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  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Can someone 'splain something to me?

    The Trek 7.5fx has a triple crank, 48/36/26, and lists at $700. The 7.6fx had a double crank,50/36, and the bike lists at $1040. There are other differences between the bikes, as well, but obviously Trek feels that the double is an upgrade to the triple crank.

    Can someone explain what's better about the double, what's gained and what's lost? Which is better for hills, the triple or the double? It's not just a weight thing, right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    The Trek 7.5fx has a triple crank, 48/36/26, and lists at $700. The 7.6fx had a double crank,50/36, and the bike lists at $1040. There are other differences between the bikes, as well, but obviously Trek feels that the double is an upgrade to the triple crank.

    Can someone explain what's better about the double, what's gained and what's lost? Which is better for hills, the triple or the double? It's not just a weight thing, right?
    This is non-fact-based speculation, but a few possibilities occur to me:
    1. The 7.6 might have better components somewhere else. I have no idea; I don't know what's on either bike.
    2. Frame might be different, too. Some manufacturers change tubing, etc., as cost goes up.
    3. Wrongly, in my opinion, some riders equate triple cranks with newbies, freds or casual riders. They may figure "real" cyclists will NOT WANT a triple bad enough that they'll pay extra for a double.
    4. Maybe they thought nobody would notice. A wannabe racer who's excited about getting a new bike probably isn't even going to look at a triple--he'll see a decent bike at a reasonable price. The would-be triple owner will see the same bike with the crank he wants at a lower price and think he's getting a bargain.
    But I don't actually KNOW anything...it's just a slow day at work.

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    The Trek 7.5fx has a triple crank, 48/36/26, and lists at $700. The 7.6fx had a double crank,50/36, and the bike lists at $1040. There are other differences between the bikes, as well, but obviously Trek feels that the double is an upgrade to the triple crank.

    Can someone explain what's better about the double, what's gained and what's lost? Which is better for hills, the triple or the double? It's not just a weight thing, right?
    Didn't think you had anything more than slopes where you live, but others may say different.

    I think velo dog is right about the triple- not something that a New road rider would think about but last week I was looking for a road bike with a triple. (we do have hills where I live- even on the road) Looked at a couple with just doubles- but the gears were massive- something like 53/44 and an 11/23 rear cassette. I may not be a newbie- but I wanted a gear I could ride uphill with. Seems to me that the better quality bikes will have a double fitted- As experienced riders do not want triples.

    Then look at the components. Cheap bike with 8 speed rear cassette? and better quality with 9 or 10? Then wheels- There is a big difference with better quality wheels. They ride better, are lighter, are better made and Have "Bling" Sorry about using this swearword on this forum but can't put it any other way.They also cost more so you normally get what you pay for. Then there are the components and I dare say that the bars- seat stem-saddle, pedals etc on the cheaper bike will also be of cheaper quality.

    Daft thing is to me that the heart of a bike is the frame. In the space of a couple of years- you will wear out the components on a bike and if you have any sense- you will upgrade them. If the frame is the same on the two bikes- within a couple of years you will have a better bike than you started with and probably better than the more expensive model.
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    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Can someone explain what's better about the double, what's gained and what's lost? Which is better for hills, the triple or the double? It's not just a weight thing, right?
    DG - go to the road bike forum and search "double vs triple". This subject has been discussed too many times by too many people. Bottom line is that the triple has the lowest possible gears for hills/mountains, the double theoretically offers a bit less maintenance and maybe a bit smoother shifting.
    Some dealers will ask $25 - $50 more for a triple, other dealers charge the same.

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    Being a DG-clone, only 9 years further along the cycling life line, I've been through the double/compact double/triple merry-go-round several times. Trust me Gary, get a triple and stick with it. The only downside is that you won't look like a racer. Other than that, it's all upside.

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    Not understanding this is why you haven't bought that bike yet. Over anal-yzing is just that; anal. Drop the dough dude.

  7. #7
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Everyone should have a career. And there are certainly worse careers than the endless quest for the perfect bike. But DeeGee, if you're ever gonna ride a century, you're gonna at least have to LOOK at real road bikes. There are many that are fairly friendly to the foibles of the 50+ crowd (including forgiving geometry and low gears). Serious question: Are you ready to take the step?
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  8. #8
    Mmmm, Blue Salsa.... BubbaDog's Avatar
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    My bumper sticker will read: "Triples are for wussies and old guys. And your point is?"

