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I might get the FSA carbon pro elite compact drive crankset with 34/50 chainrings. I would then run an 11-23 in the back. Will a shimano ultegra double rear derailleur work for this setup or will I need the longer caged triple rear derailleur? Does anyone else have experience with a compact drive crankset? I figure that this setup would pretty much have the benefits of a triple without the weight and wuss appearance.

Thanks for any help/suggestions
 

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Herms said:
I might get the FSA carbon pro elite compact drive crankset with 34/50 chainrings. I would then run an 11-23 in the back. Will a shimano ultegra double rear derailleur work for this setup or will I need the longer caged triple rear derailleur? Does anyone else have experience with a compact drive crankset? I figure that this setup would pretty much have the benefits of a triple without the weight and wuss appearance.

Thanks for any help/suggestions
Try this thread. I am seriously looking into the FSA Energy Comnpact myself..
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=351
 

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Best imrpove,ment you can make

Herms said:
I might get the FSA carbon pro elite compact drive crankset with 34/50 chainrings. I would then run an 11-23 in the back. Will a shimano ultegra double rear derailleur work for this setup or will I need the longer caged triple rear derailleur? Does anyone else have experience with a compact drive crankset? I figure that this setup would pretty much have the benefits of a triple without the weight and wuss appearance.

Thanks for any help/suggestions
I made this switch a year ago. The best investment ever. If you have hills you'll love it! I use mine with an 11/23 cog and have a greater range. Only adjustment is that you have to double shift when going from the 50 to the 34 to make up for the difference in gearing. I hardly use my 23 and even the 21 but its nice to know they are there. If you did a serious mountain stage you could pop a 25 on the rear and climb like a mountain goat. Make sure you drop the from derailure and shorten your chain. I use a hollopin- R89 SRAM which weighs only 246g shortened. Togetehr with the lighter crank I saved over 1/4 pound.
 

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Does front shifting suffer due to the large difference in chain rings? This is my big concern but I don't know if it's something to worry about. Thanks.
 

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What are you gaining???

If you're using the standard 53/39 now, then the 50/34 lops 6% off the top end makes the low end 13% lower with the same cassette.

If you happen to be using a 12-25 now, changing to a 50/34 and an 11-23 does not accomplish much. The low gear is equivalent to a 39/26 and the top gear is a slight bit more than a 53/12.
 

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FTMD said:
Does front shifting suffer due to the large difference in chain rings? This is my big concern but I don't know if it's something to worry about. Thanks.
Front shifting remains accurate and easy. I am using it with a Dura-Ace. Of note, you will not be able to use the 34 front with the small in the back because the chain will rub against the 50. But thats a minor issue. I found that you can use all rear cogs with the 50 ring and in fact I often even use the 50/23 combination. Overall, I find myself using the big ring at least 80% of the time. Unless I am going up steep hills its mainly the big ring. I have had no need to use the trim position on the front derailure at all. With exception of the above mentioned 34/11 combination all other gears work fine without trimming. I have about 5k miles on my crank and still love it. I still have a regular Ultegra on my 2nd bike thus keep having a comparison. By the way, FSA is coming out with a non-carbon version of the compact Energy crank this months which supposedly lists for $159.
 

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No problem with front shifting

I changed to an FSA compact 50/34 a few weeks ago (rest of the bike is 105). No problems with shifting, though it sounds like Glia has a little better chainline than I do - the bottom two cogs on the cassette are unusable from the 34 ring (although the rub in the second smallest cog is just ever so barely noticable).

I've lost a very small amount of top end gearing but I haven't missed it (I'm a recreational rider that could only realistically turn a 53/11 on a long gentle descent). On the low end of the gearing I'm only about 1.5 gear inches from the low end of a Shimano triple with the same cassette.

FTMD said:
Does front shifting suffer due to the large difference in chain rings? This is my big concern but I don't know if it's something to worry about. Thanks.
 

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Here's the Math

C-40 said:
If you're using the standard 53/39 now, then the 50/34 lops 6% off the top end makes the low end 13% lower with the same cassette.

If you happen to be using a 12-25 now, changing to a 50/34 and an 11-23 does not accomplish much. The low gear is equivalent to a 39/26 and the top gear is a slight bit more than a 53/12.
This has been discussed extensively in other posts. here are the numbers
Regular 53/12=116.7
FSA 50/11=120

Regular 39/25=41.2
FSA 34/23=39.1

In other words, you have just gained on both ends. You certainly have not lost. You have a gear thats a bit easier and one that is a bit harder by adjusting the spacings between gears. If you enter all values in a spreadheet you will also find that you only have one duplicate gear ration instead of two in other words you have 17 gears you can actually use.
Now if you use a 25 cog on the rear, you actually have a 35.9 ratio which equivalent to almost a 29 cog with regular gearing.
I found for example that it is a huge benefit to be able to ride a 12/23 with the compact which gives me finer gearing in the middle with a 12.13.14.15.16.17.19.21.23....love that 16 in there! That's were you spend most of your time in the 14..17 range with a 85..100cadence.
You still have a 110.1 ratio in your 12 which is still a bit harder than you normal 53/12 combination. Unless you go downhill you really don't need the 50/11 combination.
In order to play with these gearing, I got one of the cycle dynamics Titanium cog sets with all available gears from 11..25. That allows me to mix and match and have a 11..21 for flat rides, 12..25s for hills, 11..20 for time trials. Highly recommended. They hold up very well.
Anyway, it's fun to play with the numbers, even more fun to ride. Believe me, the compacts are here to stay, not only because of Tyler.
 

