Do most of you lot own bikes with compact and std doubles ?

Ezy Rider
Ezy Rider Posts: 415
edited March 2012 in Road beginners
Im assuming triples arent the flavour of the month here.

Ive owned a bike with the 53/39 std double and some inclines almost crucified me, hence im enjoying using a compact 50/34. Domost of you lot own bikes with both, and which do you prefer to ride ?
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Comments

  • Both road bikes I've had have been compacts. I seem to manage well when it comes to hills. Never ridden a double so I've nothing to compare to really
  • ...
  • I ride a standard 53/39 and was asking myself the same question when I was out this morning. What is the difference?? I mean I have 20 gears to choose from and surely there must be one in there to make the climb a little easier? What difference is it going to make if I choose a compact on my next bike, the only thing I can think of is that you ride around in the big ring more often, but I always ride in the big ring anyway?
  • pass the popcorn
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I ride a standard 53/39 and was asking myself the same question when I was out this morning. What is the difference?? I mean I have 20 gears to choose from and surely there must be one in there to make the climb a little easier? What difference is it going to make if I choose a compact on my next bike, the only thing I can think of is that you ride around in the big ring more often, but I always ride in the big ring anyway?

    Errr, you live in East Anglia. The fact that you always ride in the big ring anyway just indicates that your gearing is inappropriate for your riding/location.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    When you have read this, just come back and ask anything specific :)
  • nickel
    nickel Posts: 476
    I ride a compact myself, but been home for the weekend from uni so been riding my dad's bike with its standard double, I'm suprised how manageable the standard's been however I find with a compact I have a nice low bail out gear of 34x25 when I'm at the end of a long hilly ride and don't have the legs to grind up that last hill before home whereas with 39x25 I found myself in my lowest gear near the bottom of the climb and then grinding my way up, thus my legs fatgiue a lot quicker.
  • there is a stretch of road on a ride i do frequently that is about 3/4 mile long uphill grit teeth ,curse and swear a lot . when i owned a bike with 53 / 39 , on one occasion after cursing the men who laid the tarmac on it after pedalling in my lowest gear , when i got to its peak i had to climb off the bike and i threw up beside it :shock:

    i think this hill had something to do with me opting to use compact double and get rid of standard double.

    with the lower gearing that a compact provides, that hill is a lot more achievable now. on flat roads those riding standard doubles will have bigger gears and higher speeds but have to deal with inclines in higher gears too. its six of one and half dozen of the other i suppose, im never going to be sitting on andy schlecks back wheel, well maybe about 10 miles behind his wheel......LOL, but i cant envisage myself using a standard again.
  • nickel
    nickel Posts: 476
    Ezy Rider wrote:
    on flat roads those riding standard doubles will have bigger gears and higher speeds but have to deal with inclines in higher gears too. its six of one and half dozen of the other i suppose, im never going to be sitting on andy schlecks back wheel, well maybe about 10 miles behind his wheel......LOL, but i cant envisage myself using a standard again.

    See, this is something I just don't get, people say that your top speed on the flat is limited with a compact and its 50 teeth chainring but in reality I really dont think it makes a big difference, sure on the flat above 30mph for a given cadence you might be a couple of mph down on a standard big ring but in the real world outside of pro racing I just don't think it makes a massive difference, plenty of guys in my club ride standards and I cant say I've had much trouble keeping up using my compact.
  • EarlyGo
    EarlyGo Posts: 281
    Get a triple! More gears = better.

    (Unless you live in East Anglia or Lincolnshire when you don't even need a double!)

    Regards, EarlyGo
  • EarlyGo wrote:
    Get a triple! More gears = better.

    (


    would you meet up with the club guys on a triple and sense the "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my GOD !! he is on a triple !!! "

    I wouldnt :lol:
  • I have both a 53/39 and 50/34 and swap them around depending on what type of cycling I'm doing and the terrain. (of course I need to swap the chain too and wheels with different cassettes so it can be a faff). I can definitely say that you get a much better spread of gears on a compact which is great if you're attempting a hilly sportive or similar. With a standard double the gearing is much closer together so it seems easier to find the right gear which can help you when your zooming along on a fast club ride etc.
    I swapped from a standard to a compact after attempting the Bealach Na Ba on a standard with a 26-13 cassette and nearly killing myself. Since then I've done it on a compact 28-12 combo and this was much, much easier.

    As for the top speed thing - I've never noticed any difference between a 53-13 and a 50-12 combo.....
    There's warp speed - then there's Storck Speed
  • the bike i owned with the standard had a rear cassette 12-23 and hills were not fun with that set up, quick on flats and hell on hills.
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    Ezy Rider wrote:
    EarlyGo wrote:
    Get a triple! More gears = better.

