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  1. #326
    Senior Member link0's Avatar
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    I love my 50/34, but wouldn't mind having a 46/34 instead.

  2. #327
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike12 View Post
    With the 11-32 do you ever feel the gaps are too large?
    I couldn't imagine that. My bike came with a 11-28 and that was way too wide for me. 12-25 is perfect. Don't need more than a 25 for climbing with the 50T compact.

  3. #328
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike12 View Post
    Hopefully, I'll be ordering a bike soon and the LBS has steered me toward the 11-32 due to steep, dirt-road climbs also. I'll probably go with Force 22 also. With the 11-32 do you ever feel the gaps are too large?

    I'm glad you say the Force shifts well as I was worried about that with the 32.
    I really like the spacing on the 11-32 (11,12,13,14,15,17,19,22,25,28,32). It's tight where you want it to be, and then gets wider as the gears get easier.

    The WiFLi rear derailleur does an excellent job shifting to/from the 32t cog. It's even smoother than my X9-equipped MTB, which has an 11-36 cassette.

    The 11-32 cassette and WiFLi rear derailleur on my Force-equipped Black Mountain:
    Last edited by MileHighMark; 05-13-14 at 04:24 PM.
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  4. #329
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
    I really like the spacing on the 11-32 (11,12,13,14,15,17,19,22,25,28,32). It's tight where you want it to be, and then gets wider as the gears get easier.

    The WiFLi rear derailleur does an excellent job shifting to/from the 32t cog. It's even smoother than my X9-equipped MTB, which has an 11-36 cassette.

    The 11-32 cassette and WiFLi rear derailleur on my Force-equipped Black Mountain:
    Missing both the 16 and the 18 would suck, since those are used in the 18-24mph range quite frequently

  5. #330
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    I like the 50-34.

    It is the 11t and 12T that I don't like.

    11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 22, 25, 28 is reasonably decent for me.

    A 44x30 crank coupled with the above cogs would be better for me but the derailleur mount won't work with a Mountain Double.

  6. #331
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    50/34 is all I have known for road bike. Just got my first road bike last year with sram. It's treated me well. Never had a problem getting up any hills (some of which are actually mountains where I live). If I ever get into racing I think I would probably need more high but for where I am now it's fine
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  7. #332
    Senior Member I <3 Robots's Avatar
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    34/50 + 11-32 cassettes are becoming the norm now. Standard is no longer the standard. I run a 36/52 + 11-28.

    SRAM bikes at the Giro are running WiFli RD's so they can run the 32T cassette once they hit the mountains. I'm sure other teams will be running 30T+ cassettes once the race goes uphill. Gearing is easier tuned through the cassette.

    For me and I bet most people it'll always be about the low gear...unless you race flat crits or TT's.
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  8. #333
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    Quote Originally Posted by I <3 Robots View Post
    34/50 + 11-32 cassettes are becoming the norm now. Standard is no longer the standard. I run a 36/52 + 11-28.

    SRAM bikes at the Giro are running WiFli RD's so they can run the 32T cassette once they hit the mountains. I'm sure other teams will be running 30T+ cassettes once the race goes uphill. Gearing is easier tuned through the cassette.

    For me and I bet most people it'll always be about the low gear...unless you race flat crits or TT's.
    I just said this yesterday to a friend who was surprised that his bike had a 34.

    I like the 50 better than I ever did the 52 or 53, and the 34 better than the 30 on my old triple. But I do sometimes miss the 42 that I had on so many bikes.

    But I'm glad I'm not stuck with the 42/24 I grew up on, to get up the hills around where I live now.

  9. #334
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
    I really like the spacing on the 11-32 (11,12,13,14,15,17,19,22,25,28,32). It's tight where you want it to be, and then gets wider as the gears get easier.
    Thanks for the response. I wouldn't need the 32 very often, but when you do it'd be great to have it.
    Last edited by PhotoJoe; 05-14-14 at 03:07 PM. Reason: Fixed quote code.

  10. #335
    Senior Member Jiggle's Avatar
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    50 is ok but 34 is useless for me. I barely use the 36 on my cross bike when I ride it on the road. I am just too fast and the climbs are not long enough around here.

  11. #336
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    50 tooth is good for flats or downhills and I enjoy using the 34 for uphills.
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  12. #337
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    I just don't understand the outcry against a triple. You get to keep your standard double and have a bail out ring also. You may not use it very often but it is there.

