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Anyone Using A 50/34 Compact Double

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Anyone Using A 50/34 Compact Double

Old 02-11-19, 05:40 PM
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OldsCOOL
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Anyone Using A 50/34 Compact Double

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.
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Old 02-11-19, 05:50 PM
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Most road bikes now come with 50/34 compact crank sets these days. Does the bike still have the same cassette. Obviously, most bikes now also come with 10 or 11 speed cassettes. Gives a very wide choice of gear inches.
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Old 02-11-19, 07:17 PM
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I am 57 and use a 50/34. I have have a 53/39 but really no reason. I am a fairly strong rider but I would not be using the 53/11 unless going downhill for awhile, much better working a long steep grade knowing I have a 34/28. Frankly a 34/30 if I lived in the mountains. The 50/11 is plenty no reason to have a standard double anymore.
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Old 02-11-19, 08:20 PM
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My gravel bike has. 50/34 11speed 11-32 works well for me.
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Old 02-11-19, 08:27 PM
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I use a 46/30T crank and an 11-34 (or 11-36) cassette. Without apologies.
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Old 02-11-19, 08:46 PM
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I still run pretty tight on the rear.

9/23.

There are some hill climbs up in Portland that Whupped me. Good descending gears though.

So, the second year I changed from a 54/39 to 53/34. It made a big difference.

I did go back with my older Colnago, 54/41 x 9/26, I think. Those couple extra gears in the rear made the difference to be able to get up the hills.

34/23 = 1.48 gear ratio
41/26 = 1.58 gear ratio (only slightly higher).

Still a strain for some climbing, or pulling cargo, but I'm generally fine.
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Old 02-11-19, 09:29 PM
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I jumped the 42/52-53 ship way back when Campy first started producing 39/53 cranks. Then I put a TA 50T chainring on. I went to the 34/50 after that and it's been my standard ever since. I do have one bike with old Super Record on it so it has a 42/49 in front.
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Old 02-11-19, 09:43 PM
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48/34. Fewer double shifts, more time in the big ring,

impress your buds on the hills.
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Old 02-11-19, 09:51 PM
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Totally agree that the standard double has become the exception, not the rule nowadays for consumer/enthusiast level road bikes. If my 30/39/50 by 11-28 ever would finally wear out I'd go with 34/50 by 11-32. I live in the hills, so going with a less forgiving gear than a 30x28 or 34x32 isn't going to work out for me. But I'd love to have a less fussy drive train than a triple will typically provide.
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Old 02-11-19, 10:53 PM
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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.
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Old 02-12-19, 05:24 AM
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The only downsides I see to compact over traditional gearing are the speed I can go down hill (I'll spin out on a 50/11 sooner) and how smooth the front shifts. The 53/39 front really shifts noticeably smoother. A mid compact crank helps with the speed loss but not the front shifting, might be the best compromise for strong riders IMHO.
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Old 02-12-19, 05:40 AM
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DA 9000 50/34 with a 12-28.

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Old 02-12-19, 06:09 AM
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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.
Oddly enough, I just ordered one of these (48T) for my Campy compact crank.

https://www.bike-components.de/en/St...mm-BCD-p54480/
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Old 02-12-19, 06:34 AM
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Having the 32 granny has been great in the Texas hill country especially on gravel.
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Old 02-12-19, 06:37 AM
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I can run a standard crank, a sub-compact or a triple, but a 50/34 compact crank doesn't work for me. The 50 is too big and the 34 is too small at my speed and cadence with my preferred narrow cassette, so I'm constantly cross-chained and shifting back and forth between the chainrings. I swapped the 50T for a 46T on the one compact crank I have, and I like that a lot better. I don't mind coasting downhill.
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Old 02-12-19, 09:04 AM
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Up here it is incredibly hilly and steep. There is one 2-mile grade that I want to be faster on. The 39/28 bailout is not at all a bailout even when in top condition and weight. Toss in several of these and it makes a 40mi ride feel like 65. I need the 50 for the flats and doing personal TT training that this bike was built for. Most of you guys probably have more gears on the back but I want to keep the 7sp to preserve some era integrity.

