I don't know a lot about bikes but I've got a local community bike shop where volunteer mechanics can help and I have some projects I want to do to learn as I go. My first big project is to convert my beloved bike from a double to triple crankset. My bike is an old Raleigh, late 80s or early 90s, and it's perfect for riding around my city but after a week-long tour last summer over several mountain passes, I realized I really need to be able to shift into lower gears.
My plan is to buy a new crankset and new front derailleur and I'm going to go ahead and replace the rear derailleur while I'm at because its got a little too much give. My question is what do I get? I don't really know the difference between all the parts out there and what's compatible with what. I know the big chain ring on my current crankset is a 53 which works great for me and I know I have to get a front derailleur that fits with that size but that's about where my knowledge ends. I also have lever shifters that can do index or friction shifting and I think someone told me that I'd have to go to friction shifting with this conversion which is fine with me.
So what should I get? What triple crankset and which derailleurs? And if it makes any different, my back wheel has 6 chain rings which I don't think I need to change.