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  1. #1
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    For 2014, Ultegra triple dropped, relegated to 105.

    TG mentioned in a post last month that the Shimano Ultegra triple was to bite the dust, and be thus relegated to the pedestrian 105 level.

    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Mel @ Tandems East shared some of the details regarding the new Cannondale tandems.... Shimano appears to be moving away from triple at the Ultegra level which will leave 105 as the high-end for triplets: welcome back to 1998 and the Erickson Gizmo.
    This is now corroborated by the premature leakage of 2014 Ultegra info, as discussed at Weight Weenies.

    Ultegra is going to 11-speed, and has redesigned crank and shifters. It looks very nice. No mention of a triple, and it is easy to see that in going to 11-speed, they wouldn't be bothered by also having to design/offer the unfashionable triple.

    From Google cache, a retracted announcement:

    Quote Originally Posted by Retracted Shimano press release
    Ultegra 6800 has a rider tuned drivetrain. Rider tuned means that riders can individually choose a large variety of gearing options for all kinds of riding, whether you ride races, Gran Fondo’s, sportives or cyclocross. The Ultegra cassette is going 11-speed. From 11-23T all the way to 11-32T. The Ultegra 6800 crank shares the same 4 arm design as its Dura-Ace counterpart. The 4 arms provide a better power transfer compared to a five arm design, and reduce overall weight. The crank is available in 53x39T, 52x36T, 50x34T and 46x36T.[<----No x3, or 52x39x30T]
    A pic of the 2014 Ultegra 11-speed, which will apparently not have a triple version:



    For tandems, this means that even new high end tandems will at best be equipped with 105 triples.



    Shimano 105

    Whither the Ultregra tandem crankset? Perhaps it will be continued, but labelled 105, and otherwise equipped with 105 components (RD, FD, shifters). Just a guess.



    Will there be any alternatives? There is no SRAM road triple. There is the new Campagnolo Athena 11-speed triple. In Campagnolo, Centaur is about the level of 105, and Athena is positioned above Centaur, as evidenced by having an 11-speed and EPS version. So, it has potential. There is no Campagnolo tandem crankset, however. I recently installed Athena 11-speed on my tandem, and the RD works fine, but the Athena triple FD will not shift non-Campy chainrings. I tried TA inner and middle, with FSA, TA, Praxis and DA outer chainring. None worked. I had to put the Shimano FD back on. So, Athena at present is not a tandem alternative. The best triple any new tandem will get apparently will be 105.

  2. #2
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Six months ago I heard from Mike @ Calfee that Cannondale is supposed to be coming out with a Hollowgram tandem crankset. Wassup with that?

    ---
    fwiw: Earlier today ordered a DA 9000 (11spd) mechanical groupset for my single kit. It's long over due too, after 12 years grinding away on 9spd stuff, jumped completely over 10spd to the 11spd. Maybe in a week I'll have a good idea of how it compares to the 10 and 9spd. We're still running all 10spd Ultegra on the tandem, and it's all newish stuff from last year so likely no changes there for awhile (yeah right he says with a wink).

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    That was foreseeable. They may not even stop at dropping an Ultegra triple. 105 triple is next on the chopping block.

    I am about 90% sure that the black bike in mtb-news.de pic is not Ultegra but Ultegra Di2. Note the characteristic blocky shape of the FD and the junction box under the stem. The only thing missing is the battery (could be internal.) Di2 did not have a triple last year either.

    It's always better to have a choice than not to have a choice, but consider the following.

    * 11 speeds mean that you can get good gear spacing with a cassette that starts at 11T, giving you higher high gear.
    * RD goes up to 32T instead of 28T, giving you lower low gear.
    * 50/34 front and 11/32 rear is a wider range than 52/xx/30 front and 12/28 rear.

    Personally, I think that, in many situations, a nonstandard low road double, e.g. 46/30, would make (almost) as much sense as a triple (and more sense than a road compact.) On a tandem, there's only a narrow window of situations (downhills with grades of roughly 3% to 5%) where you would spin out in 46/11 but still be able to push faster in 52/11. Down 4% grade, you'd spin out at 33 mph in 46/11 and you'd spin out at 37 mph in 52/11. Down 5% or steeper grade, you'd hit 37 mph just coasting, so you'd spin out regardless. (I'm assuming 700c wheels and 100 rpm maximum cadence.) I suppose it's fun to be able to push a little further down hills sometimes, but is there real value in it?