I wish I could go out and ride but today we are getting another foot of snow.
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Old 02-12-19, 10:29 AM
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I used a 50-36 with a 7 spd a couple of years ago and didn't like it much. Spun out on the downhills and felt the gaps when dropping to the 36 were too much. I found using a triple up front a little better with the older 6 and 7 spd gearing and was more comfortable with a 52-39-28 or something along that line. I really only used the smallest chainring on the steepest hills.
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Old 02-12-19, 10:44 AM
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Completely flat with some short steep, Long Island, NY.

I run a 34/50 plus a junior cassette 14-28 11 spd. I’m in my big ring most of the time. If I’m in need I go to the 34 and that’ll get me up most of the hills. There’s few places where we get up to 40mph and my 50/14 will get me to 30 and that’s all I need, I don’t race. If I’m heading someplace hillier like upstate NY, I bring my Soma steel road bike, it has a triple.
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Old 02-12-19, 10:59 AM
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Mike Sherman's Gear Calculator can show three chainrings, so it's easy to compare old and new.

Your 7 speed 12-28, showing speeds at typical flat road cadences.
53 chainring in blue
50 chainring in black
34 chainring in red.

switching 53 to 50: It's about a half shift difference.


Next, the 50, 39, 34 chainrings.

The 39 can go past 20 mph, but it's harder on hills, of course.
The 34 is one shift easier on the hills -- a significant change.

Last edited by rm -rf; 02-12-19 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 02-12-19, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Completely flat with some short steep, Long Island, NY.

I run a 34/50 plus a junior cassette 14-28 11 spd. Iím in my big ring most of the time. If Iím in need I go to the 34 and thatíll get me up most of the hills. Thereís few places where we get up to 40mph and my 50/14 will get me to 30 and thatís all I need, I donít race. If Iím heading someplace hillier like upstate NY, I bring my Soma steel road bike, it has a triple.
14-32 11 speed!

I have the same cassette, 14-28.
I combined it with a 11-32 to make a 14-32. It's great for fast group rides, with close shifts around 20 mph where I'm trying to hang with the group. And low gears for the steep hills.
See this post on the 14-32 setup.

The downside is having to shift 4 or 5 cogs when I shift chainrings, 50 & 34. But I have Di2, so the shifts are fast and easy.
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Old 02-12-19, 01:06 PM
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@OldsCOOL I'm surprised you've waited this long to consider switching to compact cranks. We similarly live in a hilly / mountainous area and I began the process of switching out my bikes to 50/34 a few years ago after a particularly difficult (for me) century ride. The most recent addition to the family is a 48/32 (gravel bike) with an 11-34 in the rear. My days of riding 53/39 are long gone except for the ride to the local coffee shop (almost flat).

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Old 02-12-19, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by h2oxtc View Post
@OldsCOOL I'm surprised you've waited this long to consider switching to compact cranks. We similarly live in a hilly / mountainous area and I began the process of switching out my bikes to 50/34 a few years ago after a particularly difficult (for me) century ride. The most recent addition to the family is a 48/32 (gravel bike) with an 11-34 in the rear. My days of riding 53/39 are long gone except for the ride to the local coffee shop (almost flat).

Nice Jamis!
I finally came to that conclusion just last season when realizing the taxing of endurance with hills. The 39/28 ratio didnt give me the cadence, just couldnt spin it up. This spring will probably be revolutionary on my conditioning.
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Old 02-12-19, 07:24 PM
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70s, 80s had some 52, 36, because freewheels did not go to 11 back then.. & I was younger

13 ~ 28t freewheels..
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Old 02-13-19, 06:00 AM
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You guys are killing me with some of you’re higher gear ratios! The only 53/39 chainring I have is on my TT bike where it’s ridden on pretty flat routes. I’ve been using 50/34s on all my other bikes paired with an 11-32 cassette. While there are some double shifts on normal riding the wide gear range lets me climb the steepest hills and have good acceleration on long descents.

However my new road disc bike came with a 52/36 crankset. I have put an 11/34 cassette on that bike to keep the lower gear ratio the same as the 34-32 on my other bikes. The 52-11 is a pretty huge gear for riding around here but should serve well for long descents.
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Old 02-13-19, 02:00 PM
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Here is a gear calculator tool. Fun to play with and it will give you plenty of information to compare with.

Over the last 10 years, the defacto standard now for normal riders is a 50-34. Unless you are a racer or run a triple in front, almost all new(er) bikes are set up with a 50-34 in front.

Bicycle Gear Calculator
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