    My old Frankenbike needed a triple to get me through the Santa Cruz mountains when I was young and doing fully loaded touring. My new LaRaza roadie has a triple 'cause the price was right and I'm not the young buck I used to be. Knowing I was going to be taking it on the Houston-Austin MS150 (actually 182, they lie) made me want to have every advantage possible to finish. Didn't really need 'Granny' along for the ride, but it was comforting to know she was there if I needed her....

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  9. #9
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackberry
    Everyone should have a career. And there are certainly worse careers than the endless quest for the perfect bike. But DeeGee, if you're ever gonna ride a century, you're gonna at least have to LOOK at real road bikes. There are many that are fairly friendly to the foibles of the 50+ crowd (including forgiving geometry and low gears). Serious question: Are you ready to take the step?
    Yeah, I know, I know. But this thread was simply to help me understand the difference between triples and doubles.

    I am giving the Trek Pilot series a look-see. Haven't ridden yet, but will soon (maybe even tomorrow).
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  10. #10
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Gary,
    There comes a time when you may go on less predictable rides, try new & more challenging terrain...or just go out loooonnnnnnnnggggg. Its late in the day, lactic acid is constipating your muscles (can hard sinuous tissue turn to jello? You'll then answer "Yes!"), you find yourself pushing a somewhat lighter gear than usual, you're getting crabby, your back hurts........and you come around a turn. There, like Satan grown huge, is Mt. Bustagut blocking the road home. Like a kindly momma with a cool hand on your forehead, here comes GrannyGear (and all this time you thought GG was Big Paulie) to bring you over the climb and home.

    Its really as simple as that.......why they call it bail-out gearing. Don't call on granny often, but when you need her...she's there.

    Regarding "smoother", I can't speak towards STI left hand shifting at the moment, but with bar-end friction it feels smooth. Perhaps what people mean is that double cranks are simpler-- you hit one or the other. With triples, you have to work it a bit farther...but the difference is marginal and, like using clipless, aerobars, etc....it just becomes a part of your repertoire. Occasionally, to be real, if you change chain tension too abruptly, you may throw your chain-- but that's the "seat of your pants" thing that keeps us (sanctimonious, condescending tone of voice) "one with the bike".
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
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  11. #11
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    D.G. Ride the heck out of every one you can find. Do Craigslist, hit every bike shop you can find, watch the classifieds...a roadbike is is like finding a fine flyrod. Ride both steel and aluminium, Ti too (if you can afford it). Don't just take 'em for a spin, get out and do some serious riding on them. Get a feel for what you like. Take time to let it all soak in. You don't want to get caught with one that 'kinda' doesn't fit like that last bike you sold. The good ones seem to talk to you, they feel responsive and quick, your hands feel good in all the positions on the bar, and will handle nimble like an extension of your mind. Get not only what you want, but what you need first pop...

    Or you could buy that Vanilla we have all been hoping you'd get just for the fun of it...

  12. #12
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    +1 Baggsy....except that initial ride (although what else have you got?!) may not always indicate your future with the bike. Amazing how a longer/shorter stem, change in bar width, fool around with saddle height, angle, saddle change itself, etc. can suddenly change your perception of a bike. Quick and responsive may become tiresome and squirrely after 50 miles or "insecure" feeling on a downhill. Likewise, what's comfy may come to seem dull and "touring bikish" (apologies to some of you) or unresponsive when riding in a group.

    But, again, buying a bike is part guess and intuition and do-ya-like-the-color. Can't go wrong riding every bike you can and forming a "perception base".
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
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  13. #13
    Member Dakota's Avatar
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    DG,
    Don't overlook the LeMond brand. LeMond is owned by Trek, and I was told by several LBSs that they have a more relaxed geometry. I went from a Trek 7.3FX to a LeMond and never looked back. It's supposed to be similar to the Pilot series. I had the Alpe d'Huez, now a Chambery.
    Trek 7.3 FX, then I got real,
    2006 LeMond Alpe d'Huez.
    But then that got stolen, so I upgraded to a
    2006 LeMond Chambery... WOW

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota
    DG,
    Don't overlook the LeMond brand. LeMond is owned by Trek, and I was told by several LBSs that they have a more relaxed geometry. I went from a Trek 7.3FX to a LeMond and never looked back. It's supposed to be similar to the Pilot series. I had the Alpe d'Huez, now a Chambery.
    I went to a Lemond for more relaxed geometry, then to a Rivendell four years later for a bit more. The Rivendell was what I settled on, because I can ride all day without the fatigue of keeping my bike on line. But, my Lemond was very close, and I would be happy with it if that's what I had to ride.

