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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.

50x34T vs 46x30T

Old 03-14-21, 11:45 AM
  #1  
utoner34
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50x34T vs 46x30T

I am looking at these 2 bikes:

https://www.cube.eu/en/2021/bikes/ro...-desertnblack/

https://www.cube.eu/en/2021/bikes/ro...eybluenorange/

Second bike has only 46x30T on the front. I am wondering would there be a significant difference in speed between the two crankset?
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Old 03-14-21, 11:57 AM
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GrainBrain
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How often do you push a 50x 11 or 12? How often do you grind a 30x30 or 34?

I wouldn't pay much attention to 50 vs 46 but I have put a little thought into a 34 vs 30 - sometimes I wish I had the 34 instead when road riding. Let's me have one more cog to use before upshifting to the large ring.
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Old 03-14-21, 11:59 AM
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The "Race" version has better GRX components including hydraulic brakes and 11 speed. The 46-30 is actually preferred for that sort of bike. I don't know the price difference but it's a substantially nicer bike.
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Old 03-14-21, 11:59 AM
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GrainBrain
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Oh the 50x34 use Tiagra and the 46x30 is GRX.

46 x 30 GRX 11 speed all day long over Tiagra!
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Old 03-14-21, 12:01 PM
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jonathanf2
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Depends on how you plan to ride? Do you think you'll be riding more on the flats or will you be doing significant hill climbing? The 2nd bike looks like it has the GRX 600 2x11 setup. That smaller 30t chainring and 11 speed cassette will make a big difference conquering difficult hillclimbs. Though if you don't plan on riding big hills, that first bike with the 50t front chainring will give you more speed on flat elevation. Personally for me, I love hitting the hillclimbs and would go with the 2nd bike easily.
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Old 03-14-21, 12:10 PM
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The 34/50 allows keeping up with a fast group on a slight downhill on the road.

The 30/46 gives up a little at the top end, but has mnt bike-like low gears.

At 100rpm, the speed difference is 32.5mph vs 35 mph.

edit- the GRX bike looks really nice- worth a substantial jump in price.

Last edited by woodcraft; 03-14-21 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 03-14-21, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by utoner34 View Post
I am looking at these 2 bikes:

https://www.cube.eu/en/2021/bikes/ro...-desertnblack/

https://www.cube.eu/en/2021/bikes/ro...eybluenorange/

Second bike has only 46x30T on the front. I am wondering would there be a significant difference in speed between the two crankset?
You lose one (and only one) gear at the top: 50 x 11 (assuming the cassette goes down to 11).

46x11 is almost identical to 50 x 12

Unless you spend a significant amount of time in 50 x 11, you won't miss it. I haven't. I have 46x30T on two road bikes now.
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Old 03-14-21, 04:48 PM
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utoner34
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Forgot to mention I ride mostly road, but I need / want strong bike that can handle my weight and occasional luggage, that's why I am looking at gravel bikes.

I do climb hills a lot so I guess lower gears always help. Still don't want to run out of gears on the flat

I have also looked at this.

https://www.cube.eu/en/2021/bikes/ro...ynflashyellow/
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Old 03-14-21, 04:55 PM
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wgscott
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weight, hills luggage: you'll want the lower gearing.
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Old 03-14-21, 05:54 PM
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woodcraft
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Originally Posted by utoner34 View Post
Forgot to mention I ride mostly road, but I need / want strong bike that can handle my weight and occasional luggage, that's why I am looking at gravel bikes.

I do climb hills a lot so I guess lower gears always help. Still don't want to run out of gears on the flat

I have also looked at this.

https://www.cube.eu/en/2021/bikes/ro...ynflashyellow/

The CX bike= shorter wheelbase, snappier handling, no rack mounting, narrower tires, a bit lighter.

