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Is there road crank shorter than 50/34?

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Is there road crank shorter than 50/34?

Old 11-03-16, 10:05 PM
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jsdavis
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Is there road crank shorter than 50/34?

I am currently using Sram Rival 2x11 group on my Soma Double Cross which is used mostly as a road bike. The gearing is 50/34 and 11-32. I do not like this gearing setup.

Personally am not a fast descender so I am only comfortable up to 35 MPH. Above that I will use the brakes to control the speed, usually dropping it to about 27-30 and then let the bike speed up again. And under my own power, I very seldom find myself pedaling faster than about 25 MPH. There are not many places where I can bring my speed up to 25 MPH and it is not easily sustainable for me.

My thought is 50-11 and 50-12 is not useful to me. I use it time to time, but the chances I have to use them are so seldom that I feel comfortable to not have them. Even if the cassette started at 12 or 13 I would be ok with that. The other way to change the gearing is to use smaller chainring like 48 or 46 big chainring because 46-11 is the same as 50-12 - more than sufficient.

On the low end, 34-32 is ok. This is already lower than my old bike with triple that had a 30-27 low gear. However in order to drop 16 teeth between chainrings, I would need 32 or 30 teeth small chainring which is not possible with 110mm bolt circle. I can then use 11-28 cassette and get a 30-28 low gear, which is the same as 34-32.

If I put a 46 or 48 tooth chainring, will that work correctly with my 34 tooth little chainring? Will it shift correctly?

I know there is Sugino OX901 crank which has many gearing options, but it is very expensive. White Industries crank is also very expensive. What other options are there?
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Old 11-03-16, 10:21 PM
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There should be quite a few MTB, and perhaps cyclocross cranksets with lower gearing than what you have.

There should not be a problem with running say 48/34. Just make sure you have shift ramps and pins. It may not be quite as smooth as a matched set, but it should be close enough.

There are also cassettes labelled Junior Cassettes, both by Shimano, and other brands that don't begin with 11T. However, selection may be limited with the larger rear sprockets. There have, however, been several discussions about them in the past. The advantage of finding a chainring set to match to the 11T is that one typically gets the greatest gearing range with a cassette starting with 11T, or even 10T.

While not perfect, your front derailleur should accept smaller chainrings, although sometimes a braze-on could be a problem.
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Old 11-03-16, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jsdavis
I am currently using Sram Rival 2x11 group on my Soma Double Cross which is used mostly as a road bike. The gearing is 50/34 and 11-32. I do not like this gearing setup.

Personally am not a fast descender so I am only comfortable up to 35 MPH. Above that I will use the brakes to control the speed, usually dropping it to about 27-30 and then let the bike speed up again. And under my own power, I very seldom find myself pedaling faster than about 25 MPH. There are not many places where I can bring my speed up to 25 MPH and it is not easily sustainable for me.

My thought is 50-11 and 50-12 is not useful to me. I use it time to time, but the chances I have to use them are so seldom that I feel comfortable to not have them. Even if the cassette started at 12 or 13 I would be ok with that. The other way to change the gearing is to use smaller chainring like 48 or 46 big chainring because 46-11 is the same as 50-12 - more than sufficient.

On the low end, 34-32 is ok. This is already lower than my old bike with triple that had a 30-27 low gear. However in order to drop 16 teeth between chainrings, I would need 32 or 30 teeth small chainring which is not possible with 110mm bolt circle. I can then use 11-28 cassette and get a 30-28 low gear, which is the same as 34-32.

If I put a 46 or 48 tooth chainring, will that work correctly with my 34 tooth little chainring? Will it shift correctly?

I know there is Sugino OX901 crank which has many gearing options, but it is very expensive. White Industries crank is also very expensive. What other options are there?
46-30 cranksets are still very expensive and rare. Don't understand why. I'd understand it if they had 14-40 cassettes widely available, then 50+ big ring would make sense for non-racers, but this beats me. My solution has been going with a triple.
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Old 11-04-16, 12:54 AM
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FSA is bringing out a crankset in 48-32 or 46-30 (FSA SL-k light Adventure Modular BB386EVO - FULL SPEED AHEAD).

