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Old 05-18-17, 11:04 AM   #1
Mr IGH
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Compact double with long cage derailleur and 11~36 cassette vs triple?

I see all these new bikes and component groups are exclusively compact doubles, the triple is relegated to the junk pile alongside rim brakes, freewheels and friction shifting.

Help me understand the advantage of a compact double 50/34 with an 11~36 cassette and a long cage mountain bike derailleur. All I see is double the step size between gears (11%~14% vs ~5%~7%), there's no weight advantage with that boat anchor cassette and long cage mtb derailleur. Add in the sloppy shifting a long cage derailleur provides compared to short/medium cages.

I'm running stone-age triple, 50/39/24 with a 9-speed 14~28 cassettes, single tooth steps from ~28" to 93" gearing, medium cage rear derailleur.

Hmmm, what am I missing?
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Old 05-18-17, 11:09 AM   #2
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Time for you to test ride a Compact Double.
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Old 05-18-17, 11:19 AM   #3
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Old 05-18-17, 11:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
I see all these new bikes and component groups are exclusively compact doubles, the triple is relegated to the junk pile alongside rim brakes, freewheels and friction shifting.

Help me understand the advantage of a compact double 50/34 with an 11~36 cassette and a long cage mountain bike derailleur. All I see is double the step size between gears (11%~14% vs ~5%~7%), there's no weight advantage with that boat anchor cassette and long cage mtb derailleur. Add in the sloppy shifting a long cage derailleur provides compared to short/medium cages.

I'm running stone-age triple, 50/39/24 with a 9-speed 14~28 cassettes, single tooth steps from ~28" to 93" gearing, medium cage rear derailleur.

Hmmm, what am I missing?
Oh, you mean that bicycle options have varying degrees of effectiveness and there are things called "trade offs" when you switch from, oh I don't know, one type of brake to another? You know... for example...

Wow, never would have thought.

None of my road bikes have wide range cassettes or long cage derailleurs on them. A switch from a triple to a double is one of lower weight and simplicity. Bike companies are simply trying to use the parts they have to emulate the "range" of old triples by using large cassettes with accompanying MTN derailleurs.

The funny thing is, the only road bike of mine that DOES have a long cage derailleur on it is a sora equipped triple crankset bike.

We are simply at the mercy of whatever bike fads the major companies want to push on us.
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Old 05-18-17, 11:23 AM   #5
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You're right, the double will have bigger steps between gears. But as long as you can find a comfortable gear, why all the near-duplication? A double will be less expensive to make, to buy, - if you can even find triples anymore - and will have a narrower 'Q' factor. Maybe more importantly, a compact along with a wide-ratio cassette gives a low gear without the 'stigma' of needing a triple.

My biggest argument against compacts has been the loss of gear range compared to a triple. You're already running a 50T in front, so high gear isn't an issue for you, and the advent of 36 and 40T gears on cassettes is removing the argument of missing low gears. Now I'm just waiting for 11-speed chains to get more durable and cheaper.
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Old 05-18-17, 11:26 AM   #6
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It's all marketing. Racers don't use triples because they don't need low gears, and most people want the same equipment as the pros.

I can't think of a single advantage of a double with a wide cassette over a triple with a narrow cassette.
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Old 05-18-17, 11:28 AM   #7
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Time for you to test ride a Compact Double.
I should "test ride" a CD so can see what double size steps feel like? No need, I have a 12/36 cassette on my mountain bike, I know exactly what 2x steps are and I'm not liking it on the road. I do have a CD crankset, bought it a few years ago, never used it, couldn't see the point.

Do you run one, if so, why?
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Old 05-18-17, 11:35 AM   #8
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You're right, the double will have bigger steps between gears. But as long as you can find a comfortable gear, why all the near-duplication?...
There's not that much duplication and the double has a big gap right in the comfortable cruising range 55" to 75". We were told the CD was simpler and lighter. It may be slightly mechanically simpler (for those that can't mount and adjust front derailleurs), the frequent double shifts aren't simple or more convenient. The CD isn't lighter once a MTB derailleur and 11~40 cassette is added.
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Old 05-18-17, 11:35 AM   #9
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Mr IGH is obviously missing this: (though apparently blinded by the dazzling shine of marketing trend mongers)

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Old 05-18-17, 11:35 AM   #10
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I should "test ride" a CD so can see what double size steps feel like? No need, I have a 12/36 cassette on my mountain bike, I know exactly what 2x steps are and I'm not liking it on the road. I do have a CD crankset, bought it a few years ago, never used it, couldn't see the point.

Do you run one, if so, why?
The Big Difference is the shorter chain.

You got to Feel it when you accelerate
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Old 05-18-17, 11:36 AM   #11
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To piss off old guys, mainly.
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Old 05-18-17, 11:39 AM   #12
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The Big Difference is the shorter chain.

You got to Feel it when you accelerate
LOL, stop messing with the newbies. Come on, you must have a good reason, I can't imagine someone with all your post falls for the placebo effect!
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Old 05-18-17, 11:41 AM   #13
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I Used a custom assembled 52-36 double 30 years ago ,to pootle up the My Tamalpais Hill climb
from Stinson beach in the 80s (IE, it's nothing really new)

Toured around in Europe on a 6 speed freewheel and 50-40-24t triple..
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Old 05-18-17, 11:42 AM   #14
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The Real advantage is the seller gets your Money, from you.
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Old 05-18-17, 11:43 AM   #15
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Missing? Beside the low range? My " compact" double is a 30 /46 up front and a 30-12 cassette. But thats for commuting. 3 of my bikes have mt 3x9 drivetrains, they work just fine. YRMV.
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Old 05-18-17, 11:48 AM   #16
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50-34 with a short cage 11x28 .... I don;'t find too many situations where I cannot find a gear.

The only time tiny steps really mater To Me is in a group ride or into the wind.

We have been having a lot of wind lately and I don't find it any harder to find a good gear on the 50-34 than on the 52-42-32 triple. Fewer duplicate ratios.

In my understanding, the idea is to minimize front shifting .... and to minimize gear-hunting.
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Old 05-18-17, 11:57 AM   #17
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I thought I wouldn't like a compact double. Until I tried it. Yeah it was an adjustment. But I found it would work for me. On a light bike anyhow. Low range for hill climbing, high range for almost everything else. Shifting between chainrings was much better than on my triples. And hey, lighter means faster, right?

I just had to remember that, while on my triple a front shift was worth about 2 gears in the rear, on the CD it was worth 3+. I had to get out of the habit of dropping the FD when I'd hit a hill.

Edit: my old road bike runs 30/42/52 to a 12-23. My new road bike is 30/42/52 to 12-26. The CD I rode was 34/50 to 12-25. I could live with any of them, although I think I prefer a 42 driving a 12-23 for about 90-95% of my riding (30T for off road jaunts, or when dead tired; 52 for anything above about 20mph).
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Old 05-18-17, 12:11 PM   #18
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When I moved to Colorado from Illinois my bike had a low gear of 30/25 (triple with 14~25 cassette). What works a 700ft on flat terrain is torture out here. I went on an 82 mile ride with three passes, one at 11.3kft and two at ~10.5kft, 6000ft of vertical climbing. I was running a 28/28 and it wasn't low enough for me. I've since upgraded to a 24 front ring and it's ok now. The last pass, Vail in the afternoon is a killer, you can actually see the trail next to I-70 on the south side as you climb from the west.
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Old 05-18-17, 12:18 PM   #19
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I have a triple with a 12-28 cassette and a compact double with a 12-32 cassette. They both work fine and have about the same range, but I think I empathize with the original poster because the triple feels more "natural" to me. And I think if I could only have one system or the other, I would probably choose to have a triple.
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Old 05-18-17, 12:26 PM   #20
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Shhhh no one tell him about 1x
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Old 05-18-17, 12:27 PM   #21
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Do you run one, if so, why?
I run a compact double with a narrow cassette on my fast road bike. I don't need low gears on that bike because there are no hills where I live. If you need a wide range of gears a triple is simply better.
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Old 05-18-17, 12:44 PM   #22
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Sometimes people do things not because there is an advantage and not every choice is driven by the need to solve a problem.
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Old 05-18-17, 01:16 PM   #23
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Help me understand the advantage of a compact double 50/34 with an 11~36 cassette and a long cage mountain bike derailleur. All I see is double the step size between gears (11%~14% vs ~5%~7%), there's no weight advantage with that boat anchor cassette and long cage mtb derailleur.
There is no advantage. It you need the range, triples are readily available and work great obviously.

Quote:
Add in the sloppy shifting a long cage derailleur provides compared to short/medium cages.
Disagree with this, long and medium cages shift just as well as short cages.

Quote:
I'm running stone-age triple, 50/39/24 with a 9-speed 14~28 cassettes, single tooth steps from ~28" to 93" gearing, medium cage rear derailleur.

Hmmm, what am I missing?
Likely nothing. Great setup.
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Old 05-18-17, 01:20 PM   #24
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Shhhh no one tell him about 1x
Makes sense for a mountain bike and for a TT bike, when I see a gravel grinder with 1x I can't imagine the point. All this talk about the complexity/weight of a front derailleur. Then they use a steel 11/46 cassette, yes, that's a weight weenie's dream come true.

Sheesh, today's derailleurs are a dream. Hard to adjust an old, rusty Simplex or Huret. BITD we had to bend the front cage to make 'em shift smoothly. This is before Shimano started using HS cameras to better understand what was going on.
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Old 05-18-17, 02:46 PM   #25
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My grandfather rode a Wastyn Six Day Special for over fifty years. It was born as a fixed, and never had more gears on it than a Campy 6-speed freewheel in the back-- the original 1X. Never had a front derailleur fitted. Presented with the idea of a front triple, he would have just laughed and shaken his head. And he rode the Death Valley Century twice in his 70s.

I run a 1X because it has the same range of gears as a compact double, but has less stuff to fiddle with. I might notice the gap in gears maybe once on any given day. But my left hand got used to not shifting very quickly. That's the beauty of bikes, folks-- there's something for everybody. All the talk of "steps between gears" still makes me chuckle. I mean, how did people make it all the way through the 20th century with so few gears to choose from?
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