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Better ratios for old guy

Old 09-24-22, 08:06 AM
  #1  
Shadco
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Better ratios for old guy

Hoping for some advice.

I have aged (70) and moved to a hillier area.

currently riding a Gunnar roadie setup with chorus 10 53/39 crank and 13/26 cassette on a chorus bottom bracket 68/102mm English.

I’m looking to improve lower ratios by going to a 50/34 crank and 13/29 cassette.

Front and rear derailleurs are chorus 10 with chorus 10 brake/shifters.

Can’t seem to find a Chorus 10 compact crank.

Can I swap out the crank and bottom bracket with a chorus 12 compact crank 50/34 and record ultra torque bottom bracket 68mm using the existing derailleurs and shifters?

current ratios

expected new ratios

would this work well? Would there be much difference?

Are there other crank options like maybe an FSA on the original bottom bracket?

tia
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Old 09-24-22, 09:19 AM
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Swapping the crank probably won't be an issue. However you might need to check to see if your current DR will handle those bigger tooth cogs on the rear. I haven't had Campy stuff since my '79 Raleigh Competition G.S. which I recently got rid of. So some of the few other dedicated Campy people here will be familiar with what those names are and what might be compatible.

Since it appears you have a BSA threaded BB shell and likely have 130mm dropout spacing on the rear, you likely can put most anything on it you want. Depending of course how much money you wish to drop on it as some things will require more changes.

Weekends are usually slow around here. Most everyone else out riding or doing other stuff which I'll be doing too shortly.
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Old 09-24-22, 10:23 AM
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The rear Dr is rated for 29t seems some have been able to get away with 30t but that cassette only seemed to be sold in the uk.

yes 130 dropout spacing

.
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Old 09-24-22, 10:49 AM
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Well even with out the cassette change on the rear, you'll see a somewhat decent amount of ease climbing in the 34F/26R combo.

One of the things I'd suspect about the Chorus 12 crank is that it's chain line might be more appropriate for bikes with a wider rear spacing than yours. Though I'm assuming your rear spacing is only 130mm. ((Oh you said that already)) Certainly there are other crank manufacturers you can use for new 10 speed cranks. I used a Race Face Cadence on my Raleigh to replace the Campagnolo Gran Sport it had originally. But there are many others out there too. And for less than what peoples are asking for used Campy stuff.

For about what many are asking for a Chorus 12 crankset, you could almost put on a entire new groupset of some other brand in a mid tier level and have a 50/34 front or smaller with a 34 rear.

Last edited by Iride01; 09-24-22 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 09-24-22, 10:59 AM
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I just hit 70 a couple of weeks ago. The past 5 years has been an ongoing transition time. Not just gearing, but set up of my bikes also. I have never had Campy, always Shimano, so cannot comment on that. But, I have found a real sweet spot for me gearing wise with 10 speed; 46/38 up front with a 11-34 in the rear. I live in flatland, so, if I am traveling and going to be riding hills/mountains, just a quick easy change to 34 small ring, and shorten the chain to it's proper length. That is also easy, the chain has 2 quick links 2 links apart. It was recommended not to do this, at least it used to be, but I have had no problems with it.

This set up is on my Lemond Poprad, and I have considered going to a 1x front and wide spread cassette, but came to the conclusion that I have no need to do that, and do not want to invest the dollars into it. I already can ride the big ring and never have to drop into the small, unless it is really windy, or, when carrying a heavier load.

Crank sets, in general, have quite a bit of compatibility with different speed groups, and often with different brands. You should be able to google it for answers. And, quite likely, someone will be chiming in on this thread with real world experience.
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Old 09-24-22, 11:04 AM
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I don't know what set up you have right now so its hard to tell. I can give you some specs on what I use in my hilly area. I ride in an area with slightly paved roads and climbs that would be difficult without small gears up front and big in back. Really I am only good for about 100 meters on a climb before I have to go to my bipedal size 12 gears.

