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Double and Triple – Pride vs Common Sense??

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Double and Triple – Pride vs Common Sense??

Old 04-20-05, 07:40 AM
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Double and Triple – Pride vs Common Sense??

I’ve been wondering about this for a while. I’ve been noticing that most of the riders I know by now that I talk to, ride with in the club, some racers among them, who have a Double are not really strong enough for this set-up. I could count them with the fingers of one hand those riders who really “deserve” to have a double. I, personally, shamelessly have a triple (ride at the B* level by now). One example comes to hand, the other day we went on a very hilly ride where all the riders I was with, w/o exception (well me, the only triple) had a double. I was like saying to myself: “what did I get myself into, these guys look very strong and all have doubles, I’m going to get dropped!”
But then again I thought it’s not a race so I’ll just stick to my rhythm and tempo on the up hills where some were steep and long by the way. The whole ride was 55 miles or so.
Obviously, most of the riders once on the up hills went strong, cranking up big time, they surged ahead about 82 yards, I kept my rhythm, I was third from the last rider in most of the hills, but the funny thing was that by mile 35 or so most of these “double, tough riders” were spent big time, the only rider who “lived up to his double” started hammering at 18mph average for the last 10 or so last miles and I was the only one who pretty much kept up with him, right behind him, the others were lagging behind and only one was hanging on for dear life but got dropped at the end , the very last few miles.

So, I’ve come to realize the double set-up in most cases is just a pride thing.
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Old 04-20-05, 07:44 AM
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There is a mechanical basis for the double being a better system. It's downfall though is lack of low gearing.

It's not always the best choice for all situations.

Last edited by 53-11_alltheway; 04-20-05 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 04-20-05, 07:47 AM
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I don't know. I am going to be converting my bike from a triple (52,42,30) with a 12-25 9 spd to a compact double (50/34) with 11-27 10sp and think I will actually be gaining gears while limiting my shifting. Now that I know how to properly shift my triple I find there are a bunch of combinations I don't use and I am shifting onto the small ring sooner and more often to keep revs up and maintain my cadence. By going to the wider ration compact double I will have more top end and the same (are darn near it) bottom end plus less shifting from ring to ring. With 10 on the back and a compact double I think it could be the best option.

Edit: ok maybe gaining gears isn't the correct thing to say. I guess what is really happening is I will be loosing duplicated gears.
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Last edited by Grasschopper; 04-20-05 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 04-20-05, 07:54 AM
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I think there is a difference between having the most appropriate gear for a specific ride or purpose and having too much pride to go with anything other than a double. Sounds to me like you had the right gear for that day.

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Old 04-20-05, 07:55 AM
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if you can live with lousy shifting, corsaire, go with it.

me? i have never met a road that i couldn't ride up in 39x25, and i'm not a strong climber. i'm not saying it was as easy as watching tv and eating cheetos, but it was do-able. on my cyclo-cross bike, if i come to a hill that i'd need lower than 38x26 for, i'm better off running.

i would run a triple on a loaded touring bike. i would accept the fact that i would be moving at a crawl.
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Old 04-20-05, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
I don't know. I am going to be converting my bike from a triple (52,42,30) with a 12-25 9 spd to a compact double (50/34) with 11-27 10sp and think I will actually be gaining gears while limiting my shifting. Now that I know how to properly shift my triple I find there are a bunch of combinations I don't use and I am shifting onto the small ring sooner and more often to keep revs up and maintain my cadence. By going to the wider ration compact double I will have more top end and the same (are darn near it) bottom end plus less shifting from ring to ring. With 10 on the back and a compact double I think it could be the best option.

Edit: ok maybe gaining gears isn't the correct thing to say. I guess what is really happening is I will be loosing duplicated gears.
I like that idea of using a compact with a 11-27 10s. It gives you pretty low gearing, but with only 1 chainring shift instead of two. You won't get the absolute low gearing of a triple, but everything is a comprimise.
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Old 04-20-05, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
I don't know. I am going to be converting my bike from a triple (52,42,30) with a 12-25 9 spd to a compact double (50/34) with 11-27 10sp and think I will actually be gaining gears while limiting my shifting. Now that I know how to properly shift my triple I find there are a bunch of combinations I don't use and I am shifting onto the small ring sooner and more often to keep revs up and maintain my cadence. By going to the wider ration compact double I will have more top end and the same (are darn near it) bottom end plus less shifting from ring to ring. With 10 on the back and a compact double I think it could be the best option.

