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Tripple vs Double chainring.

Old 06-06-19, 07:31 PM
  #51  
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The Megarange freewheels are good for road bikes, as only first gear is huge. The rest of the set is fairly close ratio. Kinda like adding a granny ring to the rear.

Not so good for mountain, and terrible for e-bikes which need wide ratios - sadly manufacturers seem to be slow to offer the latter (ironically my 4-speed 13-34t cassette is ancient).
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Old 06-06-19, 08:07 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
The Megarange freewheels are good for road bikes, as only first gear is huge. The rest of the set is fairly close ratio. Kinda like adding a granny ring to the rear.

Not so good for mountain, and terrible for e-bikes which need wide ratios - sadly manufacturers seem to be slow to offer the latter (ironically my 4-speed 13-34t cassette is ancient).
When I first got my bike with the Shimano 14 - 34T 7 speed Megarange and a 28/38/48 triple chainring I thought the low jump from 24 to 34 was way too high. But I just got back from a ride up a demanding hill. Fairly steep with soft gravel, stones, and ruts, And I must say those two gears worked well with the 28 chainring and the 26 x 1.95" tires. The 24 was good for some of the ride, And when the going got tough, It's nice to have that big boost in a single step.

I agree, probably not the best for competitive mountain biking, But for the recreational rider who occasionally likes to rough it, It does seem to work.

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Old 06-06-19, 09:27 PM
  #53  
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With the wide range cassettes available today, you would need a really long cage derailleur to make it work with a triple. I've never experienced a triple that came close to a mediocre double shift quality wise. I made a little video a month or so ago on a bike that had a common triple 3x9 speed setup to a modern 2x11 combination. The result was lighter weight, narrower Q factor, and much, much better shift quality overall. Not trying to make folks stop riding triples, but if you've got worn out components, the technology is there to retrofit your existing bike.

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Old 06-06-19, 10:06 PM
  #54  
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I am crossing to a crossroads with a bike I intend to ship to Okinawa. I need a bike there to allow to ride when I visit the in-laws.
Here in SE Michigan, I can easily get by with a 50/34 and a 11-28T. Our biggest and steepest hill in the area, Kensington Rd, is really nothing compared to what I remember from Okinawa. I'm thinking a 50/38/30 and 11-32 might even not be enough. I do remember hills in the car climbing up Otoba Dake and Ikie Island, and the car straining to make it up these hills. Let alone a bike.
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Old 06-06-19, 10:27 PM
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There are a few arguments against tripled that I'm just not buying.

I'm absolutely on board with making bikes simpler. It might not seem like it, when my daily is a 2,000w electric full suspension tandem, and it's not even my strangest or most complicated bike.. but seriously I'd ride a bike weighing 2kgs and consisting of 14 components of I could.

But please. Weight? The Merlin's granny ring is cross-drilled aluminium with hollow titanium bolts. An empty bottle cage is heavier.

Cross-chain? Who ever used the whole cassette in the granny ring? Apart from the sort of people who use cable locks..?
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Old 06-06-19, 10:40 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by friday1970 View Post
I do remember hills in the car climbing up Otoba Dake and Ikie Island, and the car straining to make it up these hills. Let alone a bike.
Hills..?! You roadie!

Stairs have been my target hurdle for decades. I did a flight of about 10 steps, circa three bike lengths, on the Merlin when it was an 81-speed. That consisted of a triple crank, 9-speed cassette, and 3-speed hub.
I recon I could've done double the stairs since I had the rythum, but it was slow and tricky work.

Last edited by MikeyMK; 06-06-19 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 06-07-19, 09:23 AM
  #57  
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The only argument I buy against triples is the shifting. Much easier to keep a 2x shifting perfectly, and many 3x setups take a tad of finesse to deal with the middle ring when not perfect.

This is often reason enough for 2x to be a better choice for many.

However, being someone who CAN shift a reasonably well adjusted 3x crank, there are absolutely no downsides for me, and I have seen ZERO benefits in my switch to 2x a few years ago.
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Old 06-07-19, 09:32 AM
  #58  
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Friction shifting .. FTW..

Its keeping the parts on opposite ends of the cable working together with indexed shifting

that seems to be an issue, on these pages..

but indexed shifting sells bikes now, its expected.. the bike factories all ship it..
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Old 06-07-19, 11:22 AM
  #59  
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When index shifting my triple, I've found that if I overshoot the middle position from the small ring just a tad before backing it into the proper position, I quite confident it will make a clean, crisp shift. Overall I can honestly say I'm impressed with how well this entry level Shimano Altus derailleur works.

