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Converting a Colnago to a triple.

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Converting a Colnago to a triple.

Old 07-16-13, 09:27 PM
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Jseis 
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Converting a Colnago to a triple.

I brought this discussion up in training & nutrition. I prefer spinning up hills at 80-90 rpm but my FSA Octalink 53/19 and 13-28 cassette leaves me gasping for air and grinding 4% slope and above. I'm 58, have good knees and want to keep them that way and I'd like evenly spaced lower gears as opposed dropping into a bailout gear. Carbonfiberboy suggested a triple for the 'Nago [Dream Lux]. That means new Italian thread crankset and,... I presume my front '03 era Ergo shifters will handle three rings as they sure have extra clicks in them. I've read where campy front shifters of that era were designed for triples though I'm calling Branford bikes to confirm. The '03 era 'Nago has miles on it and it needs a new 53 chainwheel and I've been thinking it might be time to upgrade the crankset anyway.

Should I cruise CL and Ebay looking for an appropriate triple? Will I drop significant cash or is there a modest cost way to do this new (or take off/used). I like the current CF cranks and black anodized chainwheels so I'd like to keep that look unless its $$$ out of the question. Advice?
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Old 07-16-13, 09:48 PM
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Jseis, I'm guessing that the 53/19 is actually 53/39? You could also substitute a 50-34T compact for a noticeable difference. Installing a triple will also require a RD with a cage long enough to handle the extra slack in the chain. It may also require a different FD with a lower back plate to shift out of the granny.

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Old 07-16-13, 10:21 PM
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Oops..yes. 53/39. 19...that'd be looowwww. I corrected. Thanks for the input on rear D. I need a new front derailleur as well but had forgotten that the triple front requires lower reach. Would a 48-38-28 front require a mid length rear derailleur if I was running a 12-24? I'm probably going to have to do some chain and gear calcs. .
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Old 07-16-13, 10:28 PM
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I presume my front '03 era Ergo shifters will handle three rings as they sure have extra clicks in them. I've read where campy front shifters of that era were designed for triples though I'm calling Branford bikes to confirm.
Yes. You use 7 of 12 clicks for a Campagnolo triple derailleur with first and second generation ergos. 6 of 6 if you upgrade to Ultrashift levers.

Should I cruise CL and Ebay looking for an appropriate triple?
Yes.

Will I drop significant cash
No. You could get used derailleurs and crank for < $200 which is less than you'll sell your used parts for, < $300 for a carbon external bearing triple.

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Old 07-16-13, 10:40 PM
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You may want to hold off on the RD and see if you can get your old one to do it with some judicious B-screw tweaking... You'll definitely need a triple FD.

As for the compact option, I like the idea but I'm not much of a fan of it in practice; I tend to get lost on the back when I shift the front, and the worst thing is needing to shift to the big ring when I get up to speed on the flat, which I find unnecessary with a 39t unless I have a tailwind.

48/38/28 sounds pretty good; pair it with a 12-25 and that gives you 4:1 down to 1.12:1, versus your current 4.08:1 - 1.39:1, and leaves with a pretty good chance of being able to keep your RD.

I'd be loathe to use a square-taper crankset rather than an external BB one (noticeable difference in stiffness), and same goes for MTB vs road (aesthetics), but I think maybe only Shimano does an external BB triple, and those rings would be damn hard to find in a matched set for that crank if at all... and those rings pretty much require a MTB-style cage on the FD, another complication.
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Old 07-16-13, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
Jseis, I'm guessing that the 53/19 is actually 53/39? You could also substitute a 50-34T compact for a noticeable difference. Installing a triple will also require a RD with a cage long enough to handle the extra slack in the chain. It may also require a different FD with a lower back plate to shift out of the granny.

Brad
Compacts are sub-optimal unless you're a bike manufacturer looking to cut the SKUs due to the significantly reduced range on the small ring versus the 39 on a full sized double (you can put out 50% more power on flat ground overcoming aerodynamic drag at a given cadence with the same cassette) or triple (90% when you stop eschewing the smallest cog since it splits the chain line between big and small rings), increased front shifting which results, and bigger gaps between gears for the same range. When I got rid of my compact I went from often making five cog double shifts multiple times per mile to not using the front derailleur on many flat rides.

