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50-34T is used in road applications

46-36T is more for cyclocross....

go with 50-34T, you get more top speed cranking the 50T and 34T makes it a little easier to climb the steep hills, with the 30T cog
 

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Where do you ride? What condition are you in? Will you climb lots of steep hills? Long hills? How experienced are you? How heavy? Will you race? Will you ride with fast groups?

There's no answer to the question the way you asked it, without more information.
 

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A wheelist
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I'm looking for a road crankset for my first road bike. Which one should I get and why ? I'm using a 10 speeds 12-30T cassette.
JC got it right in his reply. Only with full disclosure can anyone advise you. What is you true average speed? What speeds do you reach on your downhills? Uphills? Without this we can't help.

I can tell you this - I use a ultra-compact for my road riding.....46/34 and with a 14/25 10-spd cassette too. That gives me a high gear where I'm maxed out at 28mph. But there are no long downhills anywhere close to me so I'm not wasting high gears that I will never use but my chain is mid cassette at my normal cruising speeds. And I'm not too slow either, as my true average speed is 18mph/30kph and at age 65 that ain't too shabby.

So tailor the gearing for you but as it's your first road bike you have no hindsight as to what that will be. I'd say start with 50/34 and alter it as needed. Just don't waste gears; they're too precious.
 

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I agree with the responses already given, more information is needed for help with an internet diagnosis. I have both on different bikes and really enjoy both. The 50/34 will give you both lower and higher gear ratios than the 46/36 which would help climbing and descending or sprinting. The 46/36 is great for flat to gently rolling terrain as you can stay inyour preferred cadence more easily as it is easier to find a gear that is just right. However, the 46/36 will not give you as low of a low gear 36/30vs 34/30 as the 50/34 though the difference is not huge.

Unless you plan on riding really fast on a regular basis , i would recommend the 46/36 as you will still be able to ride 18-21 mph on flats and have enough of a low gear for climbing and more use of the smallring on flat to rolling terrain.

One thing to keep in mind is that both cranks use 110bcd so you can change chain rings later. You could go as high as a 52 big and as low as a 33 small.
 

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I can tell you this - I use a ultra-compact for my road riding.....46/34 and with a 14/25 10-spd cassette too. That gives me a high gear where I'm maxed out at 28mph. But there are no long downhills anywhere close to me so I'm not wasting high gears that I will never use but my chain is mid cassette at my normal cruising speeds. And I'm not too slow either, as my true average speed is 18mph/30kph and at age 65 that ain't too shabby.

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I have thought of trying that from time to time with a 12-23 on the back. I ride alot of rollers here in MN and think that I could stay big ring longer and cruise more in the middle of the cassette on the flats.
 

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See them both on Mike Sherman's Gear Calculator. Look at the Speed over RPM Range chart to see each combination's speed at a given rpm range. The red lines are the smaller chainring.

These links pop up a note that you can save the settings in your bookmarks list. Just click OK, nothing happens.

Change any settings, and the graphs update on the fly. Or even add the 50 chainring to the 36-46 page, and see 36,46, and 50 all at once.

Gear Calculator
Link: 46-36 and 12-30 Note that the graph only goes to 30 mph
Link: 50-34 and 12-30 This graph goes to 35 mph.

For road riding, the 50-34 chainrings would usually be a better choice. The 36-46 has a big overlap between the two chainring ranges. But your typical speeds and amount of hills might make the 36-46 good, too.
 

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JC got it right in his reply. Only with full disclosure can anyone advise you. What is you true average speed? What speeds do you reach on your downhills? Uphills? Without this we can't help.

I can tell you this - I use a ultra-compact for my road riding.....46/34 and with a 14/25 10-spd cassette too. That gives me a high gear where I'm maxed out at 28mph. But there are no long downhills anywhere close to me so I'm not wasting high gears that I will never use but my chain is mid cassette at my normal cruising speeds. And I'm not too slow either, as my true average speed is 18mph/30kph and at age 65 that ain't too shabby.

So tailor the gearing for you but as it's your first road bike you have no hindsight as to what that will be. I'd say start with 50/34 and alter it as needed. Just don't waste gears; they're too precious.

Pretty smart setup, given your needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks for the replies everyone.
I'm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The road here is mostly flat with some hills and no long down hills. I think for my needs, the 46-36T will suit me better. It is just a guess. If I'm wrong. I can always change the chainring as suggested by one of the poster.

There are two choices...one is Ultegra 6700 50-34T crankset but I don't like the color(grey) and styling. The other is Sram s950 carbon crankset(black crank arm and grey chainring). I like the color and styling of the Sram a lot. It is available in 50-34T and 46-36T.
 

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A wheelist
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I have thought of trying that from time to time with a 12-23 on the back. I ride alot of rollers here in MN and think that I could stay big ring longer and cruise more in the middle of the cassette on the flats.
On some of my rides I can stay in the big ring the whole time. I tried it as an experiment last summer, going from a 50/39, and I like it so much that I'm not switching back. The 39 was fine for all my routes except one and now with the 34 I have gears for one hill that maxed me out on the 39/25.
 

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Thanks for the replies everyone.
I'm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The road here is mostly flat with some hills and no long down hills. I think for my needs, the 46-36T will suit me better. It is just a guess. If I'm wrong. I can always change the chainring as suggested by one of the poster.

There are two choices...one is Ultegra 6700 50-34T crankset but I don't like the color(grey) and styling. The other is Sram s950 carbon crankset(black crank arm and grey chainring). I like the color and styling of the Sram a lot. It is available in 50-34T and 46-36T.
Sounds like the Sram is the one for you. The 46/36 will probably work fine as long as the 36 will give you low enough gears. It's easy to manage without high gears but managing without low gears is no fun. I have all the rings - 50/46/39/34 (no 36) so it's easy for me to experiment. This way I get to use my custom Boone titanium 46t chainring that I had made for my mountain bike. Ohhh yeah.
 

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Thanks for the replies everyone.
I'm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The road here is mostly flat with some hills and no long down hills. I think for my needs, the 46-36T will suit me better. It is just a guess. If I'm wrong. I can always change the chainring as suggested by one of the poster.
Probably a good choice. And with that terrain, you might think of choosing a narrower range cassette, to give you closer spacing. I wouldn't think you'd have much need for a gear as low as 36x30.
 
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