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does 3x require more shifting than 2x?

Old 09-22-23, 02:58 PM
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For the record, the subject of this thread is worded incorrectly. Should say: does 2x require more shifting than 3x?
My argument: when I ride my triple on the flats, Im in the middle ring, middle cog, use the RD to conform to minor changes in conditions. With a double, there is no middle ring or middle cog. For minor adjustments, dont you constantly have to upshift/downshift using both FD & RD?
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Old 09-22-23, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by epnnf
For the record, the subject of this thread is worded incorrectly. Should say: does 2x require more shifting than 3x?
My argument: when I ride my triple on the flats, Im in the middle ring, middle cog, use the RD to conform to minor changes in conditions. With a double, there is no middle ring or middle cog. For minor adjustments, dont you constantly have to upshift/downshift using both FD & RD?
In case you missed it ... IT DEPENDS.
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Old 09-22-23, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
In case you missed it ... IT DEPENDS.
ty 4 reminding me
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Old 09-22-23, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by epnnf
For the record, the subject of this thread is worded incorrectly. Should say: does 2x require more shifting than 3x?
My argument: when I ride my triple on the flats, Im in the middle ring, middle cog, use the RD to conform to minor changes in conditions. With a double, there is no middle ring or middle cog. For minor adjustments, dont you constantly have to upshift/downshift using both FD & RD?
Depends entirely on what the big and small ring, and the cassette cogs are. I find with 53/39 and a 12-28 or 12-30 cassette, I don't shift the FD that often. With a 50/34 and 12-28, I do. 52/36 x 11-34, probably even less than the 53/39.

And that's just doubles.
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Old 09-22-23, 03:14 PM
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We would love to have the definitive answer ... to Every question ... and often imagine that we do.

However .... It Depends.

The only answer I could give you would be: buy two identical bikes and bunch of chain rings and cassettes, and set up one triple and one double, and experiment with different ring and cog choices. Only you know the routes you ride and how you like to ride.

Some burly types here ride everything in one gear. Some use every one of 27 or t0 different ratios. Some ride hills, or mountains, or both, or neither.

It took me time to figure out what worked for me ... then i got old, got tied up with life, essentially had to restart, and everything was different. The recently I got ill and am restarting again. I don't even know what is best for me right now, or where or how much I am going to be riding .... and I hope to change up my whole life anyway.

I cannot even tell you what is best for me today ... I can only imagine a week or a month from now .... and until i get a whole lot more whole-body fitness, I can't even dream of riding my MTB. In a few months, though, I will hit a season of (possibly) frequent and demanding work which will basically negate riding for a couple months ... so I will again be starting over.

Dude .... i just want to ride my bike more and better ... and do everything else in my life better ... I have no clue what is best for you.
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Old 09-22-23, 03:19 PM
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So, the older I get I'm starting to have an incontinence problem riding no matter how many chainrings I have up front. What's the best way I can deal with the issue?
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Old 09-22-23, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat
So, the older I get I'm starting to have an incontinence problem riding no matter how many chainrings I have up front. What's the best way I can deal with the issue?
That is one of the better jokes I have seen here ..... Very, very much better than most. Very well played ......
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Old 09-22-23, 03:39 PM
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My 2x bikes are 44/28 so basically 1x with a bailout both w/ 11-36 cassettes . My 3x is 44/34/24 w/11-34 so I get more mid range. My 1x is a 38 with 11-42 cassette and if functions fine.
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Old 09-22-23, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by epnnf
For the record, the subject of this thread is worded incorrectly. Should say: does 2x require more shifting than 3x?
My argument: when I ride my triple on the flats, Im in the middle ring, middle cog, use the RD to conform to minor changes in conditions. With a double, there is no middle ring or middle cog. For minor adjustments, dont you constantly have to upshift/downshift using both FD & RD?
No. When I ride a 2x on the flats it just stays in the big ring. I have never ever shifted the front just to find a slightly different gear in between 2 adjacent gears on the same ring. Not on a 2x5 or a 2x12. Only on BF have I ever heard of people riding like that. It sounds insane to me.

