Compact crankset versus triple

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by froteur, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. froteur

    froteur New Member

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    I live in the San Francisco East Bay where it is very hilly.

    I have just ordered a new bike frame that should arrive next week. In the meantime, I need to decide on my crankset. I am installing a 2003 Campy Chorus Triple Gruppo and am considering using the FSA Pro Elite Compact crankset (50/34) instead of the Chorus triple (52/42/30?). I am looking for other members' experiences and recommendations regarding compact vs. triple.

    Also, what cassette gear ranges have you found most succesful with your own set-up?

    Thanks
     
    Tags:


  2. Bruce Frech

    Bruce Frech Guest

    It depends on your riding style and on the kind of hills you have. If you
    don't mind medium size jumps in gearing such that a 2 tooth jump in the
    middle of the range is fine then you would like the 12-27 cluster. Here's
    the cogs numbers and the ratios ( =ln(Ci/Ci-1) ):

    12 13 8.0% 14 7.4% 15 6.9% 17 12.5% 19 11.1% 21 10.0% 24 13.4% 27 11.8%

    Combine that with the double and you get a nice low gear of 34-27. I use a 50-38 with the 12-27. But
    it also means I don't have a 16, and have a 12% jump in a range where most of the shifting occurs.
    Some people need that magic 16, while others prefer a bigger jump there. It fits my style of being
    comfortable with a wider range of cadence, and it fits the shorter uneven hills around eastern PA.
    Plus with the common 10% grades and the less common but still frequent 1-200 meter long 15+% grades
    it's nice to have a lower gear than a 39-23.

    But there are situations where that 16 would be nice to have. Cruising along at 22.5 mph equals
    90rpm in the 50-16, but without the magic you must choose between 85 in the 15 or 95 in the 17.

    So if you do lots of groups rides @ 22.5 mph then make sure you have a 16. Otherwise stick with a
    double. Or get a 10speed........... (or Campy, and live with a 13-29, but then you don't have the
    12... compromise....choice....)

    Bruce

    "froteur" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:hLX%[email protected]...
    > I live in the San Francisco East Bay where it is very hilly.
    >
    > I have just ordered a new bike frame that should arrive next week. In the meantime, I need to
    > decide on my crankset. I am installing a 2003 Campy Chorus Triple Gruppo and am considering using
    > the FSA Pro Elite Compact crankset (50/34) instead of the Chorus triple (52/42/30?). I am looking
    > for other members' experiences and recommendations regarding compact vs. triple.
    >
    > Also, what cassette gear ranges have you found most succesful with your own set-up?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    >
    >
    > --
     
  3. On 02/28/2004 04:57 AM, in article _m%%[email protected],
    "Bruce Frech" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > It depends on your riding style and on the kind of hills you have. If you don't mind medium size
    > jumps in gearing such that a 2 tooth jump in the middle of the range is fine then you would like
    > the 12-27 cluster. Here's the cogs numbers and the ratios ( =ln(Ci/Ci-1) ):
    >
    > 12 13 8.0% 14 7.4% 15 6.9% 17 12.5% 19 11.1% 21 10.0% 24 13.4% 27 11.8%

    Someone is thinking Shimano instead of Campagnolo.

    With Campy 10, you've got the following cassette options for low-ish gearing: 12-25, 13-26, & 13-29

    12-13-14-15-16-17-19-21-23-25 13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23-26 13-14-15-16-17-19-21-23-26-29

    These produce the following ratio increases:

    12 13 13 13 8.00% 14 7.41% 14 7.41% 14 7.41% 15 6.90% 15 6.90% 15 6.90% 16 6.45% 16 6.45% 16 6.45%
    17 6.06% 17 6.06% 17 6.06% 18 5.72% 19 11.12% 19 11.12% 19 5.41% 21 10.01% 21 10.01% 21 10.01% 23
    9.10% 23 9.10% 23 9.10% 26 12.26% 25 8.34% 26 12.26% 29 10.92%

    > Combine that with the double and you get a nice low gear of 34-27. I use a 50-38 with the 12-27.
    > But it also means I don't have a 16, and have a 12% jump in a range where most of the shifting
    > occurs. Some people need that magic 16, while others prefer a bigger jump there. It fits my style
    > of being comfortable with a wider range of cadence, and it fits the shorter uneven hills around
    > eastern PA. Plus with the common 10% grades and the less common but still frequent 1-200 meter
    > long 15+% grades it's nice to have a lower gear than a 39-23.

