What size chainrings? 53/39 or 52/42?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by James, Apr 27, 2003.

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  1. James

    James Guest

    Hi,

    I'm not a racer but do enjoy frequent fast club rides. At the moment, I'm considering fitting
    'non-standard' size chainrings on my Ultegra 9-speed equipped roadbike.

    A few questions:

    1. For double setups, why are there 2 popular big-ring sizes (53 or 52) when they only differ
    by 1 tooth?

    2. Likewise for front small-ring sizes (42 or 39).

    3. When should riders choose 53/39, 53/42, 52/42 or 52/39? Are these chainring sizes arbitrarily
    chosen or is there a reasonable rationale behind the choice?

    4. After some refining of my riding patterns, I think a 51(50)/36 may suit me very well. Where can I
    get such chainrings which are Shimano 9-spd compatible?

    All replies appreciated.

    Thanks.

    James

    (ROT-13 to email)
     
    Tags:


  2. In rec.bicycles.tech James <[email protected]> wrote:
    > 4. After some refining of my riding patterns, I think a 51(50)/36 may suit me very well. Where can
    > I get such chainrings which are Shimano 9-spd compatible?

    Unfortunately the smallest chainring you'll get on a 130mm BCD is a 38t (third party, TA makes
    nice ones).

    As I personally prefer 50/36 as well I'm (still) using 110BCD cranks...

    --
    MfG/Best regards helmut springer
     
  3. James-<< 3. When should riders choose 53/39, 53/42, 52/42 or 52/39? Are these chainring sizes
    arbitrarily chosen or is there a reasonable rationale behind the choice?

    Manufacturers and product managers often 'spec' 53/39 rings as a marketing tool, to be 'just like
    the racers', altho many racers don't use these combos.

    << 4. After some refining of my riding patterns, I think a 51(50)/36 may suit me very well. Where
    can I get such chainrings which are Shimano 9-spd compatible?

    And I am happy with a 50/39 setup. Get any 110mm bolt pattern crank and TA rings. If the 50t is a
    TA, it will have ramps/pins to work with shimano 9s stuff.

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

    Gary Mishler Guest

    "Qui si parla Campagnolo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > James-<< 3. When should riders choose 53/39, 53/42, 52/42 or 52/39? Are these chainring sizes
    > arbitrarily chosen or is there a reasonable rationale behind the choice?
    >
    > Manufacturers and product managers often 'spec' 53/39 rings as a marketing tool, to be 'just like
    > the racers', altho many racers don't use these
    combos.
    >
    >
    > << 4. After some refining of my riding patterns, I think a 51(50)/36 may suit me very well. Where
    > can I get such chainrings which are Shimano 9-spd compatible?
    >
    > And I am happy with a 50/39 setup. Get any 110mm bolt pattern crank and TA rings. If the 50t is a
    > TA, it will have ramps/pins to work with shimano 9s stuff.

    What does TA have for Ultegra Triple?
     
  5. Paul Kopit

    Paul Kopit Guest

    Any shop can get you the 50T ring for your 130 bolt pattern, Shimano road cranks. The smallest inner
    ring you can get from Shimano is a 39 because the distance between the bolt holes will not permit a
    smaller ring. There are designs for 38t, which are likely Shimano compatable, but not from Shimano.

    If you want 50x36, you need to buy a set of 110 bolt pattern crankarms and the 2 rings. I don't know
    of a set that comes with those rings. Ritchey and TA make 110 doubles. I think the Ritchey uses a
    splined bb but I'm not sure.

    I have a 170 length x 110 bolt pattern Sugino V/P right arm and not matched left arm that uses the
    same bb size, 115. I also have the 50 and 36t cogs. I have zero idea if they will index with STI
    but, I'd my educated guess is that you would shift the crankset fine with your existing front
    derailleur.

    I also have a few pairs of Dimension 110 bolt x 170 length crankarms that use a 107-110 square taper
    bb. They are brand new. I have rings and new UN72 bb for those as well.

