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  1. #1
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    Triple or Double Crank?

    I'm building a road bike with a 9 spd cassette and tiagra shifters. i'm not sure whether i want to get a triple or a double crankset. i'm a novice rider who has up until now used a beat up 10 spd. give me some advatages/disadvantages for both. thanks.

  2. #2
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    I have used both a triple and a compact double recently. Although you get nearly the same range from a compact double as from a triple, I find the gear change progression easier with a triple. I find myself shifting back and forth between chainrings more with the compact double, since there is not so much overlap between the gears there. On the triple, I tend to keep it in one of the front rings more consistently and just shift the rear. Also, when shifting the compact double between chainrings, it requires a shift of about 4-5 cogs to get a single gear increment change, whereas the triple only requires about 3 cogs to be shifted. I have the Shimano R700 compact double and an Ultegra triple, and find that the triple shifts better between chainrings than the compact double.

    I vote triple.

    Ted

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    If you have to ask my advice is always to get the triple. Keep it simple. Do most of your riding in the middle ring. Save the little ring for steep uphills and the big ring for fast downhills.

    It's real easy, as you're probably about to find out, to overstate the advantages of a double chainring crankset and to over complicate the whole shifting process.

  4. #4
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    Where do you live and ride? If it's in Florida or a similar flat area then a double should be adequate. If it's in a very hilly area (I'm in Pittsburgh where hills are unavoidable and steep hills are common) go for a triple.

    How young and strong are you? My son-in-law is a very strong competitive rider. For him a compact double is plenty for the hardest ride. For me, who is neither young or particularly strong, a triple is the only way to go.

    The "complications" of a triple are way overstated and they are no more difficult to use than a double. If you don't need the granny just don't shift into it.

  5. #5
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    i live in maryland and my rides definitely have some climbs. i'm 22 and i'm pretty strong. but at the same time, i've only been seriously riding for a few months. i mostly do about 20 mile rides.

  6. #6
    Senior Member spinerguy's Avatar
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    Double

  7. #7
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    None of us can tell you for sure what's best for you. My suggestion is wither a compact double with 50-36 chainrings or a triple. I don't like the more common 50-34 compact double because of the big ratio jumps.

    Al

  8. #8
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    I suggest a triple with closer ratio cogset at the back to give slicker shifting on the rear der.

  9. #9
    Year-round cyclist
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    When racing, the double saves 100 g (approx.) and gear changes are a fraction of a second faster than they are on a triple. For most people, it doesn't matter.

    Two drawbacks of a double – even a compact double:

    1. You lack many low gears, so climbing is hard or challenging, depending on how you see it.

    2. For most people, the ideal touring gear will be somewhere between the two chainrings (large ring, small cog, and small ring large cog), so you will make a lot of double shifts. On the triple your ideal touring gear will be approximately mid range of the middle ring.


    That being said, the ultimate decision comes to you, but I would offer these arguments:

    - If each time you see a hill you say to yourself "Oh no, not again", then suffer all the way through the hill, then are glad it's finally over, then get a triple. With a triple, you will be able to spin all the way through the hill. It will be slow, but you won't find it any more strenuous than riding on flat terrain.

    - If you plan of maybe doing a tour someday with that bicycle, then get a triple. Climbing a hill with 30-40 lb of gear requires lower gears.

    - If you see each hill as a challenge, like to stand up and mash your way through, then it doesn't matter. Many of those sporty riders prefer the double because they are afraid they would take it too easy on hills.

    As for me? I like super-low gears.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  10. #10
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    If you're pretty sure you don't now and won't in the future need the low gears you get with a triple, then go with a double.
    If you end up planning a fully-loaded, transcontinental tour some day, you'll want a different bike, anyway.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    "i'm a novice rider who has up until now used a beat up 10 spd."

    And how well does it fill the bill? IF it's geared low enough for your current use, a double should be sufficient.

  12. #12
    Your mom
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    I hate tuning my triple front derailleur when something goes out of whack. Nearly impossible. That said, on many occasions I've blessed that little front chainring.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellyho View Post
    I hate tuning my triple front derailleur when something goes out of whack. Nearly impossible. That said, on many occasions I've blessed that little front chainring.
    I've found that "tuning" the fd on a triple is needed once when it's installed or after a strip-down complete overhaul but it needs nearly no attention afterward. I have triples using both Shimano and Campy components and find them equally easy to set up.

    My experience suggests that the perceived complexity of triples is overstated. And yes, that little ring can be a life-saver on occasion.

  14. #14
    jcm
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    Triple all day long.

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