So on my last flat 100 mile ride I shifted the front only 4 times and the rear 800+.

I only shift the front for significant climbs.
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Old 09-22-23, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat
I actually ride 3X to reduce my overall shifting. Not as much of an issue if you're not using shimano STIs with the dreaded long throw of the brake lever shift, or electronic. Still have to hold/push that button. But to answer your question, no. I'd much rather shift the FD once or twice and the RD 2-3 times than shift the FD once and the RD 7+ only to have to do it again in reverse down the road 500 yards. Not much of an issue if the terrain stays constant for a while. But if it's varying constantly like a roller coaster, I'll even take friction.
I find rear shifting so quick and slick on a modern drivetrain (especially electronic) that I donít care how many rear shifts I need. Front shifting however is still relatively slow and clunky by nature, especially going up. So I prefer less front shifting, although it doesnít bother me much on a road bike.

Modern electronic drivetrains are a joy to use and make shifting totally effortless. Sounds to me like you would benefit more than most.
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Old 09-22-23, 07:44 PM
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1 x systems have been a boom to the bike industry, which requires something hot and fresh every few years to churn the stock.

Previously, the industry was on a 7 year cycle of adding yet another cassette cog, which obviously rendered all previous systems obsolete and useless. However, with 11-speed, even the most gullible and slavish devotee of the industry had figured out enough was enough. 22 gear combinations not enough? Actually, 9 x 2 systems were past the point of diminishing returns.

But, by removing all but one chainring, and reducing the gear range and the expanding the jumps between cogs, there actually was a need for more cassette cogs. So now we're at 13-tooth cassettes (and growing). This gives the industry a few more years of 'technological development' time, to add yet more cogs on the regular schedule.

Last edited by Dave Mayer; 09-22-23 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 09-22-23, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
Previously, the industry was on a 7 year cycle of adding yet another cassette cog, which obviously rendered all previous systems obsolete and useless.
The introduction of 12-speed cassettes certainly didn't render my 11-speed setups useless.
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Old 09-22-23, 08:11 PM
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One more advantage of 1 x systems: cost and maintenance frequency for the industry.

Previously, on close-ratio cassettes, a rider had several adjacent cogs to choose from while riding on flat terrain. So I tend to wear out the 17-tooth cog, but also spend a lot of time in the 16 and 19.

However, with the giant pie-plate cassette required on the 1 x, I would have no other flatland choice but the 17, as the next closest cogs would be the infrequently used 15 and 20. So my $300 cassettes would wear out at double the rate of previous, a boon to component manufacturers and retailers. Add the $100 cost of a 12-speed chain, versus $30 for a decent 10-speed chain.

Add this to the benefit of customer inventory churn, and the big savings to retailers of not having to spend an extra 5 minutes per bike for setting up a triple.
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Old 09-22-23, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
No. When I ride a 2x on the flats it just stays in the big ring. I have never ever shifted the front just to find a slightly different gear in between 2 adjacent gears on the same ring. Not on a 2x5 or a 2x12. Only on BF have I ever heard of people riding like that. It sounds insane to me.

So on my last flat 100 mile ride I shifted the front only 4 times and the rear 800+.

I only shift the front for significant climbs.
Well, I am known as The Deranged. Other than that, the more I've ridden, the more I've discovered that riding in a very close range of cadences gives me a little longer period to exhaustion. That moniker is maybe because of my habit of frequently riding to exhaustion on long rides. I like to leave it on the road - seems to me that's of future benefit. Plus it's faster. Higher cadence = more oxygen/carb use. Lower cadence = more muscle damage. There's a fine balance there somewhere, which balance also varies with the ride. Nothing like a mountain 400 to take it out of you. I call it "titrating the pain." Yeah, all this cycling stuff sounds insane to most people. Probably is. It's nice that no one else gets damaged. -DD
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Old 09-22-23, 08:21 PM
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Mr. Hski .... I suggest riding into a strong headwind, particularly when fully loaded, particularly after a long day in the saddle.