  15. #15
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Yeah, I know, I know. But this thread was simply to help me understand the difference between triples and doubles.

    I am giving the Trek Pilot series a look-see. Haven't ridden yet, but will soon (maybe even tomorrow).
    A triple will give you a lower gear available- but that triple on the Trek does seem low, that is a compromise gear set up that is too high for an offroad Mountain bike and too low for speed on a road bike.
    Triples are good for very hilly areas, you are old and decrepid or you are not as strong as you would like to think you are. (Suits me down to the ground on all 3 points) A double will normally have a high gear of 52? and a low one of 42? If you do not have to ride Mountains, are good and strong or are young enough to have strong legs, then this is probably more suitable for you. (One out of the 3 will be enough) There is also a compact unit that some sadistic riders use that does have a lower gearing for hilly areas but apparantly are good in the mountains too. (according to some of our subscribers)

    Triples are probably more suited to you and me- but I am worried about that gearing on the trek of 48/36/26. That may be too low for the road and is a compromise as I have said. On my "New" road machine, I have a 52/42/30. This gives me a low enough gear for our 15% road hills and I haven't yet got the 52/12 working yet.
    Then again- if you do not have severe hills- the a double will probably be suitable for you.
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    Just another thought on this. I ride with a triple,(52-42-30 with a 12-26 9 speed cassette) and I am always in the middle ring. On flat ground I find it easier to ride than the big ring. I can easily maintain 20mph plus, so I only use the big ring on downhill, and the little ring on more serious uphills. The middle ring is for everything else. Also there are a lot of people that will tell you that triples are harder to shift, and that they are prone to spitting the chain. This is bunk. If the thing is properly adjusted, and the operator knows how to shift, they will work just fine. In over 2 thousand miles, my chain hasn't come off once.
    Last edited by crazyb; 06-10-06 at 05:30 AM.

  17. #17
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I changed the small chain ring on my Lemond triple from a 30 to a 28. I needed it in Colorado mountains.

    Stapfam:

    There are some pretty good hills in the San Diego area. It is a town of hills and canyons. Just a bit to the east is the ride up Palomar Mountain, considered one of the toughest climbs available (a 12 mile Category 1 climb with an average grade over 7%).

    This is where the mountain takes its revenge for the early fast pace. The air begins to get thinner, but worse, the mountain gets steeper. The entire 11.7-mile climb bottom to top averages over 7 percent. But it’s 9 percent for significant stretches, and most of that occurs on its upper slopes.
    I don't know if Palomar Mountain is in DG's plans, though!
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 06-10-06 at 05:35 AM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  18. #18
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyb
    I ride with a triple,(52-42-30 with a 12-26 9 speed cassette) and I am always in the middle ring. On flat ground I find it easier to ride than the big ring. I can easily maintain 20mph plus, so I only use the big ring on downhill, and the little ring on more serious uphills. The middle ring is for everything else.
    That is exactly what I have on my Giant. And I too ride almost 95% of the time in the middle ring.

    I don't know if Palomar Mountain is in DG's plans, though!
    Nope -- not in the foreseeable future. While I think I might enjoy some riding "out in the country," I do NOT see me pedalling up Palomar Mountain! The Tour de Poway is a possibility this year.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    The Trek 7.5fx has a triple crank, 48/36/26, and lists at $700. The 7.6fx had a double crank,50/36, and the bike lists at $1040. There are other differences between the bikes, as well, but obviously Trek feels that the double is an upgrade to the triple crank.

    Can someone explain what's better about the double, what's gained and what's lost? Which is better for hills, the triple or the double? It's not just a weight thing, right?
    Gee, you think way too much.

    Let me 'splain it this way. The whole idea is to have fun and you're turning it into another damm job.

