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  1. #1
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    50/34 to 48/32 ?

    My girlfriend struggles both with climbs and is afraid of speed on decents.

    She never comes close to spinning out the 50/34 on her 2016 Specialized Ruby Elite w/hydraulic disk.

    Would there be any technical problems swapping her SRAM Rival Compact 50/34 for a (FSA?) Super Compact 48/32?

    I was recently riding with someone who had the 48/32 on a gravel bike and was extolling it's virtues. My though was it might assist GF with the climbs, and since she doesn't spin-out...any "loss" on the top speed end wouldn't be noticed or matter.

    Thanks.

    50/34 to 48/32 ?-screen-shot-2018-05-12-7.37.07-pm.jpg50/34 to 48/32 ?-screen-shot-2018-05-12-7.37.16-pm.jpg

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    My girlfriend struggles both with climbs and is afraid of speed on decents.

    She never comes close to spinning out the 50/34 on her 2016 Specialized Ruby Elite w/hydraulic disk.

    Would there be any technical problems swapping her SRAM Rival Compact 50/34 for a (FSA?) Super Compact 48/32?.....
    I'd think that your money would be better spent on a good pair of running shoes.....
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  3. #3
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    There's definitely one potential problem.

    Does her frameset use a braze-on FD or a clamp-on FD? Clamp-on isn't likely to cause problems so much as braze-on....especially if the FD as setup in the braze now is already bottomed out in terms of vertical adjustment.

    The other potential problem, is what BB standard did Spec use that year on that frameset....I'm guessing since SRAM made the crank currently in it, it is something relatively mainline.


    I have a 46/30 FSA SL-K BB386 (threaded) setup on my gravel bike. Am loving it for that larger-tire purpose.
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  4. #4
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    34x32 is pretty low.... I see an electric bike in her future!
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    There's definitely one potential problem.

    Does her frameset use a braze-on FD or a clamp-on FD? Clamp-on isn't likely to cause problems so much as braze-on....especially if the FD as setup in the braze now is already bottomed out in terms of vertical adjustment.

    The other potential problem, is what BB standard did Spec use that year on that frameset....I'm guessing since SRAM made the crank currently in it, it is something relatively mainline.


    I have a 46/30 FSA SL-K BB386 (threaded) setup on my gravel bike. Am loving it for that larger-tire purpose.

    I don't know the answer. I can ask at my shop. I thought someone here might be able to field it with info given.

  6. #6
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    What cassette is on her bike now? Shimano makes an 11-34 cassette now Which might be a better option than changing the crank if it will work.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    34x32 is pretty low.... I see an electric bike in her future!
    Maybe. She had a Specialized Dolce Elite before this. The upgrade moved her tires from 23 to 28, and the hydraulic disc made it easier for her to control. Plus we had an expert sizing done which swapped in a narrower bar. She picked up 2-3mph avg. which was key to us having any cycling relationship. I have no problem going electric if that's what it takes. BUT...I'm hoping the swap of a couple rings might do the trick.

    She's done a few centuries with me, but her bike handling, climbing, and fast decents continue to be woeful. She doesn't have the courage to press it. She has plateaued, so at the front of this season I'm again looking for a tech solution assist.

  8. #8
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    Bike is SRAM rival, and she likes it over the Shimano she had. (I'm a SRAM guy too.)

    Interesting. Jumped to the front ring thing after riding with the gravel guy. Didn't think about the rear cassette.

  9. #9
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    Sounds like she doesn't have a gearing issue, she has a riding issue. sorry
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  10. #10
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    I don't know the answer. I can ask at my shop. I thought someone here might be able to field it with info given.
    Just look at the bike. Either the front derailleur is mounted to a fitting on the seat tube or it's mounted w/ a clamp that goes all the way around the seat tube.

    Switching from 50/34 to 48/32 is a pretty minimal difference, probably not even noticeable to most people. 46/30 would be better.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    Sounds like she doesn't have a gearing issue, she has a riding issue. sorry
    What exactly are you hoping to accomplish with your comments?


