Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Why 50-34 sucks for commuting

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Why 50-34 sucks for commuting

Old 04-20-16, 02:41 PM
  #1  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 12,495

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 323 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1927 Post(s)
Liked 345 Times in 185 Posts
Why 50-34 sucks for commuting

I tried a 50-34 compact crankset on one of my commuters a few years ago and hated it. If you're a regular participant on these forums, you've probably seen me ranting about the superiority of triples over compact doubles. And yet, I somehow talked myself into buying a compact crankset again. My thinking was that the bike it was intended for would primarily be a weekend road bike and I could probably tolerate the 50-34 on the few occasions I rode it to work. Well, I've ridden it to work twice this week and I'm not tolerating it very well. It's usable, but apparently I can't use it without feeling compelled to rant. So here I am.

I'm a nerd, so I thought I'd plug some numbers into a gear calculator and see if I was missing something. Doing so, it's clear to me why 50-34 sucks so badly for commuting. Here's what the Sheldon Brown gear calculator tells me my speed will be at 90 rpm for my current gear options:

[table="width: 500, class: grid"]
[tr]
[td][/td]
[td]50[/td]
[td]34[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]12[/td]
[td]29.9[/td]
[td]20.3[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]13[/td]
[td]27.6[/td]
[td]18.7[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]14[/td]
[td]25.6[/td]
[td]17.4[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]15[/td]
[td]23.9[/td]
[td]16.2[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]16[/td]
[td]22.4[/td]
[td]15.2[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]17[/td]
[td]21.1[/td]
[td]14.3[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]19[/td]
[td]18.9[/td]
[td]12.8[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]21[/td]
[td]17.1[/td]
[td]11.6[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]23[/td]
[td]15.6[/td]
[td]10.6[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]26[/td]
[td]13.8[/td]
[td]9.4[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]29[/td]
[td]12.4[/td]
[td]8.4[/td]
[/tr]
[/table]

I typically cruise around 18 mph on rolling stretches of road, maybe getting up as fast as 25 once in a while. So if I start in the small ring from a stop (about 20 times on my 10-mile commute) I'm very likely to want the big ring sometime before I stop again, but probably not long before I need to stop again. Each step on the 34T ring gives me an absurdly small bump in speed, but let's say I get up to around 15 mph before I decide to jump to the big ring. Now I'm in the 34-16 combination cruising around 15 mph and to find a good next step after changing to the big ring I need to downshift the rear three times because it would have required four downshifts to stay in approximately the same gear. Who thought that would be a good idea?

The thing that really struck me about this today is that the more cogs you have in back, the worse this problem gets. I think I'm starting to understand why everyone suddenly started thinking 1x11 was a good idea.

Anyway, I'm curious to hear from anyone who has a 50-34 on their commuter and is happy with it. What is your typical usage pattern like?
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 02:43 PM
  #2  
corrado33
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bozeman
Posts: 4,094

Bikes: 199? Landshark Roadshark, 198? Mondonico Diamond, 1987 Panasonic DX-5000, 1987 Bianchi Limited, Univega... Chrome..., 1989 Schwinn Woodlands, Motobecane USA Record, Raleigh Tokul 2

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1126 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I, like you, love triples. My commuters are all 1x systems or 3x systems. In the triples I'm almost always in the middle chainring. It's perfect. On my compact double road bike I almost never use the small ring unless I'm climbing. I even start out in the big ring.
corrado33 is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 02:47 PM
  #3  
andr0id
Senior Member
 
andr0id's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,522
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1421 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Unless I'm riding very hilly terrain, I don't like the 50/34 combination. I usually run 50/36 and find it keeps me on the small ring more on uphill sections and on the large ring for flat or downhill sections.

When I stop at lights, I usually shift down a full stroke of the lever (3 cogs) and leave it on whatever ring it's on. If the start is uphill, I might make an effort to drop onto the little ring.
andr0id is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 03:00 PM
  #4  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 12,495

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 323 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1927 Post(s)
Liked 345 Times in 185 Posts
Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
I, like you, love triples. My commuters are all 1x systems or 3x systems. In the triples I'm almost always in the middle chainring. It's perfect.
Exactly! I feel like 50-39-30 is essentially a 50-39 double with a bailout ring, while 50-34 is essentially a 50T 1x with a poorly chosen single ring and an inadequate bailout gear.

