From compact to standard cranks

Both my bikes were originally set up with compact 50×34 cranks. For my commuter bike which is normally loaded up with panniers this is ok, but on the fast bike I decided to change to standard 52×39 cranks as I was mostly riding in the big ring and smallest couple of cogs. When I ride uphill I find my rhythm at a slow cadence and despite reading that a higher cadence is more efficient, I still felt this change would suit my style of cycling better.

Old compact chain rings

Old compact chain rings (50×34)

Ironically, after going to such effort to change something on my bike I was actually glad not to notice a significant change with the new rings. I had been a little concerned that I might regret ditching the 34 little ring as soon as I hit a steep climb. But the first few hills I’ve climbed have not defeated me and I was also pleased that shifting from the big to the little ring has been a less drastic difference than before.

New standard cranks

New standard cranks (52×39)

Disappointingly I don’t seem to have magically gained an extra few mph on the flat as a result of the change. But with a trip to the Alps coming up in a few weeks I may still be tempted to pack the 34 little ring in case I need it for proper climbing  …

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2 thoughts on “From compact to standard cranks

  1. tootlepedal says:

    I must count the number of cogs on my bike one of these days so that I can nod knowledgeably when I read this sort of technical info. I would need a very small number to teeth to even think about an alpine jaunt. Good luck.

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