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Triple in the front

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Triple in the front

Old 11-19-19, 03:46 PM
  #26  
Steve B.
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Originally Posted by mdadams1 View Post
Are there any triple chain ring road bicycles being made?

Mike Adams
Last decent system (IMO) for road riding, as opposed to touring, was the Ultegra 10 spd.

Iíve an Ultegra 9 spd., 26/38/52 with a 13-25 cassette. The 26 I added, stock was 30. It has about 18 non-repetitive gears. A gravel rig Iím purchasing with. 30/48 and 11-34 11 spd system has the same number of non-repetitive gears, not quiet as high a gear, but a pretty useful range.
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Old 11-19-19, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Iíve an Ultegra 9 spd., 26/38/52 with a 13-25 cassette. The 26 I added, stock was 30. It has about 18 non-repetitive gears. A gravel rig Iím purchasing with. 30/48 and 11-34 11 spd system has the same number of non-repetitive gears, not quiet as high a gear, but a pretty useful range.
For most people's shifting behavior, a 48-30 11-34 Shimano 11-speed will be worth 14-16 useful unique ratios, and it has both a higher top-end and a lower low-end than your triple. The compromise is that the gear spacing on the cassette is much wider than your 3x9 road triple.
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Old 11-19-19, 05:33 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Last decent system (IMO) for road riding, as opposed to touring, was the Ultegra 10 spd.

Iíve an Ultegra 9 spd., 26/38/52 with a 13-25 cassette. The 26 I added, stock was 30. It has about 18 non-repetitive gears. A gravel rig Iím purchasing with. 30/48 and 11-34 11 spd system has the same number of non-repetitive gears, not quiet as high a gear, but a pretty useful range.
The value of the triple is the 2 shifts it takes to go from say, the 52/15-16 to the 26/15-16. Then 2 more shifts to get back to the 52/15-16. Or 2 shifts to go from the 52/21-22 to the 26/21-22. And so on, and so on.
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Old 11-19-19, 05:47 PM
  #29  
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A new 48/32 Chorus 12 crank with an 11-34 12 speed cassette does not have wide sprocket spacing, a wider range than most triples and no more shifting. Those who have never used Campy, don't think of the ability to shift 3 cogs smaller or 4 cogs larger with one push of the finger lever or thumb button. It's not tap-tap-tap like Shimano.

A Shimano 11-34 cassette has 11-13-15-17 jumps, while Campy's 11-34 is 11-12-13-14-15-16-17-19-22-25-29-34. The bigger jumps come in the large cogs, where they are needed.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 11-20-19 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 11-19-19, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
The value of the triple is the 2 shifts it takes to go from say, the 52/15-16 to the 26/15-16. Then 2 more shifts to get back to the 52/15-16. Or 2 shifts to go from the 52/21-22 to the 26/21-22. And so on, and so on.
Low gear on the 30 ring/34 cassette is 23.8 gear inches. Low gear on a 26 ring with 25 largest cog (on my setup) is 28.1 inches, done on Sheldons Gear Calc. Close enough.

My typical commute use has me using similar gears in both setups, so I didnít feel like I was giving up much, just the tighter cluster that is why triples work.

Mind, Iíve always been a fan of triples and as others have stated itís all in the ability to set up the front derailer. Using a near corn cob cassette with the range coming from a triple always made sense to me, but I can also see why doubles with a good crank like a 30/48 is a good choice especially with the range of an 11 spd.
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Old 11-19-19, 09:52 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
The only thing worse than not having a low enough gear is not having close enough steps when climbing long distances with a full load, possibly on dirt/gravel.
This is the real issue, as far as I am concerned. I have a few triples and a few doubles, and I really like Shimanoís 1-28 or 11-32 with a 50-34. But if I were really hauling a load (havenít toured seriously in a while, but I can hope and dream) I would want those tight steps down low---wrestling a load (and lately, just my own weight qualifies as ďa loadĒ) up a mountain is serious business. I am not talking about several hundred meters, I am talking about a long, long climb when your legs have already had enough, but your campsite is over the crest.