I don't mind 46-34 for commuting, but I like to pretend that I need a bigger ring for weekend road rides.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 03:05 PM
  #5  
McBTC
Senior Member
 
McBTC's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,785

Bikes: 2015 22 Speed

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1504 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
The chart I use 50/34 compact with 11-32, 11-speed freewheel is as follows:

[TABLE="width: 169"]
[TR]
[TD="width: 225, bgcolor: transparent, colspan: 6"]Z85 TRAINER MPH CHART[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="width: 37, bgcolor: transparent"]rpm[/TD]
[TD="width: 44, bgcolor: transparent"]rpm[/TD]
[TD="width: 45, bgcolor: transparent"]rpm[/TD]
[TD="width: 45, bgcolor: transparent"]rpm[/TD]
[TD="width: 27, bgcolor: transparent"]Gear[/TD]
[TD="width: 27, bgcolor: transparent"]Cog[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="width: 37, bgcolor: transparent"]75[/TD]
[TD="width: 44, bgcolor: transparent"]80[/TD]
[TD="width: 45, bgcolor: transparent"]85[/TD]
[TD="width: 45, bgcolor: transparent"]90[/TD]
[TD="width: 27, bgcolor: transparent"]#[/TD]
[TD="width: 27, bgcolor: transparent"]#[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]26.8[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]28.5[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]30.3[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]32.1[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]15[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]11[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]24.5[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]26.2[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]27.8[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]29.4[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]14[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]10[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]22.7[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]24.3[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]25.8[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]27.3[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]13[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]9[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]21.2[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]22.6[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]24.0[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]25.4[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]12[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #C5D3FF"]8[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]18.5[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]19.7[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]21.0[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]22.2[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]11[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]7[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]16.5[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]17.6[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]18.7[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]19.8[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]10[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]6[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]14.7[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]15.7[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]16.7[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]17.7[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]9[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]5[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]13.4[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]14.3[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]15.2[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]16.1[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]8[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #B7FFFF"]4[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]12.5[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]13.3[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]14.2[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]15.0[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]7[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]7[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]11.2[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]11.9[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]12.6[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]13.4[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]6[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]6[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]10.0[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]10.7[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]11.4[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]12.0[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]5[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]5[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]9.1[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]9.8[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]10.4[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]11.0[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]4[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFE4AF"]4[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFF99"]8.0[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFF99"]8.6[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFF99"]9.1[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFF99"]9.6[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]3[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFF99"]3[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFF99"]7.1[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFF99"]7.6[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFF99"]8.1[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFF99"]8.6[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]2[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFF99"]2[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFF99"]6.2[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFF99"]6.7[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFF99"]7.1[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFF99"]7.5[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"]1[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFF99"]1[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

The numbering is 11 for the small cog and the chart shows 15 gears with a single double-shift from 34x7 to 50x4 and e.g., 18.5 mph at 75rpm in 50x7.
McBTC is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 03:12 PM
  #6  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 42,567

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 194 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7319 Post(s)
Liked 927 Times in 586 Posts
largely functional as a single with a Bail Out low .. Rode a tour with a friend using a 50-28 even more the case .

Had a 52-36 for the Mt Tam hill climb , in the 80's..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 03:14 PM
  #7  
mcours2006
Senior Member
 
mcours2006's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 5,932

Bikes: Giant Rapid, Bianchi Advantage, Specialized Roubaix, 1985 Gardin Quatro, Norco Threshold, Raleigh Serengheti MTB

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1885 Post(s)
Liked 189 Times in 110 Posts
Man, you guys are nerds! I have a triple 9 and a compact 10 for my commuters. I am not really fussy about which I like more in terms of the gearing. My commute is not hilly so don't tend to shift a lot. I'm most comfortable pedaling at 95 rpm, but I'm fine anywhere between 80-100.

My other bikes are 53/39, but since I'm not that strong a rider anyway I tend to be be mostly in the 39 ring, occasionally slipping into the 53. Doesn't bother me at all.
mcours2006 is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 03:24 PM
  #8  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 12,495

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 323 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1927 Post(s)
Liked 345 Times in 185 Posts
"If you want even the nerds to consider you a nerd, try getting enthusiastic about bicycle gearing." -Ken Kifer
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 03:25 PM
  #9  
McBTC
Senior Member
 
McBTC's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,785

Bikes: 2015 22 Speed

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1504 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
50x7 (above) refers to the 7th cog which is 16T:

[TABLE="width: 155"]
[TR]
[TD="width: 205, bgcolor: transparent, colspan: 5"]Shimano 50/34T Chainrings[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, colspan: 4"]11-speed Freewheel[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="width: 50, bgcolor: transparent"]Rings/Cogs[/TD]
[TD="width: 39, bgcolor: transparent"]34[/TD]
[TD="width: 42, bgcolor: transparent"]50[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="width: 50, bgcolor: white"]11[/TD]
[TD="width: 39, bgcolor: white"]82[/TD]
[TD="width: 42, bgcolor: yellow"]120[/TD]
[TD="width: 37, bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]11[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="width: 50, bgcolor: white"]12[/TD]
[TD="width: 39, bgcolor: white"]75[/TD]
[TD="width: 42, bgcolor: yellow"]110[/TD]
[TD="width: 37, bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]10[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="width: 50, bgcolor: white"]13[/TD]
[TD="width: 39, bgcolor: white"]69[/TD]
[TD="width: 42, bgcolor: yellow"]102[/TD]
[TD="width: 37, bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]9[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="width: 50, bgcolor: white"]14[/TD]
[TD="width: 39, bgcolor: white"]64[/TD]
[TD="width: 42, bgcolor: yellow"]95[/TD]
[TD="width: 37, bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]8[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="width: 50, bgcolor: white"]16[/TD]
[TD="width: 39, bgcolor: yellow"]56[/TD]
[TD="width: 42, bgcolor: yellow"]83[/TD]
[TD="width: 37, bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]7[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="width: 50, bgcolor: white"]18[/TD]
[TD="width: 39, bgcolor: yellow"]50[/TD]
[TD="width: 42, bgcolor: yellow"]74[/TD]
[TD="width: 37, bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]6[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="width: 50, bgcolor: white"]20[/TD]
[TD="width: 39, bgcolor: yellow"]45[/TD]
[TD="width: 42, bgcolor: yellow"]66[/TD]
[TD="width: 37, bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]5[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="width: 50, bgcolor: white"]22[/TD]
[TD="width: 39, bgcolor: yellow"]41[/TD]
[TD="width: 42, bgcolor: yellow"]60[/TD]
[TD="width: 37, bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]4[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="width: 50, bgcolor: white"]25[/TD]
[TD="width: 39, bgcolor: yellow"]36[/TD]
[TD="width: 42, bgcolor: white"]53[/TD]
[TD="width: 37, bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]3[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="width: 50, bgcolor: white"]28[/TD]
[TD="width: 39, bgcolor: yellow"]32[/TD]
[TD="width: 42, bgcolor: white"]47[/TD]
[TD="width: 37, bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]2[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="width: 50, bgcolor: white"]32[/TD]
[TD="width: 39, bgcolor: yellow"]28[/TD]
[TD="width: 42, bgcolor: white"]41[/TD]
[TD="width: 37, bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: transparent, align: right"]1
[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
McBTC is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 03:25 PM
  #10  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,915
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1464 Post(s)
Liked 147 Times in 103 Posts
I just converted a triple to 1x11 with a 34T chainring and 11-40 on the rear for commuting and trail riding on my Troll. Really don't ever need to pedal faster than 24 mph, because above that, I'm coasting. The simplicity of shifting only the rear is great. Takes all the planning out of shifting without having to worry about the front. And the XT RD can go up 4 cogs per shift, so shifting to an easier gear is quick. Still, I don't have any issues with a compact double on the front, especially when combined with an 11-40 on the rear.



alan s is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 03:26 PM
  #11  
intransit1217
Senior Member
 
intransit1217's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Kenosha , Wi
Posts: 1,226

Bikes: 2013 specializes secure sport, Salsa vaya, Masi giramondo

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
I found I can spool a 32/44 on a 7 speed better than I can my 50/39 nine speed. Was either pushing too hard on the 50 or couldn't find a leg speed that was comfy on the 39.

One reason I bought my Masi Giramondo was the gearing 44/34/22 with a ten speed.

But I roll it like it's a 5. Typically I'll start in the 34/ 16, get moving then just jump to the 44. It's an awesome hi/low setup that allows me to just boogie. I've still got 14,12,11 available.
intransit1217 is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 03:45 PM
  #12  
Miele Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,044

Bikes: iele Latina, Miele Suprema, Miele Uno LS, Miele Miele Beta, MMTB, Bianchi Model Unknown, Fiori Venezia, Fiori Napoli, VeloSport Adamas AX

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1081 Post(s)
Liked 629 Times in 436 Posts
I have a 50-34 crankset but it's not on a bike at the moment.

One of my commuter bikes is a rigid mtb converted to dropbar and 9-speed (11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19) corncob mated to a 48-38-28 crankset. I LOVE IT! I ride it a lot on rolling hills and love the slight increases between gears as a shift in back doesn't lead to spinning out in too low a gear.

