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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes, Yes, on a trek... are they good?:mad2:

So I did a long ride last week (7 days, 550+ miles, 35,000+ feet climbing I am told)

Currently, I run a pretty standard 39/53 chainring combo on ultegra SL cranks, and a 12-25 cassette.


When going through some big hills (White and Green Mountains in NH and Vermont), I found myself wanting a little easier gearing...

one though is a 12-27 cassette... but I dont know if I want to jump right to that.

Right now, between my CX and road bike, I have all shimano 10 speed, and 4 wheel sets. it is nice being able to swap stuff around.

But it seems Shimano does not offer anything from standard on DA or Ultegra crankets.

either 34/50 compact, 39/53 or 42/53 standard.

I do not want ot go to a full compact crankset, as I do not want to go that low on gearing.

So then I started researching SRAM (obviously quality as well)

They seem to have better options, with both RED and Force, being able to get a 36/52 or 38/52 crankset. seems like this will give me a little easier gearing... and can still run a 12-25 (or 11-26 ) on the back.

The downside then, I need new derailleurs, shifters, crankset, and two cassettes (and wheels wont be interchangable between the two bikes - as I would leave my CX bike shimano)

Are there any other options here I might be missing, or a thought process I am not taking?

I am limited to crank brand with bontrager, shimano or sram with the madone frame.

Am I overthinking this all, and should just toss a 27 on the back for lots of climbing?

any opinions are great

thanks!
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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if you want a 'little' bit easier gearing, throw a 12-27 or 11-28 on there...if you want a bunch easier, go w/ compact (either 34 or 36) and then go w/ an 11-28. w/ this combo you'll have both a bunch lower low gear, and a higher high gear.
 

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cxwrench said:
if you want a 'little' bit easier gearing, throw a 12-27 or 11-28 on there...if you want a bunch easier, go w/ compact (either 34 or 36) and then go w/ an 11-28. w/ this combo you'll have both a bunch lower low gear, and a higher high gear.
Good advice. I live on the border of NH and VT and run a std double with a 12-27 on an Ultegra bike and an 11-28 on a Red bike. The 39x28 gets me up most climbs, but there are times -- riding up App Gap for instance -- when more gearing would be welcome. I use an 11-25 for flatter races but would not want to use it for a "epic" mountain ride.
 

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In my experience, I'd toss an 11-28 cassette on there for starters.

That alone may put things just right for you, all on it's own.

If not, then look at a compact to compliment it.
 

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With the Sram cranksets, they do not offer the 36/52 or 38/52 ready to go, out of the box.

You have to purchase the compact crank -50/34 - first, then purchase the other sized chain rings to get, lets say, a 36/52. I called Sram about this a few months back and thats what I was told.
 

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SRAM and Shimano cassettes are interchangable and there is to need to change derailleurs due to which of the two brands cassettes you use. Same for the crank, except that you would need the SRAM bottom bracket kit for your Madone. I use a full SRAM rival set up on my Madone with a Shimano 105 cassette. Also a wheel with a 12-27 cassette will wok fine on a bike set up for a 12-25 cassette. There is the possibility of needing an extra link in your chain if you cross chain big-big and / or a small adjustment to the rear derailleur B-tension screw, but other wise it will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks for the help guys!

So it seems SRAM and Shimano are more interchangable than I thought?

I could get just the SRAM cranks (due to the more available chainring sizes then shimano), and use my shimano der, cassette, shifters fine?


Then I only have to deal with a non matching gruppo :)
 

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pezzo33 said:
I could get just the SRAM cranks (due to the more available chainring sizes then shimano), and use my shimano der, cassette, shifters fine?
:)
Yes, you would also need the SRAM compatible bottom bracket from your Trek dealer. The cheaper solution is definitely just getting an 11-28 or 12-27 cassette though.
 

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Why do people think compact cranksets are so bad? If they truly are, why do so many bike companies put them on their bikes? If you get a 11/27~28 with a compact, you'll have a greater range than you do currently. Take a look at Sheldon Brown's gear calculators. I think the link is www.sheldonbrown.com/gears
 

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Peanya said:
Why do people think compact cranksets are so bad? If they truly are, why do so many bike companies put them on their bikes? If you get a 11/27~28 with a compact, you'll have a greater range than you do currently. Take a look at Sheldon Brown's gear calculators. I think the link is www.sheldonbrown.com/gears
Very true. I did a little excel spreadsheet last winter when thinking about switching my setup. A 50/36 and 11-23 gives just about the same gearing as a 53/39 and 12-25 (the low end is a little lower and the high end is a little higher, but by less than 5%) just with less weight, due to less material. I know plenty of guys who swear by compacts.
 

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Downside

aengbretson said:
A 50/36 and 11-23 gives just about the same gearing as a 53/39 and 12-25 (the low end is a little lower and the high end is a little higher, but by less than 5%) just with less weight, due to less material.
And faster wear on the drivetrain components (cassette, chain, chainrings). Tradeoffs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Peanya said:
Why do people think compact cranksets are so bad? If they truly are, why do so many bike companies put them on their bikes? If you get a 11/27~28 with a compact, you'll have a greater range than you do currently. Take a look at Sheldon Brown's gear calculators. I think the link is www.sheldonbrown.com/gears
my bigggest fear wa slosing out on the 53-12... but going by your link, seems a 50-11 would actually be a higher top gear... so not bad to go by


im not against compact cranks, just looking for the best overall options (and least changes)

(although also, I look at teh gears I used to run, and wish I still could. haha)

Also, brands spec them, because it is better than speccing a triple
 
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