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Old 11-19-12, 02:16 PM   #1
rdtompki
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Love my Triple!

I had been riding a compact 50-34 with 11-32 and just didn't like the shift pattern, especially on rollers. Younger riders are very different: my son can ride anything using a 52-39 and 13-25, but I'm him 30 years later!

I'm now riding a 52-39-30 and 12-30. The 52 is fine for the flats and slight upturns. I can climb up to 8% or so in the 39t chainring and the 30-30 (1:1) gets me up about anything else. I can put on an 11-36 cassette in about 15 minutes if I were facing a ride that was criminally difficult.

What's not to like. Too bad that the market is moving away from triples. I had to order my triple from Europe since domestic availability of a BB30 triple seems nonexistent.
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Old 11-19-12, 02:38 PM   #2
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I'm now riding a 52-39-30 and 12-30. The 52 is fine for the flats and slight upturns. I can climb up to 8% or so in the 39t chainring and the 30-30 (1:1) gets me up about anything else. I can put on an 11-36 cassette in about 15 minutes if I were facing a ride that was criminally difficult.

What's not to like. Too bad that the market is moving away from triples. I had to order my triple from Europe since domestic availability of a BB30 triple seems nonexistent.
I'm running a bunch of triples and love them all;
50-39-26 and 12-30,
50-39-26 and 12-27,
52-40-28 and 14-32,
48-36-22 and 12-27.

I had to use an adaptor to install a Shimano triple on my BB30 road bike frame. Triples are still to be found on a few sports bikes. I'm dreaming of an electronic triple drivetrain :-).
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Old 11-19-12, 03:00 PM   #3
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..... I'm dreaming of an electronic triple drivetrain :-).
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Old 11-19-12, 04:30 PM   #4
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As a 64 year old living in hill country, I love my triple! Currently running a 52-39-28 set up with a 12-27 cob.
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Old 11-19-12, 04:34 PM   #5
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With Ultegra brifters, what is the lowest gear I can get to with a 10 speed. For some reason, I thought 30 was the max???
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Old 11-19-12, 04:41 PM   #6
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The RD is the limiting factor, not the brifter. You can put on a Deore or Deore XT 9-spd RD i believe (long cage probably) and go to an 11-36. I have a hybrid setup, but my wife's bike is 105, Doere and 11-36.
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Old 11-19-12, 04:48 PM   #7
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I love my 39/52 double. I love my 39/54 double. I love my 34/50 double. And, I love my 30/39/50 triple. Choices! What's not to love. My son even has me thinking about an internal 8 speed.

If I could be the Jay Leno of bicycles I would be.... (for those who don't know him, he's a TV talk show host in the US with lots and lots of cars).

Oh, I guess Robin Williams has that covered.
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Old 11-19-12, 05:15 PM   #8
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I love my 48-36-26 with an 11-34. There are a lot of nasty climbs where I am, but now I can get up anything, I rarely am grinding, and if I get a little bit out of shape, I can still do longer rides with some nasty climbs without being burned out.
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Old 11-19-12, 07:39 PM   #9
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Old 11-19-12, 07:42 PM   #10
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"I love my triple" OH, the humanity...

A compact double will cover almost the same range and is almost as good, and they're pounds lighter than a triple, and they shift 273.1% better than a triple and... oh wait, I love my triples too! Never mind...
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Old 11-19-12, 08:44 PM   #11
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I have 2 bikes -- both with triples. I've never ridden anything else... And to be very honest and a little blunt: I really don't understand why anybody would NOT take them over a double. As far as I can see for a couple ounces they add a huge amount of flexibility. Yet the other day I saw a guy in a LBS swapping out his triple for a single (going to a 1x10). When I asked why, the obviously annoyed manager (who had apparently recommended it) said "To get rid of all that excess hardware"... So, I just nodded like I actually understood what she was talking about...

So can somebody please explain what is the advantage of a double over a triple (or even a single over a triple)? Is it just weight?
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Old 11-19-12, 09:43 PM   #12
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"I love my triple" OH, the humanity...