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    What cassette is on her bike now? Shimano makes an 11-34 cassette now Which might be a better option than changing the crank if it will work.

    It would certainly be the place to start anyway. Cassettes are cheap and they wear out anyway. So I'd go there first (assuming that cassette will work) then think about crank if that helps but you want a squeeze all you can out of it. As CX said 2 teeth in the front won't do much so not good bang for the buck so I'd only go there when you run out of other options and you're close but no cigar yet.

    Not to be insulting so please don't take it that way but: I she actually using 34 x 32 now? I have seen seen very inexperienced rider just not really get the whole shifting thing and instinct can be to pedal 'harder' rather that drop a gear(s) and pedal 'faster'.

  13. #13
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    I can't answer your primary question on whether a swap is feasible but, have you considered a triple crank?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    I'd think that your money would be better spent on a good pair of running shoes.....
    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    34x32 is pretty low.... I see an electric bike in her future!
    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    Sounds like she doesn't have a gearing issue, she has a riding issue. sorry
    Honestly, someone comes here for help and you make snarky, mean hurtful remarks like this? You guys really need to stop this.
    Last edited by Lombard; 05-13-2018 at 04:47 AM.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Just look at the bike. Either the front derailleur is mounted to a fitting on the seat tube or it's mounted w/ a clamp that goes all the way around the seat tube.

    Switching from 50/34 to 48/32 is a pretty minimal difference, probably not even noticeable to most people. 46/30 would be better.
    Agreed. The limiting factor here will be whether the front derailleur can be lowered enough.

    CX, I don't know a whole lot about recent SRAM groupsets, but I am thinking would she be able to go to an 11-36T cassette and use a mountain rear derailleur with her road shifter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    I can't answer your primary question on whether a swap is feasible but, have you considered a triple crank?
    The problem with this is that she would need to change her front shifter too. And I'm not sure the chainline would be right.


    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    She's done a few centuries with me, but her bike handling, climbing, and fast decents continue to be woeful. She doesn't have the courage to press it. She has plateaued, so at the front of this season I'm again looking for a tech solution assist.
    Let's be realistic, if she doesn't want to or can't go, electric is the only way. Changing her crank & chainrings & shifter for 2 teeth difference is not going to change the above statement.
    Sometimes the reality is not what you want to hear.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Honestly, someone comes here for help and you make snarky, mean hurtful remarks like this? You guys really need to stop this.

    I appreciate that Lombard (sincerely), but I understand guys poking fun on the internet...or just being small minded jerks.

    I never take the bait. I press on for dialog with good and helpful folks like yourself.

    I'm actually surprised some weight weenie or dopey MAMIL here didn't prescribe some HTFU.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    What cassette is on her bike now? Shimano makes an 11-34 cassette now Which might be a better option than changing the crank if it will work.
    She has SRAM Rival 11-32, and looking more at your tip, if it fits I see SRAM makes an 11-36 Rival.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    I can't answer your primary question on whether a swap is feasible but, have you considered a triple crank?

    I hadn't considered a triple, and probably wouldn't. My first 12 years of cycling I had a Cannondale R900 with a triple. Loved the bike, but I don't miss all the shifting.

    Honestly, her issues aren't terrible.

    It's only the toughest hills she'll unsaddle and walk off, maybe 5 a season.

    And I love to bomb down hills with near reckless abandon more than most other normal folks. I'm just trying to get her to take a little more risk.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    It would certainly be the place to start anyway. Cassettes are cheap and they wear out anyway. So I'd go there first (assuming that cassette will work) then think about crank if that helps but you want a squeeze all you can out of it. As CX said 2 teeth in the front won't do much so not good bang for the buck so I'd only go there when you run out of other options and you're close but no cigar yet.

    Not to be insulting so please don't take it that way but: I she actually using 34 x 32 now? I have seen seen very inexperienced rider just not really get the whole shifting thing and instinct can be to pedal 'harder' rather that drop a gear(s) and pedal 'faster'.