    One of the nice things about Campy 10 is that you ALWAYS have that 16 available, but not always the
    18 (another common "wished-for" cog).

    > But there are situations where that 16 would be nice to have. Cruising along at 22.5 mph equals
    > 90rpm in the 50-16, but without the magic you must choose between 85 in the 15 or 95 in the 17.
    >
    > So if you do lots of groups rides @ 22.5 mph then make sure you have a 16. Otherwise stick with a
    > double. Or get a 10speed........... (or Campy, and live with a 13-29, but then you don't have the
    > 12... compromise....choice....)
    >
    > Bruce
    >
    > "froteur" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:hLX%[email protected]...
    >> I live in the San Francisco East Bay where it is very hilly.
    >>
    >> I have just ordered a new bike frame that should arrive next week. In the meantime, I need to
    >> decide on my crankset. I am installing a 2003 Campy Chorus Triple Gruppo and am considering using
    >> the FSA Pro Elite Compact crankset (50/34) instead of the Chorus triple (52/42/30?). I am looking
    >> for other members' experiences and recommendations regarding compact vs. triple.
    >>
    >> Also, what cassette gear ranges have you found most succesful with your own set-up?
    >>
    >> Thanks

    --
    Steven L. Sheffield stevens at veloworks dot com veloworks at worldnet dot ay tea tee dot net bellum
    pax est libertas servitus est ignoratio vis est ess ay ell tea ell ay kay ee sea aye tee why you ti
    ay aitch aitch tee tea pea colon [for word] slash [four ward] slash double-you double-yew double-ewe
    dot veloworks dot com [four word] slash
     
  4. Dan Connelly

    Dan Connelly Guest

    Bruce Frech wrote:
    > It depends on your riding style and on the kind of hills you have. If you don't mind medium size
    > jumps in gearing such that a 2 tooth jump in the middle of the range is fine then you would like
    > the 12-27 cluster. Here's the cogs numbers and the ratios ( =ln(Ci/Ci-1) ):
    >
    > 12 13 8.0% 14 7.4% 15 6.9% 17 12.5% 19 11.1% 21 10.0% 24 13.4% 27 11.8%

    If you allow yourself to double-shift, you get the following ratios
    (34/50 in front):

    35.21429
    36.41667
    37.61905
    38.78571
    39.78947 2
    40.08333
    41.26667
    42.38095
    43.42857
    44.61538
    45.63158
    46.83333
    47.94118
    48.33333
    49.57143
    50.84615
    51.16667

    The jumps are then as follows:
    52.42%
    53.35%
    54.80% .21%
    55.12%
    56.08%
    57.43%
    58.92%
    59.98%
    60.41% .62%
    61.39%
    62.74%
    63.52%
    64.90%
    65.41%
    66.00%

    Not so bad. Typically cadence needs to vary no more than +/- 5%

    Dan
     
  5. froteur

    froteur New Member

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    Thank you for everyone for their input. I didn't understand all of the "technicals" behind the gearing but have made my decision. I am going to go with the compact crankset 50/34 from FSA.

    Now .... my second question - what would you recommend for the cassette gearing? It's a Campy ten speed cassette (Chorus)

    Thanks.
     
  6. > I have just ordered a new bike frame that should arrive next week. In the meantime, I need to
    > decide on my crankset. I am installing a 2003 Campy Chorus Triple Gruppo and am considering using
    > the FSA Pro Elite Compact crankset (50/34) instead of the Chorus triple (52/42/30?). I am looking
    > for other members' experiences and recommendations regarding compact vs. triple.

    This question comes up much more frequently with Shimano equipment than Campy, since Campy offers a
    10-speed triple with basically up-to-date components, whereas Shimano's current DuraAce triple is
    9-speed and a bit dated compared to the new 10-speed double offerings.

    We've set up a number of FSA compacts on bikes, but all of them have been Shimano-equipped. In
    general, the existence of the 13-29 Campy offering has kept quite a few from having to run a
    triple *or* FSA option. It's unfortunate that Campy won't be persuaded to build a wide-range
    cassette with a 12 however. When you talk with their guys at the trade shows, they look at you
    kinda funny and tell you that, if you need a 29, you're not strong enough to be worrying about
    having a 12. Never mind that any hill nasty enough to consider a 29 probably has one heck of a
    descent on the other side!

    > I live in the San Francisco East Bay where it is very hilly.