If you can't spin 39x21, 23, or 25/26 (depending on whether you prefer an 11, 12, or 13 starting cog and whether you remain in the 10 cog era or have advanced to 11) up the steepest hill you'll encounter you're better off with a triple. If you can you're better off with a 39 small ring on a double than a 34.

If you really need lower gears a compact is good for one gear lower with the same cassette (34x23 is like 39x26); a stock 30 road triple granny ring two gears (30x23 is like 39x30); and with the smallest possible 24 four gets (24x23 is like 39x41). That can be done without compromising spacing on flat ground.

53-39 x 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-27-30 (new for the 2013 model year)
50-34 x 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25
53-39-30 x 12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23

all provide the same range; but the doubles have no 16 or 18 cogs and the compact double has a top usable gear on the small ring like 39x14 versus 39x13 on the full sized double and 39x12 on the triple (allowing the same chain angle).

The few tooth difference on the small ring doesn't sound like much, but with power to overcome aerodynamic drag going up with the cube of velocity and the ideal/acceptable cadence increasing with power that's deliverable for less time it's _huge_.

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Old 07-16-13, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Jseis View Post
Oops..yes. 53/39. 19...that'd be looowwww. I corrected. Thanks for the input on rear D. I need a new front derailleur as well but had forgotten that the triple front requires lower reach. Would a 48-38-28 front require a mid length rear derailleur if I was running a 12-24? I'm probably going to have to do some chain and gear calcs. .
Officially yes. The short cage isn't even approved for doubles with the 13-29 cogs. That cassette with a double and any other cassette (this predates the 12-30) with a triple dictates a medium cage. The triple with the 13-29 takes the long cage (really long, the Racing Triple is a medium) .

Unofficially maybe not - Campagnolo assumes enough wrap for small-small with a range of derailleur hanger configurations. Given a more optimal relationship between the derailleur mount and cogset and you can get more out of it especially if you don't care about small-small slack. Lots of people have no problems running 13-29 on a double with a short cage.

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Old 07-16-13, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
You may want to hold off on the RD and see if you can get your old one to do it with some judicious B-screw tweaking...
Some Campagnolo rear derailleurs also have two places the end of the upper spring can engage for more and less tension.

I've yet to disassemble one of my 10 speed era derailleurs (short and long) to see if that's the case or if something similar exists on the lower pivot where the A-tension adjustment is.

I'd be loathe to use a square-taper crankset rather than an external BB one (noticeable difference in stiffness), and same goes for MTB vs road (aesthetics), but I think maybe only Shimano does an external BB triple
There are more external bearing triples than you can shake a stick at.

Current production Campagnolo triples use the PowerTorque external bearing setup but only come in black anodized aluminum which doesn't suit my tastes (scratches are an ugly contrasting silver and it feels like a cheap carbon knock-off along the lines of plastic laminate flooring with pictures of wood).

FSA makes affordable 130/74mm BCD ones with traditional ring combinations (53-39-30 and 50-39-30). Hollow carbon arms (SLK and K-Force -light), solid carbon (SLK/K-Force sans suffix), and alloy crank arms are available. You can find used SLK carbon cranks for < $150. Note however that the different flavors use different bottom brackets - the hollow carbon arms take thinner cups than the smaller solid carbon arms. I have an SLK on my bike now and SLK-light in the parts bin; they look modern and work well although Campagnolo and Shimano do a better job with their pins, ramps, and down-shift zones.

Like this:



The rings are even a nice match for the coating on 2002-2006 Record/Chorus 10 speed triple front derailleurs.

StrongLight makes some very nice 110mm BCD ones with adjustable crank length (via inserts) and many more gearing options including 48-38-28, 46-36-26, and 46-34-24. You can have carbon arms and even a titanium axle if you want.

Lightning has very nice very light very expensive carbon road triples.