My original plan was to use the middle chainring 90% of the time because my initial perception was switching chainrings was a pain. One day I decided to use all 3 chainrings with every cassette sprocket for my ride just to see if my suspicions were justified. What a surprise. It worked so close to perfect I wonder why they even bother to make expensive ones. I am being patient with the shifts and not trying to push it, But it really surprised me how well an entry level bike can shift.

Now whenever I need a big change on my middle chainring, I don't hesitate to switch it rather then 2 or 3 cogs on the cassette.
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Old 06-07-19, 01:56 PM
  #60  
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I watched your video. Very nice, you have a pleasant voice. I also got to see how that new-fangled bottom bracket works. Thanks. Other thoughts:

Originally Posted by Le Mechanic View Post
With the wide range cassettes available today, you would need a really long cage derailleur to make it work with a triple.
But you don't have to use a wide-range cassette with a triple. This is the point, I think, of a triple: closely-spaced gears in three different ranges.

I've never experienced a triple that came close to a mediocre double shift quality wise.
I have two triples, they shift flawlessly, so I can't relate. And I spend 90% of my time on the middle ring, where my favorite gears are, so I am not shifting the front that often. The double crank in your video has a bigger jump between rings (50x34=16 teeth) than I have between my granny and my middle (37-24=13 teeth).

I made a little video a month or so ago on a bike that had a common triple 3x9 speed setup to a modern 2x11 combination. The result was lighter weight, narrower Q factor, and much, much better shift quality overall. Not trying to make folks stop riding triples, but if you've got worn out components, the technology is there to retrofit your existing bike.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q07DQ24rPl0
I am not sure what a "common" triple might be, but the reason I have one is for wicked low gears, so I have a 24T as my small ring. I don't know why your customer's bike would have a 30T granny. What's the point of that? He could have switched his 30T for a 24T and had a gear lower than the one on his new setup, 25.4 inches vs. 26.4 (though no real difference in practice). Would have been less expensive.

Of course, I have no idea how your customer rides and what he likes for gears. I run a 13-28 9-speed cassette that gives me 8 gears in which I do most of my riding, with a couple of downhill gears and 3 very low uphill gears. His new setup would give me 7 gears in my favorite range, and more widely spaced. And who needs a 120 gear who is not a pro? So on that double setup, I would lose gears I like and gain gears I wouldn't use, with larger steps between cogs.

Triples rock if you like/need them, and they don't if you don't. That's all there is to it. And now I must go polish my Birkenstocks.

Last edited by BCDrums; 06-07-19 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 06-07-19, 02:35 PM
  #61  
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Old 06-07-19, 02:41 PM
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Rule 47

Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Rule #47//Drink Tripels, don't ride triples.
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Old 06-07-19, 03:17 PM
  #63  
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Mea Culpa.

I have begun my penance...
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Old 06-07-19, 06:27 PM
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Double or Tripple

I'm more touring than speed. All my bikes are now triples. My two 1970 era ten speeds were converted last year. The stock crank gears were 52-40. The problem was that neither bike could handle hills without standing on the pedals and swaying side to side. That's In low range first gear. High gear was useless except going downhill. My 26"mountain bike has combination tires and a 48-42-36 gearset. My 27" road bike has 48-40-36 gearset. both are now 15 speeds and have no trouble staying with the group. There is enough adjustment in the stock derailers but the length of the chain has to be set to low gear high range so that it isn't too loose in high gear low range. I have two 1990's 18 speed bikes, Two 2000's 21 speed bikes and one three year old 24 speed bike. I ride the older bikes more than the new one probably because there are more of them. I love all of them equally but I try to match the bike to the terrain we are riding that day.

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Old 06-07-19, 06:34 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
The only argument I buy against triples is the shifting. Much easier to keep a 2x shifting perfectly, and many 3x setups take a tad of finesse to deal with the middle ring when not perfect.

This is often reason enough for 2x to be a better choice for many.