A compact double will cover almost the same range and is almost as good, and they're pounds lighter than a triple, and they shift 273.1% better than a triple and... oh wait, I love my triples too! Never mind...
Doc, you almost had me there

Oh, did I forget to mention that we have quad chainrings on our tandem.
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Old 11-19-12, 10:29 PM   #13
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I picked up a nice bike with a 52-39 11-25 for my first road bike. Been an avid MTBer for 20 years. This thing is killing me. I need a triple!
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Old 11-19-12, 11:04 PM   #14
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I love the Sugino 24-36-48 triple with 12-30 10 speed cassette on my monstercross dirt road bike. It shift beautifully with the Ultegra 6603 brifters. On the hills around here I guess I'm in the middle ring about 60% of the time, the big ring 30% and the granny ring 10%.

I also really like the compact 34-50 with 12-30 cassette on my Roubaix and the single 38T ring and 16T fixed cog on my Casseroll.
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Old 11-20-12, 06:15 AM   #15
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Another vote for triples. I realize they're not for everyone. Until I can sustain wattage of 400, they're for me.
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Old 11-20-12, 06:43 AM   #16
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I love my triple 45-42-24 X 12,14,16,18,21,24,28,32,36 =

It took me a couple years to figure out what I wanted.
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Old 11-20-12, 08:05 AM   #17
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Starting with my "last bike" I bought in 1986 all my bikes have had triples. BTW I am now on my 5th "last bike" and it is a trike. IMHO having a triple is very logical. There is so little weight penalty, why not have a triple.

I do a lot of solo riding, and while I might have a route in mind when I take off, on a whim I will take off on a different road. A lot of the time I dont know what I will run into for hills. However it is no big deal since I have my triple if I run into a really steep hill it will be no problem.
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Old 11-20-12, 08:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
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So can somebody please explain what is the advantage of a double over a triple (or even a single over a triple)? Is it just weight?
It's:

* Weight
* Complication: rumor has it that doubles shift better than triples
* (Wo)Manliness: Real (wo)men don't need a triple.

I think this last one is the biggest reason. And as somebody else has pointed out, the only good reason to not run a triple...




is to run a quad.


All whatever aside, if people are happy running doubles, then keep your doubles. Being a flatlander living in a very hilly (well, by my standards) place means that I really like my triple (48/38/22).

Cheers,
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Old 11-20-12, 11:22 AM   #19
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I have 2 bikes -- both with triples. I've never ridden anything else... And to be very honest and a little blunt: I really don't understand why anybody would NOT take them over a double. As far as I can see for a couple ounces they add a huge amount of flexibility. Yet the other day I saw a guy in a LBS swapping out his triple for a single (going to a 1x10). When I asked why, the obviously annoyed manager (who had apparently recommended it) said "To get rid of all that excess hardware"... So, I just nodded like I actually understood what she was talking about...

So can somebody please explain what is the advantage of a double over a triple (or even a single over a triple)? Is it just weight?
I have a triple on my Santana Tandem and used to have one on a Madone. My wife has a triple on her spare bike. I liked my 52/39/30 Shimano triple. It shifted great and I had a lot of gear selections available. The 39 chain ring is a nice gear for cruising along at 16 to 18 mph.

The triple crankset is heavier than a compact double - maybe 100 gms. IMO, that is a small price to pay if one wants lower gearing and a large selection of gear choices. However, some triples do not shift well or miss shift. The Shimano Dura/Ace that my wife has works flawlessly. To add the 3rd chain ring on the crankset, the pedals are farther apart than a double. The distance between the pedals is called the Q factor. Some riders prefer their feet closer together and it may provide an aerodynamic advantage. Also, some believe that the chain line for the triple is sub optimum for some gear combinations. Some riders do not like the look of the triple on the bike and prefer the double. All these points seem like personal preferences.