  13. #338
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    Quote Originally Posted by seypat View Post
    I just don't understand the outcry against a triple. You get to keep your standard double and have a bail out ring also. You may not use it very often but it is there.
    This is a long and interesting thread. There are many ways to skin a cat but if you really want to do it right - THIS ^^. I've had regular doubles and compact doubles but last year I got a bike with a road triple 52/42/30. You get everything. The nice tight gear spacing of an old school standard double (52/42) and, if like me, you live anywhere hilly, are not as young as you used to be, want to save your knees (I've had two surgeries) you've got that inner ring to save your bacon. Trying all kinds of contortions to make some kind of double work just seems like you're trying to avoid the triple for image reasons. I think the OP said he didn't care about image and needing to appear the hardman. The regular double just does not have low enough gearing to get up the hills around here unless you are a true Cat 1 rider and even then. A truly elite rider can probably do it on a compact, but as many of have stated the compact has it's drawbacks in terms of the huge jump between chainrings which does not give you a good middle ground where let's face it you spend a lot of you cycling time. I know, I had one. I guess you can work on that a bit with 11 speed rear ends but those are finicky and expensive and you still have the cross chaining issue. Give me a triple with good old 9 speed anytime. I'll still have tight spacing, and better chainlines not too mention more durable and less expensive cassettes and chains.

    Why would you want to limit your gearing? A top athlete can produce maybe 1/2 a horsepower. Sorry, but that's a puny engine. You want to have a good gear range and tight spacing in the transmission to make the best use of that power.

    I often felt on my compact double that I was trying hard to keep it in the 50, and the 34 really was only for climbs, shifting down past about the middle of the cassette didn't feel right and then when you jump up to the 50 you've got to shift a couple times on the rear simultaneously to catch up. With the triple the middle 42T ring was a revelation - ahhhh I can pedal around all over the place in this ring and in the middle of the cogset. Going on a fast ride, feel like hammering, road tilting downwards? Push it up onto the 52 and away you go. Oh boy, starting up a long killer sustained climb? Down to the small ring and spin. Yes you can maintain a spinning cadence on the inner ring. I have ridden away (slowly) from riders by spinning in the inner ring of my triple on hills while they mash on their smallest gear on a double.

    I'd consider a double again if I lived somewhere like Florida or if I somehow transform myself into a pro rider!

  14. #339
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    Quote Originally Posted by seypat View Post
    I just don't understand the outcry against a triple. You get to keep your standard double and have a bail out ring also. You may not use it very often but it is there.
    The triple is basically pointless. A standard double is too high geared unless you're consistently putting out 300+W. What I found with a triple was that I had a ring for downhill/flat and and ring for hills....and a useless chainring in between them.

    If you live in mostly flat land then you don't need the range of triple and a double (any type) is fine. If you do any serious climbing, the middle chainring on a triple just gets in the way. I suppose the middle ring would be good for rollers, but that's about it.

  15. #340
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    Quote Originally Posted by seypat View Post
    I just don't understand the outcry against a triple. You get to keep your standard double and have a bail out ring also. You may not use it very often but it is there.
    It would be perfect w/o the large ring. Instead of 52-42-28, give me the 42-28 and my 11-28 SRAM cassette. I only ride at 18-22 mph on the flats, which would be 42 and either the 14 or 15 cog or 13 if tired.

  16. #341
    Senior Member I <3 Robots's Avatar
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    IMO...its more about simplicity.

    On my MTB's, I went from 3x to 2x...now 1x...and I'll never look back. I do more shifting on a MTB than I ever do on a road bike and its nice to just have one lever to shift. Especially if you're riding fast rolling terrain. The transition from downhill to up is just a couple right clicks and you don't have to worry about your FD struggling to shift into the big ring under load. I know everyone's been in that situation.

    Clean and simple. I realize its not rocket science to shift the front derailleur, but if anybody has ever tried a 1x (especially XX1) on a MTB knows what I am talking about.

    If there is a way to go 1x on a road bike and have "enough" gear range...I'd be all over it.
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  17. #342
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
    The triple is basically pointless. A standard double is too high geared unless you're consistently putting out 300+W. What I found with a triple was that I had a ring for downhill/flat and and ring for hills....and a useless chainring in between them.

