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Losing my easiest gear moving from a triple chainring to a compact double

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Losing my easiest gear moving from a triple chainring to a compact double

Old 03-25-18, 12:49 PM
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darwin zabel
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Losing my easiest gear moving from a triple chainring to a compact double

I am currently riding a 2012 Jamis Quest that has a triple chainring (50/39/30) and an 11-28 cassette.
I am considering buying a 2015 Fuji Gran Fondo that comes with a compact double (50/34) and an 11-28 cassette. I do most of my riding on big hills and mountains out west and am often using my three easiest gears on big, long climbs

If I switch to the Fuji with the compact double I assume I will be effectively losing at least my easiest gear. Is that about right or will I be losing more ??
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Old 03-25-18, 01:15 PM
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There's no reason you have to give up anything.

If this is a new bike purchase, have the dealer quote it with the crank changed to a triple, or a larger cassette topping out at 32 or 34t. Changing the crankset may call for also changing the FD, but you can work out the details with the shop, and go with what makes the most sense for you.

IMO- the rule is that bikes need to be adapted to the needs of the owners, not owners having to adapt to the bike.
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Old 03-25-18, 01:31 PM
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Get a climbing cassette. I have a 34 shimano on my compact. Climbs great.
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Old 03-25-18, 01:35 PM
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You've got a roughly 28 inch low gear currently ?. Swapping the cassette for an 11spd. 11-32 for about $70 gets you that gear back. I'd venture that most Shimano 105 or Ultegra short cage derailers will handle that, even though Shimano says a 28 is the largest cog it can handle.

I happen to be a fan of triples for hill riding as I can put a 26 small ring that'll work with a Shimano 9 or 10 spd. triple system, then I can run tighter clusters, which are useful in wind and rollers/flats, etc... The whole desire to go 1X baffles be as such.
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Old 03-25-18, 01:56 PM
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Get a new GS rear DR and a 11-34 cassette.
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Old 03-25-18, 03:34 PM
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Or if you don’t really need the 50/11, look for a 12-32 cassette. More mid-range gears.
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Old 03-25-18, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
Get a new GS rear DR and a 11-34 cassette.
Seconded. Screw mid-range gears, they're for flats riders.
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Old 03-25-18, 06:15 PM
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Get a mid cage derailleur and a cassette with 32 or 34 tooth sprocket.

34x32 is an easier gear than 30x28.
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Old 03-25-18, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
The whole desire to go 1X baffles be as such.
1x is a ****ing joke, and only the company that can't figure out front derailleurs is pushing it for road bikes.
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Old 03-25-18, 08:35 PM
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Buy a different bike. Why would you buy a bike that doesn't suit you? Buy one with a triple and a low gear that you want. And buying one and then modifying it only costs more money than just buying what you really want. What happens when the shop tells you it'll be $100 to make the change? Is it worth it? Don't do it. Even if you plan to DIY, don't do it, because it won't work nearly as well.

I say this even though I have converted an old Trek 3x7 speed to a 3x10. I shopped online for every part, snapping up every bargain I can find. In the end it cost about $600 by the time I was done, with new wheels, new brakes and levers, new chain, new this, new that. I'm in the position to spend that kind of money without too much thought. I did the work myself as a hobby. It all worked beautifully in the end, and still does 4 years later (well almost anyway). All that said, I never recommend doing this.
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Old 03-25-18, 08:47 PM
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I climb a lot and have one bike with a triple (same low gear as yours), and another bike with a compact, 34-28 as the lowest gear.

The funny thing is that I find the bike with the compact easier to climb with. Not due to the gearing, but the bike is lighter and stiffer.
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Old 03-25-18, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
1x is a ****ing joke, and only the company that can't figure out front derailleurs is pushing it for road bikes.
Sram front shifting is fine. They fixed it some years ago.
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Old 03-25-18, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by darwin zabel View Post
If I switch to the Fuji with the compact double I assume I will be effectively losing at least my easiest gear. Is that about right or will I be losing more ??
Yes, you will be losing just one gear.
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Old 03-25-18, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
1x is a ****ing joke, and only the company that can't figure out front derailleurs is pushing it for road bikes.
Whole i dont get the appeal of 1x in anything but singletrack MTB riding, i also dont get the hate on SRAM front shifting.