    So you're on to something Jay. When she began cycling with me as a 40 year old 7 years ago, she died on a hill only for me to discover she didn't know there were TWO rings up front. That afternoon was a revelation, and ever since when I see her struggle I look to see where she's geared. She's typical geared correct.

    While I think her shifting is sound, no amount of my coaching has encouraged her to do other things that would help.

    She will not get out of the saddle and stand to power over a hill. Never.

    Despite pricey but expert fitting (Signature Cycles -Greenwich, CT) that delivered a perfect fit, perfect stem and narrower bars, etc. she is still too afraid to get into the drops on down hills. Never.

    I'm looking at repositioning the brake/hoods down a little bit, as when I've observed her try the drops (rare one hand only at a time) she seems to struggle with the sharp angle at her wrist and finger reach to the brake.

    My local shops have told me to accept she may have reached her personal limit and that perhaps I should just accept that. I can't. I know there's so much more fun available out there if she can just evolve a little more.

    As a perfectionist, I have no choice but to pursue technological solutions available when I can't get the patient to make the necessary adjustments.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    Let's be realistic, if she doesn't want to or can't go, electric is the only way. Changing her crank & chainrings & shifter for 2 teeth difference is not going to change the above statement.
    Sometimes the reality is not what you want to hear.


    I hear ya. Like many I see here, for no go reason, I was uncomfortable with the advent of all this electric. I've come to see it has a place.

    Not for my GF, as her situation isn't that bad. But I see it as a great solution for relationships in which one cyclist is significantly stronger than the other, aging cyclists, new and unfit cyclists.

    I have a sister who lives up in the foothills of LA. With a family, she has no time for gym or exercise, and is a little heavy and not in great physical shape.

    She has expressed an interest in biking to work, but is realistically fearful she'd never be able to pedal back home up into the foothills.

    I strongly encouraged her to get an electric pedal assisted bike. Better to start that way than not at all. In time, perhaps she outgrows the need for the assist. How great would that be? But...if the boost is necessary for the start...more power to her.

  22. #22
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    GOAL:

    Aid climbing on 2016 Specialized Ruby Elite original/currently equipped with 50/34 - 11/32 SRAM Rival, with no fear of sacraficing speed as rider never spins out current arrangement


    ALTERNATIVES:


    Swap 50/34 to 48/32 & don't touch cassette.

    Swap 50/34 to 48/32 & swap 11/32 for 11- 34 (Shimano) or 36 (SRAM).
    ___________________________________

    50/34 to 46/30 & don't touch cassette.

    50/34 to 46/30 & swap 11-32 for 11- 34 (Shimano) or 36 (SRAM).

  23. #23
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Agreed. The limiting factor here will be whether the front derailleur can be lowered enough.

    CX, I don't know a whole lot about recent SRAM groupsets, but I am thinking would she be able to go to an 11-36T cassette and use a mountain rear derailleur with her road shifter?



    The problem with this is that she would need to change her front shifter too. And I'm not sure the chainline would be right.


    36t cassette would work w/ a SRAM mtb rear derailleur. That would also make a much bigger difference than 2 teeth on the chainrings.
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  24. #24
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    The Rival 22 RD maxes out at 32T. Even 34T is pushing. Swapping in an 11-36 makes a lot of sense, but you'd have to swap the RD too, probably to SRAM's X5 10S. Accounting for a longer chain, total outlay would be about $100.

    You might just have enough movement on the FD hanger to accommodate a 46/30 crankset. Actually buying one economically is another story; I only see a $175 FSA Omega in that configuration for 11S. 48/32 won't be low enough if she's getting off the bike.

    Here's a list of cassettes.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    36t cassette would work w/ a SRAM mtb rear derailleur. That would also make a much bigger difference than 2 teeth on the chainrings.
    The big question is will a SRAM mtb rear derailleur work with a SRAM road shifter? Are the actuation ratios the same? If so, this would be the cheapest and most effective way to go.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



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