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All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings
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Hello All,

https://roadbikeaction.com/...pact-chainrings/amp/



Cheers, Neal

+1 mph Faster
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [nealhe] [ In reply to ]
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Well, when the average ftp of purchasers is about 220w and you can do over 36mph in a 50t 11t combo at a reasonable cadence.....what’s the point?

I get that 2 to 3 teeth up front is only one in back, but still.

I think a ton of riders up to Cat 3 are fine on 50t and 11-28.
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [burnthesheep] [ In reply to ]
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burnthesheep wrote:
I think a ton of riders up to Cat 3 are fine on 50t and 11-28.

Somewhat application dependent. If you're a road racer, you can become vulnerable to downhill 40-50MPH downhill attacks at 50t. Super marginal rationale, since most people don't race, and most people who race may not do hilly road races, etc.
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [nealhe] [ In reply to ]
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Seems like an odd choice from Trek. That was a pretty good combo before the 11-28 and 11-29 (campy) freehubs became popular. I raced on a 50x34 for a number of years when an 11-25 or 11-27 was my best climbing cassette and there were only a few times each season where I was seriously worried that I couldn't cover a surge. Now with an 11-29, I moved back to 52x36 and I think it is a noticeable improvement.
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [burnthesheep] [ In reply to ]
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burnthesheep wrote:
Well, when the average ftp of purchasers is about 220w and you can do over 36mph in a 50t 11t combo at a reasonable cadence.....what’s the point?

I get that 2 to 3 teeth up front is only one in back, but still.

I think a ton of riders up to Cat 3 are fine on 50t and 11-28.
This.

The only time 95% of purchasers ever spin out is while descending a 20 percent incline going 50 mph, and that will be for a minute or less before they crap their pants and apply brakes.
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [Dilbert] [ In reply to ]
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Dilbert wrote:
burnthesheep wrote:
Well, when the average ftp of purchasers is about 220w and you can do over 36mph in a 50t 11t combo at a reasonable cadence.....what’s the point?

I get that 2 to 3 teeth up front is only one in back, but still.

I think a ton of riders up to Cat 3 are fine on 50t and 11-28.

This.

The only time 95% of purchasers ever spin out is while descending a 20 percent incline going 50 mph, and that will be for a minute or less before they crap their pants and apply brakes.

Who spins comfy at 140?
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [trail] [ In reply to ]
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trail wrote:
burnthesheep wrote:

I think a ton of riders up to Cat 3 are fine on 50t and 11-28.


Somewhat application dependent. If you're a road racer, you can become vulnerable to downhill 40-50MPH downhill attacks at 50t. Super marginal rationale, since most people don't race, and most people who race may not do hilly road races, etc.

And on a steep uphill you are probably going to be going really hard, so you won't need as low of gear as someone that is holding more even power.


But most people buying these bikes are going to be better off with a compact. And changing to 52-36 rings is much cheaper than going from a 130 crank to a 110 crank if you need it.
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [trail] [ In reply to ]
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trail wrote:
burnthesheep wrote:

I think a ton of riders up to Cat 3 are fine on 50t and 11-28.


Somewhat application dependent. If you're a road racer, you can become vulnerable to downhill 40-50MPH downhill attacks at 50t. Super marginal rationale, since most people don't race, and most people who race may not do hilly road races, etc.

I raced for about 8 years on a 50 tooth big ring. I won master's road nationals twice on that gear and placed well in a number of difficult NorCal cat 1/2 races as well. There are two races where my top gear was somewhat of a concern, Patterson Pass (coming down Altamont pass with a tailwind) and the Leesville, now Lodoga RR coming down the big descent. Both of these descents will see peak speeds of around 50 mph. For these two descents if you are in the group you'll be fine. You may have to do a bit of spin crazy fast for couple of seconds, then tuck and draft depending on how it's being raced, but it is easily doable. That said, if you crested either of these two climbs to start the descent 50 meters off the back you were screwed. But, that is more of a climbing problem than descending problem.

I'm on a 52 tooth big ring now and am quite happy with that, but if for some reason I had to use a 50 for any of these races I wouldn't be all that worried about it.

Kevin

http://kevinmetcalfe.dreamhosters.com
My Strava
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [nealhe] [ In reply to ]
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Spin it to win it! Lance's legacy lives on!
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [nealhe] [ In reply to ]
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That's strange. Seemed like the mid-compact 52/36 had become the go-to that bridged the gap between compact and full-size - that satisfied almost everyone. But who knows, it could be something like Trek getting a discount from their suppliers to clear out 50/34 inventory (this type of stuff happens more often than people realize).

Greg Kopecky - Slowtwitch Tech Editor
Founder of Minimal Multisport Athlete website, blog, podcast, and Youtube channel: https://www.minimalmultisport.com/
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [gregk] [ In reply to ]
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The garage sale idea occurred to me as well. It would suggest that Shimano will be all 12 speed next year ;-). Simplifying the supply chain also makes sense, but I would default to 52x36 and 11-28 if I were the decider, and it lacks the conspiracy theory vibe.
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [nealhe] [ In reply to ]
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This is a head scratcher. Why not have the bikes come stock with a 52-36 and an 11-30 (if using Shimano groupset) on the back? With larger cassettes, more and more companies are going to 52-36 almost universally (believe this is what Specialized and Canyon use on all roadies, or at least their race models). You pick up more range on both ends.

