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Compact chainset or not

Whats the main differences between a compact chainset and a normal chainset.

How do others feel or how did you feel running on a compact?

It seems there is some division between whether to opt for a compact or not and wanted to get people's views on this.




  • mcnab_jnrmcnab_jnr Posts: 2

    I use 38/53 on the chainset, as I come from a bike background and prefer the big gears rather than the higher cadence.

    Its all personal preference but most of my Tri mates use a higher cadence which I am told is more specific to triathletes

    Difference is the cadence.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Can I refer you to this post here which may help:
  • garyrobertsgaryroberts Posts: 869
    i run a compact (the only thing i have ever run) and think it works pretty good.......my bike legs tends to be my strongest leg so it can't be that bad.......35/50 by the way.........i love it. If i would say one thing it would be that on downhills i can max out (can't keep the power down as my cadence max's out).....but lets face it, how long are you on a downhill for? And compare that to the uphills, when the 35 really helps me out.

  • TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    I run a ompact as well, didn't even consider going to three rings. It's a 50/34, but I too sometimes have the same issue as Mr Roberts and max out on the downhills.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Cheers guys. I live in quite a hilly area and it was recommended to me to use a compact chainset, not just for the hills but for other reasons as well.

    So its good to know what others think. Cheers

  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Why is there this fixation for maxing out going downhill. I pedal as fast as I can, when I max I put my feet in the best aero position, i.e. cranks levels, tuck in down and save energy for the next hill, which thanks to either my 50/36 or 50/34 I can tackle better than if I was on a 53/42 or evem a 53/38.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Sorry Gary

    Wasn't having a pop at you, it was meant to be a pre-emptive to those who are in dread of maxing out and burst blood vessels trying to climb on a 38 or 39 ring.
  • jamewahjamewah Posts: 113
    I can see where Gary's coming from, I did a sportive event at the weekend which was mainly hills (didn't run a compact) so my climbs were very slow (1st & 2nd gear low cadence) So coming onto the down hills I had to make up as much time as possible so was in top gear at high cadence to keep my overall average speed as high as possible, just to make the time up I lost on the climbs.
    On flat courses I think either would do as I doubt anyone would be able to pedal the big ring in top gear at the optimum cadence ?
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