1 - Long cage derailleur
2 - Some kind of bail out gear in the back with 34T
3 - Compact Crank up front with small ring at 34T

Note: I try real hard to not have to use my bipedal size 12 gears. I go and go till almost falling of the bike before giving in. I have got to stop this ridiculous foray. My last unsuccessful climb left me gasping for air and curled up like a cramped dried up spider at the side of the road. It has not been in my nature, but, I must learn how to drop down into those size 12s sooner...
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Old 09-24-22, 11:43 AM
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Others will chime in with Campy specific options.

The most important aspect is whether you are making the change for the present or future. Many people chase lower gears with a few teeth here and there. I’ve done it. It is quite welcome at first and as years go on, another change is in the works.

A lot depends on how much time you spend in the 53t. If 39t is your primary ring in your new terrain, you have to determine if the 50t will be the primary ring. Riding a 34t in a 13/14/15 cog may not be a fun time. Likewise a 50-23/26/29 is also less than ideal. It does come down to how strong you are and what that trajectory looks like going forward.

After chasing gearing for a while, I just went to a triple and set it up so the inner ring was only used when needed. 95% of the time I’m in the middle and outer. But being the same age as you, and living in hilly terrain, I hope to get more years before needed e-assist.

John
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Old 09-24-22, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Certainly there are other crank manufacturers you can use for new 10 speed cranks.
Agreed, and other brands of cranksets will work just fine with a Campy drivetrain. I would personally just try to find a compact crankset with the same interface as your current bottom bracket to make the swap easier (it sounds like you have square taper?). A quick search suggests that they did make a Chorus 10 compact crank, but in carbon and only with ultra torque. https://www.ebay.com/itm/22517231855...oAAOSwqPRjKuGm
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Old 09-24-22, 12:26 PM
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maybe consider 11 speed crankset?

https://www.modernbike.com/product-2...oaAq9-EALw_wcB

https://planetcyclery.com/campagnolo...0aAtaBEALw_wcB
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Old 09-24-22, 12:36 PM
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even with a 13/29 you might not get low enough

maybe a race triple (not sure if the shfiters will hndle this)

https://planetcyclery.com/campagnolo...saAjrHEALw_wcB

https://planetcyclery.com/campagnolo...MaAtCvEALw_wcB

https://www.coloradocyclist.com/camp...0aAguqEALw_wcB


OP would have to research if current shifters would work otherwise https://www.modernbike.com/product-2...caAhW_EALw_wcB
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Old 09-24-22, 12:38 PM
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No serious reason why you can't do what you propose. Be aware that you may not be able to lower the FD enough therefore needing to replace it.

Also, you MAY run into issues relating to chainring separation. These MIGHT cause some poor shifting, and/or chain rub using the inner with the outer half of the cassette.

Note, I only mentioned this to prepare you for the possibility, and it's easily managed. So, feel free to go ahead and deal with any problems if or when they arise.

Lastly, I suspect that you'll exceed the RD chain take up capacity. Depending on how bad, you might be able to skate by, simply by not using the 34 with the smaller rear sprockets. Or you can add a bit to the capacity by switching to a larger idler pulley.

Last edited by FBinNY; 09-24-22 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 09-24-22, 01:03 PM
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One of my bikes was refitted with a 12 - 29 10 speed cassette and an 11 speed Chorus 50 34 compact Ultra Torque crank to replace the 52 39 10 speed Ultra torque crank that I had before. Not sure if the chainring spacing of a 12 speed crank would work however
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Old 09-24-22, 01:35 PM
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So thanks so far for all in input.

I’m not interested in switching to some other mid tier group set.

The 53 chain ring isn’t my primary ring at this point comparing current gearing to the proposed new gearing seems like I would spend most of my time in the middle of the cassette on the 50t ring and the middle to the larger cogs on the 34t ring.

This is my current bottom bracket


But I wouldn’t be opposed to switching to an ultra torque bb, they aren’t expensive. My concern here is if an ultra torque bb and crank will line up properly.

