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Dissapointed in my Compact :(

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Dissapointed in my Compact :(

Old 04-16-07, 11:47 AM
  #1  
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Dissapointed in my Compact :(

I finally rode my Flyte build from the winter....


On my commute this morning (26 miles in). I was greatly dissapointed. Not sure yet if it is just the Campy that sucked, or the compact crank, or a combination of the 2 (my vote).

The thing is less tolerant of cross-chaining than my Shimano setups effectively dumping me out of at least 2 gear combinations that I would normally use. As a result I am all over the friggin cassette and chainrings looking for a gear. I find I'm running through both between each stop (this was 26 miles on a MUP ).

Current setup:
Crank - 2007 Campy Ultra Torque Centaur Compact Crank (50-34 I believe)
Cassette - 2006-2007 Campy Veloce 12-23 cassette
Shifters - 2007 Campy Veloce (QS front)
FD - 2007 Campy Centaur CT QS
RD - 2007 Campy Veloce Short Cage

At the very least I am thinking that I need to run a 12-25 on here (thought I did have a 12-25 until I checked for this post). Anyone know if I am going to run into trouble with the 12-25-compact-short cage RD (don't think I will...but you never know)?

EDIT: I was also skipping gears at starts. Don't know if it was my monster power stripping teeth off the cogs, crappy Campy, bad cross chaining at start, or frame flex. I voting for a combination of the last three....
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Old 04-16-07, 11:50 AM
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unless you're climbing ALL of the time, i don't see the point of compacts.

as you've just discovered - it's cross chaining hell.

i ended up spending most of my time in the 50 when i borrowed one for a few weeks last year.
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Old 04-16-07, 11:54 AM
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You can safely run up to a 27 with a shortcage derrailleur. I've actually run 28...but you do need to really dial in the pulley adjuster screw-thingie.

My only advice is to forget what gear you think you should be in, and just ride. You'll get used to it. You'll find yourself staying in the 50 more.
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Old 04-16-07, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Mo'Phat
You can safely run up to a 27 with a shortcage derrailleur. I've actually run 28...but you do need to really dial in the pulley adjuster screw-thingie.

My only advice is to forget what gear you think you should be in, and just ride. You'll get used to it. You'll find yourself staying in the 50 more.
That's exactly what I do...and it's causing me my problems. I end up in cross chaining heaven. I can't seem to be able to use the 50X23 for sure, and possibly the 50X21. Means that I end up having to dump to the 34 for no reason - the 50X21 and 50X23 would have worked.
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Old 04-16-07, 11:57 AM
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If you're climbing all the time you're better off with a triple.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:02 PM
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I'm running a 50/34 with an 11-23 cassette and it's fully capable of cross chaining no problem - no issues like you're speaking of (not that I intentionally cross chain)... Ultegra group w/ R700 crank. I love my compact. I run in my 50 just about all the time, but know that if I'm hurting I've got the 34 there to tow me along.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:03 PM
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I am in my 50 most of the time.....the 34 is just for steep hills...I can climb most in the 50....I have a 25-12 and plan to go to a 25-11 soon....

I dont have a problem in the 50-25 but hardly ever end up in the 34-12....very odd....if I am there I would be in my big ring....

I think you will get used to it as well...
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Old 04-16-07, 12:04 PM
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Triple with 11-23 is heaven for me.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001
That's exactly what I do...and it's causing me my problems. I end up in cross chaining heaven. I can't seem to be able to use the 50X23 for sure, and possibly the 50X21. Means that I end up having to dump to the 34 for no reason - the 50X21 and 50X23 would have worked.
Alright. You've ridden with me a few times. We did a whole century around Kane County and I stayed in the 50 that whole ride. I am pretty conscious about not crosschaining, so that meant 8 gears for that whole ride. on the 12-27 cassette that meant not going to the 24 or 27 teeth. Granted there was little to no wind and you know about all those vicious climbs in the area.

Conversely, I rode on Sunday entirely in the 34 on purpose. My legs were sore and needed to just spin. I've got the 11-23 on the new wheel, so that meant using pretty much the middle 6 of the cassette. But we were on a MUP and not really going fast, so it was all good.

Your commute has a few steep hills, right? I think once you get the route ridden a few times you'll know when you need to move from 50 down to 34, but for the most part will keep it in the 50.

Stay with the compact for a while. Give it a chance and you will come to appreciate the range. The last part of your commute home is uphill.... remember that.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:14 PM
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34 is going to slack the chain a large bit.
i have a 36 and have had not any issues.
if your running a 34 you might want a long cage rd.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:16 PM
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Dude...you better get someone who is capable of setting up your group correctly. The only reason why you have a problem is someone didn't dial in the group correctly. It wouldn't be the first time.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jberenyi
Dude...you better get someone who is capable of setting up your group correctly. The only reason why you have a problem is someone didn't dial in the group correctly. It wouldn't be the first time.
This should be fun.... Psimet, he's calling you on your wrenching skillz!

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Old 04-16-07, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by botto
unless you're climbing ALL of the time, i don't see the point of compacts.

as you've just discovered - it's cross chaining hell.

i ended up spending most of my time in the 50 when i borrowed one for a few weeks last year.

11-21 cog sets for flats...12-27 for the hills
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Old 04-16-07, 12:25 PM
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I recently switched to a new bike with a 50-34 / 12-25 from a 53-39 / 12-25. After a week, I was ready to trash it for the reasons you cite. I liked the flexibility of the 34-25, but found that I was cross-cahining more than I was accustomed to -- I rode the old setup in the 39 most of the time (up to ~21 MPH).

