CULTURE BLOG

ADVENTURE BY BIKE®

Getting Cranky!

Yesterdays results are in. SRAM Rival was the #1 choice. Now that we've picked a component group to base this build around, lets talk crank type and crank gearing? Compact vs non compact and what size chainrings?

Comments should be about Crank type (compact vs non compact) and front chain ring recommendation (if you have one).

Update on yesterday's results.

First, I threw Bobby's vote out as he can't vote. If needed, Bobby could prove to be the pivotal voter. We'll see. I also didn't count any vote that didn't state a specfic brand or model. If you said any, those comments are being treated as swing votes.

% by Brand
Sram 46%
Shimano 27%
Campy 27%


% by Model
Sram Rival = 23%
Sram Force = 15%
Shimano Ultegra Mix = 11.5%
Shimano Ultegra SL = 11.5%
Chorus = 11.5%
Centaur = 11.5% (without Bobby's vote)
SRAM Red = 3.8%
Shimano D-Ace = 3.8%

The last 8% didn't state a model, only a brand.

So....2009 Sram Rival it is!

Share this post:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jason Boucher

Growing up as a Minnesota farm boy, I developed an appreciation and love for land and open space. This appreciation has fostered two passions, cycling and photography. Both of these passions provide freedom, encourage me to explore and foster creativity. More importantly though, my journey with a bike and a camera reminds me that the world is big and I am small.

COMMENTS (29)

 BluesDawg |

Compact double. 34/48 works great in combination with 11/28 ten speed.

 Stevezy |

I think gearing depends on the target consumer.  If this is intended to be a road racer, then a traditional 53/39 would fit the bill.  If this isn’t, I think 50/36 would be a great option.

 MG |

With a 50/34, a 12-17 in the rear is all you need.  I’m running a 12-25 on my La Cruz, and have been able to climb everything I’ve tried without walking, including some surprisingly steep stuff off-road, and the steepest, longest gravel grinder climbs Guitar Ted could throw at me, so I think with a 27, you should be set for slayin’ bears of climbs.

 Josh |

I think BB30 is a great way to go.<BR>If this bike is going to appeal to the racer-set,it’s gotta be the standard 53/39….anyone try 52/38, great combo for higher cadence riders. <BR><BR>Anyhow, if this is an everyday, everybody’s road bike, compact is a great way to go. Like others have said, it’s a very versatile setup. <BR><BR>I really appreciate how Salsa uses this blog to communicate directly with it’s current and prospective customers.<BR><BR>Enjoy the weekend, <BR><BR>Josh

 Anonymous |

50/34 compact cranks with Salsa chainrings!!  If Salsa doesn’t make a 50/34, they should.<BR><BR>A 12-27 or 12-28 for the back.

 Nicholas |

WOW! Almost everyone votes for compact. <BR><BR>Maybe I’m not with the times, but a standard 53/39 makes me work harder; and I like that.

 Guitar Ted |

I like a compact crank set up because it gives the end user choices. You don’t like 50/34? Fine, throw a 36 in there, or whatever. There are more 110 X 74 BCD ring choices and it would help dealers customize gearing choices. Also, the Rival crank doesn’t have any funky, proprietary looking rings. You could throw about anything on those arms and they would look okay. Shimano? Meh…...not so much, but from a funtionality standpoint, yeah, I like their design better. Still, customers are not going to think like mechanics, so from a marketing standpoint, Rival cranks in 50/34 win.

 Anonymous |

I’m guessing Salsa’s marketing sweetspot is customers in their 30’s and maybe even 40’s.  I’m also guessing the new all-day high end bike will probably sell for just under $2,000 complete.  These customers are going to tire of a double, even a compact one, on a steel frame for long, hilly rides.  No one gets any younger with time.  Soon, they’ll either go to a triple on a comfy Casseroll, or to a compact double on an all-day type carbon frame.  No one wants this rig to be too hard on the body.  There’s lots of ‘racing’ designed bikes out there making people suffer on them.  That should not be done by Salsa.  Therefore, if the frame is steel, I’d vote for a Dura Ace triple.  If it’s scandium, compact double might be fine.  My two euro’s worth.

 Smitty |

I should chime in on a crank.  I’m just guessing, ‘cause I cannot yet picture this bike in my mind’s eye, but I am thinking that anything but a Rival crank would seem out of place.

 Anonymous |

I’m guessing Salsa’s marketing sweetspot is customers in their 30’s and maybe even 40’s.  I’m also guessing the new all-day high end bike will probably sell for just under $2,000 complete.  These customers are going to tire of a double, even a compact one, on a steel frame for long, hilly rides.  No one gets any younger with time.  Soon, they’ll either go to a triple on a comfy Casseroll, or to a compact double on an all-day type carbon frame.  No one wants this rig to be too hard on the body.  There’s lots of ‘racing’ designed bikes out there making people suffer on them.  That should not be done by Salsa.  Therefore, if the frame is steel, I’d vote for a Dura Ace triple.  If it’s scandium, compact double might be fine.  My two euro’s worth.

 MG |

... it’d be like the Rival’s rival.

 Anonymous |

Definitely compact.<BR>I like 50-36 with an 11-23 in the back, but 11-26 is OK too.

 MG |

I’m on the 50/34 bandwagon, after having ridden the combination for the past six or seven months on my La Cruz.  If you’re going with a Rival group, why not go crazy and spec a Shimano R700 crank on the thing.  That’s an awesome crank—hollow arms, incredible shifting rings, great durability, and if you’re looking for unique spec, a SRAM drivetrain with Shimano crank would definitely fill that bill too.

 Anonymous |

Compact 50/36 is the way to go.  50/34 is too big of a jump.  but not many company’s sell this as a standard option.

 Anonymous |

With a 50/34 compact this frame better be at least as light as scandium.  Otherwise triple would be the way to go on steel…

 Smitty |

I think the compact 50-34 has proven itself.  Let’s see them new Salsa Rings on this bad boy!

 chequamagon |

I find that systems that load the BB also do not work well, and have a tendency to work loose when serviced by the end user (read: home mechanic).  Thus, I tend not to recommend Truvativ/Sram cranks here in the store.  I wholeheartedly stand by Shimano cranks and their pinch-bolt style system, and I have had better success with some of the FSA cranks.  Outboard bearings are a must.  As others have stated, I would also stick with alloy, much more cost effective and typically as good of performance.  My personal bikes tend to run Sram shifters, rear der, brakes, cassettes and chains with Shimano cranks and front ders.  Seems to be a winning combo for me.  50/34 gearing seems to be the winner in the market at this time, and people are really attracted to lower ranges with double performance.  Another company that starts with S sells complete bikes with 50/34 cranks and 11-28 cassettes, and they are very appealing to a wide majority of the public, racers and casual alike.

 Loren |

50-34, 11-25. It does anything, anywhere. The new outboard bearing bottom brackets are the best thing since sliced bread. Want to put it on another bike? Just swap some spacers and you’re done. Not at the bike shop buying another bottom bracket.

 Anonymous |

Compact 50/34 with 11-28 for the new all-day high end scandium road offering.  Otherwise, why not stick to a Casseroll Triple?  Let’s see how you tackle my hills in Vermont!

 Anonymous |

Compact 34/50, with 110 BCD you can always add larger rings if you like, with 130, you can only get as small as 38 for a low gear up front.  The 2009 Rival crank in black will look nice with the rest of the group but would be intrigued with something by FSA.  I know a lot of people hate their cranks but they have been ok for me.

 Anonymous |

Compact 50/34 for the all day, whatever comes your way riding. 12/26 in the back but we aren’t talking about that yet.

 Joel |

Compact 50/34 with an ISIS BB.

 Head Honcho |

Compact for sure. Carbon is fancy, but I like forged. I think they’re prettier. And bikes are all about looks.

 Jason |

I live in a flatter section of the continent with only a few short, sharp climbs, and I found that my original 50-34 with a 12-26 to be overkill. I’ve since switched to a 50-36 and it’s great for getting my fat arse up and down what passes for hills up here in far northern Minnesota.<BR><BR>So I’d suggest going with a 50-36 crankset (length dependent on frame size, of course) with a do-anything 12-25 cassette. I don’t know that I’d make the jump to BB30 just yet, but it would fit with my image of Salsa’s brand.<BR><BR>FWIW, this winter I think I’m going to move to a 50-38 and a 12-25 to cut down on my shifting.

 Racerveza |

50/34 - the decreased weight and wider gear range are hard to argue against. <BR><BR>Most importantly, chose a crankset whose fixing bolt doesn’t load the BB bearings. <BR><BR>I’ve been completely won over by the simplicity and rigidity of the BB30 standard.

 Anonymous |

Compact.  50/34 with 11-28.  Ceramic bottom bracket.

 Jason |

Compact 50/34. Going compact is the best component move I’ve ever done for my road bike. SRAM or Ultegra. I just dig the Compact. Unless you live somewhere pancake flat or are a racer.

 Anonymous |

Seems the big consensus is Compact gearing 50/34 as it gives appropriate all-around efficient gearing for flats and hilly terrain.  If Shimano use a Shimano crank and if SRAM use a SRAM crank.  As a mechanic I find the “3rd” party cranks just never shift as nice…Shimano for example just works…..and SRAM and Campy too…..

 andrewfreye.com |

Back in the day you did the pick three option because it?s a big country and an even bigger world, stem length, cassette, handle bar width? I think you should do that again. But either way I say go with a 175 crank, standard gearing (2 ring crank, no triple cranks) and a 12-28 in the back.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.