Should I move from 50/34 to 53/39?

I have a fairly reliable SuperSix Evo from 2013 (this bad boy here) with a compact chainset. I love it and it's fantastic all round...except when I'm on the flat or heading downhill. I know the compact means I can climb easier, but I'll never be Pantini and there's not a huge amount of climbing in Stockholm (where i live). Is it easy to upgrade the chainset to 53/39 and is this something I can do considering I might only bike 100km a week? Any pointers would be appreciated.
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Comments

  • shortfall
    shortfall Posts: 3,288
    edited August 2020
    What cassette do you have? Maybe a 25 11 would stop you spinning out on descents? Pretty sure it would be more than enough on the flat. Would be cheaper than switching chainsets.
  • ogruffo
    ogruffo Posts: 7
    It's running a 12/25 at the back. I seems "normal" to spin out on the descents now, I just crave another gear or something on the flat.
  • shortfall
    shortfall Posts: 3,288
    Guess you've answered your own question then.
  • dabber
    dabber Posts: 1,937
    Or the middle ground - semi compact - 52/36 ?
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

    Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Specialized Roubaix Comp/Kona Hei Hei/Calibre Bossnut
  • ogruffo
    ogruffo Posts: 7
    dabber said:

    Or the middle ground - semi compact - 52/36 ?

    Oh, didn't know that existed. I'll look into that cheers!
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    ogruffo said:

    I have a fairly reliable SuperSix Evo from 2013 (this bad boy here) with a compact chainset. I love it and it's fantastic all round...except when I'm on the flat or heading downhill. I know the compact means I can climb easier, but I'll never be Pantini and there's not a huge amount of climbing in Stockholm (where i live). Is it easy to upgrade the chainset to 53/39 and is this something I can do considering I might only bike 100km a week? Any pointers would be appreciated.

    I'm confused. You say there is not a lot of climbing in Stockholm, yet you need bigger gearing for descending? If the little climbing there is, you figure you can manage with a 39/25 combination, I can't see how the descents are that big to be spinning out with a 50/11 combination. Are you sure that you're spinning out and not just pedalling fast enough?
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    Yes I want to live in a place with no climbing but the descents need a 53 chainring !
  • First.Aspect
    First.Aspect Posts: 16,011
    A 50x11 is a longer gear than a 53x12.
  • ogruffo
    ogruffo Posts: 7

    ogruffo said:

    I have a fairly reliable SuperSix Evo from 2013 (this bad boy here) with a compact chainset. I love it and it's fantastic all round...except when I'm on the flat or heading downhill. I know the compact means I can climb easier, but I'll never be Pantini and there's not a huge amount of climbing in Stockholm (where i live). Is it easy to upgrade the chainset to 53/39 and is this something I can do considering I might only bike 100km a week? Any pointers would be appreciated.

    I'm confused. You say there is not a lot of climbing in Stockholm, yet you need bigger gearing for descending? If the little climbing there is, you figure you can manage with a 39/25 combination, I can't see how the descents are that big to be spinning out with a 50/11 combination. Are you sure that you're spinning out and not just pedalling fast enough?
    Haha, no. The spinning out on the descents is a bit like "meh" and "whatever", the 50kmh without being able to pedal faster on the few descents there actually are is fine, I feel like I want another gear when I'm on the flat is my issue.

    If I were to change to the mid-compact that @dabber mentioned, can I keep the 12/25 cassette or should I change that too?

    Cheers for all the replies btw, this is all a little daunting as I hardly ever upgrade any bike componentry, so I'm a little clueless (and reading about things like this just make me more confused).
  • First.Aspect
    First.Aspect Posts: 16,011
    You have a 5 bolt 110BCD crank set. You just need new chain rings and to move the front mech up a little to accommodate the larger 52T.

    50x11 is still a longer gear than a 52x12, and if you switch so your lowest gear is a 36x25, you may struggle on the hills. Stockholm isn't that flat.

    Personally, I'd just switch to an 11-25 when your cassette needs replacing anyway, but if you do go to a 52-36 you may ultimately want to switch to an 11-28 cassette as well. At that stage, it may be that you need a slightly longer chain. Hard to say.
  • 50x11
    50x11 Posts: 408
    50x12 @90rpm is 47.0kmph
    53x12 @90rpm is 49.8Kmph

    If you're spinning out you won't get much out a new chain set, so I'd look at how you go down hill, body shape aero etc. Do you regularly spin out at 50kmph on the flat?

    If you're struggling on the flat, look at the spacing on your cassette, but I did move to a semi compact this year on a 11-28 and I find the gearing better in the middle of the cassette.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    edited August 2020
    Don't know, I have a 46T big ring and hardly ever spin out... even in a time trial at over 50 km/h on the downhill sections, I still have gear to push.
    I think a 50T is plenty big, with a 53 you'll find that you don't make use of the bottom half of the cassette
    left the forum March 2023
  • ogruffo
    ogruffo Posts: 7
    So many great replies and a wealth of information here, really appreciate everyone's feedback and time. <3

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding what spinning out is, but I basically "bounce" in my saddle when I'm in top gear at full cadence, and over a few km stretch the bouncing gets tiresome so I drop my rpm but feel like I should be going more. Maybe I'll try a 52/36 and see how that goes, worst case is I end up having spare rings.