What I have found now is that with the FD adjusted so that I can use my 50 without any FD rub in the 23, I can leave it in the 50 most of the time. It took about 2-3 weeks to really adjust my shifting patterns to account for the different gear combos. Not that I know your style, but I can definitely see that a 12-23 would present problems for me -- I use the 50-21 and 50-23 quite a bit. I avoid the 50-25. On the other end, I do get a little chain rub with the 34-13 combo and rarely use it. I can say that I now really prefer the compact set up. Though I don't have that many climbs about, I really love spinning in 34-23 and, when necessary, 34-25. Now that I have tasted that fruit, I would definitely miss it.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by CyLowe97
This should be fun.... Psimet, he's calling you on your wrenching skillz!


The group is set up fine. After 20 years of building I can say without a doubt that it is "dialed in".



I'm surprised that no one asked about what chain I'm using....come on folks...that would have been my first question...
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Old 04-16-07, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Dial_tone
If you're climbing all the time you're better off with a triple.
incorrect.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:31 PM
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the chainline is the same but you have to dial-in chain length with some trial-and-error. I find the 34 pretty much useless, 36/50 with a 12-23 works perfect for me.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:32 PM
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Oh and my cross chaining is not FD rub....it's excessive mesh noise on the rear combined with occassional skipping (if under torque) while in a 50X23, and big ring pick up noises ( you know when the shift pins start trying to pick up the chain for the upshift) if in the 34X13(or14) and lower.

These are combos that put me in my band that require me to dump rings to find other combos that work.

This is NOT misadjustment of the RD or FD in any way shape or form...just a crappy result of running a compact.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ggg300
11-21 cog sets for flats...12-27 for the hills
fair enough, but iirc there aren't many hills where our man pismet lives.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:32 PM
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It seems that it would be way too easy to "outspin" a 50 x 34 chainring setup on typical terrain. While my current arrangement is a standard 53 x 39, if I lived in the Rocky Mountains and rode there all the time it might make sense to have a triple for a true "bailout" gear. The cross-chaining problems have been mentioned very frequently. I think that a double should work for an overwhelmingly large percentage or riders.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue Jays
It seems that it would be way too easy to "outspin" a 50 x 34 chainring setup on typical terrain. While my current arrangement is a standard 53 x 39, if I lived in the Rocky Mountains and rode there all the time it might make sense to have a triple for a true "bailout" gear. The cross-chaining problems have been mentioned very frequently.
BJ -

don't blame the equipment, work on your leg speed.

Last edited by botto; 04-16-07 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by botto
unless you're climbing ALL of the time, i don't see the point of compacts.

as you've just discovered - it's cross chaining hell.

i ended up spending most of my time in the 50 when i borrowed one for a few weeks last year.

I understand none of this "cross-chaining hell" talk. I have a 50-34 with 12-25. Big ring for the flats, small ring for the hills. Don't use the 50-25 or the 34-12, same as with any other crankset. FSA Gossamer with Ultegra derailleurs and cassette. No rubbing, grinding, skipping, hopping, bopping, slopping, cropping, hippity-hoppity griping and complaining, whining and shining. YAIHCCT. jeesh.

HTML Code:
         53	    60.% 50
12	116.1		109.5
8.3 %
13	107.1		101.1
7.7 %
14	99.5		93.9
7.1 %
15	92.9		87.6
6.7 %
16	87.1		82.1
6.3 %
17	81.9		77.3
11.8 %
19	73.3		69.2
10.5 %
21	66.3		62.6
9.5 %
23	60.6		57.1
8.7 %
25	55.7		52.6
HTML Code:
         39   14.7 %     34
12	85.4		74.5
8.3 %
13	78.8		68.7
7.7 %
14	73.2		63.8
7.1 %
15	68.3		59.6
6.7 %
16	64.1		55.8
6.3 %
17	60.3		52.6
11.8 %
19	53.9		47.0
10.5 %
21	48.8		42.5
9.5 %
23	44.6		38.8
8.7 %
25	41.0		35.7

Botto says he find the compact to be "cross-chaining hell". He also states that he stayed mostly in the big ring on the compact; presumably to avoid "cross-chaining hell." Assuming 34-12 was the cross chained gear that Botto wanted, that is equivalent to a 39-14 or a 53-19. Using the 50T ring of the compact would have Botto more in the middle of the cassette than the standard crank, hardly "cross-chaining hell".

50-19 and 34-13 are basically the same gears and on the other end, the 50-23 is between the 34-15 and 16 gears. So, either you do a Botto and end up in "cross chaining hell" or you simply use that front derailleur every once in a while.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ggg300
11-21 cog sets for flats...12-27 for the hills
Definitely the smarter option.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by botto
fair enough, but iirc there aren't many hills where our man pismet lives.
True for the most part, but I am riding this thing along the Fox River valley. As a result I end up going into and out of the valley multiple times - each time with a 2 or 3 block hill that looks like something from San Fransico.

...but when it's over it's back to soul crushing There are some big hills, and I am using this for a commute so I have a big ol light battery in the bottle cage, and a messenger bag full of crap weighing me down.


BTW - Me climbing is like trying to go up a ladder without using your hands.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:39 PM
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All-in-all it seems that a traditional 53 x 39 arrangement would benefit a larger cross-section of riders. While compacts work for many, I just haven't embraced that setup, since mashing works well for me. Running a 11-23 in the rear seems to provide enough low gearing for even very steep sections.
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