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  1. #1
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Old(er) folks, Compact Double and 11-32, how's it work for you?

    I've never ridden a Compact Double, currently have a triple and 12-27 on my Giant OCR1, but the bike I'm looking at only comes in a Compact Double. I need the low gearing since I'm in my mid-60's and a tough climb around here is 3000' of climbing in probably 8 miles Fortunately, I only occasionally ride in a slow paceline; I think the relatively wide spacing of the 11-32 is probably not the best for paceline riding. While I've probably answered my own question, after all what choice do I have, I'd be interested in opinions which I'm sure will abound.

    BTW, I'm probably going to put Campy Ergo shifters on the new ride with a SRAM RD as this is the setup I have going on our tandem.
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  2. #2
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    11-32 works nice for me but I prefer it with a triple crank as opposed to the compact double. But what one needs depends on the power curve of the engine doesn't it?

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  3. #3
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    I ride a 12-27 with a compact double. I ride mountains all the time and it's just fine.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    I've never ridden a Compact Double, currently have a triple and 12-27 on my Giant OCR1, but the bike I'm looking at only comes in a Compact Double. I need the low gearing since I'm in my mid-60's and a tough climb around here is 3000' of climbing in probably 8 miles Fortunately, I only occasionally ride in a slow paceline; I think the relatively wide spacing of the 11-32 is probably not the best for paceline riding. While I've probably answered my own question, after all what choice do I have, I'd be interested in opinions which I'm sure will abound.

    BTW, I'm probably going to put Campy Ergo shifters on the new ride with a SRAM RD as this is the setup I have going on our tandem.
    In a pace line you are normally in the part of the cassette that is closer spaced than the last few cogs. But as for climbing I like my 11x32. I like it enough that there is very little chance I would ever go back to a triple. Well for my MTB I might keep the triple.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  5. #5
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    I didn't know that Campy shifters work with SRAM der. That's new one for me. Both SRAM and Shimano offer 32 cassettes and Shimano has a 34 also. SRAM has the greatest choice with 11-32 and 12-32 options that having different spacing so choose the one that works best for your needs.
    FS: Shimano DA 7900 brake calipers, DA 7900 Crankset 50/34 175mm and BB

  6. #6
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
    11-32 works nice for me but I prefer it with a triple crank as opposed to the compact double. But what one needs depends on the power curve of the engine doesn't it?
    I also like the tighter gear spacing of a 30 speed triple with a 26t small chainring. I used a Compact with the Sram 11-32 ten speed cassette and went back to a 50, 39 & 26t triple with a 12-27 ten speed cassette.

    According to L. Zinn, Campy shifters work with a Sram drivetrain. http://velonews.competitor.com/2008/...-why-not_73404
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 11-04-11 at 07:10 AM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    My main road bike has a compact double with an 11-32 and an XT rear derailleur. I'm still working back into it after a knee replacement three months ago. For most situations it is okay. Last year, at the 3 day Texas Easter Hill Country tour, I took both my road and touring bike. I road the touring bike with a compact triple 48-36-26 and 13-30 for two of the three days.

    Assuming I get back to doing Aquabike or triathlon by next summer, and I think I will, I'm wondering how funny it would look to have a triple on a tri bike.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    I didn't know that Campy shifters work with SRAM der. That's new one for me. ....
    Based on a recommendation of my LBS I tried my Campy shifters with a new SRAM X9 RD (Exact Actuation). Apparently, this setup is being used by a number of cyclocross racers in the area. The shifting is near perfect with Shimano cassettes, but doesn't work with SRAM cassettes. Of course, YMMV, but it works for me on the tandem. I'm actually running a 12-32 Shimano having replaced the lower two cogs to tighten up the spacing.
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  9. #9
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    I am running a 50/34 front with a 12-28 rear and have had no trouble with the hills yet. However, there are a couple of rides I would like to do around my area where I think an 11-32 or 12-32 would be just the ticket. I think I will look more seriously at SRAM Apex on my next bike and, maybe, switch cassettes and RD on my current setup.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Philipaparker's Avatar
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    What you are looking for is the SRAM APEX.
    To me the life is a glass half full, I love optimism, life's better that way.
    Riding the streets of San Francisco, the roads of West Marin and Northern California...

  11. #11
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    I use a standard crankset with a 13x25 cog set on my Masi Grand Criterium S. I couldn't get along with the compact that came on my LeMond.

  12. #12
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    Damn I miss my LeMond.
    A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence.

    ― Bruce Lee

  13. #13
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    Works well for me.

    Caveats:
    1. All my riding is solo; no group rides
    2. I use a compact (50/34) with 12-32 cassette (Apex/Rival mix)
    3. I'm both old and slow.

    That said ... switched out my bike's complete stock Tiagra/105 triple mix (with 12-26) for this past season. I'm glad I did.

    Haven't missed the triple front at all; quite the converse. I like the narrower q-factor, and the quicker/cleaner shifting; the (admittedly slight) savings in weight is always nice too.

