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Anyone Using A 50/34 Compact Double

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Anyone Using A 50/34 Compact Double

Old 02-18-19, 02:36 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by tourisme View Post
You think it's consumer-driven. My LBS tells me it's because the manufacturers wanted to cut their costs. Whatever the reason, it's not an improvement.
Both things are true. If consumers wanted high-end road triples, manufacturers would spec them on at least some of their bikes. Since nobody wants them, manufacturers save the development and inventory costs by not supplying them to the market.

Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
But after-market triples are being made and sold by all the big group manufacturers at multiple price points - they certainly aren't disappearing, but you can't blame them if people just aren't buying.
High-end road triples have disappeared. The two best triple groups currently available are Tiagara and Microshift R10. I don't think Sram has made one for a decade. Campy discontinued the Athena triple at least a year ago and replaced it with Centaur and Potenza doubles with wide-ratio cassettes.

Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
And with my compact cranks and wide cassettes, I literally never wish I had just one more gear between any two that I do have.
Hardly anybody needs a triple because like you, most people prefer a wide-ratio cassette to three chainrings. Tough luck for guys like me who like triples.
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Old 02-18-19, 03:15 PM
  #52  
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I'll add that with the wide ratio cassettes and the fact we have more gears on the rear now than when triples came out that triples only add to the complexity of knowing when to move the front or back. When I get back into shape from my winter off the bike, then my 52/36 will be used mainly in the 52 ring for all but the times I'm tired out or have a long grade to climb. In the future, even a double in the front might become unnecessary for me if 12 or more speeds can be had on the rear with a rear DR that can handle an 11 or 12 small to a 32 tooth big with an even bigger bailout gear of 42 or bigger next to it. But that example is for my ride conditions, yours are likely different.

If I had more really steep hills or hills with a long climb a 50/34 might make more sense for me. But I don't have those here, so my 52/36 does well for me and I can use it like a one speed front till I actually need a ratio that the rear can't give me. Usually that's when I'm trying to get a comfortable cadence to match speed with another such as in a paceline or simply riding along side someone to have a conversation.
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Old 02-22-19, 08:44 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Why have triples died? I assume because the pros don't ride them, and week-end warriors want what the pros ride.
Mmkay...

Mid-compact doubles are becoming more and more common on stock new bikes. With Shimano upper tier short cage 11sp derailleurs handing the 30t cog, it makes a lot of sense for many when compared to the 50x34 compact crank and 11x28 cassette. More consistent gear jumps, less redundancy between the big and small ring, a wider range, and a similar low end - what's not to like. Of course, there's a little more weight but unless you are a weight weenie...

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Old 02-22-19, 11:23 AM
  #54  
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34X50 with a 11-32 to save yr knees if you ride in the hills.
Better have the lower gear reserve when you have to climb a hill with tired legs.
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Old 02-23-19, 08:27 AM
  #55  
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Back when I started I had a 5 speed freewheel, later a 7 speed cassette with a 52x42 crank. I rode centuries, mountains, everything with that until 2001 when I got my first road triple that wasn't a touring bike. In 2012 I got the compact double.As long as I have a low enough and a high enough gear I don't get too worked up about it.
It's nice to have lots of gears to choose from when riding with others, but it seems like a double with 11 in the back should be plenty for most, especially considering we used to only have 5, 6, or 7 back there.
I have a mountain bike with a 1x set up and I can certainly see the limitations of that if I try to go fast on a road with it, but it doesn't matter on the trail. I don't think I would be happy with a 1x on the road bike. I don't hate shifting the front and it wouldn't save enough weight to matter.
On a mountain bike getting rid of the front derailleur allows room for suspension and 29 inch wheel, plus front shifting gets bad and chains get dropped when there is mud. There would be no such advantages for a road bike.
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Old 02-23-19, 11:30 AM
  #56  
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Since factories ship new bikes with that 50, 34 combo ... a lot do, + if you want to adopt them, , the cranks ready to install are pretty cheap..

benefits of making zillions for OEM installation..
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Old 02-23-19, 11:41 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Just curious what your impressions of the gearing change might be. This I installed on my ‘88 Cannondale Criterium Series that has a 7sp 12-28 cassette. Being a lifelong 53/39 road double guy this spring should be interesting.
gotta go lower....
The long sweeping highway into town is posted 12 degree slope. Easy down, but no shoulder for return trip. I take the back road (the old "stagecoach road"- now paved) which has a couple sixty yard stretches of over 30 degrees. To do this with 68 year old knees I swapped out the 34/50 - 11/28 on a Specialized Dolce to a 30/46 - 11/30. Only this week I hung a 34/50 - 12/34 onto my (new to me) 86 Centurion IronMan. Now if it will only stop raining long enough to try them out! My other four bike are all triples.
Half of all the local riders on our LBS group rides are on MTBs converted to road.
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Old 02-24-19, 12:38 AM
  #58  
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Every time I think I might want to replace my compact gearing setup along comes a very windy day or a particularly tough uphill section and I am thankful for the lower gears. In truth, I never spin out in high gear unless going downhill, but these days 40 mph is enough of a rush anyway.
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Old 02-25-19, 03:57 PM
  #59  
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I live in flat Chicagoland and am 67. I use a 53/ 39, 11-25 on my road bike, a 53/39, 11-23 on the TT bike, a 44/34, 11-32 on the CX bike and the mountain bike has two little rings on the front and a 11-? on the back.
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Old 04-08-19, 08:03 AM
  #60  
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Took the Cannondale Criterium Series for the first ride (we are having a 55deg April thaw) since installing the new FSA 50/34 crankset and BB. All I can say is...SMOOOOOTH!

