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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 07-14-06, 11:56 AM   #1
brunop
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triple chainring

i'm gettin' a geared bike for long distance ridin'. should i get a triple chainring? do most of ya'll rock one?

thanks!

(i'm full o' questions today!)
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Old 07-14-06, 12:17 PM   #2
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yup, for me personally. It's a touring rig, so it came with one... nice to be able to spin up steep stuff. Not much of a masher personally.
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Old 07-14-06, 01:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunop
i'm gettin' a geared bike for long distance ridin'. should i get a triple chainring? do most of ya'll rock one?
I do. 52/42/30 w/ and 11-32 cassette. The 30-tooth granny comes in real handy for a lot of the New England brevets. I do spend most of my time in the middle ring on brevets to conserve energy, but like having a 52-tooth gear for a faster pace on my commutes.
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Old 07-14-06, 07:50 PM   #4
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Even if you never use the granny gear, you are not hindered by having it.
If you were to ride in some steep hills, you might wish for it.
I don't use the granny gear very much, but when I need it -- it means the difference between riding or walking.
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Old 07-15-06, 08:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunop
i'm gettin' a geared bike for long distance ridin'. should i get a triple chainring? do most of ya'll rock one?

thanks!

(i'm full o' questions today!)

i just swapped mine out on the brevet bike. went compact. low is 34x27, and i'm investigating a cassette that goes to 30.

triples work well. give you that granny option, esp when cooked.
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Old 07-15-06, 09:30 PM   #6
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I'm running a Deore LX triple 26-36-48 with an 11-34 cassette.

Although I spend most of my time in the middle ring I'm very happy to have the other two (especially granny) when needed.

I say go for the triple.
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Old 07-17-06, 04:01 PM   #7
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Although I'm a heavy and only somewhat fit rider, I find I get very little use out of the granny gear on my road bike. Given the choice next time around, I'd get a compact instead.
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Old 07-18-06, 03:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cadillac
Even if you never use the granny gear, you are not hindered by having it.
If you were to ride in some steep hills, you might wish for it.
I don't use the granny gear very much, but when I need it -- it means the difference between riding or walking.
I am a very experienced long distance rider and would not leave home without a triple. My rides tend to have lots of climbing, so the extra hill gears are great. I currently ride a 53x42x30 and do a lot of climbing in my 30x17 and 30x19. I personnaly do not like the 50x34 or 50x36 set up on compact cranks. I am alsways searching for the right gear when In am in the 50. Just my $.02
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Old 07-18-06, 04:09 AM   #9
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I'd reccomend it as well. Especailly for long rides if youre planning to do some climbing.
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Old 07-18-06, 06:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zowie
Although I'm a heavy and only somewhat fit rider, I find I get very little use out of the granny gear on my road bike. Given the choice next time around, I'd get a compact instead.
That's interesting because I would describe myself the same as you. How much climbing do you do? what sort of grades? I'm guessing you probably favor a lower cadence whereas I'm a spinner.

I have an Ultegra compact double setup on one of my bikes and I wish I'd gone with a triple... oh well, you live and learn.
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Old 07-20-06, 08:14 PM   #11
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It seems to me you might as well have the widest variety of gears possible, even you seldom use some of them. I have a triple, and some times you can just find that perfect gear on the small ring.
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Old 07-20-06, 09:43 PM   #12
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Get a granny, you will never regret it.
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Old 07-21-06, 09:58 AM   #13
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Long distance cycling is about comfort and endurance more than anything else (or so it seems to me). A triple extends my comfort range so its desirable. Then again, people do long long rides on fixies too. Its up to each person to equip themseleves for the levels of challenge and comfort they desire.
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Old 07-21-06, 03:01 PM   #14
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I always ride around thinking..."man, I don't need this granny gear, I barely ever use it"...then sooner or later, usually in the middle of a really nasty hill near the end of a long ride, I suddenly realize that I'd be either walking or dying without it.
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Old 07-25-06, 09:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
That's interesting because I would describe myself the same as you. How much climbing do you do? what sort of grades? I'm guessing you probably favor a lower cadence whereas I'm a spinner.