I suspect that many of the high end frames that are optimized for stiffness, aerodynamics and weight may not accommodate a triple due to chain line, clearances and bottom bracket issues.

When I purchased my Madone in 2006, there were no light weight wide spaced rear cassettes shifted well. Today, one can purchase an 11/34 and get a low gear. With the new range of rear cassettes, bike manufactures seized the chance to reduce selection of cranks and most eliminated the triple and few bike shops stock them.

When I purchased my Cervelo R3, I switched to a compact double and prefer it to a triple. I like the shifting better and the narrower Q factor. And I can use the K-Edge protector that keeps the chain from dropping on the frame. K-Edge does not work for a triple. Typically, I use a 12/27 cassette general riding and training. I find the 34/27 adequate for the local climbs when I want to go easy. When I purchased my Cervelo R5, I got a Quarq crank based power meter. There are no crank based power meter triple cranks.

I am glad OP loves his triple and I say that sincerely. We should love what we ride. I love my Quarq power meter and my 50/34 double on my Cervelo R5. My wife has an R5 with a compact double power meter as well and she loves her compact double but she also loves riding her Obea Orca with the D/A triple.

Optimizing equipment... Wiggans, on a stage of the TdF, did a bike change before a mountain top finish. He used a bike with lower gearing optimized for the climb. My wife and I took a play from his play book and did a bike change on a time trial race a couple of weeks ago. The first 8 miles was flat and then the route pitched up to a 4 mile 7% grade climb. I met her at mile 8 with her road bike. She jumped off her TT bike and on the road bike. She lost maybe 10 seconds but she gained over 2 minutes on the racers who were on road bikes for the flat section. All totally legal and disclosed. I did it for another racer as well who wanted to do a bike switch. It was fun to do and the racers loved it. Even the competitors thought it was totally cool and wished they had thought of it.

IMO, it is all about personal preference and understanding what is available to meet rider needs and riding goals.
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Old 11-20-12, 12:11 PM   #20
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Don't want to make this an agrument between what is best - compact double or a triple but... so 2 weeks ago did a winery ride out in the Temecula area of Southern CA. Although there are no long sustained climbs there are alot of very steep, but short, rollies. So last year a friend bought a new road bike. My other friend and I tried to convince her to get a triple but noooooooooooo... everyone told her a compact double was better so that's what she got. She is basically a strong rider and that double has suited her style but not once, twice but three times during the "wino" ride she had to get off the bike and walk... I have no problems dropping into my very granny triple (12 - 36) and although I was far behind, now rode slowly past and up away from my friend. I had to hold my tongue and not say "now do you wish you got a triple?"

I guess that would have been rude...
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Old 11-20-12, 12:14 PM   #21
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So can somebody please explain what is the advantage of a double over a triple (or even a single over a triple)? Is it just weight?
probably saves a few micro ounces but honestly its a coolness issue... like riding with a granny makes you a granny or something... well I am a granny so don't care!!!!
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Old 11-20-12, 12:19 PM   #22
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You can run an 11-36 or 12-36 with a Compact. I considered going in this direction, but find the 11-36 spacing to take a good deal of the fun out of riding (on other than climbs). I don't ride in a paceline often, but the wide-spaced cassettes are really a problem in that situation.
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Old 11-20-12, 12:39 PM   #23
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You can run an 11-36 or 12-36 with a Compact. I considered going in this direction, but find the 11-36 spacing to take a good deal of the fun out of riding (on other than climbs). I don't ride in a paceline often, but the wide-spaced cassettes are really a problem in that situation.

You might like what I posted above. My half-step plus granny 9 speed for filling in those gaps. It put the fun back into a wide spaced cassette for me.

Mine is 45-42-24 X 12,14,16,18,21,24,28,32,36

Here is more about mine on a tour bike.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...4-28-32-36)-o)
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Old 11-20-12, 12:51 PM   #24
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When I purchased my Cervelo R3, I switched to a compact double and prefer it to a triple. I like the shifting better and the narrower Q factor. And I can use the K-Edge protector that keeps the chain from dropping on the frame. K-Edge does not work for a triple. ...

