aP
    Member

    Do you race?
    If not, then compact.

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
    Subscriber

    I may qualify as old but I do compact and am male. I do, however, like my road riding at fast touring pace not strava challenging / macho group ride speed. I like scenery, coffee and a zip through the lanes.

    If you want to hurt all ride every ride then I would have thought big rings they used to 52-42 in my day and the blocks were 12-21 how things have changed. Where is my pipe?

    oldnick
    Member

    Aye, when I were a nipper my road bike was geared 42/52 and the 6 speed block was a 13-18. I did everything on those gears, training rides in the Peaks (Winnats Pass did hurt I admit), a 127 mile loop including Snake Pass (both ways), 10’s 25’s 50’s hilly TT’s, you get the idea.

    Fast forward 26 years and even with an 11-25 I find the 39/53 a pain. Do compact rings fit on a man size chainset? I bloody hope so!

    Premier Icon Scapegoat
    Subscriber

    I’m a fat bloke who lives at 1300 feet up in the South Pennines, so my answer will be neither. Get a triple.

    Why stop at a compact double; go the whole hog and get SRAM WiFli – 32 at the back so you can pass all the walkers up Wrynose Pass on The Fred. If it’s man enough for Contador..nuff said. Big gears are for big flats, which is just too limiting in my insignificant (but conqueror of 43 French cols) opinion. Your knees will thank you. As for a triple; now that really is for girls with frilly pants.

    Premier Icon enigmas
    Subscriber

    I’m using a compact with a 11-27 cassette for dartmoor. I can happily spin up most climbs but find I spin out easily on descents. Tempted to try a 52-36 ‘semi-compact’ come summer…

    LardLover
    Member

    Get a Rotor 3D compact chainset, they do standard rings in a compact BCD. Then you don’t have to buy a new chainset if you change your mind.

    boxfish
    Member

    I have a 30/39/54 triple on my road bike. Call it planning ahead for when my cardio-vascular/musculo-skeletal system(s) can no longer cope in the middle ring.

    Think through the decision logicaly.

    Cat1, Elites, Pro’s are probably outputting 4-6 W/kg at FT whilst climbing a long hill.

    You’re probably arround 2.5W/kg.

    To an average person even a 34 is probably a comparable percieved exertion to Contador in a 52.

    The only downside is the jump between gears. But as they’re far more useable I tend to stick with the big ring much longer (and shift down the cassette), rather than constantly dropping into the little ring at the first sign of a slope.

    Strava tells me I spin out at well over 40mph on a compact.

    50mph is my max speed and I was sprinting downhill in my most manly gear.

    I don’t see the need to non compact in non pro racing life.

    zerocool
    Member

    Compact unless you’re racing and need the bigger gears. Or have no hills around like here in Hertfordshire

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    I like compacts, have used both for a few yrs in the Chilterns / Cotswolds mainly. Better to have a couple of gears that are too low to use/need 90% of the time than 2 gears too high and struggling to force a gear on climbs imo.

    Pah! 48/18, singlespeed all the way.

    Shibboleth
    Member

    I’ve always used full-size chainsets – 42/52 ‘back in the day’ and more recently 53/39. I dabbled with a compact when I bought a s/h bike with one fitted, but I found it all far too low and had me flipping between the chainrings every 2 minutes.

    I usually use 11-25 on the back but I found I was honking out of the saddle on a lot of climbs that would have been better seated, so I’ve gone 11-speed with 11-28 on the back.

    With 39/28 I can get up anything – it’s actually a shorter gear length than 34/25. Plus, I’ve still got the big gear for descending and that lovely wide range available without needing to shift the front-mech.

    Of course, “Aracer” will be along shortly to tell me I’m wrong and that nobody should need 53/11 😉

    Edit: I ride mostly in the Lancashire Pennines – plenty of hills, average rides would incorporate 1000-1500 metres of vertical ascent.

    tiggs121
    Member

    I’m using a 50-34 compact with a 12 – 28 cassette.

    I find this a good compromise and gets me up hills reasonably comfortably. Might be a bit under-geared if you’re racing though.

    The Beard
    Member

    I used to run a compact with a 11-23 – had decided that a compact with an 11-25 was probably the best combination (though to be honest I never really struggled with the 34/23 gear on anything). But I started racing this year so went for a 53/39. Just so I looked more like a MAN on the start line 8) Not because I got the chainset cheaper than a set of replacement rings for the compact…

    nick1962
    Member

    So which chainset and cassette combination should I be using to “spin up” climbs like this?
    http://app.strava.com/segments/874793

    Well at an average of 5.2% a sturmey Archer 3 speed would do 😉

    nick1962
    Member

    🙂
    The last 3 miles ain’t the problem ,it’s the first 0.6!
    http://app.strava.com/segments/874779

    Shibboleth
    Member

    I know that climb! it’s got a handrail on the right hand side for pedestrians! You wouldn’t really want to choose your gears based on 300 yards of tarmac that you might only ride every once in a while.