  4. #4
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
    Six months ago I heard from Mike @ Calfee that Cannondale is supposed to be coming out with a Hollowgram tandem crankset. Wassup with that?
    Calfee did equip a couple of tandems with Hollowgram cranks, as discussed here. The unique design of the Hollowgram crank makes it easier to cross-over.

    There is no triple spider, however, for the Hollowgram crank. It isn't until you see the lights coming through the spider's 74 BCD hole that you know that a tandem crankset is nigh.

    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post

    I am about 90% sure that the black bike in mtb-news.de pic is not Ultegra but Ultegra Di2.

    It's always better to have a choice than not to have a choice, but consider the following.

    * 11 speeds mean that you can get good gear spacing with a cassette that starts at 11T, giving you higher high gear.
    * RD goes up to 32T instead of 28T, giving you lower low gear.
    * 50/34 front and 11/32 rear is a wider range than 52/xx/30 front and 12/28 rear.

    Personally, I think that, in many situations, a nonstandard low road double, e.g. 46/30, would make (almost) as much sense as a triple (and more sense than a road compact.)
    Yeah, I know that is Ultegra Di2, but the point is about the crank, which differs not at all between mechanical and Di2 shifting, and appears to have a heavily engineered new design that would have to be designed again for a triple.

    There are plenty of threads to discuss the merits of a triple vs. double. As of now, the vast majority of tandems are equipped with triples, and for the purposes of this thread, assume that tandem demand for triples, even if misguided, continues.

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    Yeah, I know that is Ultegra Di2, but the point is about the crank, which differs not at all between mechanical and Di2 shifting, and appears to have a heavily engineered new design that would have to be designed again for a triple.
    They can't show a triple crank on a Di2 bike even if it exists, for the obvious reason that the Di2 FD can't shift triples.

    The design of the crank is a trickle-down from last year's Dura Ace 9000. Compare http://blog.artscyclery.com/road/shi..._1838154464_o/ (and yes, there was no Dura Ace 9000 triple last year, so they'd have to design it again for a triple or drop it.)

    There are plenty of threads to discuss the merits of a triple vs. double. As of now, the vast majority of tandems are equipped with triples, and for the purposes of this thread, assume that tandem demand for triples, even if misguided, continues.
    My point is that the changes in Ultegra from 2013 to 2014 are specifically aimed at making the triple obsolete.

  6. #6
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    My point is that the changes in Ultegra from 2013 to 2014 are specifically aimed at making the triple obsolete.
    Whether or not the a double with a wide range cassette is on a tandem an adequate substitute for a triple was discussed on the lengthy Di2 thread. I aver that a double is not an equivalent substitute, and thus cannot render the triple obsolete. Thus, what triples are available will remain an abiding concern for tandems. I'd prefer that the thread be about sourcing triples, whether or not the bicycling industry (that cares not a whit for tandems) finds it convenient to consider the triple obsolete.

  7. #7
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    The rumors of the death of the Ultegra triple are confirmed by the fact that the list of versions of the new Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod includes an Athena triple option along with the Ultegra double - if there was an Ultegra triple then they would have offered that instead.

    As for getting Campy 11-speed stuff to shift with non-Campy chainrings, then my boss at the LBS and at least one regular customer is doing this. They both have Stronglight triple cranks and a mix of TA and Stronglight chainrings. I wouldn't say that the front shifting is ideal, but it's OK and the boss says that it works much better on the road than on the repair stand.

    As for needing to redesign the crank to offer a triple version, then that is not the case. For the Dura Ace 7703, 7803, and Ultegra 6703 groups the triple used the same crank and spider as the 130 mm BCD double, with the middle ring being a tripleizer that the inner ring mounted to (with a special BCD of 92 mm), plus a longer axle. They could have done this without too much difficulty with the new four-arm crank, I think it was just lack of market demand that they decided not to bother.

    Although the Shimano tandem cranks R603 share a similar design to the current Ultegra 6703, it is not actually labelled as Ultegra, so someone's comment above about them needing to re-label this as a 105 version won't be necessary.

    I don't think it's a great problem that 105 will be the highest-quality Shimano triple group. The differences between the 105 and Ultegra groups was always pretty small, and 105 always works well. I think that the biggest disappointment is that I was hoping that the next Ultegra electronic group would offer a Di2 triple option, and it now appears that it is not going to happen. We may have to wait a long time for that. Maybe Campy will be the first to offer it.

