Standard vs compact vs mid-compact

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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by Gregorio

I am still not convinced. Put a 20lb backpack on and climb a hill in the same gear you would without the backpack and get back with me.
I realize that's extreme but you will get the point.

I still say the best way is for op to just test ride both options and decide for himself. Shouldn't be that difficult.

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by KWalker

Adding weight resistance has nothing to do with which combo of gears you use to propel the same weight over the same distance under the same conditions. Doesn't matter what gear combo produces the ideal gear inches, the ideal gear inches stay the same.
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by thisisatest

agreed w Kwalker, gear inches is gear inches.
...a couple extremely minor points, though. gear efficiency generally starts going down when the gear has less than 16teeth. that, and there can be (slight) drag when cross chaining in the small ring due to chain sideplate friction against the big ring. but as i said, splitting
on how many gears you need to dump when using a 36/52, i mentioned it's 4 or 5 gears. with those rings, i have a 12/25 11sp cassette. going from the 36/15 (eighth cog) to a 52/21 (third cog) increases my gearing ever so slightly (2.4 vs 2.476..). so for me it's five-ish gears.

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by mrfish

I personally wouldn't agonise too much about it. Easiest thing to do is to borrow a bike from a friend and ride it for a couple of weeks to see if that gearing works.

Two tips:
Ensure your gears are low enough to get home after you blow on a long ride at the end of a hard training week.
Second tip is that you do not have a personal mechanic, so forget about switching gears for flat rides and hilly rides.

I would recommend 52x39 and 12-25 as a good starting point if you're strong and there are no steep 500m vertical ascent climbs where you live. Then once you've worn those out you can try something else.

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by KH1

I have been training racing and riding on a compact for the last 3 years. The only time I wished I had a standard crankset was at over 80Kmh and 140 odd cadence down a hill...... On a recreational group ride......

Never once ran out of gears in a sprint.

No brainer for me.
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by sugarkane

I got a set of praxis 52/36s earlier this week after riding compacts for the last year..

Loving the extra topend. But I do like fast descents and not having to push 140rpm in a 60kph + sprint is a bonus too :thumbup:

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