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Anyone Using A 50/34 Compact Double

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Anyone Using A 50/34 Compact Double

Old 02-13-19, 02:04 PM
  #26  
caloso
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Road bike: 53/38
TT bike: 53/39
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Old 02-13-19, 02:06 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Over the past couple of years I've gone from my Ironman's original 52/42, 13-24 gearing to 52/39, 13-25, and recently to 50/39, 13-25. If I can find a 38T 130mm chainring I may try that, and I'm looking for the 13-28 version of my current chromed SunRace 13-25.

But I may switch the big ring back to a 52 or 53. I miss the top end on downhill blasts. There are a couple of fun downhills where I could get just a little faster.
SRAM makes one. When I was replacing the worn rings on my Quarq, I found one. Shifts fine, and every little bit helps.
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Old 02-14-19, 04:16 AM
  #28  
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I run 50/34 eleven speed with 32 on rear (normally). In Thailand I run a 40 rear cassette with a road link. Yes, sounds strange a 40 cassette on a road bike but common here.
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Old 02-14-19, 01:34 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
48/34. Fewer double shifts, more time in the big ring,

impress your buds on the hills.
Same: 48/34 with 12-32 cassette (10spd).

Caveat: I'd never impress anyone, but the combination works very well for me.
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Old 02-14-19, 07:20 PM
  #30  
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46/34 with 11-34 cassette here. Need a little bit more, not quite enough...

Tempted to try 11-36 out in back but not sure if RD can handle it. SRAM Apex mid-cage rated at 32T max and i pushed it to 34T. You think I can do 36T???
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Old 02-14-19, 07:26 PM
  #31  
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Yes, if my Shimano is any indication. Just crank on the B-screw.
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Old 02-15-19, 12:44 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Just curious what your impressions of the gearing change might be. This I installed on my Ď88 Cannondale Criterium Series that has a 7sp 12-28 cassette. Being a lifelong 53/39 road double guy this spring should be interesting.

Late to this discussion. I foolishly installed a 50/34 compact when switching my road bike to 11sp, and absolutely hate it. The 16-tooth gap between the rings is too big, and the ratios just don't work for me. it's rolling countryside where I live, and I'm constantly shifting at the front, whereas with a standard crank I was in the 39 most of the time and moving up to the 53 only at well north of 20mph. It's comijng off. Despite my age I may return to standard, or I may ditch the whole groupset and go retro with a Tiagra triple. 50-39-30 is pretty much perfect, I think, nice tight ratios at the back but a granny gear if you need it.
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Old 02-15-19, 02:24 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by tourisme View Post
Late to this discussion. I foolishly installed a 50/34 compact when switching my road bike to 11sp, and absolutely hate it. The 16-tooth gap between the rings is too big, and the ratios just don't work for me. it's rolling countryside where I live, and I'm constantly shifting at the front, whereas with a standard crank I was in the 39 most of the time and moving up to the 53 only at well north of 20mph. It's comijng off. Despite my age I may return to standard, or I may ditch the whole groupset and go retro with a Tiagra triple. 50-39-30 is pretty much perfect, I think, nice tight ratios at the back but a granny gear if you need it.
Sounds like a triple may be what you need to settle the issue.

Iím going to enjoy the 34 as it will extend my range in the hill country. Thanx for for your input, and all the others as well!
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Old 02-16-19, 10:49 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
Same: 48/34 with 12-32 cassette (10spd).

Caveat: I'd never impress anyone, but the combination works very well for me.


