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  1. #1
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    Triple to Compact conversion

    Hello:

    I'm looking to convert from a Triple Ultegra setup to a Compact.

    I'm currently running a newer Ultegra triple (6603 "new style" Ultegra) with a long cage 9-speed rear Derraileur and a 9 speed rear hub.

    Questions:

    - If I move to a Compact, can I run a 10-speed short cage rear Derr. with my current setup or do I need to find a 9-speed rear Derr given the 9 speed hub? I'm looking at an FSA Gossamer Mega Exo Compact.

    - Can I use my current front Ultegra Triple Derr. or do I need to get a new one?

    - Anything else I need to get or be aware of?

    - Is this worth doing or should I just stay with the triple? (I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so I do *occasionally* use the small front and large rear cogs - not often but it happens.

    Thanks for your help!

    Andy

  2. #2
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akod
    I'm looking to convert from a Triple Ultegra setup to a Compact.

    I'm currently running a newer Ultegra triple (6603 "new style" Ultegra) with a long cage 9-speed rear Derraileur and a 9 speed rear hub.

    Questions:

    - If I move to a Compact, can I run a 10-speed short cage rear Derr. with my current setup or do I need to find a 9-speed rear Derr given the 9 speed hub? I'm looking at an FSA Gossamer Mega Exo Compact.

    - Can I use my current front Ultegra Triple Derr. or do I need to get a new one?

    - Anything else I need to get or be aware of?

    - Is this worth doing or should I just stay with the triple? (I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so I do *occasionally* use the small front and large rear cogs - not often but it happens.
    You can use any rear derailer.

    Your present front derailer should work OK.

    This seems very silly to me, you'll be spending a whole bunch of money to downgrade your bike. What's the point?

    My advice is: forget it!

    Sheldon "Why Downgrade?" Brown
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  3. #3
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    i defer to sheldon's knowledge, (i've spent many an hour learning on his website).

    However, i'm doing a similar conversion and wasn't able to dial in the triple FD perfectly. it WORKED, but not as smoothly as it could've. i came across a friend who was getting rid of a ultegra double FD and it functioned a lot better with the double crankset.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a professional and there were other compatibility issues (crank spacing) that were solved in the meantime.

  4. #4
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    Sheldon gave you very wise council. What did you hope to accomplish by spending a large amount of money to get a worse gear range? Were your buddies making fun of your triple?

    .

  5. #5
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    Who's to say it's a "downgrade" to lighten up with a compact and perhaps use a few more gears at the top with a 50t then one might with a 53t they don't or can't use in normal combos. Not to mention a nearly usesless 30t. Our customer's who've investigated this think that's a reasonable trade-UP to get out of the middle ring and push some gears that'll help them hold the back without killing thier knees. On this subject I have to side with more gears not always being best if they're not used. For OP a more useful gear range is the goal and the compact crank offers that.
    "Send lawyers, guns, and money"

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    I agree with Mac -- for those of us in the flat lands a triple is just weight, PITA, and futzy FD. I have a triple, and I don't think I've been out of the middle chainring in a few weeks. It also makes for a lot of cross-chaining in gears where a compact double would put things in a much better position. Anywhere with topography it would be a different story, but since my stomping grounds are Illinois and Florida, I could stand to loose the weight.

  7. #7
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    Andy, do you anticipate never cycling anywhere but an extremely small range in the SF Bay area? If yes, then I guess a double will work for you.

    However, if you anticipate taking your bike to places of widely varied terrain then I would suggest you stick with the triple.

    As wiser heads than mine have said - why spend money to downgrade your bike?

  8. #8
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    Uhm - thanks

    Thanks for the input. Sorry in advance for my reply.

    Let's be clear on a few things between triples and compacts though and also on me.

    No - no one has made fun of my triple - if they did, who cares?!?!? Yesterday's ride was a 62 miler with over 3,200 feet of climbing and my knees need the help. I do ride a variety of terrain and don't live in the flat land (but grew up there and raced road bikes there) so it's not just a weight thing (my bike is plenty light). What does "extremely small range in the SF Bay area" mean - I live on a giant hill and also routinely get 1,000-1,5000 feet of climbing in on a lot of rides. More on longer rides. There's nothing but varied terrain here...

    Moving from a triple to a compact is NOT a downgrade - I don't know how anyone would say such a thing. Compacts have been cropping up all over and are not a fad so why would someone who clearly has bicycle experience say act as if it were a "downgrade" let alone say this legitimate questions is "very silly". You're entitled to your opinion after all though.

    A triple has a lot of hassles associated with it - I've ridden mine for about 3,000 miles and that's a fact. I'm a former road racer who worked in bike shops for many years but simply didnt have experience specifically with Compacts and thought I would give you all a spin (pun intended .

    BUT having to pay attention to the triple in the front is a complete pain in the butt!! I challenge anyone on that front. I'm not a touring guy (which is excellent if you are) so the compact seemed like a reasonable option. It's a bit lighter and has fewer "moving parts", at least up front.

