Not all all sure about compact chainset - advice needed

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by spire, 26 Aug 2007.

  1. spire

    spire To the point

    I've recently changed bikes and spent too much time deliberating the change from Shimano to Campag, and not enough time thinking about the chainring the new bike was to come with.

    I've done many happy miles with a 53/39 and find the new 50/34 gearing too low.

    I can live with the large ring (in fact my TT times have improved) but I find the change down to the second ring too dramatic.

    Should I persevere with new set-up or not?
  2. MichaelM

    MichaelM Veteran

    How about 50/36 ?
  3. Membrane

    Membrane New Member

    Double shift.
  4. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    I would persevere with it for at least 6 months and then decide whether to change or not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. twentysix by twentyfive

    twentysix by twentyfive Clinging on tightly

    Over the Hill

    Me - I use a triple. So then I have that bail- out (granny) ring.

    As far as I understand compact chainsets on the big ring one would tend to be using the larger sprockets and on the small ring the smaller sprockets for a typical flattish/rolling ride condition. So changes would have to be doubles quite often - i.e. chainring to smaller one with big sprocket to smaller sprocket all at the same time. So mastering that might be the key.
  6. Steve Austin

    Steve Austin The Marmalade Kid

    What he said ;)

    I find myself going up and down the block a lot. The 34 is useful for spinning though, and more like my mtbs gearing, which is nice.
  7. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    The bike i bought had a compact on it - one of the things I changed was such a pain..

    Compacts thrive on having an 11-21 orso, cassette.

    I just felt better on 42.53 c.set ;)

  8. OP

    spire To the point

    I will persevere for a while and try to improve my double shifting. I have a tendency to lose the chain when doing this though - any tips?
  9. Flying_Monkey

    Flying_Monkey Toll Collector on the Road to Nowhere

    You shouldn't lose your chain of the gear cables are properly tightened and the gears adjusted correctly. You can usually just put the chain back on either way with a quick flick of the derailleur the other way... I used to think losing my chain was cause for stopping - not any more!
  10. vorsprung

    vorsprung Über Member

    I agree the main problem with compact is the big jump between the rings

    I previously used a triple but my new compact gives the same range. I do not find the gearing too low
    I have just completed PBP on the compact chainset and found it fine- no annoyance with changing

    Maybe you could see the too low gearing as a challenge and learn to spin a bit faster? Just a thought
  11. vorsprung

    vorsprung Über Member

    Or if you are me a 13-29 cassette
  12. OP

    spire To the point

    I am by nature a grinder not a spinner, which makes the big jump worse for me.
  13. I have a 50/36 compact on my sportive/best bike and a 52/42/30 triple on my 2nd/wet/winter bike (and a conventional 53/39 double on my TT bike).

    The compact also has 12-27 rather than 12-23 on the back
    - 36x27 is very nearly as low as 30x23, so it's the same overall bottom gear
    - at the top, I can't say I frequently use 52x12 on the triple, so 50x12 is no different in practice
    - I find on the flat/rolling, on the compact I stay in the big ring and do a fair bit of shifting on the back; on the triple, I do far more shifting between big- and middle-rings together with a shift on the back : so on the compact I double-shift less
    - and when I hit the hillier stuff, I go straight down to the smaller ring on the compact and then have a reasonable range by shifting at the back I can use when the slope eases and I need to change up again for a hundred yards before I need to change down again for the next steep bit, whereas on the triple again I'm changing up&down between little- and middle rings : so again on the compact I double-shift less.

    But then I tend to ride my best/sportive bike harder than the triple, I'm pushing-on more when I ride it. The triple's fine for plugging-on for lots of LSD stuff in Winter

    (and I'm going to Mt Ventoux in 3 weeks, so I might just take the triple with the 12-27 cassette !)
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