    Getting a larger range rear cassette is a cheaper alternative, even if you have to buy the MTB long
    cage rear derailleur. I believe that Sheldon Brown can easilly make up a 13/32 for you. Should a
    13/30 be enough, you won't have to change the rear derailleur either.

    On 26 Apr 2003 15:26:43 +0800, James <[email protected]> wrote:

    >4. After some refining of my riding patterns, I think a 51(50)/36 may suit me very well. Where can
    > I get such chainrings which are Shimano 9-spd compatible?
     
  6. Hunrobe

    Hunrobe Guest

    >James [email protected]

    wrote in part:

    >I'm considering fitting 'non-standard' size chainrings on my Ultegra 9-speed equipped roadbike.

    --- snipped for brevity's sake----

    > After some refining of my riding patterns, I think a 51(50)/36 may suit me very well. Where can I
    > get such chainrings which are Shimano 9-spd compatible?

    Try your LBS or online at www. sheldonbrown.com

    Personally, I'd do some serious gear inch calculations before I went to a 36 small ring but I don't
    live in the mountains. As for your other question- why 53/52 and 42/39 are standard road sizes-
    there has to be some "standard" so why *not* those? With appropriate cogs they suit the needs of the
    majority of riders.

    Regards, Bob Hunt
     
  7. Bfd

    Bfd Guest

    "Paul Kopit" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Any shop can get you the 50T ring for your 130 bolt pattern, Shimano road cranks. The smallest
    > inner ring you can get from Shimano is a 39 because the distance between the bolt holes will not
    > permit a smaller ring. There are designs for 38t, which are likely Shimano compatable, but not
    > from Shimano.
    >
    > If you want 50x36, you need to buy a set of 110 bolt pattern crankarms and the 2 rings. I don't
    > know of a set that comes with those rings. Ritchey and TA make 110 doubles. I think the Ritchey
    > uses a splined bb but I'm not sure.
    >
    Actually, the older Ritchey 110bcd double cranks like these:
    http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/webalog/cranks_bbs_c-rings/12223.html use a "standard" square taper
    bb and the smallest chainring you can use is a
    33t..... The newer Ritchey 130bcd double crank, like these:
    http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?page=8&description=Crankset+Pro+Cross&ven
    dorCode=RITCHEY&major=1&minor=13 use the splined bb. Note, the smallest chainring you can use
    with these cranks is 38t...
     
  8. On Sat, 26 Apr 2003 15:26:43 +0800, James wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm not a racer but do enjoy frequent fast club rides. At the moment, I'm considering fitting
    > 'non-standard' size chainrings on my Ultegra 9-speed equipped roadbike.
    >
    > A few questions:
    >
    > 1. For double setups, why are there 2 popular big-ring sizes (53 or 52) when they only differ by 1
    > tooth?

    Good question. The explanation I heard was that some juniors found out that they could qualify with
    a 53/15 (the limit was supposed to be equivalent to a 52/15 top gear limit), so they started
    demanding them. When I was racing in the '70s, no one used a 53, and now they are everywhere.
    Certainly 1 tooth is not a significantly larger gear, so it isn't that; Campy certainly made bigger
    rings even back then -- I have a 55 in my garage that I haven't used since those days.
    >
    > 2. Likewise for front small-ring sizes (42 or 39).

    Those are the smallest sizes that would fit; the 42 with the older Campy cranks, and the 39 with
    newer ones (well, since about 1980 or a bit earlier).
    >
    > 3. When should riders choose 53/39, 53/42, 52/42 or 52/39? Are these chainring sizes arbitrarily
    > chosen or is there a reasonable rationale behind the choice?

    choice #1

    >
    > 4. After some refining of my riding patterns, I think a 51(50)/36 may suit me very well. Where can
    > I get such chainrings which are Shimano 9-spd compatible?

