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  1. #1
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    Change Apex 50/34 compact to double?

    Is there any problem with changing the compact chainrings that come on a Specialized Secteur Apex Compact to a double (53/39) chainring set, or is it a simple swap?

  2. #2
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    You chain may likely be too short but it can be done no problem. Change either the chainrings or the entire crank. It's up to you.

  3. #3
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    I'm new to roadbikes, and am going to order that bike as my first.

    I live in the flat prairies of Canada, I'm wondering if I should have it changed to a double. Will bike shops do that on a new bike?

  4. #4
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    You may get a discount on a new crank. The Apex dosent come in a traditional double so you will like have to upgrade and pick up the difference.

    Why do you need to change anyway?

    Compacts move you along fine in everything except the fastest of group rides.

  5. #5
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    unless you think you'll be spinning out in a 50/11 (and i bet you won't...every woman on the team i work for uses a compact and i doubt you'd be beating any of them in a sprint) there is really no need to go standard. the difference between 50/11 (123") v 53/11 (130") is so small it's not going to slow you down. go for the upgrade if you want to spend some money on nothing, but the compact isn't going to slow you down any.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  6. #6
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    Thanks, that's what I was looking for!

  7. #7
    Younger in mind than body
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    Quote Originally Posted by fenderf4i View Post
    Thanks, that's what I was looking for!
    HI There. Instead of looking at the crank, being on the flat prairies, you may wish to switch out your original cassette. I am not sure what you currently have but if you have the WiFli Apex with the 11-32 cassette, consider moving to an 11-27 or 11-25. which will give you lots of close ratios for maintaining optimum pedalling cadence when riding.


    Cheers
    (fellow Canuk living in Europe)

    ps: take a look at the SRAM website and check out all the options available with the Apex groupset Cassette.
    Last edited by OhLuckyMan; 09-18-2011 at 11:46 PM.

  8. #8
    Bianchi-Campagnolo
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    Agreed. Get them to put on an 11-25 or even better an 11-23 (afaik any SRAM of Shimano cassette will fit).
    50x11 is long enough also for fast group rides. I can maintain position in a 70 km/h downhill double paceline with that. A 34x23 gets you up hills like a 39x27 does.

  9. #9
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    When I thought about it, the cassette makes more sense, and was my next question. I will ask my LBS about that when I go to order the bike later today.

    Right now I'm riding a crappy mountain bike that I've put smooth tires on. It's gotten me hooked on this sport, now it's time to get a decent bike. I've been learning a lot over the past few weeks, thanks everyone!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fenderf4i View Post
    When I thought about it, the cassette makes more sense, and was my next question. I will ask my LBS about that when I go to order the bike later today.

    Right now I'm riding a crappy mountain bike that I've put smooth tires on. It's gotten me hooked on this sport, now it's time to get a decent bike. I've been learning a lot over the past few weeks, thanks everyone!
    Yeah Fender, have a good chat at your LBS. Even though you are on the prairies, you may still encounter some hills in the towns so consider this when you are selecting a cassette. Check out the sram website (here: SRAM PG 1050 Cassette | SRAM). Also consider your strength. For a seasoned cyclist who does several hundred KM a week with legs of steel, a very close cluster such as an 11-23 is ideal, however for some of us, a larger spread is necessary. g'luck

  11. #11
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    What I think I'll end up doing is ride the 11-32 for a while, and see what I need from there. I'll see what gears I never use in the low end, and make a decision from there.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fenderf4i View Post
    What I think I'll end up doing is ride the 11-32 for a while, and see what I need from there. I'll see what gears I never use in the low end, and make a decision from there.
    A sensible approach. I have a 53/39 on one bike and a 50/34 on the other. For most of my riding, there is no difference. Going down a steep hill, I may miss the higher end when I am riding my 50/34. But that is more than made up for when I go up that hill in the 50/34 - which I am in for a longer time because I go down faster than I go up!

