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  1. #1
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    Shimano Chainrings - Swapping inner chainring SIZE from a 52/38 set to 36?

    I know Shimano chainrings are supposedly supposed to work best in their designated pairs, but has anyone tried to swap one of the two chainrings with a different size?

    I'm considering buying a DuraAce 9000 Crankset from a friend but it has an unusual 52/38 chainring pair. I usually run a mid-compact 52/36. Do you think I'll notice any problems swapping out the inner 38chainring with a 36T?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I feel like if there wasn't a difference, Shimano wouldn't sell 2 different 52 tooth chainrings (MB vs MC). The manufacturing cost of making an extra model of chainring that few people use doesn't make sense to me unless it's really necessary.

    The outer chainring is so expensive that you're probably not going to end up getting a good deal if you find the need to change later. That said, a lot of DA9000 cranksets on eBay right now going for decent price.

    Edit: On the other hand, you could just give 52-38 a shot and maybe find that it suits you...
    Last edited by jetdog9; 02-16-2018 at 10:10 AM.

  3. #3
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    It works just fine. I've been on 50/36 for over a year and it shifts perfectly.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    I think the big question would be will your front derailleur shift the 16 difference well? I thought a 14t difference was about the max.
    Trying to cram the rest of my life into the rest of my life!

  5. #5
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    That crank is sold stock as 52/36 (among other combinations like the 52/38 it has now) so of course that would be no problem.

  6. #6
    .je
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    I have a bike with 50-36 and one with 50-34 and they both shift well. The 36 shifts much better than the 34, even.

    The 34 was an FSA and shifts were hit/miss and slow... or they were fast. The 36 was some other brand but always pretty fast.

    I've since changed the 34 to a 6700 50/34 crankset and upshifts are always lightning quick and silent. I think the rings and chainset are both reasons. The rings now have teeth that are pointer, less square, to accept the chain more easily. The pins are shaped to grab the chain better and pull it up.

    So I think the teeth of the small ring may help a little, but not much at all to consider.
    Last edited by .je; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:22 AM.

  7. #7
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    Have you compared the pick-up pins on the two different 52 tooth outers? I think that it's the outers that cause the problems with the placement of the pins and ramps, so you should be able to compare the two cranksets for a visual comparison.

    Besides this I've got nothing.
    Too old to ride plastic

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT View Post
    I think the big question would be will your front derailleur shift the 16 difference well? I thought a 14t difference was about the max.
    I don't know about Shimano but my Campagnolo shifts my compact gearing(50x34) easily. Also no issue shifting a sub compact(46x30). I would imagine that it should be no issue for Shimano either.
    Too old to ride plastic

  9. #9
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    Exact answer to your question. I have the 52/38 combo that I ride most of the time. Same 14 tooth difference as a 53/39 but my legs prefer a 52 now. I have switched to a 36 inner ring a couple of times and have noticed no difference in shifting using an an 11/25 or a 12/28 Ultegra cassette. That said, the only real difference is that the shift from 52/19 to 36/14 combo is a better % jump than the 38/14. It is up to you to decide if the difference between a 36/28 or 38/28 is noticed

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT View Post
    I think the big question would be will your front derailleur shift the 16 difference well? I thought a 14t difference was about the max.
    The 34/50 is a 16 tooth jump, I betting any recent Shimano mechanical will shift at least that.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelbikerider View Post
    Exact answer to your question. I have the 52/38 combo that I ride most of the time. Same 14 tooth difference as a 53/39 but my legs prefer a 52 now. I have switched to a 36 inner ring a couple of times and have noticed no difference in shifting using an an 11/25 or a 12/28 Ultegra cassette. That said, the only real difference is that the shift from 52/19 to 36/14 combo is a better % jump than the 38/14. It is up to you to decide if the difference between a 36/28 or 38/28 is noticed
    Thanks for the responses all!

    Steelbikerider, just out of curiosity, the crankset that you mention switching from a 52/38 to a 52/36 on....what kind of crank are you referring to here? Just wondering if the difference may be more tolerable on some cranksets than others :P

    What I didn't mention in my initial post is that the crankset in question has a dual sided 4iiii power meter....I'm interested only because this crankset with this powermeter likely wouldn't be in the budget if my friend wasn't selling it :P

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by twiggy View Post
    Thanks for the responses all!

    Steelbikerider, just out of curiosity, the crankset that you mention switching from a 52/38 to a 52/36 on....what kind of crank are you referring to here? Just wondering if the difference may be more tolerable on some cranksets than others :P

    What I didn't mention in my initial post is that the crankset in question has a dual sided 4iiii power meter....I'm interested only because this crankset with this powermeter likely wouldn't be in the budget if my friend wasn't selling it :P
    A question worth asking: is it possible that the smallest ring that will fit on this crankset is a 38? The 38/52 combo was available before "compact" cranks became popular (34 or 36 small ring). You cannot put a 36 on a crank for which 38 is the minimum.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    A question worth asking: is it possible that the smallest ring that will fit on this crankset is a 38? The 38/52 combo was available before "compact" cranks became popular (34 or 36 small ring). You cannot put a 36 on a crank for which 38 is the minimum.
    No, it;s not possible. And he can put a 36 on it. All DA cranks are 110 and accept all their rings.

  14. #14
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    DA 9000 with DA rings

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelbikerider View Post
    DA 9000 with DA rings
    Perfect! I think I'm going to risk it. Worst case scenario I guess I can always try to sell the big ring and buy a new one if I absolutely have to :P...and who knows....maybe I'll be ok with the 38 :P

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by twiggy View Post
    Perfect! I think I'm going to risk it. Worst case scenario I guess I can always try to sell the big ring and buy a new one if I absolutely have to :P...and who knows....maybe I'll be ok with the 38 :P
    I'm not even sure why this is a 'topic'. There is no risk. As I said already, that crank comes stock as 52/36 and there is only one size arm. So unless Shimano sells something off the shelf that doesn't work (which they don't) there is no risk to using 52/36.

  17. #17
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    Jay, the point of concern is that Shimano ships specific 52 chainrings for the 38 and 36 configurations. It may not be a big deal, but they must do it for some kind of performance reason. Thus some risk, albeit possibly small.

  18. #18
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    For anyone running a Shimano double up front, it's worth considering the new sub compact road ovals from absoluteBLACK. For a lot of riders looking to for a bit of faster spin (especially in lumpy terrain) the slightly lower ratios 30/46 and 32/48 can be a big help.
    https://absoluteblack.cc/oval-road-c...-for-110-4bcd/

    Hope this might help!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetdog9 View Post
    Jay, the point of concern is that Shimano ships specific 52 chainrings for the 38 and 36 configurations. It may not be a big deal, but they must do it for some kind of performance reason. Thus some risk, albeit possibly small.
    ah, my mistake then. Sorry I didn't realize that.

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