    I can get up it on 39/25, but it’s a grunt rather than a spin… And if it’s wet, back wheel slip would be a problem.

    Even pro’s have to get off and push every once in a while, as was demonstrated in the Tirreno-Adriatico this week…

    Click for Gallery

    nick1962
    Member

    Lots of similar climbs like that round here though but that’s the toughest that I’ve found so far but I’m new to the area and to road biking.Crawled up it on my commuter triple 48/38/28 and 11-28 bike and when it dries out will give it a go on the compact road bike-with an MTB rear cassette and derailler!

    munrobiker
    Member

    Winter bike has a compact (though I don’t like the jump between gears) for battering into headwinds. I said I’d never get one but when the rain is pouring and you’re riding into a 20mph headwind at 3 degrees it is nice to have one thing to make it easier.

    Summer bike has a proper double and I do prefer it. I live 1200 feet up in the Peak District and it’s rare that I find 39/25 a problem.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    Pah! 48/18, singlespeed all the way

    Lightweight.

    48/17 fixed.

    DSC_0921 by ir_bandito, on Flickr

    (that said, I’m going with a compact and 11-28 cassette on the new build…)

    roady_tony
    Member

    >>MTB rear cassette and derailler!

    the way to go.

    Premier Icon mintimperial
    Subscriber

    You lot must all be nails. I finally got a road bike last year, I think it has 50/34 and 28-12 on the back, and I have absolutely no desire to run higher gears than that. At the end of a 5-6 hour ride round the Dark Peak I’m sufficiently well done to really need that 34-28 to get me over the last hill.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    the question is really what spread of your gears are you using rather than what the other MAMIL’s think… I’d look at optimal performance instead of car park posing rights if I were you…

    If you are running out of gears then yeah consider upping the range but it’s also worth considering cassette choice first, most road cassettes still seem to start at 12t (12-25 is still pretty common) but it’s worth noting that a 50-11 ratio is actually marginally higher than 53-12, I doubt it’s beyond the wit of man to assemble an 11-25 cassette and hence be able (in theory) to burn off that big man with a non-compact in your chain gang and have a better range of climbing gears available too…

    Of course roadies are thick, so most of them don’t think of this sort of thing…

    Shibboleth
    Member

    I think the problem here is that most people on STW go to road bikes after a lifetime on mountain bikes. I rode and raced road bikes from my teens before starting riding mtbs in my mid twenties.

    Riding up hills isn’t supposed to be easy, it’s supposed to hurt. Putting a gear on that allows you to crawl up whilst spinning a really high cadence isn’t really in the spirit of riding bikes for fitness and speed.

    Most of my local climbs – Pennines tend to ramp up towards the top, a feature of glacial hills. There are often 25% and steeper sections, but they’re relatively short, so you get used to grunting up them.

    Technique, speed and determination are all that’s required. However, you could just put a triple and an mtb casette on, then you don’t need any of those things. 😉

    Shibboleth
    Member

    I doubt it’s beyond the wit of man to assemble an 11-25 cassette and hence be able (in theory) to burn off that big man with a non-compact in your chain gang and have a better range of climbing gears available too…

    Of course roadies are thick, so most of them don’t think of this sort of thing…

    11-25 is readily available. And roadies often use them – I do. 12-25 gives nicer gaps between ratios but I don’t mind the odd big gap in favour of that higher top end.

    I think you’ll find that roadies are far better informed than your obviously limited experience has led you to believe. 🙄

    fasthaggis
    Member

    Put a 52-39 on my new Summer build as I got a real bargain on a Dura Ace set,just have to see how it goes.
    I also have a 50-34 that I can swap if the going gets too tough,but I have got more and more annoyed by the jump between gears when using a compact. I like the look of these.

    Haze
    Member

    50/36 and 23-11 here, the 11 hasn’t sacrificed too much at the top end and the 36 and 23 get me up the sharpest hills around my way.

    Gaps seem a bit tighter too (had 50/34 and 27-12 previously)

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I’ll be honest My road bike came with a Standard chainset and a 12-25 cassette and I’ve had to get along with that, but when I change chainset it will be to a compact 50/36 or maybe 50/34 even and I’ll probably look at a change of cassette too.

