The difference is only 2t thats why. 2t makes a small percentual difference on chainrings because they are quite big.
Comparing for example cogs 12t and 11t on the cassette is percentually a much larger difference.
This is really hard to understand for most people.
50x11 is already MUCH faster
than 53x13 - which Merckx won 5 Tours on.
Exactly. 50x11 is already equavalent to 54.5x12. 50t vs 52t is 4% and 11t vs 12t is 9%.
That's what i have to tell myself every single time i'm thinking about going back to 52/36 when someone try to persuade me that there are some mechanical advantage to it and i'd be faster on 52 vs 50.
I'm a humming bird type of riders (compare to my local group). 3 hours ride with average heart rate of 178, max 204. My leg strength is limited and can easily busted by pushing too much torque. Yet i keep up with group with higher cadence. My cadence stay around 95 up to around 300 watts. But i can't push much harder with this same cadence. When i sprint or do hard effort, it's the cadence that goes up more than the gear. Sometime it reached (peak, not sustained, ofcourse, I'm not a pro) 135RPM in 50x13 or 50x14 when people claim they can't keep up with me (in the end of the ride sprint) because they run out of gear.... Yet they advise me to change to 52/36 already because it would suite me better as i'm too fast to ride compact...
Okay, i'd mate up with 52/36 fine. but then i'll sprint at 52x14 instead of 50x13 at 130+ RPM anyway. I don't think it'll make me faster.
EDIT: make it more clear that those numbers are only for peak in the sprint. not sustained.