    I don't find the gaps on the cassette troubling (re. cadence) at all, though they may be worse with an 11-32 (? I dunno). OTOH, I don't find I use the 34/32 combination at all, so may switch to 12-28 when current cassette is worn.
    Oh, and I do like and seek out climbing.

    I wouldn't (now) use any other set-up.

  14. #14
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    I ride a 12-27 with a compact double. I ride mountains all the time and it's just fine.
    Can't say mountains but pretty hilly and this is what I use. However- on long rides I do use the bike with the triple and 30/27 being the lowest gear. A few years ago I went to Ventoux and used 28/28 on the OCR with a triple. Providing you can get that 1 to 1 ratio- then you can climb a mountain. How you achieve it is up to you but 50/34 with an MTB cassette that has a 32 or 34 will get you there. And if going up that steep then you will only be using one gear- or possibly two- so the wide ratios at the low end of the gearing should not be a major problem.
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  15. #15
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    50/34 12/27 combination works for me in the mountains. I like the 24t cog in the 12/27 cassette for climbing the 6 to 9% long climbs.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  16. #16
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Works well for me. 50/34 in the front, 11-32 in the back. Mine is SRAM Force on my Ti bike and SRAM Red on my carbon bike.

    Both rear derailluers are SRAM XX mountain bike spec. No problems.

    Rick / OCRR

  17. #17
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    If I weren't riding recumbents, I'd be very interested in a compact with an 11-32.
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  18. #18
    riding since '76
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    I run a Rival 50/34 11/32 setup. It works really well for me. It all depends on how steep your grades are, how many you encounter during your rides, and whether you prefer to mash or spin.
    2011 Cervelo RS
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  19. #19
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    I run a compact 50/34 and 11/23 setup. We have plenty of hills in our area so it is easy to get 2500 to 3500 feet climbing in. It is very seldom that I wish I had another gear.

  20. #20
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coachloren View Post
    I run a compact 50/34 and 11/23 setup. We have plenty of hills in our area so it is easy to get 2500 to 3500 feet climbing in. It is very seldom that I wish I had another gear.
    Nice. I have to agree that 11/23 is the perfect for general riding and okay for climbing in the bay area.

    I do have an interesting story about gearing, climbing and being careful what you show up with. A couple of years ago, I was using two coaches from Belarus who coached the National Team for years before coming to the US. We were going to do some hill repeats up a 3.2 mile 7.2% average grade with a lot of switchbacks at 15 to 20%. We meet at the bottom and the coaches gave us our workout for the morning. The P/1/2s were doing 3 climbs and the rest of us were doing 2 climbs. They wanted the first climb in the second easiest gear, the second climb in the big ring and the 3rd anyway you could get up the hill. So the P/1/2 guys start bicthing that they have 53/39 11/23 gearing and the coaches said tough up you go. They also wanted us at 75 to 80 rpm and P/1/2 guys faster on the first climb. I had a 50/34 11/26 combination that day and did my first climb in 34/23 at 75 rpm and my second in 50/26/23 with a lot of standing but I made it. Age is overrated.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  21. #21
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Depends on your strength, weight, and the slope's grade. My wife and I both ride 50-34/11-28 gears and are quite happy with that setup. We completed a week and a half of riding with 580 miles with 42,000' of climbing in the Rockies a couple of months ago with that setup.

  22. #22
    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    My new bike is my first compact double: 50/34 crank and 11/28 cassette. I really like it, but have not done any nasty climbs yet. I don't think I've had to pull the granny combination out of necessity yet, but I'm targeting a couple of hard climbing centuries next summer. For that, I plan to install a 12/30 cassette...
    2011 BMC SR02; 2010 Fuji Cross Comp; n+1 on hold today, due to college tuition and a wedding. Some day, some where, over the rainbow, I will get that 29er....

  23. #23
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    I think it depends on where and how fast you ride. At the 15-18 MPH speeds I ride on the flats I find that the 40 or 42 tooth middle ring keeps me in the closer spaced low end of the cassette. With a compact double I end up switching between the big and small rings with some frequency. In the mountains (or the big hills we have here in SW Wisconsin) a compact double with a 11-32 works just as well as the 12-25 or 12-27 with the granny gear on the triple. The downside of the triple is a slight increase in weight and Q factor. I like them both. My favorite is a compact chainset with a SRAM XX rear derailleur and 11-32 cassette- it will climb up even the steepest hills.

  24. #24
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baj32161 View Post
    Damn I miss my LeMond.
    My LeMond was a TI and I liked it a lot. But, when my gf gave me my Masi Gran Criterium for a 60th birthday present (5 yrs. ago) I sold the LeMond to a friend. He is absolutely in love with it.

  25. #25
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    Have the 50/34 compact double with 11-32 cassette. FD is a 105, RD is ultegra with 105 brifters, crankset is a Rival - shifting is fine, avoid big-big. I live in a hilly area, don't ride with a pack - get buy pretty well with this set up. Late in the summer I was thinking about a new bike with 12-32 and 30-46 crankset, I rarely use the 50-11; once in a great while a lower gear would be nice. market is so crappy going to hold the new bike thought for a couple months
    ride long & prosper

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