When to upsize crank from compact 50/34T

Hi guys, I believe, there will be a time where you need to upsize the crank to move out from compact 50/34T for those whose bike came with a compact ones. What is the indicator to go up and is it advisable to straight to 53/39? or just upsize to 52/36?

For me, I am using compact crank, the chain line is no longer optimal (non straight) as it will be skewing towards the 11T cog when I am using 50T crank outdoor on flat terrain. Should i up to 52T or 53T? Oval vs round?

what is the terrain in your area? Can you easily go up most of the local hills on the big ring? I’d only move up 1 size unless you’re thinking of going pro. There’s also 10-xx cassettes available now, too.

My area mostly flat and rolling terrain, there is also some climbing area but I only go there occasionally.
I only climb with my 34T and at the middle of my 11-28T cassette… there is only one occurance that i maxed out during climbing… I am thinking to get 52/36T and upgrade my rear derailleur to go 34T cassette for climbing…

Sounds like a good plan. I don’t know anything about oval rings. Some riders love them, others think they’re a gimmick. The rings that Froome uses are darn near rectangles. I’m surprised the chain doesn’t fall off all the time

oh… and an 11-32 cassette is probably good. 11-34 has some big jumps that feel bit awkward

Just curious, if I had 11-28T and 11-34T at home, can I just swap it at will? any adjustment needed for FD/RD?

Short answer is yes you can. You will need a chain whip and lock ring tool to swap cassette, both low cost items.

Slightly longer answer is that you may need to adjust your rear mech to clear the 34T (quick adjustment with a screwdriver) and you will need to make sure your chain is long enough - may need a few extra links. But you might also need a new rear mech if the cage on your current mech is too short for a 34T.

About 3 months ago I went from 50/34 and 11-32 to 52/36 and 11-28. Best move I have ever made, I’m afraid I can’t explain exactly why but everything just felt more in tune. Just be aware FD will need to be moved up a tad.

My dad used to ride mountain roads and did it with a 53/39. I now use this same bike and have kept the 53/39 since I have a wide variety of flat/rolling/mountain terrains, but nothing I regularly ride that’s 10% or more. I have a 11-28 cassette. I’ve considered upping it to an 11-32, but since I do 90% of my riding on my trainer (which has an 11-25) and most of my actual racing is on rolling terrain, the 11-28 is generally good enough. I’m hoping that after this full season of indoor training I’ll be in better shape and won’t end up using the lowest gear, anymore, on all those 6-8% grades I race on.

Just pulled my triggers and ordered a pair of new chainrings - 52/36T. Let’s see how it goes!

My road bikes up to now have been compact, only started road racing this year after 10 years of tri, not that many races due to the year thats in it, but definitely found the compact chainring a bit of a limiter. I’d say it’s well worth the change alright. I’m hoping to get a new bike for racing next year and go for a 52/36. Let us know how you get on ahpingko