    Again, really appreciate all the help and info.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    edited August 2020
    If you say so...

    With a 50 x 11 you shouldn't "spin out" under 60 km/h... you're probably under 110 rpm.
    I don't think you can hold 60 km/h for very long..

    If you bounce around, maybe your saddle is too high
    left the forum March 2023
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,562
    As has been said above change the cassette to an 11 tooth, it will give a longer gear and be cheaper estate given that cassettes wear out faster than chainrings
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,530
    50x11 said:

    50x12 @90rpm is 47.0kmph
    53x12 @90rpm is 49.8Kmph

    If you're spinning out you won't get much out a new chain set, so I'd look at how you go down hill, body shape aero etc. Do you regularly spin out at 50kmph on the flat?

    If you're struggling on the flat, look at the spacing on your cassette, but I did move to a semi compact this year on a 11-28 and I find the gearing better in the middle of the cassette.

    My biggest gear is 50x13 and I don't spin out (over 100rpm) till 35mph (56kmph) and that's on a descent. I never spin out on the flat 🤬. Indicates you have too high a saddle or technique needing improving.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
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  • dannbodge
    dannbodge Posts: 1,152
    Fwiw I recently went from 50/34 to 52/36 on 11-28 cassette and it's made a big difference to my riding,

    36-28 is perfect for all my local climbs and 52-16/17 is my favourite gear now on the flat.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    dannbodge said:

    Fwiw I recently went from 50/34 to 52/36 on 11-28 cassette and it's made a big difference to my riding,

    36-28 is perfect for all my local climbs and 52-16/17 is my favourite gear now on the flat.

    It's good to have a favourite gear...
    left the forum March 2023
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,766
    I have 50\34, 52\36, 53\36, and prefer the latter 2 - the former is on my winter and lower bike though.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
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  • I have 36/46 and I think it's by far the best combination. Even in a completely flat time trial, I rarely need the 11 T sprocket...
    left the forum March 2023
  • brundonbianchi
    brundonbianchi Posts: 689
    edited September 2020
    Going from compact to standard is a hell of a jump. Try it, see how you get on. I ran a standard with 11-28 cassette a few years ago, it was hard work going up, but mental in the flat / going down.
  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    According to your past rides that you used to report on here muncher, you avoided going up anything higher than a railway bridge. Maybe you should get back under the said bridge.
  • webboo said:

    According to your past rides that you used to report on here muncher, you avoided going up anything higher than a railway bridge. Maybe you should get back under the said bridge.

    Are all of you in the same breakfast club or something? You naughty little boys.
  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    No I just have an over sensitive bullsh*t detector.
  • dannbodge
    dannbodge Posts: 1,152

    dannbodge said:

    Fwiw I recently went from 50/34 to 52/36 on 11-28 cassette and it's made a big difference to my riding,

    36-28 is perfect for all my local climbs and 52-16/17 is my favourite gear now on the flat.

    It's good to have a favourite gear...
    Yeah. It's just what I seem to be in most of the time. Obviously matches my power and cadence well for the terrain I'm on
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,530
    dannbodge said:

    Fwiw I recently went from 50/34 to 52/36 on 11-28 cassette and it's made a big difference to my riding,

    36-28 is perfect for all my local climbs and 52-16/17 is my favourite gear now on the flat.

    Just for FWIW.....
    52-16/17 is near enough the same as 50-15/16. Big difference?
    I can see the point if top end speed is required but not otherwise.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    I went from 50/34 to 52/36 a few years ago with a 11/28. This worked fine as I was living on the Yorkshire wolds at the time. However when I moved to the North York Moors it wasn’t so good and ended up getting a 11/30 which helped. I don’t think that I have ever really used the 11 sprocket and rarely use the 12.
    I think the ideal for most people would be 52/36 with a 13/32 if you could buy such a cassette.
  • shortfall
    shortfall Posts: 3,288
    edited September 2020
    I have always preferred a 53/39 chainset because I don't like the big gap changing down to the inner ring on hard, fast efforts when I want to carry some of the speed up a hill. I'm now getting to the stage though where even a 12/28 at the back is getting hard work on some of my local Dales climbs and I'm in a bit of a bind what to do about it.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,530
    shortfall said:

    I have always preferred a 53/39 chainset because I don't like the big gap changing down to the inner ring on hard, fast efforts when I want to carry some of the speed up a hill. I'm now getting to the stage though where even a 12/28 at the back is getting hard work on some of my local Dales climbs and I'm in a bit of a bind what to do about it. Presumably a 52/36 with a 6 tooth gap between chainrings will have the same issues?

    53/39 is a 14 tooth gap?
    52/38 or more likely 50/36.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • shortfall
    shortfall Posts: 3,288
    edited September 2020
    pblakeney said:

    shortfall said:

    I have always preferred a 53/39 chainset because I don't like the big gap changing down to the inner ring on hard, fast efforts when I want to carry some of the speed up a hill. I'm now getting to the stage though where even a 12/28 at the back is getting hard work on some of my local Dales climbs and I'm in a bit of a bind what to do about it. Presumably a 52/36 with a 6 tooth gap between chainrings will have the same issues?

    53/39 is a 14 tooth gap?
    52/38 or more likely 50/36.
    I haven't seen 52/38 or 50/36. They would work.well for me I think.