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  1. #1
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    triple chainset or compact?

    i have been thinking of putting on a triple chainset for my road bike but have been told that sticking and having a compact would be better. any advice? many thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    The nice thing about a compact crankset is you can get lower gears without having to buy anything but the crankset. A triple will give you a wider array of gears but, to make it look like a factory installation, you also need to replace the bottom bracket, both derailleurs, and sometimes the shifter.

    The downside to a compact double is it's lack of overlap gears. It pretty much mandates when you have to shift chainrings and each front shift may also require one or two rear shifts. If you find yourself making front shifts a lot on relatively flat roads, it's a PITA.

    In the interest of full disclosure, My Klein road bike didn't have the low gears that I need for many of the hills in my area. I tried unsuccessfully for a year or so to find somebody locally who had an Ultegra triple but wanted a double crankset. A couple of years ago I installed an FSA Energy compact and immediately loved it. I think that it's the best equipment change that I've ever made.

  3. #3
    Senior Member LtSPD2000's Avatar
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    I have been contemplating the same thing. I have a 08 Trek Madone and am not that satisfied with the Compact set up. I came from a D/A triple which I really loved. I have had this bike since August and have moved to San Antonio and the hill country poses some challende to the compact. The only problem is the amount of equipment i will have to replace.
    Crank
    Bottom Bracket....maybe. I have to check with Trek since this bike has integrated Bearings
    Cassette- I have a 12-27 and like a 12-25 with a triple
    Front derailleur
    Shifters- 10speed Ultegra are either Double or triple specific.
    Its easier to go from a Triple to a double.

    I like the 39/53 chainrings on a triple and use the 30 for a bail out gear. I rarely have used the 30 but it is nice to have and beats walking......

    I may Ebay all this stuff and make the switch myself......

  4. #4
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/

    Plug in your current set-up and possible new set-ups and see how they all compare. I suggest using "MPH/KPH @ [a given] RPM." It's the most intuitive measurement, for me at least.
    Quote Originally Posted by slopvehicle View Post
    Not wearing a helmet makes me more aware of my surroundings. I find myself anticipating the hardness of concrete 50 or 100 feet in front of me, it's almost a zen-like connection between my face and the pavement.

  5. #5
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    A compact doesn't do anything well.

    At best it's a compromise for weight weenies that can't climb.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  6. #6
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF View Post
    A compact doesn't do anything well.

    At best it's a compromise for weight weenies that can't climb.
    Alberto Contador used one in the Giro and won the stage! That said I couldn't agree more. I am going to do the Ride VA next week with a compact double on a borrowed bike. I rode it today after setting it up last night and it was ok...the triple is really a more natural way of riding. I found that my 60 mile ride today I was having to think a lot about the shift positions I was in. Also, I found that I couldn't find the best gear riding with the group I was with. I was either spinning too much or grinding but not in my natural cadance. I ride both a standard double 39/53 or a triple 30/40/50 and find I ride the triple like a double but do have the gears available for riding the Colorado passes as well.
    I will see just how it will work on the ride.
    The compact double is an ultratorque Campy...now that is a nice setup. Oh you need a Compact specific FD...I am using a double for the next couple of days but, it was a bear to setup and I don't want to worry about shifting the front and rear Der ofter to get the best gear combo.

  7. #7
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    And many are used on Brasstown Bald. I paid attention this year because of rumors that some were riding triples (I didn't see any but I only looked among the trailing groups; if there were any they did well).

    But pro setups are specific to the route (in the cited cases near-vertical routes) and the rider. My little dictum above (shall we call it DMF's Law?) applies to the non-professional - someone to whom 100g makes no practical difference, whatever their opinion on the matter.

    Let me add
    __________________________________________________________

    DMF's First Corollary to DMF's Law: If you "never use" the granny, don't switch to a compact. Switch to a smaller/closer cassette.
    __________________________________________________________
    Last edited by DMF; 06-18-08 at 09:51 AM.

  8. #8
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    My new bike has a 34/50 FSA crank, my old bike a 53/39 Dura Ace. I ride the new bike most of the time, and like the lower gears for climbing, and also that the jump between each gear is slightly less, than when riding the 53/39.....

    Compact cranks shift well with a DA 10 speed front derauiller, but not so well with a DA 9 speed front derauiller

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