Cheers
Miele Man is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 03:47 PM
  #13  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 10,876

Bikes: Schwinn Paramount, Salsa Timberjack, Diamondback Expert TG, Burley Samba

Mentioned: 64 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1956 Post(s)
Liked 521 Times in 361 Posts
I agree about your basic premise. The big shift of a compact double system is awkward, and it makes the cruising gears awkwardly cross-chained. On a triple you are usually in the middle of the middle ring. But...

Compared to a MTB 1x11 system you have more ratios (about 15 not including overlap) and they are closer spaced (+-9% not +-15%). This is what roadies usually say they want.

And, I'm kind of sick of fussing with triples.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 03:48 PM
  #14  
jyl
Senior Member
 
jyl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 7,642

Bikes: 61 Bianchi Specialissima 71 Peugeot G50 7? P'geot PX10 74 Raleigh GranSport 75 P'geot UO8 78? Raleigh Team Pro 82 P'geot PSV 86 P'geot PX 91 Bridgestone MB0 92 B'stone XO1 97 Rans VRex 92 Cannondale R1000 94 B'stone MB5 97 Vitus 997

Mentioned: 140 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 389 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 41 Times in 26 Posts
Seems like you could stay in the 50 ring all the time. Why even go to the 34 ring, except for a significant hill?

With 10 and 11 speed cassettes and their small steps between cogs, what the world needs is a FD that will shift between 55 and 26 rings, a chain flexible enough for cross-chaining, with electronic shifting that allows purely sequential shifting. Then you could run 55/26 x 11-23 10 or 11 speed. Huge gear range, no overlap, adequately small steps for commuting, and simple "up down" shifting.

Last edited by jyl; 04-20-16 at 03:57 PM.
jyl is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 03:50 PM
  #15  
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 30,975

Bikes: 2010 Expedition, 03 GTO

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 710 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Seems like you could stay in the 50 ring all the time. Why even go to the 34 ring, except for a significant hill?
Worked for me.
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"
10 Wheels is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 03:59 PM
  #16  
Wanderer
aka Phil Jungels
 
Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North Aurora, IL
Posts: 8,106

Bikes: 08 Specialized Crosstrail Sport, 05 Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 165 Post(s)
Liked 37 Times in 27 Posts
I've always thought that a 50, 40, 30 triple is just about perfect! an 11-32 or 12-34 9 spd in the rear would keep me very happy!
Wanderer is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 04:00 PM
  #17  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 12,495

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 323 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1927 Post(s)
Liked 345 Times in 185 Posts
Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
50x7 (above) refers to the 7th cog which is 16T
That's kind of interesting. By having an 11-32 instead of the 12-29 I'm using the shift pattern looks a bit better. You're double shifting from 16T to 20T whereas two shifts from 16T takes me to 19T.

Looking at the gaps in my gear range a little closer I see that I'd probably get optimal shifting by going to the big ring from 17T gear, where a double shift would take me to the 21T cog so 34-17 (53.5 gi) goes to 50-21 (63.7 gi) for a 19% jump. If I wait until I'm using the 16T (34-16=56.9 gi) the 1 up+2 down shift takes me to 50-19 (70.4 gi), a nearly 24% jump.

As a table with gear inches....

[TABLE="class: grid"]
[TR]
[TD][/TD]
[TD="align: right"]50[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]34[/TD]
[TD]1+2 change[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]12[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]111.5[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]75.8[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]26.12%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]13[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]102.9[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]70[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]27.43%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]14[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]95.6[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]65[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]28.62%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]15[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]89.2[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]60.7[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]29.65%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]16[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]83.6[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]56.9[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]23.73%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]17[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]78.7[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]53.5[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]19.07%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]19[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]70.4[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]47.9[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]21.50%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]21[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]63.7[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]43.3[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]18.94%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]23[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]58.2[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]39.6[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]16.41%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]26[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]51.5[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]35[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]29[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]46.1[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]31.4[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]


OK, yes, it is clear to me how much I'm overthinking this, but that's just putting numbers to what feels wrong on the road.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 04:01 PM
  #18  
2 Piece
Senior Member
 
2 Piece's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 339

Bikes: Motobecane Century Pro Ti Disc

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a 50/34 chain ring on my commuter and almost only use the 50 unless pulling the trailer or extra heavy panniers.
2 Piece is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 04:01 PM
  #19  
MRT2
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 6,113

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 2009 Kona Blast

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 911 Post(s)
Liked 101 Times in 73 Posts
Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Seems like you could stay in the 50 ring all the time. Why even go to the 34 ring, except for a significant hill?
Maybe because from a stop, the big ring is too big, even if you cross chain?

