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Double to a Triple Conversion

Old 02-13-20, 07:14 PM
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oik01
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Double to a Triple Conversion

So I have an old trek 5000 2004 model equipped with 9 x 2 speeds. I saw an add in a local marketplace for an ultegra triple crankset for 100$. I would need a new BB as mine is the old octalink thing. My question is about the other upgrades needed. I thought that I would need to get a new shifter but the seller says that trek didn't make seperate double and triple shifters at that time ( which might make sense since my front shifter clicks through three positions but my limit is now set by the limit screws I think). Would I be able to make it without a new front shifter? Also I read online that generally double front derailleurs do well with triples so long as the change between the middle and outer isn't huge?
In this case I am assuming my total need would be :

- Ultegra triple crankset
- Appropriate BB
- Medium cage RD instead of the short for a bit more capacity

Is this right or do I have things all messed up? I am thinking that if this is indeed all that's needed I might just do that. The triple will be a bit more weight but a nice few extra gears. I can probably also then mount a smaller rear cassette for tighter spacing and that should compensate for some of the weight?
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Old 02-13-20, 07:29 PM
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What is your existing front shifter Ultegra 6500?
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Old 02-13-20, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
What is your existing front shifter Ultegra 6500?
Yes.
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Old 02-13-20, 07:56 PM
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This seems to indicate you'd need a 6503 front Shifter & DER.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...XiXKw8VgHD0ZBa
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Old 02-13-20, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
This seems to indicate you'd need a 6503 front Shifter & DER.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...XiXKw8VgHD0ZBa

So I just found this which confirms that indeed the 6500 front shifters are all double/ triple compatible. So I guess I don't need to change that.

Now the question becomes whether I need a new front derailleur or replacing the rear should be enough? I understand they may specify that you need a triple front derailleur but have people had ok success with the double being used for a triple?
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Old 02-13-20, 08:35 PM
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I'd probably try it and see if it works to my satisfaction. If it didn't, then I'd pick up a 5503 or 6503 FD. I'd probably check out my local coop for a used one.
Triple fronts usually have a much bigger/lower back cage
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Old 02-14-20, 07:56 AM
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Don't replace the rear derailleur until you try the current one first. The short cage may not wrap up quite enough chain to allow the smallest couple of cogs with the granny chainring but there is no reason to ever use those combinations and an inadvertent shift to them only gives a slack chain and is not damaging. If the chain is very slack in small-small get a longer cage rear derailleur but I don't think it will be that bad.
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Old 02-14-20, 09:01 AM
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So when looking at triple cranksettes, the cheapest are the octalink ones from the same age. A little more can get me hollowtech ii newer BB cranksettes. The reason this question comes up is because I'm not sure if power meter crank arms would be compatible with the octalink if I decide to get one in the future? Anyone know how readily available used power meters are that would fit on an octalink specific cranksette? If they're not I might as well get a newer standard one to future proof ?
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Old 02-14-20, 10:10 AM
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If your not stuck with Ultegra the marketplace here as a nice Shimano 105 triple setup for $150. You would get everything needed in one nice package and you could sell off your current entire package.
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Old 02-14-20, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by oik01 View Post
So I just found this which confirms that indeed the 6500 front shifters are all double/ triple compatible. So I guess I don't need to change that.

Now the question becomes whether I need a new front derailleur or replacing the rear should be enough? I understand they may specify that you need a triple front derailleur but have people had ok success with the double being used for a triple?
The 6500 is a double shifter. You need a 6503 for a triple. The third position you feel on the 6500 is the trim adjustment. Look at the link provided and about 1/2 way down on the operation column.
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Old 02-14-20, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by danmyersmn View Post
The 6500 is a double shifter. You need a 6503 for a triple. The third position you feel on the 6500 is the trim adjustment. Look at the link provided and about 1/2 way down on the operation column.
ST-6500 is double/triple compatible. If you look at the link in the operation it has 2 columns. One when using a FD-6500 (double FD) and on the right when using a FD-6503 (triple FD) with the 6510 lever.
Also if you look on the far left in the "compatibility" area where they show the best combinations you will not see a triple lever.

In addition you will not find a ST-6503 lever listed and that would be the part number for a triple front shifter if it existed.
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Old 02-14-20, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by danmyersmn View Post
The 6500 is a double shifter. You need a 6503 for a triple. The third position you feel on the 6500 is the trim adjustment. Look at the link provided and about 1/2 way down on the operation column.
This. From the second post onwards I have been reading through all of them waiting for someone to state the above. Moreover, the reason why the o.p. needs a new BB is not simply because the new crank is a different system. A new, longer, BB spindle would be needed in any case because the extra ring needs at least 5mm or more additional space to exist. Were it my bike I would get the smallest ring supported by the BCD of the existing crankset and call it good. That, or take an earlier posters advice and ... downgrade, to a 105 triple system. Ultegra was never really intended to be a touring kind of gruppo.
Edit: Post #11 notwithstanding, it isn't that hard to know if you have a double or triple shifter. The shifter (and bb ... and crankset) will need to be changed. That is what is really being discussed in post #10 . The FD may or may not need to be changed but it probably does. This is a textbook 'rabbit hole' scenario. This is as far as I go.

Last edited by Leisesturm; 02-14-20 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 02-14-20, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
This. From the second post onwards I have been reading through all of them waiting for someone to state the above. Moreover, the reason why the o.p. needs a new BB is not simply because the new crank is a different system. A new, longer, BB spindle would be needed in any case because the extra ring needs at least 5mm or more additional space to exist. Were it my bike I would get the smallest ring supported by the BCD of the existing crankset and call it good. That, or take an earlier posters advice and ... downgrade, to a 105 triple system. Ultegra was never really intended to be a touring kind of gruppo.
Edit: Post #11 notwithstanding, it isn't that hard to know if you have a double or triple shifter. The shifter (and bb ... and crankset) will need to be changed. That is what is really being discussed in post #10 . The FD may or may not need to be changed but it probably does. This is a textbook 'rabbit hole' scenario. This is as far as I go.
So the spec sheet linked above for a triple shows you need a 6503 FD but 6500 shifter is adequate. Multiple forum posts say the same. Sellers on eBay say the same. In any case I will loosen the limit screw and see how far out that third click will take me but I have a feeling it's enough because I rode the bike once with the screw a little out and I shifted the chain off the bike by mistake as a result.

Here's an eBay post for more evidence in addition to the spec sheet from above. It seems the 6503 needed is the front derailleur not the shifter :
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Old 02-14-20, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
ST-6500 is double/triple compatible. If you look at the link in the operation it has 2 columns. One when using a FD-6500 (double FD) and on the right when using a FD-6503 (triple FD) with the 6510 lever.
Also if you look on the far left in the "compatibility" area where they show the best combinations you will not see a triple lever.

In addition you will not find a ST-6503 lever listed and that would be the part number for a triple front shifter if it existed.
It looks like you are correct. My mistake reading the document posted above. I think I may have one of these in a box in my shop. Good to know that it can be used as a triple.
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Old 02-14-20, 10:57 AM
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So ... Any ideas about powermeters on those octalink cranksettes / crank arms or am I better off with a newer standard model? 🤔
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