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Hmm, still not a fan of the triple crankset.

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Hmm, still not a fan of the triple crankset.

Old 04-19-20, 09:35 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by daoswald View Post
A triple makes very little sense if you live among flat terrain. If you live in hilly terrain, it can be pretty useful.

I understand that 11 speed rear mechanics can somewhat offset the need, if the front chainrings are really carefully chosen. Where I live there are stretches of road that go on for several miles at 10% grade. Being able to drop to 30t/30t is pretty nice. And there are stretches that go on for miles relatively flat. With a SS front mech, and 11sp rear, I would either give up low range, or high range, or tight gearing for the flats. A compact might be ok in front, but then there's even more front shifting than with the triple, since the gaps tend to be larger.
I disagree that 11 (or 12) speed cassettes have offset the need. More gears doesnít equate with greater range. It just more steps. Really wide range cassettes have helped but with the current fashion of going to 1x and 2x systems, there are compromises that have to be made. The trade offs arenít worth the convenience in my opinion. 1x systems, for example, give you the choice of a good high gear or a good low gear but you canít have both. That may work well for mountain biking on a short loop or at the local skills course but if you ride to the trail or range further afield, the 1x begins to have severe limitations.

The 2x systems may have the range of a triple but they have a giant hole in the middle of the shift. Dropping from the large outer ring to the smaller inner ring means a large increase in cadence to keep up with the change in the gear ratio or it means shifting two or three times on the rear cassette to find a gear with a comfortable cadence. I recently followed a guy on a compact double that was hunting and pecking to find the right gear up a slight hill while I just cruised by him with just a minor change in gearing.

My biggest complaint around triples is the difficulty in getting them dialed in. But once you do, they're fine for mortals. Wear proper biking attire, or ankle bands.
People say this all the time and Iíve never found it to be true. I have 8 triples on my bikes, 4 on my wifeís bikes and 5 on bikes that my daughter owns. Eleven of the 17 bikes are at my house and 6 of those bikes are 1000 miles away at my daughterís house. All of them shift flawlessly from the time they are installed. My daughterís bikes get ridden all the time and Iím not there to make any adjustments. She has never really needed any nor do my bikes...any of them.
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Old 04-19-20, 11:09 AM
  #52  
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I have no giant hole in my gear shifting pattern, with a 48/32 and 11-34 12 speed. If you're doing any climbing that amounts to anything, you should always be in the little ring to start with, so you can progress from 17-19-22-25-29-34. If a 32/34 isn't low enough then a 46/30 or even a 44/28 crank might be needed.

When I do shift between the chain rings, I always make a 2 sprocket shift, immediately, so I'm in approximately in the same gear ratio as before the shift. With Campy, that takes one push of the finger lever or thumb button and about 1 second. My old 53/39/28 triple didn't work that much differently. A 1-cog shift isn't much easier or faster than a 2-cog shift.
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Old 04-19-20, 03:27 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I have no giant hole in my gear shifting pattern, with a 48/32 and 11-34 12 speed. If you're doing any climbing that amounts to anything, you should always be in the little ring to start with, so you can progress from 17-19-22-25-29-34. If a 32/34 isn't low enough then a 46/30 or even a 44/28 crank might be needed.
A gear calculator says otherwise. Say you were in the 17 tooth gear at 90 RPM and a hill hoves into view. You down shift to the inner ring and all of a sudden you have to spin at 120RPM to maintain the speed or you coast until your speed hits about 10 mph slower or you shift gears on the back. The telling part is that the shift in the outer ring from the 17 tooth cog to the 19 tooth cog results in a change in speed of 2 mph while the change from the outer ring to the inner ring results in a 10mph change. Another way to look at it is that the transition from the wide range crank is the equivalent of 4 shifts on the back.

Now compare that to a 50/40/30 triple. The speed difference between the outer ring and the middle ring is only about 6 mph. The shift wonít feel like you dropped a chain. Cadence has to increase a little but not that much. You donít lose momentum at the bottom of a hill or have to change gears. The change between cogs while in the same ring is about 2mph as it is with the 48/32 but itís a smaller transition between the rings. The number of shifts on the cog to get the same transition between the rings is only 2.

Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
When I do shift between the chain rings, I always make a 2 sprocket shift, immediately, so I'm in approximately in the same gear ratio as before the shift. With Campy, that takes one push of the finger lever or thumb button and about 1 second. My old 53/39/28 triple didn't work that much differently. A 1-cog shift isn't much easier or faster than a 2-cog shift.
Yes, and thatís the problem I see with the compact doubles. On a closer range double or triple, I can make a single shift to get about the same gear ratio. I donít need to be fiddling with gears at the bottom of a climb and can concentrate on the climb.
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Old 04-19-20, 03:53 PM
  #54  
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Setting up a Shimano road triple integrated shifter is a bit tricky. I have messed mine up both times I replaced cables and housings. It took a lot of re-reading the PDF files from Shimano before the subtleties in the instructions were fully understood. The trim stops are really handy to have on a indexed road triple. My Dura Ace 7703 3x9 geartrain is really awesome. I use 12-23 9-speed cassettes with my 52/39/30 Dura Ace 7803 triple crank and is a little bit more finicky than my Dura Ace 7800 2x10 bike, but not much more finicky.

I have noticed that that overuse of the middle 39 tooth ring leads to premature wear of this one chainring. Replacement triple chainrings for road triples appear to have become rare now. I’m about to experiment with a Specialities TA 130bcd 39 tooth triplizer on a standard double 130bcd crank in order to try something unique - I have no idea if it will index a Shimano s.i.s. triple as successfully as the pinned and ramped originals did however.
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Old 04-19-20, 03:53 PM
  #55  
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I wish someone would explain why all of the bike makers typically put triples on their city/urban bikes, instead of a simpler eg. sub-compact double of some sort.
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Old 04-19-20, 04:56 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
A gear calculator says otherwise. Say you were in the 17 tooth gear at 90 RPM and a hill hoves into view. You down shift to the inner ring and all of a sudden you have to spin at 120RPM to maintain the speed or you coast until your speed hits about 10 mph slower or you shift gears on the back. The telling part is that the shift in the outer ring from the 17 tooth cog to the 19 tooth cog results in a change in speed of 2 mph while the change from the outer ring to the inner ring results in a 10mph change. Another way to look at it is that the transition from the wide range crank is the equivalent of 4 shifts on the back.

Now compare that to a 50/40/30 triple. The speed difference between the outer ring and the middle ring is only about 6 mph. The shift wonít feel like you dropped a chain. Cadence has to increase a little but not that much. You donít lose momentum at the bottom of a hill or have to change gears. The change between cogs while in the same ring is about 2mph as it is with the 48/32 but itís a smaller transition between the rings. The number of shifts on the cog to get the same transition between the rings is only 2.



Yes, and thatís the problem I see with the compact doubles. On a closer range double or triple, I can make a single shift to get about the same gear ratio. I donít need to be fiddling with gears at the bottom of a climb and can concentrate on the climb.
Your example would be accurate for a stupid rider. I typically use the big ring to at least the 25 and maybe the 29. I never have to use more than a two sprocket shift. I ride very hilly country in northern Colorado, with slopes of up to 12% that I have actually measured. I have every kind of terrain that you can imagine. I've been using the 48/32 and 11-34 since last July and it works great. Campy's 11-34 has sprockets 11-12-13-14-15-16-17-19-22-25-29-34. If you ever do any gear hunting, it will be at the 19-22.

The huge error in your analysis is seeing a hill, not feeling it. Make the shift from the 25 or 29, as soon as you feel excessive resistance. It truly works.
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Old 04-19-20, 06:03 PM
  #57  
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I never liked a triple. Even when they were stock on all mountain bikes, 100GS to XTR. It just never performed.

On the road with a decent amount of strength and a willingness to hate yourself a little, unnecessary.

