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So, I've got several somewhat conflicting setup issues, and limited resource$ of course.

I'm switching my road bike over to Ergopower 10-speed this summer, due to the limited availability of 9sp Ergo, time marches on, whatever.

The new setup will inevitably make it onto my cross bike this fall, since 'cross is way more fun than road riding. This is where the setup issues lie.

I've decided to start with a Compact chainring setup to start, which means a 50/34 in front. A variety of 10sp and even 9sp conversion options exist in the back that are intended to work with a Campy system. However, will the bolt circle diameter on a Campagnolo 10sp compact crank permit the use of any other chainrings more conducive to cross racing? Like, how do I get to a 42x12? Or should I forego the Campy system and get something else like FSA or Ritchey for the cranks instead?

Just wondering if anyone else out there in CXMAG land has a similar setup. Thanks.


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campy's compact crankset BCD is a unique 112mm, so you're stuck with their rings. I wouldn't go with them for a crankset - they make other sizes of rings, but you'll pay a bunch, and the 34/50 is too big of a jump.

most other compact cranksets' BCD is 110, so you'll have plenty of options for rings. find one that has a 36 small ring, and then swap the big ring for a 46 and you'll be all set. some 'cross cranks come with that setup already.

you could run the campy 10 shifters with a shimano derailleur and 9 speed shimano cassette just by clamping the cable differently if you're doing part by part...shimano derailleurs and wheels often more affordable and easier to find. otherwise, go all out and do campy 10 throughout...and maybe go single ring on a modern campy road crank (42?). keep in mind, below chorus, campy has the "escape" mech which means no more up-shifting through the whole cassette, unless you find older centaur/veloce stuff.

can't wait to see your new cx bike.
OK, that's what I was wondering about, the 112 BCD on Campy Compact. There's probably an assortment of rings out there, but I bet they are $50 each. FSA make a variety of compact cranks, although reviews on the carbon cranks are poor. Another alternative would be the Ritchey compact stuff; I've used the WCS line of cranks and they were good, solid, forged stuff.

9sp Shimano cassette means having a Shimano-compatible hub and/or wheel. Permutations of an Ergo-compatible, Shimano 9-spaced cassette may exist out there to enable that mode of use on an Ergo wheel (prebuilt Mavic etc). Single ring sounds attractive but liable to drop without guards, etc. right? That would be trick though.
the fsa energy alum is worth a look. very light...

one guard and one retaining device should do the trick with a single ring.
I run campy on all my cross rigs and love the stuff. Both 9 and 10. Any crank and front rings and FD will work with no modification necessary.

I personally don't like compact cranks unless you just fit them with a 46/38 which you can put on a regular 130 spider.

That 50/34 is pretty useless for racing. I've seen guys try it and then improve drastically with a 46/38 or 48/38. 50/34 was what the Cannondale CX used to come with. Over-geared and under-geared in one sweet package. Not to mention that Grand Canyon sized gap! I can hear that chain falling now... look out below! The only limitation on regular Campy 135 chain rings is that 39 is as small as you can get inside, and I like 38s. In the cassette department you're also limited in to a 13-26, 12-25, or 11-23/25 (?). It would be nice to have a 12-26 but no deal from campy. I'm not a powerhouse and have never come close to winding out my 13 in a race.

And can somebody tell me when you'd use a 34? Like Burney says you might as well get off and walk. I'm not going to even ask about the 50 ... paved road, paceline, guy with a fat ass pulling you downhill with a tailwind.

The best bet is keep it clean and bomb-proof. Go all campy (except for the crank) and you're rockin'. Wheels and everything else - you can mix every campy grade out there. To be honest my Mirage ergos shift just as good as my Record. Just stay away from the new QS stuff IMHO. And forget about doodling with a lot of adapters and crap. Or like the guy above says get a single 42 with a guard and keeper and let that thing rip. Personally I like a double with 46-38 and a 13/26 in back. With a keeper it stays on and gives me all the top end my old legs can crank out and enough bottom to get-me-over-that-@#$%-hill.
That's a good take on things.

