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  1. #26
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    I have only ridden the Adirondacks and Finger Lakes, so perhaps my advice is too area specific. We have lots of rolling hills, that are a great size to big ring and you get quicker on them in a hurry. With the standard crank, I find myself on the big side of the cassette and having to dump the front more often than I ever did with the compact. Doesn't mean I prefer one to the other, just that I have to shift differently.
    I rode a standard double for years, refused to switch to compact mainly due to pride. I now believe that had I made the switch I could have avoided the majority of my knee surgeries and be much happy / healthier / faster now than I am now.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  2. #27
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    Ultegra 11-28 will make a big difference to your front shifting frequency.
    ...though probably not for the better.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perp View Post
    OT - Are you the same DigitalFiend on STi forums?

    As for your question, I recently moved from compact to standard. Short of repeats on steep climbs, I prefer standard gearing. I find myself more in the middle of my cassette. Although I do spend more time in my little ring now.
    Yes, I am. Biking has become my new addiction since I sold my track car for a Forester to become "the family man." Waiting for the next STI ... thank goodness I still have my wife's WRX, though she won't let me track it.

    Thanks for the input on the gearing.
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  4. #29
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    Thanks for all the replies so far. The information and first hand experience is greatly appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soloist Assassin View Post
    The compact has helped perfect my spin, and I've grown accustomed to it, and I doubt I will switch back. If you do think a standard will work better for you, maybe you should try 52-38 and go from there. It will be cheaper than changing a crank, and will leave you the option of going back easily. I hope some of my experience helps.
    I thought about that but I've read some people having issues with Di2 and non-Shimano chain rings - so I'm a little hesitant to stray as the shifting is so crisp and beautiful with Di2.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    Mashing is a bad plan. Get a cadence meter and try to stay in the 90s, and as high as possible on the climbs.
    I've already got one. So far my average cadence is around 88-92 for most rides, with max consistently around 115-120. I seem most comfortable around 90-95. I'm also generally fine with 70-80 on the hills, though I agree that on the longer ones I've become accustomed to spinning at a more. I do still have my old Specialized bike with a compact.

    My next training tool will likely be a PowerTap G3 at some point but I don't think I can quite justify it at my level yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    Since you asked about anyone's experience moving from compact to standard, I had a compact on my sport-touring bike for a while. On group rides, I was at a disadvantage due to the 50 x 11 not being high enough for our downgrade sprint-to-that-sign jams. And the large jump from ring to ring was irritating. I went back to 53-39 and sold the compact on Ebay. For the rolling farmland terrain around here, with an 11-28 in back I can leave the bike in the 53... a few days ago I did a 2-hour loop in the farmland and came out of my 53 once, for a stiff little hill at mile 38. And that's a bike with fenders, a rack, a stuffed trunk bag and dyno light system, not the road-racer.
    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
    Switching to a standard may change the nature of your shifts but it doesn't require more grunt, and it won't make you stronger.
    Really? I figured a standard would let me work on top end sprinting a bit more, as I definitely find it hard to stand at 50/11 @ 110-120rpm. I feel almost positive that I could eek out some more speed in those sections of my ride if I could just drop my cadence a bit. Also, looking at the gearing charts, a 39/25 should require more effort than 34/23, no? While I'm not suggesting that it is a replacement for weight training in the off-season, wouldn't the more spaced out gearing force you to become stronger, assuming an 53/11-25 or 53/11-23?

    I definitely appreciate the input.

    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel View Post
    I rode a standard double for years, refused to switch to compact mainly due to pride. I now believe that had I made the switch I could have avoided the majority of my knee surgeries and be much happy / healthier / faster now than I am now.
    I must admit I have read that a lot of experienced racers have been having good success with compacts. Thanks for the info. Out of curiosity, what sort of climbs do you have in your area?

    I should mention to that I did order a standard crankset a couple nights ago while researching all of this. Admittedly, sort of an impulse buy, which I'm hoping won't be a mistake. I do have my old bike with a compact but I really want to give a standard a try this season on my new bike (which I purchased with a compact.)
    Last edited by Digitalfiend; 04-25-12 at 12:10 PM.
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  5. #30
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digitalfiend View Post
    I must admit I have read that a lot of experienced racers have been having good success with compacts. Thanks for the info. Out of curiosity, what sort of climbs do you have in your area?
    We have a lot climbs that hit 15% - 20% with the occasional 25% segment. They usually average around 10% - 12% for a mile or so.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

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    These threads make me so happy for my triple. I still have my 53/39 rings just like a standard, and my gearing is just as low with a 12-23 cassette as a compact with a 12-27. And best of all, my gears are close together and so the jumps are short.

