Compact vs Standard Chainset

Al_38
Al_38 Posts: 277
edited August 2008 in Workshop
I have just bought a new road frame and looking to build it up. On my current road bike, the previous owner fitted a 50-36 compact chainset and it has a 12-26 cassette on the back. However for the new one I was considering going for a standard chainset, as i find increasingly on the flat I am running out of gears.

Is a 53 big ring going to make it substantially more work compared to the compact I currently use? I'm not too fussed about the inner ring size as spend most of my time riding in cambridgeshire which is very flat (some also in scotland where it is much more hilly) but can only think of a couple of occasions when i have had to switch to the inner ring in the last year.

Thanks,
Al

Comments

  • johnnyc71
    johnnyc71 Posts: 178
    Try using a gear calculator like:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

    You can adjust the Gear Units tab to show gear inches or mph at different rpm.

    It's useful to input you current gearing info, and print it out, then repeat the process for your proposed gearing and compare.
  • fizz
    fizz Posts: 483
    I've just gone the other way from a std double to a compact.

    I dont find theres much difference between the 52 I had to the 50 I now have. I can still comfortably push 28 - 30mph on the 50 big ring, just like I could do on the 52 big ring. Yes I am further down the rear cassette on the 50 but theres not much in it.
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    If you are on the flat, you are unlikely to be needing anything bigger than a 50-12, perhaps you need to learn to pedal a bit faster.
    I like bikes...

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  • Al_38
    Al_38 Posts: 277
    Thanks for the replies.

    Redddraggon - yes I do need to work on spinning, I'm pretty poor at it and generally resort to a cadence of about 80rpm or so if i dont concentrate on trying to go higher. I also really struggle to get much above 100. It is slowly getting better when i bought my road bike for cross training (first sport is rowing) i was quite happy at about 60. Out of interest would riding a fixie teach the muscles to get more used to spinning?
  • richa
    richa Posts: 1,632
    50/12
    @ 80rpm = 26.1 mph
    @ 90rpm = 29.3 mph
    @ 100rpm = 32.6 mph

    Should be fast enough. No?
    Rich
  • k-dog
    k-dog Posts: 1,652
    edited August 2008
    Out of interest would riding a fixie teach the muscles to get more used to spinning?

    Yes!

    I like a compact though - like already said you don't lose much in the big gears but what you gain is closer ratios which I think is a bigger advantage.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • DTH
    DTH Posts: 303
    scq8ad.jpg
    if it\'s not dripping of your nose, your not trying!
  • DTH
    DTH Posts: 303
    Sorry guys pressed the wrong buttons at the wrong time
    if it\'s not dripping of your nose, your not trying!
  • oldwelshman
    oldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Al_38 wrote:
    Thanks for the replies.

    Redddraggon - yes I do need to work on spinning, I'm pretty poor at it and generally resort to a cadence of about 80rpm or so if i dont concentrate on trying to go higher. I also really struggle to get much above 100. It is slowly getting better when i bought my road bike for cross training (first sport is rowing) i was quite happy at about 60. Out of interest would riding a fixie teach the muscles to get more used to spinning?

    Running out of gears? You must be pedalling very slow or going very fast !!
    Riding a fixed will not necessarily make you used to spinning. You can do the same on a road bike anyway, just stick it in a lower gear and leave it in that gear.
    You could also try faster pedalling on a turbo or rollers, again on a lower gear.
  • k-dog
    k-dog Posts: 1,652
    Riding a fixed will not necessarily make you used to spinning. You can do the same on a road bike anyway, just stick it in a lower gear and leave it in that gear.

    Not the same - you can cop out and just stop. A fixed wheel makes you keep pedalling so you get used to spinning faster.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.