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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 07-04-12, 07:14 AM   #1
Erik_A
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Cyclocross crank recommendations

After reading this:

http://cowbell.cxmagazine.com/forum/...age=2#comments

I am inspired to try a double chain-ring setup with one of these combos: 34/42, 38/48, 36/46, 38/44.

Can I swap chain-rings on my stock road Shimano 105 (Hollowtech 1) cranksets; or will I need a "compact" type crank?

If new cranks are needed, any recommendations?
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Old 07-04-12, 08:06 AM   #2
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If you have a 130 bcd crank with 39/53 then your only options on a smaller ring are 38.
If you want to go smaller then yes, you will need a 110 bcd crank which is typically found on compacts with 34/50. Then you'll be able to run the smaller sizes.
If you are on a budget then you can just find smaller chainrings from 38-48 with 130 bcd size.
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Old 07-04-12, 09:19 AM   #3
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some courses , the double is not required.. then a 42t will be fine..

130bcd, a 38/46 should be a consideration..

running the hills. riding the flats..

Just road riding , on a cross bike, would be different..
34-50 is a road combination..
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Old 07-04-12, 12:46 PM   #4
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As noted in the CX forum, different regions (or conditions) require different ratios. I'm in Norcal and our races are typically drier so I use my big ring a fair amount (46). If you are in the northwest then you will have a different set up than if you were in Arizona. Find a local shop that caters to cross and ask the locals what they are racing or go to a clinic in a few months and see what everyone else has.
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Old 07-04-12, 01:35 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, VA/ MD & PA cross events can have some decent hills. Is it possible to rum a 38 with a larger cassette in the rear (like 30 or 32)?
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Old 07-05-12, 08:52 AM   #6
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I use a standard crank (130 bcd) with a 12-28 cassette. With this set up, any hill that I would need smaller gearing I should be running anyway. Most CX races don't have long climbs, just shorter run-ups.
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Old 07-05-12, 10:33 AM   #7
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One last question, If I normally run 180mm crank arms for road (I have a 35 in inseam w/ barefeet) should I drop back to 175mm cranks for cyclo-cross?
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Old 07-05-12, 10:51 AM   #8
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175 is Certainly more common length.. do you dig a pedal into the up hill side
riding off camber sections?
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Old 07-05-12, 10:55 AM   #9
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I would say 175's just for the ease of getting them. Are you getting new cranks or pulling from the parts bin?
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Old 07-05-12, 11:32 AM   #10
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Likely getting new BB30 compact cranks.

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Originally Posted by Cynikal View Post
I would say 175's just for the ease of getting them. Are you getting new cranks or pulling from the parts bin?
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Old 07-05-12, 11:40 AM   #11
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Just did a quick search for a 180mm compact (or standard) BB30 crank and only found that Zipp does them. Maybe you've had better luck. All that being said, I think you'll be fine with 175. I ride everything from 165 to 175 and don't notice much of a difference.
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Old 07-13-12, 11:25 PM   #12
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thanks
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Old 11-04-12, 04:44 PM   #13
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Sorry for bringing up an older thread.

I'm considering getting my first CX bike. As far as crank arm length for your CX bike goes, do you guys typically use the same crank arm length as on your road bike?
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Old 11-05-12, 11:54 AM   #14
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I use 172.5 for both cross and road.

I find a standard crank to be fine for cross, but a standard sized big ring is going to useless for a cross race, and replacing the big ring with something usable is going to have to be part of your budget. I'm using a Thorne 44t big ring. I basically use it for starts and pancake flat courses and the rest of the time I'm in the 39.
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Old 11-05-12, 11:58 AM   #15
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I also run the same as my road bike.
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Old 11-05-12, 01:55 PM   #16
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I have 170mm cranks on all bikes. My road is a 50/34 and CX is a 46/36.
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