I might be insane but I know how to use the mechanical advantages the bicycle offers to my maximum advantage ... and sometimes it matters.

Maybe it is simply that nobody told you that being int he right gear mattered? or maybe you have never actually ridden near enough to your limit?

Sorry if that sounds demeaning but you know how we insane people can act sometimes .... I have been in situations where searching for just the right ratio really did seem to matter .... but since our entire existence is really just a construct in our head, of which we are only aware milliseconds after the external reality has changed ... who can really tell?
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Old 09-22-23, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
One more advantage of 1 x systems: cost and maintenance frequency for the industry.

Previously, on close-ratio cassettes, a rider had several adjacent cogs to choose from while riding on flat terrain. So I tend to wear out the 17-tooth cog, but also spend a lot of time in the 16 and 19.

However, with the giant pie-plate cassette required on the 1 x, I would have no other flatland choice but the 17, as the next closest cogs would be the infrequently used 15 and 20. So my $300 cassettes would wear out at double the rate of previous, a boon to component manufacturers and retailers. Add the $100 cost of a 12-speed chain, versus $30 for a decent 10-speed chain.

Add this to the benefit of customer inventory churn, and the big savings to retailers of not having to spend an extra 5 minutes per bike for setting up a triple.
The idea that people spend most of their time on one cog of a wide-range cassette, and rarely use the adjacent cogs, is pure nonsense.
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Old 09-22-23, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
Mr. Hski .... I suggest riding into a strong headwind, particularly when fully loaded, particularly after a long day in the saddle.

I might be insane but I know how to use the mechanical advantages the bicycle offers to my maximum advantage ... and sometimes it matters.

Maybe it is simply that nobody told you that being int he right gear mattered? or maybe you have never actually ridden near enough to your limit?

Sorry if that sounds demeaning but you know how we insane people can act sometimes .... I have been in situations where searching for just the right ratio really did seem to matter .... but since our entire existence is really just a construct in our head, of which we are only aware milliseconds after the external reality has changed ... who can really tell?
Not much I hate more than not being able to be in the right gear, or as close as I can be, for me and my riding style, when riding fully loaded, especially while climbing on dirt/gravel.

Youíll have to pry my triple out of my cold, dead BB shell.
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Old 09-22-23, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I find rear shifting so quick and slick on a modern drivetrain (especially electronic) that I donít care how many rear shifts I need. Front shifting however is still relatively slow and clunky by nature, especially going up. So I prefer less front shifting, although it doesnít bother me much on a road bike.

Modern electronic drivetrains are a joy to use and make shifting totally effortless. Sounds to me like you would benefit more than most.
I understand that you have a good user experience with your drivetrain. My issue is not with that, bur rather me, with a rig which doesn't need much shifting, sitting on your wheel in rolling terrain. That's the irritating thing for me which doesn't bother you.
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Old 09-22-23, 11:33 PM
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No.

Originally Posted by seypat
So, the older I get I'm starting to have an incontinence problem riding no matter how many chainrings I have up front. What's the best way I can deal with the issue?
Wear black shorts.

Originally Posted by Broctoon
People who want a 3x drivetrain:

- Those who are used to them because it's what they've always had, because for decades it was the only affordable way to get a really wide total gear range.

- Touring riders who understand gearing and know they need a really wide total range and will be well served to also have small steps at each shift. (These guys also are not too concerned about weight or complexity.)

- Those who think more is always better. "You only have 20 speeds? I have a 21 speed, and I'm going to upgrade to a 27 speed." They multiply number of chainrings by number of cogs, and just want the combo that will give the highest product.
Your list is incomplete.

- Those folks who somehow got old, and want a smaller chainring now.

To the OP: The answer to the question in your thread title is: No.

