Compact Chainset...not sure?

AlanW

Guru
Location
Not to sure?
My Audax bike has a triple chainset, 52-39-28, coupled with a 10sp 12-23 cassette.

In my eyes this is a brilliant combination, it has everything that I need, big gears...little gears....and a nice close ratio cassette at the rear to keep the cadence nice and smooth.

So why the hell do I keep looking at getting a compact chain set??? :blush:

I have worked out that a 50/34 compact chain set, coupled with a 10sp 13-25 would be pretty decent. OK, I lose a little bit on each end of the ratios, but nothing that is going to cause me to much grief to be honest.

So what should I do?.....recommendations and also why would be appreciated. :biggrin:
 

515mm

Well-Known Member
Location
Carmarthenshire
There is a lot to be said for a close ratio gearbox. Much easier to keep a cadence - which is less tiring in the long run. Don't do it!
 
My compact is a 36/50 (12-25) but I've ridden a few where its a 34/50 and IMO this is too big a jump unless you live in the Alps then its appreciated :-) I also find the 50 too low on descents and found my self spinning out. On my eldest bike I've got a 30/42/52 triple (12-26) and have found that to be the best geared for me and instinct would tend to tell me to stick with what I like. Having said that I wanted a Kinesis and it was easier to get it in a double so I spec'd it with a double 38/52 (12-25). My rationale was that it'd be more work in the hills but still doable and wouldn't spin out; Ive found that to be right for me at the moment.

Just my 2p
 

GrasB

Veteran
Location
Nr Cambridge
It's really up to you. Personally I find that a 34/50 or 36/52 work really well for me but bar-end shifters make double shifting much simpler than STI levers.

Use a gear calculator to make sure the cassette overlaps are away from your normal flat cruising gears.
 

Steve Austin

The Marmalade Kid
Location
Mlehworld
If you never use the inner ring then change, but if you find that inner ring useful then its not time to change.
Its the reason i wouldn't use a triple, as the inner ring would just sit there doing nowt
 

GrasB

Veteran
Location
Nr Cambridge
thinking about it, if you never use the 21 & 23t sprockets on the 28t chainring then go for a 36/50 or 36/52 as 36:25 is marginally lower than 28:19
 
OP
AlanW

AlanW

Guru
Location
Not to sure?
TheBoyBilly said:
I think you've answered your own question.....'it's brilliant - everything I need'
Why risk ruining a perfectly good set-up just because you can?

Bill
I think that I have to be honest, but the need to experiment with one is really niggling away at me. :blush:

Steve Austin said:
If you never use the inner ring then change, but if you find that inner ring useful then its not time to change.
Its the reason i wouldn't use a triple, as the inner ring would just sit there doing nowt
99% of the time the 28 inner ring sees no action at all.

However, when it is used, and used in conjunction with the 10sp 12-23 cassette, its bloody ideal.

I know what's going to be said next..."If it ain't broke don't fix it".

I need another distraction to take my mind of it...I know....wheels. :biggrin:
 

Seamab

Senior Member
Location
Dollar
The compact is obviously a compromise between standard double and triple.

Why go for a compromise when you have what you want?

When i started cycling i went for the compact 50/34 and have stuck with it and have run 12-25, 14-25 and 12-23 (current)on it.

Pluses - it gets me up every hill, 34/23 is the minimum i need.
Negatives - big jump between 50/34 so that double shifting is req'd. 50/36 or 48/34 would be better.
Can spin out on some descents
I use the 50 ring 80% of the time and more often than i should the big/big combinations because changing down is a pain.

Next time, i'll choose a triple with a nice middle ring for the vast majority of riding. HLAB's 52/42/30 sounds spot on.

Then again maybe i'd go for the standard double. Choices, choices.....:wacko:
 

e-rider

crappy member
Location
South West
Seamab said:
The compact is obviously a compromise between standard double and triple.

Why go for a compromise when you have what you want?

When i started cycling i went for the compact 50/34 and have stuck with it and have run 12-25, 14-25 and 12-23 (current)on it.

Pluses - it gets me up every hill, 34/23 is the minimum i need.
Negatives - big jump between 50/34 so that double shifting is req'd. 50/36 or 48/34 would be better.
Can spin out on some descents
I use the 50 ring 80% of the time and more often than i should the big/big combinations because changing down is a pain.

Next time, i'll choose a triple with a nice middle ring for the vast majority of riding. HLAB's 52/42/30 sounds spot on.

Then again maybe i'd go for the standard double. Choices, choices.....:wacko:
yes, spot on advice and experiences of compacts
 
OP
AlanW

AlanW

Guru
Location
Not to sure?
Seamab said:
The compact is obviously a compromise between standard double and triple.

Why go for a compromise when you have what you want?

When i started cycling i went for the compact 50/34 and have stuck with it and have run 12-25, 14-25 and 12-23 (current)on it.

Pluses - it gets me up every hill, 34/23 is the minimum i need.
Negatives - big jump between 50/34 so that double shifting is req'd. 50/36 or 48/34 would be better.
Can spin out on some descents
I use the 50 ring 80% of the time and more often than i should the big/big combinations because changing down is a pain.

Next time, i'll choose a triple with a nice middle ring for the vast majority of riding. HLAB's 52/42/30 sounds spot on.

Then again maybe i'd go for the standard double. Choices, choices.....:biggrin:
Good overview, thanks.

I think that based on the above, I'll stay with a triple for a while longer. Unless I can maybe borrow one from the LBS just so that I can see the pitfalls for myself.
 

GrasB

Veteran
Location
Nr Cambridge
Is it or are you just assuming everyone has your riding style? You see I've never needed to replace the middle chainring on a triple but have replaced plenty of bottom & top chainrings. With that I find a compact chainset works well & since I moved to compacts over triples my riding of inclines has become much smoother as it lacks the need to chop between the bottom & middle chainrings on ascents with short sections of flat &/or descent riding.

If triples work for you go for it but don't say things like "obvious compromise" because for some people a compact is the best solution & a triple is the compromise.
 
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