I can see an Emonda or a Domane coming stock with a 50-34 to support climbing, but why in the world would a Madone or a Speed Concept come stock with a compact? A 50-34 is fine if you live in flat areas (unless you're doing a decent amount of sprinting), but if you have to close a gap on a downhill, you're going to spin out way too easily. There's a short downhill (about .3 at 6%) near me, and in taking the KOM on my TT bike, I was pretty close to spinning out in a 53-11.
Last edited by: mikeridesbikes: Dec 11, 18 6:42
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [nealhe] [ In reply to ]
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Some people are going to moan and groan about this, but this gearing is appropriate for the vast majority of their customers. It makes sense that the smaller number of licensed racers who need a bigger gear must buy new chainrings, rather than the average customer that's their bread and butter.
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [nslckevin] [ In reply to ]
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nslckevin wrote:
I'm on a 52 tooth big ring now and am quite happy with that, but if for some reason I had to use a 50 for any of these races I wouldn't be all that worried about it.

Yeah, can't argue with any of that. Super marginal, as I said. I just know that in some races I've gotten really fatigued spinning like crazy between turns in a 52 while trying to catch on to a group. 50 would be just a little bit harder. (and as a trackie, it's not new to me to spin like crazy) Of course, you're right, it's better to just be in the group over the top. But maybe you could lecture that into the guys trying to drop me on climbs so they stop doing that.
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [tttiltheend] [ In reply to ]
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tttiltheend wrote:
Some people are going to moan and groan about this, but this gearing is appropriate for the vast majority of their customers. It makes sense that the smaller number of licensed racers who need a bigger gear must buy new chainrings, rather than the average customer that's their bread and butter.


Not only that, the hard-core users who want/need a 52/36 are liable to shelve the o.e. crankset for their favorite power-meter crankset, anyway, regardless of what the original ring tooth counts are.
Last edited by: gary p: Dec 11, 18 8:47
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [trail] [ In reply to ]
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trail wrote:
burnthesheep wrote:

I think a ton of riders up to Cat 3 are fine on 50t and 11-28.


Somewhat application dependent. If you're a road racer, you can become vulnerable to downhill 40-50MPH downhill attacks at 50t. Super marginal rationale, since most people don't race, and most people who race may not do hilly road races, etc.


This my issue with some groups rides I do... 50t hanging on for dear life spinning faster then a hamster. 52t helps just enough.

Kevin mentioned the route I have issue with
Patterson Pass (coming down Altamont pass with a tailwind)
Last edited by: spntrxi: Dec 11, 18 8:56
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [ In reply to ]
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Makes sense- other than the TT/Tri bike, every other race bike has a compact on it now.
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Re: All 2019 Trek Road Bikes Only Available with Compact Chainrings [gregk] [ In reply to ]
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gregk wrote:
That's strange. Seemed like the mid-compact 52/36 had become the go-to that bridged the gap between compact and full-size - that satisfied almost everyone.
That's the theory, but I'm not sure it resembles practice.

Gearing is like crank lengths: the by-far most common options cover a tiny range compared with the breadth of use cases. 50-34 and 52-36 are far too similar for one to be an extreme and the other to be a middle ground.
A very high-geared road bike today might have a 39-25 bottom gear, while a very low-geared road bike might be 34-32. And a large majority is probably clustered closer toward the 34-28 realm.
The strongest road cyclists can climb far more than twice as powerfully as the weakest road cyclists, yet that 34-32 is about 2/3rds as high as the 39-25. Which would be fine if the low gears on road bikes were generally overkill, but the reality tends to be the opposite: I see people bottoming out their low gears all the time, even fairly strong racers.
It's a terrible situation: everyone's road bike is equipped with top-end gears that provide at most marginal benefits to the vast majority of cyclists, but loads of weaker cyclists need to modify their gearing just to be able to ride the routes that they want to.

Not that I can blame the manufacturers for this: rejection of low gearing is mostly driven by the consumer. When someone spends 1% of their time doing 4% higher cadence than they'd like to, they're basically always told that it would be great to gear their bike higher. But when someone spends 4% of their time losing 12% in raw speed because their insufficient bailout plunges them into terribly lumpy high-torque pedaling form, there's a lot of feeling that hills just suck and the only suitable solution is to HTFU.
There seems to be a common sentiment that, if you don't have to get off and walk, then the gearing is fine. It strikes me as a much lower standard than people apply to pretty much any other element of their bicycles... if you were to slam someone's saddle down against the top tube, or let the air out of their tires and re-fill them with water, they'd certainly take issue with it, but barely being able to pedal uphill is sometimes "fine."

A lot of it seems to be a lack of intuition around the physics of power transfer.
I know people who will watch their power meters when their gearing is forcing them to sub-40 cadence, and comment that their legs aren't producing power very well... if it's pointed out how bottomed-out they are, they deny that gearing is playing a role. It's as if they're judging energy delivery only from leg force on the pedal, not by the sensation of the pedal giving way to that leg force.

And some of it seems to be that people are unsure about deviating from tradition.
One guy I know switched to road 1x with a 52-tooth chainring, and wanted to use an 11-32 cassette, but was bottoming out severely on climbs. He was very surprised at the suggestion of riding road with a big chainring of less than 50 teeth. He was sure that he'd spin out too easily... even though his ride data indicated that, with his 52T ring, he basically never used the two highest gears.
And some of this, I think, stems from a lack of knowledge of math and gearing. Multiple times, when I've taken a vintage bike with a 52-14 top gear to a road ride, people were surprised when I've spun fairly high cadences on a downhill: "isn't 52-14 about the same as my 50-11?"
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