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Why all of a sudden the hatred of triples

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Why all of a sudden the hatred of triples

Old 07-13-16, 07:17 PM
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rydabent
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Why all of a sudden the hatred of triples

Lately it seems that all of a sudden there is a hatred of triples. IMO they are great. I have thot so ever since I bought my "last bike" with a triple back in '86. BTW I have bought 4 bikes and a trike since then. They all had triples.

Anyway there seem to be a lot of talk about 1x and wide range 2x bottom brackets. IMO having the granny gear is a great bail out gear when all of a sudden you come to an unexpected really steep hill. After all a 26 tooth granny and smaller, weights almost nothing.

Last edited by rydabent; 07-13-16 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 07-13-16, 07:22 PM
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They are a sign of weakness.
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Old 07-13-16, 07:26 PM
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Touring bikes, MTB's, hybrids....cant be too much hate for them out there. Not exactly what I want or need (weight weenie, here) but I certainly understand why they exist and why riders want them.
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Old 07-13-16, 07:27 PM
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They make a lot of sense on a bike like a tandem or pedicab where I might have to haul a passenger up a hill.
On a single bike, they have never made any sense to me.
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Old 07-13-16, 07:29 PM
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I think that whatever you like is what you like. I think triple's are fine and it is your riding style that should determine your equipment choice. I have seen people struggling uphill and a triple would have helped.
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Old 07-13-16, 07:46 PM
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Every bicycle has only one purpose: to please it's owner.

I don't know which is sillier - to be upset about having a triple crankset on your own bike to get upset by the triple crankset on somebody else's bike.
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Old 07-13-16, 07:53 PM
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What type of bike are you looking at? go back 30 years, and there weren't too many specialized (not the brand) bikes, now you have a specialist bike type for just about every application you can think of.

Since the 80's you have had a proliferation of additional gears at the back, back in the 80's you had 5 gears on the sprocket/freewheel, now you have upto 12 on the cassette so you are just moving the range from one end to the other.

Add to that, a new brand have some on the scene (SRAM) who have never offered triples in non-MTB applications, and need to differentiate their products from Shimano, who are still on 2x cranks for non mtb applications.

If you want a triple, Shimano offer this still upto Tiagra level on road, and at all levels off road, so there is still plenty of choice (for full bikes, manufactures spec what sells i.e the mass market, not necessary what you specifically want)
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Old 07-13-16, 07:55 PM
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It's called social engineering, and it's profit driven.

Shimano just doesn't see the limited value in selling triples to a small North American market in a high-level groupset, when it has conned so many people into thinking compacts are the way to go if they want to climb. And it is much cheaper to stamp out 45T and 36T cogs than cast or forge a triple chainring then drill and tap it and then assemble all the bits together. They already make long-cage MTB derailleurs, so there is no loss there in developing a road version.

It does ponder the question of where the rear-end craziness is going to end. 13-speed anyone? 14? Again, it means that with the 1x up front, there are reduced costs in assembly of the crankset, plus the savings on stamping out the second chainring.

And who knows, the manual system of shifter is likely to be a forgotten part of cycling in 10 years time as Di? becomes more "popular".

Just my cynical view on things.
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Old 07-13-16, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
What type of bike are you looking at? go back 30 years, and there weren't too many specialized (not the brand) bikes, now you have a specialist bike type for just about every application you can think of.

Since the 80's you have had a proliferation of additional gears at the back, back in the 80's you had 5 gears on the sprocket/freewheel, now you have upto 12 on the cassette so you are just moving the range from one end to the other.

Add to that, a new brand have some on the scene (SRAM) who have never offered triples in non-MTB applications, and need to differentiate their products from Shimano, who are still on 2x cranks for non mtb applications.

If you want a triple, Shimano offer this still upto Tiagra level on road, and at all levels off road, so there is still plenty of choice (for full bikes, manufactures spec what sells i.e the mass market, not necessary what you specifically want)
The trouble is that the Q is different between MTB and road. That's not a particularly important difference for me, but it can affect the way some people address the pedals.
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Old 07-13-16, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Every bicycle has only one purpose: to please it's owner.