However, being someone who CAN shift a reasonably well adjusted 3x crank, there are absolutely no downsides for me, and I have seen ZERO benefits in my switch to 2x a few years ago.
Having used and maintained both doubles and triples for over 40 years, I just have never understood this idea that triples are harder to adjust and/or use. It's never been the case for me. In fact, triple shifting is easier than compact doubles - very few double shifts needed, and much less front shifting since you can access all or most of the cassette from the middle ring, and that gives me probably 80% of the total range I ever need. Very few shifts to either the largest or smallest rings needed.
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Old 06-07-19, 06:54 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Having used and maintained both doubles and triples for over 40 years, I just have never understood this idea that triples are harder to adjust and/or use. It's never been the case for me. In fact, triple shifting is easier than compact doubles - very few double shifts needed, and much less front shifting since you can access all or most of the cassette from the middle ring, and that gives me probably 80% of the total range I ever need. Very few shifts to either the largest or smallest rings needed.
I agree that for those of us who are proficient using triples that the front shifting is actually better because a) we do it less often and b) when we do shift there are fewer double shifts needed due to the the tighter ratios of the rings.

However, do mean since you can do it, you can't understand how it is not trickier? I mean, I can drive a manual tranny no problem, but I totally get why others find it harder than an automatic. I can play guitar but it does not surprise me that others can't. I can build a window casing, and solder copper piping but am not the least bit surprised that someone else would screw either of these up. Likewise, I can adjust and use a triple, but I totally get why others struggle.
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Old 06-08-19, 01:36 AM
  #67  
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About the only personal knowledge I have is my wife who is certainly not a bike nerd and just gets on the bike and rides. Now, I'm her mechanic so that's something (I know how to set them up... but really is that more difficult than a double? Maybe I'm blind to the complexity, but but I don't think it is more difficult. Plus, once set up (double or triple), I virtually never have to touch anything on the front shifting, and I suspect this holds true for almost all casual riders.

I considered getting her a compact double for the recent bike I built up for her, but she's used to the triple and likes it for the reasons I mentioned (little or no double shifting and not very much front shifting required) so I went with that.

Another advantage of the triple: She likes very low gearing and no matter what anyone says about the great range that modern 2X gearing has, 3X can get lower. Her road bike lowest gear is 30 front and 34 rear. Her gravel bike is 28 front and 34 rear. I set up another friend with 30 front and 36 rear. All of these are significantly lower than the same cassettes with a 34 tooth front ring.

Frankly, I believe the whole concept of double shifts, and how often you have to do them with a compact double (a LOT... and often two shifts in back when you change rings) , I think this is more difficult for a casual rider to think about and do well than using a triple. A casual rider finds it easy to just camp out on the middle ring, no need for double shifting when changing rings, and just occasional changing to the large or small rings for very specific terrain (i.e. up a big hill = granny gear... or down a big hill = big ring. Everything else can be middle ring.

I have three four "road bikes". Three are compact doubles, and I'm 90% happy with them. The constant double shifting and multiple rear shifts when changing rings annoys me. It's a kludge, IMHO. My other bike is a gravel (cross, actually) with an old 52-42-30 Ultegra triple crank on it and I just love the shifting, gear spacing and range.
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Old 06-08-19, 08:17 AM
  #68  
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I wonder if one reason some people have more problems shifting the triple chainring then a double is because with the triple we may be inclined to leave it there 90 % of the time or more and the derailleur sticks from under use. Which would explain why the triple on my new bike seems to work fine overall. Its clean and lubed.

It's not perfect and occasionally I do have trouble shifting on the extreme gear ranges. And shifting the rear derailleur while climbing a steep hill to be much better then fiddling with the front thanks to a Megagear cassette with a 2 - 3 cog jump from 1'st to 2'nd. But for general riding, I love the way a single shift up front can achieve what takes 2 or 3 cogs on the cassette.
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Old 06-08-19, 08:56 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
I wonder if one reason some people have more problems shifting the triple chainring then a double is because with the triple we may be inclined to leave it there 90 % of the time or more and the derailleur sticks from under use. Which would explain why the triple on my new bike seems to work fine overall. Its clean and lubed.
Frankly, I think most of the problems that people have with triples are either from using old friction systems or from memories of old friction systems (like pre1995). Everything crank or chainring made since about 1995 has shifting ramps and pins which make shifts on doubles or triple trivial. The return springs in derailers are far stronger than they used to be as well.

I have 8 bikes for me and 3 bikes for my wife. All of them have triples that are indexed...either mountain bike shifter or Shimano STI road shifters. All of them shift as soon as the lever is moved. It’s crisp and positive. Back in the bad old days, you could move the lever to downshift the front to the smallest ring and it would shift eventually but that might be a week later.

One thing that kind of bugs me about front derailers is that they are improperly designed. Shimano wanted to standardize the shifting on bikes a number of years ago and they went the wrong way about doing it. They developed “RapidRise”...which most people dubbed RapidFail...which depended on the return spring to move the derailer to lower gears. Lower gears are almost always under higher torque and lower speed than higher gears. When you depend on the spring to move the derailer to lower gears, the spring has to be really, really strong. If it is too weak, it will just skate the chain against the cog and not move.