    Can I also please point out that the question was a product / technical question - NOT one related to money or the cost of making the change. People have all sorts of reasons for doing things - the reason isn't the question at hand - it was just about the parts. (is it worth doing or is the gain just a marginal one IF anyone had ridden a compact before).

    Sorry for waking up on the wrong side of the bed but no one has really answered the question - just given their "input".

    Cheers,

    Andy

  9. #9
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akod
    Moving from a triple to a compact is NOT a downgrade - I don't know how anyone would say such a thing.
    I said such a thing, and stand by it.

    It is a downgrade because you won't have as wide a gear range.

    It is a downgrade because you will likely need to do more front shifting, due to the smaller front ring not being as versatile as the middle (typically 42 tooth) ring of a typical "road triple."

    Quote Originally Posted by akod
    Compacts have been cropping up all over and are not a fad so why would someone who clearly has bicycle experience say act as if it were a "downgrade" let alone say this legitimate questions is "very silly". You're entitled to your opinion after all though.
    Most of the folks going to compact doubles are going as an alternative to full-sized doubles, not replacing triples.


    Quote Originally Posted by akod
    A triple has a lot of hassles associated with it - I've ridden mine for about 3,000 miles and that's a fact. I'm a former road racer who worked in bike shops for many years but simply didnt have experience specifically with Compacts and thought I would give you all a spin (pun intended .

    BUT having to pay attention to the triple in the front is a complete pain in the butt!!
    They tend to work fine if properly set up.


    Quote Originally Posted by akod
    I challenge anyone on that front. I'm not a touring guy (which is excellent if you are) so the compact seemed like a reasonable option. It's a bit lighter and has fewer "moving parts", at least up front.

    Can I also please point out that the question was a product / technical question - NOT one related to money or the cost of making the change. People have all sorts of reasons for doing things - the reason isn't the question at hand - it was just about the parts. (is it worth doing or is the gain just a marginal one IF anyone had ridden a compact before).

    Sorry for waking up on the wrong side of the bed but no one has really answered the question - just given their "input".
    That's false.

    Please re-read your original posting, and my previous answer. I specifically answered each of the questions you asked.

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  10. #10
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    I did

    Thanks, Sheldon. I re-read it several times. You did reply and that was it - helping in your repy is another item altogether? I was fairly surprised since you clearly have a ton of cycling knowledge.

    Cheers,

    Andy "doesn't use words like "silly" since it's not exactly objective and slightly condesending"

  11. #11
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akod
    Thanks, Sheldon. I re-read it several times. You did reply and that was it - helping in your repy is another item altogether?
    Sorry, I don't understand what you're saying here.

    Quote Originally Posted by akod
    ,
    Andy "doesn't use words like "silly" since it's not exactly objective and slightly condesending"
    You had asked:

    "- Is this worth doing or should I just stay with the triple?"

    I don't really understand how you could expect an "objective" answer to such a question.

    Given my opinion that this is a downgrade, and given that it will cost a considerable amount of money to accomplish this downgrade, I think "silly" is a reasonable characterization.

    Sheldon "Never Clamed Objectivity" Brown
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  12. #12
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    You're absolutely 100% entitled to your opinion.

  13. #13
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    Let's all cool out before this thread reaches the flash point. The guy had a couple technical questions, and an open-ended "should I?" I think we got the technical stuff covered, and everyone weighed in on the opinion front. I think we can all agree that not everybody needs a triple, just like not everybody needs a 10 speed cassette, and we can all have opinons about whether it would be the right setup for this rider.

  14. #14
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    sheldon is correct-a-mundo in his posts on this subject

  15. #15
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    Wow, did this thread go s**t-hot in short order! The one point I agree with Sheldon on is that it is potentially costly but I still disagree in that sometimes less IS more. Submitted to a C/B analysis it may seem silly to give up 10 gear combos but up til some time in the not-too distant past we had half that many as we have now. On the other hand if OP puts together a cogset to take advantage of his personal range it makes perfect sense to customize to HIS needs. What I'm hearing from the naysayers is alot of snide comments plus generalities and not advice as to what is likely to benifit his personal riding style. As with many other subjects we heatedly debate about our sport, everyone has a perspective and this one is mine.
    "Send lawyers, guns, and money"

  16. #16
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mactheknife68
    The one point I agree with Sheldon on is that it is potentially costly but I still disagree in that sometimes less IS more.
    See: http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed

    and: http://sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    See: http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed

    and: http://sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed

    Sheldon "All Generalizations Are False" Brown
    Code:
    +-------------------------------------------------------------+
    |   A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,   |
    |   adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.  | 
    |   With consistency a great soul has nothing to do.          |
    |                                               --Emerson     |
    +-------------------------------------------------------------+
    Natch, these examples included.

    Cheers!
    "Send lawyers, guns, and money"

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