I have an Ultegra compact double setup on one of my bikes and I wish I'd gone with a triple... oh well, you live and learn.
I don't know how to respond meaningfully. The areas I ride are pretty hilly but not mountainous. Sometimes there are 8-12% grades around but they only go on for a couple blocks to a quarter mile so I stand up and hammer, possibly taking a 30 second break in the middle to get my heart rate down, which doesn't require a 3rd ring. I think I'd want it in mountainous areas or for loaded touring (although quite frankly I weigh as much as a lot of cyclists with full panniers), but I just almost never use it on my road bike. When I've got the kiddie cart hooked to my hybrid I use it frequently.
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Old 08-07-06, 07:30 PM   #16
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No shame in a triple

Two years ago I moved from the Rocky Mountains to Philadelphia. I had a triple in the Rockies for obvious reasons. Here in Phila, I take some ribbing from riding buddies, but have no problem spinning past all of them on the few steep climbs around here.

I also did l'Etape du Tour (Stage 15 from Gap to Alpe d'Huez) last month. There were LOTS of triples, especially on the French riders' bikes. The "tough guys" who were riding traditional (not compact) doubles were suffering with low cadences and pained facial expressions. I, on the other hand, was still suffering, but at a much higher cadence, and with a slightly less pained facial expression.
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Old 08-07-06, 07:36 PM   #17
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I ride with tibikefor2 on occasion (and he has a beautiful bike--with a triple), and have a compact...50/34 and thus far I have never been in need for more gears (cluster is a 12x25 on one bike, 12x26 on the other). Of course, my fixie has no gears to change to...just pick up the cadence

use whatever works for you

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Old 08-07-06, 10:04 PM   #18
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Yes. Get a triple.

Toward the end of a long ride ... especially anything over 400K ... even highway overpasses can feel like a huge, steep mountain. On all my 1200Ks I've gone into my 30T for most of the last 200K, and just shifted between the gears in the cassette no matter if the terrain was uphill, flat, or downhill. My legs just did not want to push anymore.

Plus spinning a bit is easier on the knees.
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Old 08-07-06, 10:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunop
i'm gettin' a geared bike for long distance ridin'. should i get a triple chainring? do most of ya'll rock one?
It all depends on what kind of hills you ride. If it's pretty flat, you might want a compact double instead.

For me, there are some decent hills around here - I did a short one Saturday that was 15%+ (likely around 17% in my book), and there are some relatively big climbs (1000' @ 10-15%) within 10 miles of my house, so I not only have a triple, but I have a 27-12 in the back.

But I'm 6'2" @ 170, so I don't really have a climbing physique. Some of the guys I ride with are 5'6" at about 120, and they're riding doubles...
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Old 08-09-06, 12:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zowie
I don't know how to respond meaningfully. The areas I ride are pretty hilly but not mountainous. Sometimes there are 8-12% grades around but they only go on for a couple blocks to a quarter mile so I stand up and hammer, possibly taking a 30 second break in the middle to get my heart rate down, which doesn't require a 3rd ring. I think I'd want it in mountainous areas or for loaded touring (although quite frankly I weigh as much as a lot of cyclists with full panniers), but I just almost never use it on my road bike. When I've got the kiddie cart hooked to my hybrid I use it frequently.
Ok, thanks.
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Old 08-09-06, 09:47 AM   #21
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It never hurts to have one.
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Old 08-09-06, 10:26 AM   #22
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It never hurts to have one.

And it might to not.
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Old 08-10-06, 08:07 AM   #23
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Hi
I took the tripple option for a different reason
52:39:30 then a 12-21 straight through on the rear.
the 30/21 equates to about a 39/27 which gets me up anything.
The only this is the rear mech looks a bit naff.
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Old 08-10-06, 08:06 PM   #24
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Everytime I think to myself "why do I have that granny?" I end up using it. Either I'm tired, or the wind kicks up, or I'm loaded just a bit heavier, or any combination...all uphill.

Maybe the real trick to not having a triple is to never think to yourself "why would I need a 30t chainring?" If you think it, karma will somehow provide you a reason.
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