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Are crank chain rings interchangeable??

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Are crank chain rings interchangeable??

Old 02-28-08, 08:48 AM
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Are crank chain rings interchangeable??

Say I have a sram red crank with standard gearing (53-39)

Would I be able to switch later on to compact chainrings (50-34) or even a mix of the two (50-39) without buying new cranks?
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Old 02-28-08, 08:53 AM
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No, they are not.

Some people will tell you that you can ride a 53t on a compact crank, and some aftermarket companies make such things for a 110mm BCD, but there's no way I'd ride that.

You'd almost certainly throw the chain and end up as a crumpled heap on the ground.
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Old 02-28-08, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
No, they are not.

Some people will tell you that you can ride a 53t on a compact crank, and some aftermarket companies make such things for a 110mm BCD, but there's no way I'd ride that.


You'd almost certainly throw the chain and end up as a crumpled heap on the ground.
that wasn't always the case, from the Maestro:

Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
110 mm B.C.D. double cranks with full-sized (52-42, 52-40, etc.) were common in the late'70s and early '80s, but they had become nearly extinct for double chainrings. The rebirth of this format, with smaller rings, was pioneered by Tyler Hamilton who used one of these in the 2003 Tour de France.
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Old 02-28-08, 09:07 AM
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you can swap out the chainrings to different sizes. With a "standard" geared crank though you cant get a 34 or 36 on the small ring. That is the point of a compact crankset. You can get a 50 on the front or a 48 on the inner or whatever you want you just cant go small on the inner one like a compact as the bolt circle is to large.
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Old 02-28-08, 09:10 AM
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You could run a 50-39 on a standard crank pretty easily. You need to pay attention to your Bolt Center Diameter, or BCD. SRAM is probably 130mm, which is the road standard. Campy uses 135. Compacts are usually 110.

The smallest chainring you can use with a 130mm BCD crank is 38 teeth. So, you could conceivably run a 50-38 on your standard cranks if you want.
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Old 02-28-08, 09:48 AM
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OP - If/when you start swapping rings around, keep in mind that your front derailleur is designed to handle a maximum jump of about 14 teeth. You may get it to work with a wider range, but it won't be optimum.
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Old 02-28-08, 12:42 PM
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You should check out the selection of chainrings by Specialities-TA

The very large 68t rings are for small-wheeled bikes.

There are cranks with replaceable spiders, eg TA and Middleburn so in theory you could turn a 110 into a 130 BCD but in practice the cranks are loctighted onto the spider.
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Old 02-29-08, 08:20 AM
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I own TA rings and they are awesome.

I have a 51, 46, 40, and 35T.

Currently running 46/35 on my compact.
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Old 02-29-08, 08:43 AM
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FSA make 34, 36, 38, 39, 46, 48, 50, 52T chainrings for compact, 110 BCD cranks. So is it bad to run a more traditional setup, say 52/39 on a compact? (I realize the derailleur will need adjustment but its well within its 16 tooth limit)!
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Old 02-29-08, 09:09 AM
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There's nothing wrong with putting larger chainrings (i.e. 52/38) on a 110mm BCD compact. The overall setup may be a little bit heavier than 53/39 on a 130mm BCD crank, but it'll be very close. The chainrings can flex side to side a bit more but that won't make you any slower. The flex may affect shifting, I don't know. It did'nt back in the day when I ran 52/38 on a compact but that was before indexed front shifting.

On 130mm BCD cranks (the road standard for all current cranks except Campy), the smallest chainring that'll fit all cranks is 39t. 38t rings will fit but on some cranks the chain may contact the crank arms. For 110mm BCD compact cranks, the smallest that will fit all cranks is a 34t. 33t works on some cranks. TA make 110mm BCD rings in almost all sizes from 33t to 62t.
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Old 02-29-08, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
No, they are not.

Some people will tell you that you can ride a 53t on a compact crank, and some aftermarket companies make such things for a 110mm BCD, but there's no way I'd ride that.

You'd almost certainly throw the chain and end up as a crumpled heap on the ground.

I don't see the problem, with the correct inner chainring. I could see running a 53 outer, and 34 inner could be an issue.

And there'd be a little more flex, but I doubt it would be enough to throw the chain if things were properly adjusted
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Old 02-29-08, 12:25 PM
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Aren't the new Zipp VumaQuad cranks 110 only?

We offer both compact 50/34 and standard 53/39 extra stiff chain rings fitted to a 110mm bolt circle and attached with "NoNuts" system to reduce weight and increase overall crank stiffness. The smaller chain ring is threaded, so we use a larger diameter bolt to increase thread engagement, reduce weight and Stiffen the chain ring - crank arm interface.
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Old 02-29-08, 01:27 PM
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I wonder how well an FSA 38T small ring would go on a campy compact?
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Old 02-29-08, 01:32 PM
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be sure the chainrings you use are compatible with the cassette/chain type your drivetrain uses.
example, BioPace II chainrings (non "narrow") wouldn't work on a modern DA 10sp crank.
odd pairing but just an example.
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Old 02-29-08, 01:44 PM
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Is the Campy compact an "almost" 110 with one hole a bit on the skew?

The TA rings I mentioned are pro quality and used my many professional teams. I have a 39 on a Campy triple.
I also use Stronglight zircal rings which as really hardwearing. The 48t on a 86mm BCD cranks sufferes no noticeable flex.
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Old 02-29-08, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Amen
Say I have a sram red crank with standard gearing (53-39)

Would I be able to switch later on to compact chainrings (50-34) or even a mix of the two (50-39) without buying new cranks?

OK: "you have a SRAM Red crank with standard gearing (53-39)". There, I said it.

That is on a 130mm BCD (BCD = "Bolt Circle Diameter" and refers to the diameter of the bolts on the spider of the crank arms). So anything you put on there needs to also be 130mm BCD.

"Compact" refers to a smaller BCD of 110mm. Chainrings on 110mm BCD are not interchangeable with 130mm.


You should be able to find a 50T outer ring on 130mm BCD to replace your 53, but you will not find smaller than 38T for the inner. So at best, with your existing cranks, you could go down to 50-38. I would advise against this, as it would be a fairly insignificant and in my opinion useless change; all you're doing is giving up high-end with no other benefit. At least with a full-on compact (110mm BCD, usually with 50-34 or 50-36) you gain some low-end, which is the main reason most people switch to compact.


Just out of curiosity, what are you hoping to get out of this?
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Old 02-29-08, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Flak
I wonder how well an FSA 38T small ring would go on a campy compact?
Pretty much any garden variety 110 BCD chainring can be mounted to Campy's proprietary compact crankset with a simple mod. I wrote about it a short while ago. Here you go:

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...+campy+compact
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Old 02-29-08, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
No, they are not.

Some people will tell you that you can ride a 53t on a compact crank, and some aftermarket companies make such things for a 110mm BCD, but there's no way I'd ride that.

You'd almost certainly throw the chain and end up as a crumpled heap on the ground.
You are right on the first statement and wrong on everything else. I have a early 90's tandem at home that has 110mm BCD with a 53 tooth outer on it that has never had an issue with shifting and I've certainly never 'thrown a chain and end[ed] up as a crumpled heap' nor spontaneously combusted because I used that size ring on a 110 BCD. Heck, that BCD was standard issue on bikes from mountain bikes to road bikes until Shimano started mucking around.
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