    Even if Shimano had offered a 3x11 Ultegra group then it might not have helped many tandem teams because it would require changing the freehub body to the longer 11-speed version, which is not available for most tandem hubs.
    Last edited by Chris_W; 04-28-13 at 01:13 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    TG mentioned in a post last month that the Shimano Ultegra triple was to bite the dust, and be thus relegated to the pedestrian 105 level.



    This is now corroborated by the premature leakage of 2014 Ultegra info, as discussed at Weight Weenies.

    Ultegra is going to 11-speed, and has redesigned crank and shifters. It looks very nice. No mention of a triple, and it is easy to see that in going to 11-speed, they wouldn't be bothered by also having to design/offer the unfashionable triple.

    From Google cache, a retracted announcement:



    A pic of the 2014 Ultegra 11-speed, which will apparently not have a triple version:



    For tandems, this means that even new high end tandems will at best be equipped with 105 triples.



    Shimano 105

    Whither the Ultregra tandem crankset? Perhaps it will be continued, but labelled 105, and otherwise equipped with 105 components (RD, FD, shifters). Just a guess.



    Will there be any alternatives? There is no SRAM road triple. There is the new Campagnolo Athena 11-speed triple. In Campagnolo, Centaur is about the level of 105, and Athena is positioned above Centaur, as evidenced by having an 11-speed and EPS version. So, it has potential. There is no Campagnolo tandem crankset, however. I recently installed Athena 11-speed on my tandem, and the RD works fine, but the Athena triple FD will not shift non-Campy chainrings. I tried TA inner and middle, with FSA, TA, Praxis and DA outer chainring. None worked. I had to put the Shimano FD back on. So, Athena at present is not a tandem alternative. The best triple any new tandem will get apparently will be 105.

    Sounds like an Athena triple crank with 105 FD may be an alternative ?
    What did you do for a sync chain?

    In any case I can see tandem owners buying triple FDs on Ebay in the future.

  9. #9
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    FWIW, I've talked with someone else from within the industry whose take on the future of Shimano Ultegra was, yes... triples disappear for 2014, but they'll return in 2015. Time will tell...

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    I think it was just lack of market demand that they decided not to bother.
    There can hardly be less demand for an Ultegra triple than for a 46x36 crank (which they did bother to design.) I don't think I've ever seen a bike that shipped with 46x36 and I can't even visualize a use case for it.

    Of course, designing a 46x36 crank in addition to existing 50x34 and 53x39 must be cheaper than designing a triple mechanical FD and a triple version of one of the shifters. But it still does not make sense to me (unless projected profits from the sales of Ultegra triples would have been lower than the cost to design the thing. Which is pretty incredible. Ultegra is a high margin item and Shimano reported operating income of 400 million dollars in its bicycle arm in 2012.)

    Maybe we Americans simply don't see the whole picture somehow. One interesting factoid I found was that North America accounted for less than 1/8'th of Shimano's total sales. Asia minus Japan accounted for more than a third, and Europe accounted for another third. Is it possible that there's even less demand for an Ultegra triple in Europe and Asia than here?

  11. #11
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
    As for needing to redesign the crank to offer a triple version, then that is not the case. For the Dura Ace 7703, 7803, and Ultegra 6703 groups the triple used the same crank and spider as the 130 mm BCD double, with the middle ring being a tripleizer that the inner ring mounted to (with a special BCD of 92 mm), plus a longer axle. They could have done this without too much difficulty with the new four-arm crank, I think it was just lack of market demand that they decided not to bother.
    I am trying to understand this. Here is a pic of a Shimano Ultegra 6703. The spider has no bolt hole?



    Here is an Ultegra 6703 middle chainring.



    Here is a diagram.



    The key, apparently, is the 6703 inner chainring bolt, that attaches the inner chainring to the middle chainring.



    I wonder if the 6703 middle and inner chainring would work on the 2014 Ultegra crank? It would need a longer spindle, though?

  12. #12
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    I am trying to understand this. Shimano Ultegra 6703[/URL]. The spider has no bolt hole?
    Correct, sort of. The 6703 spider has only 1 set of holes on each of the 5 arms, spaced at 130mm BCD.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    The key, apparently, is the 6703 inner chainring bolt, that attaches the inner chainring to the middle chainring.
    Correct, the middle ring acts as a tripleizer. It has the 92mm BCD holes that the granny attaches to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    I wonder if the 6703 middle and inner chainring would work on the 2014 Ultegra crank? It would need a longer spindle, though?
    No, to the first part as the bolt pattern on the 4 arm 2014 crank will not match rings from a 5 arm spider.
    Correct to the second part, just like the 6703 has a longer axle than the 6700 (2-rings). For most bikes (singles or otherwise) using a 6700 there is insufficient frame clearance to add a granny (3rd) ring. Also, the 6703 has a wider chainline (only 1.5mm wider) than the 6700.