If sched and weather permits I will hit the big hill 3mi down the road for a quick spin. Yesterday was just a quick 2mi spirited ride maintaining 23mph to check that 50t big ring. At that pace I still have the 14t and 12t for topend sprints and riding descents or tailwinds. I only need to check the 34/28 granny. So far, so good.
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Old 04-09-19, 12:34 PM
  #61  
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I recently bought a used bike with a standard compact crankset and instead of getting new chainrings, I'm trying a kids 16-29 cassette. Gives up a little on the top end obviously, but seems good for solo long-distance rides where I coast downhill anyway.
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Old 04-10-19, 06:44 AM
  #62  
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Bikes I ride most are...

Road bike: 50/34 11-32T 11 spd
Commuter: 46/34 11-32T 11 spd
79 PXN10LE: 52/38 13-28T 7 spd
78 GJ: 50/46/28 14-28T 6 spd
Fixed Gear: 46 x 17T
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Old 04-17-19, 01:59 PM
  #63  
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Just rocked a top 5 on a Strava segment that was a good test in all regards for this 50/34. A 1 mile grade had me grinding for the steepness and heavy clothes that proved the 34t 28 granny to be helpful at least until early spring conditioning improves. Then, at the flipside I spun a decent 40mph on the decline. Not bad.
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Old 04-17-19, 05:03 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Just curious what your impressions of the gearing change might be. This I installed on my ‘88 Cannondale Criterium Series that has a 7sp 12-28 cassette. Being a lifelong 53/39 road double guy this spring should be interesting.
What compact crank set did you get? I have an '87 Cannondale SR500 (all Shimano 105) with 42/52 biopace chainrings and 6 speed 13 - 28 freewheel, so have to do this for the hill where I live. I was just going to install a smaller chainring, but the smallest that will fit is 38 so not enough. I think you will like the new gearing.

Last edited by Pilot321; 04-17-19 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 04-17-19, 06:06 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Pilot321 View Post
What compact crank set did you get? I have an '87 Cannondale SR500 (all Shimano 105) with 42/52 biopace chainrings and 6 speed 13 - 18 freewheel, so have to do this for the hill where I live. I was just going to install a smaller chainring, but the smallest that will fit is 38 so not enough. I think you will like the new gearing.
FSA makes a 50/34 square taper crankset. I think I got mine from Chain Reaction for like 75.00. My Cannondale runs a 7sp 12-28 which is perfect for the bike. Ours hills are steep but ok if conditioning is avg to better.
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Old 04-17-19, 06:11 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post

FSA makes a 50/34 square taper crankset. I think I got mine from Chain Reaction for like 75.00. My Cannondale runs a 7sp 12-28 which is perfect for the bike. Ours hills are steep but ok if conditioning is avg to better.
Perfect. Thanks, that's great info. Mine is only a 6 speed, 13 - 28. The 42t chainring and the 28 are fine until the long steep hills come up, and that is often around here.

Did you get any rubbing in lower gears on your front derailleur, or did you change to a different one?

Last edited by Pilot321; 04-17-19 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 04-18-19, 05:18 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Pilot321 View Post
Perfect. Thanks, that's great info. Mine is only a 6 speed, 13 - 28. The 42t chainring and the 28 are fine until the long steep hills come up, and that is often around here.

Did you get any rubbing in lower gears on your front derailleur, or did you change to a different one?
I have an the Cannondale version of braze-on FD so it was easy to slide the chain guide down to where it was supposed to be using a nickels-width gap separating chainring and guide. The shifting is very smooth and shifts quickly on and off chainrings. If you have a classic steel frame with the clamp-on FD you would just loosen and reposition lower. The 50/34 difference lends well to this process.
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Old 04-19-19, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
I have an the Cannondale version of braze-on FD so it was easy to slide the chain guide down to where it was supposed to be using a nickels-width gap separating chainring and guide. The shifting is very smooth and shifts quickly on and off chainrings. If you have a classic steel frame with the clamp-on FD you would just loosen and reposition lower. The 50/34 difference lends well to this process.
I have a Cannondale similar to yours with the braze on FD, so can move it easily as well. Thanks for the info. The one I found that I think you recommended is a FSA Vero Pro Compact N10-11 Chainset.
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Old 04-19-19, 02:39 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Pilot321 View Post
I have a Cannondale similar to yours with the braze on FD, so can move it easily as well. Thanks for the info. The one I found that I think you recommended is a FSA Vero Pro Compact N10-11 Chainset.
Vero, that’s the one. Enjoy!
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Old 04-26-19, 06:48 PM
  #70  
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When my FSA SLK compact crank started giving me trouble again, I decided to scrap it for the matching Campy UT that goes with the rest of my 10sp Chorus. The original crank was a 53/39 square taper Chorus and that is on one of my steel bikes, and I searched for a 50/34/170 ultra torque for weeks, but then I found one on ebay. I replaced the bearings and bought new BSA cups and it installed perfectly. While the rest of the world seems to like 50/34, Campy is sticking mostly with 53/39 still.

