Compact crank or 53/39?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by CampyO, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. CampyO

    CampyO Guest

    OK, opinions please... I'm 45 and in OK shape, riding a 53/39 with usually a
    12-25 or 13-26 cassette. I can handle the hills with a little work (I'm not
    triple material yet), but find that when I'm just cruising along (on level
    pavement), I'm usually in the 39 and one of the bigger cogs (17, 19, 21). Am I
    the kind of guy who ought to be thinking of a compact crank? If yes, keep the
    same size cassette?

    Thanks in advance.
    Tom
     
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  2. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    CampyO wrote:

    > OK, opinions please... I'm 45 and in OK shape, riding a 53/39
    > with usually a 12-25 or 13-26 cassette. I can handle the hills
    > with a little work (I'm not triple material yet), but find that
    > when I'm just cruising along (on level pavement), I'm usually in
    > the 39 and one of the bigger cogs (17, 19, 21). Am I the kind of
    > guy who ought to be thinking of a compact crank? If yes, keep
    > the same size cassette?


    First of all, as the almost-46-year-old owner of a triple, I'm
    tempted to rip your legs off for that "not triple material yet"
    crack. But I'll let it slide this time.

    Secondly, if you're handling the local hills with what you have, why
    change out the gearing? You may find that your highest gear with a
    compact is too low sometimes (50/12 vs 53/12). If you think you need
    a little lower gear for the hills, a 12-27 cassette or even a 12-30
    is a cheaper alternative. Or you can have two rear wheels, a
    "climbing" wheel and a "go fast" wheel.

    But that's not what I use, and I live to climb hills. I climb almost
    all the time in a 42/24 or 42/27. But when things get really steep,
    about 14% or more, I bring out the little ring and use 30/21 or
    30/24. Sitting and spinning is much more pleasant over time than
    standing and mashing. There is no honor to pushing a big gear up a
    long, steep hill.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://bike.terrymorse.com/
    year's goal: 200 vert. miles, total to date: 112 vert. miles
     
  3. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Guest

    On 01 Jul 2004 21:45:43 GMT, [email protected] (CampyO) wrote:

    >OK, opinions please... I'm 45 and in OK shape, riding a 53/39 with usually a
    >12-25 or 13-26 cassette. I can handle the hills with a little work (I'm not
    >triple material yet), but find that when I'm just cruising along (on level
    >pavement), I'm usually in the 39 and one of the bigger cogs (17, 19, 21). Am I
    >the kind of guy who ought to be thinking of a compact crank? If yes, keep the
    >same size cassette?
    >
    >Thanks in advance.
    >Tom


    What are you using at the top end? I'd say the basic way to figure out
    gearing is to decide on the bottom and the top and see how to fill in
    the spaces. Since I never use the top end of my gearing, I am ok with
    a 48/39. If I found a good deal on a crank, I'd go for a 110 BCD,
    probably a triple. And put a 48/36 on it. You don't have to put a
    chainwheel on the inner mounts until you need it.

    That's on one bike, another has 46/36/26 and 11-28.

    As usual, Sheldon Brown's site has something helpful-

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/index.html

    Start inputting what you have, what you use, and then start playing
    around with other gearings.
     
  4. CampyO

    CampyO Guest

    Thanks for the input so far... and apologies for unintentionally dispariging
    the triple folks. One reason I'd prefer not switching to a triple... Campy
    Record front and rear derailleurs. I should have specified that in my first
    post. A compact crank would let me keep 'em.
     
  5. WooGoogle

    WooGoogle Guest

    Dan Daniel <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > On 01 Jul 2004 21:45:43 GMT, [email protected] (CampyO) wrote:
    >
    > >OK, opinions please... I'm 45 and in OK shape, riding a 53/39 with usually a
    > >12-25 or 13-26 cassette. I can handle the hills with a little work (I'm not
    > >triple material yet), but find that when I'm just cruising along (on level
    > >pavement), I'm usually in the 39 and one of the bigger cogs (17, 19, 21). Am I
    > >the kind of guy who ought to be thinking of a compact crank? If yes, keep the
    > >same size cassette?
    > >
    > >Thanks in advance.
    > >Tom

    >
    > What are you using at the top end? I'd say the basic way to figure out
    > gearing is to decide on the bottom and the top and see how to fill in
    > the spaces. Since I never use the top end of my gearing, I am ok with
    > a 48/39. If I found a good deal on a crank, I'd go for a 110 BCD,
    > probably a triple. And put a 48/36 on it. You don't have to put a
    > chainwheel on the inner mounts until you need it.
    >
    > That's on one bike, another has 46/36/26 and 11-28.
    >
    > As usual, Sheldon Brown's site has something helpful-
    >
    > http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/index.html
    >
    > Start inputting what you have, what you use, and then start playing
    > around with other gearings.

    Not mounting the inner chainring on a triple can be a very bad
    mistake. On some bikes and cranks, the chain can slip in between the
    posts for the inner chainring and the frame, and be very difficult to
    dislodge. If your crank has spacers instead of forged posts for the
    inner you will not have this problem.
     
  6. I'm on the chunky side and was finding it hard getting up them-there-
    hills. I was thinking about changing my double to a triple and I posted
    a requst for help.

    The best advice was to get a compact crank which I did. I didn't have to
    change any other components (just moved the FD down a fraction). I works
    great... I hill further, higher, stronger everyday.



    --
     
  7. Ritch

    Ritch Guest

    Dan Daniel <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > On 01 Jul 2004 21:45:43 GMT, [email protected] (CampyO) wrote:
    >
    > >OK, opinions please... I'm 45 and in OK shape, riding a 53/39 with usually a
    > >12-25 or 13-26 cassette. I can handle the hills with a little work (I'm not
    > >triple material yet), but find that when I'm just cruising along (on level
    > >pavement), I'm usually in the 39 and one of the bigger cogs (17, 19, 21). Am I
    > >the kind of guy who ought to be thinking of a compact crank? If yes, keep the
    > >same size cassette?
    > >
    > >Thanks in advance.
    > >Tom

    >
    > What are you using at the top end? I'd say the basic way to figure out
    > gearing is to decide on the bottom and the top and see how to fill in
    > the spaces. Since I never use the top end of my gearing, I am ok with
    > a 48/39. If I found a good deal on a crank, I'd go for a 110 BCD,
    > probably a triple. And put a 48/36 on it. You don't have to put a
    > chainwheel on the inner mounts until you need it.
    >
    > That's on one bike, another has 46/36/26 and 11-28.
    >
    > As usual, Sheldon Brown's site has something helpful-
    >
    > http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/index.html
    >
    > Start inputting what you have, what you use, and then start playing
    > around with other gearings.


    If it was me, I'd go for the 48/36 double (which would require 110
    BCD). A 36/26 granny is low enough for most people for most hills
    (mountain goats excluded). Plus, you'll get a chance to use the big
    ring on the flats. Plus you can keep using your Campy stuff.

    2c.
    Ritch
     
  8. campyo-<< but find that when I'm just cruising along (on level
    pavement), I'm usually in the 39 and one of the bigger cogs (17, 19, 21). Am I
    the kind of guy who ought to be thinking of a compact crank? >><BR><BR>

    A compact would be a good idea for you, same size casette.

    Peter Chisholm
    Vecchio's Bicicletteria
    1833 Pearl St.
    Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535
    http://www.vecchios.com
    "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
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