Some one on bikeforums.net has a spread sheet of 2-piece triple cranks, I was really surprised to see how many there were.
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Old 07-17-13, 05:42 AM
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Drew, I don't disagree with you about the advantages of a triple vs. a compact double. My suggestion is just a less expensive option for climbing that the OP was asking about. Still, if the OP primarily rides in an area where it's either up or down with no significant flats, the compact can be a valid substitute.

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Old 07-17-13, 06:33 AM
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At the risk of being accused of blasphemy I'll mention that the current Shimano FC-5703 105 triple crank comes 50/39/30 and the 30T granny is on its own 74 mm bcd so it can be exchanged for a 26 or 24T chainring. It uses any of the Shimano external bearing bottom bracket cups.

It will shift very well with a Campy Ergo brifter and either a Campy triple or Shimano triple fd.
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Old 07-17-13, 08:32 AM
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I feel like I'm back in physics class. I spent last night watching stage 16 and working this site:http://www.machars.net/bikecalc.htm

Thanks for the input and advice. I ride coastal Washington SR 101 or side roads which are typically long flats, shorter steep hill, say 1/2 mile or less at 4-6% (or some really steep 10-12% paved secondary roads). Occasional 2-3 mile climbs at 4-6%. While I enjoy the occasional downill blast above 35 mph, road conditions don't warrant it often (road junk, slumps, etc). I'd rather have a lower close range than spinning above 30 mph. I'll let gravity do its thing.

Judicious shifting has me running the 13-28 with the NR short arm and I've adjusted it to make it work. BTW, I'm currently 9 speed and going to convert to 10 speed. If I understand the responses...I'm better to run a long arm rear D than "manage" chain slack with a short arm. Which means that a 30 or 28 triple low and once below say 16/15 and smaller cogs bad things can happen. Which is to say..under that scenario the triple low gear has say 3-4 useable cogs? with a short arm D? Is that possible? I'd guess not.

Italian thread compatible exterior BB triple crankset with CF arms, long reach front, long arm rear. This is a winter project.
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Old 07-17-13, 08:58 AM
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Rally RD from Campag was their Triple road RD , back in the Day,

Euclid one of their MTB RD from the 80s..

90s' I got a few Race triples , have one on my Steel Pinarello CX frame , triple a 50,40, 24 (vs <C> 30t.)

square taper BB Campag Cartridge , in Italian, Have an extra 115 I didn't need , the 111 was fine ..
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Old 07-17-13, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Compacts are sub-optimal unless you're a bike manufacturer looking to cut the SKUs

If you really need lower gears a compact is good for one gear lower with the same cassette (34x23 is like 39x26); a stock 30 road triple granny ring two gears (30x23 is like 39x30); and with the smallest possible 24 four gets (24x23 is like 39x41). That can be done without compromising spacing on flat ground.

53-39 x 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-27-30 (new for the 2013 model year)
50-34 x 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25
53-39-30 x 12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23

all provide the same range; but the doubles have no 16 or 18 cogs and the compact double has a top usable gear on the small ring like 39x14 versus 39x13 on the full sized double and 39x12 on the triple (allowing the same chain angle).

The few tooth difference on the small ring doesn't sound like much, but with power to overcome aerodynamic drag going up with the cube of velocity and the ideal/acceptable cadence increasing with power that's deliverable for less time it's _huge_.
Compacts are optimal for a lot of people - especially folks who ride a lot of hills. Also, you seem to have cherry-picked your cassette sizes to prove your point. OP has a 13-28 already so the 34t compact gets him the same gear as a 30x25 on a triple.

Nothing against triples, but with derailleur, shifter, and crank costs they're an expensive option for re-fits.

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Old 07-17-13, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
Jseis, I'm guessing that the 53/19 is actually 53/39? You could also substitute a 50-34T compact for a noticeable difference. Installing a triple will also require a RD with a cage long enough to handle the extra slack in the chain. It may also require a different FD with a lower back plate to shift out of the granny.

Brad
I would recommend a compact crank as well. Much lighter, simpler and cheaper. After you install it, you should only need to drop the FD to maintain the proper distance between the RD and the large ring. You will also need to shorten the chain.
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