    Compacts actually make sense, especially if most of your riding is solo rather than hiding behind the other lads on a chaingang and then nipping out to win that KOM climb…

    Using an MTB cassette with a Standard chainset obviously signals some sort of weakness too, so clearly you’re better off sticking with essentially inferior but “approved” of equipment…

    If you’re a simpleton Bigger chainrings = Bigger gears, thus you must be a “Better” rider…

    Premier Icon Hooter
    Subscriber

    Ultegra triple converted to 26-38-48 and 12-25 or 12-27 block for me. So what if it’s almost touring gears, it got me round 96 miles and 11,000ft of climbing on Sunday. Unless you’re young, fit and light, if you want to do real hills, get a triple 🙂

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Riding up hills isn’t supposed to be easy, it’s supposed to hurt. Putting a gear on that allows you to crawl up whilst spinning a really high cadence isn’t really in the spirit of riding bikes for fitness and speed.

    What a load of old cobblers 😀

    If you like to suffer that way, fine.
    I like to suffer, when I choose to do so, by riding for as long and far as possible.
    If I knacker myself on hills I can’t ride as far. Or for as long.
    This is a bad thing.

    Compact and a cassette so big it grounds out on right handers here.
    Triples for touring. 🙂

    I think you’ll find that some roadies are far better informed snobbier than your obviously limited experience has led you to believe.

    I run an 11 – 25 with a 52/39 giving me a superb gear choice, the big gear gave me a nice PR for a 4 mile Strava section, touching 30 MPH at times and averaging 22 MPH.
    Then kind Mr Shimano has stuck a 30 tooth granny ring on as well that allows me 3 nice little hill climbing gears for some of the 20% hills we have around the Dales 🙂

    teasel
    Member

    I like the guy in Shibboleth’s link – in yellow heading for the wall.

    A switch to compact on the new build, for me. I know I’ll miss the higher gearing on the long, drawn-out descents – I’ll be spinning like a dervish, no doubt.

    teasel – Member

    A switch to compact on the new build, for me. I know I’ll miss the higher gearing on the long, drawn-out descents – I’ll be spinning like a dervish, no doubt.

    Its not the top speed you’ll notice its the lack of a close ratio, Try an Ultegra triple
    Use this to work out the best options

    http://www.machars.net/bikecalc.htm

    teasel
    Member

    I don’t mind the larger jumps TBH. I constantly switch cassettes for the ride in hand (on or off-road) and have got used to it on the rear, although I guess you’re referring to the front. But like I wrote, the top gear in particular (53-11) is what I’ll miss. I’m a slow grinder as opposed to a spinner and on the stretch home I’ll miss it. No need for a triple, for me; I live in the flatlands…

    b45her
    Member

    dales rider you beat me to the gear calculator, what gearing you ride should be decided by how you ride and where you ride rather than with your ego, if you live in norfolk then standard chainsets make sense if you live in south wales like i do then not so much as you cant ride more than a few miles before there is a great big green thing in front of you.
    i’ve only recently (18 months ago) started riding a lot of road miles and coming from full suss mounting bikes i tend to just sit and spin as that’s what my body is used to doing hence my choice of a compact. i can grunt big gears up hills at lower cadences if i want to but find the extra energy i use for no gain in speed to be a bit pointless.

    traildog
    Member

    If you don’t like it the gap that 50/34 gives you, then change the chainrings. A compact just means a 110BCD, which means you can have a smaller chainring than 38. I like to run 50/36. I then have an option of running a 34 if it’s really steep (or carrying heavy stuff), or even gearing up to something like 52/36 or 52/38 if I ever want to.

    Where as if I got a standard, I cannot really gear down, only up. And I prefer to learn to spin faster on a road bike, so rarely feel 50 is too small.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Threads like this always just become a ridiculous combination of willy waving and people feeling inadequate and trying to qualify everything!

    It’s personal FFS. TINAS summed it up pretty well.

    Posting links to Strava and what not means **** all. What works for me won’t work for other people, recommendations are meaningless.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    +1 to all that njee20 said ^^

    I hate compacts on road bikes but I wouldn’t be without it on my CX.

    Posting links to Strava and what not means **** all. What works for me won’t work for other people, recommendations are meaningless.

    Perhapse there should be a ban on compact/standard discussions unless people can post links to quadrant analysis graphs?

    I’d be ashamed to post to my Strava stuff only on the descents do I appear in the top 1/3, climbing I support the bottom of the table 🙁

    nick1962
    Member

    Posting links to Strava and what not means **** all.

    That was me njee.
    I was trying to make a point to the willy wavers ,clearly too subtlely 🙂
    And I agree,it’s whatever suits me.I’ll use whatever gearing I want to get me up the hills round here standard,compact,triple or MTB,as long as i don’t have to get off and walk!

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