White Industries has their VBC system road cranks for square taper bottom brackets (SQ TAPER ROAD CRANKS ? White Industries). Sugino and others also have sub-compact double road cranksets.

One set up I was thinking about was as follows:

Shimano 105 Compact 46-36 11 Speed Crankset
Shimano 105 2x11 Speed Front Double Derailleur
Shimano 105 2x11 Speed STI Levers (Or MTB Rapidfire Trigger Shifters)
SunRace 11-46 11-speed Cassette
Shimano Deore XT RD-M8000-SGS (Total Capacity: 47t)
Wolftooth Tanpan

That was a thought experiment, but you could put a Sunrace 11-speed 11-40 or 11-42 cassette in there and a derailleur with a lower total capacity (39-42, so lots of options).
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Old 11-04-16, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by PDKL45
FSA is bringing out a crankset in 48-32 or 46-30 (FSA SL-k light Adventure Modular BB386EVO - FULL SPEED AHEAD)...
If the OP can buy 46T and the 32T chain rings, that'd be a good combo with the bike's cassette. Too bad these aren't 110 BCD.

Brad
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Old 11-04-16, 06:04 AM
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Staying with a 50/52 chainring once 11 tooth rears became the standard was the height of stupidity. A compact double would shift much better and have a much less jarring difference between chainrings if it were 48 or even 46 and 34. In addition there would be less flex and for weight weenies less chainring and chain weight. Failing that manufacturers could have simply provided smaller cog jumps or a larger useful range by not going to a 12 or 11 (or smaller) cog in the rear, which of course wears faster. I'm glad I purchased my bike before all of this useless high gear insanity took place.
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Old 11-04-16, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jsdavis
...What other options are there?
/snip

There are many discussion on the subject on this and numerous other online forums.

Double cranksets with smallish BCD may be prohibitively expensive, but they are not the only game in town...

One quite obvious and very inexpensive solution is to get a triple crankset, discard its big ring (you can replace it with a bashring to protect the chain from overshooting and/or for aesthetics), purchase an "inner" chainring with 44 to 46 teeth, install it in the middle position, and use the granny ring "as is" or replace it with whatever you like. With a 12/32 in the back and a RD with sufficient capacity, you should have the gearing you want.
Such "inner" chainrings are widely available, and inexpensive if you get them from UK or European shops, especially nowadays with the current exchange rates. Both Stronglight and TA Specialites make them.

I have done this on a bike with Campy Centaur 10-speed brifters (shimagnolo) with a cheap Sugino triple with 46/30 rings and a 12/32 cassette. Got about 6,000 miles with this configuration.
My current long-distance bike is set up in a similar fashion - with Shimano 105 10-speed brifters and a 46/28 rings and a 11/36 cassette. I tried 46/26 on the same bike and was quite pleased with the shifting - it definitely exceeded my expectations, crisp and reliable, but I ran into chain rubbing the big ring's teeth when on the 26 and in 8th gear in the back. Given the overall spread of this gearing, this was a "must have" gear, and the only way to get it to work properly was to play games with the chainline, however it was difficult since this is a bike with an external BB. I could have shimmed the chainrings, but decided not to monkey around with complex solutions and settled for the 28t granny with no chain rub in 8th in the back. This configuration has about 7,000 miles thus far, and I see no need to change it.
Of course, a key to my crisp shifting is the FD setup, which I always have within 1 mm to my highest big ring tooth. The usual recommendation for 1 to 3 mm clearance does not hold water for me, all my bikes are within 1 mm.

I've been doing "unusual" bike setups for many decades, and do not subscribe to the manufacturer-recommended cookie-cutter solutions. Lots of things are possible, and work well, if you are brave enough to try them. Some skill and knowledge does not hurt either.
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Old 11-04-16, 07:53 AM
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I probably shouldn't have started a similar thread in the old folks home, but FWIW, here it is: https://www.bikeforums.net/fifty-plus...road-bike.html
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Old 11-04-16, 07:58 AM
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Shorter crank arms in 110 BCD are available.. 150 mm long

Best prices are for parts factories buy by the Millions.. which effects the cost of those bought each at Retail too.


With friction shifting, 'correct shifting' is in Your Hands.. a learned skill ..