I guess my dilemma was stemming from trying to get a good road bike setup that I could swap over in the fall for cross. I'm doing one of those one-day mountain epic rides (RAMROD) in a few months and am scrambing to find a bail-out gear that can also go down hills, for which the 50/34s with a wide range cassette seem appropriate.

I'll solve my dilemma by going shopping again in the fall for the right stuff. So SB it sounds like you are using some Shimano-esque 130BCD crank to get the 46-38 chainrings, with no compatibility problems? Way more shopping selections going that route.
ah, for ramrod too? I'd do a compact crank 110 bcd, 34/50 or 36/50 for that, and then go chainring shopping for 'cross season. I think if you found a 36/50 you could just go down to a 46 and be happy. and if you're lucky, I might have a ring for ya.
The 112bcd is a problem, the smallest outside ring you can buy is a 48t. You have to stick with the Campy ring because the crankarm position for the chainring is stepped so it's a different chainring thickness. You can bastardize a 110bcd ring but you will end up with a ring that wobbles due to the crankarm position on the chainring.
We suffered through this until after the Portland USGP after returning from Belgium last season. The very best system out there is an Enduro ceramic Bottom Bracket with Rotor Agilis crankarms. You can fine tune the bearing load extremely well. There is nothing out there that comes close to this setup. The resistance is like the old days when I ran oil in my Campy bearings on my track bike. The cranks actually will spin more than 5 rotations which is about 3 more than FSA. This setup produces the least bearing drag out there.
As for FSA a season on Loctiting crankarms on hoping they wouldn't fall off every race and a ceramic BB that lasted 2 weeks was enough for me.
People do use a 34t ring, the 4x National Women's Champion does it faster than most including the professional masters riders out there.
Slippy that 50/34 should be right on for a mountain road ride. Didn't know that's was on the agenda. Andrew's right, just slap a 46 or something outside for cross season and you're good to go. Thanks for the scoop on the 112, too, Kiwimark. Having met you and the 4x National Women's Champion at Louisville, and watched her run away from her field, I absolutely agree that she is faster that most ... errr ... almost all ... of the pros (that's men) out there. My jaw dropped watching her motor across that course. It was scary fast. Forgot that she runs a 34 ... just can't believe you can roll that fast on that thing ... but there it is ... I had to laugh when I read your take on Campy chains sometime ago - I had the exact same experience. It's good to have somebody who really knows there stuff confirm your suspicions. Even with that the campy people should love you guys.

As for the old stuff I'm still running old style Record cranks and square taper bb on my road bike. Works just fine and it's not getting changed since I don't really deserve anything as nice as the Enduro BB system you described ... half of my experiences with outboard bearing set ups so far haven't been good ones ... some don't spin ... some arms fall off ... huh.

Also I'm what you'd call a ceramic bearing "denier."
Thanks, the girl has some speed in her legs and makes me feel old most days. The thing is about ceramic bearings it they aren't the real issue on whether or not the BB spins like a propeller or spins like it's lubed with clay. It's the bearing seal drag that is the problem mated with a design like FSA that uses one bolt to draw the cranks on and load the bearings.
Ceramics bearings are cool but if taper cranks and loose bearings spin like hot butter then there's not a reason to switch out just look to see if the campy emblem was stamped or etched into the crank arm. The stamped ones cracked a lot.
Good to know about the outboard design ... I wondered why they were dragging like that. Actually that's the one place I considered ceramic as a truly helpful option. But the design "seal rub" makes perfect sense.

Thanks Kiwi! Appreciate all this good stuff ...
Kiwimark: Are you running Q-Rings with those Agilis crankarms? Or standard rings? If the former, how do you find them?
We were running TA rings however we're in development with a new chainring company that are developing new rings for cyclocross at the moment. We just finished testing their MTB rings. You can shift up to the larger ring without backing off any pedal force at all plus they are really hard anodized instead of anodized for color. They are very unique in their design and they are definitely are "thinking outside of the box."
Stay tuned we may have them at Vegas.
We tested the Q-rings however they didn't suit our pedaling style. When you study riders who use Q-rings you'll see their pedaling style is different compared to others.


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