Ive tuned 2 SRAM bikes with mid abd upper-mid drivetrains and they set up fine. Front shifting was accurate and simple.
Both bikes are 5 years or newer.

Was there something different about older design?
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Old 03-26-18, 03:56 AM
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Thanks for all the comments. I'm thinking I will need a 11-32 cassette to compensate for the loss of the small (30) chainring if I buy a bike with a compact double (50/34). I was drawn to the 2015 Fuji because my local bike shop was willing to sell it for $1300 since he has not been able to sell it for a couple of years at full price ($1650). Checking thru the specs of comparable bikes by other companies it seems like Trek Domane is the only one I could find that uses an 11-32 cassette. Most seem to use an 11-28. (Specialized, Giant, Cannondale). Of course I would have to spend quite a bit more to get a Trek Domane comparable to the Fuji Gran Fondo 2.5.
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Old 03-26-18, 12:28 PM
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If that Fuji is still new from 2015, you should be able to get more off than that. Still, don't buy it just because it is cheap if it isn't really the bike you need. But also remember that the correct number of bikes to own is N+1, where N is the number you already own. For me N=5, but N+1 = W-1 where W is the number of wives that I have. At least I'd have more time to ride...
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Old 03-26-18, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
For me N=5, but N+1 = W-1 where W is the number of wives that I have. At least I'd have more time to ride...
So you have seven wives, and you marry another wife every time you buy a bicycle? I don't understand why you'd have more time to ride...
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Old 03-26-18, 01:14 PM
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I've been riding Colorado for years using nothing more than a compact 50/34. I ride in and around Boulder plus the Triple Bypass each year. Never had a need for a triple and I'm 195 pounds and live in Houston, flat land. A compact should be all you need.
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Old 03-26-18, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by darwin zabel View Post
my local bike shop was willing to sell it for $1300 since he has not been able to sell it for a couple of years at full price
A "great deal" machine that fails to meet a riders requirements should be "No deal".

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Old 03-26-18, 04:13 PM
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OP , you seem to have missed the part about getting the drivetrain you want on the bike you want. Negotiate with the shop to give you the cassette you want.
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Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
No matter where I go, here I am...
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Old 03-26-18, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Harumph View Post
I've been riding Colorado for years using nothing more than a compact 50/34. I ride in and around Boulder plus the Triple Bypass each year. Never had a need for a triple and I'm 195 pounds and live in Houston, flat land. A compact should be all you need.
I'm glad that setup works for you, but I think it's a mistake to assume it will work for someone else without knowing anything about their strengths and/or their riding style.
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Old 03-26-18, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
1x is a ****ing joke, and only the company that can't figure out front derailleurs is pushing it for road bikes.
^^^This.

What really amazes me is that the only legit gripe against triple cranksets -- besides weight, I (reluctantly) suppose -- is that front derailleur shifting could be a bit wonky if your mechanic wasn't a genius. And so you would think now that the bike industry has essentially made FD shifting foolproof by inventing self-trimming semi-intelligent YAW-mo-be-there electronic shifting, the triple crankset would see a resurgence in popularity: The ultimate all-road go-anywhere bike should be a Di2 or eTap drivetrain with a 53/39/30 triple crank.

So what do they do? 1x

fml
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Old 03-26-18, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
self-trimming semi-intelligent YAW-mo-be-there electronic shifting


Phrase of the day.

Triples aren't the best for "competitive" riding, but they have worked well enough for decades. It's a shame that the big 2 have abandoned triples on road bikes.
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Old 03-26-18, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I'm glad that setup works for you, but I think it's a mistake to assume it will work for someone else without knowing anything about their strengths and/or their riding style.
Too true and good point
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Old 03-26-18, 10:10 PM
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I would
  1. Offer the shop $1300 if they change the cassette to an 11-32 and derailleur to GS.
  2. Offer the shop $1100 as is and do the work myself.
  3. Walk away and find a different bike.
Either 1, 2 or 3 would cause me no anxiety.

105 derailleur and cassette are about $35 each retail. A new cable is $4. Its not that big of a deal in terms of price.


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