52 36 Crankset: A Complete Biker Guide

A 52/36 crankset is a set of two cranks with a one having 36 tooth and the other 52 tooth. It is designed to be used on bicycles with a single-speed drivetrain. A 52/36 crankset is a popular combination for road bikes, but it can also be used for mountain bikes. This crankset enables you to choose between riding on a road bike or ride on a mountain bike. The crankset gives riders a wider range of gears, and the larger chainring allows for faster spinning at the top end of the range.

What is a 52 36 crankset?

A 52/36 crankset has two chainrings with 52 tooth outer and 36 tooth inner chainring, and is used on most modern road bikes.

It is a common configuration for road bikes, but it can also be used for mountain bikes. A 52/36 road crankset is a crank, or spindle, with two chainrings. It’s commonly used for bicycles with drop handlebars.

A 52/36 crankset is a common internal-gear ratio used for bicycles that have single-speed gear systems.

A 52 36 crankset is a common road bike combination that offers good climbing power and high cadence pedaling at lower speeds. This crank is a classic road-racing setup. It’s found on many popular road, cyclocross, and hybrid bikes.

SHIMANO 105 FC-R7000 52/36 Crankset

  • Arm Material: aluminum
  • Arm Length: 170, 172.5, 175mm
  • Chainring Sizes: 34 / 50, 36 / 52t
  • Bolt Circle Diameter: 110mm asymmetric
  • Bolts: 4

Industry standards for a road bike specify an outer chainring of 53 teeth and an inner one of 39 teeth, and some riders prefer to use a chainring combination of 52/39. Bike enthusiasts sometimes refer to cross-chaining when they’re talking about this gearing.

A 52/36 crankset—often referred to as a “standard” crankset—is used on road and cyclocross bicycles. As it is very versatile, a 52/36 crankset is a common bike setup geared to use on pavement and off-road riding. The cranksets provide excellent gearing for any terrain, from off-road to pavement.

Who is the 52 36 Crankset for?

The 52/36 crankset is a great choice for riders who love to try different terrains. Its compact chainring is ideal for commuting and city street rides, while its larger chainring can be helpful for climbing steep grades and hitting the trails.

The 52/36 crankset is a great choice for riders who want to upgrade their bikes but don’t want to spend too much money on new parts. It’s also an excellent option for people who want to save money by switching out their chainrings with cheaper ones instead of buying a whole new crank set.

The 52/36 crankset is the ideal setup for the rider who doesn’t just have one type of riding in mind. The compact chainring makes light work of steep climbs and allows riders to commute without difficulty, while the larger chainring gives riders more options when it comes to tackling different terrains.

It is the perfect choice for urban riding. The smaller chainring offers better maneuverability, and the larger one can help you to tackle tricky climbs.

The 52/36 crankset gives you more options for riding your bike. On each crank arm, you get a 52-tooth chainring and a 36-tooth chainring: the smaller one is perfect for pedaling in the city, while the larger one comes in handy on long rides and steep hills.

Therefore, the crankset is an ideal choice for riders who commute, as well as lovers of city streets and mountain trails.

What makes 52 36 crankset so good?

The 52/36 crankset combines the smaller outer chainring with a larger inner chainring (both 3x) for a range of gears for climbing hills, cross country riding, or commuting. The standard crank is the most popular drivetrain setup on modern road and cyclocross bikes.

Chosen by many manufacturers as the stock crankset, the 52/36 crankset is a crankset with a 52-tooth large chainring and a 36-tooth small chainring. This crankset provides an optimal balance of strength and weight saving properties.

52/36 cranksets are bicycle cranks intended for use in creating single-speed drivetrains. A 52/36 crankset is a pair of cranks that share a common bottom bracket axle.

The 52/36 crankset is one of the most popular crank axle combinations for single-speed bikes. It offers riders with a great balance between efficiency and strength. This kind of crankset is used to build single-speed bicycles. It is a favorite with cyclists who have simple and straightforward tastes.

Difference between 52 36 split-spindle and single chainring:

The two main types of cranksets are the 52/36 split-spindle and the single-chainring. The 52/36 split-spindle uses two chainrings that are positioned in a way that allows for a longer distance between pedals when riding in the small ring. This allows riders to ride with more efficiency because they don’t have to use their legs as much during sprints or climbs. The single-chainring crankset has only one chainring and requires fewer adjustments during rides.

Difference between 52/36 and 50/34 cranksets:

As the name suggests, the 50/34 cranksets have an outer measurement of 50 tooth and inner measurement of 34 tooth. As 50/34 is shorter in length compared to 52/36, it is slower than 52/36. The positive thing about 50/34 is that it is lighter than 52/36. If you are a beginner, you may prefer the lighter 50/34 over the 52/36 chainring.

If you are a more experienced biker, go for the faster 52/36 crankset. When it comes to climbing steep hills, 50/34 is actually better than 52/36 cranksets. This is because compared to the smaller 34 tooth chainring, it is harder to push the longer 36 tooth chainring and requires you to pedal harder.

SHIMANO 105 FC-R7000 Crankset Black, 175×50/34

  • Arm Material: aluminum
  • Arm Length: 170, 172.5, 175mm
  • Chainring Sizes: 34 / 50, 36 / 52t
  • Bolt Circle Diameter: 110mm asymmetric
  • Bolts: 4

What is the default crankset?

The default crankset is 53/39 i.e. 53 tooth outer chainring and 39 tooth inner chainring. Professionals and bikers who ride on flat surfaces opt for 52/36 as it provides them with more speed and versatility.

Difference between 52/36 and 53/39 cranksets:

53/39 is heavier than 52/36 crankset. This will come in play when biking steep slopes. When biking on an incline, you want something nice and light so you don’t have to push hard. The other difference between the 52/36 and 53/39 crankset is the speed on flat surfaces. On a flat road, 53/39 is actually faster than 52/36 crankset. However, if your route involves both flat road and inclines, it is better to go with 52/36 as it is more versatile and a more complete package.


Finding the right crankset is a tough decision for most bikers as every crankset has pros and cons. Most bikers opt for 52/36 because it offers the most versatility. It is not too big, light enough for good pace, and reliable on both flat surfaces and steep inclines. Hopefully, this guide on 52/36 crankset will help you in making the right decision when selecting your bike crankset.

About the author

John Tomac

John Tomac is a retired American professional cyclist who is considered one of the greatest mountain bikers of all time.

He won numerous national and international titles during his career and also competed in road racing events such as the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia.

Tomac now works as a coach and commentator and is also involved in charitable organizations that support disadvantaged youth and promote the sport of cycling.

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