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Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:54 am
by Amazinmets87
I'm building a bike on a strict budget and am stuck between 2 cranksets. One is a Centaur compact 10-speed crankset for $70 while the other is a Potenza standard 53-39 for $80. Given that the bike will otherwise be equipped with Potenza components this seems like a no-brainer. However, I would strongly prefer a compact crankset due to its exponentially more practical gearing.

Here are my questions:

I believe Potenza gives the option to run larger cassettes, up to a 32. Will running a 32 tooth cassette on a standard crankset provide the same functionality as a compact?

If I opt for the Centaur crankset will I have compatibility issues with a 10-speed crank on an 11-speed drivetrain?

Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:54 am
by Weenie

Re: Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:58 am
by alcatraz
Is the centaur compatible and are you ok with it's perfomance?

If yes then it just sounds like a severe case of ocd to choose looks over function. :D

Re: Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:19 am
by themidge
Standard crank = 32 cassette for easy enough gears = gappy gear ratios
Compact crank = 25/28 cassette for the same easy gears = less gappy ratios

Re: Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:44 am
by silvalis
Amazinmets87 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:54 am

If I opt for the Centaur crankset will I have compatibility issues with a 10-speed crank on an 11-speed drivetrain?
No, just make sure you've got an 11s chain. I ran a 10s Centaur UT crank with an 11s drivetrain for a while. Worked. Shifting was pretty average.

Re: Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:18 pm
by AJS914
Why start off with a 10 speed crankset and have a mis-matched system and less than perfect shifting?

I'd only do that if you already have the 10 speed crankset.

Re: Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:33 pm
by Amazinmets87
AJS914 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:18 pm
Why start off with a 10 speed crankset and have a mis-matched system and less than perfect shifting?

I'd only do that if you already have the 10 speed crankset.
I've already explained why...

Re: Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:34 pm
by AJS914
I re-read your first post and still don't see the reason. Price alone? I wouldn't choose the wrong gearing because the price is right.

FWIW, 1st generation Potenza cranks are Power Torque. The current ones are Ultra Torque. Ultra Torque is much easier to service and doesn't require an expensive tool.

Re: Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:33 pm
by joeyb1000
Amazinmets87 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:54 am

I believe Potenza gives the option to run larger cassettes, up to a 32. Will running a 32 tooth cassette on a standard crankset provide the same functionality as a compact?

If I opt for the Centaur crankset will I have compatibility issues with a 10-speed crank on an 11-speed drivetrain?
1. Yes, can run 32 on both. Personaly, I like the shifting on the std crankset better than the compact.
2. As stated, no compatability problems. Just need 11s chain.

My opinion: if the Centuar has old PowerTorque, then NO. If Centuar UltraTorque, the choice is yours.

Re: Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:23 pm
by Miller
UT is nicer to deal with than PT, certainly, but it's worth noting that there was a PT v2 where the LH crank has a self-extracting nut, so no need for a bearing puller if you want to remove the chainset. Think that was for just one model year, 2016 maybe, as Campag has since gone to UT for Potenza. PT chainsets also come out as being quite light in weight.

Ideally the OP would aim for a Potenza compact crank but I'm guessing that would put a dent in the budget. I'm sure the Centaur 10sp would work fine in the drivetrain although the front shifting might not be as delightfully slick as current gen Potenza offers.

Re: Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:18 pm
by IrrelevantD
Amazinmets87 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:54 am
I'm building a bike on a strict budget and am stuck between 2 cranksets. One is a Centaur compact 10-speed crankset for $70 while the other is a Potenza standard 53-39 for $80. Given that the bike will otherwise be equipped with Potenza components this seems like a no-brainer. However, I would strongly prefer a compact crankset due to its exponentially more practical gearing.

Here are my questions:

I believe Potenza gives the option to run larger cassettes, up to a 32. Will running a 32 tooth cassette on a standard crankset provide the same functionality as a compact?

If I opt for the Centaur crankset will I have compatibility issues with a 10-speed crank on an 11-speed drivetrain?
Speaking strictly on gear ratios... a 39/32 (1.22:1) is going to be about the same as a 36/30 (1.20) or a 34/28 (1.21). In my opinion, it really boils down to where you live and how you ride.

http://www.bikecalc.com/gear_ratios is an ok site if you want to sort out how different combinations will compare.

Personally, I live in North Texas where it's really hard to find any hills over 10% for more than 150 meters or so and extremly rare to find anything over 16-18%. I can handle just about anything out here with a 39/28, so I run a standard 53/39 front because I like having the big gear on the flats and shallow descents. I've run mid-compact (50/36 and later 52/36) and found that I would sometimes go entire rides without touching the small ring.

The other thing is how do you feel about the bigger jumps in the 11-32 cassette? Personally, I like the smaller jumps of the 11-28. I have an 11-32 on my CX bike, and it's tolerable there because when I get down into the big end of the cassette, I'm off road and need to be there. I spend more time in the small ring and 13-19 cogs and not so much in the big ring where the jumps are more noticable. I know I wouldn't like the bigger gaps on the road though.

Personally, I would look at which will better suit where and how you ride and base your decision on that.

Re: Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:27 am
by ooo
Amazinmets87 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:54 am
I believe Potenza gives the option to run larger cassettes, up to a 32. Will running a 32 tooth cassette on a standard crankset provide the same functionality as a compact?
Campagnolo offers 11-32 and 12-32 cassettes:

11-12-13-14-15-17-19-22-25-28-32
12-13-14-15-16-17-19-22-25-28-32

12-32 have the similar gaps to 11-29

Re: Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:19 am
by WMW
Amazinmets87 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:54 am
However, I would strongly prefer a compact crankset due to its exponentially more practical gearing.
Not really. The 34-50 or 36-52 jump is too big IMO.

A 39/32 ratio is the same as a 34/28.

Re: Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:10 am
by RussellS
WMW wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:19 am
Amazinmets87 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:54 am
However, I would strongly prefer a compact crankset due to its exponentially more practical gearing.
Not really. The 34-50 or 36-52 jump is too big IMO.
Agree. The HUGE 16 tooth jump between rings with a 50-34 crank makes it terrible if you ever have to change rings. Most of my cranks use 53-42 or 52-42 rings. Smooth pleasant change between rings. No shifting five cogs in back to get to the right gear. Just shift one or two cogs and you are in the perfect gear. I hate 53-39 cranks too. Too big of a jump between rings. Too much shifting in back to get to the right gear.

Re: Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:40 am
by 2lo8
That's why triples are king.

Re: Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:40 am
by Weenie

Re: Crankset-gearing dilemma

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:12 am
by CarlosFerreiro
Is the true joy of Campag not the matching action on left and right shifters to change the front ring either way and still stay in the same ratio? :lol: