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  1. #1
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    What's the best triple gearing/drivetrain?

    I had resigned myself to a setup with
    crankset- shimano ultegra triple, modifying rings to 24-39-53
    cassette- 11-28.

    But it looks like there may be some new MTB cranks available in 10 speed and triples.

    Key variables:
    1- wide range of gear inches
    2- no big jumps between gears
    3- hassle free

    No "consider a 'compact double'" comments please. I need a triple.

    Thanks in advance for the suggestions.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  2. #2
    tsl
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    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
    Key variables:
    1- wide range of gear inches
    2- no big jumps between gears
    This is very hard to do, verging on the mutually exclusive. It's also where triples shine.

    I use the front to get overall range, and a close-ratio cassette on the back to eliminate big jumps as I ride along. I get three nice, smooth ranges this way.

    An 11-28 is simply not anything I'd like to ride because the gaps are too big. I don't really like 12-27s, and use the one that came stock on my bike only when I'm going to be riding hills in excess of 10%. Mostly, I ride a 12-23 in back.

    When I visited Denver two years ago, I found my regular 52/39/30 and 12-23 were perfectly adequate for in town and the foothills. I switched to a 16-27 Ultegra Juniors cassette for the only real climbing I did--Mt. Evans and the day we did South St. Vrain from Longmont up to Peak-to-Peak.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  3. #3
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    FYI: I'm running 28-42-54 x 12:27 now. The 54 is a tad too high and don't use enough to justify. The 42 would be better served with the new standard of 39. A 12:25 did not give me enough range and had to replace it. A 26 might suffice, but since changing, I figured I might as well get a little more low end. I would stay with the 12:27 if I heard reports of the 11:28 not being a good cassette.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  4. #4
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    I have a 24-42-52 on the front, 11-34 on the back. I used all of that on last week's Tour BC. Day 4 started out with a 5 kilometer climb at a consistent 10-13 percent, peaking at 15 percent: http://tourbc.net/Profiles10/TBC2010D4%20Profile.pdf .

    The downhill at the end was fun: 10K of 10%. I melted the plastic rim strip and blew my rear tube twice. When I got to town I replaced it with proper Velox tape.
    Jeff Wills

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  5. #5
    17yrold in 64yrold body
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    Three words, Jeff: Disc front brake.

    HiYo: I agree with Jeff on gearing. I have a 22/35/48 front with 11-34 9spd cassette for hauling me, my 33lb bike, my 27lb trailer, and 40-50lbs of gear up whatever paved road I point it at. Have not had to walk it yet.

    BTW I would have put disc brake on the rear, but my frame was not designed for it, so I went for an XTR V-brake w/Koolstop salmon pads and brake booster. Like having a 26" disc! I just have to be careful about not overheating it.
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    Last edited by badamsjr; 07-24-10 at 12:44 AM.

  6. #6
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badamsjr View Post
    Three words, Jeff: Disc front brake.
    On an Easy Racer recumbent? No way- there's not enough traction. I'd like a disc rear, but that means a whole new frame.

    Actually, I probably would have been OK if I hadn't been dragging the brakes to let my wife keep up. The first flat happened when I came to a stop about half way down. I came to a stop and *pssss*... the tube blew out into the rim. I knew immediately what happened, so I spent a couple minutes jury-rigging a fix. Got almost to the bottom and it did it again.

    Never again will I sully my bicycles with plastic rim strips. Velox forever!
    Jeff Wills

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  7. #7
    17yrold in 64yrold body
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    I had a plastic Michelin split over a spoke hole while using 700x20 160psi GP3000's, and put in some High Pressure (220psi) Conti's. Now I use them in lots of other wheels too.

    And Jeff--you never said that you were 'laying down on the job'!
    Last edited by badamsjr; 07-24-10 at 09:13 AM.

  8. #8
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    I have a 50-42-30 in front and a 12-32 in the back. If I didn't have knees that need baby'ing I would not likely need such a low gear. I have yet to need the 50 chainring over 1.5 years of riding so far; I don't try to absolutely bomb descents faster than my weight already does that for me. I can get into the low 20's on the 42t chainring which is good enough for me. I figure in another 6 months to a year, however, that I will finally have to use the the 50 to keep up with my clubmates on faster rides.
    I do dislike the huge gap in gears, but I just opt to be in slightly too high a gear rather than too low if I find myself having to choose. I figure it will make me stronger
    If I had a 39 instead of a 42, I would probably use it a lot less than I use my 42.

  9. #9
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badamsjr View Post
    I had a plastic Michelin split over a spoke hole while using 700x20 160psi GP3000's, and put in some High Pressure (220psi) Conti's. Now I use them in lots of other wheels too.

    And Jeff--you never said that you were 'laying down on the job'!
    Yeah, well- 'bents are what I ride, but I've gotten over the evangelical stage. It's a bike, fer cryin' out loud! If you ride I bike, it's OK with me!

    Ancient history: http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/aerocoupe/index.htm
    Jeff Wills

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
    FYI: I'm running 28-42-54 x 12:27 now. The 54 is a tad too high and don't use enough to justify. The 42 would be better served with the new standard of 39. A 12:25 did not give me enough range and had to replace it. ...
    That's interesting...I'd think a rider who needs a 54 (which I don't and never will) wouldn't be looking for a triple.
    I built up my Atlantis with a sugino XD triple 24-36-46 with 11-28, then switched to 12-28 because somebody gave me one. I liked it so much that when I restored a thrift shop bike as a winter project, i used the same gearing (Sugino XD was a steal from Rivendell at $110--I have about 12,000 miles on it with no trouble at all). IMO, if you're going to go with a triple, you might as well go all the way. Only reason I can see to use a 30t granny gear is if you're embarrassed to admit you can use a 24, and I'm not.

  11. #11
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    The 54 is for some downhill runs. Yeah I don't see value in a 30t low. My 28t was not low enought this weekend.

    Question really is about cranksets. Should I be looking at something other than a Shimano Ultegra? Is there any other alternative, than finding an old DA triple?
    Hi 'o Silver away

  12. #12
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
    The 54 is for some downhill runs. Yeah I don't see value in a 30t low. My 28t was not low enought this weekend.

    Question really is about cranksets. Should I be looking at something other than a Shimano Ultegra? Is there any other alternative, than finding an old DA triple?
    The latest Ultegra triples have the lame 92mm BCD inner ring:
    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830676705.pdf
    so you can't go smaller than a 30 tooth.

    I've been on a quest recently for a replacement triple crank. I'm trying out a made-in-Taiwan Suntour "Superbe" crank:
    http://www.srsuntour-cycling.com/ind...etail&tnid=205
    which is working fine, but it's really not "Superbe" quality. I ordered it direct from Suntour USA (and they shipped it- which is kind of strange considering they're across town from me).

    If I had to do it over again, I'd install a Campy Comp Triple crank:
    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=14962
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  13. #13
    17yrold in 64yrold body
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    HiYo: I have found some older XTR (110/64bcd) cranks that I can run as low as 24 'granny' on. For road bikes, a Campy Record or Chorus 102 BB works good.

    Jeff: Just 'poking fun'--I have friends with 'bents' so I know the benefirs. So far, I'm too stuborn to try one.

  14. #14
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badamsjr View Post
    HiYo: I have found some older XTR (110/64bcd) cranks that I can run as low as 24 'granny' on. For road bikes, a Campy Record or Chorus 102 BB works good.

    Jeff: Just 'poking fun'--I have friends with 'bents' so I know the benefirs. So far, I'm too stuborn to try one.
    'sall right. I've known a few people who have gotten 'bent and then gone back. Still friends, no big deal.

    Those XTR 110/74 BCD cranks are the original M900 series- seriously good stuff. If I didn't have a bug in my ear about keeping a "road-ish" outer bolt circle (130 or 135mm diameter), they'd be on my short list.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  15. #15
    17yrold in 64yrold body
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    "seriously good stuff" Yeah buddy! I was lucky enough to get one as NOS at a decent price!

    My bad--I just noticed I had 110/64 instead of 110/74 (which Jeff gently pointed out).
    Last edited by badamsjr; 07-27-10 at 10:03 AM. Reason: oops

  16. #16
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badamsjr View Post
    "seriously good stuff" Yeah buddy! I was lucky enough to get one as NOS at a decent price!

    My bad--I just noticed I had 110/64 instead of 110/74 (which Jeff gently pointed out).
    Honestly, I didn't even notice. I guess my brain is so used to bike specs that it corrected what I read before I became conscious of it.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

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