    If you live in mostly flat land then you don't need the range of triple and a double (any type) is fine. If you do any serious climbing, the middle chainring on a triple just gets in the way. I suppose the middle ring would be good for rollers, but that's about it.
    Agree about a double being fine if you're a flatlander. But the triple is brilliant for hilly country. Where I live the small ring is necessary for the big climbs but I wouldn't want to have just a 52 (or 50) for everything else. The 42t is in the middle but it's more like a "big middle". It's great for flats when you're not just charging in a paceline but like say riding solo with a bit of a headwind or just wanting to spin, and also for gentle inclines when you're starting to get too high up the cassette for the big ring, but dropping to the small ring (like on a compact double) would be overkill. 52/42 gives you classic half-step gearing but unless you live in the flats or have monster thighs you're going to need something else for the hills, hence the 30t inner. I only use the inner ring for serious climbs, otherwise I'm in the other two rings. IDK I've always been sensitive to crossing the chain, I like my chains snug with an efficient chainline. Everybody knows how you're never supposed to be in the big ring/biggest cog or small ring/smallest cog right? Well I don't like to be in the big ring / second or third biggest cog and vice versa. The triple not only gives you a wider range and tight spacing between gears, but gives you better chainlines. I.e. when I'm on that little ring on the big climbs, the furthest I go down the cassette is to the fourth cog, after that it's time to get in the middle ring. The middle ring, being in the middle, has the widest spread and I'll use any cog from the 1st through about the 8th on my 9spd cassette. The big ring is for the 4th cog and smaller.

    Some people say oh I'll stick with the double and get a 11-28 cassette. Ok if it works for you, but personally I prefer a tighter cassette with smaller jumps between cogs. If you ride hard for long distances, you want to be able to fine tune your gearing to work best with your cadence. The triple lets you use a tighter cassette without sweating the total range. Winning.

    Oh and the middle ring is great for short distance non-intense urban riding. Where I used to have to do more shifting between chainrings on my compact 50/34, now I can just stay in the 42 the whole time. So while there are are more rings, it's simpler. An example: with compact 50/34, I'm cruising along in the 50, but approach a stop light. OK I've got to shift down to the 34, but I can stay in the say the 3rd or 4th cog. When I get going on the green light I shift down the cassette once or twice but then need to shift up to the 50 and also probably up a cog again in the back. With the 42, I can just stay in the middle ring and shift through the cogset for this whole operation.
    Last edited by Niloc; 05-14-14 at 12:24 AM.

  18. #343
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    Quote Originally Posted by I <3 Robots View Post
    IMO...its more about simplicity.

    On my MTB's, I went from 3x to 2x...now 1x...and I'll never look back. I do more shifting on a MTB than I ever do on a road bike and its nice to just have one lever to shift. Especially if you're riding fast rolling terrain. The transition from downhill to up is just a couple right clicks and you don't have to worry about your FD struggling to shift into the big ring under load. I know everyone's been in that situation.

    Clean and simple. I realize its not rocket science to shift the front derailleur, but if anybody has ever tried a 1x (especially XX1) on a MTB knows what I am talking about.

    If there is a way to go 1x on a road bike and have "enough" gear range...I'd be all over it.
    Apples to oranges. On a road bike you need a much wider gear range (to cover a wider range of speeds) and you also want tight gear spacing in your main powerband to be able to dial in your cadence for long slogs. You can't get either with a 1x on a cog and chain drivetrain. You'd need a 11-36 cassette with like 16 cogs to make that work. On a road bike you are generally not transitioning from up to downhill as quickly as on the singletrack. So you need at least a double, and yes a triple has one more ring, but I don't find it more complicated to use. I only use the inner ring for big climbs and I have plenty of time to prepare for those situations, otherwise I'm in the other two rings like the standard doubles of old. Also for general riding around town on the flats or gently rolling streets, I can just stay in the middle ring the whole time, so in that situation, I do have a 1x. I explained this in more detail in my post above.

  19. #344
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    I resisted compacts for years. About two years ago I tried it and at age 68 I am stronger/faster climbing, last longer and am generally faster overall on any ride. Works for me.

  20. #345
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    Quote Originally Posted by seypat View Post
    I just don't understand the outcry against a triple. You get to keep your standard double and have a bail out ring also. You may not use it very often but it is there.
    There is nothing wrong with people preferring double over triple. Glad you like yours. I'm very much happy I have less gears in front, I'm even thinking of going to a single in the front.

