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Going compact?

I'm not a 'powerful' cyclist and definately lack the muscles associated with cyclists.

I was speaking to a bike mechanic who suggested I switch to a compact chainset, as I wasn't getting much use out of the big ring (53) this season.

Has anyone else switched to a Compact Chainset? Am I likely to see significant improvements in my times?



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    treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    Compact chainsets are excellent for less experienced cyclists for several reasons 1.the lighter gearing make your legs spin faster and hence you develo your cycling muscles, 2. compact chainsets are lighter and more "athletic" than triple chainsets so they train you to using two rings -as opposed to three where the smallest one is seen as a get of gaol card - 3. Compact chainsets take the sting out of going into the mountains and threfore encourage you to be more adventurous in your training and cycling
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    Thanks Treefrog.

    My bike already has a double chainset: Campag Veloce 53/39, so would be looking to switch to 50/34.

    Don't know about mountains, but do the hills in Richmond Park count?![:D]

    Just found a second hand set on Ebay but the cranks are 172.5, being a bit of a short arse (5'7") are these too long?[&:]
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    BARNYBARNY Posts: 157
    Yep go for the switch Gun'r.... I did this last year... top speed reduces slightly but average went up nearly 5km/h.. as treefrog said it really helped me improve my pedal technique.

    Stick with the same length cranks as you have now - although I did move down to 172.5 form 175mm - This was inline with fine tuning my set up though. I would say you defo dont want to make your cranks longer AND move to a compact... you'd be increasing lever and decresing gear - moght be too big a change.

    Dont forget that chanigng your crank might mean you have to change other bits of your transmision.....
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    My first five years of 'proper' cycling were on a very compact 48/34. Moved up to a normal road chain-set when I rode the whole summer without using the small chain ring. Got to be better to do it this way around than never using your 53 ring, and effectively trying to learn to race on a 9 or 10 speeder.

    Go with the compact, change back when you outgrow it.
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    I own a bike with compact and a bike with normal. I have worn out the outter chainring on the compact. Only use the inner one cos i am lazy on some hills.
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Last time I really needed my small chainring on my compact was up Ditchling Beacon on the London to Brighton bike ride.

    I'm embarassed to say I had an emergency 30 cog on my rear cassette... and I actually used it. Oh, the shame, running a 34/30 up the Beacon! Might as well have had a triple fitted. Or an MTB.

    Loads of people were walking up, though.

    Like you, Gaterz, my outer ring is now knackered on the compact.
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    treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    If you do change to a compact get a bike shop to make the change for you unless you are a very proficient mechanic. Often you will have put a medium or or long cage rear mech, possibly a new chain, and get the cables /levers re-adjusted
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