I think that 1 x 10 or 1 x 11 makes a lot of sense for a commuter, with something like a 42, or even 39 tooth chainring. This combination puts the rider right in the middle of the cassette most of the time. Some ask about giving up top end speed, but realistically, how many people can really use a big gear of 121 gear inches on a commuter?
MRT2 is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 04:18 PM
  #20  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 12,495

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 323 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1927 Post(s)
Liked 345 Times in 185 Posts
Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Seems like you could stay in the 50 ring all the time. Why even go to the 34 ring, except for a significant hill?
Well, that's what I did this morning, but I don't like pushing off from a stop in a 50 inch gear. If I was going to do that I may as well ride my singlespeed and walk up the big hill.

Like I said above, 50-34 is essentially a 1x with a poorly chosen single ring and an inadequate bailout gear.

Robert Capon once wrote a cooking book in which he goes off on a rant about knives, comparing the commonly sold knives to tin fiddles. His idea maps almost perfectly to my feelings about the compact double.

It is as if there were a conspiracy among violin makers (for whatever reasons) to provide the public only with violins made of metal. With enough control of the market, and with advertising sufficient to arouse the public's interest, they could reach the point at which no new wooden violins were available. It would meet with opposition, of course. Nobody who remembered having heard a wooden violin would think the tin one as good. No professional violinist would willingly play a tin fiddle. And there would be an active market in old wooden violins. All that notwithstanding, however, the tin ones would sell. With enough manipulation, the only thing available to the man in the street would be an instrument no professional would use: partly because some people never pay enough attention to hear any difference; but mostly because the people who really care about doing things well are not numerous enough to cut the mustard in the marketplace.
Compact double = tin fiddle

I'm sure the C&V crowd can see a few more applications for this analogy.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 04:20 PM
  #21  
McBTC
Senior Member
 
McBTC's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,785

Bikes: 2015 22 Speed

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1504 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
How about a double-shift from 14T in the low ring to 19T in the big ring...?
McBTC is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 04:23 PM
  #22  
HardyWeinberg
GATC
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: south Puget Sound
Posts: 8,722
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 463 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 21 Posts
My bad weather ride is 1x7 42x11-28. which actually has a higher low end than the other 2 with 50/34 11/27. One of them I am always on the 50t except for a big hill (really big hill), the other I warm up for a couple miles 34/11-13. The former one I might be able to pull off a 52/36 but I have been happy to have that 34/27 option...
HardyWeinberg is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 04:23 PM
  #23  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 12,495

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 323 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1927 Post(s)
Liked 345 Times in 185 Posts
Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
I think that 1 x 10 or 1 x 11 makes a lot of sense for a commuter, with something like a 42, or even 39 tooth chainring. This combination puts the rider right in the middle of the cassette most of the time. Some ask about giving up top end speed, but realistically, how many people can really use a big gear of 121 gear inches on a commuter?
I've got a 15-20% grade hill at the end of my commute, so barring the kind of ridiculously wide range cassette that is now becoming available, 1x10/11 means ending the day with a short uphill walk, but I think you're essentially spot on. In fact, when I "upgraded" to 11-speed Shimano stuff (for the hydraulic brakes) on my primary commuter recently and lost the option of running a triple I just removed the big ring and am now using a 39-30 double. I do most of the commute in the 39T ring and then drop down to the 30 for that one hill.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 04:26 PM
  #24  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 12,495

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 323 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1927 Post(s)
Liked 345 Times in 185 Posts
Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
How about a double-shift from 14T in the low ring to 19T in the big ring...?
So you mean a double-double shift, using two clicks of the shifter twice? It's functionally possibly, but I don't like it.

__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 04-20-16, 04:31 PM
  #25  
ThermionicScott 
7-speed cultist
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 20,010

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2769 Post(s)
Liked 680 Times in 474 Posts
I'm with you for the most part, @Andy_K. A 50/34 crankset feels like a triple with the middle ring (the most useful, IMO) removed. It seems like you need a wide-range cassette to avoid constantly cross-chaining or shifting the front.

That said, I'm experimenting with a 48/34 crank on my long-distance bike. The cassette is a 13-24, but if the setup ends up with me shifting the front too much, I'll be willing to try a 13-26 cassette before saying "the hell with it."
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.