'/,

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-04-16 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 11-04-16, 08:06 AM
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BTW a rider finished the Transcontinental competition on the west coast, this summer,

all the best 650B PBP classic type bike and components ,, including a 46-30 ... Compass Cycles crank, retailing at about $450 bux.
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Old 11-04-16, 09:11 AM
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I run 46 T rings on a few of my bikes (and a 44t on my touring one) with 110mm BCDs. While I wish the middle/inner (triple of double) was smaller then 34T my lowest gears are still OK for me.


What I really would like to see are cassettes with a 13T as their high gear and tighter jumps between the rest of the cogs in the middle low end. But I'm not the target audience for manufactures being a small old guy who can spin. Andy.
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Old 11-04-16, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jsdavis
If I put a 46 or 48 tooth chainring, will that work correctly with my 34 tooth little chainring? Will it shift correctly?
It'll be fine in my experience.

I've got a 46/34 crankset on my gravel bike and it shifts just lovely. The crankset started off as a Shimano CX50 46/36 cross crankset, I replaced the 36T ring with a 10 speed ultegra 34T ring to get my gearing a little lower.

I also did this trick on a FSA Gossamer Pro crankset and rode over 5000 miles on it before selling it without issues. In that case I was even mixing a FSA 46T with a Shimano 34T ring. I also have also converted a 46/36T cross crankset to a 50/34 compact by swapping the chainrings. That also worked great.
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Old 11-04-16, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
What I really would like to see are cassettes with a 13T as their high gear and tighter jumps between the rest of the cogs in the middle low end. But I'm not the target audience for manufactures being a small old guy who can spin. Andy.
Shimano make an 11-speed Ultegra 14-28T cassette. I'm often tempted to try it out.
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Old 11-04-16, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dr_lha
Shimano make an 11-speed Ultegra 14-28T cassette. I'm often tempted to try it out.


If it was a 9 speed 14-32 I would also try it. Andy.
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Old 11-04-16, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
I run 46 T rings on a few of my bikes (and a 44t on my touring one) with 110mm BCDs. While I wish the middle/inner (triple of double) was smaller then 34T my lowest gears are still OK for me.


What I really would like to see are cassettes with a 13T as their high gear and tighter jumps between the rest of the cogs in the middle low end. But I'm not the target audience for manufactures being a small old guy who can spin. Andy.
If it makes you feel any better, I'm in my early 30s and I still don't like this higher gearing. It's not that I cannot climb hills with it, but rather I cannot make use of much of the gear range.

Same as you, I like to spin my cranks and below about 75 RPM is very fatiguing. My sweet spot is 90-100 RPM.

Last edited by jsdavis; 11-04-16 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 11-04-16, 09:42 AM
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You might consider 1x if you don't use/need the higher gears. I love not having to deal with the FD. The Rival 1x RD and X-Sync chainring will run about $140. The smallest front SRAM chainring is 38t which would give you the 25 mph top speed you want, but you'd lose a little on the lowest gear with the 38x32. If you're willing to replace your cassette, then you could go with a 11-36 and maybe even 11-42.

Otherwise, just replacing your 50t big ring with a 46t would be a good option....it will shift fine (perhaps better). But If the low you have now is low enough and the spacing is acceptable, just not using your highest couple gears seems like the easiest solution and costs nothing.

- Mark
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Old 11-04-16, 10:39 AM
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Another fan of triples here. But I do like decently high gears for big downhills, something we have plenty of around Portland and I am a guy who likes climbing up them. So I ride bikes with 52 or 3-42-28 or 26 and on one bike 50-38-24. In back I use 12 or 13 or 14-23 to 28 cassette (Campy 9-speed) and 14-28 FW and 12-21 FW.

This is largely because I loved the old school racing gears of 50 something-42 X 13-19 FW. Yes, I was once young enough and strong enough to ride that throughout much of New England. But the big ring was for racing, downhills and high speed training work. I spent 90% of my time, even at my best, in the small 42t ring. That hasn't changed.

I also love having on my bike the gearing to go up any hill I want in any condition I happen to be in. I love climbing. With the 28t inner ring, I get a 33" low gear even riding a strictly racing 12-23 cassette. Change out the cogs to 25 or 28 and I can get really serious. I've been known to set the cassette up 14-28 for mountainous days. Nice choice of cogs and I cannot get carried away and waste a lot of energy on the downhills.

