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  1. #1
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    Best Shifting Triple?

    Mostly this is to educate an old timer about new equipment, most of my triple experience is with TA's and granny plus half step. When building a new bike I will need a gear range for road/commuting/touring of 20-95 inches. What would be the best shifting triple set up for this application?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    I'll assume a 28C tire?
    You're pretty much talking an 8-9 Speed MB drive train?
    28-38-48 rings
    13-34 Cassette
    21.6-97 Gear Inches.

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    The bike will be a 650B with 42mm tires. I also forgot to mention that I want to use bar end shifters. Is there a particular brand/group that is known to work best?

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    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    The 650Bx42 would theoretically add .1 gear inch.

    I'm just too ignorant about shifters to make a recommendation. I still use friction

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    The problem with 13x34 cassettes is that there aren't any these days. Most cassettes with 32 or 34T start with an 11T or, at best, a 12T cog.

    What will work and are readily available is a MTB crank (typically 44/32/22) and a 9-speed or 10-speed 12x27 cassette (21 to 95 gear inches). As to groups, for the crank consider at Shimano Deore LX or Deore XT.

    You can use any long cage road or MTB rear derailleur. Again LX or XT are good A road front derailleur will shift this crank. It isn't ideal but will be necessary if you want to use integrated road brake/shifters, aka "brifters". For brifters consider Shimano 105. They are good quality and reasonably priced.

  6. #6
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    The problem with 13x34 cassettes is that there aren't any these days. Most cassettes with 32 or 34T start with an 11T or, at best, a 12T cog.

    What will work and are readily available is a MTB crank (typically 44/32/22) and a 9-speed or 10-speed 12x27 cassette (21 to 95 gear inches). As to groups, for the crank consider at Shimano Deore LX or Deore XT.

    You can use any long cage road or MTB rear derailleur. Again LX or XT are good A road front derailleur will shift this crank. It isn't ideal but will be necessary if you want to use integrated road brake/shifters, aka "brifters". For brifters consider Shimano 105. They are good quality and reasonably priced.
    I run mountain bike cranks on my touring bike and my commuter bike. Neither bike is difficult to shift nor do they hesitate or shift any better or worse than the road cranks they replaced. Both are being shifted by STI - incorrectly referred to as brifters (bar end shifters were first referred to as brifters) - and road front derailers. I'd suggest a Tiagra front derailer over either 105 or Ultegra, however. They have less chain rub problems and allow for more gear combinations then the higher level equipment.
    Stuart Black
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    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Brifters are combination brakes and shifters. I've never heard of bar end shifters referred to as brifters. They are sometimes referred to as barcons, but that's a proprietary Suntour name.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Both are being shifted by STI - incorrectly referred to as brifters (bar end shifters were first referred to as brifters) - and road front derailers.
    "STI" is a Shimano trademark for their brake/shift levers. Campy calls the same device "Ergo". The generic term for this type of combined control lever has become "brifter", and, despite whining by the language police, the term is not likely to go away. Brifters are NOT bar-end shifters and have never been.

  9. #9
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    the shimano durace bar end shifters work great and were very easy to set up.

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    i'll second the bar end shifters being nice, i'll also second the tiagra front der. over ultegra or 105.

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtdrop View Post
    Brifters are combination brakes and shifters. I've never heard of bar end shifters referred to as brifters. They are sometimes referred to as barcons, but that's a proprietary Suntour name.
    The name barcon was indeed a proprietary Suntour name. However, long before the advent of combined shift lever/brake levers, these were also referred to as brifters. Even now they are referred to as brifters as here

    7: Brifters: Bar end shifters. Pretty self explanatory. Right controls the rear, left the front.
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  12. #12
    Eternal NooB threeflys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crock View Post
    The bike will be a 650B with 42mm tires. I also forgot to mention that I want to use bar end shifters. Is there a particular brand/group that is known to work best?

    I just had Rivendell build me up a 650b Bleriot and they spec'd it with Dura Ace 9sp bar ends and and Campy Mirage front derailure (triple in front, of course). I asked them to spec the back with an LX rapid rise rear derailure. With this derailure, you shift the bar ends the same direction on both sides. This also makes it quite a bit easier to shift to an easier gear while climbing. The front derailure is friction mode, BTW. You should give the Rivendell site a read www.rivbike.com lots of good info.
    Feel free to pm/email me with any questions,
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Harris lists a 13-34
    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/k7.html#9
    Cyclotouriste 13. A bit spendy though, at $106.