Doubles can even get annoying. But in the realm of riding a road bike fast, usually worth it.

For mountain bikes and gravel, 1x is dominant and will only become moreso.

I'd even consider 1x if I were in the market for a high end road bike.

Triples are for the retired age on x-country expeditions. If that isn't you, htfu.
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Old 04-19-20, 06:30 PM
  #58  
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Also the other thing is that I usually go with like a 48 or 46 on the top of a double.

A triple isn't about the granny gear. It is about the middle gear, the 42 or 38t in the middle.
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Old 04-19-20, 08:51 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by adlai View Post

A triple isn't about the granny gear.
Itís about all the gears.

Time to update the iggy list.
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Old 04-19-20, 11:04 PM
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Gee whiz! A lot of stupid riders and softies who need to htfu! Such wisdom on these forums.
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Old 04-19-20, 11:37 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I wish someone would explain why all of the bike makers typically put triples on their city/urban bikes, instead of a simpler eg. sub-compact double of some sort.
I have a Trek hybrid with a triple chainring & it doesn't even give a very low gear. Perhaps some casual bikers see the triple as being sophisticated. OTOH I have triples on my touring bikes for the wide gear range/choice.
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Old 04-20-20, 01:13 AM
  #62  
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I got my fist triple chainring bike 2 years ago and I've been riding double's for 45 years. My fist double on a 1970's 10 speed racer was pretty cool. By switching chainrings there was a 1/2 step between each cog of the 5 speed cassette giving full use of all 10 speeds. My 2'nd bike, a mountain bike came was a 2 x 6 speed. It was almost useless in so much that 5 of the 6 gears were pretty much redundant. All this double did was give me 7 widely spaced gears instead of 6.

I'm very happy with the 3 x 7 triple though on my 2018 Giant Sedona. When I first got the bike I kept it on the middle chainring most of the time. Later I experimented with switching chainrings frequently and combining both chainring and cassette changes simultaneously. To my surprise even on this entry level comfort bike, with a little patience it shifts flawlessly. I've learned to make the triple chainring my friend and it rewards me by making all my rides very satisfying thanks to it's wide range, The ability to change 4 - 5 gear steps either way almost instantly (by switching from my 28 to 38 ring and a cog or 2 on the cassette at the same time), and being able to keep it on the middle ring for 90% of my riding if I choose.

As far as being bulky, It is just slightly bulkier then a double chainring. Truth be told I didn't want either for that reason, I love the simplicity of a single chainring but couldn't find one with the proper spacing for my needs on a comfort bike.Triple chainrings, Like the "MeGARANGE" cassette's (with a 24 - 34T low gear jump) used on many entry level bikes can be your friend once you learn how to take advantage of the options they present.

Happy cycling!

Last edited by xroadcharlie; 04-20-20 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 04-20-20, 03:59 AM
  #63  
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3 x 7 is all i ever need.😎
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Old 04-20-20, 04:31 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Gee whiz! A lot of stupid riders and softies who need to htfu! Such wisdom on these forums.
I rode across the country unsupported with a small group of people. We all had triples. One guy turned 77 during the trip. His plane was shot down during WW II. He spent 2 years in a Nazi POW camp. Iíd call that hard.

Think before you post.
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Old 04-20-20, 07:34 AM
  #65  
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The only question I have for the climbing warriors is in your opinions, (having experience with triples and compact doubles), did the easier small ring selection on the triples keep you from developing as a climber? That is, over reliance on easier gears can be a bad thing if you are still growing as a climber. At 56 y/o I think I can get much better at climbing and find myself staying in the 50 chain ring longer and the middle cogs longer than before when climbing.
Of course, I am speaking of road cycling and not MTB or loaded touring. 12%+ grades are another matter and I could see where a small ring (24-28) would be welcomed.
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Old 04-20-20, 07:50 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Your assumptions are wrong. A triple isnít only for a ďweaker riderĒ nor is it only for ďbeginnersĒ. With more than 40 years of riding under my belt, Iím neither and every bike I own has a triple that gets used on a regular basis. Sometimes itís used while touring because these kinds of roads hove into view

IMGP1741 by Stuart Black, on Flickr
Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

the road in the first picture was a 10% grade and the second one is a 25% grade at 12,000 feet. In both situations, I was carrying all the gear I needed to camp and eat. The second picture was taken about 12 miles into a 40 mile day and was taken the day after covering 50 miles that was a mixture of pavement and dirt. The current mountain bike doubles would have meant that I would have had to coast over much of the distance on both days. I still spend a lot of time coasting but I can get up to a higher speed with a triple than I could with the mountain double.