    A triple with a tight cassette is the solution to all of these debates. It is the best of both worlds--standard, tight gearing with the low range of a compact.

  7. #32
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    These threads make me so happy for my triple. I still have my 53/39 rings just like a standard, and my gearing is just as low with a 12-23 cassette as a compact with a 12-27. And best of all, my gears are close together and so the jumps are short.

    A triple with a tight cassette is the solution to all of these debates. It is the best of both worlds--standard, tight gearing with the low range of a compact.
    If you say so. Most of us have had triples, I know I have and I have no intention of ever owning another one.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  8. #33
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    I've also had two triples - call me slow to learn because I thought the second would be different than the first. But I have no intention of ever going back.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

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    Forgot to add, post pics of the bike! lol

    When my legs are tired, I really miss my 34-26 on climbs that hit steep sections of low 20% grades... and I'm pretty light and can climb less slow then others.

  10. #35
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    I've ridden standard before, and I like how it has all the options on a very fast descent, but I don't notice much difference on my 50/34. as stated before, I also spend time a little bit on the smaller cogs but on climbs i love the smaller 34T, especially on those really long, lengthy hills. On climbs though, I never really ran out on a 53/39 mainly because we just have rolling farmland here and not too many are steep enough to run me out of gears.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel View Post
    We have a lot climbs that hit 15% - 20% with the occasional 25% segment. They usually average around 10% - 12% for a mile or so.
    Ah, sounds ... punishing. I don't think I've found a 20% grade around here yet. So far the max I've hit is 16% for only maybe 50ft, with most 8%-12% portions of the hills lasting only 200-300ft perhaps. Most of our long hills (1km+) are 4-5% with the occasional increase to 6-7%, which is why I'm hopeful that a 53/39 shouldn't pose too much of a challenge.

    I'm dying to see if moving to a standard reduces the constant shifting of the front ring in the rolling hill areas of my rides. I do agree that I could probably stay with a compact and adjust my riding style, but the lure of the longer 39 ring just has me wondering if it would be better for my routes. I guess we shall see.
    Last edited by Digitalfiend; 04-25-12 at 12:25 PM.
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perp View Post
    Forgot to add, post pics of the bike! lol

    When my legs are tired, I really miss my 34-26 on climbs that hit steep sections of low 20% grades... and I'm pretty light and can climb less slow then others.
    Will do. It's being setup by the shop at the moment but I'll post pics as soon as I get it. I had an '11 Madone 6.9 but had Trek warranty it for numerous paint issues - they ended up giving me a '12 and from what I've seen of it so far, the paint is so much better. Trek really stood by their product - great company from my perspective.
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    These threads make me so happy for my triple. I still have my 53/39 rings just like a standard, and my gearing is just as low with a 12-23 cassette as a compact with a 12-27. And best of all, my gears are close together and so the jumps are short.

    A triple with a tight cassette is the solution to all of these debates. It is the best of both worlds--standard, tight gearing with the low range of a compact.
    I was just reading through this thread and I came up with the same conclusion: if you don't want to change the front chainring often, get a triple.

    My primary bike was a triple (cyclocross bike) for 2-1/2 years. I stayed on the middle ring 90% of the time. Mind you, most of my riding was fairly flat.

    Since I've upgraded my bike to a compact double, I've had to re-learn shifting, and that involves the left hand/front ring as well as the right/rear. Even when riding in flat areas, I'll shift around when I have to stop at a light/start from a dead stop. Only once did I feel like I ran out of easy gears, and that was on a very tough hill of a Tour, some 45 miles in, right after a sag stop (I'll say that's a rider/training issue, I went back and did that hill again without issue). I haven't yet run out of gears while going downhill.

  14. #39
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    This spreadsheet may be useful to you: http://www.mechbgon.com/10sp_cassette.xls
    Nice spreadsheet. Thanks for making it available.
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  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel View Post
    If you say so. Most of us have had triples, I know I have and I have no intention of ever owning another one.
    Why not? Seems like a fine solution. [But] I don't ride triples because of adjustment issues.

  16. #41
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTDub View Post
    Why not? Seems like a fine solution. [But] I don't ride triples because of adjustment issues.
    I haven't found anything I can't ride with my compact double, and this is coming from a fat guy.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

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    I have a SD on one bike with 12-25. My compact is 50/34 with an 11-23. Basically the same I don't see a huge difference except rarely use the small ring on the compact. I live in Illinois so flat but never have run out or needed the 34/23. I have wished once or twice in a huge tailwind and downhill I had an 11 on the standard. For the record my top speed ever is on the compact 39.7. I would probably go with a standard if I replaced the compact but if I was making a mountain trip I might need to swap the rear to an 11-28

  18. #43
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    I guess I get confused on the blow out the knees on a standard crank argument, because don't you end up pushing the same gear inches for a given speed and cadence? On my compact, I am usually in the middle to small end of the cassette. On the standard, I am in the middle to larger end. How is one any more taxing than the other?

