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Double vs. Tripple front chainring?

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Double vs. Tripple front chainring?

Old 06-19-04, 06:09 PM
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JasBike
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Double vs. Tripple front chainring?

What are the pros/cons of a double vs. a tripple? As a brand new road biker coming from XC, should I get a tripple or a double? Is it personal taste?




Thanks.
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Old 06-19-04, 06:17 PM
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Oh know it's happened again
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Old 06-19-04, 06:20 PM
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Let me guess. I should have searched. Sorry.
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Old 06-19-04, 06:47 PM
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just get a double
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Old 06-19-04, 09:25 PM
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It usually depends on your level of fitness and if your knees are in good shape. A triple allows you to spin a faster cadence on hills, which is easier on the knees. At least it is on mine.
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Old 06-20-04, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
It usually depends on your level of fitness and if your knees are in good shape. A triple allows you to spin a faster cadence on hills, which is easier on the knees. At least it is on mine.

Well, right in part.

If you are a high cadence rider, even a pretty strong one, and prefer to sit and spin on hills, a triple would be nice especially if you are in an area with long climbs.
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Old 06-20-04, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by JasBike
What are the pros/cons of a double vs. a tripple? As a brand new road biker coming from XC, should I get a tripple or a double? Is it personal taste?

Thanks.
If you order it with your bike, it is about $30. If you don't and want it later it is about $250 to convert.
The difference in weight is neglible. Think of the third ring as a bail-out gear, there when the hill gets a lot steeper than you thought.

On my old Trek Navigator, it had a triple, but I rarely used the smallest ring. On my new roadie, I have used it almost everytime out, mainly because I am taking on more hills. If I didn't have it, there are quite a few times I'd have been walking!
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Old 06-20-04, 05:51 AM
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There's always compact drive double
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Old 06-20-04, 07:14 AM
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the problem with a triple is that it can be very difficult to tune your shifting for two reasons: (1) the long throw of the front derailleur compromises the chainline, (2) the long cage of the rear derailleur and the extra chain makes for sloppy rear shifting.

triple advocates [usually people who bought triples and want to be validated by your choice] claim that the shifting on a properly tuned triple is "just fine." the problems are that it will never be better than "just fine" -- not "crisp" and "amazing" -- and that it is quite difficult to get a triple properly tuned. a lot of bike shop mechanics don't know how to tune a triple, and those who do frankly can't stand doing it, it's such a bother.

if you need a low gear, you have two better options. the simple one is to just get a cassette with a bigger gear. a standard shimano rear dereilleur can handle a 12-27 cassette, and the 39x27 combination gives you all but two of the lowest gears you'd get with a stock triple with a 12-25 cassette. this will probably cost nothing at the time you buy your bike... maybe $30 as a later modification.

the other option, as racerx points out, is a compact crankset. this is becoming a popular option, since few recreational rider -- even pros -- ever use the 53x12. a 34/50 crankset with a standard 12-27 cassette will give you about all the low gears you need to climb the alps without sacrificing shifting performance.
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Old 06-20-04, 09:42 AM
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Double. Just stand up and hammer your way over the alps of CT. You don't need no stinkin' granny gear.
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Old 06-20-04, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by velocipedio
the problem with a triple is that it can be very difficult to tune your shifting for two reasons: (1) the long throw of the front derailleur compromises the chainline, (2) the long cage of the rear derailleur and the extra chain makes for sloppy rear shifting.
Just to add to this. A big factour is chainstay length. Bikes with extremely short chainstays as on many performance roadbikes these days will have a hard time accomodating a triple due to the high angles of deflection of the chainline. There is a higher chance of throwing the chain when going for that bailout gear too. This IMHO negates many advantages of a triple since you have to be very finesse in your shifting at the moment it's really critical to just get it in the right gear.
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Old 06-20-04, 11:18 AM
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Well said ! Most road bikes are over geared . thanks to places like FSA, you can now enjoy wide gearing with only two rings (50/34) .