    A cool think that I believe has not been mentioned yet, at least from the Dura-Ace 9000 crankset description:
    "Same bolt circle diameter for compact and traditional double chainsets means that one crankarm fits all chainring sizes 50-34T/52-36T/52-38T/53-39T/54-42T/55-42T"

    That should mean easier swapping between compact and "standard" rings.
    Last edited by twocicle; 04-28-13 at 07:41 PM.

  13. #13
    WPH
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    I wonder if the 6703 middle and inner chainring would work on the 2014 Ultegra crank? It would need a longer spindle, though?

    Someone mentioned above that these hi-end triples from Shimano use/d tripleizers, I hadn't realised this until now. I use a Harris/Willow tripleizer on an old Ultegra hollowtech double crank to get the slightly lighter weight of this crank-BB combination and a 172.5mm crank on my Thorn Club Tour. Yes the setup needs a longer BB spindle to make it all fit and ensure the chainrings clear the drive-side chainstay. The limitation is that hollowtech BB spindles come in only a few lengths, compared to good old square taper, so its not possible to as finely tune the chainline and minimse the Q-factor.

    I was happy to see these Shimano tripleizers for about $40 on CRC, that's cheaper than the Willow unit I have now, which will not last forever under full touring loads in high mountains, and Shimano rings (especially the smaller ones) have always performed perfectly well for me. Thorn/SJSC also sell a tripleizer which TRH uses on his Raleigh tourer.

    I would use a tripleizer on a tandem if necessary, but would probably go with a square taper triple from Thorn, DaVinci or TA, or a flash FSA crank first, because these come with a matching stoker timing-chain crank too.

  14. #14
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    So ,as a still newbie tandem rider, I have a question. Our Co-Motion Speedster has an Ultegra Triple. So should I buy some replacement chain rings for future replacement? Also any other parts?Thanks!

  15. #15
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
    As for getting Campy 11-speed stuff to shift with non-Campy chainrings, then my boss at the LBS and at least one regular customer is doing this. They both have Stronglight triple cranks and a mix of TA and Stronglight chainrings. I wouldn't say that the front shifting is ideal, but it's OK and the boss says that it works much better on the road than on the repair stand.
    This is very interesting, and the more info you can provide the better. Pics would be nice, and whether these are on a half-bike or a tandem.

    If they are using a Stronglight triple, which has Stronglight chainrings (which are reputed good), why the need for TA?

    I had been using Praxis 53- TA 42-30, with the Shimano FD, and it worked very well. When at last it was released, i substituted the Athena 3x FD, and it wouldn't shift to the big ring, which I attributed to having a 42t instead of Athena spec 39t middle ring, and having to have the FD up too high on the seat tube to avoid the cage hitting the middle ring.



    So, I ordered a 39t middle ring and 28t inner (to get more range). I figured then it would work fine. It didn't. Still had problems getting to the big ring. All sorts of outer chainrings were tried (as mentioned above) and that which worked best was the 52t TA. Maybe with a 39t middle ring, the 52t TA outer is a bit easier than the Praxis 53t. In order to ride, the Athena FD came off, and the Shimano returned. It doesn't shift as well as it did, but I do like having the 28t inner chainring, which obligates the 39 instead of 42t middle, which obligates the 52t TA instead of the stiffer-better Praxis 53t outer.



    I don't think this setup is much different than Athena 11-speed spec, though I haven't measured chainline, etc.



    The Campagnolo Athena triple chainrings appear richly endowed with ramps/pins shifting features. And the inner chainring isn't left hanging, but bolts properly to the spider. No doubt the Athena 3x works great when the Athena 3x FD and chainrings are paired. If these 135/74 BCD chainrings could be used on what are now 130/74 BCD tandem cranks, then tandems would have a viable 33-speed drivetrain alternative to the Shimano 3X 105.


  16. #16
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WPH View Post
    I wonder if the 6703 middle and inner chainring would work on the 2014 Ultegra crank? It would need a longer spindle, though?

    Someone mentioned above that these hi-end triples from Shimano use/d tripleizers, I hadn't realised this until now. I use a Harris/Willow tripleizer on an old Ultegra hollowtech double crank to get the slightly lighter weight of this crank-BB combination and a 172.5mm crank on my Thorn Club Tour. Yes the setup needs a longer BB spindle to make it all fit and ensure the chainrings clear the drive-side chainstay. The limitation is that hollowtech BB spindles come in only a few lengths, compared to good old square taper, so its not possible to as finely tune the chainline and minimse the Q-factor.