    You can compare prices and components until the cows come home because you seldom find two bikes that are identical except for one thing. I don't see that it matters anyway. Pick the one that you think will be more fun for you to ride and just go with it.

  20. #20
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Gee, you think way too much.

    Let me 'splain it this way. The whole idea is to have fun and you're turning it into another damm job.
    I know, I know. This might be related to why I'm single! But, until a) the budget improves, or b) a harmonic convergence occurs, or c) I enter an LBS while under the influence of a fine wine (not whine!), or d) all of the above, I'm just doing "research."

    And to me, that's fun! Plus I want to 'minimize' any eventual buyer's remorse anyway. I'm grateful to this forum that a year ago, people helped me understand that a 'comfort bike' was NOT a good choice, even for an overweight, rusting hulk of a guy like me.

    But I also know I'm on a fool's errand, trying to get the one perfect bike that will be the right bike for all time. So let's just say I'm trying to find the 'perfecter' bike.

    This pattern is something I first discovered when I entered the digital camera world. Since then, I've purchased a Canon A10, A70, and A620, a Fuji 4900 (for my daughter), a KM X60 (for my daughter) and a Rebel 300D. All great cameras, none perfect for every purpose, and I did a TON of research first. The research is both a 'hobby' and a way of learning/understanding/educating myself as a consumer.

    And all THAT said, I'll probably buy my next bike on a whim anyways.
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  21. #21
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    DG.....its like women. You can date a little here, date a little there, read self-help books till you go blind, but eventually, you just have to pick one and settle down to being happy realizing neither she nor you are perfect for all occasions, but generally you'll each do just fine. Times a'wasting......Leap on what seems a good woman-- er, bike-- and ride off gathering miles and life together.

    Besides, you can always put 'er up on CraigsList.....the bike, not the woman.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
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  22. #22
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrannyGear
    DG.....its like women. You can date a little here, date a little there, read self-help books till you go blind, but eventually, you just have to pick one and settle down to being happy realizing neither she nor you are perfect for all occasions, but generally you'll each do just fine. Times a'wasting......Leap on what seems a good woman-- er, bike-- and ride off gathering miles and life together.

    Besides, you can always put 'er up on CraigsList.....the bike, not the woman.
    Good points, Granny.

    Funny. I was just at my LBS this morning, since it's right next door to a little coffee / smoothie shop I wanted to take my daughter to for some mango smoothies (Mmmm, but i digress). The coffee shop wasn't open (repairs) so I wandered into Adams Avenue Bicycles and talked bikes there, asking what they had that competed with Trek's Pilot series.

    After a while, the guy says to me once again "Why aren't you simply riding what you've got until it dies a natural death? It's got what you're looking for except perhaps some carbon!"

    And he's right. Except for the "x" factor of having a NEW bike, what I have does a pretty good job of meeting my current needs. I like the wider tires I installed, although I think they slowed me down a little, the bike seems to be fitting now after many adjustments, and except that it has some squeeks and rattles that a new bike wouldn't have (at first) it is serving me well.

    It's kind of like dating a woman who's a good friend. She's been here all along since I met her, she's been quietly doing her part in our relationship, and yes, she is a little older so she has some 'parts' that aren't as smooth as when she was new, but so what?

    So I'm back to riding what I brung to the party. For now. It's just hard to get the image of a brand new, sparkling bike out of my head.

    Maybe this fall when they go back on sale.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    That is exactly what I have on my Giant. And I too ride almost 95% of the time in the middle ring.
    This is one of the key benefits of a triple...the middle ring is just right most of the time. With a double, I was constantly moving back and forth between the steeper small ring gears and the easier big ring gears.

  24. #24
    just over the next hill cruzMOKS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    And all THAT said, I'll probably buy my next bike on a whim anyways.
    We make decisions on emotion and use research to justify our decision afterwards.
    The more you know the luckier you get.
    Enjoy the ride.
    Bianchi Volpe 2006; Fuji Tahoe 1990

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruzMOKS
    We make decisions on emotion and use research to justify our decision afterwards.
    In fact, much of the time and money that goes into advertising high end products such as cars is aimed at reinforcing purchases that have already been made, as well as attracting new customers. This has been a standard marketing practice for many years. The more confident a new owner of a car (or whatever) is that he or she made the right choice, the more likey they are to pass along good word of mouth.

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