I climbed enough of the Angeles mountains (I think?) leaving LAon a West-East tour in 2015 Ö. And that was a looong climb. Averaged only five percent (which is a lot, for me) but it also lasted for a couple hours with very few breaks.

If I were doing it again I might want to try that 26 or a 28 low---but 30x34 got me over the top.
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Old 11-19-19, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
In my experience with lots of triples over the years the only "shifting issue" is the person setting up the FD. Just sayin'
Another reason for a 1X because even pros get chain drop. No FD, no front shifting issues and a narrow/wide ring is much better at holding a chain.

"Inner" chain rings are not symmetrical on higher end front ends. The FD is also a bit different. I believe this is done, because the manufactures think it works better. I think it works better (than a neutral middle).

Other issues can be bolt circle. A 110 BCD with 52T - small can get modern thin chains wedged in-between rings. Some designs prevent this.

You have to work at it to get a triple front with an 11 rear that does not nearly overlap in several gears. Our tandem had your pictured crankset with two big rings and a smaller (25T?) bailout gear. It did not shift nearly as well as the Dura-Ace 2X stuff, not even close. But for us, a 1X and 11spd on the rear is fine. We can adjust 5 RPM in cadence. I understand the need for low bail out gears, and for really high ones. I don't understand the need for 33, or even 22 across the range for much anything.
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Old 11-19-19, 11:45 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
It amazes me how much shifting the rider with the most modern drivetrain wants to do. One tooth jumps sound great until you realize you have to do a lot of shifting to get anywhere in your range.
That's why we have shifters. 🙂
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Old 11-19-19, 11:46 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Another reason for a 1X because even pros get chain drop.
That's why I replaced my 2x11 bike with 22 fixies.
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Old 11-20-19, 04:51 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post

If I were doing it again I might want to try that 26 or a 28 low---but 30x34 got me over the top.
My low is a 24x34. My last tour out west included, among other things, a 15 mile unpaved pass with about 3,300' of elevation gain and a ruling grade close to 9% that left me more than 30 miles from my campsite. It also included Thompson Pass from ID into MT, the last 4 miles of which average over 7%.
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Old 11-20-19, 07:13 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Another reason for a 1X because even pros get chain drop. No FD, no front shifting issues and a narrow/wide ring is much better at holding a chain.
Yet if I can ride my triples with "no front shifting issues" for years on end what's the point of 1X other than an option for people that can't properly setup a bike? 1X is like an excuse to not know what you are doing.
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Old 11-20-19, 08:09 AM
  #37  
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I would want those tight steps down low---wrestling a load (and lately, just my own weight qualifies as “a load”) up a mountain is serious business. I am not talking about several hundred meters, I am talking about a long, long climb when your legs have already had enough, but your campsite is over the crest.
This right here. If I have to have 1 tooth jumps, give them to me on the big sprockets where all of the hard grinding occurs. I'm good with 2t jumps and the occasional 3t jump in the high and middle range.
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Old 11-20-19, 08:20 AM
  #38  
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There is a parallel universe. In this parallel universe, bicycle derailleur systems were originally a primitive, complicated, indexed shifting system. Triples shifted poorly so were dropped. Chainrings required pins and ramps to shift and had to be matched to each other. Outer chainrings required a pin on the outside to catch chain over-shifts. The inner plates of front derailleurs needed to be sculpted and matched to the matched chainrings in order to shift properly or at all. Eventually, 2x drive systems were dropped. Customization of the drive train was limited. Derailleur instruction manuals were pages and pages long and youtube was full of videos on how to make them work. The bike forums were over-run with endless questions regarding the compatibility of various parts and discussions regarding proper set-up and adjustment. “Didn’t you read page 39 of the instructions?” But in time, the bicycle evolved and friction shifting was developed to solve the many shortcomings of indexed drive systems. Issues of compatibility all but disappeared, 3x drive systems became popular and shifted well, pins and ramps and sculpted derailleur cages were eliminated, chain rings became available in almost any tooth count allowing one to customize one’s drive system in endless ways. Instruction “manuals” became a single page. Life became simple and good.
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Old 11-20-19, 09:36 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Yet if I can ride my triples with "no front shifting issues" for years on end what's the point of 1X other than an option for people that can't properly setup a bike? 1X is like an excuse to not know what you are doing.
In cx and MTB a front derailleur is mostly non-existent. That may be because noone knows how to adjust them, or may be because 11 spds over a wide range is sufficient.