    No problem at all. Get a 110mm bolt-circle mountain bike crankset. Shimano shifters will work fine
    with most if not all brands.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | And what if you track down these men and kill them, what if you _`\(,_ | killed all of us?
    From every corner of Europe, hundreds, (_)/ (_) | thousands would rise up to take our places.
    Even Nazis can't kill that fast. -- Paul Henreid (Casablanca).
     
  9. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Hunrobe) wrote:

    > As for your other question- why 53/52 and 42/39 are standard road sizes- there has to be
    > some "standard" so why *not* those? With appropriate cogs they suit the needs of the
    > majority of riders.

    They fit the needs of the majority of (road) racers. For those chainwheels to meet the needs of most
    *riders* the cassette would need to be something like a 16 x 36!

    As a former racer turned guy-who-rides-because-it's-fun, the bike I ride most has a 12-28 cassette
    and 26-36-46 chainrings (101 inch top gear). I can still sprint at 38 mph (about as fast as I could
    with a 53 unless there was a tailwind- I always found it better to pedal faster in a smaller gear
    than try to grind out the last meters overgeared). I still have a 12-23 and 53-39 equipped bike; it
    too works fine but doesn't exclusively offer me something I "need." I don't "need" a 116 inch top
    gear and very few bike riders do. Most could get by just fine with a 75 inch top gear.

    Randonneurs commonly used to use chainrings of 46-34 and a fairly close range freewheel- and they
    were riding 1200 km events on those. Modern derailleurs are *so* much better than the ones those
    ancients were using that we have broader ranges with finer steps between gears.
     
  10. "James" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm not a racer but do enjoy frequent fast club rides. At the moment, I'm considering fitting
    > 'non-standard' size chainrings on my Ultegra 9-speed equipped roadbike.
    >
    > A few questions:
    >
    > 1. For double setups, why are there 2 popular big-ring sizes (53 or 52) when they only differ by 1
    > tooth?

    The larger the gear the less one tooth makes a difference. In this case there is so little
    difference that you could consider it no difference. On double setups I don't believe the 52 is all
    that common at all any more, regardless it doesn't much matter.

    >
    > 2. Likewise for front small-ring sizes (42 or 39).

    Three teeth on this size ring does make a noticeable difference.

    >
    > 3. When should riders choose 53/39, 53/42, 52/42 or 52/39? Are these chainring sizes arbitrarily
    > chosen or is there a reasonable rationale behind the choice?

    As noted above 52 or 53 is moot so just go for easiest availability for you. For the 39 vs 42 tooth
    consider the hillyness of your riding area and your strength of riding in the given terrain. If you
    ride in a very flat place like S. Florida or certain places in the midwest you may find the slightly
    better shifting of a 42/53 to be desirable. The closer in size between the two rings the better the
    shifting. Most modern bikes don't go beyond a 14 tooth jump. If on the other hand you have hilly or
    rolling terrain or wind you may find the lower gearing with the 39 tooth better.

    >
    > 4. After some refining of my riding patterns, I think a 51(50)/36 may suit me very well. Where can
    > I get such chainrings which are Shimano 9-spd compatible?

    Unless you need to be able to apply power above 30 mph (like you might in fast group rides or long
    shallow downhills) a 36/50 is a great choice. You won't be able to do it with most of the modern
    roadbike double cranks. You need a 110 bcd crank. These are a little hard to find. Here's one:
    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/zephyr.asp It should work fine with Shimano 9-speed setups.