    Also, in full disclosure, my compact is a 50/36.. for a year I used a 50/34 and hated the 16 tooth jump. It was just too big of a jump and involved lots of strange shifting to not go spinning off like a top. That was when I spent all of my time in the big ring.

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    How much weigh Lowcel if you don't mind. I am runner too but cannot get below 173 at almost 6'2. My brother deacons think in thin and runners think I am a big. Cyclist I don't know.

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    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    I guess I get confused on the blow out the knees on a standard crank argument, because don't you end up pushing the same gear inches for a given speed and cadence? On my compact, I am usually in the middle to small end of the cassette. On the standard, I am in the middle to larger end. How is one any more taxing than the other?

    Also, in full disclosure, my compact is a 50/36.. for a year I used a 50/34 and hated the 16 tooth jump. It was just too big of a jump and involved lots of strange shifting to not go spinning off like a top. That was when I spent all of my time in the big ring.
    With a lot of the climbs around here I have a cadence of 45 - 55 with my 34/27. If I had a standard with a 27 my cadence would be a good bit lower putting even more pressure on my knees.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  21. #46
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
    How much weigh Lowcel if you don't mind. I am runner too but cannot get below 173 at almost 6'2. My brother deacons think in thin and runners think I am a big. Cyclist I don't know.
    I am around 212, down from 265. Prior to knee surgeries I went between 163 and 173.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aztimm View Post
    I was just reading through this thread and I came up with the same conclusion: if you don't want to change the front chainring often, get a triple.

    My primary bike was a triple (cyclocross bike) for 2-1/2 years. I stayed on the middle ring 90% of the time. Mind you, most of my riding was fairly flat.

    Since I've upgraded my bike to a compact double, I've had to re-learn shifting, and that involves the left hand/front ring as well as the right/rear. Even when riding in flat areas, I'll shift around when I have to stop at a light/start from a dead stop. Only once did I feel like I ran out of easy gears, and that was on a very tough hill of a Tour, some 45 miles in, right after a sag stop (I'll say that's a rider/training issue, I went back and did that hill again without issue). I haven't yet run out of gears while going downhill.
    I've always said I'd rather have a standard than a compact. At least I wouldn't lose my 39 ring. It's definitely got more useful range than either 34 or 50 for me.

    "Most of us have had triples" sounds like they're the devil. If none of you need low gears, why are you rolling around with 11-28 on your compacts? Something tells me that it isn't weight or the usefulness of your compact, but rather, some personal pride issue regarding a third ring.

    And for the record...34x28 is a lower gear than any I've ever had on any bike...and both of mine have triples.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Digitalfiend View Post
    Really? I figured a standard would let me work on top end sprinting a bit more, as I definitely find it hard to stand at 50/11 @ 110-120rpm.
    120RPM is over 68kph. There aren't many sprints that end at that speed.

    I feel almost positive that I could eek out some more speed in those sections of my ride if I could just drop my cadence a bit.
    You aren't going to reach those speeds unless you're going downhill, in which case you may as well just tuck and stop pedalling. If it's a group ride or a race, you're unlikely to be dropped on a downhill section unless it's technical, in which case the speed won't be as important.

    Also, looking at the gearing charts, a 39/25 should require more effort than 34/23, no?
    It will result in a slightly lower cadence but you won't magically gain power or go up a hill faster because you choose a higher gear. If you think that riding in bigger gears will make you stronger you could just do all your rides in one bigger gear on your compact. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

    While I'm not suggesting that it is a replacement for weight training in the off-season, wouldn't the more spaced out gearing force you to become stronger, assuming an 53/11-25 or 53/11-23?
    no.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel View Post
    I haven't found anything I can't ride with my compact double, and this is coming from a fat guy.
    Makes sense. I was rather surprised at how much I gained on the low end by going from 12-25 to 11-30 in back on my compact. My cross bike is 12-25 and I mistakenly took a 5% grade route to work and thought I was riding through gravel until the cassette occurred to me

    BTW, great job on the weight. I am 200 down from 245 and it feels great.

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    Standard vs compact doesn't make a big difference IMO. With a standard and a big cassette in the back, you can pretty much get a gearing similar to compact. Or you can go compact and use 11-21.

    If going compact is going to cost you a decent amount of $$$, and there's other improvements on the bike you could spend money on, I'd think twice about going compact. Having a climbing cassette is worth it anyhow, why not try that first? It's cheaper.

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