Front chainrings (compact vs mid-comp vs standard)

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.

Moderator: robbosmans

Posts: 4407
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

3Pio wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:15 am
Im very dissapointed if Campy really stop producing 12-29.. Are they officialy stopped making 12-29? And since when? If this is the case, to know to order few 12-29 while i can see them on stock...
Maybe Calnago can clarify. I just bought a new 12-29 and they are in stock at the usual places. Maybe Calnago just means that they haven't produced a 12-29 in 12 speed. As 12 speed gains market share I'm hoping Campy will add more cassettes to the range.

User avatar
Posts: 550
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:10 am

by Lelandjt

Every time I've been on a bike with 36/52 or 34/50 rings I've been annoyed at how big the jump is between rings and how low the gearing is in the small ring. It makes the small ring only useful on climbs whereas a 39 can be used any time you aren't up to speed and cruising, ie stop signs and around town. I hate cross chaining and everyone I see with a 34 is always either in big/big or small and <15. I say this with the caveat that I'm strong and prefer lower cadences unless I'm going hard.

Oh, and big rings just look more "road" to me. Small rings have the same aesthetic as positive rise stems and disc brakes. Also, bigger ring equals lower friction (and yes, more weight).

by Weenie

User avatar
In Memoriam
Posts: 8608
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm

by Calnago

@Lelandjt: I get what you're saying... My preferred rings are standard as well (39/53)... and sheesh... it wasn't that long ago where 25 was my largest cog. And with a 29 at the back (don't look, I know), most things are quite doable. But after trying the 36/52 I'm ok with either and the 36 vs 39 up front effectively gives me one more cog at the back and I don't experience the constant back and forth that I do with a compact 34/50. Just shoot me if you ever see a 40tooth cog on the back of one of my road bikes. Bigger rings, and cogs, most definitely provide a smoother more engaged path for the chain to pass. And I agree that it just looks more "road" as you say. 9 and 10 tooth cogs are ridiculous in my opinion, especially if you have to use them for any amount of time. How many teeth could possibIy be effectively engaged using a 9 tooth cog... not many. The wear factor would be high.

Re the cassette choices... I think I may have mispoke and I don't know what I was looking at in the Technical Manual a while ago that made me think that there were no more cassettes starting with a 12 tooth cog. Perhpas I should have gone to the next page, I don't know... But having just pulled up the Technical manual it does appear that the cassettes starting with the 12 tooth are still there for 11speed.

I recall in the Campy 12sp thread, pages and pages of discussion over the lack of cassette choices with 12sp. I thought about it for 5 minutes, and just thought, well, it's all fine... just means that I'll be riding around with a pie plate of a 29 back there, and I'll have the 11 when I really need it, and a much better chainline throughout the ride on average. The spacing between cogs is really ok I think. There had to be so many cassette choices before because of the gaps created in the middle area with fewer cogs that had to cover an overall gear range of choice dependent on rider and conditions. But with 12 cogs, you pretty much have to start adding to either end of the range. You have your "Go fast" 11tooth and your "Who you calling Grandma" 32 cog at the other hand and very manageable gaps all the way across, so you're not really giving up anything in the middle of the cassette where you really want those tight close ratios. And with two rings, cross chaining can really be kept to a minimum. Once you're above say 25 teeth at the back, a one tooth cog difference would barely be noticeable, versus a one tooth difference in the small cogs which is very noticeable. So, for anything up to 17 teeth, 1 tooth gaps are preferred, and maybe only 15 if you're using compact rings. After that, gaps of 2, 3, or more for the larger tooth cogs are really what you want, because smaller than that and the difference just isn't noticeable enough. For instance... if you were struggling up a climb in a 34/29, shifting to a 34/30 would have you saying... "hey, I thought I just shifted" and you'd be grabbing for another gear.

Apologies for the "no more 12 tooth cogs" brain fart. But that may be a bit truer for 12sp going forward, and I think I'm just fine with that.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

User avatar
Posts: 1035
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:08 am

by F45

For a long time I was on 42/53 but for the last three years have been on 36/46. We have no mountains here, just punchy short climbs. Doing fast group rides I've run out of gear once but aero tucked and didn't get dropped.

Post Reply