    (


    would you meet up with the club guys on a triple and sense the "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my GOD !! he is on a triple !!! "

    I wouldnt :lol:

    what does it matter if you're dropping them ?

    I have a triple, by the way.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • If your profile photo is of you then any hill would be a killer. :-)
    12-23 standard combo is for racing snakes. Only Andy Schlek would manage any big hill with this combo, Wiggo would go compact.
    There's warp speed - then there's Storck Speed
  • simon_e
    simon_e Posts: 1,706
    Ezy Rider wrote:
    Im assuming triples arent the flavour of the month here.
    I have a triple on my SCR. It does the job so I'm happy.

    Some on here find the prospect of an additional 200g compared to a double to be excessive. :roll:
    I almost feel sorry for them but can't quite manage it.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • jim453
    jim453 Posts: 1,360
    MattC59 wrote:
    Ezy Rider wrote:
    EarlyGo wrote:
    Get a triple! More gears = better.

    (


    would you meet up with the club guys on a triple and sense the "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my GOD !! he is on a triple !!! "

    I wouldnt :lol:

    what does it matter if you're dropping them ?

    I have a triple, by the way.


    I also have a triple fitted to my bike. It just happened to be on the bike when I purchased it, I'm not a snob and I don't care what anyone says about it on club rides, not that anyone ever does because I more can more than hold my own on any incline.

    I totally agree with Matt, If you're riding away from some guy, it doesn't matter what you're riding or what he's riding, you're faster, pure and simple.

    A triple affords me maybe one more gear than someone on a compact so there isn't a great deal of difference anyway.

    Who cares what anyone rides/wears/says if they're in front of you they're better than you.
  • sagalout
    sagalout Posts: 338
    I have a standard double on my winter and TT bike, and a compact on my 'best' bike which I use on sportives etc. its quite hilly round here (north yorks dales) but 95% of the time I'm happier on the double with closer ratio gears. It's just every now and again the compact can be useful - eg on the Lakeland loop there's no way I could get up hardknott on a standard double. Same for the coal road on the etape du dales.
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    jim453 wrote:
    MattC59 wrote:
    Ezy Rider wrote:
    EarlyGo wrote:
    Get a triple! More gears = better.

    (


    would you meet up with the club guys on a triple and sense the "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my GOD !! he is on a triple !!! "

    I wouldnt :lol:

    what does it matter if you're dropping them ?

    I have a triple, by the way.


    I also have a triple fitted to my bike. It just happened to be on the bike when I purchased it, I'm not a snob and I don't care what anyone says about it on club rides, not that anyone ever does because I more can more than hold my own on any incline.

    I totally agree with Matt, If you're riding away from some guy, it doesn't matter what you're riding or what he's riding, you're faster, pure and simple.

    A triple affords me maybe one more gear than someone on a compact so there isn't a great deal of difference anyway.

    Who cares what anyone rides/wears/says if they're in front of you they're better than you.

    And I'd rather have that one extra gear to winch myself up that b*stard climb, than walk !!
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • Rolf F wrote:
    I ride a standard 53/39 and was asking myself the same question when I was out this morning. What is the difference?? I mean I have 20 gears to choose from and surely there must be one in there to make the climb a little easier? What difference is it going to make if I choose a compact on my next bike, the only thing I can think of is that you ride around in the big ring more often, but I always ride in the big ring anyway?

    Errr, you live in East Anglia. The fact that you always ride in the big ring anyway just indicates that your gearing is inappropriate for your riding/location.

    Not really too sure why you think it's inappropriate? I read the linked post and I'm still confused.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Rolf F wrote:
    I ride a standard 53/39 and was asking myself the same question when I was out this morning. What is the difference?? I mean I have 20 gears to choose from and surely there must be one in there to make the climb a little easier? What difference is it going to make if I choose a compact on my next bike, the only thing I can think of is that you ride around in the big ring more often, but I always ride in the big ring anyway?

    Errr, you live in East Anglia. The fact that you always ride in the big ring anyway just indicates that your gearing is inappropriate for your riding/location.

    Not really too sure why you think it's inappropriate? I read the linked post and I'm still confused.

    Because if you don't use all your gears, then your gearing is inappropriate. As it is, you are dragging around an inner chainring you never use. Depends on what range your cassette is but if you don't use the inner, then you could either get rid of it altogether or have a narrower range cassette so that you do use the inner. Or fit a larger inner chainring.

    Basically, the right gearing means that you use all the gears reasonably frequently without feeling either over or undergeared.