I don't know the choices of Shimano cogs or Campy 10 and 11 speeds. With the Campy 9-speed, I have 12, 13 and 14 as outside small cogs and 13 through 19, 21,23,25 and 28. (I often put the 12 outside on, then skip to a 14 if I am using the 25 or 28. Better middle choices and I still get the big bike-steadying gear for the big descents.)

I get frustrated by the modern tendencies to dictate to us riders what gears we should be using. I loved the old school 110 BCD triple cranksets with the 74(? I forget exactly what it is) BCD inner ring. And Sugino that make so many choices for that combo. Friction shifting so compatibility was never an issue. Good thing about being a well trained dinosaur is that the friction DT shifters still work. On everything! And 9-speed has a bunch of good choices still. (I wonder for how long.)

Ben
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Old 11-04-16, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by dr_lha
Shimano make an 11-speed Ultegra 14-28T cassette. I'm often tempted to try it out.
Good to know that's a nice range
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Old 11-04-16, 12:16 PM
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Speaking of junior gears, when I built my son's race bike, I used a 50-34 compact double (110bcd five arm) but replaced the 50t big ring with a 45t. That lets him comply with the junior gear limit with a regular 12-X cassette rather than having to use a 14t junior cassette. This let us swap wheels and 12t cassettes are easier to find and usually cheaper.

Anyway, it shifts fine with a Tiagra FD. He's never dropped a chain.
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Old 11-04-16, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
12t cassettes are easier to find and usually cheaper.
Unfortunately. I really don't understand why they mass produce 11-x cassettes. Who rides big chainring with 11 at the rear? At least with widely available big chainring sizes.

50-34 with a 14-32 cassette would be much more useful, than it is with an 11-28 cassette, for most of the riders I believe. This way, first 2, or more sprockets are almost never used.
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Old 11-04-16, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar
Unfortunately. I really don't understand why they mass produce 11-x cassettes. Who rides big chainring with 11 at the rear? At least with widely available big chainring sizes.

50-34 with a 14-32 cassette would be much more useful, than it is with an 11-28 cassette, for most of the riders I believe. This way, first 2, or more sprockets are almost never used.

Definitely true for me on a standard 53-39, for racing. I have trouble getting on top of a 53x11, in fact I know I lost a race because I came out of the final corner in the 11, bogged down, and could not wind up the sprint. I should have been in the 13, wound it up, and dropped into the 12 for the last 100m.

But 53x11 sounds cool, I guess.
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Old 11-04-16, 03:49 PM
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I went with the OX601D from Hubjub. It was pricey at ~$250 but was best option to lower the gearing on the front while still allowing me to use brifters...
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Old 11-04-16, 05:27 PM
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Years ago I went from 42/53 to 36/46 and haven't looked back. We don't have any long descents so a 46x11 is more than enough in a fast group ride.

Pro Tip: When cyclocross season closes in a few months, there will be good deals on 46 tooth cranksets.
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Old 11-04-16, 06:55 PM
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Look for a 48 big ring. They are out there, but not common like a 46.

The beauty of the Shimano/SRAM cassettes is that you can mix and match.

I've set up a frankencassette that combines the three large gears off of a Shimano mt bike cluster (34-30-26) with the rest from a 12-32 SRAM cluster for mid range except that the 12 has been swapped for an 11 (you need to use the lock ring off of an 11 or this won't work)

That gives me a 34-34 low end for loose steep fire roads, a 34-30 which for me is about perfect for steep paved grades, (Easier than a 28 and faster than a 34) and a 48-11 for bombing downhill and good spacing from 13 up to the 26 for the 16-22 mph range on the flat with a 75-85 cadence.

A SRAM mid cage (Wifli) isn't rated to handle the 34, but with a 48 and a full length chain it will. A 50 probably wouldn't work. Even with a 48 the chain slightly rubs the top of the front DR in large large.
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Old 11-04-16, 07:31 PM
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TA makes excellent chainrings. Available in practically every tooth count.

wiggle.com | TA 110 PCD Zephyr Outer Road Chainring 40-49T | Chainrings
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