Originally Posted by Mercury264
Thanks for your reply
Any thoughts/comments on my logic in getting a steel bike with Ultegra ? Thoughts on the spec of the Motobecane ?
Compact cranks are basically two-chainring cranks with a smaller bolt-circle diameter, which normally accomodate smaller chainrings. A typical 'standard' crank can have 53 teeth on the big'un, and 39 on the small 'un, where the compact might typically have 48 and 34, respectively. Actually, your bike comes with a 50/34, so it's almost undoubtedly a compact - I don't think you can get anything smaller than a 38 to fit on a standard crank.
Smaller chainrings sacrifice top speed in exchange for more options on the low end. An additional benefit is that it lets you run a cassette with few gaps in between the gears (like an 11-23, for example), giving you a much more even distribution of your gear ratios. The problem with standard cranks is that a lot of these ratios are unusable by mere mortals.
Nothing wrong with steel, nothing wrong with ultegra. The spec of the motobecane looks pretty good, actually. Unless you're looking at the blue one, in which case it's crap.