I don't know which is sillier - to be upset about having a triple crankset on your own bike to get upset by the triple crankset on somebody else's bike.
Totally agree. I have bikes with triple cranksets(mountain bike, touring bike) I have a bike with a compact crank, and one with what used to be considered as a standard double chainring setup. I am still adapting to my bike with the compact, I have to rethink my shifting patterns, but this spring doing an HC climb in the Pyrenees I came to appreciate how well it works for me. People set their bikes up to suit themselves, sometimes what they want makes no sense to me, but I wish them well and hope they enjoy riding the bike they built
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Old 07-13-16, 08:15 PM
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Now that I'm in reasonable shape again I can see why a triple might be unnecessary, and even annoying. I can never get the front derailer adjusted perfectly where it shifts reliably and without chain rub. But it's a low end setup and I deal with it.

But for me it's somewhat redundant for the opposite reason some folks might have. My bike has a 28/38/48 triple, and I seldom need the 48 ring. A 35+ lb hybrid just doesn't get that much speed, especially loaded down with groceries, and with the very modest hills in my area. Maybe once on every ride I can get into the big ring for some downhills, but I could just as easily coast and get pretty much the same speed.

I'd still need the 28 ring for uphills, so if a triple became unavailable I'd figure out some way to make it work with a double and just not worry about spinning out occasionally on downhills.
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Old 07-13-16, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I don't know which is sillier - to be upset about having a triple crankset on your own bike to get upset by the triple crankset on somebody else's bike.
Worrying about what someone else has, for sure.

To the OP, half my bikes have them, half don't. Where I personally ride, I have no need for them, but at the same time it doesn't really bother me I have a low gear I don't use. I'm not really motivated by impressing others, or by marketing, though.
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Old 07-13-16, 08:26 PM
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11-cog rear clusters and a compact crank up front now provide a range of gears comparable to what a traditional "half-step plus granny" triple set-up offered BITD, without the additional cost of a third chainring and mounting hardware. It may not be a huge difference for an individual rider, but for a manufacturer, it adds up.
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Old 07-13-16, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
The trouble is that the Q is different between MTB and road. That's not a particularly important difference for me, but it can affect the way some people address the pedals.
That difference has been there since MTB cranks have existed, so not really a problem, there is also the massive difference in ratios between MTB and road, so normally you won't be using a MTB crank on a road bike (although I have seen this done to good effect)
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Old 07-13-16, 08:46 PM
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It's not a mystery. Rear shifting works better than front shifting. It doesn't rub, it doesn't drop. So let's do more rear and nix the front. The only strange thing to me is that it didn't immediately happen decades ago when they invented 11t cogs. A 40 & 7x11-32 has as much range and one more ratio than "alpine" 2x5. A 9x11-34 is just beautiful
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Old 07-13-16, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Lately it seems that all of a sudden there is a hatred of triples. IMO they are great. I have thot so ever since I bought my "last bike" with a triple back in '86. BTW I have bought 4 bikes and a trike since then. They all had triples.

Anyway there seem to be a lot of talk about 1x and wide range 2x bottom brackets. IMO having the granny gear is a great bail out gear when all of a sudden you come to an unexpected really steep hill. After all a 26 tooth granny and smaller, weights almost nothing.
1. Marketing. Fewer Shop Keeping Units mean increased profits. This also drove the move from 130 (or 135) and 110mm BCD 5-arm cranks to 110mm BCD 4-arm units. Shimano and Campagnolo high end cranks are now compact only.

2. It's not "all of a sudden." The marketing push to replace triples with compact doubles is about ten years old. Fortunately that's recent enough you can still get NOS Campagnolo Record triple parts from 2006.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 07-14-16 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 07-13-16, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
11-cog rear clusters and a compact crank up front now provide a range of gears comparable to what a traditional "half-step plus granny" triple set-up offered BITD, without the additional cost of a third chainring and mounting hardware. It may not be a huge difference for an individual rider, but for a manufacturer, it adds up.
I think you're exactly right about modern double gearing bring comparable to older triples. But the cost to manufacturers for a triple isn't that much and it gets passed on to consumers anyway. I think triples aren't in demand is due mostly to your point about modern gearing but also to pros don't ride triples, they add weight, front shifting isn't as smooth or quick, and it shows a sign of weakness which I hadn't thought of until someone posted - but it's true in many people's eyes.
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Old 07-13-16, 10:26 PM
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"Showing signs of weakness" is only important to people who care too much about what other people think about them.
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Old 07-14-16, 12:15 AM
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I think we often read too much into changing buying habits. I cannot see any hatred of triples only a move towards other cranksets and chain rings. With a larger selection of cassettes the necessity, notice li didn't say preference, for a triple was less.