Next!
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Old 09-23-23, 03:50 AM
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I have been using triple cranks on all my mountain bikes and my hybrid bike during more than twenty years, until the 2010's nobody really cared about double or single cranks on mountain bikes.Most of the mountain bike championships until 2010's were won with triple cranksets(often the XTR group). Randonneur bikes also use triple crankset. My race bikes are double crankset and only my city bike has a single crank
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Old 09-23-23, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by georges1
I have been using triple cranks on all my mountain bikes and my hybrid bike during more than twenty years, until the 2010's nobody really cared about double or single cranks on mountain bikes.Most of the mountain bike championships until 2010's were won with triple cranksets(often the XTR group). Randonneur bikes also use triple crankset. My race bikes are double crankset and only my city bike has a single crank
You are correct, but now we are in the 2020s and mountain bikers much prefer 1x to the point that everything else has literally disappeared (unless you ride a very low end or older bike pre 1x era).
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Old 09-23-23, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I understand that you have a good user experience with your drivetrain. My issue is not with that, bur rather me, with a rig which doesn't need much shifting, sitting on your wheel in rolling terrain. That's the irritating thing for me which doesn't bother you.
So you think that I need to shift more or less than you in rolling terrain? I don't follow this argument.
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Old 09-23-23, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
Mr. Hski .... I suggest riding into a strong headwind, particularly when fully loaded, particularly after a long day in the saddle.

I might be insane but I know how to use the mechanical advantages the bicycle offers to my maximum advantage ... and sometimes it matters.

Maybe it is simply that nobody told you that being int he right gear mattered? or maybe you have never actually ridden near enough to your limit?

Sorry if that sounds demeaning but you know how we insane people can act sometimes .... I have been in situations where searching for just the right ratio really did seem to matter .... but since our entire existence is really just a construct in our head, of which we are only aware milliseconds after the external reality has changed ... who can really tell?
If I ride on the flat in a strong headwind (which is quite often here) I may decide to ride on the small ring. The flat effectively becomes a hill (Dutch hills have no crests). What I wouldn't need to do is constantly flip from big to small ring - which was the question I was addressing in relation to 3x vs 2x drivetrains. It was implied that 2x riders might need to be "constantly" shifting front rings while riding on the flat , while 3x riders wouldn't, which to me is complete nonsense. That's why I posted some actual 2x shift data from a wide variety of ride profiles from flat to mountain routes. I'm 55 years old and been riding bikes since the mid 1970s so I'm not really a noob at this.

Last edited by PeteHski; 09-23-23 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 09-23-23, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Well, I am known as The Deranged. Other than that, the more I've ridden, the more I've discovered that riding in a very close range of cadences gives me a little longer period to exhaustion. That moniker is maybe because of my habit of frequently riding to exhaustion on long rides. I like to leave it on the road - seems to me that's of future benefit. Plus it's faster. Higher cadence = more oxygen/carb use. Lower cadence = more muscle damage. There's a fine balance there somewhere, which balance also varies with the ride. Nothing like a mountain 400 to take it out of you. I call it "titrating the pain." Yeah, all this cycling stuff sounds insane to most people. Probably is. It's nice that no one else gets damaged. -DD
So how does any of that relate to 2x vs 3x shifting exactly? Are you saying that a 2x12 is too granular for your narrow cadence range? What specific 3x setup do you require?
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Old 09-23-23, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
1 x systems have been a boom to the bike industry, which requires something hot and fresh every few years to churn the stock.

Previously, the industry was on a 7 year cycle of adding yet another cassette cog, which obviously rendered all previous systems obsolete and useless. However, with 11-speed, even the most gullible and slavish devotee of the industry had figured out enough was enough. 22 gear combinations not enough? Actually, 9 x 2 systems were past the point of diminishing returns.

But, by removing all but one chainring, and reducing the gear range and the expanding the jumps between cogs, there actually was a need for more cassette cogs. So now we're at 13-tooth cassettes (and growing). This gives the industry a few more years of 'technological development' time, to add yet more cogs on the regular schedule.
What you are describing here (with extreme cynicism) is evolution.
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