    >
    >
    > All replies appreciated.
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    >
    > James
    >
    > (ROT-13 to email)
     
  11. James wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm not a racer but do enjoy frequent fast club rides. At the moment, I'm considering fitting
    > 'non-standard' size chainrings on my Ultegra 9-speed equipped roadbike.
    >
    > A few questions:
    >
    > 1. For double setups, why are there 2 popular big-ring sizes (53 or 52) when they only differ by 1
    > tooth?
    >
    > 2. Likewise for front small-ring sizes (42 or 39).
    >
    > 3. When should riders choose 53/39, 53/42, 52/42 or 52/39? Are these chainring sizes arbitrarily
    > chosen or is there a reasonable rationale behind the choice?
    >
    > 4. After some refining of my riding patterns, I think a 51(50)/36 may suit me very well. Where can
    > I get such chainrings which are Shimano 9-spd compatible?
    >
    >
    > All replies appreciated.
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    >
    > James
    >
    > (ROT-13 to email)

    i think some of the reasons stem from before indexed shifting. it was Far easier to shift the front
    than the rear. hence the old halfstep rings. i can tell you i really liked my old (mid '80s) crit
    bike with 42/52 and
    13/21 gearing, it was much easier to use the front on rolling hills or medium speed corners,
    didn't take as much out of my legs as the jump from 39-53 did. the shifting was much crisper
    then the big gap too. (hills Sucked though!)
     
  12. hunrobe-<< there has to be some "standard" so why *not* those? With appropriate cogs they suit the
    needs of the majority of riders.

    Disagree. I cringe when a rider specs a 175mm crank and a 53/11 highest gear, for that rider who is
    not a racer, not that tall but sees this stuff on his buddy's bikeouttaabox...

    Then they wander around in the 53/23, cranking along at 40rpm, complaining about their knees...

    52/39 with a 13-26 seems about ideal, or perhaps even a 50/39...for most riders around here...

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (53)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  13. On Sun, 27 Apr 2003 22:32:26 +0000, one of the six billion wrote:

    > Most modern bikes don't go beyond a 14 tooth jump.

    Not true at all. It's amazing to think that a front derailleur capable of shifting a triple with
    20-24 tooth jumps will be incapable of shifting a double with similar jumps. My current setup has a
    16-tooth jump, and I have used an 18-tooth jump with no problems, with an oldish Campy Record
    derailleur.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | This is my religion. There is no need for temples; no need for _`\(,_ | complicated
    philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our (_)/ (_) | temple. The philosophy is kindness.
    --The Dalai Lama
     
  14. Paul Kopit

    Paul Kopit Guest

    On 28 Apr 2003 13:10:40 GMT, [email protected] (Qui si parla Campagnolo) wrote:

    >52/39 with a 13-26 seems about ideal, or perhaps even a 50/39...for most riders around here...

    Or 48/34 x 12/23. Better if the cassette has 10 cogs.
     
  15. Openworld

    Openworld Guest

    The closer the ratio of gears-the easier it is to keep spinning at a constant rpm. Problem being you
    may run out of gears very quickly, not good for ascents

    "James Connell" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > James wrote:
    > > Hi,
    > >
    > > I'm not a racer but do enjoy frequent fast club rides. At the moment, I'm considering fitting
    > > 'non-standard' size chainrings on my Ultegra 9-speed equipped roadbike.
    > >
    > > A few questions:
    > >
    > > 1. For double setups, why are there 2 popular big-ring sizes (53 or 52) when they only differ by
    > > 1 tooth?
    > >
    > > 2. Likewise for front small-ring sizes (42 or 39).
    > >
    > > 3. When should riders choose 53/39, 53/42, 52/42 or 52/39? Are these chainring sizes arbitrarily
    > > chosen or is there a reasonable rationale behind the choice?
    > >
    > > 4. After some refining of my riding patterns, I think a 51(50)/36 may suit me very well. Where
    > > can I get such chainrings which are Shimano 9-spd compatible?
    > >
    > >
    > > All replies appreciated.
    > >
    > > Thanks.
    > >
    > >
    > > James
    > >
    > > (ROT-13 to email)
    >
    > i think some of the reasons stem from before indexed shifting. it was Far easier to shift the
    > front than the rear. hence the old halfstep rings. i can tell you i really liked my old (mid '80s)
    > crit bike with 42/52 and
    > 13/21 gearing, it was much easier to use the front on rolling hills or medium speed corners,
    > didn't take as much out of my legs as the jump from 39-53 did. the shifting was much crisper
    > then the big gap too. (hills Sucked though!)
     
