Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

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Pauleds
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Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

Postby Pauleds » Mon Dec 31, 2012 09:48 am

Hi all,

First post so be gentle.

I returned to road cycling in August after 10 years off the bike. Used to race and timetrial a bit but not back at that level yet. I'm doing general road riding on undulating routes in West and North Yorkshire, up to 50 milers at the moment.

I'm looking for a new £1000 road bike and am used to riding 42/52 chainrings. I see no need for a compact chainring set up, but most of the bikes I've been looking at are either compacts or triples.
Why do the modern bikes use compacts please? What's the point of them apart from allowing lower gearing?
Would I ever use the small 30 or 34 tooth ring? I spend a lot of my time in the big ring anyway to be honest.
Do many modern bikes use a 42/52 set up?

Many thanks in advance for any advice offered.

Paul :D

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maddog 2
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Re: Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

Postby maddog 2 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:00 pm

You have answered your own question... compacts are for lower gearing. Rather than mash a big gear with a low cadence it's more efficient, and better for your knees, to spin a lower gear, especially at the end of a big ride. Unless you are very strong. Or live in Lincolnshire. Or refuse to adopt any new ideas. Or are generally more manly...
Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer

Pauleds
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Re: Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

Postby Pauleds » Mon Dec 31, 2012 15:45 pm

So can I get a £1000 road bike with a 42/52 set up? or is my only option a triple with 30/42/52?

I've done quite a bit of research and can't find anything in the price range with a straightforward 42/52.

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ugo.santalucia
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Re: Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

Postby ugo.santalucia » Mon Dec 31, 2012 15:48 pm

Pauleds wrote:So can I get a £1000 road bike with a 42/52 set up? or is my only option a triple with 30/42/52?

I've done quite a bit of research and can't find anything in the price range with a straightforward 42/52.


42/52 have ben replaced by 39/53 about 20-25 years ago

northpole
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Re: Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

Postby northpole » Mon Dec 31, 2012 16:09 pm

Having taken in the beauties of the Surrey Hills yesterday - including Box Hill, Leith Hill and Whitedown; I can assure you I am feeling far from manly, particularly with the wind howling, and I was very pleased to make use of my 34t ring on my compact!!

Peter

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maddog 2
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Re: Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

Postby maddog 2 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 16:45 pm

if you spend a bit more then standard doubles (39/53) become OE fitment but at 1000 you tend to get compacts/triples, as you suggest.

You can always flog the compact and buy a std double chainset, then fit a 42 ring to it. And mash yourself ad infinitum.
Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer

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Ber Nard
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Re: Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

Postby Ber Nard » Mon Dec 31, 2012 20:04 pm

If you buy from a good bike shop they may be willing to swap out the compact chainset for a standard (53/39) chainset if they have them in stock.

I've tried riding with a compact and it's not for me. On the hills round here I would either be in the 50 and so far up the block it results in an awful chain line or in the 34 and so far down the block the chain would catch on the 50.

Each to their own, though.

Rob

nochekmate
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Re: Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

Postby nochekmate » Mon Dec 31, 2012 20:21 pm

Ber Nard wrote:If you buy from a good bike shop they may be willing to swap out the compact chainset for a standard (53/39) chainset if they have them in stock.

I've tried riding with a compact and it's not for me. On the hills round here I would either be in the 50 and so far up the block it results in an awful chain line or in the 34 and so far down the block the chain would catch on the 50.

Each to their own, though.

Rob


Plenty of hills not too far from Stoke where a compact comes in useful - been over Leek way?

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maddog 2
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Re: Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

Postby maddog 2 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 20:23 pm

Just to point out the obvious... you don't have to stick to 34/50 with a 110mm BCD compact. 36/50 is popular, as is 36/52. I run 33/48 for hilly, big rides.
Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer


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Ber Nard
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Re: Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

Postby Ber Nard » Mon Dec 31, 2012 21:12 pm

nochekmate wrote:
Ber Nard wrote:If you buy from a good bike shop they may be willing to swap out the compact chainset for a standard (53/39) chainset if they have them in stock.

I've tried riding with a compact and it's not for me. On the hills round here I would either be in the 50 and so far up the block it results in an awful chain line or in the 34 and so far down the block the chain would catch on the 50.

Each to their own, though.

Rob


Plenty of hills not too far from Stoke where a compact comes in useful - been over Leek way?


Yep, that was included in "round here". Some people need compacts, some don't.

Rob

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maddog 2
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Re: Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

Postby maddog 2 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 09:40 am

mallorcajeff wrote:53/39 and MTFU


see...
Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer

Pauleds
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Re: Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

Postby Pauleds » Tue Jan 01, 2013 14:37 pm

Thanks to those who provided non patronising information.

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GavH
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Re: Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

Postby GavH » Wed Jan 02, 2013 15:09 pm

One thing the OP needs to consider regarding his proposed price point is that £1000 puts any prospective bike at the lower end of the spectrum and arguably, at bikes aimed more at 'entry level' riders who would benefit from (need?) a compact more than (for example) a Cat A bloke who'd be looking to extend both the budget and his gearing.

cougie
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Re: Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

Postby cougie » Wed Jan 02, 2013 15:16 pm

Surely it depends what sprockets you're using on the back anyway ?

I ride in the big ring mainly too - one of my bikes is a compact and you just end up riding a sprocket higher (less teeth) than you would if you were on a 52 tooth chainring.

I'd try the compact and see how you get on - you'll probably find it suits you.

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Rolf F
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Re: Chain Ring Sizes, advice needed.

Postby Rolf F » Wed Jan 02, 2013 15:17 pm

Pauleds wrote:Hi all,

First post so be gentle.

I returned to road cycling in August after 10 years off the bike. Used to race and timetrial a bit but not back at that level yet. I'm doing general road riding on undulating routes in West and North Yorkshire, up to 50 milers at the moment.


Have a ride up somewhere like Boltby Bank on your current bike and imagine the same climb with a few more lower gears and decide then which is more fun!

Otherwise, just get whichever (probably compact fitted as people have already said) bike you like the look of and if you decide that the compact isn't for you, just pick up a nearly new standard crankset. Chances are you'll sell your compact for more than you pay for the standard - most people are changing the other way.

Ultimately, you only really need a standard for flattish country where you can fine tune your cadence. On hillier country, the gradient is constantly changing so you just have to accept more variation in cadence.

Incidentally, my Sussex based Raleigh Record Ace is 42-52 irrc. Every time I change into the smaller chainring I keep thinking 'was that it'?!! :lol:
Faster than a tent.......


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