I think I probably have enough room to set the fd up with a compact crank.



looks like a used but in good shape record compact crank or chorus compact crank would work with my current bb.

.
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Old 09-24-22, 02:53 PM
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Looks like plenty of room to lower the FD. I have done similar things to older bikes before and it works fine. There should be plenty of square taper compact cranks out there to choose from.
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Old 09-24-22, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Shadco View Post
So thanks so far for all in input.

Iím not interested in switching to some other mid tier group set.

The 53 chain ring isnít my primary ring at this point comparing current gearing to the proposed new gearing seems like I would spend most of my time in the middle of the cassette on the 50t ring and the middle to the larger cogs on the 34t ring.

This is my current bottom bracket


But I wouldnít be opposed to switching to an ultra torque bb, they arenít expensive. My concern here is if an ultra torque bb and crank will line up properly.

I think I probably have enough room to set the fd up with a compact crank.



looks like a used but in good shape record compact crank or chorus compact crank would work with my current bb.

.
not sure if is a consideration but I am not seeing silver chorus or record, I do see silver athena, veloce, centaur and potenza...but that was just a fast look at ebay

you could also so some thing like rene herse (bucks) https://www.renehersecycles.com/prod...onents/cranks/ or velo orange https://velo-orange.com/collections/cranks
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Old 09-24-22, 03:43 PM
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Not expecting silver or natural finish at this point.

.
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Old 09-24-22, 08:12 PM
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Goddamnit honey, get your bike off the living room rug!! What were you thinking??
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Old 09-24-22, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Goddamnit honey, get your bike off the living room rug!! What were you thinking??
Mancave








.
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Old 09-24-22, 08:58 PM
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Still, put an old beach towel under the bike with that beautiful and light colored carpet! lol
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Old 09-24-22, 09:10 PM
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With rc copters no less!

I have no campy experience, but would you consider looking into campy triple stuff? Im more of a touring pannier sort of guy, but still find my 50/39/30 changed to a 50/39/26 to be so versatile for lower gearing when the bike has panniers, and with a reasonably close 12-27 9 spd cassette, still not a bad low of about 25 gear inches (and with the long cage Rd, I can put a 32t cassette on for lower gearing for heavier panniers and stuff.)

I realize this gets into shifter changes and Rd and fd, and then I guess the other option is cyclocross and gravel doubles, but as mentioned, it brings into the game how much dough you want to throw at this.,.

Good luck finding options
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Old 09-24-22, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Still, put an old beach towel under the bike with that beautiful and light colored carpet! lol
No carpet was harmed in the taking of that photo.

Thats 30 year old nasty white carpet but I do put something down if Iím going to work on the bike in there. It gets now where near the nice Persian rug.

.
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Old 09-24-22, 09:40 PM
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Do I spy McIntosh? and a Les Paul? you must have Klipsch speakers with that set up but I don't recognize them. The bikes can wait lets hear some music!
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Old 09-25-22, 07:02 AM
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Will see if I get outbid on this, fairly sure I will but if not this seems like the best solution. 172.5 mm 50/34.




and yes those are klipsch chorus IIs.

.
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Old 09-25-22, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Shadco View Post
Will see if I get outbid on this, fairly sure I will but if not this seems like the best solution. 172.5 mm 50/34.




.
I would say that it is a spot of luck that you found those cranks, they were not all that common back in the square taper days. Hope that you win the auction at a reasonable price. Those should bolt right on to your current BB
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Old 09-25-22, 03:09 PM
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My main bike has a Shimano GRX 46/30T crankset, with either an 11-34T or 11-36T cassette (with an Ultegra derailleur officially rated for 32T max).

My Campy bike has an Athena triple, with the smallest of the 3 chainrings 30T (and largest is 52T). The cassette goes up to 29T (with an Athena long-cage derailleur). That doesn't get me as low as the "main" bike, but it is significantly better than what I had in 1987.
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