Gearing Change

Venod

Eh up
Location
Yorkshire
I have a CX bike and a winter bike (OK its another CX but with mudguards) both of these run 46/36 chainsets with 11-32 cassette both 10 speed.
The road bike has (had) 50/34 with a 12-30 cassette, I have just converted it to the same gearing as my other bikes as I like the smaller step between the 2 front rings.
I thought maybe 46 would be too small but checking the gear charts 46/11 is a bigger gear than 52/13 that I rode as a youngster.
I consider this combination a go anywhere setup and wonder why its not fitted to more road bikes of the peg.
How many people actually use 50/11 and some bikes come with 52 or 53 rings !
 

mgs315

Senior Member
I must admit I very rarely get into my 50-11 even on descents. Much rather have the corresponding 34 small ring to help going up than 52+ going down.

I just don’t really go much above 35mph I guess.

(EDIT: For reference I tend to average 92ish RPM for rides, happy to spin up to 110 for a while).
 
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gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
When fit I regularly used the 50/11 combo. We don't have many (if any) hills here but on a slight, long downhill I'd cruise at 25mph for a while (4 or 5 miles at a time perhaps) and on anything steeper I'd run out of gears.
Ironically I deliberately chose a 53/39 on my current bike brought at that time to give me more speed...then caught TB. I'm generally over that but could really go back to a 50/40 I used to run.
 

boydj

Guru
Location
Paisley
Went sub-compact last year - 48/32 - on the carbon bike. TBH, the 48 could easily be a 46 for the number of times that I get anywhere near to spinning out, and a 46 would allow me to stay on the big ring for an even higher percentage of the time.
 

mgs315

Senior Member
Went sub-compact last year - 48/32 - on the carbon bike. TBH, the 48 could easily be a 46 for the number of times that I get anywhere near to spinning out, and a 46 would allow me to stay on the big ring for an even higher percentage of the time.
Good point. I’ve migrated to my 50-34 TCR for most of my riding but recently been commuting on my triple (50-39-30) as I’ve nowhere secure to leave it and I don’t really care if it goes walkies and I must admit having a cog I don’t have to change for the commute is lovely. Just stick it on the 39 and use the full range of the cassette to do the whole ride. It’s actually a really nice way to ride.

Might look at doing a 1x with something like a 42 up front and up to a 36 at the back on 32c tyres for winter thinking about it (triple can’t go above 25 and would be a fun hack/bodge project).
 
OP
Venod

Venod

Eh up
Location
Yorkshire
When fit I regularly used the 50/11 combo. We don't have many (if any) hills here but on a slight, long downhill I'd cruise at 25mph for a while (4 or 5 miles at a time perhaps) and on anything steeper I'd run out of gears.
Ironically I deliberately chose a 53/39 on my current bike brought at that time to give me more speed...then caught TB. I'm generally over that but could really go back to a 50/40 I used to run.
Your not a spinner then 50/11 gets you 34 mph at 95 cadence 46/11 gets you 31.3 at 95 cadence.

If I understand your post correctly your cadence at 25 mph would be 70 in 50/11, nothing wrong with that if your comfortable with it, smaller gearing isn't for you.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
I changed the gearing on both of my Cannondales.

My CAAD5 (road bike) now has a top gear of 48/12 and my CAADX (cyclocross bike) has 46/12. They are both good for 31 mph at a comfortable 100 rpm and 37 mph at a spinny 120 rpm. I don't feel the need to pedal at speeds higher than that. (I often hit speeds of 40-50 mph on big local descents but I do that freewheeling in an aero position.)
 

Alan O

Über Member
Location
Liverpool
I have a steel "road" bike with 48/36 double, recently changed from a 52/42 because that was just way too high for me - even with 14-24 six-speed on the rear.

My steel tourer has a 48/38/28 triple and 14-28 rear, so still the same highest gear. It will get me to a little over 30mph on the rare occasions I find a suitable downhill (I'm a spinner) and that's about as fast as I'm comfortable with these days. But I do only very rarely use my top few gears, and I can't help thinking a 46/36/26 triple would be even better.
 
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ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
My steel tourer has a 48/38/28 triple and 14-28 rear, so still the same highest gear. It will get me to a little over 30mph on the rare occasions I find a suitable downhill (I'm a spinner) and that's about as fast as I'm comfortable with these days. But I do only very rarely use my top few gears, and I can't help thinking a 46/36/26 triple would be even better.
I had a 53/39 double on my CAAD5 with a 13-29 cassette. The 53/39 got replaced with a 48/38/28 triple and the 13-29 with a 12-30. That gave me almost the same top gear and a much more useful bottom gear for the long/steep hills that I tackle in Yorkshire and Lancashire.

When the 38 middle ring wore out I replaced it with a 36 which is a very good size for most of my cycling. 36/12 is high enough most of the time and 36/30 is low enough most of the time. The transmission seems fine with that amount of cross-chaining.

I don't think I need to reduce the 48 ring to a 46, but I did consider replacing the 28 with a 26. The thing is though - the triple conversion was a squeeze and I don't think that the shortish rear mech would cope well with having to wrap even more chain when in bottom gear. I have got up 25% slopes in 28/30. The times that I'd need to go as low as a 26/30 are so rare that I'll just walk if I have to.
 

dave r

Dunking Diddy Dave Pedalling Pensioner
I could never get on with 50/34, currently I'm running 48/42 with a 12-28 10 speed, for years I've run 50/42 with 12-27 or 12-28. I run most of the time on the 42 ring.
 

si_c

Guru
Location
Wirral
I was running a 48/32 with a 12/25 until recently but I prefer to spin around 85-90rpm and for the majority of my riding that means I suit a 52/36 slightly more with that cassette. I haven't "spun out" with either, but I am more comfortable with the latter. If I lived in a much hillier area then I might reconsider.
 
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Venod

Venod

Eh up
Location
Yorkshire
Went out today with new setup 46/36 front 11-32 rear,

Today's ride 35.54 miles @ an average 16.3 mph average heart rate 127 bpm, average cadence 83

Yesterdays ride 50/34 front 12-30 rear, 53.47 @ an average 16.2 mph average heart rate 124 bpm, average cadence 81

So no difference (not that I expected any) today was a bit more breezy, I never used the 34 much, I will have to get into the habit of using the 36 to save chain wear on the 46, the 50 sprocket I took off was well worn compared to the 34.

I forgot to lower the front derailleur so the first change onto the big ring resulted in a dropped chain.

All working fine with a Shimano 105 short cage derailleur, even 46/32 should I accidently change into that combination.
 
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bpsmith

Veteran
52-36 and 11-28 on one bike. Same semi compact on the other but with 11-25. Rather hilly in South Wales, but think I could safely drop the easiest gear on each bike quite happily.

I would rather go for a 53-39 if I had the choice on the aero bike though.
 

si_c

Guru
Location
Wirral
52-36 and 11-28 on one bike. Same semi compact on the other but with 11-25. Rather hilly in South Wales, but think I could safely drop the easiest gear on each bike quite happily. I would rather go for a 53-39 if I had the choice on the aero bike though.
I can get up hills on the 36/25, but I wouldn't want to drop the gear that's for certain. I'm much more comfortable with a 32 for rides into Snowdonia and a 34 or 36 is better especially on long days. If I could shift another 10kg then maybe a 28 wouldn't be too bad!!!
 
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