Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 41
  1. #1
    Senior Member rideon7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Central Washington
    Posts
    465
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Any 50+er using a compact crankset?

    Is anyone out there among us 50+ers using a compact crankset? I am just starting the process of building up a carbon fiber frame I bought and need to decide whether to use a compact crankset with 50/34T or a triple with 52/39/30T. My current road bike is a triple, but I don't often use the top-end gears on the big ring. I DO sometimes use the bottom two gears on the small ring (especially the next-to-bottom gear), for example, when doing the Mt. Rainier climb up to Sunrise. My LBS guy is recommending the compact crankset for the clean, crisp shifting and weight savings. When finished with the build-up, this will not be my long-distance bike but my FAST bike for races. I would be using a Shimano Ultegra 10 rear cassette. Anyone out there have any experience/ideas about the compact crankset, what I'd be giving up on the low end?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Penniless Park, Fla.
    My Bikes
    Merlin Fortius, Specialized Crossroads & Rockhopper, Serotta Fierte, Pedal Force RS2
    Posts
    2,760
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    - i have a compact sitting in the box awaiting deployment on a new CF frameset...

    - however, i don't think you'll be 'giving up' anything... IOW, it's all in the numbers... e.g., do the math on the chainring/cassette cog and you'll see the table in black and white?

    - that said, i like my 39/16 for the flats on my ss/fixie in this neck of the woods...

    (i do like the idea of a compact for cyclocross, btw)

    p.s. it also depends on your riding conditions too...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Peters, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
    Posts
    23,577
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a compact crankset and I like it fine.

    I'm not at all convinced that "clean crisp shifting and weight savings" are very valid arguments. Also, assuming you use the same cassette, you're not going to have equivlents for the two easiest hill climb gears on your triple.

  4. #4
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Post-partisan Paradise
    My Bikes
    GF Wahoo '05, Trek T1000 '04, Lemond Buenos Aires '07
    Posts
    4,936
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't have a compact. Never have. Never will.

    It's a good way to start a fight on the roadie forum if you happen to be a "aw, get a triple and be done with it" type of person. They really look down on you and make fun of you and say that you have a 'cripple crank'. Well, I can't stand it and I'm not going to take it anymore.

    People with doubles and compacts just think they're better than everyone else. It's like CF over aluminium. It's like lycra over cotton. It's like Keo over Shimano. It's like, it's like.....::wife drags away from keyboard, injects heavy sedative::

  5. #5
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Villa Incognito
    My Bikes
    1983 Trek 720; 1983 Trek 620; 1989 Gi Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra; LeMond Victoire; Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro
    Posts
    2,648
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link
    ...::wife drags away from keyboard, injects heavy sedative::
    You've convinced me. In my next life, I'm gonna be a doctor and have access to lots of drugs. Right now, I'm stuck with the Over-the-Counter stuff: red wine and dark chocolate. Just getting my antioxidants, dontcha know.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,901
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What crankset are you considering? Have a compact setup on 4 bikes and for me this is the way to go. Here in hily SW Pa you get the low end(almost) of a triple and only loose a bit on the big ring side. There are some tradeoffs like you still have to deal with some cross chaining in some gear combos. Another is the weight savings are kind of a canard. Smooth shifting, just like in any setup, is a function of crankset, chain and front der.

  7. #7
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Post-partisan Paradise
    My Bikes
    GF Wahoo '05, Trek T1000 '04, Lemond Buenos Aires '07
    Posts
    4,936
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Travis
    You've convinced me. In my next life, I'm gonna be a doctor and have access to lots of drugs. Right now, I'm stuck with the Over-the-Counter stuff: red wine and dark chocolate. Just getting my antioxidants, dontcha know.
    Naah. When I act up my wife grabs this "Euthanol" stuff from one of our veterinary friends....

  8. #8
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Laramie Wyoming
    My Bikes
    Merlin Extralight Topolino Wheels Campy Record
    Posts
    2,972
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link
    I don't have a compact. Never have. Never will.

    It's a good way to start a fight on the roadie forum if you happen to be a "aw, get a triple and be done with it" type of person. They really look down on you and make fun of you and say that you have a 'cripple crank'. Well, I can't stand it and I'm not going to take it anymore.

