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He says 50/34 better range than 54/39 ?

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He says 50/34 better range than 54/39 ?

Old 05-31-04, 11:24 AM
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He says 50/34 better range than 54/39 ?

I'm looking for a triple but it the gearing is more flexible on the double and price is right, might settle for the double. Still walking thru the maze of bikes for sale. One bike seems geared for racing yet has street stuff like blinkies and seat bag.

The guy has a FSA Carbon Pro Elite Compact 50/34 (double front chain ring). He says it gives a better range of gearing than say a 54/39...how is that mechanically possible?
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Old 05-31-04, 11:41 AM
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I think he probably means that while it gives the same 16-tooth range, more of it is usable by real humans. A 54/11 combination, for instance, gets used fairly rarely, while a 50/11 is a lot more useful. You also get lower gearing on the low end, which gives you something akin to a granny gear without the shame that some people feel at having a triple crank.
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Old 05-31-04, 01:06 PM
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The fsa compact is a great set up for in the mountains.
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Old 05-31-04, 05:00 PM
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Try a 26/36/46 triple.
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Old 05-31-04, 07:26 PM
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ignore diesel dan. don't get a triple. if you need a low gear, get a 12-27 cassette. if you need a loerw gear than that, go for the compact crankset. if you can't get up a hill with a 34/27, then you are either cycling in the himalayas or dead.
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Old 05-31-04, 08:45 PM
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Frequently I cycle in the Himalayas. er, at least I feel that way. I ride a place that is known by all to be uphill both ways, and just when I think that I am getting the hang of it, it starts to rain.
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Old 05-31-04, 09:03 PM
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Better is a very subjective thing. With the 50-34 you will have more choices in the low end and middle range, but you may run out of gears at the top- fast flats may be an issue. The 54-39 is a litle too much for mere mortals, and the standard for a road double is usually 52-39.
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Old 05-31-04, 09:19 PM
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53/39 but whats one more or less tooth. 53/39 and a 12-23 and i've had no problems with hills or speed but i dont do either much. Man, i dont glide along at 25mph.
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Old 05-31-04, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by The Terminator
Frequently I cycle in the Himalayas. er, at least I feel that way. I ride a place that is known by all to be uphill both ways, and just when I think that I am getting the hang of it, it starts to rain.
Well the Cascades are not the Himalayas (yet). But we get some pretty long acents at 8-15% grades. It's nice to have the bike gearing help with the work.
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Old 05-31-04, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jim-bob
I think he probably means that while it gives the same 16-tooth range, more of it is usable by real humans. A 54/11 combination, for instance, gets used fairly rarely, while a 50/11 is a lot more useful. You also get lower gearing on the low end, which gives you something akin to a granny gear without the shame that some people feel at having a triple crank.
No shame here! I care about arriving and if that means a mixture of Mt bike stuff and racing stuff (and it looks weird) so be it!

About that 16tooth range? What's that about?
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Old 05-31-04, 11:02 PM
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a 50x34 combined with a 11-23t gives you a wider gearing range than a 53x39 with a 12-23.

the top-end is still there, as a 50x11 is very close to a 53x12, but you get a much easier gear for when the road turns up in the 34x23
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Old 05-31-04, 11:25 PM
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54-39=15 teeth 50-34=16 teeth.
But 39/54 gives a 38.5% change if upshifting [27.8% if downshifting] while 34/50 gives a 47% upshift [32% downshift].
The rear derailer's slack adjustor has to take up the tooth change but your feet feel the percentage change AKA 'ratio of the small ring to the big ring and the ring to the sprocket'.

The 26/36/46 triple: 26-46 is 76.9%, 26-36 is a 38.5%, jump and 36-46 is a 27.8% jump. The 46 top gear will be slower or require a higher cadence than a 50 or 54 on a downhill or flat. If your small cog is a 12t and your pedaling 120 rpm with 700x28 tires, your speed is 36.5mph[46t] 39.8[50t] 43mph[54t].

This is the greatest bike gearing calculator ever, if you don't close the answer window it will just add the new answers to it so you can reveiw/compair them all even if you close the main calculator and comeback later (if you left the answer sheet open).
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

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Old 06-01-04, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by vrkelley
Well the Cascades are not the Himalayas (yet). But we get some pretty long acents at 8-15% grades. It's nice to have the bike gearing help with the work.
i'm not quite sure what advantage you gain from a 30t inner chainring [standard on a triple] and a 25t big cog [standard on a triple] over a 34t inner chainring [standard on a compact] and a 27t big cog. you're pushing 31.5 gear inches, and on the latter it's [wait for it] 33.1. even with a 39t chainring and a 27t cog, your're still looking at 38 inches.

with a triple, you have to accept poor derailleur tuning, long front shifts and more inaccessible gears for a miniscule improvement.
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Old 06-01-04, 06:53 AM
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I would like a 50/34 compact...I'm almost NEVER in my big ring unless I'm going above 25 mph...I like to spin fast when I'm riding, above 100 rpms.