Edit: ok maybe gaining gears isn't the correct thing to say. I guess what is really happening is I will be loosing duplicated gears.
Yeah, this sounds like a very good choice from a mechanical basis like 53-11 AlltheWay said, I had been thinking about doing the conversion to a compact double also, read also an article where the pros favor it as well, in fact Tyler Hamilton and Carlos Sastre used it in the TDF 2003 with great results.

Velocipedio
Yeah, I could climb hills on that low gearing (39x25) also, but the question is: will you have "fresh" legs at the end of the day to finish the long ride at a decent speed ? perhaps you can, I can't, not just yet anyway, I'm working on it.
That's the bottom line: measured effort having the right hearing for your pedaling capabilities.
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Old 04-20-05, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by 53-11_alltheway
I like that idea of using a compact with a 11-27 10s. It gives you pretty low gearing, but with only 1 chainring shift instead of two. You won't get the absolute low gearing of a triple, but everything is a comprimise.
Not the absolute low of the 30-25 combo I have now which is 32.1 gear inches but the 34-27 comes in at 33.1. I rarely if EVER use the 30-25 and the 34-27 is so close it might even be too low but it is good to have one to bail out to if I am dieing out there.
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Old 04-20-05, 08:25 AM
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Touring, relaxed centuries, mountain bikeing, fun easy riding = triple

hard training, fitness riding, racing = double.

If you race on a triple you will be dropped. In a race in your 39x23 you may be more tired then some one who spins a 32x27 to the top of the mountain but you will be there first and thats what wins the race.

fwiw thats the way I look at the double/triple argument
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Old 04-20-05, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna
Touring, relaxed centuries, mountain bikeing, fun easy riding = triple

hard training, fitness riding, racing = double.

If you race on a triple you will be dropped. In a race in your 39x23 you may be more tired then some one who spins a 32x27 to the top of the mountain but you will be there first and thats what wins the race.

fwiw thats the way I look at the double/triple argument
But we're not talking racing here, at least I'm not. Racing is a total different beast, like you're saying.

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Old 04-20-05, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Corsaire
Yeah, I could climb hills on that low gearing (39x25) also, but the question is: will you have "fresh" legs at the end of the day to finish the long ride at a decent speed ? perhaps you can, I can't, not just yet anyway, I'm working on it.
That's the bottom line: measured effort having the right hearing for your pedaling capabilities.
Corsaire
fair enough. it's harder at the start of the season, but not so hard that i'd need a triple. my legs are still buzzing from the 110 km ride i did on sunday, but that's because it was early season.
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Old 04-20-05, 08:39 AM
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I wouldn't say that if you race on a triple you will be dropped... Its just that if you use it on a lot of hills you will be dropped - unless you are spinning 140rpms or something to climb. You just can't climb with as much speed, obviously... that said, there was a guy recently in Europe who used a triple... Was it Roberto Heras? I forget... someone did... Surely they weren't using a 30-23 to climb anything...
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Old 04-20-05, 08:43 AM
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Beaten to death ...this topic is so hotly debated here. I just don't know why.

Corsaire, I think the more salient argument in your story is about fitness and not pride or common sense. A club racer that blows their load before 55 miles are up hasn't been taking their training seriously ...no matter if they ride a triple or a double. Shame on them.
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Old 04-20-05, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by telenick
Beaten to death ...this topic is so hotly debated here. I just don't know why.

Corsaire, I think the more salient argument in your story is about fitness and not pride or common sense. A club racer that blows their load before 55 miles are up hasn't been taking their training seriously ...no matter if they ride a triple or a double. Shame on them.
For the same reason. If you haven't been training at all or the way you should then why would you have a double to not keep up? pride maybe ? or perhaps stupidity
Incidentally, one of the double guys in front of me, on this steep long hill cracked wide open on his double, he couldn't crank up seating anymore, so he was standing when he fell over to his side gasping for air, I had to stop to see if he hadn't had a heart attack or something. That was foolish.
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Old 04-20-05, 08:53 AM
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Some of these triple vs double arguments have the same vibe of insecurity and defensiveness that you see on "recumbent vs diamond" debates.

Doubles are great. The problem is these things are marketed with overly optimistic chainrings. I blame this for turning off a lot of people to road bikes. "Cyclocross-sized" chainrings (48/38) on a road bike are more realistic for most non-athletes.

