53 39 front rings?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Dave W
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53 39 front rings?

Postby Dave W » 8 Feb 2015, 6:45pm

Friend has just bought a road bike with 53 30 front rings and a rather standard looking Shimano 105 cassette. We live in a hilly area - would he be overgeared do you think?
I use compact 50 36 and wouldn't fancy going any bigger unless on the flat to be honest. What are your opinions? (Sunday morning pleasure riding, not touring).

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Re: 53 39 front rings?

Postby foxyrider » 8 Feb 2015, 6:57pm

depends on his fitness and the size of the rear sprockets.

53/39 is fairly standard race set up these days, bikes for leisure use will generally have 50/34
Convention? what's that then?
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Mick F
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Re: 53 39 front rings?

Postby Mick F » 8 Feb 2015, 7:01pm

I have a 53 front ring with my triple and I live in a hilly area.
The nice high gears are great on the downhills and on the flat bits.

Cassette is 12-30, triple is 53/42/28
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: 53 39 front rings?

Postby chocjohn9 » 8 Feb 2015, 8:08pm

I have one bike with a 53/30 and I need to get around to lowering it. I like to think that I'm fairly fit and I don't live in a hilly area but this ring makes my cadence very low - too low - and generally I like it fairly low - so I tire quickly and my back tends to ache after an hour or two in the saddle. The trouble is, it's not so cheap to change...so I don't use the bike so often - which is silly.

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Re: 53 39 front rings?

Postby robc02 » 8 Feb 2015, 8:23pm

As stated above it depends on fitness and size of rear cogs. I have come across people who switch from 53/39 to 50/34 and at the same time use a smaller cassette thereby achieving almost identical gears!

If your 53/39 is in good condition it might be best to see if a larger cassette is available and if that will give low enough gears before thinking of a new chainset.

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Re: 53 39 front rings?

Postby andy65 » 10 Feb 2015, 8:39pm

I would be concerned about the spread of gears. There is a big jump between a 53 and a 30 ring such that there is hardly any overlap between the rings. This will lead to awkward gear changes which will be very noticeable on undulating roads where the rider will spend a lot of time looking for a gear that sits in the middle of the gear range.

He should consider replacing the 53 with the smallest ring that will fit, possibly a 50 - depends on the pcd.

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Re: 53 39 front rings?

Postby TrevA » 10 Feb 2015, 9:36pm

It depends on the person. If he's not too heavy, and reasonably fit, he may well be able to cope with the hills.

In my younger days I rode 52/42 and a straight through 13-18 block. I would use this bike in the Derbyshire hills and never struggled on the climbs.
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