...IMO, it is all about personal preference and understanding what is available to meet rider needs and riding goals.
As much as I like triples, I was happy with a compact double with an 11-32 for hilly rides. I found that I could reduce frequent shifts of the front chainring with a wide range cassette. However, I really disliked the compact double on flatter routes. The 39t chainring has great utility in the 15 to 22 mph range.

K-Edge has a special chain-retainer for triples. I've installed it on two bikes with CF frames and would not want to use a triple without one;

http://www.acecosportgroup.com/shop/...n-catcher.html


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Old 11-20-12, 12:58 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
I have a triple on my Santana Tandem and used to have one on a Madone. My wife has a triple on her spare bike. I liked my 52/39/30 Shimano triple. It shifted great and I had a lot of gear selections available. The 39 chain ring is a nice gear for cruising along at 16 to 18 mph.

The triple crankset is heavier than a compact double - maybe 100 gms. IMO, that is a small price to pay if one wants lower gearing and a large selection of gear choices. However, some triples do not shift well or miss shift. The Shimano Dura/Ace that my wife has works flawlessly. To add the 3rd chain ring on the crankset, the pedals are farther apart than a double. The distance between the pedals is called the Q factor. Some riders prefer their feet closer together and it may provide an aerodynamic advantage. Also, some believe that the chain line for the triple is sub optimum for some gear combinations. Some riders do not like the look of the triple on the bike and prefer the double. All these points seem like personal preferences.

I suspect that many of the high end frames that are optimized for stiffness, aerodynamics and weight may not accommodate a triple due to chain line, clearances and bottom bracket issues.

When I purchased my Madone in 2006, there were no light weight wide spaced rear cassettes shifted well. Today, one can purchase an 11/34 and get a low gear. With the new range of rear cassettes, bike manufactures seized the chance to reduce selection of cranks and most eliminated the triple and few bike shops stock them.

When I purchased my Cervelo R3, I switched to a compact double and prefer it to a triple. I like the shifting better and the narrower Q factor. And I can use the K-Edge protector that keeps the chain from dropping on the frame. K-Edge does not work for a triple. Typically, I use a 12/27 cassette general riding and training. I find the 34/27 adequate for the local climbs when I want to go easy. When I purchased my Cervelo R5, I got a Quarq crank based power meter. There are no crank based power meter triple cranks.

I am glad OP loves his triple and I say that sincerely. We should love what we ride. I love my Quarq power meter and my 50/34 double on my Cervelo R5. My wife has an R5 with a compact double power meter as well and she loves her compact double but she also loves riding her Obea Orca with the D/A triple.

Optimizing equipment... Wiggans, on a stage of the TdF, did a bike change before a mountain top finish. He used a bike with lower gearing optimized for the climb. My wife and I took a play from his play book and did a bike change on a time trial race a couple of weeks ago. The first 8 miles was flat and then the route pitched up to a 4 mile 7% grade climb. I met her at mile 8 with her road bike. She jumped off her TT bike and on the road bike. She lost maybe 10 seconds but she gained over 2 minutes on the racers who were on road bikes for the flat section. All totally legal and disclosed. I did it for another racer as well who wanted to do a bike switch. It was fun to do and the racers loved it. Even the competitors thought it was totally cool and wished they had thought of it.

IMO, it is all about personal preference and understanding what is available to meet rider needs and riding goals.
There is a K-Edge chain catcher for triples. I haven't run in to big problems tuning triples to shift well, but there is no doubt that it's more complicated... which is actually a challenge I enjoy. I recently tried a Mtn Bike triple on a bike and the gearing was great but talk about a wide Q Factor.... very wide! I don't notice it on the road triple at all but of course YMMV, as with all of this stuff I guess.

Edit: Oops... I see Michael has already pointed out the Chain Catcher for Triple... I'll leave my post alone though.
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