    I was happy to see these Shimano tripleizers for about $40 on CRC, that's cheaper than the Willow unit I have now, which will not last forever under full touring loads in high mountains, and Shimano rings (especially the smaller ones) have always performed perfectly well for me. Thorn/SJSC also sell a tripleizer which TRH uses on his Raleigh tourer.

    I would use a tripleizer on a tandem if necessary, but would probably go with a square taper triple from Thorn, DaVinci or TA, or a flash FSA crank first, because these come with a matching stoker timing-chain crank too.
    As mentioned earlier, one drawback to the Shimano triplelizer on the R603 crankset is that it uses an oddball 92mm BCD for the granny gear whereas the "standard" BCD most road triple cranksets use is 74mm BCD. The larger granny BCD means that you cannot use as small a granny as with the 74mm BCD which allows you to go all the way down to a 24T ring. Moral of the story, don't bother getting the Shimano tripleizer as it limits your granny options moreso than a 74mm BCD would.

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    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
    So ,as a still newbie tandem rider, I have a question. Our Co-Motion Speedster has an Ultegra Triple. So should I buy some replacement chain rings for future replacement? Also any other parts?Thanks!
    Shimano should carry these parts for years. Remember that the regular 10spd Ultegra road triple (6703) uses the same rings, so there should be a good supply available for quite some time. If it ever came about that these specific rings were no longer available, you could always mount any other 3rd party rings (ie: FSA, etc) to the standard 130mm BCD spider, though these will not have the same look as the molded style of the newer Shimano types.

    The only other wear parts are the bottom brackets which again are standard for all Hollowtech II cranks... and really quite economical at something like $35/ea.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    There can hardly be less demand for an Ultegra triple than for a 46x36 crank (which they did bother to design.) I don't think I've ever seen a bike that shipped with 46x36 and I can't even visualize a use case for it.
    46/36 is a very common, and useful cyclocross setup. My cross bike came with 46/36. And as far as designing it, its just a compact crank. Only thing special is the 2 chainrings designed to shift together.

    And with the growing interest in cyclocross, as well as cyclocross bikes for use as commuters, gravel, and touring bikes, I think there's a lot more demand than there is for triples, which are beginning to be relegated to almost just tandems.
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    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    Personally, I think that, in many situations, a nonstandard low road double, e.g. 46/30, would make (almost) as much sense as a triple (and more sense than a road compact.) On a tandem, there's only a narrow window of situations (downhills with grades of roughly 3% to 5%) where you would spin out in 46/11 but still be able to push faster in 52/11. Down 4% grade, you'd spin out at 33 mph in 46/11 and you'd spin out at 37 mph in 52/11. Down 5% or steeper grade, you'd hit 37 mph just coasting, so you'd spin out regardless. (I'm assuming 700c wheels and 100 rpm maximum cadence.) I suppose it's fun to be able to push a little further down hills sometimes, but is there real value in it?
    The problem is on the high end. Riding in the mountains, we'd want a compact for climbing.

    But 50x11 isn't high enough descending.

    Admittedly a very narrow subset, but racing downhill, even a 53/11 isn't enough. At Masters Nationals, descending Mt Bachelor, we needed a 56 or bigger.

    Our current triple setup gives a ton of flexibility. Regular setup is a 53/39/26 with an 11-23. Most riding it's essentially a tightly spaced double. But you have the flexibility of very low gearing with the triple, and even lower tossing on an 11-28. And bigger if need be putting on a 56 tooth front ring.

    You can't duplicate that range with a double, and have a good shifting setup, with close spacing.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  20. #20
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    It looks like to me that tandem riders should concentrate on supporting niche crank builders like daVinci, Lighting and others that actually support us with products rather than use Shimano and Campy that are to big to care about our low volumes.

    Triple front derailleurs and shifters are a problem. Our only hope is that single bike triples come back into style. If not we will have to cobble together old systems if we want a triple.

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    Senior Member Turbotandem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    I don't think this setup is much different than Athena 11-speed spec, though I haven't measured chainline, etc.