    Hilly, yes, but there are few that are both super-steep and long. Morgan Territory, Sierra Grade,
    Patterson Pass, Mt Diablo, Mt Hamilton... great climbs, but they're not the kind of vertical gut-
    busters that go on endlessly and make your legs scream for a really low gear. For that you need to
    travel west a bit and try Bohlman-On Orbit or head to the Sierras for Sonora Pass!

    However, people climb in different ways, and, for some, they'll climb much faster in rather low
    gears compared to others. I've found that, as I get older, I no longer have the absolute raw power
    to make climbing steep stuff in big gears enjoyable anymore. 6-7% grades and I can really move, but
    as they approach and exceed 10%, a 39/27 is workable, but just barely, and 15-20% pitches are simply
    no fun in that gear anymore. Given that I run a Shimano drivetrain, yeah, that FSA Compact is
    looking mighty tempting!

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  7. I'm still using my Racing-T triple on my 'hors' bike, and can only imagine that the Chorus/Record
    versions are even better.

    Go triple...some may laugh, but on the toughest climbs you'll get pay back.

    I also run a Record double with a long cage and supergranny 26 & 29 sprokets...this is also a
    useful gearing option if you're running on empty - I used 53/39 + 13-29 to do the trans-Pyrenean
    ride in 2002.

    Trevor.

    "froteur" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:hLX%[email protected]...
    > I live in the San Francisco East Bay where it is very hilly.
    >
    > I have just ordered a new bike frame that should arrive next week. In the meantime, I need to
    > decide on my crankset. I am installing a 2003 Campy Chorus Triple Gruppo and am considering using
    > the FSA Pro Elite Compact crankset (50/34) instead of the Chorus triple (52/42/30?). I am looking
    > for other members' experiences and recommendations regarding compact vs. triple.
    >
    > Also, what cassette gear ranges have you found most succesful with your own set-up?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    >
    >
    > --
     
  8. Mgs

    Mgs Guest

    I went through this dilema in having just done a number of climbs and felt the need for a triple, or
    lower gearing.

    I run a 53/39 with a 13-29 rear cluster (Campy) for the worst of climbs. However, in preparation
    for a ride with some friends where I have been told the hills are rear terrors, I opted for the
    FSA cranks.

    The problems was the 50-34 gearing with the 13-29 gave a great low gear, but I would spin out in the
    high gear.

    My LBS offered two options, Switch to the rear cluster to a 12-25, or get a front chain
    ring of 52-36.

    A new rear cluster costs about $180. The new chain rings are about $79.00.

    I opted for the chain rings. This gives me a nice range for touring with the 52-36 FSA and 13-29,
    and then a super granny if I change the chain rings.

    A great site for gearing rations and speed with cadence is
    http://www.panix.com/~jbarrm/cycal/cycal.30f.html
     
  9. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Mike Jacoubowsky <[email protected]> wrote:

    : unfortunate that Campy won't be persuaded to build a wide-range cassette with a 12 however. When
    : you talk with their guys at the trade shows, they look at you kinda funny and tell you that, if
    : you need a 29, you're not strong enough to be worrying about having a 12

    And they're right as well. 53/13 is a pretty big gear and plenty big enough. As for all the 4th cats
    with 53x11 on. Sigh.

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
    - Paulina Borsook
     
  10. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "Arthur Clune" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Mike Jacoubowsky <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > : unfortunate that Campy won't be persuaded to build a wide-range cassette with a 12 however. When
    > : you talk with their guys at the trade shows,
    they
    > : look at you kinda funny and tell you that, if you need a 29, you're not strong enough to be
    > : worrying about having a 12
    >
    > And they're right as well. 53/13 is a pretty big gear and plenty big enough. As for all the 4th
    > cats with 53x11 on. Sigh.

    Be careful there Arthur. I made the mistake of advising some newby that he could race whatever he
    had on his bike only to have a dozen horse's posteriors here argue on one of the longest threads
    ever that he needed at least a 12 and maybe even an 11.

    After three years of racing I found that in crits with really long and fast straights that I seldom
    got out of the 14 and usually only because I was too tired to spin.

    So on the road I generally NEVER get above the 15 except under pretty extreme conditions such as a
    steep hill that starts out flatish and I want to really fly, a heavy tail-wind which happens perhaps
    once a year, or when everyone in the group is feeling especially good and we get it up to 30 or so.
    Still I find myself in the 14 or maybe 13.