The front derailer suffers from just that problem. It depends on the spring to move the chain to a low speed/high torque gear. Often...especially on old systems...the chain just wouldn’t derail. Sun Tour made a derailer back in the early 90s that was actually reversed from the “normal” derailer. The cable was used to drag the derailer to the lower gear. It worked far better than any other derailer I’ve ever used. If Shimano had done the “RapidRise” (shouldn’t it be RapidFall since it is going to lower gears) treatment to their front derailers, we’d all be shifting differently.
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Old 06-08-19, 09:41 AM
  #70  
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@cyccommute Suntour also had a friction front derailleur like you describe in the 70's. My 72 Fuji Finest came with a FD like you describe. I swapped it out since I hated having it backwards from my other downtube shifter bikes. It did shift nice though.
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Old 06-08-19, 04:04 PM
  #71  
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Triples will soon be as deservedly dead as 26" wheels. But by all means, keep expending energy and mustering up every argument you can think of to justify them.
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Old 06-08-19, 05:56 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by onyerleft View Post
Triples will soon be as deservedly dead as 26" wheels. But by all means, keep expending energy and mustering up every argument you can think of to justify them.
I’d prefer to ride them. But it is hard to argue with your impeccable logic, Richard.

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Old 06-08-19, 06:40 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
I like a single chainring for it's simplicity and appearance and with the right cassette might be fine for many of us. But since the chainring derailleur is already there, Why don't more bikes use a triple chainring. Is it because of the room?

I like the triple because if we have the right combination of cassette and chainring we can leave the bike on the middle chainring most of the time like a single, and still have some very low and high gears for steep hills and fast rides down them. Also sometimes I want to drop 2 or 3 gears fast, and with one step up front I can do that.
Well basically the double can replicate the triple with a wider cassette. and some people found out the single can replicate the double with a very wide cassette.

i've been on 1x for 10-11 years. no need for more really. i had 11-32 aka 300% what more do you need?? then i simply selected chainrings for this. i now run 42s and everything from 12-30 to 11-28 and 11-30 and 11-32, 8 and 9sp. and 6sp. with 8 and 9sp spacing. my best cassettes are the 6sp ones since these are expanding exponentially as opposed to shimanos 2t or 3t or 4t spacings per cog. it should be 1, then 2 then 3 then 4 then 5 then 6 and so on between the cogs, in theory. then it feels natural. exponential curve..
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Old 06-08-19, 06:47 PM
  #74  
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Most problems i have seen with triples is that the FD rubs, I have never ever seen a rub free triple talking all over the cassette and chainrings. the gripshifts are good for this up front. if youre on a mtb handlebar. i have actually never seen a double run rub free either. in the FD department. I understood this 10 years ago and said F it and went 1x.
Haven't looked back since. stone age tech imo.
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Old 06-08-19, 08:19 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by carlos danger View Post
Well basically the double can replicate the triple with a wider cassette. and some people found out the single can replicate the double with a very wide cassette.

i've been on 1x for 10-11 years. no need for more really. i had 11-32 aka 300% what more do you need?? then i simply selected chainrings for this. i now run 42s and everything from 12-30 to 11-28 and 11-30 and 11-32, 8 and 9sp. and 6sp. with 8 and 9sp spacing. my best cassettes are the 6sp ones since these are expanding exponentially as opposed to shimanos 2t or 3t or 4t spacings per cog. it should be 1, then 2 then 3 then 4 then 5 then 6 and so on between the cogs, in theory. then it feels natural. exponential curve..
You may not need more but there are those of us who not only wan’t more range but use it. I could probably struggle up hill in a 36” gear (42/32) but I like my knees and would like to keep them. Try riding up a 25% grade in that gear. Then try riding up the same grade carrying all the stuff you need to eat, sleep, dress, and exist for 2 to 5 weeks. Personally, I’d rather ride smart than just hard.

Originally Posted by carlos danger View Post
Most problems i have seen with triples is that the FD rubs, I have never ever seen a rub free triple talking all over the cassette and chainrings. the gripshifts are good for this up front. if youre on a mtb handlebar. i have actually never seen a double run rub free either. in the FD department. I understood this 10 years ago and said F it and went 1x.
Haven't looked back since. stone age tech imo.
I’ve seen all kinds of triples that don’t rub. I have 8 of them that don’t rub. It’s not all that hard to set them up.
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