Now that I've installed this crank there is only one thing I've never done on a bike and that is to replace a headset. Not that it is hard, but how often do you need to do that? That bike with the square taper Chorus has the original Campy steel NR on it still after almost 40 years.
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Old 04-28-19, 08:54 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I'll add that with the wide ratio cassettes and the fact we have more gears on the rear now than when triples came out that triples only add to the complexity of knowing when to move the front or back. When I get back into shape from my winter off the bike, then my 52/36 will be used mainly in the 52 ring for all but the times I'm tired out or have a long grade to climb. In the future, even a double in the front might become unnecessary for me if 12 or more speeds can be had on the rear with a rear DR that can handle an 11 or 12 small to a 32 tooth big with an even bigger bailout gear of 42 or bigger next to it. But that example is for my ride conditions, yours are likely different.

If I had more really steep hills or hills with a long climb a 50/34 might make more sense for me. But I don't have those here, so my 52/36 does well for me and I can use it like a one speed front till I actually need a ratio that the rear can't give me. Usually that's when I'm trying to get a comfortable cadence to match speed with another such as in a paceline or simply riding along side someone to have a conversation.
My new bike came with a 52/36 which I wasn't too sure about since my other bikes are 50/34 and I do a lot of hilly, mountain rides. But the mid cage derailleur allows for an 11-34 cassette and I'm loving it! I did a 100 miler from the house yesterday with 5000' of climbing. There weren't any long climbs but lots of rollers and some 10-14% hills. There was only a few times I hit the 36. Otherwise I was using the 52 about 95% of the ride. The 52/36 and the 11-34 gives a really wide range of gears and I used them all yesterday. I even had a long enough downhill where I was pushing the 52-11.
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Old 04-30-19, 11:59 PM
  #72  
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Funny, but I've gone the other way. I started riding late enough that the 50/34 was pretty much normal. Later I bought a bike that came with 53/39 and I thought I wouldn't like it, but I did. now when I ride the other bike with the 50/34, I find that I spin out on fast descents. Also, I don't really have much use for the 34 except for above maybe 8% grades, which aren't too common around here. In contrast, I can do pretty well in the 39 - I did a ride yesterday above 18 mph entirely in the small ring.

The only time I have regretted the 53/39 is on serious climbs. I did Mt. Figueroa in California last year with a 12-27 cassette, and I really was wishing for another gear on some of the steeper sections. There was no way I could spin up the steep grades and I found myself out of the saddle A LOT. There isn't much in the upper midwest like that. The hills in Wisconsin can get a little steep, but I'm still fine with the standard chain rings.
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Old 05-01-19, 07:56 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Funny, but I've gone the other way. I started riding late enough that the 50/34 was pretty much normal. Later I bought a bike that came with 53/39 and I thought I wouldn't like it, but I did. now when I ride the other bike with the 50/34, I find that I spin out on fast descents. Also, I don't really have much use for the 34 except for above maybe 8% grades, which aren't too common around here. In contrast, I can do pretty well in the 39 - I did a ride yesterday above 18 mph entirely in the small ring.

The only time I have regretted the 53/39 is on serious climbs. I did Mt. Figueroa in California last year with a 12-27 cassette, and I really was wishing for another gear on some of the steeper sections. There was no way I could spin up the steep grades and I found myself out of the saddle A LOT. There isn't much in the upper midwest like that. The hills in Wisconsin can get a little steep, but I'm still fine with the standard chain rings.
I still like the 53/39 and even the classic Campy 53/42 but with the crazy hills here it is a grindfest. Even with the 34 it isnt exactly a spin at this stage of early season conditioning but is a welcome adjustment from the 39. Looking forward to my first ride in 10 days after this Michigan rain and cold eases up.
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Old 05-01-19, 08:46 PM
  #74  
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Yep 50/34 and 11-30
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Old 05-10-19, 08:55 AM
  #75  
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My Masi has 10 sp. 53/39 Dura Ace w/12-28. My Guru has 10 sp. 50/34 SRAM Red w/ 12-28 and my new CAAD 12 has 11 sp 105 w/52/36 (mid-compact). Recently I've ridden all three for comparison. The Guru and CAAD 12 are pretty much the same. The Masi is a bear. I guess at age 73 I am now done with the standard crank set.
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