    People with doubles and compacts just think they're better than everyone else. It's like CF over aluminium. It's like lycra over cotton. It's like Keo over Shimano. It's like, it's like.....::wife drags away from keyboard, injects heavy sedative::

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,259
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We've covered this subject before, in detail.

    My experience with the compact double was that the two crank gears fell in the middle of the range of chain-inches I liked, so I was constantly double shifting, and often in traffic. Not fun. The triple gives me a middle gear which, if I had to, I could used exclusively. Only the most extreme situations call for either the big ring or granny gear.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jmess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    PDX
    My Bikes
    Orbea & Bianchi
    Posts
    267
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I got a new bike this year with a compact. I have been riding a triple for 4 years.

    I immediately missed all the gears I had with the triple and it took me several months and a 1000 miles to build up my leg strength up to a point where I can climb really steep grades like I could with a triple. In the past I have always been more of a spinner on hills than a masher and the compact forced me to mash.

    I started with an 12x25 cassette, then tried a 11x26 SRAM, and now I have a 12x27. For really steep climbs I sometimes have to fall back to the 34x27 gear but most of the time I can climb with the 34x24 now. During the first month on steep climbs a 34x25 was really hard for me to turn. I also found the 50x12 too low for me at times and miss the triple's 52x12 gear. The compact 50x11 is a little taller than a 52x12 so I am going back to the 11x26 cassette.

    In comparing the shifting quality between my Ultegra triple and my Ultegra compact, I see no reason to get a compact for shifting alone. Really not that big of difference; you just have two front sprockets instead of three. The jump between the 50 and 34 is about equal to four gears so you have to change the way your ride/shift to adjust for the larger jump between sprockets.

    So the moral of the story is if you do a lot of climbing your legs are going to take a beating with a compact until you get your muscle tone built up. I am more of a masher on hills than I was 3 months ago. I am also stronger and my average climbing speed has improved.

  11. #11
    Yes it is a paradox
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Western Kentucky
    My Bikes
    Trek, Orbea,Specilized
    Posts
    315
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Have one bike with a tripple and one bike with a compact crankset. Like the compact the best. Compact shifts better and does not require as much adjustment as the tripple. Weak Link if your are ever in far Western KY stop by and I will let you ride my bike with the compact.

  12. #12
    Senior Member guybierhaus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Oley, PA
    My Bikes
    Flat bar road bike, trail bike and MTB
    Posts
    878
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I had a compact, but bent the big ring and replaced with a cyclocross double, 46t x 38t. I also changed rear cassette to a 11 x 32, so had no trouble on the hills I rode. Although should mention I don't like hills so generally avoid them. Don't race so speed is no problem. About the only thing I can add is I would not call shifting from 50t to 35t a smooth shift. When I shifted to small ring I also had to shift the rear, gap was just too great. The cyclocross double on the other hand is quite smooth, but you want speed the 46t is not for you.
    BierHaus Bertolette Road Bike, built 2007
    BierHaus SRT Trail Bike, built 2010
    Fuji Mt. Pro - 2007

  13. #13
    Senior Member Old School's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County, CA
    My Bikes
    '96 Trek 5500 OCLV, '05 Trek 6500 SLR
    Posts
    1,152
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Couple of years ago I had the LBS replace my 42 ring with a 36, creating a 36/52 compact double for one of my vintage road bikes. Along with a Shimano MTB RD and 7-speed freewheel/cassette, it works well with my older DT shifters. I am also building up a Trek 5500 carbon frame right now and am contemplating the same decision -- triple vs compact double. I am leaning toward the triple on the recommendation of my LBS -- he sells most of his roadies equipped with triples up here in the Sierra foothills!
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"

  14. #14
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,993
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    my lbs owner keeps trying to sell me a compact crank...he says I am more than strong enough for one now...not so sure about that.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    My Bikes
    Giant TCR Comp 1 Road Bike, Specialized Mountain Bike
    Posts
    124
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I had a compact crankset put on my new bike. I love it! I just started serious riding - after about ten years off - so my legs aren't all that strong but I haven't had any problems with the rolling hills in my area (Piedmont North Carolina).

  16. #16
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Englewood,Ohio
    My Bikes
    2007 Trek Madone 5.0 WSD - 2007 Trek 4300 WSD - 2008 Trek 520
    Posts
    5,090
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Travis
    red wine and dark chocolate.