    How do you think the FD shifting is related to the 145mm rear spacing of your tandem compared to what Campy designed to at 130mm? I don't know that geometry impact.
    When I had a Campy Chorus triple FD I'd had to squash the FD cage with a plyers to get the plates to shift into the triple. In part because the stoker seat tube was of such a diemter the FD would not move inboard any further. But not an atypical solution to bend an FD to obtain proper function. The draw back was then a constant trimming of the FD to keep the chain from rubbing as I progressed thru the rear dr.
    Andy
    Boulder Colorado

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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    46/36 is a very common, and useful cyclocross setup. My cross bike came with 46/36. And as far as designing it, its just a compact crank. Only thing special is the 2 chainrings designed to shift together.
    Yes, figured it out after I posted it. I'm still not sure why cyclocross bikes use 46/36 instead of 50/34, sounds like it's at least partly tradition (those guys were racing 46/36's long before 50/34's were introduced to the market) but maybe they have some real reasons to like narrower spacing too.

    But 50x11 isn't high enough descending.

    Admittedly a very narrow subset, but racing downhill, even a 53/11 isn't enough. At Masters Nationals, descending Mt Bachelor, we needed a 56 or bigger.
    They key word is "racing". I accept that you want to have a 53 if you race seriously enough that you care about extra 3-4 mph that you get from pedaling down a steep hill. I also accept that it's possible to spin out 46/11 and even 50/11 in a flat road race / criterium if you have a low cadence ceiling.

  23. #23
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    Yes, figured it out after I posted it. I'm still not sure why cyclocross bikes use 46/36 instead of 50/34, sounds like it's at least partly tradition (those guys were racing 46/36's long before 50/34's were introduced to the market) but maybe they have some real reasons to like narrower spacing too.
    Correct, MTB cranks allowed for a lower inner ring than road cranks used to (now compact is available at 110BCD it's not as much of an issue) and that a smaller big ring has more clearance and better shifting in mud, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    They key word is "racing". I accept that you want to have a 53 if you race seriously enough that you care about extra 3-4 mph that you get from pedaling down a steep hill. I also accept that it's possible to spin out 46/11 and even 50/11 in a flat road race / criterium if you have a low cadence ceiling.
    Correct, not something to worry about unless you are racing a tandem that has a team with the horse power and crazy flat terrain speeds attainable. As a long-time ameteur single bike racer (road and track Cat 2, now Masters 3), I've never lamented over not having a high enough gear ratio. 53x12 has proven fine for the last 12 years, and I've never run more than that. I can only guess that would be different on a tandem.

    A 53x12 is sufficient to ride a comfortable 101rpm cadence at 35mph if you wish (and can). A 53x11 would take you to 38mph. A compact 50x11 ratio is actually taller than a 53x12, and will take you to 36mph at the same 101rpm cadence.

    I am in the process of setting up my single with a 11spd 50/34 x 11-25. This will have a wider range than the current 9spd 53/39 x 12-27, and won't be missing that 16T cog. The 10spd tandem gearing will likely need to wait until 12spd cassettes come out. Aha! Soon we will all be back to riding the old "12 spd" moniker again

  24. #24
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twocicle View Post

    Correct, not something to worry about unless you are racing a tandem that has a team with the horse power and crazy flat terrain speeds attainable. As a long-time ameteur single bike racer (road and track Cat 2, now Masters 3), I've never lamented over not having a high enough gear ratio. 53x12 has proven fine for the last 12 years, and I've never run more than that. I can only guess that would be different on a tandem.
    I'm a Cat 3, and I've never had a problem with 50x11 on a single bike on flat ground being too little gear.
    Assuming you can spin a decent cadence, that's plenty of gear for a flat sprint, unless you're Michael Cavendish.

    Only time we needed more gear was attacking downhill on a tandem. At 55mph, even 53x11 is a high cadence. Admittedly, not a common situation.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  25. #25
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    I'm a Cat 3, and I've never had a problem with 50x11 on a single bike on flat ground being too little gear.
    Assuming you can spin a decent cadence, that's plenty of gear for a flat sprint, unless you're Michael Cavendish.

    Only time we needed more gear was attacking downhill on a tandem. At 55mph, even 53x11 is a high cadence. Admittedly, not a common situation.
    Yup, and as complete tandem sacrilege I just installed a SRAM 1070 12-27T cassette. It is our 1st SRAM cassette - ever, so this should prove interesting to see if I notice any performance diffs. Sadly it is a whopping 6gms heavier than the Shim 6700 11-28 One thing I'm liking from the looks of it, is that the inner spline interface has catches between all the splines unlike the Ultegra cassette which doesn't and tends to chew up a freehub body.

    Now we only have a 52x12 as a top gear OMG!

    Last edited by twocicle; 04-29-13 at 08:46 PM.

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