    I'd like my 50/34 for now, but when my cassette wears out, I'm dropping the 11-28 for either a 12-25 or 12-26.

    I'm happy the compact has become a standard option to the 53/39. Not everyone has the legs to muscle it out at 80-100 cadence for hours on the 53. I look at the 53 as the sprinter's chainring, and the beast cyclists. I'm only going to get older, so the 50/34 will stay with me a long time unless I choose to just replace the front crank with a 39 and nothing else.

  21. #346
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    Quote Originally Posted by zymphad View Post
    There is nothing wrong with people preferring double over triple. Glad you like yours. I'm very much happy I have less gears in front, I'm even thinking of going to a single in the front.

    I'd like my 50/34 for now, but when my cassette wears out, I'm dropping the 11-28 for either a 12-25 or 12-26.

    I'm happy the compact has become a standard option to the 53/39. Not everyone has the legs to muscle it out at 80-100 cadence for hours on the 53. I look at the 53 as the sprinter's chainring, and the beast cyclists. I'm only going to get older, so the 50/34 will stay with me a long time unless I choose to just replace the front crank with a 39 and nothing else.
    After reading through countless threads like this over the years, I think your statement about the 53 being a sprinter's chainring hits the nail on the head. It all comes down to the type of twitch fibers one has in his/her muscles. The people with the slow twitch will be all about spinning at a high cadence and will prefer the compact. The bigger gears at a lower cadence wears them out. On the opposite end there are the fast twitchers that cannot spin at high cadences for any great length of time no matter the gear because it wears them out. So they roll the big gears at lower cadences to prevent their engines from redlining.

    Here are some examples for the thread. We have Meb Keflezighi the 2014 Boston Marathon and Usian Bolt the fastest human on the planet. Both unbelievable athletes and one no better than the other. If they were to take up cycling, Meb would be the spinner rolling along on his compact and leaving Bolt in the dust on the climbs. Bolt on the other hand, would likely never get off of the 53 unless the road turned upward. Then, even with the triple, if he was forced to spin at a high cadence say above 100 for a long duration of time he would still bonk. He just doesn't have the muscle makeup for endurance sports. But he would win every sprint and get the green jersey if he could make it to the sprint.

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    Humorous followup to my previous post.

    Since it is human nature, I'm guessing that both of these guys have watched the other one run and thought to themselves:

    "That guy is unbelievable! I wish I could run more like him!"

  23. #348
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    Sugino makes a 48/34 and you can also custom order a 46/32.

    I have a 50-34 on one bike and a 52/42/30 triple on the other bike. I really like the triple, but I wish the q factor was narrower. My knees don't like the additional 7 mm compared to the compact crank.
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  24. #349
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    I just went from a triple to a compact double. I had the new bike in for a tune up and rode the triple for a few days. That's when I realized how much I like that middle ring with a 12 25. So, thinking like we do while we pedal, wondering what 1x11 with something like a 42 would be like?
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  25. #350
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    I started riding a 50/34 at the end of last year + 11-28 Ultegra. For NYC I really only use the 34 once the bigger hills out of the city and across the hudson start. I could almost say "I only use my 34 on weekends" and not be lying. For the endless park loops I ride during the week, the 50x 23 or 25 is plenty of low end, even for easy spinning. I should play around with 34 and the high end of my cassette during one of my rides and see how that works out.

    Thing is though, we like to go up to the Catskills many weekends in the summer, haven't been yet, so I haven't had a chance to try the 50/34 yet. Last year I was riding a 53x39 x 11x27 which was fine for the long and gentle climbs, but barely doable for the many short but really steep roads. Of course last season was my first time back on the bike for a couple years and I was 20lbs heavier. I'm gonna see how this set up works out. I know for sure there are climbs up there that will be pretty tough even with the 50/34 x 28; but again that's not a regular thing. I'm hopefully much stronger this season than last, with couple 1,000 miles under my belt, lighter by 20# and on a lighter bike.

    The constant tinkerer in me is already wondering how 52x36 rings would be and/or 11-25 and gaining a 16T; OR seasonally swapping cassette (and probably chain) down to an 11-25.

    The short answer, I'll have a better idea of how I feel about 50/34 compact after this summer.

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