They're impressed because you're going up the hill in the big ring,

not realizing that you're actually in a lower gear than they are.
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Old 02-16-19, 12:26 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by tourisme View Post
Late to this discussion. I foolishly installed a 50/34 compact when switching my road bike to 11sp, and absolutely hate it. The 16-tooth gap between the rings is too big, and the ratios just don't work for me. it's rolling countryside where I live, and I'm constantly shifting at the front, whereas with a standard crank I was in the 39 most of the time and moving up to the 53 only at well north of 20mph. It's comijng off. Despite my age I may return to standard, or I may ditch the whole groupset and go retro with a Tiagra triple. 50-39-30 is pretty much perfect, I think, nice tight ratios at the back but a granny gear if you need it.
This was exactly my experience with my first compact crank last year with a 12-25 cassette. I swapped the 50 for a 46, and now I like it a lot. For very long or hilly rides I still prefer a triple.
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Old 02-16-19, 12:51 PM
  #36  
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I've got a light touring bike with a 50/34 up front and a 12-32 in the rear. I've only rarely used the 34/32 combo, and most of the time I keep the front on the 50 ring. I've also got a more 'roadie' bicycle that has a 53/39 up front and a 11/26 in the rear; works great and I tend to go to the low 39/26 combo more often than on the light tourer. I'm happy with both bicycles, though I might use a larger cassette on the roadie when I change it (maybe a 30 or 32 back there?).
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Old 02-16-19, 01:02 PM
  #37  
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I've been using compact doubles for the last decade or so. I ride in hilly terrain.

Recently I bought an older road bike with a 3 x 9 triple. It was a revelation. While in the compact double I was regularly and unnecessarily transitioning back and forth between the chainrings.

With the triple crankset, I am in the middle 90% of the time. Shifting choices are dead simple: during long climbs, I'm in the granny. Long downhills: in the big ring.

Another advantage of the triple is I can run a 53 tooth big ring, and a 14-28 cassette at the back. This eliminates the useless 11 and 12 tooth cassette cogs. And the granny cog up front eliminates the need for pie-plate sized cassette cogs out back.

Why have triples died? I assume because the pros don't ride them, and week-end warriors want what the pros ride.
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Old 02-16-19, 01:40 PM
  #38  
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52 - 36 , in the 80's when freewheels were 13t ~ 28 ,, built it from 144 Campag Style Triple disc chain guard in place of the outer..
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Old 02-17-19, 05:10 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
I've been using compact doubles for the last decade or so. I ride in hilly terrain.



Why have triples died? I assume because the pros don't ride them, and week-end warriors want what the pros ride.
Nope. There's some of that, but mainly it's driven by manufacturers cutting costs by standardising round a more limited range of components.

Everything you say about the triple is true. It shifts just as well as a double, and gives you a good range of gears without sacrificing nice close ratios at the back. Sigh.
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Old 02-17-19, 05:30 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by tourisme View Post
Nope. There's some of that, but mainly it's driven by manufacturers cutting costs by standardising round a more limited range of components..
hooey. The demand just isn't there. Compact doubles and wide cassettes work great for almost everyone.
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Old 02-17-19, 06:21 PM
  #41  
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Bought a Seven used in 2012 and it had a 52/39 crank with a 25 big cog. It was fine on flat or moderate rides but not low enough for the mountains or when I got tired. Prior to that I had been using triples for 10ish years. I switched to a 50/34 with a 29 in the back and, while it took some getting used to, it's fine for everything now.
I stay in the 50 unless I'm climbing. 30 some miles today with some small hills and I think I used the 34 twice. I'm 64 and back up to 212 pounds and my mileage is way down but it still seems like a low enough gear. Maybe if I tried a hilly century I would change my tune.
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Old 02-17-19, 06:41 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
....
Why have triples died? I assume because the pros don't ride them, and week-end warriors want what the pros ride.
that's an interesting question!
As just a regular kind of guy who is used to older technology, I have two ideas that come to mind...
1. it's harder to get good indexed shifting on a triple crank
2. people view triples as too complicated.

I've got three bikes with triples, but none use integrated brake/shift levers. As such, I really don't know what the average rider likes, but the trend towards 1x systems suggests that simplicity is appealing.

I do have a couple of bikes set up with compact gearing, and it does serve nicely when I don't need gears quite as low as what my triples give me, and might be used for faster riding.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 02-17-19, 07:53 PM
  #43  
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Road 50/34 11/32 11sp
TT 54/44 11/23 10 sp
Track bike...whatever works
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Old 02-17-19, 08:30 PM
  #44  
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I'd consider a triple for my '89 Ironman. Probably easier to fit than modding the frame to accommodate a rear wheel with cassette larger than an 8-speed.

My '92 Univega originally came with a 30/40/50 triple and 13-28 7-speed cassette. I've since replaced the wheels and fit an 8-speed 12-32, no problems. Nice to have that extra granny gear on days when my legs are dead or I'm hauling groceries or kitty litter home.