Originally Posted by velocipedio
the problem with a triple is that it can be very difficult to tune your shifting for two reasons: (1) the long throw of the front derailleur compromises the chainline, (2) the long cage of the rear derailleur and the extra chain makes for sloppy rear shifting.

triple advocates [usually people who bought triples and want to be validated by your choice] claim that the shifting on a properly tuned triple is "just fine." the problems are that it will never be better than "just fine" -- not "crisp" and "amazing" -- and that it is quite difficult to get a triple properly tuned. a lot of bike shop mechanics don't know how to tune a triple, and those who do frankly can't stand doing it, it's such a bother.

if you need a low gear, you have two better options. the simple one is to just get a cassette with a bigger gear. a standard shimano rear dereilleur can handle a 12-27 cassette, and the 39x27 combination gives you all but two of the lowest gears you'd get with a stock triple with a 12-25 cassette. this will probably cost nothing at the time you buy your bike... maybe $30 as a later modification.

the other option, as racerx points out, is a compact crankset. this is becoming a popular option, since few recreational rider -- even pros -- ever use the 53x12. a 34/50 crankset with a standard 12-27 cassette will give you about all the low gears you need to climb the alps without sacrificing shifting performance.
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Old 06-20-04, 12:08 PM
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i dunno man..

velocipedio's post is surely accurate, but still.. the idea of having "all but the two lowest gears" of a triple still translates to more knee strain for me. my problem has always been overuse injuries and while i _can stand up and hammer, i try to avoid it because my knees are one of the few joints that hasn't given me any trouble to this point.

also, i think the lack of crispness in a triple is somewhat offset by the ability to ride a smaller cassette. i like having gears that are more like each other - less jump from gear to gear and more fine tuning ability - and while a really strong rider with a double can rock the smaller cassette and have the best of both worlds, i'm definitely more in the position where i'd have to do one or the other: big cassette with a double or corn-cob cassette with a triple.

again, i'm sure velo's comments are all accurate and reflect a lot more experience than i have, but i still tend to think doubles are for ppl who are really strong or live someplace really flat and triples are for regular folks. i also think an ultegra triple would be plenty crisp for me and if the shop boys don't like to tune it then that's their problem.

i am curious about the compact crankset though.
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Old 06-20-04, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by boze
i am curious about the compact crankset though.
For comparison, what gears do you ride now, as in what are the number of teeth on the front and rear sprockets you use on the biggest hills where you typically ride?

-murray
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Old 06-20-04, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by JasBike
What are the pros/cons of a double vs. a tripple? As a brand new road biker coming from XC, should I get a tripple or a double? Is it personal taste?




Thanks.
I think it's a personal choice. Since Shimano Dura Ace comes in a triple there must be some type of use for it. You can either mash or spin whatever you prefer. Just because someone rides a triple does not make him/her less of a cyclist. Remember, it is not what you ride it's how you ride. It's the engine!
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Old 06-20-04, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by velocipedio
the problem with a triple is that it can be very difficult to tune your shifting for two reasons: (1) the long throw of the front derailleur compromises the chainline, (2) the long cage of the rear derailleur and the extra chain makes for sloppy rear shifting.
Not true. If you know what you are doing and take your time, there is no difference between tuning a double and a triple.


triple advocates [usually people who bought triples and want to be validated by your choice] claim that the shifting on a properly tuned triple is "just fine."
Again, not true and a gross insult to those of us who know exactly what we are doing. My triple shifts crisply. I have no complaints about it since I tuned it the second week I owned it.


a lot of bike shop mechanics don't know how to tune a triple, and those who do frankly can't stand doing it, it's such a bother.
Not true yet again. All the wrenches at my LBS know how to tune a triple. I learned from one of the younger guys how to do it.

You don't like a triple. That is fine. Some of us do and don't need "validation" from anyone or anything.

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Old 06-20-04, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by JasBike
What are the pros/cons of a double vs. a tripple? As a brand new road biker coming from XC, should I get a tripple or a double? Is it personal taste?
This will give the anti-triple crowd the vapors, but here it is: I'm on my second bike with Dura-Ace 10 now
and I love that group. However, the Sora triple on my Bianchi shifts just about as well. I've had no trouble with it and I use the granny gear frequently on steep hills. I love being able to spin up steep hills. The Q-factor argument is bogus.
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Old 06-20-04, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by AeroDog
This will give the anti-triple crowd the vapors....