I typically used a triple on my tandem where two rings were for driving, and the third as for syncing. I did that for years. But that was before I had 11 speeds.
I also had a triple on road and MTB, also when they were 6 speed cassettes.
With the triple I was limited on the cranks and spindles I could use. I'm partial to spindles and cranks not available in triple. The spindle not extending so far from the BB is also preferred.

On the tandem, I saved a lot of weight with the FD, and two rings and heavier crank as I have more choices in cranks.
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Old 11-20-19, 09:48 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post
There is a parallel universe. In this parallel universe, bicycle derailleur systems were originally a primitive, complicated, indexed shifting system. Triples shifted poorly so were dropped. Chainrings required pins and ramps to shift and had to be matched to each other. Outer chainrings required a pin on the outside to catch chain over-shifts. The inner plates of front derailleurs needed to be sculpted and matched to the matched chainrings in order to shift properly or at all. Eventually, 2x drive systems were dropped. Customization of the drive train was limited. Derailleur instruction manuals were pages and pages long and youtube was full of videos on how to make them work. The bike forums were over-run with endless questions regarding the compatibility of various parts and discussions regarding proper set-up and adjustment. ďDidnít you read page 39 of the instructions?Ē But in time, the bicycle evolved and friction shifting was developed to solve the many shortcomings of indexed drive systems. Issues of compatibility all but disappeared, 3x drive systems became popular and shifted well, pins and ramps and sculpted derailleur cages were eliminated, chain rings became available in almost any tooth count allowing one to customize oneís drive system in endless ways. Instruction ďmanualsĒ became a single page. Life became simple and good.
In my job job I've designed things I thought would be easy for users that users found not so easy. Of course an investment in more user training, or new designs can be a solution, but generally the more economical one is to remove the feature and simplify.

I believe a triple can be made to work very smoothly. I do not believe it can be as smooth as the best doubles with orientation, one shift direction (small ring chain always goes right), ramps and money that went into making them so good. The Dura-Ace rings have about 15 parts in them and a lot of R&D. But in the end, if a market does not have the skill to adjust derailleurs like @jamesdak , the market may choose the simpler option, over investing in a new skill. That and it is lighter and stiffer, and reduced Q factor (I don't care, but some do) not to have a triple.
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Old 11-20-19, 09:50 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
This right here. If I have to have 1 tooth jumps, give them to me on the big sprockets where all of the hard grinding occurs. I'm good with 2t jumps and the occasional 3t jump in the high and middle range.
Get a CVT hub. I have one. They are heavy. They also seem to rob power, but there are no steps. I though riding one was a good idea, and that helped me determine that I was pretty happy between 80 and 110 RPM depending on my mood so a few teeth here and there was not a big deal.
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Old 11-20-19, 04:07 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post
Many/most touring bikes and many hybrids with triples still.
Also many tandems.

I have to look at our tandem, it's Shimano 105 shifters, but I forget the crank/rings (the crank arms are carbon, tho). I think the RD is 105 as well.

(Not that this answers the OP's question ... sorry.)
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Old 11-20-19, 06:58 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
In my job job I've designed things I thought would be easy for users that users found not so easy. Of course an investment in more user training, or new designs can be a solution, but generally the more economical one is to remove the feature and simplify.

I believe a triple can be made to work very smoothly. I do not believe it can be as smooth as the best doubles with orientation, one shift direction (small ring chain always goes right), ramps and money that went into making them so good. The Dura-Ace rings have about 15 parts in them and a lot of R&D. But in the end, if a market does not have the skill to adjust derailleurs like @jamesdak , the market may choose the simpler option, over investing in a new skill. That and it is lighter and stiffer, and reduced Q factor (I don't care, but some do) not to have a triple.

