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Compact Chainset?

steerpikesteerpike Posts: 424
edited August 2008 in Road beginners
Can someone explain the difference between compact chainset a 2 ring chainset and a 3 ring chainset? I understand that a 3 ring might make hill climbing easier for obvious reasons but what exactly does a compact do?

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  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    http://sheldonbrown.com/glossary.html

    Sheldon Brown should answer all your questions...
    I like bikes...

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  • steerpikesteerpike Posts: 424
    that looks a really useful site - thanks. Based on what he says about Compact "Cranks", I believe the bike I am buying has a 50 tooth chainring and a 36 tooth chainring - it is listed as having "Truative Elita 2.1Compact 30/36T").

    I am assuming it is largely down to personal preference. But in general, will this chainset be any more suited to any specific type of cycling? (i.e sprinting, hills, long distance etc...)
  • steerpikesteerpike Posts: 424
    sorry - make that 50/36T !!!
  • gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    not really (that I can think of) - lots of people like the 50/36 over the more common 50/34 as the jump between chainsrings isn't as great. (or 48/34 for same reasons)

    You don't have a particularly low gear though - personally I'd prefer a 34 for climbing and even then coupled to a decent ratio cassette like a 12-27 or something
  • k-dogk-dog Posts: 1,652
    I've had a compact for about a week and I love it.

    The 50 (coupled with 11 on the back) is big enough for all but big downhills - and pedalling on those is a bit of a waste of effort. The 34 with a 25 on the back copes with the decent climbs around here - and I'm by no means the best climber in the world.

    Sure, there's a bit of a jump between the 2 rings but with a bit of foresight that can be minimised - by changing front and rear at the same time.

    I have a full 105 compact groupset and it works brilliantly - really crisp shifting and there is a trim position on both the 50 and 34 positions so you can actually use all 20 gears without the chain rubbing.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • fuzzynavelfuzzynavel Posts: 718
    steerpike wrote:
    Can someone explain the difference between compact chainset a 2 ring chainset and a 3 ring chainset? I understand that a 3 ring might make hill climbing easier for obvious reasons but what exactly does a compact do?

    Have a look at the following thread. I had the same sort of question last week.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/beginners/foru ... highlight=
    17 Stone down to 12.5 now raring to get back on the bike!
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