If you donít want to use a triple, donít! But donít tell people that if they use triples that they are weak or beginners. I could have done both trips on a double and just HTFU and/or just walk all the hills. Or I could use the tools available to me and have actually ridden the hills. I chose the latter...not because Iím weak or new but because Iím smart.
Not assumptions but rather the rider and their ability given the gearing they need. Saying one is wrong on such a subjective matter is an assumption.

Look, its not about what one person sees what all should ride but rather your geographical location and gearing needed. I have climbed 16% grades on traditional double gearing, compact double and triple. Yes, triple helps alot, but like some I chose to simplify the equation with a double. Not a weight issue but less gearing to worry with and all the while made me stronger on those climbs.

That is why I love this discipline, choices.
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Old 04-20-20, 07:54 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
Of course, I am speaking of road cycling and not MTB or loaded touring. 12%+ grades are another matter and I could see where a small ring (24-28) would be welcomed.
Thats important to clarify. Over here - some 12% grades and not always on a nice asphalt but on a winding rough forest path too, so on mixed terrain ride - both asphalt and forest paths, maybe they call it gravel biking or something these days?
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Old 04-20-20, 07:56 AM
  #68  
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Just add a bashguard if you worry about pants getting stuck or a chainguard.


52/42/32T x 11-34T on my rando/touring bike. 32T replaced with a 26T by now and I've taken this bike up MTB trails. - Bicyclegearing.com


45t x 11-28T - Ritzelrechner aka Bicyclegearing.com
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Old 04-20-20, 08:04 AM
  #69  
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I miss my old triple on my road/gravel bike, but it has nothing to do with the overall range.

Its the middle ring I miss. On gentle rolling hills, and on quick ups and downs, I could just stay in it almost indefinitely. With my double I am having to shift the front a lot more.

With MTB its different. I ditched the big ring on my 22-32-44 triple 20 years ago and ran 2x9 ever since. But in that case the 32t middle ring worked for most conditions until it was time to grind out a long climb. So it was more like having 1x with a bail out ring.

iím sure doubles works better for many folks, but the ďtriples are obsoleteĒ notion is largely group-think, IMO.

The only two downsides I see to triples are a) a weight penalty and b) a more challenging/less forgiving front derailleur setup. The former is insignificant (a small chainring plus bolts). The latter can be a nuisance for many, and seems like a legit reason for some to go with a double.

Last edited by Kapusta; 04-20-20 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 04-20-20, 08:04 AM
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3 x 7 from a couple of days ago - 48-36-26 to 12-28 and a photo from the easy part.

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Old 04-20-20, 08:13 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post


...cool combo of vintage chain guard with newer crank components.
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Old 04-20-20, 08:20 AM
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Triples existed so people could have range in the days of only a few rear cogs.

With 10 and 11spd the norm today, zero reason for it.

Companies still make entry level BSO's with a couple rear cogs and a triple up front. I've no idea why when even 9spd rears are so affordable. To save a nickel I guess.
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Old 04-20-20, 08:24 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
The only question I have for the climbing warriors is in your opinions, (having experience with triples and compact doubles), did the easier small ring selection on the triples keep you from developing as a climber? That is, over reliance on easier gears can be a bad thing if you are still growing as a climber. At 56 y/o I think I can get much better at climbing and find myself staying in the 50 chain ring longer and the middle cogs longer than before when climbing.
Of course, I am speaking of road cycling and not MTB or loaded touring. 12%+ grades are another matter and I could see where a small ring (24-28) would be welcomed.
Having the option of a few lower gears has very little to do with whether or not a person develops into a strong climber. If anything, having the awareness that you can go lower if needed helps relax the mind and the breathing during the climb. From this comes strength and confidence.

