Technical FAQ: Compact double or triple cranks?

  • By Lennard Zinn
  • Published Nov. 1, 2005
  • Updated Feb. 24, 2011 at 7:47 PM EDT

Dear Lennard,
I am a 6-foot tall, 200-pound rider. I have been riding for the past seven years at a competitive club level. I have huge power on the flats and time trialing, but hills are my weakness, thus I have been actively working on my climbing skills.

I have been playing with gear combinations, but still haven’t gotten it right. Currently I am riding a 53/39 – 12/27 with 172.5 cranks. I bought the 27 after having an average cadence of 50rpm going up a local climb. After attempting the same climb on a 27, my cadence improved to 60-65rpm. I am considering either an FSA compact or a triple. I have read you rgearing chart and articles on VeloNews and wanted to confirm tha tyour advice would be the compact.

Is this true?

Dear Cameron,
Yes, that’s true.

FILED UNDER: Bikes and Tech / Technical FAQ TAGS: / / / / / /

Lennard Zinn

Lennard Zinn

Our longtime technical writer joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a framebuilder, a former U.S. National Team rider, and author of many bicycle books, including Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, as well as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes and Zinn's Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Colorado College. Readers can send brief technical questions to Ask LZ.

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