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48/32 Crankset vs 50/34 Crankset vs 53/39 Crankset

48/32 vs 50/34 vs 53/39 crankset

Not many people talk about crankset and their importance to the bike. If you are unfamiliar with the crankset, this part of the bike can provide the difference between the character of your bike and the way it feels when you ride. In this article, we compare 48/32 crankset vs 50/34 crankset vs 53/39 crankset in terms of its performance on the bike.

Also known as chainsets, the crankset we will discuss are double cranksets composed of one large and small chainring, which is standard on road bikes. Others generally come in one or three chainrings. How they will impact your bike will be discussed in this article.

Features 48/32 Crankset 50/34 Crankset 53/39 Crankset
Type Sub-Compact Compact Standard
Chainrings Large – 48 Small – 32 Large – 50 Small – 34 Large – 53 Small – 39
Usage Gravel/Adventure Bikes Road Bikes But Not for Racing Road Bikes/Racing

Chainring Type

The 53/39 crankset is considered as the standard among all the cranksets but is hardly used nowadays. This crankset was the default option for all road bikes, primarily for racers. But with the new inventions, it is very rare to see bikes of this type outside those bikers engaged in racing.

With its rarity, I don’t think this crankset being named the standard of all the cranksets does not fit nicely today. All the latest cranksets from various manufacturers come in smaller configurations making the “standard” version not common.

On the other hand, the 50/34 crankset is called the compact chainset with a 50-tooth large chainring and a 39-tooth small chainring. The difference with this type of crankset is that the gears are lower. As for the biker, you will feel it when turning, but it will bring you to a shorter distance when you pedal.

This type of crankset is popular in the sense that all of the major manufacturers are offering it to their customers. All three manufacturers, Shimano, Campagnolo, and SRAM, are offering the 50/34 crankset.

If you are into lower gears, then a sub-compact type like the 48/32 crankset is what you need. With this type of crankset, you drop the whole gear range by a few percent to allow you to navigate those grinding climbs with less pain.

Ride Quality

If you want to know the difference between a 48/32 crankset vs 50/34 or a 53/39 crankset vs 50/34, you need to check on their ride quality. However, it really depends on how you ride. The bigger rings make the difference in gear ratios, but you will find some when it comes to stiffness. However, the higher teeth will be useless in flat areas when it comes to the importance of the small rings.

So, when you are always biking on flat roads, the standard 53/39 crankset or the compact 50/34 crankset is much better than the smaller subcompact cranksets. The ride quality in relation to the crankset depends on the road, the biker’s fitness, fitness, and cadence.

When it comes to gear, the general rules apply, including the math and the charts when comparing ride quality. But in the end, the biker will decide which is the better crankset. When you ride, there are several factors, such as strength, endurance, cadence, and many more.


When it comes to usage, there are also some differences between these three cranksets. The standard 53/39 cranksets are now used mainly by road biker users who are into racing. This crankset type is very rare for normal bikers.

On the other hand, the compact 50/34 crankset is preferred for climbing races or those bikers who like to drive very fast but are not racing. Compact cranksets are becoming popular nowadays because they allow bikers to keep moving up when navigating steep hills.

However, when dealing with steep hills, you will notice that the bike runs slowly, often resulting in other bikers switching to smaller gear at a higher cadence. But with the compact crankset, you will see that the smaller chainring can make the pedaling a lot easier.

Lastly, the sub-compact 48/32 crankset is perfect for gravel or adventure bikes. When your bike comes with fat tires, or you are navigating on dirt tracks that demand lower gear, this crankset is perfect. This crankset is ideal when you are doing multiple-day rides where you must bring clothes and other things.

Other Related Information

The crankset is an essential part of your bike that allows you to pedal and move forward. It comes with two arms attached to the chainrings, usually varying from one to three rings, depending on the type.

The old cranksets come with an axle part of the bottom bracket, including the bearing assembly that connects the crank to the bike’s frame. Today’s new crankset design has an axle in the middle connecting the two crank arms.

With all the options available, including the cranksets in this article, this part of the bike is very complex with all the available options. Then, the standard and compatibility with your bike must also be considered when looking for a crankset.


Comparing 48/32 crankset vs 50/34 crankset vs 53/39 crankset will allow you to be familiar with this essential aspect of your bike. When biking, you also need to consider the cranksets in your bike since it plays an essential role in how your bike feels on the road.

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