    The trick is to see what range you need. I use one bike in a primarily flat environment and it is an 8-speed with a 53/39 front. I just changed from a 12-25 to a 12-21 (not as much choice with 8 speed Shimano) in order to get better (closer) gearing in the mid-range of the cassette. I really did not need anything lower than a 39-21. My other bike's lowest gear is a 34-28 and there are places that I need every bit of the low gear.
    Last edited by rgordin; 09-19-2011 at 08:12 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fenderf4i View Post
    What I think I'll end up doing is ride the 11-32 for a while, and see what I need from there. I'll see what gears I never use in the low end, and make a decision from there.
    Yep, I was just about to come back to you and suggest that. Also, even if you do decide to get a cassette with a closer ratio cluster, one day you may want to chuck you and your bike on the train and head into the foothills (or ride there ) of Alberta where you will want the 11-32 for sure. It is an easy swapout.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fenderf4i View Post
    Is there any problem with changing the compact chainrings that come on a Specialized Secteur Apex Compact to a double (53/39) chainring set, or is it a simple swap?
    If you're just looking to swap the chainrings, you may have a hard time finding 53/39 rings in the compact (110mm) bolt circle. 110mm BCD 52/38 rings are pretty common, though, and should be close enough.

    Asad

  15. #15
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    swapping the 34t for a 36t would be an option as well, and may be the cheapest of them all. You can find 36t chainrings for ~$30, and then there will be only a 14t jump between rings, the same as between a 39/53 crankset. 38 wouldn't be a bad choice either, and either 36/38x32 is plenty low for most hills.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    unless you think you'll be spinning out in a 50/11 (and i bet you won't...every woman on the team i work for uses a compact and i doubt you'd be beating any of them in a sprint) there is really no need to go standard. the difference between 50/11 (123") v 53/11 (130") is so small it's not going to slow you down. go for the upgrade if you want to spend some money on nothing, but the compact isn't going to slow you down any.
    I would concur...

    Got a new 2010 Tarmac Expert at the beginning of this season, it had a compact. Had the LBS swap it out for a standard because that's what I had been using. Raced the season and always thought that I needed just a bit more gear. Went to the Tour of Catskills and Green Mountain, that confirmed it...

    Bought a compact and installed it yesterday...Going to California next week to test it out

    Also, have a friend who's a competitive Master's 40+ rider who's on a compact. I know for a fact that my standard never helped me keep up with him...

    It's all about gearing and being the most efficient...

  17. #17
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    Just to chime in, probably not adding much to the discussion.

    Like someone said, the "compact" crank is called that because it has a more compact bolt pattern, 110mm instead of 130. That said, you can pretty much duplicate the typical "regular" crank's chainrings by using a 52and 38 tooth 110 BCD chainring.

    I'm wondering, on the prairies with mostly rolling low hills, highway over passes, and maybe some short moderate hills in the river-side and river bluff towns, why you'd even need a 32t rear sprocket? I'd bet you'd be happy with a 26 or 28t large sprocket, even with the larger 36t small chainring. The gearing will be much closer with the "tighter" cassette.

    I'm old (58) not particularly strong and live in an area with steep and long hills and small mountains. While I still prefer my old triple with a 30X26 low gear, my current compact with a 34X28 low gear works fine, but I don't mind standing up at all. If I lived almost anywhere else (other than the actual mountains) and thought I could get away with it, I'd (1) go with the 36t small chainring to reduce the jump between the large and small chainrings (makes shifting smoother) and (2) go back to the 11X26 or even a 12X26 cassette. Frankly, the 50X11 is only useful to me on significant DOWNHILLS. I never go past the 50X12 or even 13 when I'm on a moderate downhill, even in a pack. A 12X26 is much "tighter" with more useful possibilities and smoother jumps than my current 11X28 and I would only use a cassette w/ a 32 if it were proven to me that I don't enjoy something smaller. (BUT I wouldn't hesitate to use the 32 if I really needed it - low gears are GOOD).

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