Of course, everyone is different, but more people should assess what they need honestly and then change their equipment as needed. Too many people are willing to suffer in order to conform with what's available in an LBS or catalog, rather than try to find what would work best for them.
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Old 04-20-05, 08:56 AM
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In my expereince (and I've tried both 53/39 double, 53/42/30 triple and 50/34 compacts), the compact is by far the best solution. All the benefits of the triple, but with the mechanical advantages of the double.
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Old 04-20-05, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jbhowat
I wouldn't say that if you race on a triple you will be dropped... Its just that if you use it on a lot of hills you will be dropped - unless you are spinning 140rpms or something to climb. You just can't climb with as much speed, obviously... that said, there was a guy recently in Europe who used a triple... Was it Roberto Heras? I forget... someone did... Surely they weren't using a 30-23 to climb anything...
That's right. Nothing wrong with low gears as long as you can spin them fast enough to keep up with the guy pushing the taller gear.

Some here in this forum supposedly asked a pro racer if he pushed tall gears or spun low gears? The Pro racer said I spin high gears. LOL

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Old 04-20-05, 09:13 AM
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Not this crap again!
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Old 04-20-05, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Corsaire
I could count them with the fingers of one hand those riders who really “deserve” to have a double
...
the question is: will you have "fresh" legs at the end of the day to finish the long ride at a decent speed ?
You don’t ride with very strong riders, do you? FWIW, my riding buddies do lots of 50+ mile rides over pretty good hills at over 18 mph averages and nobody rides a triple. We did the Wright Stuff Century (very hilly) last year with little problems. While I wouldn’t mind a lower gear now and then, I felt great at the end of 100 hilly miles.

You’re limited experience and exposure to riders doesn’t apply to all of us! I couldn’t care less if you think I “deserve a double”.

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Old 04-20-05, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by telenick
Beaten to death ...this topic is so hotly debated here. I just don't know why.
I agree completely. In my opinion, all of the hot debate on this topic is no more than insecurities on both sides. Everyone wants their preference to be deemed "the right one," so their double or triple set-ups -- and their choices that led to their double or triple set-ups -- are validated (I know, I know, double owners feel validated because it is what the pros use, but that is another story entirely).
When it comes right down to it, it is the cycling industry's fault. By leaving only two "mainstream" choices for cyclers, it polarizes the sides even more. It comes down to an either/or situation. If the industry gave us the choice of 1 through 5 chainrings, I don't think the debate would be nearly as Hatfield and McCoy. Can you imagine a five ring, you wouldn't even need the chain or rear cassette, you could just use the teeth on the ring to chew up the pavement!
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Old 04-20-05, 09:41 AM
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There are rides where I wished that I had a triple - or a quadruple, for that matter! Simple fact is that when I bought my bike last fall, LBS owner said "you don't need triples in New Jersey". Which is true, once you're in shape. Having started from no road riding for 25 years to riding "B" level rides over the course of the winter, I'm quite happy with my double 9 spd at this point. Next bike, I'll probably get a compact double. Also, I wasn't aware that I was required to sign a release before buying a bike with a double...
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Old 04-20-05, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Murrays
You don’t ride with very strong riders, do you? FWIW, my riding buddies do lots of 50+ mile rides over pretty good hills at over 18 mph averages and nobody rides a triple. We did the Wright Stuff Century (very hilly) last year with little problems. While I wouldn’t mind a lower gear now and then, I felt great at the end of 100 hilly miles.

You’re limited experience and exposure to riders doesn’t apply to all of us! I couldn’t care less if you think I “deserve a double”.

-murray
Perhaps you can really ride a double and have "fresh" legs at the end of the ride, who cares! maddog

The discussion was about those who can't handle it and still use it.

Corsaire

By the way, you'll burst out a vein if you keep pushing like that, in your avatar.
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Old 04-20-05, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Terex
Also, I wasn't aware that I was required to sign a release before buying a bike with a double...

What????
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Old 04-20-05, 10:10 AM
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What was the release for Terex?

It's all about range I think. My old '70s 10 speed had 39/52 and 12 - 35, my 2003 Bianchi Vlope has 30/42/52 and 11-34. Only a little wider with it's 27 than the old one with 10. I usually don't try to fine tune my gear selection but go till I need to shift, but I do like being able to go low if only for part of the hill for a rest. No I don't race.

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Old 04-20-05, 10:12 AM
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Consider a 53/39 with a 12/27 cassette. The 39/27 ratio is almost exactly the same as the 30/21 ratio on a triple. How often do you use the 30/23 or 30/25? The jumps between gears might be slightly larger than on a triple, but there's also the advantage in shifting smoothness and accuracy.

Double/triple arguments are really about choices. Riding a double doesn't mean you have to sacrifice low gears as much as one might think...
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