But the Univega is a heavier, more upright bike with slacker frame and kinda needs the extra gear options. The Ironman is only 5 lbs lighter but that's a big difference on hills, especially on long rides when the legs are dead. Right now the Ironman has a 50/39, 13-25 7-speed freewheel, and it's fine on good days. Occasionally I wish for a bit more oomph. I might try a 38T small chainring and/or 13-28 freewheel. If I wasn't such a cheapskate I'd replace the rear wheel and get something with an 8-speed freehub to accommodate the same 12-32 MicroShift cassette I have on the Univega.
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Old 02-18-19, 10:34 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
hooey. The demand just isn't there. Compact doubles and wide cassettes work great for almost everyone.
You've bought the manufacturer's propaganda.

You live in the mountains, right? So you're spending a lot of time in low gears or high ones. You'll have a lot less time in the intermediate range where you're shifting a lot at the front. Where I live nothing is flat, But nothing is that steep or long either. One is constantly shifting at the front and often simultaneously at the back because the jump between the rings is too great. In a 39 one can scoot along pretty much anywhere and not bother with the big ring except for fast stuff - like 25 mph plus.

But even in the mountains, wide cassettes don't work as well as tight ones. Gaps of around10% between ratios are pretty much ideal and getting the desired range by using a compact means one usually has much bigger jumps than that at the bottom end, which makes for a much less smooth riding experience. A triple means one can have both.

There's limited demand for triples now because lots of riders have no experience of them. But they are a superior option for lots of non-racing cyclists, and it's a great pity they're disappearing.
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Old 02-18-19, 10:43 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by tourisme View Post
You've bought the manufacturer's propaganda...
Not so fast tourisme. While I also have a very strong preference for a narrow cassette, most people just don't seem to care that much. I normally ride a triple on long distance rides, so it sparks a fair amount of discussion about gearing, and the vast majority of people I talk to are much less sensitive than I am to large jumps in cadence. It's unfortunate that you can't get a decent triple groupset anymore, but I believe it's consumer demand not marketing driven.
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Old 02-18-19, 10:55 AM
  #47  
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Gearing is all about the motor. So if the motor is old and tired, then smaller chainrings might help it out. So if you had more issues climbing or accelerating previously, smaller rings with the same rear gearing might help. However, if you spun out your cadence going downhill and frequently wished for a higher gear, then smaller rings won't help that at all.
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Old 02-18-19, 11:13 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Gearing is all about the motor. So if the motor is old and tired, then smaller chainrings might help it out. So if you had more issues climbing or accelerating previously, smaller rings with the same rear gearing might help. However, if you spun out your cadence going downhill and frequently wished for a higher gear, then smaller rings won't help that at all.
But what has that to do with this? If I spun out a 53/11 on a standard double, I'm certainly going to spin out a 50/11 on a compact. And the argument for a triple has little to do with the range of gears one can have - the dinner plate-sized cassettes take care of that - it is about combining range of gears with close gear ratios.

Kingston:

You think it's consumer-driven. My LBS tells me it's because the manufacturers wanted to cut their costs. Whatever the reason, it's not an improvement.
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Old 02-18-19, 11:34 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by tourisme View Post
But what has that to do with this? If I spun out a 53/11 on a standard double, I'm certainly going to spin out a 50/11 on a compact.
Isn't that what I said? As for the rest.... that wasn't in my conversation at all. I was just sharing my perspective on going from a 53/39 to a 50/34 front chainring set with no change of rear which was all the OP ask.
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Old 02-18-19, 01:19 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by tourisme View Post
You've bought the manufacturer's propaganda.
You live in the mountains, right? So you're spending a lot of time in low gears or high ones.
There's limited demand for triples now because lots of riders have no experience of them. But they are a superior option for lots of non-racing cyclists, and it's a great pity they're disappearing.
Riding a mountain means no, I'm not doing a lot of front shifting; and surely riding long rolling hills would be a good reason to maybe want a triple. You're probably right that bikes SPEC'ED with OEM triples are dwindling due to marketing and production/inventory concerns. But after-market triples are being made and sold by all the big group manufacturers at multiple price points - they certainly aren't disappearing, but you can't blame them if people just aren't buying.

And with my compact cranks and wide cassettes, I literally never wish I had just one more gear between any two that I do have.
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