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· Large Suburban Male
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Clinchers are held onto the rim by air pressure and a bead/hook. Tubulars are glued to the rim. I've never ridden tubulars, but my understanding is that if you put them on wrong, it can be disastrous. Clinchers can be a PITA to install, but if you put them on wrong, and don't notice, you get a flat or a rough ride.

The whole compact v standard is for someone else. I've been riding for well over 25 years, and never really looked into it.
 

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If you are talking about compact cranks versus standard cranks, it just has to do with the number of teeth on the chainrings. The arm lengths are still the same. A compact crank has teeth of 50/34 whereas a standard crank usually has 53/39. When I was building my first "new" bike in 2006 after riding my old one since 1985, I had a little trouble understanding this too.

Essentially, the compact cranks are used a lot by people that need a wider gear selection and those that do a ton of climbing on some really steep stuff. I guess it all depends on what you plan on using them for. I went with standard cranks since it is easier to change a cassette instead of a crank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yea, sorry I wasn't clear about the compact cranks vs. standard cranks. I think I also understand the tubular vs. clincher, but not wholly. Should compact cranks be generally lighter than standard cranks?
 

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fabsroman said:
If you are talking about compact cranks versus standard cranks, it just has to do with the number of teeth on the chainrings. The arm lengths are still the same. A compact crank has teeth of 50/34 whereas a standard crank usually has 53/39. When I was building my first "new" bike in 2006 after riding my old one since 1985, I had a little trouble understanding this too.


<sigh>

"Compact" refers only to the BCD ( bolt circle diameter). Essentially, the distance between two adjacent chainring bolts.

Most standard road cranks* use a 130 millimeter BCD. The downside?


Mounting smaller rings is out of the question.

Enter "Compact" cranks.

These use a 110 millimeter BCD.....thus allowing for the installation of smaller rings. (50/34 etc)




* Shimano/FSA use the 130mm BCD. Campagnolo uses the 135mm BCD. The new Zipp Vuma Quad uses a 110mm BCD BUT allows you to mount larger (53/39 etc) rings.
 

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Compact (110mm BCD) cranks let you use smaller chainrings. The normal for standard 130mm BCD (135mm for Campy) is 53/39t. Compacts are commonly available with 50/34t and 50/36t. ('t' is teeth, the number of teeth on the chainring).

It's possible to get a 38t ring on some 130mm BCD cranks, and a 33t ring on some 110mm BCD cranks. You can get 110mm BCD chainrings up to about 62t. (stronglight makes them).
 

· Matnlely Dregaend
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I used to ride tubulars in the 80s until clinchers became more available / lighter. They work just fine if you glue them on right. Carrying a spare tubular was a giant pita though. I've switched to all clinchers like most other reasonable riders.

Compact just refers to something smaller and hopefully lighter on a bike. Compact cranks have smaller bolt patterns to fit smaller chainrings. To make up for this the rear cassette usually has an 11 toothed small gear. Compact geometry refers to a frame that has a sloped down tube (and usually this means a shorter seat tube and shorter chainstays) with a shorter standover height. Some feel compact frames are a marketing gimmick to reduce the number of frame sizes produced.
 

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Both of these topics have been discussed here many,many time. You'll find a lot of reading material with a search.

If you don't know the difference between tubulars and clinchers, then you don't need to know--all you need to know is that you want clinchers.
 

· Worker Ant
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John Nelson said:
Both of these topics have been discussed here many,many time. You'll find a lot of reading material with a search.

If you don't know the difference between tubulars and clinchers, then you don't need to know--all you need to know is that you want clinchers.

i think it's a good idea to know the difference between tubulars and clinchers. if you don't know, what happens when you go to buy a new tire and buy the wrong one? or a new set of rims? it's not a hard thing to learn and it's pretty simple to remember.

so for the original OP, if your a casual rider, stick with clinchers. why? because in the end their cheaper and easier to maintain. yes, they can be a bit of a PITA, but once you've fixed a couple of flats it's no big deal. the best thing.... there's no glue involved!! i've been riding for over 20 yrs and never owned a set of tubulars, not even when i raced. simple reason is i never trusted myself to glue the tire on!!! so stick with clinchers and you'll be ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
John Nelson said:
Both of these topics have been discussed here many,many time. You'll find a lot of reading material with a search.

If you don't know the difference between tubulars and clinchers, then you don't need to know--all you need to know is that you want clinchers.
I've searched plenty of times (it's a PITA because you never get exactly what you want) but thanks for the advice.

I'm set on clinchers because I've seen the cost of tubulars and I can't justify the cost. I just needed to know the difference because I like participating on discussions on here and hate not knowing stuff.

Thanks for the information on the compact cranks. So I can assume they will wear out faster than standard but also be lighter?
 

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I guess you can assume that a compact crank will wear out faster, but that really isn't correct. They just give you a larger range based upon the rear. You can ride in exactly the same gear ratio and the number of crank revolutions will be exactly the same. For instance, a 50x20 yields a 2.5 ratio and a 53x21 yields a 2.52 ratio. Each time the rear wheel spins 2.5 times, the cranks up front spin once. You just need to use a smaller cog on the rear to accomplish this. Maybe, you can assume that the cassettes will wear out quicker, but I don't even think that would be a good assumption. Plus, if you wear out cassettes and chainrings, you will be doing a lot of riding and wear out way more tires than chainrings, cassettes, or chains.

As far as tubulars are concerned, I have been using them since I was 16 (i.e., when we were allowed to use them for racing as juniors), so for 21 years now. I know how to glue them on and I prefer them to clinchers, but that is just me. It seems like most people just use clinchers nowadays. Actually, even back in the day, tubulars were mostly only used by racers.
 
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