Hows's 50/34 for non-competitive cross?

Especially for light weight issues concerning cyclocross / touring bikes & parts.

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weenie
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:48 pm

by weenie

I've seen some of the specialized crux now come in 50/34 instead of 46/36.
I wonder how bad it is, since, mainly for non-competitive cross it means having a cross bike that is more versatile.
46-11 isnt exactly bad for flat speed (compared to 50-11) but 34-28 or even 34-34 is quite a bit nicer than 36-28 which is where the default cross chainring setup lacks for non-professionals (some dirty/muddy hills on 36-28 are extremely hard)

The alternative is to go 34/46 or 34/48 but those setups seem to be more expensive because you need to replace the rings.. and heck, there isnt even a sram glide 34/46 setup for example (sure it works but you loose the glide)

by Weenie


mattr
Posts: 3543
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

WTF is non-competitive cross?
Cyclo-Cross is racing. It's competitive. It'd be like having non-competitive time trials. :wink:

Or do you actually mean some green laning and a bit of light offroading, plus a few roads to link the fun bits together? Which is what the crux seems to be geared up for, even has mudguard and rack mounts IIRC.........
In that case a 50/34 *should* be fine.

But FWIW, a 46x11 is a massive gear for anything other than plummeting down mountains or racing. It's taller than most people need. The other end is more down to personal preference, and you can probably swap the cassette to a larger one if you need.

weenie
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:48 pm

by weenie

it means just fun with friends but nothing too serious ;) I do a lot of road, mixed terrain and follow some mtbers from time to time (thats not gravel stuff or light offroading, its pretty hard core but no jumps), rarely do actual cross courses.

theres no mudguard mounts or rack mounts on my crux :)

46x11 is good enough for any road for 36x28 is on the low side when climbing mtb-ish terrains which is generally my issue.
I doubt that 36-32 solves the issue, 34-32 would help.

also theres the possibility of having a mtb derailleurs and a 36 teeth cog with an mtb cassette but id rather not do that (i like the road sram stuff better in that case)

dereksmalls
Posts: 2028
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:20 pm
Location: New Zealand

by dereksmalls

I don't see why it would be bad. I used to run 46/36 on mine and ride that off road around here at MTB parks and stuff with a 12-27 cassette no issues. You cou could go for a single ring 44 tooth or 46 tootth and go for an 11-32 cassette or something?

weenie
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:48 pm

by weenie

thanks but thats not very helpful for me. you're basically telling me my legs arent strong enough and i should push harder. :beerchug:

kulivontot
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Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:28 pm

by kulivontot

No one knows what kind of riding you're talking about except you. Therefore they can't really tell you if it'll work for you.

Irish
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Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 8:57 pm
Location: Ireland

by Irish

I've used 50/34 with 13/26 on my cx bike for years as I didn't want the expense of changing rings and never wanted for gears in cx races or on road training rides, so I'd say yep it's fine :lol:

dereksmalls
Posts: 2028
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:20 pm
Location: New Zealand

by dereksmalls

So is this a set up YOU are actually wanting to use? What sort of riding are you doing? Is it trails, single track, fire break roads, sealed road, gravel grinding, what? 50/34 could be perfectly fine but it depends on where you're going and what you're doing really. Wasn't suggesting at all you're weak need to HTFU at all. Just outlining there are so many different options

weenie
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:48 pm

by weenie

kulivontot wrote:No one knows what kind of riding you're talking about except you. Therefore they can't really tell you if it'll work for you.

could also just read the post. :thumbup:

I do a lot of road, mixed terrain and follow some mtbers from time to time (thats not gravel stuff or light offroading, its pretty hard core but no jumps), rarely do actual cross courses.


but since the words arent so precise, here's a example

http://i.imgur.com/a8YdRRP.jpg

my main concern is how bad it is overall, since obviously the mtb-style part will be always on the 34 and the road almost always on the 50 i guess.

mattr
Posts: 3543
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

If you are running an 11 up at the back, a 46 or 48 would be fine on the front. I run 49/13 on my training bike and can happily pedal up to 30+ mph. Faster than that and the tuck comes into play.

limba
Posts: 956
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2003 4:24 am

by limba

If you're not strong enough to climb with a 36/28 then you're probably not strong enough to spin out a 46/11.
I LOVE my cross bike with 46/36 rings and a 11/28 cassette but you're at a disadvantage on both road and trail if the other riders have the same fitness as you. You absolutely can keep up with either group but only if you're stronger than them.

HillRPete
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Location: Pedal Square

by HillRPete

weenie wrote:I do a lot of road, mixed terrain and follow some mtbers from time to time (thats not gravel stuff or light offroading, its pretty hard core but no jumps), rarely do actual cross courses.

With 46/36 you will have both top and bottom gear compromised, for following roadies and mtbers respectively. 46-11 spins out on even a slight incline if the person is into road cycling a bit.
50/34 seems to be better for you, maybe even get a cheap second set of wheels with an 11-32 cassette, so you can easily swap for road vs dirt-ish days, if you have hills.

pushstart
Posts: 452
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:12 am

by pushstart

HillRPete wrote:46-11 spins out on even a slight incline if the person is into road cycling a bit.


46x11 is 34.4 mph at 105rpm. Who of these noncompetitive friends is riding 34mph up a slight incline?

I used to run 34/50 on my commuter + cross bike, but I find that gearing is great for the road but not that great on the trail. I switched to 36/46 and love it. I am running an 11-28 cassette. I can use both rings on and off the road. The gearing is sufficient for road group rides and I find 36:28 plenty low for my single track -- but obviously not all single track is the same. If 36:28 is not low enough, get a 32t in the back; that will be much lower ratio than 34:28 anyway.

mattr
Posts: 3543
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

Just to clarify, what do you all mean by "spin out"?
I can happily pedal at 100rpm almost indefinitely, which gives you the thick end of 35mph on 46x11, 120rpm is still fairly comfortable, and 40mph.

50x11 is a gear that you could keep up with the TDF on.

HillRPete
Posts: 2292
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:08 am
Location: Pedal Square

by HillRPete

mattr: but not everyone is comfortable at 120rpm. Especially when you're going downhill in a group, you just want to gently turn a bigger gear to stay in the slipstream, and recover the best you can for your next turn on the front.

When you're just riding alone you don't have that issue obviously, and a 46 in the front will probably suffice.

As regards TDF, those guys do not need a big incline to hit 70kph. And if you're labouring over 120rpm to hold that speed, it's not helpful.

It's not just a question of being able to spin a particular cadence, but also of efficiently holding speed when drafting. And if you need over 100rpm in the slipstream, I would call that "spun out".

by Weenie


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