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poor 9-speed users...

I know the math (I'm an engineer). So you spend $300 for a crank and $50 for a new cassette and you gain an measly 3% (or 3rpm) on the top end 5% on the low end.

A typical cog-shift is a 9% change, so you gain a fraction of a nornal cog-shift at both ends. I'm not impressed.

Better to put your money toward a 10-speed conversion.

ALL 10-speed cassettes have a 16T cog!
 

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Your opinion, my opinion

C-40 said:
I know the math (I'm an engineer). So you spend $300 for a crank and $50 for a new cassette and you gain an measly 3% (or 3rpm) on the top end 5% on the low end.

A typical cog-shift is a 9% change, so you gain a fraction of a nornal cog-shift at both ends. I'm not impressed.

Better to put your money toward a 10-speed conversion.

ALL 10-speed cassettes have a 16T cog!
Your opinion, my opinion, ask Tyler Hamilton...

As I said before, I have both setup, ride them both, much prefer the FSA.
 

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Great upgrade for climbing hills

Two friends and myself have just switched to the FSA compact w/ 50/34. We all went from DA 53/39. We are also running a 27/12 cassette in the back. Were up in the coastal range on the Sonoma Coast in Northern Ca. doing a lot of very hilly rides. Our "house ride' is a 30 mile ride w/ 5400' gain. We like hills and if you do too, this is a great crankset. Leaving all the math computations out of it (I looked at the charts too), I can tell you the new setup makes a huge difference, especially when climbing 9-12% grades. I can also ride in 34/12 and 50/27 both with slight microadjusting of the FD. Installation was easy, just moved the FD down about 1/4 inch or so and slightly tweaked the limit screws. FWIW I have a Look KG461.

Kings Ridge on the Sonoma Coast - Down to highway 1. The ride of a lifetime!!
 

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I've been using one on my cross bike this year

and think it would make a nice road set up as well. especially with a 10 speed 11-23. the main benefit (without arguing over math, etc.) is a straighter chainline on the most used used big ring cruising gears, and having climbing gears without the weenie look of a dinner plate cassette or triple. I have 53/39 Record 10 on my road bike so I probably won't switch as I don't have a problem (yet) climbing in a 39/23, but it has convinced me that the 53 is way overkill for anyone short of a cat 2 racer. I may change that to a 52 or 51 (if they make one). 51/37 might be the ideal?
 

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Used FSA 50/34 since last spring with both 11/23 and 12/27 cassettes. Can use the whole cassette with either ring, minimal trimming needed. Using a Wipperman chain. Shifts well. I've been happy with it and since I'm not getting younger, won't likely be going back to the 53/39.
 

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gearing lesson...

desmo said:
and think it would make a nice road set up as well. especially with a 10 speed 11-23. the main benefit (without arguing over math, etc.) is a straighter chainline on the most used used big ring cruising gears, and having climbing gears without the weenie look of a dinner plate cassette or triple. I have 53/39 Record 10 on my road bike so I probably won't switch as I don't have a problem (yet) climbing in a 39/23, but it has convinced me that the 53 is way overkill for anyone short of a cat 2 racer. I may change that to a 52 or 51 (if they make one). 51/37 might be the ideal?
What is overkill is the 11T cog, not the 53 chainring. Changing the chainring all the way to a 50 is only a 6% reduction. If you want more sensible gearing, change the cassette to a 12-25, for about an 8% reduction at the top and bottom.
 

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thanks for the "lesson"

C-40 said:
What is overkill is the 11T cog, not the 53 chainring. Changing the chainring all the way to a 50 is only a 6% reduction. If you want more sensible gearing, change the cassette to a 12-25, for about an 8% reduction at the top and bottom.
but I don't "virtually" ride through mathematical equations on paper, I just ride my bike. a 50 ring allows better use of the middle of the cassette for medium and fast cruising. in my opinion that's better than using a 53/21 or 23 combo at the top of the cassette. but hey thanks for not using all caps in your response.
 

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I used to love these debates.

That was back when I believed a bike without a straight block from 42x14 to 42x17 or 39x13 to 39x16 was hardly worth riding. Then I got a fixie and realized that my legs were more adaptable than my mind was. Now it all sounds like how many angels you can fit on a pin head.
 
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