So someone wrote here that having “bailout” gear tempts one to use it more frequently than necessary which greatly slows your ascent up steep hills. I guess I can see where this might be an issue. Also, the idea that while ascending in too low of a gear your fatigue level at the top of the climb is the same as if you had pushed a heavier gear. To me these are definitely issues that get worked out on their own as your season progresses and you pass the first 800-1,000 miles of the year. Losing weight and properly using your upper body strength to alternate between standing and seated spurts makes climbing more dynamic and shifts muscular fatigue around.

Honestly, partly why I favor my triple road bike in our moderately hilly river region here is 1) I can run a close ratio racing cassette 12/23 nine speed in order to get more 1 tooth jumps to allow minor pace line riding and 2) standing excessively early in the season is a bit harsh on the knees not to mention the bike. Once again I am chasing down a mystery click in the crankset region of my Dura Ace 7803 triple crank. I’ve never had a problem with my external bottom bracket but I’m beginning to wonder what the practical lifespan is for a Shimano external bottom bracket. While I’m still sorting this issue, I can quiet the ticks by keeping in the saddle longer on climbs. So I’m saving wear and tear on my body, and my bike.

My “climbing” bike has a 53/39 double crank with a 12/25 ten speed cassette. It is a more compact frame with a longer stem (130mm) and the bike is 3 pounds lighter. The smaller frame with the longer stem really makes the cockpit less claustrophobic to the knees and such to support longer out of the saddle intervals. I do have to get into a rhythm while standing to climb then sit when my heart rate gets too tachy. I did have increased anxiety at first that steep hills would be a bit of an embarrassment with this traditional road double, but somehow I still do OK with it.

Last edited by masi61; 04-20-20 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 04-20-20, 08:28 AM
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JaccoW
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
...cool combo of vintage chain guard with newer crank components.
Thanks, I used it for my girlfriend's bike. Build thread can be found here.
It's a Shimano Dura Ace 7700 crank set, Shimano Alfine 45T chainring + Gebhardt bashguard and a "Rigid" modell Dťposť chainguard.
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Old 04-20-20, 08:33 AM
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masi61
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I miss my old triple on my road/gravel bike, but it has nothing to do with the overall range.

Its the middle ring I miss. On gentle rolling hills, and on quick ups and downs, I could just stay in it almost indefinitely. With my double I am having to shift the front a lot more.

With MTB its different. I ditched the big ring on my 22-32-44 triple 20 years ago and ran 2x9 ever since. But in that case the 32t middle ring worked for most conditions until it was time to grind out a long climb. So it was more like having 1x with a bail out ring.

iím sure doubles works better for many folks, but the ďtriples are obsoleteĒ notion is largely group-think, IMO.

The only two downsides I see to triples are a) a weight penalty and b) a more challenging/less forgiving front derailleur setup. The former is insignificant (a small chainring plus bolts). The latter can be a nuisance for many, and seems like a legit reason for some to go with a double.
Did you find that you had to replace that middle ring with more frequency since you were in it so much? How important is it to you that the middle ring have great shifting? I ask this because in keeping my triples optimized Iím learning that I can live with slightly less optimized shifting in exchange for absolute drivetrain strength & quietness.

Iím a pretty strong rider and there have been times where Iíll be pulling on group rides and know that I have people close on my wheel. This is not a very good time to drop your chain from the top chainring, past the middle and all the way to the 30 tooth. Oh well, I havenít gotten rear ended yet, but I have been asked (more than once) ďare you all right?Ē when my velocity falls off abruptly. Fortunately Iíve learned how to quickly flip that chain back up in the middle ring where it belongs and get back on it while I chase - which is what I mostly do as a 200 pounder anyway.
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