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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked up a CAAD10 with the FSA SL-K Light BB30 53/39 crankset. Rest the the drivetrain is Ultegra. Running it with an Ultegra 12-30 cassette. Sorta regretting not going compact though for more gearing options and I have a slight foot drop condition in my right foot that I'd like to address by going to a 170mm crank too. I've been lurking Ebay for the same FSA crank I have now but in compact but they're quite expensive new, >$400-500. So now I'm looking at the SRAM Force 2013 crankset for two reasons. One it's about as light as the FSA SL-K Light crank @ 645 grams and two, according to the SRAM site I should be able to order a 50-36t configuration straight from the factory.

So my questions are these:

I'm already running a non-Shimano crank with a Shimano drivetrain. Will the Force crank play nice with my Ultegra front & rear derailleurs ?

How come I can't find any online retailers that offer the Force (or any other compact) in any other configuration that 50-34t ? Looks like I may have to contact SRAM directly to order the 50-36t ?
 

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It'll work fine but you might want to consider Ultegra. It's not a 'compatibility' issue that would make that a better choice (IMO)....it's just that shimano cranks generally shift better.

I don't know if you can put a 36 on it or not......but if you have a 30 out back now I don't think there's a pressing need for go from 34 to 36.
 

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I own 2 Ultegra Crank equiped bikes and 1 Sram Force bike and 1 Sram Red bike. The shifting is different but I wouldnt say the Ultegra was better enough to make it worth having over the other 2. What has seemed to make more difference on shifting is the type of chain you use with each crank more then anything. I run an Ultegra chain with the Ultegra crank and I use Dura Ace chains on the Sram cranks. They both shift super smooth... just with a different sound compared to the Ultegra and thats because they are Carbon fiber.

Will the Sram force "play nice with Shimano"? Every circumstance is different but YES it shouldnt have any trouble. I have swapped components from bike to bike and never had any problems so far.


50-36 Sram Force is not a standard as you have found out. You can buy a 36t 110 bcd chainring on ebay to replace the 34t and that should take care of it. That being said, I would recommend you just keep the 50/34 and instead change your rear cassette to a 12-27 or even 12-26. The gear spacing will be much closer together and it will allow you to find the perfect gear a little easier but you will still have about the same low gearing for climbing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
50-36 Sram Force is not a standard as you have found out. You can buy a 36t 110 bcd chainring on ebay to replace the 34t and that should take care of it. That being said, I would recommend you just keep the 50/34 and instead change your rear cassette to a 12-27 or even 12-26. The gear spacing will be much closer together and it will allow you to find the perfect gear a little easier but you will still have about the same low gearing for climbing.
I have purchased an aftermarket 36t in the past and my optimal gearing has typically been to run a 50/36 in the front with an 11-28 cassette. We have alot of 200'-400' climbs of 10-15% or more here CT and I have just never been happy with the big 16 tooth drop between chainrings.
My other issue is that every manufacturer claims their chainrings are made to be used in pairs (50/34, 52/36, etc.) and that the big chainrings are ramped & pinned to work with a specific size inner chainring. I will admit to not completely understanding this but I did call SRAM directly a few years back and the Rep explained that mis-matched chainrings will still work acceptably but that one might experience "idling" when the chain drops to the smaller chainring but does not immediately engage. I have experienced this at times but never really gave it much thought. So I am hoping at this time to get a "factory mated" 50/36 from SRAM so I can avoid this issue.
 
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