    IF the OP has some spare cassette(s) laying around, he could possibly mix/match cogs from 2 different sets.
    I did that with a couple 7 speed cassettes. I had a 12-28, but didn't need the 12 or 28T cogs. I bought a 13-26 and made a 13-14-15-16-18-21-24.
    I later got an 8/9 speed FH body for CHEAP, thinned my spacers and made it an 8 speed that works great with my friction shifters. I swapped a 17-19 for the 18.

    Also keep in mind that crank length can have a noticeable effect on Gear Inches.
    You can run fewer GI with shorter cranks and spin faster, or do the opposite. (to a point)

  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    "STI" is a Shimano trademark for their brake/shift levers. Campy calls the same device "Ergo". The generic term for this type of combined control lever has become "brifter", and, despite whining by the language police, the term is not likely to go away. Brifters are NOT bar-end shifters and have never been.
    My bikes have Shimano Total Integration shifters shifting my derailers. If I had Campagnolo Ergo shifters I would have said that I did. If I were using bar end shifters I would have used that term also as I would use downtube shifters for that type of shifter or, if I were riding my 91 Burley tandem equipped with Suntour barend shifters, I would have referred to them as Barcon shifters.

    And I beg to differ on the term brifter. I heard the term long before Shimano developed STI or even the development of index shifting.
    Stuart Black
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    Harris lists a 13-34
    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/k7.html#9
    Cyclotouriste 13. A bit spendy though, at $106.
    It's a special made up by combining parts from other cassettes and available from Harris Cyclery only. You can't get one from any other source except to build one yourself as you go on to describe. An yes, is is really spendy for a plain steel cassette. The deepest stock cassette I know of is Campy's 13x29 9 or 10-speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    Also keep in mind that crank length can have a noticeable effect on Gear Inches. You can run fewer GI with shorter cranks and spin faster, or do the opposite. (to a point)
    Over the range of commonly available crank length (165 to 180 mm) the difference from longest to shortest is 9% or about 1 tooth in the cassette (say 15 to 16T). Normally, crank length is chosen for reasons other than modifying the gearing.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    9% is equivalent to 1 tooth if you are referencing an 11T cog! That's like 3 T on a 32-34T cog!

    The reason I pointed out crank length is the OP said he was building up the bike. If they are going to a longer or shorter crank than they are used to, they can keep that fact in mind before selecting components, not by "finding out" afterwards.
    I discovered that my 175MM cranks were WAY too long for my bad knee by trying a 170MM set off my back up bike. Just 5MM raised my cadence by over 20%! That TOTALLY changed my gearing dynamic to the point that instead of exclusively using the big ring, I now exclusively use the middle ring. (2% "other" doesn't really count)

  18. #18
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    The crank length can make a big difference. I am a natural lugger with a 36 inch inseam so I use 175mm cranks. When I get on a normal 170mm bike I go nuts...it feels like a tiny clown bike.

    When using these really compact 22 tooth inner chain rings, don't you find that the front derailleur throws the chain off the small ring and/or that the derailleur is too low and hangs on the chainstay?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    With a 36" inseam, you could probably handle 180's without problem.

    I've used 175, 170 & currently have 160's with my 30-31ish inseam. As mentioned, I have a bad knee and the 175's simply exceeded the range of motion for that leg. I was basically lifting my R leg "over the top" by pushing down on the left. At 68 RPM, my R foot was coming off the pedal. Unless I really focused on spinning (to the point of distraction) I would settle out at about 60 RPM.
    Going to 170's and my cadence immediately went up to about 75 and could push 80ish if I focused.
    I found a cheap set of 160's ($7.49) to experiment with that I currently have on the bike. I'm a bit faster yet, but I've came to the conclusion that 165's would work better. Or is the grass greener, since I don't have 165's?
    The "wonderful" thing I discovered was that by spinning faster, my stamina greatly increased. I'm slightly faster, but can maintain it as long as needed. Overall, that makes a much bigger speed increase on my longer rides.
    Making up a "custom" cassette has also helped. I have 1T increments in my "cruising" gears, so I can make slight adjustments as the wind changes, to keep myself in a narrow cadence range that really seems to work for me. I'm even in the process of building a cheap cadence meter to " remind me" to keep working on my cadence. With a little practice, I may be able to get up to 90?? That certainly beats 60! For a 60 year old guy in my shape, I'm pleased with the thought

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