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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 01-15-14, 11:34 AM   #26
sstorkel
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By the way RollCNY, I believe that 36/52 was promoted as the new "compact" gearing choice before 34/50 became the more popular.
52/36 seems to be a quirk of Shimano's product strategy.

In the distant past, like 4 years ago, your only options for wide-range gearing from Shimano were an 11-27 or 12-27 cassette combined with either a 53/39 or 50/34 crank. People who wanted to climb often chose the knee-friendly 50/34 and 11-27 giving a gear range from 34.0 to 122.7 gear-inches. The 53/39 + 11-27 gives you a range of 39.0 to 130.1 gear inches, BTW.

Then somebody at Shimano ran the numbers and figured out that if you combined a 52/36 crank with an 11-28 cassette you'd end up with almost the same gearing as a compact: 34.7 to 127.6 gear-inches. As you can see, the 52/36 is a nice compromise between the 50/34 and 53/39: you still have the same low gearing for climbing, but a bit more top-end for hammering along the flats in a pace-line. Plus, your buddies who haven't run a gear calculator will still think you're a stud since you've got a 52-tooth chainring
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Old 01-15-14, 11:05 PM   #27
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With my SRAM Red and Ultegra 6600 drivetrains, I personally can't feel any difference in shift quality between my 50/34 and 52/39 cranks... and I'm more sensitive than most people to stuff like this.
Interesting. I'm sticking a set of praxis rings on my want list. Probably 50/34, since I don't want to replace those and the cassette JUST yet.
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Old 01-16-14, 01:01 AM   #28
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I already spend most of my time in the large chainring, but I think that on a 50/34 I'd be in the smaller ring MUCH more.
It really depends on how fast you're going and what cadence you choose to maintain. 16 mph or so is the cutoff for me (I think, I don't really have a cutoff but unless it's hilly or windy, I'm on the 50 ring for the most part) Slower than that and you can get along just fine in the 34 ring.
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Old 01-16-14, 11:00 AM   #29
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It really depends on how fast you're going and what cadence you choose to maintain. 16 mph or so is the cutoff for me (I think, I don't really have a cutoff but unless it's hilly or windy, I'm on the 50 ring for the most part) Slower than that and you can get along just fine in the 34 ring.
Yeah. Lots of climbing here, at least for my 14stone butt.
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Old 01-21-14, 10:02 AM   #30
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I ride a 48-34 with a 12-28. It is plenty except fr some short steep off road. 230 lbs and a built up older steel frame. It's sweet and I can climb anything on road I've run into. I'm in the 48 on everything but hills on road. Stay in the 34 off road.
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Old 01-21-14, 01:39 PM   #31
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I ride a 48-34 with a 12-28. It is plenty except fr some short steep off road. 230 lbs and a built up older steel frame. It's sweet and I can climb anything on road I've run into. I'm in the 48 on everything but hills on road. Stay in the 34 off road.
Yeah. 50-34 with good rings (Praxis) might be the way I go. It's not terribly expensive, and I am running into both the top of my gearing (albeit on longer, if shallow, downhills) and the bottom (though I still CAN make it up the hills I've ridden, but those don't go much over 9%, and not for very long).
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