Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

· Banned
Joined
·
328 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quick question - what are people running on their compact cranks?

I just got a compact crank on my new system six and I am not ready to offer an opinion good or bad. I have a 34 50 with a 12-27 in the back. My shifting is not great and while I like staying in the big ring, it seems almost MTB like when I go to the 34 and then the higher gears in the rear. Should I run, perhaps, an 11 - 23? I am now training with a powertap and I like that if I need to be at a low output I can gear down to the 34 - 27, but still, the shifting is sloppy and I sometimes I feel like I use those gears just cause they are there. Whereas I don't feel any more tired on my regular 39 with the 25 (knowing full well it takes more power).

What do people run and have they made any changes and seen significant improvement?

Thanks in advance!
 

· Banned forever.....or not
Joined
·
24,573 Posts
I won't have one of those things on my bike, but I will say that if you do race, you probably need an 11. If you go on fast group rides, a 12-25 is fine. If you mostly ride solo, a 13-25 will give you everything including an 18.
 

· Spicy Dumpling
Joined
·
9,723 Posts
I ride an 11-23 with my compact unless I'm doing one of the challenge centuries with long steep climbs. I love the 11-23, shifting is much cleaner and the drivetrain noise is much less. The close ratios are great and it's about the same range as a normal double with a 25.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,620 Posts
I use a 11-23 95% of the time. Close gear spacing is great. We were going 40 mph on a little downwind downhill this Monday and I could still pedal (at 110rpm).

The 34-23 is the same as my old 39-27, so climbing shorter hills isn't a problem.

When I go to Colorado or New Mexico, I put on an 11-27 which lets me deal with long climbs at altitude.

This system has worked for me the last four years.

The only thing I look forward to is the 11-28 rumored to be available with the 2009 Dura Ace. That'll save me the trouble of assembling my own cassette.
 

· Roadie with unshaven legs
Joined
·
2,041 Posts
What cassette you run depends on a lot of things. How steep are the hills you ride? How good is your conditioning? Can you ride your lowest gear up your longest and steepest hill in your area? Are you riding something other than your lowest gear up that hill? If the latter and not the former then you probably want to go with something more like a 12-25 or 11-23, depending on what you can handle.

Personally, I run a 12-25 with a 50/34. Sometimes I wonder if I should change it to a 12-23 or 11-23 but then I get one of those days where I'm grinding up a hill on my 34/25 and wishing I had a 27 back there. I think I'm going to stick with my 12-25.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,252 Posts
I run a 12x25 or 11x25 depending on the wheel-set I'm running...Overall I like the 12x25 because of the 16 tooth in the middle which is where I spend a lot of time on the flats (50x17, 16, 15).

If I'm doing a lot of hill climbing (and descending) I like the 11x25 because of the 11 tooth...so it just depends.

I do find that I usually don't use the 25 very much because I'm stronger now, but the 25 tooth is now a bail out gear for me and is nice to have just in case I need it...which when the grade gets above 10% or so I generally start to need it if it's extended (otherwise I just get out of the saddle for a short periods of time).

With that said...I also have a 48x34 on one of my bikes and have never had a problem staying up with fast group rides even with the 12x25 on the back.

If you are a strong rider a 12x23 could be a great set up for you, if you are a weak rider a 12x27 would likely be more appropriate. However, I know some very, very strong climbers that run a 50x34 with a 12x25 on the back and that set up definitely does not hold them back any.
 

· Anti-Hero
Joined
·
10,405 Posts
I used a compact (36/50) last year, and used a 12-27 for a couple of climbing races (11-23 for everything else). I switched to a standard this year and run an 11-26 most of the time.

If I were setting a bike up for non-race climbing application, I'd probably stick to the 34/50 and a 12-27. I think that the 11-28 would leave you missing a gear or two in the middle.
 

· Spicy Dumpling
Joined
·
9,723 Posts
JoWu said:
when I don't need the low gears of my 34/50 compact with 12-27 cassette, I simply change the chain rings to 38/52 (110 mm BC).
Changing a Cassette is MUCH easier. Normally you'd have to remove the crankarm, change the rings, the front dérailleur height and probably the dérailleur adjustment. With the cassette you only have to change the cassette and possibly a twist or two to the adjuster. And if you have two wheels it's even easier.
 

· Just Riding Along
Joined
·
1,024 Posts
I use either 11-23, 12-23 or 12-27, depending on the ride. The 12-27 stays on the bike the most because it's hilly where I live and ride.

However, I do not have any shifting issues. You probably need to either read up on rear derailleur adjustment or take it to a good shop. The only reason your bike shouldn't shift beautifully would be that it's a 5 or 6 cog freewheel.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
i do a lot of rides including my commute that has 8-16% gradients that are 1/2 to 1 mile long and am running a 50/36 compact crank with a 11-23. on the longer 70-100 mile rides and there's a 18-20% grade at the end, that's when I wish I had a 12-30!
 

· Banned
Joined
·
328 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So to update the group I switched to a 11-23 and overall the experience is much better. The shifting is crisper due to the closer gears and I typically stay in the 19 on a hill. I am in New England where we have hills with a decent gradient, but they are aren't long - though they are frequent. I did one zone three ride and on the stepper hill sections I went into the 23 and was still able to keep it in zone 3 though on the very steep sections I went into zone 4 but for less than a minute.

I like the compact for having a larger range in the big ring, but I am not yet 100% sure it's for me going forward. The smaller ring seems not as diverse as before - i.e., only for hills rather than for low HR flats. Then on the downhills I max out on the 11 around 30mph. Truth be told this is probably fine as it's rare I am really jamming on the downhills much faster than 30mph, but we'll see.

Thanks for the feedback!
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top