Want to really get people going? How about a Campy Triple versus a Shimano Double? Boy, that ought to bring 'em out of the woodwork!
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Old 06-20-04, 04:25 PM
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Road triple? I would if I was making a bike for touring, and going to have max weight.
Other, no. Me, touring, I'd just buy a few chairings and when I hit the mountains, swap out to like 32, 44.

I cut my granny of with bolt cutter cause I'm lazy, 2 snips and unbolt the ring.
No need to pull cranks.

Mtb are different, Road, being shorter, I'd just suck it up and buy ring counts that are good for me and the bike weight. A 52 is sick big to me, useless. A 34, 46 and I'd go up anything road. Maybe a 10t rear cog for some flatland speed.

A....I don't know squat about road gearing.
Just felt like typing..jef.
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Old 06-20-04, 04:32 PM
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OK, I've got a question about Shimano front shifters. I ride a triple with Campy Record Ergo shifters. I counted 8 click stops on the front shifter going from the big chainring to the smallest. How many stops do you get with Shimano? Does Campy have a finer granularity in their shifter that makes it easier to trim the front derailleur?

I also wonder if the narrower cage on my old Dura-Ace front derailleur (not designed for a triple! I've probably been using it since the days of 5 & 6 cog freewheels.) actually works better than a derailleur designed for a triple. Sure, I may have to trim it a bit more but I wonder if it shifts more precisely because it was designed for double chainrings.
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Old 06-20-04, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveE
OK, I've got a question about Shimano front shifters. I ride a triple with Campy Record Ergo shifters. I counted 8 click stops on the front shifter going from the big chainring to the smallest. How many stops do you get with Shimano? Does Campy have a finer granularity in their shifter that makes it easier to trim the front derailleur?
Well, things work better up front with a Campy setup because the front isn't indexed like Shimano. Yes there are detents but you get much more trimming capability with Campy Ergo. If I went with a front triple, it woulod definately be with a Campy setup. With Shimano, the mid-trim on their front double shifter is adequate but throw in a triple (even with mid-shift trim position on the triple front shifter) and things get annoying fast. In short, Shimano double has two positions with a mid-position trim that really only trims fron the big ring although you can sorta finesse a trim from the inner ring if you try. With a Shimano triple there are three positions and two trim positions in between. You can trim from the middle ring to the inner ring which is to say you need to shift into the middle first and then trim downwards. The same is true for the outer to the middle ring. With Campy, you can trim with more granularity and going in both directions for both double and triple setups.


Originally Posted by SteveE
I also wonder if the narrower cage on my old Dura-Ace front derailleur (not designed for a triple! I've probably been using it since the days of 5 & 6 cog freewheels.) actually works better than a derailleur designed for a triple. Sure, I may have to trim it a bit more but I wonder if it shifts more precisely because it was designed for double chainrings.
Probably. A double derailleur with a narrower cage will shift faster and more precisely than a wider triple compatible derailleur since it more closely guides and tracks the chain. Newer derailleurs designed for narrower chains on a double setup will shift even faster and more precisely.
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Old 06-20-04, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveE
Sure, I may have to trim it a bit more but I wonder if it shifts more precisely because it was designed for double chainrings.
actually i dont think it would work. triple FDs cage has a bigger area to pick the chain up off the granny.
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Old 06-20-04, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by RobotSonic
actually i dont think it would work. triple FDs cage has a bigger area to pick the chain up off the granny.
Uhh, but it does work! That's what I've been using for the past 4 years. I switched from a double to a triple when I hit the big five-oh, so I wouldn't have any excuse not to ride some of the big hills around here. Instead of buying a new front derailleur I just put the old one on (It dates back to the old friction-shifting days) and never looked back!
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Old 06-20-04, 06:51 PM
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you guys are great
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Old 06-20-04, 07:05 PM
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If you EVER want to be able to spin at less than 15 mph, get a triple.
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