    I am starting to believe that anyone with a brain in their head would have a compact. If it worked
    well enough for Tyler to win a couple of races you'd think that other's might have a little more
    respect for smaller gears.
     
  11. Mgs

    Mgs Guest

    Well now, I don't remember the thread, maybe out of town, but I tend to unequivocally
    agree with you.

    I just came back from a long ride, a nice day, beautiful weather, and felt good.

    I just switched my crank to a compact 50/34 FSA and was trying out the new ratios. My low
    gear is a 13.

    During one downhill spin, I was doing 40 and having no trouble in the
    50/13. The rest of the ride was spent in rather comfortable 50/15 when I was cruising at 20-25 on
    the flats.

    When I got the compact I thought about getting a lower gear, but I realize, like Tom noted, I
    rarely use it or need below a 13.
     
  12. froteur

    froteur New Member

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    Thanks to EVERYONE for ALL of your input. :) It has helped me tremendously. Looks like I'll stay with a 13 on one end but am still trying to decide whether to go with the 26 or 29.

    Either one will give me a much lower gear than I am running now - I have a 30 year old Gitane Tour de France that has 52/42 x 13/26 (that is 13-16-19-23-26 - only fice cogs). I am now 46 years old, just got back into riding again and can DEFINITELY use more help on the hills these days.

    Thanks all!
     
  13. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "froteur" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Mgs wrote:
    > > Well now, I don't remember the thread, maybe out of town, but I tend
    to
    > > unequivocally agree with you. I just came back from a long ride, a nice day, beautiful
    > > weather, and felt good. I just switched my crank to a compact 50/34 FSA and was trying out the
    > > new ratios. My low gear is a 13. During one downhill spin, I was doing 40 and having no
    > > trouble in the
    > > 50/13. The rest of the ride was spent in rather comfortable 50/15 when
    I
    > > was cruising at 20-25 on the flats. When I got the compact I thought about getting a
    > > lower gear, but I realize, like Tom noted, I rarely use it or need below a 13.
    >
    > Thanks to EVERYONE for ALL of your input. :) It has helped me tremendously. Looks like I'll stay
    > with a 13 on one end but am still trying to decide whether to go with the 26 or 29.
    >
    > Either one will give me a much lower gear than I am running now - I have a 30 year old Gitane Tour
    > de France that has 52/42 x 13/26 (that is
    13-16-19-23-
    > 26 - only fice cogs). I am now 46 years old, just got back into riding again and can DEFINITELY
    > use more help on the hills these days.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/velos.html http://sheldonbrown.com/kunich.html
     
  14. pedalchick

    pedalchick New Member

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    I raced San Fran last year with the compact cranks you speak of. Very, very nice piece of equipment that hasn't and won't leave my bike! I wouldn't limit myself to a 13 if I was running a 50. In fact, I'd really want an 11. I did spin out in the 50, but I was racing so it matters. If you're not racing, you'll be able to go about 35mph before you spin out in that 13, IIRC. I had a 12-26 (9 speed) and the 34-26 was a very tiny gear.
    Now I run a 52-38 which is perfect for the rather flat to rolling area I live in.
     
  15. froteur

    froteur New Member

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    Pedalchick,

    Thanks for the feedback. I am NOT a racer so I think I'll stick with the 13/26( though I am still waffling a little about the 12-26 instead). I'm not sure if I've ever even been over 35 mph (didn't have a computer until recently). However, maybeThese old legs need all of the help they can get to get up the hills, particularly since I just started riding again after more than fifteen years.

    Where did you get the chainrings to change to 52-38?

    BTW, where do live that you have rolling hills?

    I would like to "pick your brain" a little more about the cranks, if you don't mind. If that's OK, I can be emailed at [email protected]

    Thanks.
     
  16. Gwhite

    Gwhite Guest

    Dan Connelly wrote:
    >
    ...
    > 12.52%
    > 6.90%
    > 7.41%
    > 8.00%
    >
    > Not so bad.

    yuk.