I was actually thinking it might be cool to have just a 42T chainring up front and an 11-32 cassette in the back. I really hate shifting the front chainrings.
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Old 06-01-04, 07:48 AM
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I never do shift the chainrings. With 2800 miles on my bike,i've been in the 53,maybe 5 miles worth.
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Old 06-01-04, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by velocipedio
with a triple, you have to accept poor derailleur tuning, long front shifts and more inaccessible gears for a miniscule improvement.
Not true, IMHO. I don't see much of a difference in shifting between my triple and pretty much everyone else with their double on my group rides. Or maybe I'm just not sensitive to it. My front shifts don't appear to take any longer. While I may have more unusable gears, I figure I still get about 3 more lower gears, and smaller jumps between the gears. To my mind, the benefit of a triple is not lower gears but having low gears while keeping narrow gear spacing .

Is there a difference between Shimano and Campy triples? I've got Campy Record brifters, 30-42-52 chainrings, 13-26 9-speed cassette (but thinking about 11-23), Racing-T rear der., and an old Dura-Ace fr. der. designed for a double but that works very well in this set-up.
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Old 06-01-04, 09:07 AM
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With all the talk of triples, you'd think everyone was climbing the alps everyday.

For those who say they rarely use their 53, I'm wondering how often you're cross-chaining. I can't imagine that you rarely use your 12-14 in the back. I mean, you have to go downhill sometime, right?
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Old 06-01-04, 09:54 AM
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I notice consistantly on group/club rides where people use triples that when a hill approaches and you are in a pace line the line falls apart b/c the people with the triples are fussing with there gears and those with the doubles are cresting the top of the rollers. Look at a gear chart and you will see that with the compact crank and an 11-27 or some such cassette (with an 11) that you can get almost all the ratios that a triple can offer without the fuss. Just my 2cents...
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Old 06-01-04, 10:08 AM
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My bad I posted some MPH data at a cadence of 100 in my last post that was actually calculated at 120. I've edited it already.
I too live in the cascades and have used the 26 chainring with my biggest [30t]cog many a time. I go for a good 10 hours at a wack sometimes and my legs like to take it easy near the end. I like the low gearing you can get with mtb components(26/36/46 11-30 8sp) and the xt rear lx front derailures with xt shifters are snappy smooth. (my old road bike has a tenspeed set up with friction sucide shifters, remember when you had to tune every shift and even then it would try to spin and grind if any load was applied during the shift)
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Old 06-01-04, 10:15 AM
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A few years ago Miguel Indurain changed to a 50/40/32 with an 11-23 for his fun riding : does he know something we don´t ?
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Old 06-01-04, 10:29 AM
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This is a very interesting thread, I have a question about compacts though. I know with two standard cranks with 53/39, if one is a 172.5 and one is a 170, it will be easier to spin the 170 at a higher cadence.

So my question is if you have 2, 172.5 cranks. One being a compact, say 50/34, and one being a standard 53/39, will the compact have the same effect on a persons cadence without switching crank length?
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Old 06-01-04, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by el Inglés
A few years ago Miguel Indurain changed to a 50/40/32 with an 11-23 for his fun riding : does he know something we don´t ?
Getting old....
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Old 06-01-04, 11:28 AM
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One thing that always comes up is the wider range cogs with a double. Yes, you can have the same top and bottom gears as with a triple. What you are losing though, is the tighter gear ratios. I am sure everyone (The Fixer excluded) has experienced a point where one gear is a little too high and the next is a little too low. The wider ratio cogs are bad for this. A triple allows you to have high gears and low gears AND a tight ratio.

I notice consistantly on group/club rides where people use triples that when a hill approaches and you are in a pace line the line falls apart b/c the people with the triples are fussing with there gears and those with the doubles are cresting the top of the rollers.
What are these guys using, a stick shift? The last time I checked, the shifters on a double and a triple worked pretty much the same. As a matter of fact, they ARE the same. So how are these guys fumbling for gears? They just give it a click like everybody else.
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Old 06-01-04, 12:06 PM
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I don't know but it sounds aweful! It's like they can't find the right gear or something mabey there is too many to choose from? I guess since I race I am biased to the double b/c the faster you get to the correct gear the better. Hey btw I think that you should get what ever you want I'm just offering an opinion. I rode a triple for years and whent to a double and absolutly love it. My triple is still there cause it is on my touring bike (thats the only bike I had for years) A loaded bike absolutly definatly needs a triple. Mine is an old friction Suntour and it does indeed work very very well, better than sti from what I have seen on rides. I've never done randaneur or brevets again perhaps a triple is necessary in fact I think most of those guys use them. But since I can really only speek for my self and the original poster can take this with a grain of salt, I like the doubles and feel as though they offer close enough to the same ratios for less trouble.
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Old 06-01-04, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by The Fixer
Getting old....
Cipollini is only a few years younger...

I hardly ever use my 52.

a 50/34 is going to have a wider gear selection.
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