Am looking at a Redline Conquest Pro/Ultegra '18' spd but it only has 2 rings in front. I'm leaning toward a cross bike because I only want one bike and will use it on/off road/paved trail/unpaved trail and will sometimes be towing a trailer.
Anyway, as far as I know, most cyclocross bikes have 2 chainrings up front and I think I'll need 3 to get into the 28-30 range. Any ideas how easy this is to do?
Thanks and feel free to tell me I'm off base or crazy or whatever.
Orbea Enol roadie, Fly Micromachine BMX, Fort Track fixed
Most 'cross racers may use doubles, but don't sound like a hardcore racer to me, and I think a triple would siut you much better. The obvious choice is to replace the cranks, BB (you'll need the longer BB spindle), front derailer (and maybe the rear if it's a short arm), and maybe the left STI lever (I'm not sure if Ultegra has one lever for double and triple) with an Ultegra triple set-up. You could if you want spend more and get Dura-Ace, or spend less and get 105, or a mixture of all three if you really want. Or you could look at some other cranks, like FSA, but it's entirely up to you. Are you absolutely sure that Redline does not do a triple version off-the-shelf?
My understanding is that you can use an XT rear derailleur on Ultegra to get the spread of gears you want. If so, you can go up higher than 32. The disadvantage to this is the wide spread from one gear to the next. You might investigate the compact crankset by FSA (50/34) for what you are doing. Then you will only need to change one part.
But, all this said, I would get the same frameset with the stock Ultegra triple. Your LBS should be able to order the bike this way for you for about $20 more than the double. Or even better, order it with the Campy Centaur triple. Should be the same price either way.
Also, if the bike doesn't come stock in a triple version, talk to your LBS. We always seems to have a couple Ultegra groups in stock in both double and triple versions that we will swap out for customers if they bike they want is set up double and they want triple, or vive versa. The triple group is slightly more expensive, so we do charge a little for the swap to triple, but it isn't much.
My solution for the one-bike-that-does-it-all is a Salsa las Cruces Al Scandium frame with Veloce triple.
I was focusing on a steel frame, first Surly, then Lemond, but saw the Salsa and it was game over . If you want I can post pictures
I am not a racer but enjoy the anaerobic connection with hills, hence the triple.
I had my eye on the Kona Jake the Snake. One of our LBS said that they would swap out the double chainring for a triple - at no extra cost.
My only question is how much weight and mass is this trailer you will be towing? That might be a deciding factor.
Well, I'll be pulling about 60lbs on my daily commute (somewhat hilly and about 10 miles each way). And I'm a full 205lbs myself, though I could stand to lose 20-25 lbs).
The bike(s) I'm looking at are used 2003 redline conquest pros and both seem to have 2 rings up front. My LBS showed me that the 105's are set up for 3 rings (rear derailer, spindle?, etc), but the front just has the two bigger ones installed. It may be as simple as paying $20-30 to buy the smaller diameter ring and slapping it on.
without spending a ton of money, prob the best you can do is this. Put on a 34t cassette, it will prob need a Megarange capable derailleur. Then buy a new front ring that is 2 teeth smaller. You can usually 'cheat' and get away with a couple less teeth. The question is... will that get you a low enough ratio?