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Ride Quality: 50/34 crankset vs a subcompact 48/32

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbround Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Ride Quality: 50/34 crankset vs a subcompact 48/32

Old 06-03-17, 11:12 PM
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ypsetihw
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Old 06-04-17, 12:56 PM
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I'm using a 42/28 mtb crank on my gravel bike. I would be happier if that was a road crank though, the high-Q is a little annoying. I think for road, I would like a 44/30. Going with 46/34 because it's easier to find a road crankset in my pile of bike parts.
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Old 06-04-17, 02:33 PM
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That's cool, @ypsetihw!

@unterhausen, have you considered using the inner two positions of a road triple for that?
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Old 06-04-17, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
That's cool, @ypsetihw!

@unterhausen, have you considered using the inner two positions of a road triple for that?
Thanks! I love cobbling things together. To that point, I also don't like the high Q factor of mountain sets, and I happened to have this road double sitting around, so swapping the outer ring was a quick $16 on ebay for the BMX chainring I bought. The chainline on a dedicated triple is not as good as on a double, although I get your point about maybe getting the gears you want for a cheap price, and perhaps you could tweak it with a wider spindle on the BB.
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Old 07-03-17, 10:44 AM
  #30  
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Question, if one was to go with a 46x30 crankset and a 12x32 cassette would one still be able to use a standard road bike components? Shimano 105 9 speed double. Short cage rear derailleur?
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Old 07-03-17, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Sceadu498 View Post
Question, if one was to go with a 46x30 crankset and a 12x32 cassette would one still be able to use a standard road bike components? Shimano 105 9 speed double. Short cage rear derailleur?
You want a medium or long cage rear mech.
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Old 07-05-17, 07:33 AM
  #32  
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Of course all of this is opinion and based on each individual rider. I'll throw in my two cents. I ride a 50/34 and I'm always in the big crank. I'd say I ride it 95% of the time. It's made me a stronger rider. I'll only switch to the 34 if it's the end of a ride and I'm just gassed on another level when hitting a hill (rarely happens). The other times I use is to make sure it still works. I'll ride through the motion for ten minutes and once I deem all is well, back to the 50. Once again, my two cents.
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Old 07-05-17, 08:24 AM
  #33  
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I can't stand compact cranks. A 34 is too small for me, I'm always in the smallest cogs or shifting into the 50 before I want to. A 50 is fine for a big ring but I prefer a 52/39, since I've never seen a 50/39. For a gravel bike that will go offroad some I really like the Tiagra triple, 50/39/30.
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Old 07-05-17, 10:43 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I can't stand compact cranks. A 34 is too small for me, I'm always in the smallest cogs or shifting into the 50 before I want to. A 50 is fine for a big ring but I prefer a 52/39, since I've never seen a 50/39. For a gravel bike that will go offroad some I really like the Tiagra triple, 50/39/30.
I'd like to see the strava log of you using a 52x11 for more than a few minutes total at DK200 or a similar event. Maybe you're Ted King, but he topped out at 44x10.


There just isn't much need for it on gravel (and this is the gravel forum, isn't it?). However, as you noted you liked the idea of a 30t front ring, there's plenty of use for lower gearing, especially on looser, silty surfaces and deep-poured gravel.

I went to a 1x on my gravel rig for this reason. 36x11 gets me as fast as I need to go, and in the event I take that bike on a very different sort of course I can simply change the front ring. 34/50 is a stupid crank to put on most gravel bikes, even with a 11-32.

46x11 is 30 mph with 35c tires (King's 44x10 with 650bx42mm tires was just over 31mph). You aren't pushing that gear on a straight on a gravel road for very long - especially not if there is any wind at all, and if the descent is long enough you'll still spin out (and if it is a serious gravel road, you don't want to go too much faster than 35 on the descents, especially if you have a sharp turn at the bottom - like most every event that has sent someone to the ER tends to have).

After every single ride or event, I hear the tough guys grumble about gearing on a climb. That's just stupid - we need more subcompact cranks, not more standard cranks, and certainly not a 39/50. Way too much overlap there, anyway, unless you're riding something like an 11-28, but you'll still have a ton of overlap in the middle of the cassette. What is the point of a double then, over a wide-range 1x?

All that ranting aside, a 32/48 isn't much different from a 34/50. A 32/48 with an 11-36 is starting to get somewhere, but not every RD can play that game. (I have two allroads-ish bikes running 11-36 right now; a Domane with the stock 4700 Tiagra RD and a Crossrip with a SRAM GX RD. The Crossrip also has a 32/48 crankset). The 36t on the Domane (with a 34t rear) isn't a huge change from a 32t - and my second largest cog is 32, so I can test this difference on every climb longer than a mile or two.

OP: Not that you're looking anymore, but you'll get a lot of flexibility out of a 1x system. Subcompact cranks are still hard as hell to find, and I don't think 32/48 is worth the trouble without a 36t cog in the back.
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Old 07-05-17, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
I'd like to see the strava log of you using a 52x11 for more than a few minutes total at DK200 or a similar event. Maybe you're Ted King, but he topped out at 44x10.
What's up with your little punk ass comment? 52/11? I didn't even mention the rear cassette. Do you think every time someone shifts into the big ring they go into the small cog? You have to be a millennial. Go back to school and learn reading comprehension.
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Old 07-05-17, 11:01 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
I'd like to see the strava log of you using a 52x11 for more than a few minutes total at DK200 or a similar event. Maybe you're Ted King, but he topped out at 44x10.


There just isn't much need for it on gravel (and this is the gravel forum, isn't it?). However, as you noted you liked the idea of a 30t front ring, there's plenty of use for lower gearing, especially on looser, silty surfaces and deep-poured gravel.

I went to a 1x on my gravel rig for this reason. 36x11 gets me as fast as I need to go, and in the event I take that bike on a very different sort of course I can simply change the front ring. 34/50 is a stupid crank to put on most gravel bikes, even with a 11-32.

46x11 is 30 mph with 35c tires (King's 44x10 with 650bx42mm tires was just over 31mph). You aren't pushing that gear on a straight on a gravel road for very long - especially not if there is any wind at all, and if the descent is long enough you'll still spin out (and if it is a serious gravel road, you don't want to go too much faster than 35 on the descents, especially if you have a sharp turn at the bottom - like most every event that has sent someone to the ER tends to have).

After every single ride or event, I hear the tough guys grumble about gearing on a climb. That's just stupid - we need more subcompact cranks, not more standard cranks, and certainly not a 39/50. Way too much overlap there, anyway, unless you're riding something like an 11-28, but you'll still have a ton of overlap in the middle of the cassette. What is the point of a double then, over a wide-range 1x?

All that ranting aside, a 32/48 isn't much different from a 34/50. A 32/48 with an 11-36 is starting to get somewhere, but not every RD can play that game. (I have two allroads-ish bikes running 11-36 right now; a Domane with the stock 4700 Tiagra RD and a Crossrip with a SRAM GX RD. The Crossrip also has a 32/48 crankset). The 36t on the Domane (with a 34t rear) isn't a huge change from a 32t - and my second largest cog is 32, so I can test this difference on every climb longer than a mile or two.

OP: Not that you're looking anymore, but you'll get a lot of flexibility out of a 1x system. Subcompact cranks are still hard as hell to find, and I don't think 32/48 is worth the trouble without a 36t cog in the back.
A 48/32 is different though. Let's you get lower gearing without needing an even wider-spaced cassette. I already would like narrower gaps on my 11-32 (paired with a 46/30 crank) while maintaining the range.
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