I will admit that my best shifting triple and doubles are the ones running the Wickwerks Chainrings. Those babies are amazing.

https://wickwerks.com/technology/chainrings/
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Old 11-20-19, 07:23 PM
  #44  
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I just ordered what I hope will be my lifetime supply of 39T middle rings. Thanks for the encouragement up-thread. I have Shimano triples on 4 bikes, but I only ride the tandem in the rain anymore, so it's the only one that's really been going through the chainrings. I finally bought a SS inner ring for it. Aluminum 26T didn't last at all on the tandem. What goes bad on the middle rings besides the tooth shape is the burring. That's what causes chain suck. I've tried filing off the burrs, but that doesn't seem to work forever. If my rings are in good shape, all my triples shift like a dream, all on Ultegra brifters, some 9sp, some 10sp. The front brifter has to match the FD. They're so easy to set up, I don't know what people complain about.
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Old 11-29-19, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I just ordered what I hope will be my lifetime supply of 39T middle rings. Thanks for the encouragement up-thread. I have Shimano triples on 4 bikes, but I only ride the tandem in the rain anymore, so it's the only one that's really been going through the chainrings. I finally bought a SS inner ring for it. Aluminum 26T didn't last at all on the tandem. What goes bad on the middle rings besides the tooth shape is the burring. That's what causes chain suck. I've tried filing off the burrs, but that doesn't seem to work forever. If my rings are in good shape, all my triples shift like a dream, all on Ultegra brifters, some 9sp, some 10sp. The front brifter has to match the FD. They're so easy to set up, I don't know what people complain about.
Long may they (and you) last!
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Old 11-29-19, 05:03 PM
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A quite nice looking (IMO) triple crank..

Athena Triple in Silver
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Old 11-30-19, 10:18 AM
  #47  
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A 42/28 Crank matched to an 11-36 cassette would serve 95% of all riders of nearly all fitness levels for nearly any activity from the flat lands to the mountains. Want to pace line with your A group? Covered. Older rider with bad knees want to climb some mountains? Covered. Everything in between? Covered.

https://www.bikecalc.com/speed_at_cadence
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Old 11-30-19, 01:09 PM
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I have actually had this conversation with a few people over the last year or so. I understand why they went away (fashion) but there were some really good ones out there. We have gone away from it but like with all things cycling it will come back around. It's just a matter of when. People will start talking about how with a triple system you can run a shorter chain and have a smaller/lighter rear derailleur, etc. Front shifting performance wasn't an issue at all for anything made by Shimano about mid line up and Campagnolo made some stellar triple setups.

If you're still interested then find some used Campagnolo Record triple stuff being sold used somewhere. Buy up the spares you need (springs/index rings for the shifters and jockey pulleys and an extra cassette or two) and ride it throughout the rest of your lifetime if you like.

It will be funny to watch it come back though.... and it will. Someone will be like, "there were all sorts of shifting problems back in the day with triples. Now with precise, sure and strong electronic front derailleurs with automatic trim those problems are long gone. Now we can get you the wide array of gearing choices in such a smaller and lighter package than current 1x14 groups!"
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Old 11-30-19, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
It will be funny to watch it come back though.... and it will. Someone will be like, "there were all sorts of shifting problems back in the day with triples. Now with precise, sure and strong electronic front derailleurs with automatic trim those problems are long gone. Now we can get you the wide array of gearing choices in such a smaller and lighter package than current 1x14 groups!"
I think what will happen is with widening BB's (which is clearly a benefit) the rings will have to extend inwards instead of outwards; the crank is thinned and widened, and the spider and rings extended over the BB. When that happens the outboard extension of a triple is a non-issue as it becomes an inboard extension and it'll become possible to even stack up 4 or 5 rings, space them closer, and make front shifting quicker and smoother. The challenge of course is obtaining a sufficiently stiff spider, but I'm sure CF can make that a reality.
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Old 11-30-19, 01:27 PM
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Whatever we end up with I am pretty sure it will be paired with a rear gearbox.
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