    If you like double shifting, do this:

    44 48 11 106.000 115.636 12 97.167 106.000 14 83.286 90.857 17 68.588 74.824 20 58.300
    63.600 24 48.583 53.000 29 40.207 43.862 34 34.294 37.412
     
  17. Gwhite

    Gwhite Guest

    froteur wrote:
    >
    > pedalchick wrote:
    > > I raced San Fran last year with the compact cranks you speak of. Very, very nice piece of
    > > equipment that hasn't and won't leave my bike! I wouldn't limit myself to a 13 if I was
    > > running a 50. In fact, I'd really want an 11. I did spin out in the 50, but I was racing so it
    > > matters. If you're not racing, you'll be able to go about 35mph before you spin out in that
    > > 13, IIRC. I had a 12-26 (9 speed) and the 34-26 was a very tiny gear. Now I run a 52-38 which
    > > is perfect for the rather flat to rolling area I live in.
    >
    > Pedalchick,
    >
    > Thanks for the feedback. I am NOT a racer so I think I'll stick with the
    > 13/26( though I am still waffling a little about the 12-26 instead). I'm not sure if I've ever
    > even been over 35 mph (didn't have a computer until recently). However, maybeThese old legs
    > need all of the help they can get to get up the hills, particularly since I just started riding
    > again after more than fifteen years.
    >
    > Where did you get the chainrings to change to 52-38?
    >
    > BTW, where do live that you have rolling hills?
    >
    > I would like to "pick your brain" a little more about the cranks, if you don't mind. If that's OK,
    > I can be emailed at [email protected]

    If you aren't racing, save some bucks:

    http://rivendellbicycles.com/webalog/cranks_bbs_c-rings/12241.html

    Perfectly good and priced well for brand new.

    You can get so-called "110" used cranks for a nice price on ebay from time to time.

    There are some very steep and long grades near my home. I've used the following combo's with my 110
    "compact" crank:

    33 53 12 72.875 117.042 13 67.269 108.038 14 62.464 100.321 15 58.300 93.633 16 54.656
    87.781 18 48.583 78.028 21 41.643 66.881 24 36.438 58.521 28 31.232 50.161

    33 53 13 67.269 108.038 14 62.464 100.321 15 58.300 93.633 16 54.656 87.781 17 51.441 82.618
    19 46.026 73.921 21 41.643 66.881 24 36.438 58.521 28 31.232 50.161

    33 53 12 72.875 117.042 13 67.269 108.038 14 62.464 100.321 15 58.300 93.633 16 54.656
    87.781 17 51.441 82.618 19 46.026 73.921 21 41.643 66.881 24 36.438 58.521

    36 53 12 79.500 117.042 13 73.385 108.038 14 68.143 100.321 15 63.600 93.633 16 59.625
    87.781 17 56.118 82.618 19 50.211 73.921 21 45.429 66.881 24 39.750 58.521

    39 53 12 86.125 117.042 13 79.500 108.038 14 73.821 100.321 15 68.900 93.633 16 64.594
    87.781 17 60.794 82.618 19 54.395 73.921 21 49.214 66.881 24 43.063 58.521

    39 53 11 93.955 127.682 12 86.125 117.042 13 79.500 108.038 14 73.821 100.321 15 68.900
    93.633 16 64.594 87.781 17 60.794 82.618 19 54.395 73.921 21 49.214 66.881

    Pretty freaky.
     
  18. Dare I mention... Nashbar has house-branded compact 7-series
    Aluminium compact (110) cranks for $99. 50/34, just like the
    FSA; 710g, about 70g more than similarly priced Shimano. I
    was ready to ask whether anyone had used these; I want to
    put a compact on a used OCLV frame I just bought, possibly
    for Alpe D'Huez this summer.--Shayana Kadidal

    >
    > If you aren't racing, save some bucks:
    >
    > http://rivendellbicycles.com/webalog/cranks_bbs_c-
    > rings/12241.html
    >
    > Perfectly good and priced well for brand new.
     
  19. Re. Kunich's comment, I just bought an Ultegra junior 9-
    speed cassette (Excel has them in stock). 14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23-
    25, kind of two-thirds corncob with the usual lower gears.
    Like others here, I only use the 12 on two or three short
    40mph downhills a week, and I don't really need it or the
    13. It seems to me that almost every amateur would be better
    off with a 16 than a 12.--Shayana Kadidal
     
  20. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "Shayana Kadidal" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Re. Kunich's comment, I just bought an Ultegra junior 9-
    > speed cassette (Excel has them in stock). 14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23-
    > 25, kind of two-thirds corncob with the usual lower gears.
    > Like others here, I only use the 12 on two or three short
    > 40mph downhills a week, and I don't really need it or the
    > 13. It seems to me that almost every amateur would be
    > better off with a 16 than a 12.--Shayana Kadidal

    Oh, oh, last time I said that we saw tons of opposition
    telling us that there was no way you could place in the top
    100% without an 11 tooth.
     
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