    As for climbs - that's just down to the lowest available gear - and standard chainrings tend to end up with a higher bottom gear and compacts with a lower bottom gear.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Thanks Rolf that makes sense, to be honest I don't use that many gears so is it worth me looking into a compact on my next bike?
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Thanks Rolf that makes sense, to be honest I don't use that many gears so is it worth me looking into a compact on my next bike?

    I wouldn't have thought so unless you plan to do some rides further West and North! The obvious question is what is the range on your cassette?
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Mr752
    Mr752 Posts: 33
    I used 53/39 up until 2010, bought a new bike that came with 50/34 and just thought I would change the chainset later.

    However, the fitted chainset was a nice carbon number by FSA so I thought I would give it a chance.
    Nearly 2 years on its still there, found I slightly ran out of steam in the sprint so I changed the rear block to a 11/25, the 11 on the back gives you just about the same top end gearing as 53/12, the result is I'm back to where I was in the "gallop"

    The only problem I've found since doing this is I miss the 16 on the rear block! Sounds strange but I change alot more between 15 & 17 to find the right cadence, depending on terrain/conditions. I can live with that, thats why we have gears!

    Unfortunately I dont do that many hills week in week out, the occasional trip to a place called Jebel Hafeet and out to Hatta on the Oman border and thats where the 50/34 has came into its own. I have a lighter wheelset that I use with a 12/27 on it and dont have a problem at all.

    I consider myself a compact convert!
  • Nickel wrote:
    Ezy Rider wrote:
    on flat roads those riding standard doubles will have bigger gears and higher speeds but have to deal with inclines in higher gears too. its six of one and half dozen of the other i suppose, im never going to be sitting on andy schlecks back wheel, well maybe about 10 miles behind his wheel......LOL, but i cant envisage myself using a standard again.

    See, this is something I just don't get, people say that your top speed on the flat is limited with a compact and its 50 teeth chainring but in reality I really dont think it makes a big difference, sure on the flat above 30mph for a given cadence you might be a couple of mph down on a standard big ring but in the real world outside of pro racing I just don't think it makes a massive difference, plenty of guys in my club ride standards and I cant say I've had much trouble keeping up using my compact.
    never a truer word said
  • I started road biking back in Sep last year and went for a triple, I'm glad I did because it built up my base fitness and I have also done several long rides varying between 60 - 100 miles. I am also glad because around the Chilterns it is very hilly and has saved me a dozen times.

    I have just bought another bike with a Compact and again I have the option of the lower gears due to the routes I ride, I have however noticed that thanks to the triple I have built up a lot of strength in my legs and leave a lot of my friends behind.

    This is my opinion but you do need to tailor the bike to where you ride.
  • My roadbike came with a 50/34 and changed to 53/39, but to be honest I've yet to find a hill I cant tackle with a 53/39 - 12-25. You just need to make the change if you want to ofcourse, you will get used to the double overtime but if you dont try it you'l be stuck with with that funky 34 forever! :P
    10 mile TT pb - 20:56 R10/17
    25 - 53:07 R25/7
    Now using strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/155152
  • ilm_zero7
    ilm_zero7 Posts: 2,213
    4 bikes - all compacts
    several cassette though!
    http://veloviewer.com/SigImage.php?a=3370a&r=3&c=5&u=M&g=p&f=abcdefghij&z=a.png
    Wiliers: Cento Uno/Superleggera R and Zero 7. Bianchi Infinito CV and Oltre XR2
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    When did compacts start to appear?
    Bikes used to come with roughly 53/39 and that was that, my first road bike came with 53/42. Now i've got a compact on one bike and a standard on the other but i can't remember when i first saw a compact.
  • pete600
    pete600 Posts: 142
    Mr752 wrote:
    I used 53/39 up until 2010, bought a new bike that came with 50/34 and just thought I would change the chainset later.

    However, the fitted chainset was a nice carbon number by FSA so I thought I would give it a chance.
    Nearly 2 years on its still there, found I slightly ran out of steam in the sprint so I changed the rear block to a 11/25, the 11 on the back gives you just about the same top end gearing as 53/12, the result is I'm back to where I was in the "gallop"

    The only problem I've found since doing this is I miss the 16 on the rear block! Sounds strange but I change alot more between 15 & 17 to find the right cadence, depending on terrain/conditions. I can live with that, thats why we have gears!

    Unfortunately I dont do that many hills week in week out, the occasional trip to a place called Jebel Hafeet and out to Hatta on the Oman border and thats where the 50/34 has came into its own. I have a lighter wheelset that I use with a 12/27 on it and dont have a problem at all.

    I consider myself a compact convert!

    That mountain road at Jebel Haffeet is a cracking bit of tarmac never done it on my road bike. But had some fun on the motor bike up there :D