  16. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Paul Kopit <[email protected]> wrote:
    :
    : Or 48/34 x 12/23. Better if the cassette has 10 cogs.

    Very irritaingly, Campag don't seem to do a 12-23 10 speed cassette though.

    Parker International list the following:

    Record 10: 11/21, 11/23, 12/25, 13/26, 13/29 Chorus / Daytona 10: 11/23, 12/25, 13/26, 13/29

    Most people I know end up running 12-25, but I'd rather run 48/34 x 12/23 for non-race use. That
    would be a nice setup for my normal rides with the option to run a 13-26 for the really hilly stuff.

    (as an aside I run 50/39 13-26 on my winter bike and 52/39 13-23 or 12-23 on the race bike. The 12
    is mainly for hilly TTs)

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org Power is delightful. Absolute power is absolutely delightful -
    Lord Lester
     
  17. On Mon, 28 Apr 2003 02:47:53 -0400, James Connell wrote:

    > think some of the reasons stem from before indexed shifting. it was Far easier to shift the front
    > than the rear. hence the old halfstep rings. i can tell you i really liked my old (mid '80s) crit
    > bike with
    > 42/52 and
    > 13/21 gearing, it was much easier to use the front on rolling hills or medium speed corners,
    > didn't take as much out of my legs as the jump from 39-53 did.

    May well be, but 42/52 was NOT halfstep gearing. 47/52 was halfstep.
     
  18. Steve Palincsar wrote:
    > On Mon, 28 Apr 2003 02:47:53 -0400, James Connell wrote:
    >
    >
    >> think some of the reasons stem from before indexed shifting. it was Far easier to shift the front
    >> than the rear. hence the old halfstep rings. i can tell you i really liked my old (mid '80s) crit
    >> bike with
    >>42/52 and
    >> 13/21 gearing, it was much easier to use the front on rolling hills or medium speed corners,
    >> didn't take as much out of my legs as the jump from 39-53 did.
    >
    >
    > May well be, but 42/52 was NOT halfstep gearing. 47/52 was halfstep.

    i'm very well aware of what halfstep gearing is thank you. was supposed to be a ',' after rear not
    '.' that way i wouldn't here from dipshits like you
     
  19. Gary Mishler

    Gary Mishler Guest

    "Qui si parla Campagnolo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Gary-<< What does TA have for Ultegra Triple?
    >
    > Ta makes a load of rings for 135mm, 130mm and 110mm cranks, all sizes,
    lots
    > with ramps and stuff for use as a triple...
    >

    I find this thread very interesting. I have often thought that my 52/42/30 was bigger than I needed,
    especially the 52, and somewhat the 42.

    What would you recommend for a 130 mm Ultegra Triple? Currently I'm running a 12-27 9 spd cassette
    that I'm happy with but I find that I'm *usually* on the 15-19 cogs when on the 42 chainring and on
    the 17-21 cogs when on the 52 chainring. Still sometimes with a good tailwind I get to 52/15 or 14
    combinations, but usually never larger.

    I'm happy with my 30 inner ring, unless they should all three be changed out as a set, then I could
    go a bit smaller.

    Thanks, Mish
     
  20. James <[email protected]> wrote:
    >3. When should riders choose 53/39, 53/42, 52/42 or 52/39? Are these chainring sizes arbitrarily
    > chosen or is there a reasonable rationale behind the choice?

    I use 52/39. I would use 53/39, but I'm too used to the gear ratios with a 52t front. Why? I expect
    to always double-shift when changing in front, so I may as well have a front gap that's as big as
    possible, and fit a cassette (a custom 13-34, as it happens) that gives a top gear as high as I need
    and a bottom gear as low as possible.

    When I get a 110mm BCD crank I'll change to 52/36.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> Distortion Field!
     
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