    Best drugs around
    =============================================================
    My cancer updates:
    https://www.mylifeline.org/beverlyow...=myupdates.cfm

    Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
    -- Antonio Smith

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    S.E. Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    1,737
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm riding two road bikes with compacts and another with a tripple. When I've got serious hill climbing to do, the tripple is the bike of choice. It's simply not possible to match the choices a wide range tripple offers with the compact option. Like Big Paulie's experience validates, having choices in gearing is desirable in many situations.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  18. #18
    Senior Member rideon7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Central Washington
    Posts
    465
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks to all for the replies. Wow! Twenty-four hours and 16 replies! I think what this boils down to is I'll choose either the compact or the triple and wonder over the subsequent months, "Gee, what if I'd gotten the other one?" It occurs to me that the best option would be to test ride a compact before deciding, especially on steep hills, which is where I will be feeling the difference. Right now, I'm leaning toward the triple because it's what I know, but we'll see. Thanks again, everyone.

  19. #19
    Senior Member rideon7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Central Washington
    Posts
    465
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    BTW, guys, here's a cut-and-paste from FlashBazbo off the Road Cycling forum (I posted the same question there, CLEARLY specifying that I was over 50 so that I didn't get a bunch of replies for being a wimp for not going to a straight double--yeah, there's that whole double trumps triple and compact thing over on the RC forum):

    I've been using a compact crank for over a year now. The advantages? (1) Having more than one front derailler position at each ratio to keep the chain from rubbing at extremes. (2) Ego enhancement -- it's not a triple. Weight savings? Not enough to notice.

    Because I spend a lot of time in the mountains, I've been thinking of going back to a triple. In our local pro race, there have been any number of times when I've seen riders who should have been riding triples -- it would have made a huge difference for them both ascending and descending. Some young riders fail to reach the halfway point every year. They would likely have finished the race if they had a triple. (But there's that ego thing to consider. Would you rather have people turn up their noses at a triple or turn up their noses because you came in with your bike in the back of a wheel truck?)

  20. #20
    Erstwhile Trogon terry b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,032
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It depends on your pedaling style. I installed a compact on one of my bikes as an experiment and found that I hated it. Normally I ride in the 39 ring and the highest 4 gears. The 34 ring on the compact essentially became useless and I found myself riding almost all the time in the 50 at the middle to lower end of the cassette. The jumps between gears also bothered me.

    I recommend the same thing to everyone who asks this question - take the time to map out the gear ratios you regularly ride in and then take a look where those ratios land on a compact. It might work for you or it might not. My compact has been relegated to my cross bike in a 48-38 configuration. I won't put one on a road bike again.

  21. #21
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    My Bikes
    Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
    Posts
    7,071
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    You will find that by going the 10 speed route that the 34 lower with the new taller rear gear (if you choose it) will make up for the loss of the 30 and the 23 or 24 your using now. The 50 will probably include all the gears you say your using now.

    The bike will be simpler and lighter with a double.

  22. #22
    Senior Member gpelpel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Lafayette, CA
    My Bikes
    Time VXRS, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR
    Posts
    2,498
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I switched from a triple to a compact and won't go back. Less front shifting, less chain drop, and lighter setup. I use a 11-29 modified cassette (Campagnolo).
    With Shimano I would recommend the 12-27 cassette.

  23. #23
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Middle of da Mitten
    My Bikes
    Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent
    Posts
    7,018
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't think I could deal with a compact. I'm too used to my 30/44/56.

  24. #24
    Hypoxic Member head_wind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    Posts
    544
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm really pleased with my 50x34 and 13x29 combination which gives up
    almost nothing on the low end from my 52x42x30 and 11x25. That
    conveniently ignores the fact that the 'cross bike (with the compact)
    has higher radius tires and weighs more.

  25. #25
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It depends on your hills and your legs. I have a triple and I have hills. IF I went compact- then it would be on a new bike- and I would also have to get an MTB rear cassette and derailler to allow me a low enough gear- And that cannot yet be done economically.

    And on that IF-- I am talking to my LBS on building up a new bike. Just have to decide if Finance is there and whether I need it. Wanting it is a different matter.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •