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52T and 53T(10 posts)

52T and 53Tdpayne
Nov 11, 2002 12:37 AM
What is the diffenrence between the 52 and 53T chainrings as far as performance and riding are concerned?
IMHO - NONE unless you're racing - nmroadcyclist
Nov 11, 2002 3:47 AM
Not 1 in 10 of us needs either one.retro
Nov 11, 2002 8:51 AM
As others have said, there's no difference at all for nearly all recreational riders. Keep track of the gears you actually USE on a ride, and you'll probably find that you're in the bottom half of the gear range nearly all the time. If we bought what we need instead of what Lance uses, we'd all be running about a 46-tooth big ring.
Nov 11, 2002 11:28 AM
I have a 52/12 as my highest gear. I've never been able to spin it out on any descent (I live in the SF Bay Area). If you're a racer and you need the ultimate top speed, then maybe it makes sense, but for the average Joe, it's not something to be concerned about.
when pushing a big gear, very littlemicha
Nov 11, 2002 5:37 AM
The difference between a 12 and a 13 rear cog is about 9".

The difference between a 52 x 12 and a 53 x 12 is about 2" - around 1/4 of a rear tooth. That's very little.
Do the math or check a gear chartStraightblock
Nov 11, 2002 6:15 AM
When you've got 9 or 10 cogs on the cassette and two or three chainrings, chances are you have identical or near-identical ratios in some combinations. The choice of a 52, 53 or even a 54 may let you get rid of some duplicate combinations and create a few new gear ratios.
straightblock is right, but . . .micha
Nov 11, 2002 7:42 AM
. . . when riding in a tightly-run fast group or racing, duplicate gears don't matter. You're either going to be in the big ring or the small ring for extended periods of time. There's no time to "go through the gears" shuttling back and forth between rings.

If you're touring - yes, do the math and get rid of those duplicate gears. The formula is: number of front teeth times wheel diameter in inches divided by number of rear teeth.
Nov 11, 2002 8:51 AM
The difference is 2%. If your average cadence is 100 with a 53T, it will require an average cadence of 102 to maintain the same speed.
According to Greg LeMond.....KillerQuads
Nov 11, 2002 11:19 AM
In his book "Greg LeMond's Complete Book of Bicycling", this is how the 53T chainring became popular: Junior racers in 1977 were restricted to a 52x15 top gear. When Junior racers figured out that they could pass a "rollout" test using a 53T ring, they all bought 53T rings.

Instead of using a gear table, I use an Excel spread sheet that recalculates and graphs the gear inches for whatever cogs and rings I enter. I leave out the small/small and big/big combos. This helps select a good gear range with as few duplications as possible. The graphical output shows the rate of gearing increase and the overlap between the chainrings.

I agree that new chainrings are too big. Shimano has reduced the small cog size down to 11T but forgot to downsize the big chain ring. In the old days we could buy a variety of chainring sizes. A 50T option would be nice. I put a Sugino 50T ring on my Shimano 600 Ultegra 7 speed crank and it works great on my commuter bike. However, the chainring selection for 9 speed is very limited.

The 53/42 crank and 23/11 cassette (Ultegra 9 speed) on my new bike was way over geared with lots of duplication. I corrected this by buying a 25/13 cassette. This cassette is harder to find, and is made for Junior racers with restricted gearing. What goes around, comes around.
According to Greg LeMond.....cxer
Nov 12, 2002 5:43 PM
Most cranks I see are either 53/39 or 52/42. I've never seen a 53/42 setup used by anyone.

Personally, the 53/11 or 53/12 comes in handy for certain sprints and dh sections. The 12 allows me to have the 25 but still a good sprinting gear.

I'm sure a 52 is ok but I know alot of guys that use a 54 or 56 for time trials.