"nuroad"= longer WB- mellower handling, bigger tires, lower gearing (one model).
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Old 03-14-21, 07:34 PM
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Do you regularly go 35+ mph and wish you needed to go faster? If not get the 46/30
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Old 03-14-21, 07:52 PM
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I have a 42 tooth big chain ring on my gravel bike. I have used a 50/34 on gravel in the past, but it seems really unnecessary. Now my road bikes have a 46 tooth big chain ring. It turns out a 46-11 is a pretty big gear unless you are sprinting at the highest level of the sport.
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Old 03-14-21, 08:26 PM
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I run a 46/30 with an 11-32 cassette on my gravel bike that spends 95% of it's time as a road bike. It is fine, if anything I like it better. If you go into the road section of this forum that would be a sin because they are all pro riders that spend all their time riding 30+ mph into the wind on the flat but I'm a normal human. The only time it is an issue is going down hill when you spin out at a bit over 30mph but who cares. At those speeds I'm better off tucking and coasting anyway and that makes up maybe 2% of my time on a normal ride. What I really like about the 46 is you are in the tighter section of the cassette at normal human speeds and I have never felt like the 30 makes a hill TOO EASY to climb. I can still climb a hill just as fast with the 30 as I can with a 34 but I can also keep my cadence up higher which my legs prefer and on really steep long climbs you have a real bail out gear to take it easy for a bit. If I were buying now though I'd go with a 48/31 and get the best of both but that doesn't appear to be an option.
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Old 03-15-21, 05:35 AM
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Larger wheels (38mm gravel vs 25mm road) do change the gearing a bit, so "lower" is not a bad idea, and the more offroad one does, the lower gearing one needs. My latest gravel build uses a 28/38 (11-34) on 38mm tires. My cross bike also has 46/30 (11-34) which I would actually like to lower. I went 46/30 on my road bike (11-28) as soon as GRX was available and haven't regretted it. TBH I still don't use the 11t cog.
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Old 03-15-21, 09:00 AM
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Unless you are racing this bike on-road or regularly hammering in fast group rides, 46x11 is plenty of gear.
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Old 03-15-21, 10:34 AM
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I had 46x11 gearing on 40mm tires for many years and rarely wished for anything tougher. The rare times would be when I was on a long gentle paved road descent where it wasnt steep enough for me to just tuck and coast. Flat paved road- 46x11 was plenty with that tire size.
For the last year and a half I have used a 48x32 crankset with 43mm tires, so 48x11 is the toughest ratio and I have never wished for anything more. I will use 48x11 on flat road with wind at my back for short periods of time, but could easily just pedal a slight bit faster if all I had was 46x11.
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Old 03-15-21, 10:40 AM
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I too have a 46-34 on one of my road bikes. I like to coast down hills whenever I can, don't miss the 50/11 at all.
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Old 03-15-21, 11:04 AM
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I think my 11t gets used mainly when I have my bike in the work stand.
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Old 03-15-21, 11:05 AM
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I think a 46/36 combo up front with 11-32 rear would be ideal, unless you do a ton of climbing and need something lower.
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Old 03-15-21, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Unless you are racing this bike on-road or regularly hammering in fast group rides, 46x11 is plenty of gear.
Juniors are limited to 44x12 (or the equivalent) and there are plenty of teenagers around here who can ride most folks off their wheel. Even on the Saturday morning hammerfest, it's enough gear.
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Old 03-15-21, 07:03 PM
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The only question is, is the price difference between 2 bikes worth the hydro discs. I will disregard the better shifters, since I never had a need for better shifting capability that Tiagra, but I always had the need for better brakes, better than mechanical disks (like TRP Spyre). I never had hydro brakes on a road bike only on a mountain bike very long time ago and I as remember, they were not perfect. Long decent could make the brakes very mushy and less effective.

Even if I just wanted to update brakes and put Shimano Tiagra hydraulics the price is simply ridiculous, one brake cost 200 eur: https://www.bike24.com/p2327124.html

Last edited by utoner34; 03-17-21 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 03-17-21, 12:48 PM
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The hydraulic discs are wroth every penny.
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Old 03-17-21, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
Oh the 50x34 use Tiagra and the 46x30 is GRX.

46 x 30 GRX 11 speed all day long over Tiagra!
Do this and do not look back!
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