More people started using compact doubles with 11x28 to 11x34 or 36 on road bikes so there were fewer triples being sold. SRAM didn't make a triple and Shimano soon saw the need for high end shifters and chain rings as unnecessary. People like the bling of Ultegra or Dura Ace.

As for the move to 1x it is simple, fewer tossed chains. Not a real road bike issue but it does happen now and then. With a spread of 11 or more gears in the back a 1x makes a very good Crit bike.

In effect it is nothing more than changing consumer tastes not hate.
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Old 07-14-16, 01:56 AM
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I don't know about the hate for the 3x systems, I guess it is just a lot of people want to optimize their setup because triples are redundant.

I will be changing my drivetrain (because it has to be changed) to a 2x10 because I never use the largest cog in the front. So the problem with it is that at speeds over 35km/h I could shift to a smaller cog in the rear but that causes chain to rub against the front derailleur cage so I have to shift at the front and that makes cadence a lot slower and requires more power.
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Old 07-14-16, 04:57 AM
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We get it. You like your triple. How many threads are you going to start on this topic?
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Old 07-14-16, 05:11 AM
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It's not just about marketing, it's about the experience of the rider and their budget.
Most low end bikes have triples up front and a novice on the saddle. Not really much of a mystery when they grow as a rider and still want the same gear set up because they are comfortable with it.

I know, this was me and now that I am use to compact w/ 10 in the cassette, I'm happy but wish I had 11, lol
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Old 07-14-16, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Anyway there seem to be a lot of talk about 1x and wide range 2x bottom brackets. IMO having the granny gear is a great bail out gear when all of a sudden you come to an unexpected really steep hill. After all a 26 tooth granny and smaller, weights almost nothing.


I'm not aware of any talk about chain ring configurations, but it seems that the triple has costs. Clumsy chainline, more difficult to set up correctly, and resulting overlap of gearing when coupled with a wide range cassette. Seems pointless, unless the rider has a particular need, like loaded touring.


From my vantage point, albeit a limited one, a wide 11-32T 11 speed with 34-46T double makes about the most sense for purely road applications.


Triples for mountain biking? Not really needed.


The most efficient gearing I've ever had was on my 47-52T, 14-17-21-26-32T half-step Semi Pro, resulting in a range between (by memory 43-ish up to 98-ish gear inches). Every gear was useful, and there weren't unnecessarily high or low gears. Perfect.
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Old 07-14-16, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Triples for mountain biking? Not really needed.
Depending on rider skills and trail difficulty, this is true. A single gear ring up front w/ 10 or 11 out back is all most sngle track mtb riders need.
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Old 07-14-16, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by sail View Post
They are a sign of weakness.
Oh! My! God! I have seen the light! Sail is sooooo right! I will go forth and pluck out the offending triples on my bikes immediately so that I don't show signs of weakness to the all powerful Sail!

Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
11-cog rear clusters and a compact crank up front now provide a range of gears comparable to what a traditional "half-step plus granny" triple set-up offered BITD, without the additional cost of a third chainring and mounting hardware. It may not be a huge difference for an individual rider, but for a manufacturer, it adds up.
The problem with the hype of compact doubles is that it doesn't tell the whole story. Yes, it can have a similar range...depending on which gears you use...but it doesn't have the same difference between gears. Compact doubles are set up more like the progressive shifter in a car where you go from 1st to 2nd to 3rd, etc but you can't really shift them that way. Their shift pattern if used in a car would be more like you go from 1st to 2nd to 3rd but then you have to downshift back to 2nd before you can shift up to 4th. Try that on a manual transmission sometime and see how the engine responds.

And the compact doubles are nothing like the "half step with granny". They are more like a one step with granny.

Originally Posted by NYMXer View Post
Depending on rider skills and trail difficulty, this is true. A single gear ring up front w/ 10 or 11 out back is all most sngle track mtb riders need.
As an old fart, I find modern mountain bikers highly amusing. Here they have machines that have suspension systems meant to give them control and comfort that we would have killed for back in the days of rigid mountain bikes.

But with all that comfort and control, they are riding shorter and shorter distances or making laps around tracks where 1x systems do shine. But if you want to use the bike for something more epic, 1x systems leave you with either the ability to climb or the ability to descend but not both.
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